Since I was traveling last week, I had to bring along a small project to work on the plane ride(s) and in-between visiting with family and friends. Owing to my nature (as a last minute packer), I didn’t really plan ahead and had to comb through the stash and Ravelry to find an appropriate project the night before departure. I came across this adorable pattern – Saroyan by Liz Abinante. As I mentioned before, I decided to knit up this little scarf in my Peacock ShibuiKnits Baby Alpaca which was acquired while in Portland for E’s wedding.
I think this pattern is really very pretty and that it looks especially nice in a slightly variegated green yarn. The leaf repeat is fairly easy to memorize after working a few, and I love patterns where I can complete little milestones along the way (one leaf, two leaf, three leaf . . . ). I decided that I wanted to make a really long scarf using all of my yarn, and that I wanted to make the transition between the increasing/decreasing sections and the straight section more gradual. The details: I worked 7 repeats of the increase section as instructed in the pattern and then one repeat increasing only on the first, seventh and thirteenth rows. I worked straight for 20 leaf repeats and then mirrored my increase section for the decrease section. The only other minor change was to not work the “stem” on the final leaf. My lovely scarf ended up being a little over 8 feet long and I only had a tiny bit of yarn left over.
After being knit, my leaves looked quite wilted and wanted to curl up and disappear. The rest of the scarf was also curling (what can you expect from stockinette after all), so I decided to use a damp washcloth and iron the thing! I got wonderful flat results, with perfectly planar leaves and lovely regular stitches.
While I was knitting away on this project, Sasha’s mom decided she liked the pattern and started on her own. She was wanting more of a shawl and decided to increase more for a wider straight section and also work short rows at the shoulder so that the scarf/shawl/stole? would lay nicely. So there you have it – from the same pattern a long, gradually widening scarf and a wide shawl with shoulder shaping. I love all of the different ways different knitters can use the same pattern! Oh, and did I mention that the pattern is one in a series based on one of my favorite shows, Bones? Perfect!
Emily’s wedding week was extremely busy, but that didn’t stop us from checking out an awesome yarn store in downtown Portland – Knit Purl. There, I bought some Isager Alpaca 2, a delightful alpaca/merino yarn, in a light brown color. It took me a little while to decide what I wanted to make out of this lovely light weight yarn, but in the end I settled on Ishbel by Ysolda Teague. It’s kind of been shawl city around here lately (I’ve got another one to show you!) and I’ll admit it, I like it that way! Ishbel is a very pretty shawl – mostly stockinette with a simple vine lace pattern at the bottom.
I wanted a larger shawl than the smallest size, but I didn’t want one quite as big as the larger size. Hmm . . . I’m sounding a little bit like Goldilocks here, huh? Well, I decided to work the stockinette portion of the shawl up to the number of stitches called for in the larger pattern, but then only work the lace repeat the number of times called for in the smaller size instructions. This gave me a shawl right in the middle that was juuuuust right. : )
One of the things I always find interesting about lace is that it requires a lot of confidence in the power of blocking. You have to keep knitting when your project looks like this . . .
Keeping in mind that, with blocking, it should end up like this . . .
I enjoyed knitting this shawl, which I’ll attribute to both the pattern and the yarn. I’m in love with the result, and I really see myself wearing this in the fall (definetely not right now – since when is 101 degrees a cold front?).
Oh, hi Hugo! Do you like my Ishbel? No need to answer, I’m sure you do . . .
After the wedding, I looked forward to the whirlwind day we had planned ahead before we flew back to Oklahoma. Here was the gist of the plan – 1. see everything we have time to see in Portland in the morning, 2. take the Amtrak Cascades train to Seattle, 3. see everything we have time to see in Seattle in the evening, 4. take the late flight from Seattle to Oklahoma.
The plan part 1: The first attraction to see was the International Rose Test Garden in Portland. We saw dozens of champion roses and took quite a few pictures of a few of them. Next we headed to downtown Portland for lunch at Noodles & Company and a trip to Powell’s, the most gigantic book store I’ve ever seen. Then we made our way to Union Station and waited for the train. As a side note, this white rose smelled like bananas – not kidding. :-)
Part 2, the train: Our train ride was really nice. We spent some time in the dining car, which is my favorite part because it makes me feel like I belong in an old movie (even though the cars don’t seem as fancy as they do in the old movies). We even got to see the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
Seattle: Whew! Seattle was where the whirlwind came in! We took the monorail to the Space Needle and rode up to the top, where the view was magnificent. We went down to the market so that we could buy drinks at the first Starbucks! We bought souvenirs, and then headed to the airport. After dinner in the terminal, it was time to get on the plane back to Oklahoma!
Bye bye Pacific Northwest!
Phew! That was a whirlwind week I just had there! There is so much to talk about that I think I will have to break it up into little pieces to share. Just so you get the big picture – last Sunday was Emily and Eric’s wedding at Bridal Veil Lakes in Oregon. Kristen and I (and as a surprise, Emily) flew to Portland on June 2 to start all of the preparations. Here’s how the story went:
Chapter One: Preparing for the Wedding – Pre-shower Era (AKA Tuesday-Thursday)
On Tuesday, E, K and I all flew from OKC to Dallas Love Field, where we got on a plane that took us to Portland with a brief stop in Albuquerque. We had a lot of fun with our scheduled flight activities of knitting, talking, napping and crossword puzzle racing. Jeff picked us up from the airport and took us to E’s house for a delicious meal of mac’n’cheese prepared by E’s wonderful mom. See us having fun in the terminal?
Wednesday is kind of a blur – I remember going to Trader Joe’s and picking up snacks, stopping at Home Depot and Lowe’s to look for peat pots, picking up some gorgeous peonies at Whole Foods for E’s mom, a stop at Burgerville where I had delicious fried asparagus spears, a trip to Fred Meyer for grilled hamburger necessities, and a stop at Goodwill to find games for guests to play at the wedding. That evening Kristen and I cooked dinner for the family (and by “cooked dinner” I mean we made the biggest fruit salad ever known to man while Jeff made burgers and everyone else did pretty much everything else). After that it was time for some wedding crafting and to play our prize find from Goodwill – a hardly used Office DVD game with which Jeff and Kristen dominated me and Emily.
Thursday started out with a trip to the spa – specifically Pure Spa in Portland. K and E both had 60 minute massages while I had a facial. It was delightful and relaxed all three of us for the rest of the day. After our spa trip we went to Noodles and Company for delicious pasta and then headed over to the very fancy Pioneer Place mall, with a side trip to Knit Purl (where I got some amazing alpaca yarn to commemorate the trip – I took the picture here to show off the pretty Clematis in Sasha’s back yard).
After shopping, we headed straight over to Bridal Veil Lakes for the rehearsal which went quite smoothly with, as Emily puts it, “no fatal flaws” and a “small amount of chaos”. Then it was time for the rehearsal dinner, which was held at a very cool place called Tad’s Chicken ‘n Dumplins. Great fun was had by all, and Kristen and I got presents (photo cropped to only show the clutches because we looked very shiny)!
Stay tuned for Chapter Two: Preparing for the Wedding – Shower and Post-shower Era (AKA Friday and Saturday)
Kind of sounds like a kid’s adventure movie (ala Race to Witch Mountain), right?
This weekend, Sasha, Hugo and I made a day trip to the Quartz Mountain area of southwestern Oklahoma. It took us a little while to get there, but that was mostly due to small side trips to see something cool on the side of the road instead of distance. (See below, awesome picture of train tracks taken from an old bridge that presumably was a big deal when the road used to be Hwy 62)
Once we finally made it to Quartz Mountain, we had a lot of fun hiking around the bottom of the mountain and taking pictures. The first short trail we decided to go on was Cave Trail – advertised as a 25 min. round trip with a small cave at the end. Well, we found it to be approximately a 5 min round trip, but the cave at the end was really cool. Hugo was very interested in what wildlife might be inhabiting the cave . . .
We didn’t find anything in the cave, but it was a little smelly (like, skunk smelly) so that’s why Hugo was so interested. We then hiked around the lower part of the mountain on the edge of the lake (did I mention the big pretty lake?)