Sunday, May 05, 2013

Sunny Days

Spring has warmed up around here and everyone thinks it’s suddenly summer. Out with the shorts and the flip-flops, the hats and the sunscreen! The sun is shining and the temp is over 20C! Whoo-hoo! Yes, we get very excited about blue sky. We don’t see it very often. At any season.

So I got the greenhouse cleaned out and prepped yesterday for the tomatoes. But I’m not going to put them in quite yet since nighttime temps are still a little iffy. However I do have to get out there and transplant them into bigger pots. Especially since I dropped half of them when the tray fell off the railing upside down. I think I luckily only broke one. I have extras on purpose. They are totally falling out of their little half-flats now. Poor things. I also need to finish prepping the raised bed where I plan to put the Japanese indigo this year. I should be outside right now before it gets too hot in the sun. Yay! I can actually say that for the first time this season. Heh.

Instead, I’m giving you my next FO, this time a knitted one:

Orange Aeolian Shawl


Begun:  February 11, 2013
Completed:  April 30, 2013

Yarn:  suri alpaca 2-ply laceweight, mill-spun, alum mordanted and dyed by me in a woad hot-process (beige) and then overdyed in madder. Used only 1/2 of the whole gigantic skein! Unfortunately I’m not really certain of the exact yardage.

Beads:  Czech glass seed beads, 6/0, silver-lined transparent pink. Used 5-1/2 strands of a 6-strand hank.

Needles:  Addi Lace circulars, 3.25mm, 24” length.

Pattern:  Aeolian Shawl by Elizabeth Freeman, free pattern from Knitty Spring 2009 issue.

Mods:  Used a 3-st edging as for the larger shawl pattern. Then I knit 6 repeats of the Yucca chart and 2 repeats of the Agave chart plus the transitions and before the edging. This gave me an intermediate-sized shawl.

OrangeAeolian_det Comments:  This is still a pretty large shawl! 30” from neck edge to tail and about 60” or so from wing point to point. It’s also quite heavy with the suri alpaca and all the beads and it’s just a little bit fuzzy but quite soft. I’m glad I used the smaller needle size so it’s not too flimsy to support the weight. It’s a lovely pattern utilising the Estonian nupps and bind-off as well as the lush amount of beads. Though there are lots of charts the pattern was not really difficult to follow but it did take some concentration. Happily I learned how to apply beads to decreases too which I hadn’t known before. Elizabeth is an amazing lace pattern designer!

Not quite sure where I’m going to wear this beast and styling it is going to be kind of a challenge. The colour goes well with my wardrobe but the size is larger than I usually wear. Anyway it will have to wait for cooler fall weather or a chilly summer evening before it will have a real outing.

In sewing news, I’ve resurrected a dress that I started to make sometime back in the Cretaceous Era. I never binned it because the fabric is my own handwoven and I love the soft light green colour of the rayon yarns. It just doesn’t fit me. I remember sewing like mad and then trying it on and being so disappointed that I just hung it in the closet! And didn’t quite forget about it but didn’t quite know what to do with it either. That was obviously before my new era of learning so much more about garment shapes that suit me and fitting the shoulders. Also about making a muslin before cutting into very special fabrics! It’s super-oversized so at least I can cut it down into something more wearable. I also need to go dig in the attic stash and see if I can find any remnants of this fabric in case I need them. I don’t usually discard handwoven scraps so there should be some lurking about. Though I could probably get short sleeves out of the bottom of the skirt because it’s so long and still have a knee-length hem left. This project has a deadline: the next guild meeting on the 16th. We’re having a social and fashion show and I need something new to wear. More on this project anon.

Best head out to the garden now. It’s already over 20C and climbing! My poor little seedlings need watering. Again. No I am NOT complaining. Unlike a lot of the rest of the Northern Hemisphere we are actually experiencing a more normal spring, especially when compared with the last couple of years. Of course things could change at any moment! Life is change, right?


pao said...

What a gorgeous shawl you've made. I bet you can't wait for it to get chilly enough to take it for a spin. And then gardening too. You have so much going on.

Louisa said...

Thanks for the kind comment, Pao! Really, I just keep plugging away at things and eventually some of them actually get done.