12 January 2008

Spring Things, in December

For a few days before Christmas, B and I treated ourselves to a little trip to New Orleans. B went to college at Tulane, and other than Katrina relief operations with his ship, this was the first time he had been back since graduation in '04. Needless to say this trip involved quite a range of emotion, but additionally it involved a bit of knitting.

One of the highlights of the trip, planned well in advance, was a posh dinner at Restaurant August, owned by Chef John Besh - who was recently the runner-up for (and ought to have won) the Next Iron Chef series on Food Network. This dinner necessitated dressing up really fancy, and all of the dresses that I own (that I still like and that currently fit) are sleeveless. Rather than buy a new dress, I decided I would make a nice shawl, because it isn't too very cold in New Orleans in December, and a shawl ought to provide the perfect amount of warmth. Especially if it was made from alpaca.

Pattern: Spring Things Shawl. No changes to the pattern. Yes, I know it's not springtime, but I really liked the pattern a lot.

Yarn: Alpaca Cloud (lace weight 100% baby alpaca) from KnitPicks, in "Horizon Heather," 1 skein. (The pattern cost more than the yarn did!) The actual color wasn't quite true to how it appeared on my monitor, but my goodness is this stuff soft!

Time Spent: Honestly, just a little over a week, plus blocking/drying time.

I had never done any real lace knitting before. Certainly nothing to this scale. And before blocking, I wasn't extremely convinced this would turn out.

Before blocking.

But water + animal fiber = miracle, and here is the end result:



The total look (I really like this picture)

I probably need to work on my pinning-out skills. My points didn't come out as pointy as I would have liked, and the trip inside the suitcase didn't do them any favors. Actually, B's ship is throwing its holiday party this evening, and I will be wearing the same ensemble (don't tell anybody) - I reblocked the shawl this week for the event, and the points did get a lot pointier.

Aside from that issue, I really like this project, and while I don't have much everyday need for shawls, in the future I may be seeking out more complex shawl patterns just for the sake of the experience and challenge, and perhaps a bit for the pride in the end result.

By the way, we had a great time on our trip. New Orleans does, admittedly, still have a long way to go before it's back to its full glory - but it's getting there. Oh, AND, we got to meet Chef Besh. Briefly. He looked just like he did on TV, and it was way cool.

Here are some gratuitous vacation photos.

Bourbon Street at dusk



Bethany said...

That picture of you is worthy of a frame.

Nicole said...

You're a hotty. :)

That shawl is very cool. I don't think anyone at the office is knitting anymore.

Patrizia said...

I think the shawl is lovely and looks beautiful on you. :)

Dove Knits said...

That's a fantastic shawl, and you look gorgeous in it.