Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday Wonders #4: Dawn Ortega

First, yes, I finished something else already. I feel like FO Queen when I do that, but since this was done on size 17 needles, I feel like I cheated. I took this photo of Wrenna in my office using the phone, so I had to lighten it up a lot. But you get the idea. It's a brown short-sleeved cardi, in the shape I like so much (Lee hints that I have perhaps too many items in this shape). The yarn, Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande, is incredibly, practically indescribably soft. I saw a wrap calling for it in the new Vogue Knitting, and wow,that would be one soft (expensive) item. Anyway, I haven't decided for sure what closure to use on this. The pattern calls for leather lacing, and I guess I COULD make something with some of the Berocco Suede yarn I have way too much of. Or I could get another of the wonderful Sculpey/Fimo buttons at the LYS. Or I could keep using a pin. Decisions.

So, before getting to my Wednesday Wonder, let me encourage you to go buy the wonderful French Girl Knits book and make something in it. And let me beg you to get NICE size 17 needles if you are making a project that will take a while. The inexpensive ones I used would NOT uncurl and were a royal pain to deal with. For sure the next item I make from that book will be one of the ones on slightly smaller needles, though I do note that the author is very fond of using larger needles than normal for a particular yarn. I guess she likes "airy" things, and there's nothing wrong with that. Especially here in Texas!

Dawn Is a Wonder

So, who is Dawn Ortega (I'll put her whole name in once I get permission), and why is she a Wednesday Wonder? No, she's not a famous knitting icon, and no, she didn't teach me any particular knitting skill. She's a knitting friend, and by friend, I mean a person who is kind, caring and giving to everyone she encounters. In this photo she's helping Wiebke at our yarn dyeing party.

I've been enjoying watching Dawn's knitting skills grow. She sometimes hesitates to try new things, but once she gets an idea in her head, she keeps going. A case in point is her green sweater. She had never made a sweater, and the really interesting pattern made of garter-stitch strips that she chose didn't quite go up to her size. Plus the only color there was enough of was green, and she's a BLUE person! But she swatched. She tinkered with the pattern. She believed her friends when they said green matched her eyes. She knitted. And she persevered. It came out at a weird length. She figured out a way to make it longer that actually improved on the look of the sweater. She put the sweater on, and it was amazing. It looked so good. Even better was the look on her face when she realized she had DONE it!

This kind of payoff is what keeps me going folks! When a knitter takes it on faith that she can do something she never did before, and it works--that's a wonder. It took a village to help her, but the village was willing. It's the great thing about knitting communities!

What caused me to think about Dawn was something she posted in an email yesterday. These are her own words:
I am on a continuing adventure called Knitting. Everything I thought was hard and scary is really easy and interesting. This is like being a kid at an amusement park. First you ride the baby rides that go in a circle and the you adventure to the kid area where you climb ropes and fall in ball bins eventually we all will end up on the scary roller coaster and find that we love it and have to do it again and again.
Does this describe your knitting adventure? It certainly rings true for me, and I see it going on around me regularly. I love teaching a new technique that lets a knitter step past a previous boundary, or encouraging a friend to give a new yarn a try, or being there when someone struggles through that first sock. And the adventure doesn't end; there's always something new to try.

To be honest, there are so many reasons Dawn is a wonder. Just in knitting reasons alone, I could go on and on. She knits baby afghan squares and items for the poor. She always makes a little mini sock ornament out of yarn leftovers as a souvenier--what a great gift. She brings gifts for all her friends' birthdays, many made by hand. And as a person, she is always there to listen, and never there to judge. So, she may not be famous, but she's treasured by all who know her, and I hear her sweet, small voice in my head when I read her words. A quiet, tenacious and kind human. Of course she's a wonder!


  1. A wonderful post - and so accurate! Dawn is definite a wonder. And, I'm thrilled you posted about her as a WW.


  2. I feel so honored hat you wrote about me on your blog. You have inspired me over and over again to keep trying new things. Thank you so much for the compliments. Dawn O.

  3. Suna, your post about our mutual friend is so great and she is so great that I am going to post a link to your blog on mine. Dawn IS a wonder and it is no wonder that we all love her.

  4. That was a wonderful post. Dawn is lucky to have a friend like you.

    I am hoping to venture out to my first sweater this year... time to get off the baby rides.

  5. Dawn is the greatest. Thank you for spotlighting Dawn. I love her. My knitting friends are the greatest.

  6. Thank you for posting about our wonderful friend Dawn. I can't think of anyone more deserving! :-)


Suna says thanks for commenting--I love comments!