isn’t that a sight? this was the beautiful view from my window as we took off from newark last tuesday evening on my way home from ottawa. just look at that streak of sky with the last of the sunset—gorgeous.
before i get into the nitty gritty of my week, i just want to give a shoutout on a few upcoming events for the next two weeks:
i will be teaching this weekend (april 30 and may 1) at the miami valley knitting guild in dayton, OH. this is a great opportunity to take sweater fitness or a finishing class (or both!). they are hosting a meet and greet on friday evening that is open to all (a small fee is required at the door); erica betz and i will be taking along a popup shop of yarn and patterns that will be available throughout the weekend.
our spring ensemble collection will be coming next week!
and then NEXT weekend (may 7 and 8) we are heading for the maryland sheep and wool show, where we will have a booth in the center aisle of the main building. if you plan to be there, please stop by to fondle our yarns and say hello; we would love to show you around! all of our spring ensemble pieces will be available for viewing, along with patterns and yarns to knit them.
signups for the pairings club open to all on sunday may 1—just six days left for currently enrolled clubbies to take advantage of their discount on full membership or extra yarn upgrade (you can use your discount twice as long as you do it before may 1).
back home, the weather has been steadily warming by the day and even the nights are temperate for the most part (except of course on the day of our cleveland photo shoot; more on that later).
adorable little plants (may apple and fritillaria) are popping out for their once-a-year show; it’s important to notice them now because they won’t be back til next year.
i just love taking little breaks to look around the yard—plants like the may apple and hosta show visible growth in just a few hours. if you don’t take notice today, they will be all grown up by tomorrow.
of course it’s not at all the case that i have hours upon hours to play in the yard, haha—when i got back from my trip i hit the ground running toward the next goal, which is getting our spring ensemble published and my blue shawl blocked and out in the mail.
you might remember that just before i left, i decided it was done, but that i hadn’t cast off. i left it home while i was away and got right to work on the bind off the night i returned.
then blocking. it is a larger shawl—25 to 29 inches along the center back before blocking—and about 34 inches once it’s relaxed and stretched. but super light and airy; it won’t weigh you down at that size.
the fabric is just lovely—plenty of gloss to highlight those shifting stitches in the large leaves. that’s what a nice measure of silk will do for you! this sample is knit in spirit trail nona, a 2-ply merino/silk/cashmere blend in a heavier laceweight. i’ve used the aquarius colorway for mine.
i love how it looks against the dark charcoal of our counter top. it would be beautiful with a dark dress as well. because well, my counter top is unlikely to go out dancing any time soon.
this shawl would be really pretty in silver or white as well as a wedding shawl, maybe in cabécou lace or chebris lace.
the top of it would look stunning over a bare shouldered dress and the bottom frames the bodice beautifully around the waist and lower back.
and totally scarfable too for everyday looks!
while the blue shawl dried, i knit late, late into the night to complete my second sample in better breakfast fingering yarn.
the knitting goes pretty quickly because while it looks elaborate, it is actually very straightforward and does not involve a lot of fancy stitchwork. AND the WS rows are all in purl (except the edging which is garter). i know you like that.
since i was just starting the hem at the point that i blocked the blue sample, i had time to make a couple of very minor adjustments to the pattern.
i started this shawl last friday (4/15) on my way to ottawa and i finished it this past friday morning (4/22). there were even a couple of days that i didn’t work on it. the hardest thing about it was picking a name—i went through about a dozen options that were already in use multiple times on ravelry. finally, erica betz suggested pothos and miracle of miracles, there was only one other (sock) pattern using that word. so i jumped on that one.
this baby went right into a hot bath as soon as it was off the needles and i blocked it that afternoon. we wanted to use it for our photo shoot on saturday. good thing our BNW yarns dry quickly!
this time i blocked the hem scallops a little differently, but you could do it either way; for pointy leaves, use pins only on the hem (no wires) and stretch out the flower ‘petals’ into points (see blue sample above).
i am always surprised at how light and drapey the fabric of this fingering yarn is—i knit this shawl on needles two sizes bigger because of the change in yarn weight, but it blocked out to about the same size. that’s because the BBF has more body and bounce, while the silky lace yarn does not, so the blue shawl relaxed a lot more.
the BBF version is a bit warmer but still airy—it doesn’t feel heavy although it looks much more substantial.
i think this one would be pretty over a dark coat or dress—but it also looks great with some of our hemp skirts and tops—that warm waffle shade is perfect for spring and summer.
and a great bathrobe shawl for those summer mornings when you want to hit the deck first thing with your coffee.
done just in the nick of time, this baby got packed into the car early saturday morning for ride to cleveland and some urban exploring. we had a list of sites to visit, starting with lakewood park, which is on lake erie.
considering the warmth of the previous week, it was laughably windy and cold—literally too gusty to photograph some of our lighter pieces. we did get some excellent shots of our slightly heavier garments and lots of shawl pics, haha, since all we wanted the whole time was to bundle up in warm layers. this feather light stole in chebris lace felt scrumptious when i could get it to stay put.
the next stop on our photo safari was the abandoned observatory of the case school of science—a wonderful old building in the center of town that is completely open and accessible.
adorned with many original features, it is far less creepy than you’d think.
we all admired this zodiac floor piece, which while completely available has remained in place. i think it’s awesome that no one has selfishly stolen it, despite obvious attempts. it’s nice that it’s still there for all to share and appreciate.
the observatory tower is somewhat intact as well, though much of it is open to the light
which makes an interesting photography space.
i couldn’t resist a selfie.
just wait til you see how we featured this honey doorway in some of our photos.
we couldn’t help but notice the juxtaposition of this urban landscape with the natural one outdoors, just coming into leaf with bright spring greens.
and what’s that i see on the balcony railing?
clearly, someone else thinks like we do.