Thursday, March 17, 2011

The "Perfect" Scarf

A while back I treated myself to two luscious skeins of Cascade Pure Alpaca in a gorgeous ice blue colorway. I originally intended to make a Cedar Leaf Shawlette with it, but decided that some other yarn I had in my stash was more suitable for that project (more on that later). So in the stash it sat. Until. I had an enlightened moment. This yarn was destined to be an infinity style scarf/cowl! So warm and soft, it is perfect for neck wear and I had a shawl's worth I would definitely have enough with not too much left over! But it needed to be slightly lacy, because alpaca is very warm. Now all I needed was the pattern. Well, easier said than done. This one's too solid, this one's too lacy, but this one is jusssst right ;).  After scouring Ravelry I found the Seraphina Cowl and the instant I saw it I knew. This was the one.

Just enough solid fabric and lace and, I must say, holey drape! (Get it? hole-y!) I love this scarfcowl (heehee). It got a lot of good use this winter, and I can still wear it with a tee on warmer days.

Pattern: Seraphina Cowl by Abigail Wang
Hook: G, Susan Bates bamboo handle (looove)
Modifications: Went down a hook size, crocheted more rows
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Pure Alpaca, colorway 3031

I'm really happy with this cowl, and it is a part of KnitPicks Independent Designers Program so the pattern only $1.99! Head over there and check it out, it's a pretty sweet program with both crochet and knit patterns available.


As you can see, its really versatile. Doubled up its pretty warm and very fashionable. Tripled it's extremely warm! I found myself tripling it outside and wearing it doubled inside. All in all, great pattern (well written, easily memorized) +  great yarn = great cowl.

I also wanted to take a second to show you my earrings. They are vintage, passed down from my great grandmother.

Pretty, huh? Well that's about all for now. I hope you're all working on some equally satisfying projects while enjoying the first glorious signs of Spring!

Until next time

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Week-Long Break Americans Pretend is During Springtime

Otherwise known as Spring Break. The Yarn Harlot had commented on her blog that in Canada it's called March Break because they don't try to kid themselves by pretending it's Spring. I do love her but, quite frankly, I am all for pretending it's Spring right now.

So, I've just returned from a brief little vacation in NH with Andrew and I must say this: it was wonderful. We both put a little money from a few paychecks aside so we could eat out, do fun things, and maybe even shop a little. Or a lot. You know. We were staying in Manchester and payed visit to Derry and Hooksett. I think my favorite part of the stay was the arcade/candle pin bowling alley. It was a lot of fun and because it was so empty I got to bowl without feeling self conscious (I;m not the best bowler). Also really great was CJ's, which stand for Cactus Jack's, which is right off Exit 2 on Route 93. Great food there, Andrew got what he dubbed the "best prime rib he's ever had", and it is no secret that the man is hard to please. And, of course, there was yarning. We took a fifteen minute trip to Derry, NH to an amazing LYS called The Yarn and Fiber Company. I left with two beautiful skeins of yarn and a very satisfying customer experience.
This is, I believe, the owners brand of yarn called Ivy Brambles. This yarn is the Romatica Merino Lace in the colorway Storm. It looks like a lot of yarn, because it is. That's about 1,000 yards of superwash merino laceweight right there. I have no idea what to make with it because I possibilities are basically endless.
This is SockScene, also by Ivy Brambles, in the colorway Petunias. I asked my mom that if I was to make her a hypothetical shawl, and she could hypothetically choose any color she wanted what would it be? Hypothetically, of course. She said fuchsia, but not too pink, and not too bright. As impossible as that description sounds, I think Petunias hits it on the nose (and, of course, it's much prettier in person). I haven't decided if the hypothetical shawl will be knit or crocheted yet, but if I decide to knit it (hypothetically) I think this yarn would like to be a Traveling Woman shawl.
We also hit up an amazing antiques shop in Hooksett before we hit the highway home. This place, the Log House Antique Center, was beautiful. And huge! We both out like little antique bandits. Andrew acquired himself a 1953 silver certificate (an antique dollar) and I left with two sets of gorgeous vintage buttons and a yard of vintage fabric.

I don't know which of the three finds I'm more in love with. These were only $3 and I'm going to be using them on the Shawl Collard Cowl I finished a little a while ago. These buttons are not only gorgeous, but they are perfect for the cowl, which is also navy.
These are a nice purpley, maroony, burgundy color, and although I have no plans from them they are certainly turning my creative wheels at the moment.
This I almost left without this but Andrew, being the little devil's advocate he is, talked me out of that terrible idea. The yard was $7 and it's simply gorgeous. Again, no concrete ideas but I've got pillows, skirts, shirts, and bags in mind. I'm not a very accomplished sewer, but I have been dying to learn and maybe this will finally light the fire.