I grew up in Edmonton, on the farthest end of South Millwoods, so far south that behind the house across the street was a farmers field. Beyond that was one last small community of rural houses before the endless straight trek to Red Deer and Calgary. You would never recognize it today, the area is now filled with houses and a new Freeway. Businesses and strip malls have popped up all over the area and the place practically vibrates with traffic. But when I was growing up it was quiet, peaceful, we would routinely ride our bikes down the highway to the play park on the other side of the field. Or spend hours all over the neighborhood and the road playing kick the can, or street hockey.
Summer was spent driving across Alberta to a lake place in B.C. watching the landscape transition from waving wheat fields to foothills, and finally to mountains usually peaked with snow. The ever unfolding terrain features were a timeline of how much trip was remaining, once you hit the mountains you were about halfway, whichever direction you were headed. This transition from wheat fields to mountains is such a defining part of Alberta, even the provincial crest is a depiction of it. And I had forgotten just how important it was for me, what a strong image of childhood and family it brings to my mind and heart.
So when we went back to Edmonton last year for Thanksgiving it was almost a surprise how seeing the familiar landscape was a need I never knew I had. Somehow making the trip from the Mountains to the Prairie gave me a sense that this, and only this, was a true vacation. We had traveled to Florida earlier in the year and that felt less like a vacation than driving up Highway 22. Watching the mountains flanked by their foothills recede into the distance and travelling deeper into the wide expanse of Prairie again evoked a sense of travel nothing else did.
The trip was great, we saw lots of family and friends, got caught up with all the goings on and the evolution of our former province. Heading south once again we stopped in Canmore for a day or two where I was lucky enough to visit a yarn shop and found the most luscious Baby Alpaca. I chose 5 colors that reminded me of the landscape I had just traversed and knew right then that a piece of my first home was coming with me to my current home, and I needed to create that sense of place with this yarn.
The Always a Prairie Girl Wrap is worked from the bottom up with 5 colors and 6 distinct sections. The wheat fields are in the foreground of the piece, behind these waving grasses you can see the Highway stretching North along the foothills. The Mountains are being covered with a small dusting of snow and finally that blue vault of sky expands over all. This wrap is worked with a combination of lace stitches and slipped stitch mosaic work. You only use one color at a time but by slipping certain stitches you create the graphic color work. The vertical edges are flanked by a slipped stitch i-cord border and each section uses either 109 or 218 yds of DK weight so it can be a great stash buster.
My favorite part of this wrap was the test knit, because every test knitter had a very personal connection to the piece. Each tester chose colors for their wrap based on where they were currently living or where they grew up. You can see these project pages on Ravelry here.
This pattern is available through my website here
And you can see it on Ravelry here
Are you knitting the Always a Prairie Girl Wrap? If you post on Instagram tag me with @meghanjoneslnmp, or use hastag #littlenutmegproductions, I'd love to see it! You can also tag me on Facebook with tag @Little NutMeg Productions, hope to see you there! xo Meghan