Posts Tagged ‘cascade’

Blue damson (and many parenthetical remarks)

November 11, 2009

damson1

Introducing my latest finished knitwear project: the blue damson.

I finished this shawlette a couple of weeks ago but the eventual (welcome) arrival of Summer means there hasn’t been a pressing need to block it. It languished in my knitting basket (okay, okay, on the couch covered with knitting paraphernalia), ends unwoven, until the quiet idleness of Sunday afternoon made me think that I really should get on with it. It blocked beautifully (oh, the millions of pins…) and quickly (ah, the delights of summer!), and yesterday afternoon was all done and ready to meet the world.

damson2

Pattern: Damson by Ysolda Teague

Yarn: 2 skeins of Cascade 220 in a bright, saturated blue (possibly 8891 or 8892)

Needles: 4mm circular that was much too short

My blue damson on Ravelry

I like this pattern, and although it calls for sock yarn I think it works well with the DK-weight Cascade (and the yardage is perfect, binding off was a bit tense but I had at least a metre left). It’s shaped perfectly both to drape around your shoulders and scrunch around your neck. And when laid out, the tapered crescent shape and the zigzag lace edging make me think of a moth’s wings.

So: world, meet blue damson. Blue damson, meet the world. And now, back in the cupboard to wait for autumn.

damson3

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The unintentional secret project

October 28, 2009

I have a confession to make…there’s something I haven’t been telling you.

I believe in openness and honesty in relationships, so trust me when I say I didn’t mean to keep secrets from you. It’s just that, well…somehow this just slipped my mind. Really. It’s my fault, I promise. Sometimes life just gets busy, and I forget that I haven’t blogged about everything I’m knitting.

I’m sorry, did you think I was talking about something else?

Anyway. So I realised that I hadn’t told you about my Damson shawlette, although it’s something I’ve been working on just about every day. Talk about absent-mindedness. I think I’ve been knitting this thing for a month now. Actually I’m close to binding off. But better late than never, right?

gartersquishygood

Look at that lovely squishy garter stitch! Can you forgive me now? And yes, it really is that oversaturated, brilliant blue. And I mean oversaturated, dye has been coming off on my fingers.

I guess part of the reason for the brainfluff is that this was kind of a last-minute project—at 10pm the night before I flew to Brisbane I was on Ravelry feverishly trying to find a project to take that was small and simple enough to knit while in conversation, for which I already had (a) the yarn and (b) the needles. Shawlettes make pretty portable knitting and the shape of Damson appealed to me. And it calls for 440 yards of yarn, and I had two skeins of Cascade 220 burning a hole in my stash. Match made in heaven, right?

damson

That’s the second ball, and the rows are getting longer. I mean, yarn-gobblingly long. I wish it wasn’t so difficult to knit with all your fingers crossed.

Santa Fe

June 3, 2009

Sunday—jewel among days—was my one footloose and fancy-free day in Santa Fe. As if by some divine benevolence, the weather was beautifully sunny and balmy, so I hastened to explore this intriguing new city. Well, not perhaps hastened so much. I did have sleep to catch up on. Let’s just say I only just made it to the hotel restaurant before they stopped serving breakfast.

Full of green tea and tropical fruit (watermelon! At this time of year!), I set out on my journey of discovery. Just up the street, next to the cathedral, there were markets on in a shady, leafy park.

markets

I managed to restrain myself to buying only a few gifts and souvenirs. There were lots of local artists, jewellers, and crafters of all sorts. This lady was carding buffalo hair, while her husband sold the knitted buffalo purses she made, along with cute creatures made of local detritus—wood, seed pods, animal bones, etc.

carding

After leaving the markets I wandered the streets, admiring the springtime greenery and examining the adobe buildings. I found this delightful courtyard where vegetables and herbs mixed with flowers and trees, like some fantastical but functional oasis.

so green!

I came across a gelateria, and in celebration of the warm weather treated myself to a scoop of lavender and honey gelato.

gelato

(It was delicious, despite my expression in the photo above. I think I was confused by something my camera was doing.)

Of course my wanderings were not restricted to appreciation of the weather alone. Not when there is shopping to do. Santa Fe seems to have so many shops (and so many restaurants), something that results from the large number of tourists, I guess. It was fun to see all the things they sold, and imagine what I would buy if I had the luggage space (and the money). However much more interesting than the established stores was the space outside the Palace of the Governors, where native crafters were selling their creations from blankets on the ground. The prices here were more to my budget, and I also felt better about buying the wares directly from the creators as opposed to in the stores—that way I know the money’s going where it’s most deserved. More gifts and souvenirs found their way into my bag here, but somehow I avoided buying any of the turquoise jewellery that you see everywhere in Santa Fe. But I’ve been thinking about it ever since, so I might go back in my free afternoon tomorrow.

Santa Fe likes to be known as the ‘City Different’, which I guess means it has lots of international food options, lots of museums, and lots of art—both for sale and displayed everywhere you look. Not having been in many other US cities for any length of time (yet!) I can’t comment on how different it is, but it’s certainly nice. There’s a happy, relaxed vibe, and lots to see and do. Some of the most interesting sculptures I found were these fish

fish

but there was lots more art, all around town.

Of course, a shopping trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting a yarn store. I managed to find the lovely Tutto Santa Fe just twenty minutes before their closing time. Hidden up a flight of stairs, it’s like you’ve discovered a wonderful secret.

tutto santa fe

That yellow bag on the counter at the far left of the picture contains all my purchases…but I figure I’m justified in going crazy here. I can’t buy most of these yarn brands in Australia!

This was the lovely man who helped me—unfortunately I didn’t catch his name but he was so friendly and knowledgable—and a knitter! The lady in line ahead of me was buying wool for a gorgeous baby dress and he was talking her through some of the difficult points of the pattern, and encouraging her to come back if she ran into trouble. What a darling.

tutto santa fe

I also visited Miriam’s Well to buy some Cascade Eco for my owls jumper (at last!). It too was lovely but I must have been flustered after getting lost three times, because when I finally found it I forgot to take pictures.

So it was a pretty good haul yarn-wise, although just about everything I bought was Cascade! You can see a couple of skeins of Koigu KPPPM there though…

wool!

That evening was the conference opening reception, held on a terrace in the hotel. My supervisor, Peter, and his wife turned up, and they introduced me to a few people—it was a bit intimidating going into a room full of astronomers when I didn’t know any of them! Especially feeling a bit nervous about my talk the next day. But all went well and after some authentic Italian for dinner, I put myself to bed, feeling that an impending talk demanded a good night’s sleep.