An Orange Sea

I never really liked orange.  Growing up, we had an orange kitchen.  Then, as if being assaulted by a pumpkin everyone morning before you’ve even got the sleep out of your eyes wasn’t bad enough, my parents painted the house orange.  And, it didn’t have a cornocopia feel – there’s no sense of bringing in the harvest in suburban PA – it was more like tacky candy corn, in a perpetual state of Halloween (probably why all of the Goldsteins suffer from weight issues – living in a candy coated  house doesn’t bode well).  I’d like to blame it on the 70’s, but my parent’s painted at least the outside of the house in the 80’s.  The only thing I can blame it on is not so good taste.

I moved out of the house, and since then, both the kitchen and the outside of the house have been repainted.  And, I’ve come around about orange.  In my early 30’s, I wore alot of pink – I gravitated towards pink – something very girly and carefree about pink.  Pink, to me, was a call to femininity.  I wore pink shoes, pink skirts, made pink shawls.  And, I guess as I got older, there was more to being a girl than being frilly, rosy, and pink.  As I approached 40, I moved into fall colors – vibrant reds, rusts, oranges, brown — strong colors.   Or maybe it was just that my husband had an orange winter coat that  I had to learn to love. 

In any event, when I got married, I really wanted vibrant colors for my wedding bouquet, and when I sat down with the florist, I tried to explain the exact orange I wanted – not too orangey, not too red, not too rust – so many kinds of orange – but I think my florist got it right –

And now, orange just really makes me happy.  It reminds me of my flowers, and our wedding, and our beautiful fall setting, and my dress, which I can never wear again.  Sigh.

So, when this crazy orange skein of Ella Rae merino came into the store, I snatched it up, and whenever I needed a little pick me up, I took it out of my stash bag, walked around the store with it, and put it away – saving it for a rainy day, like all good stash.  And then, it came time to knit with it – and luckily, I socked away two skeins, because wouldn’t you know it – 3 rows away from the bind off I ran out of yarn.  Uch.  But, anyway, this is Windsbraut “Steife Brise” from Monika Eckert .  Ms. Eckert knit Steife Brise in blue because it reminded her of  “a fresh day at sea.”  Mine reminds me of a sea of orange roses.

I’m not sure why the edges are curling – the easy answer is that I bound of too tightly, but when you feel it, it doesn’t feel tight, and I did use a needle 3 sizes bigger to bind off.  I think it’s because when I blocked it, I pulled the points out too far, and it kind of sprung back.  In any event, when I put it on, the curling fabric kind of looks neat, so I’m ok with it, and I don’t really feel like re-blocking it.

Here’s a nice close up of the yarn.  Ella Rae is a generous skein – 420 yards, and you can easily do this project with one skein – I’m just a loose knitter, didn’t swatch, and ended up with something bigger than it was supposed to be.  So my laziness cost my an extra $16 bucks, but I’m ok with that –  I like it this size, and not swatching lace, to me, is priceless.  And lazy, of course. 

As you can see, the Ella Rae has good stitch definition.  The color is vibrant, and the dye doesn’t bleed.  Koigu, my former favorite merino, and I are coming to a parting of the ways – everything I’ve knit and blocked, has unblocked itself, and reverted to its springy, scrunchy unblocked former self  -it refuses to be tamed for any length of time.  The Ella Rae, on the other hand, has submitted to blocking, and its showing no signs of rebelling, and reverting to its nascent, scrunched up beginnings.

So my orangey creation certainly doesn’t match the designers vision – I’ve never seen the ocean with an orange foam even at the polluted Joisey shore.  So, is it still Windesbraut?

Of course it is – but I’ve been reading Andrienne Martini’s Sweater Quest : My Year of Knitting Dangerously, in which she ruminates about whether a Starmore is a Starmore if it isn’t a Starmore anymore.  I’m not at the end of the book yet, so I don’t know what she decided, but it has motivated me to pull out my Starmore, and perhaps get moving on it.  Or not.  But, in any event, I’ll be posting my thoughts on it soon.


  • thea

    April 13, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    I love the orange — it’s a perfect shade. That Ella Rae stuff sneaks up on you, and when it does, it’s good, huh?

  • Bridget

    April 13, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Wendy, that is a beautiful shawl! I love the color, that shade of orange is a happy one.

  • Beverly

    April 14, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    I think that orange is the new pink.

  • Lisa

    April 15, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    You looked positively radient and juicy in it yesterday! Definately a go to happy shawl 🙂

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