Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Mystery Shawl and the Carrot Lady

I am so sad about what just happened in Boston. I hate to see such horrible things happen. 
I don't have the words to put all my thoughts about it in writing so I hope you don't mind some pictures of knitting, alpacas and people who have inspired me to clear your and my mind of it for a moment.

I started this Blog one night not knowing what I was really going to do with it.  I thought it would be a good place to share all my pictures.  The next morning I went to our neighbors alpaca farm to see a cria that had just been born. I was hoping to get a few pictures of the new little alpaca and while I was there the owner showed me a Blog "It's All About Purple".  He told me about a woman, Debbie, who had just visited his farm. He went on to tell me she has MS and is one of the most inspiring people he has ever met.

I went home later that day and looked up her blog.  I made a comment and the rest is history.  If you know Debbie then you know how awesome she is. If you don't know her I highly recommend getting to know her.  She has made this little blog of mine come to life. I thank her so much for all her words of kindness, her recommendations of places to go and the list goes on and on.
We live a town apart, but never see each other. My boys are young and hers are grown and out of the house. She has given me so much motivation to "take the picture".  I was so excited that she could come to my parents farm today to play with the alpacas and help take some pictures of me wearing my new shawl.  Although I think she was having more fun being the Carrot Lady.  She insisted she didn't know what she was doing taking pictures, but I think she did a fantastic job.  She was so much fun to spend time with. 
And as a bonus my shawl is now featured on the designers page!  That is the biggest thrill in the world to a knitter, or to me at least.

Francesca help me out with the pictures too. She is such a good alpaca.
It was hard keeping Debbie away from the alpacas for too long. 

As for the shawl I made it with a MKAL (mystery knit along). When I signed up for the MKAL I had no idea what is was going to look like.  I was knitting from paper and hoping I was doing the right thing!  That really tested my skills.  But the group I was knitting with was so much fun and it was so fun to see everyone's progress pictures along the way.  Romi is the designer of the shawl and I highly recommend joining her Ravelry Group Romi's Studio.  It is a very active group.  You will pick up lots of tips and there are lots of people to help you with her patterns.
I wanted to get a picture of the shawl with Blue since he has spots, but he didn't want anything to do with it.  I guess pink isn't his color.

It was also nice having Debbie at the farm so I could get some fleece shots.  Getting these pictures helps to have 3 people: the photographer, alpaca holder, hands to open the fleece.  So between myself, my mom and Debbie we got some fleece shots.  The pictures are taken from their sides.
This is Reno.  I wish you could feel how soft his is through the computer.

Next up Jatoba.

Soon that will all be turned into yarn!
I got a quick shot of my mom with Reno. I think everyone should get to hug an alpaca everyday. It would make for a better world I am sure of it.
I would also like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has been voting for me in the National Alpaca Photo Contest.  You guys are the best!  I can not believe how many of you are voting and supporting me. I can't say thank you enough!
Ravelry link- Mystery Shawl (I have tried to change the settings so no Raverly users can see my link)
Yarn- Cascade Yarns Heritage Hand Painted Sock Yarn 75% merino superwash / 25% nylon
Yarn (pink)- 100% Superfine Alpaca
A few notes on the colors of the shawl- I dyed the entire shawl in a pot of my own homemade dye using flowers and black cherry jello.  You can see my post about how I made the dye from the flowers here.  I dyed the shawl when it was complete to marry the two colors together.


TexWisGirl said...

reno's face in the hug photo is too cute! your shawl is beautiful!

and i just absolutely adore 'purple debbie'. i am so glad she had such a good time at your parents' farm today. :)

Debbie said...

hehe, what an awesome entry!! How fun you think I am, I am funner when I am with you!!

I had a blast on the farm, you are so kind to have me and share your family with me!! Thank you so much for your friendship, you are an amazing person!!

Thanks for calling me the "carrot lady" and not the "carrot hog"!!!

Monika said...

Your shawl is lovely, and now that I know you dyed the yarn yourself it's even more special. Hehe, the shot with your mom hugging Reno looks almost like she's strangling him. :o) Do you spin the fiber yourself? It's looks wonderful.

Romi said...

Wonderful. :) I have a huge smile on my face now!

Alisa said...

such lovely photos and yes I believe the world would be happier if everyone was hugging alpacas!! your shawl is amazing!

katie metzroth said...

Your shawl is really pretty. reminds me of neopolitan ice cream...and nice alpaca pics too!

Lisa @ HappyinDoleValley said...

What a gorgeous shawl you've knit; love the colors. And your photos are fantastic, too. :)

Gretchen R said...

Gorgeous shawl!

Thank you so much for the eye candy and for sharing the divine pictures of the fleece. Brought some beautiful sunshine to my morning! Thank you!

Lori ann said...

you are amazing andee, what a knitter you are! the shawl and you are so beautiful, well done on the mkal! i wish i could hug an alpaca (and knit some of that fiber!)

Linda said...

What a spectacular shawl Andee! Beautiful colours and I love the alpacas!

EMMA said...

Your shawl is beautiful and what a fun way to do a knit along.
I'd love a little alpaca hug!

Adrienne said...

Love this! And LOVE Debbie - who brightens my world every day! The shawl is beautiful!!

MarmePurl said...

So very Thrilled for the both of you. Debbie has a way of making us all feel happy!
And yes....I can see how soft that fleece is right through the cyber lines. I am oozing with fiber envy.

Hannah@HomeBaked said...

Aww this post really cheered me up. The alpacas are so cute and the story of your friendship is heartwarming x

karen said...

The shawl is beautiful and the modeling is perfect!! I love hearing stories of how the world knits together friendships :) I'm glad that your friend urged you to take photos because your blog is wonderful to visit!

pisky cove said...

What a wonderful blog and what a gorgeous shawl! I shall return! Good luck with everything!

A.L. Perkins said...

Gorgeous shawl!! I hope my knitting skills get to that level someday.

Anke said...

The shawl is absolutely gorgeous!!

Buttons said...

Oh I love this post your shawl is gorgeous as are your wonderful Alpaca's. I have popped over from Debbie's blog and yes she is the sweetest woman in the world with the biggest heart. She is an amazing photographer. I honestly just came over to see Debbie get dirty but I have to say you have a lovely blog and I am sure this is not going to be my last visit.
Awesome photos and yes everyone should hug an Alpaca and the world would be a calmer happy place.
Good luck. B

DeniseinVA said...

Hi, I just came over from Debbie's blog and am so glad I did. This has been a lovely place to visit for a spell.

Jill said...

Debbie, you and your alpacas are all adorable! Your shawl is beautiful...a real piece of art!