Break an Egg

I love this shawl.  Even though it’s name is spelled funny (I still think it should be Omelette, but who am I to argue.)  I took it out on a little field trip yesterday, so that I could photograph it somewhere pretty, and I ended up in High Park. 

Yarn: Space Cadet Superwash merino Laceweight, in Honey.
Pattern: Omelet. By Joyce Fassbender.

Now let me tell you a little thing about taking pictures of knitted things in public.  It’s poorly understood, or it must be, because in all the years that I’ve been outside hanging skeins of yarn from trees, or nestling socks among hostas, or laying shawls over rocks by a creek, not a single soul has ever asked me what I am doing. Even my neighbours don’t get into it, and they see this behaviour several times a week. They walk by, they wish me good morning, they might say something like "nice weather" or "your lilies look great" but nobody has ever said "Hey Steph,  I notice that you frequently need to put mittens in a cherry tree and take pictures of that.  Can I ask why?" Realistically, I think they’re afraid of the answer.   I feel like they’re worried that I’ll say something really crazy, and then it will be uncomfortable.

Yesterday, as I hung Omelet over trees, railings, fences and the like, not one, but two people told me it was pretty.  They still didn’t ask what I was doing or why, but I think that the fact that people were willing to speak to me while I was doing something that’s normally ignored very studiously,  means that they were moved by the beauty of this thing.

They should be.  Omelet is so lovely that it really hurts to follow through and give it up like I said I would, but I’m trying to remember the phrase "Give until it hurts."  (I thought that the last time I landed on the road on a training ride too.)  To be completely truthful, I’m also thinking about knitting another one, if there’s too much of a pang as this one heads off to its destiny.  If you are this shawl’s destiny – email me.  Highest offer before I post tomorrow takes her home. (To answer a quick question from yesterday, No.  You can’t re-offer if someone outbids you.  I know that’s how it works on Ebay, but here I really like the idea of someone offering truly what they think it’s worth and can afford, without getting caught up in competition or craziness. Make a bid that suits you and your pocketbook, and see what happens.)

Finally let me tell you about something wild.  There’s this amazing knitter named Lisa, and she sent me an email the other day that just about knocked me to my knees.  I was so stunned I called Joe in to read over my shoulder.  Lisa’s email says that if I raise another $1000, she will match it.  That means $1000 can turn into $2000, and that’s a lot of money my friends.  A lot of money.  I know you’ve all given what you’re able, and I’m very, very grateful and please don’t feel any pressure at all,  but if you haven’t given yet and you were thinking about it, now would be a great time.  Even $5 put with a bunch of other $5 adds up like stitches on a sweater.  Thanks for thinking about it.  I’ll see you tomorrow.  There’s another shawl to bid on, and this one has beads.

PS. I’ve had the opportunity to explain to a few people on the Rally where the fundraising money is coming from.  I really, really wish you could be with me when our family explains that we’re representing knitters.  It’s priceless. 

106 thoughts on “Break an Egg

  1. Wow. Just stunning!
    I’ll be cheering you on from sunny (at the moment!) Oxfordshire, UK.

  2. That is absolutely stunning! I wish that I had the extra cash to even begin to offer what I think it is worth. I’m sure that it will go to a great home! Good luck on the ride. You guys are going to do great!!!!

  3. That’s just beautiful! How generous of you to give it up in your fund raising efforts! True dedication to your cause.

  4. It’s stunning! I can believe that people braved potential craziness to comment on it.
    If my checkbook allowed it, I’d bid enough to make your matching gift in one go.

  5. So lovely! I wish I could offer even half of what it is worth. But I did go pledge (finally!) and hope we can get the match. C’mon knitters! We can do it!

  6. ONLY 6 comments man! Sorry, I’m a kid, ya know, over excited. 🙂
    love your blog!

  7. That shawl is fabulous. I wish the discretionary income were there to be able to offer what it is worth. Alas, I am paying for wedding festivities and that takes precedence. I am going over to make a pledge though. I’d like to see that match made!!

  8. Just wanted to say a wonderful blog, and keep writing! Since I am broke, and a teen, no bidding sadly. But keep knitting! And can you look at my blog, please? google search yarn demoiselle. that’s my blog. THANKS!

  9. Wow! What an amazing thing. I’ll let you wonder if I am talking about the shawl or the matching gift or both! Cheers to you!

  10. Well done, Steph. That truly is a BEAUTIFUL shawl, and kudos to you for auctioning it off. I hope it brings in a large donation for the rally. And you should make yourself another one, an Omelette this time. 🙂 (Actually, that sounds like a smaller version of Omelet)

  11. I donated again. I hope you get the extra 1000!
    I am about to email for Omelet, which I know I cannot donate enough for (the true value of knitting is way more than most people can afford to spend).

  12. Stephanie, many thanks for being such a beautiful, generous soul. You are truly an inspiration. Thank you! I’ve made a small donation to your bike rally – good luck with your incredible ride!

  13. At what amount will your fundraising total be another $1000? Knowing how near/far that hurdle is might help push some people to help a little more…

  14. This very morning I wondered WHAT people might think of me when carrying knittted stuff outside, taking pictures. Maybe they beleive I’m a poor soul with nothing better to photograph?
    Anyway. Your shawl is so unbelievably pretty! And very egg-yolk colored.

  15. Beautiful shawl – and beautiful generousity – both you for giving it away and Lisa’s offer. Wow.

  16. I pledged to Stephanie’s daughter a while back. But went over and gave a little more to help hit the match…. I hope it increases my odds of getting one of those karmic gifts- it will increase the karma if nothing else. The shawl is gorgeous…And your fundraising efforts, added to the actual physical work is inspiring. You have a wonderful “bully pulpit” or platform of your adoring acolytes, and you use it well. Cheers.

  17. Omelet(te) is beautiful!
    We were at a motorcycle rally last weekend and my husband was commenting on how bikers donate so much to charity. I told him about Knitters and the million+ donated to MSF and all the money donated to your ride. He was impressed.

  18. Geez…that’s beyond lovely. Don’t think I’ll ever be able to make anything that even approaches it, but it’s something to aspire to.

  19. Omelet is gorgeous! I wish I could bid, but alas ….. Unless, of course, someone wants to buy a kidney?? (Yes, you sillies – of course I’m joking! I think.)
    Kudos to Lisa for her generous offer!

  20. Beautiful Steph.
    I don’t have as much money as I think it is worth but someone will bid enough.

  21. A technique question if you have time to answer. I downloaded the pattern and I am curious if you used a 3.0 mm needle or a 3.25 mm. Your finished product looks much lacier than the original and hence I prefer it. Perhaps you blocked it more? Beautiful job!

  22. I just moved into a new house, and I look forward to posing my knits on the fence and making my new neighbors wonder about me.

  23. My family thought I was nuts for taking pictures of my stash to post on Ravelry. Omelet is beautiful! I love lacework and need more patience to try more of it myself. I hope that you get your matching gift, I have already given and I know it’s for a worthy cause.

  24. Lovely shawl!
    I can’t wait to see how quickly you blow by that extra $1000… off to make donation…
    I really admire you for taking on this epic bike trip!!

  25. I must say, this whole auctioning-off-knit-items thing is inspiring me for future fundraising. I’ve always been a selfish knitter, but I’ve reached the point where I have too many lace shawls to justify keeping them all. There are also so many sock patterns that I want to knit but don’t come in a size that fits my fat feet. So auctioning off theses things for charity would allow me to knit these things! Win-win!

  26. you know, I wasn’t crazy about the omelet pattern, but seeing yours, I really like it! And the last pattern, that is so gorgeous!
    I am now very tempted to go in search of sunshiney yellow yarn and start my own…even though I have enough projects planned/on needles to finish out the year.

  27. Holy cow, that is gorgeous. I didn’t get from the Ravelry pics just how special this shawl is. I’m afraid I’m going to have to queue it. If I survive the currently on-the-needles Girasole, I may be ready for this.

  28. Now that I’ve gone to queue it, I have no idea why the Ravelry pictures didn’t do it for me before! Quite a pattern!

  29. The matching challenge got me to finally get off my bum and donate. Good luck!

  30. Omelet? Better to wear one than to eat 1…I guess. Fewer calories and MUCH prettier. Now if I were ever crazy enough to knit a shawl this might be the pattern I’d aim for. But shoot, wouldn’t I have better results trying to write a novel? Something more long-lasting than a shawl, which would have my brain tied into fits? Okay, the novel would need to be published and it would need to be good, and not make people wretch after they downloaded it.

  31. Dude. I think you hit the $1,000 requirement, and broke the internet speed barrier in how quickly it was raised! Knitters and crocheters rock it 🙂

  32. I just donated, hopefully we can help you reach the $1K you need to get the match. good luck, and good luck on the ride. I’m inspired by your commitment.

  33. this is just too beautiful! I have never attempted lace, and i don’t think im capable, seeing this. Good luck on your ride, dont break a leg!

  34. Just donated to get you your match! Yay!
    (I wonder … will you raise the most???)

  35. Your giving up something as gorgeous as Omelet inspired me to finally donate.

  36. Please share the name of the yarn that your daughter knit the scarf with. Thanks a lot.

  37. Gorgeous shawl. I am suggesting this kind of fundraising for a group I work with! And I added my bit to the matching funds, too!

  38. I agree with Patti. I want to know what the yarn Sam used is!!
    And I get all sorts of weird looks all the time for the things I do. It’s worse when I pose things….like little wooden elephants next to my knitting, or rearranging cups of coffee to appeal to the eye so that the blog post I write about this amazing cup of Guatemalan I just had will have suitable photos…Sometimes I even lay down on the ground or climb trees to get the right angle. I just look at passersby and say “blog fodder” and continue what I’m doing. It has gotten to the point with my partner and daughter that they will set things up or point things out and say “Look mommy/hun, blog fodder. Where’s your camera?”
    And, I think tieing fairy wings to trees totally trumps knitted goods in flowers.

  39. I’ve been meaning to donate for ages, and finally did. Just a little bit, but hopefully a help toward meeting that $1000. The generosity of the knitters who visit your virtual living room absolutely blows my mind; it’s an honor to chip in a small bit.

  40. Holy cow that turned out beautifully! And I’m not even a yellow fan. 🙂
    I definitely think you should make one for yourself … after the ride fow which you are going to raise and additional $2000.
    Yes. Yes you are.

  41. If only I had the money! (I hate being broke!!!) Omlet is GORGEOUS and I truly envy whomever is lucky enough to end up with it! Well done, Ms. Harlot.

  42. Hey, I looked at your ‘team’ page the other day and noticed that of you, the girls, your sister, and Ken, some had reached goal and some had not – if we donate to one of you who has not reached goal, would it be matched? I just kind of had this feeling my donation should go to one particular person, for various reasons, but at the same time I want you to get that match!

  43. Thanks for the closeups. I’m knitting my first ever shawl of this weight and really looking forward to seeing it blocked!
    Good luck on the ride!!

  44. Boy I hope you get big bucks for that baby, its akin to giving away your first born. I did pony up tody so I hope you get your match.

  45. Omelet is beautiful (and so not me) but some lucky person will look fabulous with it draped over her shoulders.

  46. WOW Omelet is drop dead gorgeous! $10 US added – hope you get the $1000 match!!

  47. The match (wow!) put me over the edge.
    Wishing you and your team a great rally.

  48. Your shawl is absolutely stunning! Perfectly blocked too.
    I hope your ride goes well for you and your whole team.

  49. You did a fabulous job on Omlette. I wish you and your team well. Good luck and ride WITH the wind.

  50. That is truly gorgeous. While owning this one would be wonderful I think I want to make my own. I hope it brings some really good bids.
    Good luck at the Rally. May it go smoothly and easily.

  51. People must not ask about your photography because everyone knows who the Yarn Harlot is!

  52. beautiful!!! I am knitting it in purple – and yes, it can no longer be called Omlet, so….I need to come up with a name for it as I am giving it away and I can’t call it Omlet, because they’ll all look at me funny. I was thinking purple eggs and ham….hmmm, Well I have time till Sunday to figure this out… wish I liked yellow….sigh.

  53. Oh my. What a beautiful shawl! It’s worth much more than I could ever bid, especially as you knit it! Well I could bid the grocery money for the next month but I have a feeling that would displease the husband. 🙂 Good luck with the bids for it! I hope it brings in an amount suitable for something so special.

  54. Omelet was worth the wait to see it all blocked out and dancing in High Park. Thank you.
    A donation went in.

  55. Omelet is stunning! And I think people don’t ask you what you’re doing when you photograph your knitting in public because it is apparent that you are photographing your knitting! They may wonder why you are doing it, but may be too polite to interrupt you while you are doing it. Maybe. Especially your neighbors – they all know you knit, so they probably just think you have a really kick-ass photo album for your knitting!

  56. “Work of Art” is indeed the phrase. I am so sorry you “can’t” keep it.

  57. That shawl is gorgeous. I’m a Wisconsinite, but I’m still with you on the spelling. I think Omelet looks wrong every time I see it written out.

  58. Lovely!
    I think you have the wrong end of the stick thinking photographing knitting outdoors is poorly understood. When I see someone photographing anything, I try to avoid interfering with their shot, and rarely comment. Maybe people don’t comment because they are considerate and don’t want to break your concentration while you wait for the perfect moment to click the shutter.

  59. Made my 2nd donation, this time for you – hope you get the “bonus!” [I was impressed to get a thank-you phone call from the Toronto PWA folks, after donating to Pato’s page…since I’m not in the GTA!]

  60. Added my bit. Split the total and gave half to Ken…it doesn’t seem right that he doesn’t make his goal just because he doesn’t knit!

  61. Liane at 7:01: How about Aubergine for an Omelet of another color? It would be beautiful in a rich purple.
    I don’t even like yellow (at least for me) and I’m dazzled!

  62. I’ve been planning to donate and then just not getting there, so thanks for the prompt! and thanks for letting us be part of what you and your family have done, amazing!

  63. Omelet is gorgeous. And I love the color. It will go with so many things. Maybe you don’t want to give it away because you have too many memories attached to it. You can keep the current one and simply knit the winner another one in their choice of color. See? Easy!!!

  64. Are you and yours going to wear emblems of crossed knitting needles and a ball of yarn on your race jerseys? 😉

  65. I love a matching-gift challenge. I added a bit towards the goal; maybe I can get my company to match it too.

  66. Steph–
    I decided it was time to write. For awhile now, I’ve been a little sick of reading about the bike rally. I mean, I’m sorry you keep falling off the bike, but I sort of thought maybe you should just stay off it and keep knitting, or blog more often, or something like that. But then I started getting more interested–sort of–though not really enough to give money. I give lots of money to stuff around here I care about, and I give to KWB, and I get asked to support charitable stuff All The Time, and so I pretty much tuned the fundraising part out. But then yesterday–if you were willing to part with Omelet, and someone else was willing to match up to $1000, I thought, well, I’ll give ten bucks.
    Then the site asked me to type in a donor name, and without even thinking I wrote, “for Johnny.”
    Then I went back and changed my donation to fifty dollars.
    Let me tell you about my Great-Uncle Johnny. He was my Grandma’s baby brother, the apple of my great-grandma’s eye. My mother’s favorite uncle. Kind, loving, generous. I took my first airplane ride at age 5 (1972) to California from Indiana to visit him, and I remember showing off my new dress to him, and him saying, “You look so beautiful!” and twirling me around. I only saw him once every year or two, but I loved him throughout my childhood the way you do when as a child you know you’re with someone you trust, who loves you. I felt safe around him, and I didn’t feel safe often.
    The first time I ever heard my grandmother swear was the day we buried Uncle Johnny. She opened her cabinet to get some aspirin, saw a pill bottle from Johnny’s last visit home only a few months before, threw it across the room, and shouted, “Those Goddamn doctors still don’t know why he died!” Then she sobbed.
    It was 1978. Uncle Johnny had had weird pneumonia after weird pneumonia, fungal infections, strange dark spots forming on his skin. He died of AIDS, but nobody knew that, because AIDS wasn’t even identified as a disease until 1980.
    He was gay, of course, and though perhaps the rest of my family knew that (at 11 I was still pretty clueless about homosexuality, much more so than my children today) certainly they never spoke a word about it. Neither did Johnny. He didn’t feel safe in our family, and that haunts me. We really did love him so.
    My 14-year-old daughter’s best friend just came out to her, and she said, “Nate, duh. I know you. I’ve known that about you for years.” I’m so happy the world has changed, and AIDS is no longer an immediate death sentence.
    I’d not thought of any of this, not for a long time, until I had the chance to type “for Johnny.” Thanks, Steph, for giving me the chance–and for giving it to me repeatedly, until I opened up my eyes and took it. Peace.

  67. I’ve read Stephanie’s posts about the Bike rally and thought “what a good cause, I should donate” but, as often happens, just haven’t done it. This morning, I read Kim’s comments about her Uncle Johnny. Kim – your comments brought me to tears and reminded me what a devastating, heartbreaking disease this is. So, I also made a donation “for Johnny”.

  68. Kim’s comments moved me (I could fill in her story with one of my own) but Karen’s right after brought tears to my eyes. Thank you both. I love knitters.

  69. Donated! Hopefully it will help you reach that $1000 match, if you haven’t already. I will also file a matching gift request with my employer. Wishing you a safe ride with no flat tires!

  70. Wow. Like Kim, I usually tune out fund-raising requests, but the matching donation had already pushed me into action today. Then, I scrolled down to post a note and read Kim’s message. It brought tears to my eyes. Glad I donated!

  71. Lovely, lovely omelet (aka omelette).
    It’s just amazing what good a group of people can do when they put their contributions together…be it actually doing or sponsoring!

  72. This is the most beautiful omelet I’ve ever seen! 🙂 I’m bidding what I can afford, but I (painfully, but unselfishly) hope there’s someone out there with deeper pockets than me.

  73. I know what you mean about the pictures. I often take picures of items at home but every now and then I take them in public. Yesterday in fact. I had a friend who wanted to take pictures of a shawl she had called Venus from somewhere in the vicinity of Milo. Our town is named Milo so we took the pictures at the town sign. People stared but no one even asked and we didn’t get arrested that was a plus.

  74. I am happy to have had the extra cash today to donate and help toward the matching gift. Thanks for what you and yor family are doing.

  75. I am happy to have had the extra cash today to donate and help toward the matching gift. Thanks for what you and yor family are doing.

  76. Steph omelette is amazing!
    Kim you brought tears to my eyes. I’m sure Johnny is smiling at your contribution and not just $.

  77. Wow, you are truly inspiring.
    600km and giving up your hours/good karmic thoughts.
    I’ve made a donation.
    Good Luck to you for the trip.

  78. Omelette is absolutely stunning! Really wondered how it was going to work out while you seemed to be somewhat struggling to complete it. Would love to see people’s faces and comments when you tell them you are representing knitters – and knitters from literally all over the world.

  79. Gorgeous. Spectacular! It’s the prettiest thing I’ve seen in a while! Great photos & location, too. OK – done gushing. There’s a big skein of laceweight in my stash that just raised its hand!

  80. Thanks, Kim–you reminded me why I care so much. I donated to Erin and Pato (they are still below goal)and listed the donation as “For Johnny (and Charlie).” Charlie died of “unknown infections” in 1979. Such love. Such loss. Blessings to you and all who carry loved ones in memory. This ride is about hope and courage and, above all, joy. That’s what Charlie would have wanted us to remember. my guess is that Johnny would agree with him.

  81. I really really wish I could afford Omelette!! I know that I can in no way offer you what it is worth. 🙁 I will put something toward matching that $1000 though! Yay knitters!! 🙂

  82. Sorry to post in comments and not an email but omg!!! The amount you have raised has blown my mind!!! Would you please repost the link to Erin and Pato’s pages? I can’t be the only one out in blog-land who does not want to see them below goal!! Many blessings to you and your team an the stories people are posting…I’m speechless.

  83. About the funny spelling: if you should ever come to Europe, you can have an omelet in Holland, an Omelett in Germany, and an omelette in France.

  84. Kim, you made me cry. What a beautiful memory of your Uncle Johnny and I’m so sorry for your loss, for all your family’s loss. I bet he is very proud of you today.
    And knitters, wow! I looked at the total about 5 hours ago, when it was about $25,000, and I cried for the second time this morning. Tears of astonishment! And then I just checked, and it’s over $28,000! That made me just laugh out loud in disbelief and amazement! That’s a lot of exclamation points, but dude! Knitters!!!! 🙂

  85. Thank you to Lisa for her generosity! I (finally) pledged and am grateful for her (and your) nudge! I’ve so enjoyed your training posts as I had been training for my first triathlon at the same time (I have to say, you WIN in terms of effort, time, and agony — triathlons are easy peasy in comparison) Have a wonderful ride and bask in the vibes we’ll all be sending you!

  86. Nothing wrong with the spelling, depending on which language you use. It’s a very common Dutch word (for omelette, yes).

  87. Omelet is stunning.You are wonder woman as far as I’m concerned.Good Luck! To ALL of you!!I have 1 question though,how in the world are you going to knit a sock(socks?!)while riding that scary thing?I havee no doubt you will,just how???

  88. this shawl is so stunning, I can hardly stand it. the yarn is very beautiful and I can’t remember its name. No matter because it was probably one of a kind.

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