11 September 2013

Nearly Instant Gratification

Things are finally settling into what is now the new normal. The Cuddly Hubby was back in town for our 19th consecutive Dragon*Con. Woo-hoo! He stayed a few extra days, and it was very good to have a few days of what was the old normal.

For once I remembered to take some knitting to Dragon*Con. After all, it is four days of sitting in panels, so it is prime knitting time. And the costuming is always inspiring. I limited myself to four outfits during the weekend, and that left just enough room to pack a some yarn. One project was cast on after Dragon*Con -- the Circular Stranded Baby Surprise Jacket. I'm still poking away at it.

Another was cast on and all but bound off during the convention, but then I changed my mind and decided to knit it over again with some refinements. That project is a blanket square, and it is still in production right now. It is great as television knitting while I catch up on the latter half of the second season of Grimm.
The third project I did cast on and work all but the bind-off during the convention. The Fall 2013 Giorgio Armani Prive collection prominently featured the color pink. Armani chose not a strong pink, but a soft whisper just-barely-there almost-nude pink. It is like the color of champagne with just a drop or two of strawberry or raspberry juice, or perhaps the drippings off a maraschino cherry. This, of course, reminded me of a certain lovely skein of angora-merino blend from the market in Uzes, France. I had been looking for an excuse to work up something in “The most Beautiful Shawl on Earth” stitch pattern from page 177 of The Haapsalu Shawl. And I've been trying to work up small one-skein or less projects as samples for my scrap-busting class.
The directions for this cowl are simple. Using backward loop, cast on in the round in multiples of 14 -- mine has 84 stitches. Follow the chart from the book. Do be careful, as the pattern shifts a bit and your beginning of round marker will need to adjust accordingly. But it is pretty obvious where the center of the motifs are, so you can always find your place from round to round. Bind off using Elizabeth Zimmermann's sewn bind-off to match the cast on. I didn't even bother to block the cowl, because the buttery soft angora might object. Yes, this is pure luxury, which is why I've photographed it with my grandmother's mink stole. If you like to fold the cowl snug, as I have, a single pearl or diamond tack pin or even a cuff link is perfect.

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