theraineysisters knitting and so much more

August 30, 2010

From Sally — Letting Go

Filed under: Back Story,Luiza — surly @ 3:24 pm

As Susan mentioned the other day, I just took my baby to college.  (Fortunately, he doesn’t read our blog so I can call him my baby without his knowing.)  We are now officially a bi-coastal family:  Sterling is ensconced at Reed College in Portland, Oregon and we, of course, are in Washington, DC.  It was much harder to leave him than I had expected.  I know that we’ll adjust and if he is happy, we will be, too.  Perhaps what is hard is the feeling that there may never be a coming home to DC to stay.  Nora loves Colorado and I suspect that Sterling will feel very much at home on the west coast.  We’ll see.

Here are a couple of pictures of his first encounter with the Pacific (at Cannon Beach).

Finally, a last shot just before I left town (then back to knitting, I swear):

Le sigh.

I’m also “letting go” of my most recent knitting project, which is a shawl I knit specifically for charity. The charity is The National Inclusion Project. The shawl is Luiza, designed by Jane Araujo. Mine will be auctioned in October as part of the Project’s Champions Gala.

I had trouble getting good photographs of this shawl — not just the color but the beauty of the lace work. But here are a few. (The last shot is probably the most true to color.)


After blocking:

I knit this shawl using Merino Silk Lace fromSweet Georgia Yarns in the Blackberry colorway. I loved the yarn and I loved knitting this shawl. Once I figured out the method to the charts and translated a few idiosyncratic uses of terminology, it was a simple and quick knit. The pattern, including the border, was easy to memorize and just flowed very naturally. I plan to knit another for myself.

It’s a somewhat smaller shawl than I usually knit (the finished dimensions of mine are 30″ deep and 60″ across). It’s easy to enlarge, but alas I had only one skein of yarn. The original was designed for fingering weight; I used lace weight. I added additional pattern repeats (16 flowers total on each side), but would have added more if I’d had a second skein.

I hope Luiza finds a good home, and I hope that Sterling will be happy in his new one.


  1. gorgeous shawl! Oh wow on the college! We dropped daughter off last weekend and though she is only a state away it is ten hours by car. If a plane had been involved i think i might have freaked! (unless she had chosen an east coast one right down the road from my mother) Of course daughter was sick yesterday and i called her this morning knowing she would forget to set her alarm clock…which she did…. and had 3 morning classes.) Good thing her mom, me, packed along some cold med’s just in case! Doesn’t the house feel so empty? and quiet? Only been a week and i am still seriously adjusting.. lol, ok tearing up a little, gonna go!

    Comment by turtle — August 30, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

  2. My thoughts go out to you, but it is a fascinating process watching our “babies” turn into adults.
    Here are a few tips that worked for me.

    Both my kids said “Don’t come for parent’s weekend, as it is too crowded and busy and I will be able to tag along with someone else’s parents for a good meal out. Instead, come some other weekend and be prepared to meet all my friends and take some of them out to dinner.” This is especially fun in a city like Portland where there are great restaurants and plenty of fun things to do. If you follow this plan take note that you will miss out on the special activities that the school has planned for parents.

    Treat yourself to a trip to school for Mother’s day weekend. I was able to do this twice during my daughter’s college days and it was wonderful. I was honorary mom for the weekend to several of her friends and we had a great time all going out to dinner together. (Notice a theme to these get-togethers?)

    Comment by PJ Rosenthal — August 30, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

  3. Letting go of a child going off to college is, oh, so difficult. And the calls from them when they are sick. I think those were the worst. They all need to leave at sometime. It opens up opportunities for them and us.

    The shawl is simply divine. The color and the stitching. I’m sure it will garner a nice donation. It has to. It’s too beautiful not to.

    Comment by 2muchfun — August 30, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

  4. No sitting at home. Getting out is my prescription for that off to college feeling. Get out, go to a show, have a nice dinner and a good glass of wine and let someone else drive you home. Or go knit with friends or your sister. That kind of thing is the works wonders.

    Comment by Needles — August 30, 2010 @ 6:39 pm

  5. It’s hard when one of the strings that tugs at your heart stretches to the other side of the continent. But he’s in Portland, which is a fantastic city — good yarn shops, a fantastic bookstore, between gorgeous mountains and the ocean. My baby is professing interest in EAST coast schools – so next year I may be in your shoes. So glad you could see Cannon Beach while you were there — we love Newport, OR as well, though it’s a longer drive from Portland.

    Comment by Pam — August 30, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

  6. We’re taking our daughter to RISD on September 10th. Because the school has a different schedule than other schools, her friends have all already left. So we’re getting some real time with her now. It will be hard for us, as it is for you, when she goes. But for me, I hope to divert myself knitting and holding on to the belief that it’s in her best interest to go off to another place to continue her growing process. And I agree with PJ, the parent’s weekend sounds like a bad idea.

    Anyway, your shawl is lovely. Maybe I’ll make one, too.

    Comment by Katie K — August 31, 2010 @ 12:25 am

  7. Hi !
    I am a french blogger living in Munich -Germany.
    I admire your work since a while and want to write a short article about your somptuous knitting.
    May I borrow a few photos from your blog to illustrate my post ?
    Best regards

    Comment by Anne-Sigrid — August 31, 2010 @ 2:06 am

  8. Welcome to Oregon. It’s a wonderful place to live and go to school. Gorgeous shawl and so generous.

    Ann Collopy
    Cannon Beach

    Comment by Ann Collopy — August 31, 2010 @ 10:11 am

  9. Reed College is a wonderful place to be. The shawl is stunning. You did a beautiful job.

    Comment by Laura — August 31, 2010 @ 10:32 am

  10. Your shawl is so beautiful!
    Best wishes to Sterling at college (I know it’s a sign that I’m getting older, but to me he looks way too young to be a college freshman!)

    Comment by RuthieJ — August 31, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

  11. From Susan — I will miss Ster-Ster (sp?) when I’m out there. It will seem pretty quiet with just the two of us (well, three if you count Porgie Pants and I think we have to!). The shawl is very inspiring, but I can’t get this bleeping sweater done, even though it it knit on very large needles.

    Comment by lv2knit — August 31, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

  12. Portland is a great city for knitters. You’ll love visiting there.
    It does take a while to get used to the quiet of no children left at home. Not only are your children gone, but their friends are gone too.

    Comment by dana — August 31, 2010 @ 8:02 pm

  13. I heard there are many nice yarn shops in Portland – next to Minneapolis, of course! Beautiful shawl!

    Comment by Christine — August 31, 2010 @ 10:04 pm

  14. Bon voyage to both your son and your shawl. You do good work!

    Comment by twinsetellen — September 1, 2010 @ 12:36 am

  15. The job of a mother is to raise their children to be responsible and independent adults. You did a great job.

    Comment by Michele — September 1, 2010 @ 10:00 am

  16. Reed is an excellent school, as you no doubt know. Sterling will love it, I bet.

    Comment by kmkat — September 1, 2010 @ 3:01 pm

  17. You’ll all be glad he went to Reed.

    I went to Wellesley College. I am a HUGE believer in the little liberal arts college. My teachers at Wellesley were so motivated to inspire me, so talented, so articulate, so kind, so thrilling in every way that going to class was more fun than going to the movies. I later learned that some college students skip class or party instead of studying: I couldn’t fathom wanting to do such things. Nothing was more fun than school when I was at Wellesley.

    I later learned (in graduate school and law school) that some “elite” universities actually put no effort into educating their students. (Stanford Law School, I’m looking at you.) I learned that you can pay a fortune for a “fancy” degree that is (in terms of what they actually teach you) worth very little. Though my J.D. did open the door to plenty of job interviews, I had no clue about most of the constitution, or civil procedure, or the rules of evidence, for the first few years of my practice because so many Stanford law professors didn’t bother to prepare for their classes. My contracts professor and first amendment professors were the exception; the rest of them pretty much should have been fired instead of tenured.

    It was only when I learned how inferior every OTHER type of education is compared to the small liberal arts college that I really appreciated Wellesley.

    Comment by victoria — September 1, 2010 @ 3:06 pm

  18. Ohh lovely lovely shawl! I love how crisp each “leaf” looks!

    And about going away for school… I am a girl who was born, mainly raised and then went to university in Vancouver (UBC). I think my parents were maybe trying to be protective about their first born and didn’t want to see me struggle along during those early years. Both my younger brothers went to UBC for undergrad and then moved to Toronto for medical school for at least 4 years. I really believe that the shift in environment was an essential part of their growing up and gaining perspective… not just independence. Something that I really missed having. And although I watched my parents go through the feelings of missing their children, I also noticed that reunions were that much sweeter. And that it’s been amazing to see the leaps in growth and maturity in another person… besides, it’s true, Oregon is a beautiful place to visit. 🙂

    Comment by Felicia from sweetgeorgia — September 3, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

  19. Both my mother and my sister went to Reed. Great school, great city (being prejudiced since I was born in Coos Bay and spent my first 25 years in Oregon and Washington). Your son will do well there. You’ll get used to kids in college. And it’s not like they are gone forever. They come back, again and again and again….(Even after they graduate)

    Wonderful shawl. You do beautiful work.

    Comment by Sarah — September 4, 2010 @ 10:49 am

  20. I am from Oregon, although I live in Colorado now. My brother went to Reed College back in the early 80’s… great school. Looks like you caught Cannon Beach on a beautiful, sunny day. Your knitting projects are inspiring as always. Best wishes! 😉

    Comment by Kim Fluck — September 4, 2010 @ 7:56 pm

  21. What a beautiful shawl — and a beautiful son! I am a brand-new empty-nester myself. . . and it is a very melancholy place to “be.” I’m so proud of both of my kids — for stepping out and away — and for making connections that aren’t just home-based. But. It really does take an adjustment for a mom! Here’s to a wonderful year for Sterling – and an easy adjustment for you.

    Comment by Kym — September 6, 2010 @ 7:11 pm

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