Sunday, October 23, 2011

Southwest Knit Shawl

I chose to knit the shawl that I'm wearing because it reminds me of the American Southwest and its gorgeous sunsets and the clothing inspired by that region. 

The Southwest is a beautiful part of America and has a distinct culture that is seen in its art, food, and clothing.   Steve and I once traveled by motorcycle all through the Southwest beginning in Albuquerque, New Mexico traveling up to Sante Fe, New Mexico and back through Arizona and ending up in Palm Springs, California.

I loved traveling by motorcycle (I rode on the back) because you experience the landscape on a much more intense level as all the sights, sounds, and smells of the land have no barrier to you.  I'll never forget the beautiful ring of golden fire that outlined the mountain ranges as the sun set and the evening began.  If you are familiar with the art of the Southwest you will often see a ring of gold or bright light which represents the sunset and how the evening sky is etched in molten gold.  

I see that landscape and the ring of fire in this shawl.  It also see, incidentally, Candy Corn but that might just be because it's close to Halloween.  I've included a few pictures from the trip we took (20 plus years ago) below and only wish I had taken some of the landscape.

Particulars:  Grade, a Twice Square Rectangular Shawl, design by Grace Anna Robbins, A Stitch to Wear.  Modifications:  For the main body of the shawl I reduced the needle size to US 7 on account of substituting yarn to silky merino by Malabrigo Yarns (cream, sand, camote, topaz).  For the red border I used a heavier yarn (Noro cash iroha) and used US 7 needles for the first row and then US 8 needles until the i-cord bind off at which point I switched back to US 7 needles.  I liked the slightly heavier gauge yarn for the border because it adds nice texture and some structure for the shawl which is largely knit in a soft yarn. Blocked (lightly) dimensions: 42" x 20."  For more gorgeous modern interpretations of stripes see Veera Valimaki aka: Rain Knitwear Designs (blogs 100% Rain) who has designed several stunning striped shawls, including Stripe Study Shawl and Different Lines.

Motorcyle Trip to Southwest

Steve shipped his motorcyle to a Bed and Breakfast in Albuquerque, New Mexico which is where we began our trip.  My favorite town was Santa Fe, New Mexico where we stayed at the famous La Fonda Hotel and below you can see we are in a square with various artist/vendors with booths.  Even back then I loved handcrafts.

The MisAdventures of Simcha 

All of the pumpkins will belong to me..... Muahahaa!

It was around this time last year that we discovered that Simcha had a possessive streak.  We had our pumpkin outside where he would “check it over” every time he went in and out of the house and one night he became enraged when he realized some animal was outside messing about with his pumpkin.  We did not get much sleep and in the morning we found the pumpkin covered in bite marks so this year I bring his pumpkin inside at night.  I hope he handles it well when I carve it.

Until next time, be well and love well and may you approach life as an adventure with each season a time to celebrate.


Monika said...

Your shawl is gorgeous! I love simple garder stitch. All the shawls you mentioned look wonderful!

That sounds like a nice trip you did back when. It's great to have such memories.

Oh, you dare carve his pumpkin? :o)

Allie said...

That is a really pretty shawl, Claudia! Love the colors. Sounds like it was a great trip - I've never been further west than Dallas, always wanted to go. My mum lived in Phoenix for a bit as a child and never got over it.
Simcha is too funny with his pumpkin...what a HANDSOME lad he is!

SissySees said...

What a lovely post, beautiful shawl and a card-worthy shot of that possessive pup! Do let us know what he thinks of the pumpkin carving.

Tracy said...

Oh, wow... I love the photos of you & Steve! 80's??!! ;o) A big pipedream we have is to journey Route 66 on a Harley! It's on my life list... who knows, maybe it will happen! Simcha...oh, I love this boy. (Don't tell Charlie I said that. ;o) So Simcha's the Pumpkin King. He sure is a handsome one! Your shawl is beautiful... I love the softness of these warm colors. Nothing like a simple shawl... Oh, would you believe I posted on some knitting?! I did... haha... Happy Days, Claudia ((HUGS))

Andi said...

That shawl is incredibly beautiful! Those colors are so Southwest.
ahhh don't carve his pumpkin!

Anonymous said...

Hi Claudia, you haven't changed a bit since your 20 years ago Southwest trip. What's your secret? Besides being a lovely shawl, it was particularly interesting to me because I am planning on knitting a southwest colors shawl for a dear friend who lives in that area. I also wanted the colors to look good on her, and since she is also a blonde, your shawl is setting me in a very good direction. Hmmm. Simcha and his pumpkin. Will there be a pumpkin recipe in our blog-reading future?


Monica said...

Love your shawl...gorgeous work!

raining sheep said...

Love those blast from the past photos :) Gorgeous shawl; reminds me of a pattern I made a few years ago when I was still knitting!! Four more weeks of school left and I graduate. Life is insane right now!

betty said...

The shawl is lovely, and the colors also remind me of the southwest.

We took a summer road trip many years ago with a similar route that started in the SF bay area and went through Arizona, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and returning via Palm Springs. It was in a Toyota Camry that did not have air conditioning. Since then, every car I've owned has had air conditioning!

I think we're going to Santa Fe again this summer, but this time we're flying to Albuquerque to start.

Kristen said...

What a pretty shawl. I love stripy shawls these days and want to get cracking on finishing one and starting another.

You are such a nice wife to ride on a motorcycle for such a long trip. I complain when the top is down on my husband's convertible! And I agree with you about the southwest, the colors are so inspiring.

Instead of carving Simcha's pumpkin why don't you paint on a face? He might really like that! Lastly, great pictures.

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

Thank you all for your nice comments!

Chloe, you obviously did not look closely at those older pictures - LOL But I do try and eat right and exercise (I jog 3 days a week and avoid restaurant and/or prepackaged foods). It must be a special friend if you are going to make her a shawl ~ warm tones are generally best on blonds :)

Kristen, I love your suggestion of painting a face on the pumpkin ~ thank you!

gMarie said...

Love the shawl - is there anything you don't look fabulous in? It's lovely!

Have you considered 2 pumpkins? g

Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

Beautiful shawl - I love the colors, they really do have the essence of the southwest. Thanks for sharing the pictures - that sounds like an incredible trip.

Simcha and his pumpkin - silly puppy :)

Lost City Denise said...

Love love love the shawl! And all the great photos of the southwest!

The SW is truly a magical place. I'm currently reading the letters between O'Keeffe and Steiglitz and finally made it to the section of her first Taos visit. Her descriptions make me eager to go back this winter.

Renee said...

What a lovely shawl, perfect for the colours of fall and southwest inspiration!

I had to smile at Simcha resource guarding his pumpkin. Maybe next year you need to buy 2 - one to carve and one for him? :-)

Hilary said...

Oh my...amazing piece. Garter stitch, squishy yarn, big, cozy triangle? I want one now!! The colors are absolutely beautiful, too...very Southwestern.

I love the photos from your trip! And Claudia, you look EXACTLY the same. Steve, too!

t does wool said...

Claudia...beautiful warm colors of the southwest..
you just glow in it.
have fun with the pumpkins :)

Rachel said...

Perfect representation of the colors of the Southwest! It's a special part of the world...must have been an amazing trip to experience it from a motorcycle!

Too funny that Simcha is possessive over a pumpkin!

lapdogknits said...

Claudia...I knew you were "cool" when I first discovered your blog.

I love the it, love it.

We are heading to Arizona tomorrow - you've inspired me to make a desert shawl. I'm looking forward to quiet time listening to the wind, out in the middle of Indian reservation I have to search my stash to see what I can knit while I'm there!!

have a great halloween - so silly these dogs are, my son's pit bull is the same way over the new grandchild...follows everyone as if he's thinking "don't take that baby - she's mine!!"

Gives her HUGH licks every chance he gets!!

jillian said...

Love your moto-trips pictures! And your SW shawl is beautiful, it captures those colors just right.

Windyridge said...

It's been so long since I last visited and I see you have a dog! Beautiful!