Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lizette and a BIG Announcement

Okay, maybe not so big anymore.  A lot of you are friends with me on Facebook, so you know bits and pieces, but I quit my job last week!!!  Yay!!!  I got an offer for a paralegal job with a bigger firm with a better reputation and for more money.  How awesome is that???  I get to leave Brunswick and the boss that I've loathed for 2.5 years.  My last day here will be July 29th and I start work in Portland on August 3rd.  I am SO excited!!!  I actually danced around my living room the day I got the offer.

Last week I was genuine afraid to break the news to my boss.  Everyone else knew that I was leaving, but I knew I was going to shock the hell out of him.  To my surprise, he was more sad than angry and has been super polite to me ever since.  I'm so glad my last days in this office will be tolerable, if not exactly pleasant. 

I only regret leaving coworkers behind.  I'll miss practicing at Hart Yoga all the time, hanging out with Mel on a daily basis, and I am very sorry to leave poor Tamsin in the lurch.  Well, onward and  upward.  This girl is off to bigger and better things!

Now, knitting:

So, summer here.  Have you noticed yet?  I mean, we live in Maine and it's been up in the 90s the last several days.  Perfect time to show off my cute new tee!
Cute, right?  The pattern is Lizette by Anne Ginger and was in the Twist Collective Spring/Summer 2011.  I've got to say that I've been a little disappointed in that last several Interweave Knits pattern selections--has anyone else noticed that?  Twist Collective is filling that gap for me.  They're a little more expensive, but the patterns are SO worth it--pretty and engaging! 

The only thing I didn't really like about this pattern was that it was written for flat knitting, meaning the back, front, and sleeves were all knit separately and then sewn together.  In this particular case, the front was knit in two pieces and then joined by knitting the icord tie across the front.  Normally I prefer pieces that are knit in the round, rather than those that require a lot of finishing, but this design was so interesting and the constant shaping and detailing kept me entertained.  Plus, the gauge was big enough and the sleeves were short enough so that sewing it together wasn't as tedious a task as it could have been.  Excellent pattern, I say.  And it suits me:

I wouldn't recommend this one for a first-time sweater knitter.  There are a few advanced techniques you should master (or be ready to try) first, like invisible cast-on, cabling, icord, and chart-reading.  However, none of the cabling was especially difficult.  Maybe a good 3rd or 4th sweater. 

The yarn I used was an old standby--Knit Picks Comfy.  Acrylic content aside, it's a really nice yarn.  It doesn't get sticky like acrylic can, has lovely stitch definition, and, oddly enough, is very comfortable to wear.  Just the right weight for hot days.  I'm even wearing it while I type this!  It's holding up well.  I think I'll be wearing it quite a few more times this summer!

For next time, I have another lacy scarf to show you: the last remnants of yarn I bought for a shawl for my own wedding...oh, and my last week in this Brunswick law office!



Monday, July 11, 2011

Aeolian Wedding Shawl

As some of you know, my dear friend (and now former coworker) Mel is getting married this fall.  I wanted to knit her something pretty for the occasion and as she picked a strapless dress for her November wedding and I had a great big cone o' ivory colored lace, a shawl seemed like the best option.

Hence the Aeolian Wedding Shawl:
The pattern is by Elizabeth Freeman and can be found (for free!) on Knitty.  Unlike Laminaria and other shawls with Estonian motifs, this one wasn't especially difficult, just labor intensive...and contained nupps.  If you can read a chart and can work a nupp, you can make this shawl. For those who have never tried nupps before, give them a whirl!  The key is to make them very, VERY loose, so you can purl them all together on the next row.  Don't worry if they look a little bit sloppy at first, blocking will straighten that out.  You won't regret it!

This pattern also comes in smaller versions for the not-so-adventurous.

Here's a close-up of the edging:
Pretty, right?

At the request of the bride, I did not incorporate beads into this shawl.  I was a little relieved, to tell you the truth.  I'll tell you a little secret: I've never knit anything with beads and it makes me a little nervous!  At some point, I will have to knit a little something and learn to incorporate beads, but this was not the project on which to learn beading.

My shawl also came out a bit smaller than the larger version was intended to.  It's about my wingspan wide (67") and maybe 35" tall. I think this is because I didn't check my gauge before and on a size 2 needle, the whole thing came out smaller than it was supposed to.  Oh well!  It covers her shoulders and should keep her bare shoulders warm--I hope!

I love the yarn, too!  It's Valley Yarn's 2/14 Alpaca Silk, basically 1750 yards of lace on a giant cone.  I had enough for a shawl for my wedding, this wedding shawl, and still have about 250  yards leftover.  Crazy, right?  I think I will make those leftovers into a pretty cowl.  What do you think? 

In any event, I have already passed this shawl on to the lucky bride and she was very pleased with the result.  I can't wait to see it with her lovely dress!  Congratulations Mel on your upcoming wedding!  I hope all your planning goes smoothly!!

For next time, I've finished the Lizette pullover and plan to take some pictures tonight.  Check Ravelry later!