Sunday, September 18, 2011

Not Knitted By Me, but...

Being of the mindset that one can never have too many Westknits shawls, I jumped when I saw, among the discussion threads on the Wesknits Ravlery group, the subject, "Thendara Giveaway."

Much as I love knitting and wearing stuff myself, it's very seldom that a knitter ever receives a hand-knitted gift. So, the possibility of winning a giveaway is the next best thing.

The Thendara shawl is from the yet-to-be-released Westknits Book 3. I am simply dying to get my hands on a copy of Book 3. So are a lot of other folks. For me, there are a scarf and a gorgeous blanket in that book that are already on my "must knit" list.

The knitter of the giveaway shawl does FABULOUS work. Take a peek at his blog and see the shawl I'm trying to win, and look at his other stuff, too. Beautiful!

Alas, he is not offering his French Bulldog as a consolation prize...

Monday, September 12, 2011

My Earth & Sky Shawl

It was not enough to simply finish my Westknits Earth & Sky Shawl. In our Westknits fan group on Ravelry, we are now challenging each other to photograph our shawls and/or selves in interesting locations when we travel. Granted, I did not have to travel too far to have these pictures taken in Swan Point Cemetery, in Providence, RI. I think it's not even an hour's drive from my home, as the hubby flies  drives.
Of particular note here is the gravestone, which  unfortunately cannot be read too easily, since the sun was a little too bright. I think it was about 10 years ago when my sister and I finally stumbled upon this modest little stone, after years of searching for it. Now I'll never forget where it is, though I might take a wrong turn or two or three on the way there.
This, my friends, is H.P. Lovecraft's grave. H.P. Lovecraft was sort of the godfather of gothic horror, and spent his short life in Providence, so his stories are replete with locations and landmarks I know well. "The Shunned House" was across the street from a house in which my sister once had an apartment. From this same apartment, the church described in "Haunter of the Dark" was visible. There really wasn't anything evil about that church; it was just spooky-looking, with a black roof on the steeple and black shutters enclosing the belfry. Sadly, this landmark was demolished a few years back, since it was a poor parish and the building had fallen into disrepair. The R.C. diocese deemed it too expensive to repair, and now there is a little park on the site where the church used to stand.
The epitaph reads, "I am Providence." A bit of a pompous statement, that, but Providence was indeed his hometown, and he obviously loved the place. He will be a part of it forever.
This picture was taken in the vicinity of the Lovecraft gravesite. The hat I am wearing is also a Westknits pattern, "Bandwidth." Easy, fast, and fun to do, and a good use for all the yarn I had left over from the shawl.
A bit later, I explored my favorite spooky mausoleum while hubby took a nap in the car. The place looks like the front of a very large, imposing brick house, and is set right in the side of a big hill. Every now and then, the paper covering the "front door" sidelights falls away, and if you stand there for awhile and let your eyes adjust to the darkness, you can see inside. There's a big chandelier with candles in it, and some free-standing stone thingies that seem the right size and shape to contain coffins. But the only marking on the building to indicate who rests there is the name "Perry," carved above the door. It's reminiscent of the Collins family mausoleum in "Dark Shadows," and has always fascinated me. I tried to take pictures, but didn't have a lot of luck getting any document of the inside, but I did get this cool shot of my own reflection, with the trees and the Providence River in the background. The bar in the center of the picture is part of the iron grillework covering the sidelight.
Not too far from the Perry place is my favorite cemetery monument of all time. The statue was done by Isidore Konti, and is a modification of a famous piece of his called "The Genius of Immortality." The original statue is small and has no angel wings.
I have found myself drawn to this statue for years now, since I first discovered it at age 18 or so. I had never seen anything like it before, and indeed, I have yet to see anything else like it. I often wonder, looking at it, who the model was, and what his life was like. And I also wonder about Edgar John Lownes. Who was he, and how did it come to pass that he should be honored with such a large and unusual monument?