Saturday, April 28, 2012

Yes, I'm Still Here


A wonderful city
A place for lovers
A city to dream wild
In that river the boats are moving with lovers inside
Watching that beautiful sky above the river
And the moon from that beautiful sky
Is shining in
The river
A city that never sleeps
The romance is in the air
The lovers are feeling the love that are in the air
That smell of the roses the lovers can smell
This is the sign that spring is here
Spring is the most beautiful time of the year
Now that winter has finally gone to sleep
The lovers welcome spring with open arms

Aldo Kraas
Paris was indescribable - in all positive ways - therefore, I won't attempt to describe it. But I'll be putting photos up on Facebook, a few at a time, and who knows? I just might insert a few anecdotes in here, now and then, if the mood strikes.

But what about the knitting, you ask? And the handspinning? And the exercise? Well, I'm back with lots of things to show and tell.

First off, I have photos to show of six different fibers spun up during the winter of 2012, that I FINALLY got around to washing, thwacking (to set the twist) and drying in the bright sun.
This side: "Change", "Angkor Wat", "Nightmare" - all Spunky Eclectic fibers
This side: "Night Owl", "Little Periwinkles", "Headache" - all Spunky Eclectic fibers
Washed, Thwacked, and Drying
Unfortunately, I've already added all these to the spinning "mileage" gadget, but I do hope to make some significant progress on what's been waiting for me so patiently - the "Tartan" fiber that I'm more than 50% done with.

String Theory Seri leftovers
As for knitting, I (as always) took more yarn/needles/patterns with me to Paris than I ever could have knit in a month, and I didn't even finish the Tour Eiffel shawlette I had hoped to wear while there. But it's finally off the needles, as of today, and is washed and blocking as I type. I knitted this using String Theory Yarn's "Seri" in their "Carina" colorway, and I LOVE it. The 100-gram skein had 1120 yards in it.  I measured (on my handy yarn meter) the leftover yarn, and I still have 400 yards left (maybe a yard or two less than that) for another project. Thank you, String Theory!
Tour Eiffel Shawlette is off the needles!

Tour Eiffel Shawlette detail
The center of this photo shows the motif captured in the shawl.
This was a delight to knit. Natalie Servant's directions and charting were clear and complete. The finished product is soft and feather-light - perfect for these (way too chilly) spring days.

I thought the graphite color was going to be a perfect match, but realized, when actually there, that the real tower is painted brown. Oh, well. A shawl knitted in the true color would be UGLY. Mine is BEAUTIFUL.

Now I am trying to finish up the second of the pair of vanilla socks I began way back in (gasp) February. So much for the lofty goal of knitting two pairs a month in 2012. Eiffel Tower shawls take a long time, as do Fair Isle Malthese Flower shawls (I'm ALMOST done!). And I'm still plugging away on the tangerine string bag for Zig.

I lied. Here's a Paris story. I made my way one afternoon to Lil Weasel, a tiny yarn shop in the Marais. I was the only customer, and I allowed my lack of French to scare me, but I did manage to ask for, and purchase, several items, including two colors of yarn actually produced in France. (It seems that there isn't much of this.) The shop was lovely, welcoming, colorful, and very well stocked with Cascade and Malabrigo.
Lil Weasel Yarn Shop, Paris, France
Mauve Fonty "Gueret", a DK- weight yarn made in France

Red Fonty "Gueret" from Lil Weasel
Gorgeous Malabrigo destined to become a Pimpelliese scarf
The Gueret yarn will, I think be knit up into "Saroyan" and "Brandywine" scarves.

Well, that's about enough for now. Oh, yeah - exercise. We walked more than 50 miles while in Paris, and since we've been back, I'm back in the saddle with weights and aerobic activity.

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I hope you're enjoying my ramblings!