A couple of weeks ago, Paula, who produces the Knitting Pipeline podcast, announced a giveaway of three different colorways of handpainted laceweight yarns that she had purchased from Lilith at Old Maiden Aunt on a trip to West Kilbride, Scotland [Paula's blog post about the visit/purchase here].
She drew names of three listeners from those who left comments and I was lucky enough to be chosen. I must be living a charmed life!
Although I had left Paula some comments, I don't think I left one specifically about the yarn. I didn't want to be greedy. I do confess, however, to visiting the Old Maiden Aunt website and thinking about the yarn.....a lot.
I got to choose a color and, of course, I chose green. The color is actually named Bracken and has such perfect, oh-so-subtle shadings. There is 1300 yards of this yummy 2-ply yarn in a blend of 80% merino and 20% silk. Paula says she has learned that she doesn't care for knitting with such fine yarn.
Once I learned that the yarn was headed my way, I began a serious search for a pattern. I had, I thought, narrowed it down to a couple. Seeing all those extraordinary Estonian shawls obviously influenced my decision. The yarn arrived, I hand wound it into a lovely BIG cake, and cast on immediately for a Nancy Bush pattern from Interweave Knits Spring 2010 she named Facing Lilies Stole [bonus photos at that link]
The lily of the valley motif appears frequently in Estonian shawls because it shows off so wonderfully their trademark nupps.
I love the small Lily of the Valley flowers, but sadly like all other plants, I have had no success in growing them. My mother-in-law had several plants in a rock garden and would sometimes pick a few for a tiny vase. Until I read about it (at that Wikipedia link), I had no idea that all parts of the plant are poisonous. Yikes.
But the article goes on to say that in the Language of Flowers Lily of the Valley signifies the return of happiness Well! That is Good News!
If you like to listen to podcasts and haven't listened to Paula's yet, do give it a try. She does a great job and has interesting segments. I always learn something on her podcasts; often something not even related to knitting.