July 5, 2009

Happy Holidays

What a tremendous holiday weekend this has been! Off work at noon on Thursday, then out to enjoy champagne and dinner in Brooklyn with Lauren, who's in from Paris.

Our last visit was a Christmas, so there was lots of catching up to do. I'd planned for us to enjoy our champers in a little park in Cobble Hill, but the weather neglected to cooperate.

The sky absolutely opened up! We took refuge in a tiki bar on Smith Street, ordered tacky and delicious rum drinks and waited for the downpour to end. Later, we meandered down the block for a yummy Italian dinner. Good night!

The next day, I was up early readying myself for a day at the beach with Lauren and another dear friend, Angela. This was our third annual outing to the the beach at Rye, and we really had such a lovely time. I'm a bit more of a sun worshiper than my fair-complexioned companions, so I was particularly grateful for the clear skies, but so long as I can sit in a lounge chair and stare at the sea, I'll not complain. Late in the afternoon, we repaired to the cabana for aperitifs. Pure delight!

The following day, the 4th of July, was another event: BBQ at Jeffrey's home. More delicious food and good friends. It began wholesomely enough, then devolved into proper debauchery. Quelle surprise!

Crafts? Oh yes, there's been quite a bit of that, as well. About two weeks ago Emily, a member of my knitting group, suggested KAL for a new pattern, Aestlight by Gudrun Johnston. I'd never done a KAL before, and was quite enthusiastic. I was a bit hung up on yarn, however, as I wanted to be sure not to repeat a recent misstep: using a multi-colored yarn on a lace project. Let me show you what I mean:

Pattern: Ishbel, by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace in Azelea
Needles: US6s/4.00mm
Started: June 16
Finished: June 27

The pattern is a lovely one, but the handpainted yarn was not the best choice for the project. While it is incredibly soft, all of the details of the lace are lost in the busy color changes. Argh! I shouldn't complain too much, however, because the dark bits do a good job of hiding several of the more obvious mistakes I made on this little project. I blame it on the super sticky lace-weight yarn. My yarn-overs and knit-two-togethers kept getting lost. If I ever work with lace weight yarn again, and that's a big if, it will have to be something smooth and silky like, well, like silk or bamboo. But merino? Nyet. Also, these colors are crap on me! Fortunately, they are fab on Nettie, a friend from knitting group, so I gave it to her.

See? I'm glad it will have a good home.

So, the KAL: After realizing that nothing I have in my stash of yarns would be quite right for this project, I made an indulgent visit to my favorite yarn store, Purl, and bought two skeins from the brand new line, Spud & Chloe. I had originally planned for this to be a travel project for my trip to Sweden, but excitement got the better of me. I knit up Aestlight with what for me can only be described as lightening speed. I'm not a terribly fast knitter, but I was able to get a lot done on the day I was home sick (btw, summer colds suck! It's totally depressing to be stuck inside, sweating with a sore throat when it's 70 degrees and dry outside).

Pattern: Aestlight, by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn: Spud & Chloe Fine, in Tutu
Needles: US6s/4.00mm
Started: June 28
Finished: July 4

Constructed from the neck down in a traditional Shetland manner, this mini-shawl really grew a lot after blocking. The birds eye lace opened up nicely, and developed a kind of 3D quality that's not apparent from the photos.

I love it! A keeper, I do believe.

I'm off on holiday tomorrow. Hej Stockholm, hej då New York!


littlebirdbigcity said... Best Blogger Tips

i love both of those, and I'm incredibly jealous! You are so good at keeping up with your knitting. I need help with that.

Oiyi said... Best Blogger Tips

Your shawl is awesome! It looks so soft.