Birthplace: Tuscany

Fresh off the needles: Kusha Kusha Scarf.

Kusha Kusha was cast on during a day trip through Tuscany in late September.  We were on our way to Volterra and it was a beautiful day.  Rolling hills, topped with farm houses flanked by tall cypress trees.  The fields had been harvested, so the dirt lay as a dusty taupe blanket on the hills.  Grapes were still on the vine, hanging in all their succulence, tempting the lips, and tempting the camera.

Knitting Kusha Kusha. Well, it is entirely stockinette stitch, so there’s not a whole lot of entertainment value in the knitting, and in fact I was surprised how long it took to knit. The way it is knit is that for the first two-thirds or so of the scarf you knit the strands of superfine merino (I used brown) and silk-wrapped steel (black silk with glints of steel peaking through) together as one, and then at about the two-thirds mark, it’s just the silk-covered steel strand.  I discovered that although there’s nothing magical or mystical about knitting with silk-covered stainless steel, it wasn’t as easy to deal with as it appeared because the yarn doesn’t just wrap itself aroung the needles like typical fibers, but it bends and you wrap it around the needle.  It doesn’t exactly fight being knitted and it’s not like trying to knit with cable off your TV or anything, but it just has it’s own mind despite it’s threadlike appearance.

The best part about the whole project is felting it, because just when you think it’s not going to look any different, suddenly the fibers open up and felt and you have this very interesting piece of subtle wearable art to hang around your neck. After I felted it, I pulled at the rolled edges in various places to give it a toothsome edge.  Ironic for me that Kusha Kusha is so subtle and that the project I finished just before it is Norah Gaughan’s Cabled Coat, which is so in your face, that when I wear it, people do double-takes (which, isn’t quite me, I have to admit).  If it weren’t so slow going, I’d jump on it to make another one, but I think I’ll wait on that for a bit.

Would I recommend knitting a Kusha Kusha to anyone who has yet to try it?  Absolutely.  Why?  Because it has to be experienced.  You’re knitting with stainless steel, for goodness sake, and it’s just too different a concept not to try it.

Raid on Antibes*

Finally got my Mac back after the techs at Apple had their hands on it for some warranty work, and now I can access my pictures from the trip to Europe.

My knitting traveling companions were Bird’s Eye Shawl and Kusha Kusha Scarf, which I cast on for during the trip. I worked on Bird’s Eye for much of the first week, and then cast on for Kusha Kusha toward the end of the first week (during a day trip to Volterra, Italy). Taking lace on a touring trip is probably not the best idea and I knew it going in, but I didn’t have anything else easier and as small to carry, so Bird’s Eye was the primary candidate, and it turned out to be a lifesaver for the flight to Europe because I ended-up in a seat with a non-functioning personal video screen, and a non-functioning light, so it was Bird’s Eye for much of the 9-hour flight (I had a little clip-on LED book light to use to see with). Luckily I brought everything for Kusha Kusha, as that was definitely the better project for touring with.

Kusha Kusha in Antibes, France

Antibes looks much better without knitting in front of it. No?

Do you think the guy with the really big boat is worried about global warming and the price of gas?

Jolly Jail Birds

I couldn’t resist this picture. They were penned-up in this cage in front of a shop along Voie Georges Pompidou in Paris. By the way, how do you know which bank is Left Bank and which is the Right Bank in Paris? From what perspective are they left and right?

By the way, my apologies for claiming that there was a Beard Papa in Portland, Oregon, if that sent anyone else scurrying for information on the locale as it did Super Eggplant blogger Mariko. For some reason I thought I’d been told that there was one there. However, despite her dismay in finding no Beard Papa to be had in her town, Mariko informed me that Beard Papa’s website states that there will be a Beard Papa in Lynnwood, Washington in November in addition to the one in Seattle’s Uwajimaya. Parking shouldn’t be a problem, which is good because my husband still owes me my meter money stash.

*Not to be confused with the Peter Finch film, Raid on Entebbe, and this sort of play on names assumes the mispronunciation of Antibes. Sorry.