Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wandering The Moors Shawl ~

One reason I enjoying knitting as a hobby is because I'm able to create clothing for myself evocative of an earlier time in history. Something I can't simply purchase off the rack. The Wandering the Moors shawl that I'm wearing is a great example of this because it positively oozes medieval charm from it's homespun feel to its mystical reference to the moors.

I am intrigued by the moors having read numerous mystery novels with the story set on or near the moors.   So imagine my delight when I actually met a knitter who resides on the moors where she runs Barnabas House B&B with her husband, blind mother, and her adorable german shepherd dog, Brio.  I was so taken with the beautiful photos of the area where Carolyn lives and Brio's story (which I have shared at the end of this post) that I suggested that the Ravelry group we both belong to (German Shepherd Lovers) might enjoy knitting the Wandering the Moor shawl as a group project.  I feel very connected to this group where we share so much in common, not just our love of knitting and dogs but also our kindred spirits.  This way we could all be a part of Brio's walks on the moor no matter where we lived, where our life path may take us, or our imagination might transports us.

I am happy to report we had 18 participants in our Wandering the Moor Knit Along and saw many wonderful interpretations of this pattern and shared interesting stories about each of the knitters and the areas where we live.  If you are a member of Ravelry you might enjoy visiting the main German Shepherd Lovers group which has a wealth of information about German Shepherd dogs and many beautiful, silly, and inspiring pictures and stories of our shepherds.

Besides its locale appeal, I am really thrilled that I made this shawl.  The alpaca yarn I used is light yet cozy and has a wonderful rich luster, and the shawl is a very wearable size and color.  I particularly like the above photo because to me it looks as if I am ready to strap on a sword and leap onto the back of a horse and gallop off seeking adventure.  That's not realistic, of course.  Because I am lacking a horse.  And a sword.  And what I really am about to do is go home and fix dinner.  I guess that means there won't be any adventuring for me today unless it's vicariously through a novel.  But that doesn't mean I won't find an adventure tomorrow, and with my shawl I'll be ready.

Particulars:  Wandering the Moor shawl pattern; inspired by Jane Eyre; designed by Celeste Glassel; Toft Alpaca British Alpaca, 3 skeins Fine Chestnut colorway; US 6 needles.  I modified the pattern by centering the pattern to have a "true" center rather than being off by one stitch.  I did that by changing the pattern's center repeat to: ((KFB, CS, KFB)) from ((KFB, SM,KFB, K1)).  Note that it’s the same number of stitches (5) but this changes creates a true center.  I also modified the pattern slightly by making all my increases as "M1" versus "KFB" and I simply used a true garter stitch tab along the edges.  It's a very simply pattern and makes a lovely cozy wrap to wear.  Finished blocked (lightly) dimensions (I made the larger size) 25" x 60".   Previous knits that I've made with Toft Alpaca yarn is their Pebble Bag Kit blogged as Alpaca Never Felt So Good.

P.S. The shawl pin seen in this post was made for me by Sherrie (SmotoExpress) one of the knit along members.  She designed this pin specifically to wear with my shawl and it couldn't be more perfect.  I am incredibly touched and appreciative of her thoughtfulness.  

Brio's Story ~

This adorable german shepherd is Brio who at the age of 2-3 years was rescued by the Devon GSD Rescue.  At the time of his rescue he had been starved and beaten and as a result was suffering from chronic renal disease.  Despite receiving plenty of food he is still quite small due to his early neglect (he weighs about 65 lbs).  He is understandably wary of new things but Carolyn tells me his love is fierce and bright just like his name "Brio" which means "playing with brilliance," in musical parlance.

It was Brio's good fortune when Carolyn came into his life and he was transported from the rescue facility into the Dartmoor National Park in Devon, UK, where Carolyn runs the Barnabas House B&B.  Now Brio's days are filled with wonderful walks on the moors and cozy evenings in the Inn playing with squeaky toys and receiving lots of cuddles from his forever family.  I love seeing the pictures that Carolyn shares of Brio romping on the moors and and watching this little dog who truly plays with brilliance.  And bless his furry little heart he deserves all the love and enjoyment that life offers.  There are many worthy charities that call to each of us but dog rescues operate on a shoe string budget caring for throwaways and abused dogs that often require medication care. Giving to charities such as Devon GSD Rescue or donating blankets or food to your local rescue is always appreciated and needed.

Thank you Carolyn for letting me share Brio's story and your beautiful pictures of Dartmoor National Park ~

Until next time, be well and love well and may we all enjoy adventures and wonderful wanderings wherever we may find ourselves.