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Pretty In Pink, a new Bumbershoot.

June 17, 2012

  This is my friend M. She’s a wonderful person, and I love her. Every year our chuch does a weekend camp out at a lake outside of town, and M always comes out for the Saturday. Her chair is cool, bright pink, comfortable and fast. (Trust me. I have seen her race. She’s fast.) But it is made for style more than for off roading, and she can’t get out of the sun when she is out at the camp because all of the shady places are on rough terain.

For years now I have been watching her burn at the camp out and other outdoor events, and while she claims to love the sun, I think it might be more to help the rest of us not to feel bad. But I have felt bad all the same. A few years ago, I came up with the perfect idea, and when I say I, I mean that the idea came to me, but I am sure that it was not mine. When I designed A Lady’s Bumbershoot, I marveled at how it really seemed to design itself. Everything just sort of worked, from the beginning. And from the beginning, I wanted to knit one for M.

Right away I hit a road block when it came to colour. M loves pink, the hotter, the better. While I was under contract with the yarn company that originally published the design, I couldn’t knit it with other yarn, so I kept checking back for the perfect pink, and never did find it. Around the same time, I published Laughing Miss Dashwood with Three Irish Girls, and knit the sample with Cosmo on Carys BFL. This, my friends, was the colour. But I had to wait to use it. When the contract for the parasol came to an early end, one of the first things I did was order 2 skeins of Cosmo on Springvale Sock from Sharon. And I managed to knit this beauty just on time for M’s birthday, on Thursday, so she could use it for the camp out, yesterday.

The last area of concern that I had was how to attach it to her wheelchair. I will admit that I spent the last month or two staring and spying at the chair from all angles, when I really should have been paying more attention in church. I thought of ordering a special umbrella online that was designed to go on a wheel chair, or even a stroller, but I couldn’t find any that showed the mechanism, only the pretty fabric cover, which I was going to remove anyway. In the end, I used the same bamboo frame that I used for the original, and had my husband drill a hole vertically up through the handle. We took apart my rickety umbrella swift, and used the only part that was really any good, the clamping/tilting mechanism and the post that it attaches to. This is now firmly in place inside the bamboo handle, adding height and making the parasol more useful for M since we can tilt it in multiple ways to shade her however works best.

I didn’t put beads around the ruffle on this one, since they would be on the top and she wouldn’t see them anyway, but I did hold a strand of Habu n-69b-20-1-copper-bamboo yarn, which is really like thread, together with the Springvale Sock for the border lace. This helps to shape it a bit, and will hopefully add some gleam when the sun shines on it. I love those fancy Habu yarns, they are really very cool.

I appologize for the poor quality photos in this post. I had every intention of doing a proper photoshoot with M as the lovely model at camp yesterday, but the weather didn’t cooperate. It was grey, drizzly and gloomy until M went home. I will get some good photos at the next sunny event and update this post.

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