Monday, December 15, 2014

Design Preview #6 - Amelia Gets Her Due

Alright, everyone, you knew we'd get to that big name sooner or later: Amelia Earhart. A huge personality in life, and an even larger myth in death, she continues to hold our collective fascination. Of all the women profiled in Leather, Lace, Grit & Grace, she is perhaps the one I learned the most about; to be more specific, I gained greater insight into Earhart. Critics have used modern day standards to denounce her flying ability and willingness to take risks (and to be certain, many of the precautions she ousted from the plane on her last ill-fated voyage could have been the difference between a successful flight and going missing at sea), yet there are parts of Amelia that get very little notice: the role her family played in her formative years; how early poverty may have affected her decision-making in later life; her deep humanitarian drive; her self-described "non-feminist" approach; her ability to unite female pilots into the still-surviving non-profit The Ninety-Nines.  

One of the things we need to remember about these early pilots: many of them flew in open cockpits. Amelia was always commenting on how cold a particular flight was; as a result, I thought a stole in order to help keep the chill at bay.

My first knit design of the book (but not my last!), this is all about one amazing cable that runs through it. Literally from the bottom right corner, it organically meanders across the main body of the stole to end at the top left corner. I cannnot tell you how much I love this riff on a French braid, and in Neighborhood Fiber Co.'s Studio Sport, the wonderful tonal qualities of Karida's dyeing magic is on full display. While many beginning knitters may be intimidated by cables, I would absolutely consider this a project worthy for an adventurous beginner - once you establish the cable pattern, it becomes fairly rote. 

More importantly, it has luxurious dimensions that are great for wrapping around shoulders and/or neck. Of course I'm biased, but I firmly believe Amelia would have loved this design and would have made it a staple accessory in her wardrobe.

I also note that many of these early pilots (including Earhart) had planes retrofitted for the ability to make landings at sea. It was this knowledge that led me to Kenmore Air. It's why I show as many current seaplanes as I can. The personnel at Kenmore have been nothing but fantastically accommodating; their facilities, planes and personnel are the main supporting cast of the book.

We only have two more design previews left! I hope you are enjoying these previews as much as I am enjoying writing them.

Until next time ...

1 comment:

  1. B eautiful! I love the big cable with the ribbing.