In the very beginning of their marriage my parents spent a couple of years in South Africa, my Dad worked as a percussionist for the Cape Town Symphony and my Mom worked for a shipping company. They had many adventures including chasing wild dogs backwards in a broken rental that wouldn't shift gears right, being way. too. close. to several elephants, and mistakenly thinking that hippos were bullfrogs (thanks to Dad for saving Mom and ensuring my existence). The Africa stories became an integral part of my imagination, they set the stage for my perspective on adventure, travel, and possibility.
Of all the stories from Africa the Ostrich Ride was my favorite because my Mom rode the Ostrich and my Dad was too afraid. It was such a novel concept, it turned the typical gender role upside down for me from the very beginning and a tiny feminist was born.
Girls are just as smart, brave and adventurous as boys, Mom rode the Ostrich, Dad was too afraid, anything is possible.
When Mrs. Crosby Plays (Lorna's Laces) contacted me about a new Yarn color that they were developing for 2017 and asked if I would like to design a pattern for them I was thrilled but had no idea what the color would be. When it arrived in the mail and I opened the package I was instantly transported to my childhood, the color was so perfectly the shades of the female ostrich plumage that I could practically feel the feathers.
Mrs. Crosby is the fictional character behind the Mrs. Crosby Loves to Play Yarn Line, she is spunky and smart, she loves to travel and have adventures. She is exactly the kind of eccentric gal I plan on being when (if) I grow up and I just knew that she of all people would appreciate my Mom's Ostrich Ride. And in addition would be more than happy to participate and win an Ostrich Race herself!
The shawl is worked with an undulating lace motif that has patterning on both the right-side and the wrong-side. Don't be intimidated though, it just decreases on the wrong-side and they flank a purl stitch and so are easy to identify. The cast on is for the total length and then after each chart repeat is complete you bind off a chart's worth of stitches. This creates a fluttering edge that, I think, mimics the weightless flutter of the Ostrich feather. The center of the shawl has a welted section with alternating purl and knit ridges, these correspond to the patterning on the charted areas so you are only following one chart at a time and have a simple area in the shawl that is mostly stockinette.
I don't know if I will ever make it to Africa, I would like to and I think that riding an Ostrich would be high on my list of adventures if I do. For now, I am happy to sit and watch Mrs. Crosby run the race, beat the men and take the wreath, watch with me!