Thor’s birthday gifts to me took my breath away.
Package No. 1: This is the newest addition to my essential knitting supplies – purchased at REI. This head lamp (the Cosmo) by Black Diamond allows me to knit in all levels of (low) lighting and in the dark. I use it several times a day (depending on where I sit and the time of day, of course)! It has a ratcheting swivel head lets me set the light’s direction as well as the brightness of the beam. It also has a strobe and red light feature too, but I haven’t yet found them useful for knitting. It rests on the bedside table and, if I am traveling, goes in the knitting travel bag.
Package No. 2: Soft and squishy, I opened the package to discover 50 grams (400 yards) of 100% bison down yarn (Buffalo Gold from Paradise Fibers)! As soon as I felt it I knew I wanted to knit something that could sit on my shoulders or wrap around my neck. I experimented with lace swatches but ultimately decided, though beautiful and rich, chocolate brown is simply not my color. So I was left pondering how to show case the buffalo but get some color into it. I popped by Artfibers and decided to knit a simple shawlette called Deep Triangle designed by Alice Schulman (Esila on Ravelry). I held one strand each of the bison down and Tsuki (color #10), a 2 ply lace-weight mohair/silk blend. It was a fast and easy knit (save for the tendency of Tsuki to slip), and I added two rows of drop stitch patterning toward the bottom. (The bison was a little unevenly spun but very springy.) By the way, look at the difference lighting makes. Both of these pictures were taken with my iPhone; I took the one above in Artfibers’ studio; I took the (closeup) picture on the right on my desk.
Package No. 3: I was excited to open my last package and discover the 1968 edition (6th printing) of Sara Kasdan’s classic Loaves & Knishes: An Irrepressible Guide to Jewish Cooking. For the last couple of years I have been on a quest to revise some of Kasdan’s recipes, updating ingredients without ruining their comforting, traditional taste. (For instance, I do not use schmaltz (chicken fat) and substitute ground turkey for ground beef lung.) The book is in inscribed “To Cousin Martha, With Love, from Doris, May 13, 1959.” I will guess that, given the perfect condition of the book and jacket, that Cousin Martha did not cook much. (If you are wondering what this gift has to do with knitting … I knit a lot while baking. )
I feel spoiled.