Friday, August 10

Stripes and Flowers

Summer is finally here. Well, we had three days without rain and temperatures above 20 Celsius. In my Dutch frame of mind, that is summer. The city seams to awaken from the wet and dreary autumnal summer we had. Rain, rain, rain and cold. The weather looks good for the weekend and then it will go back to what it was. Wet. Cold. Dreary. Can't wait...
Don't get me wrong, I love autumn, with its storms and pounding rain on the windows. You snuggle up on the couch with your loved ones, blankets, some delicious snacks and a good bottle of wine. But I like this to be in autumn, not in June, July and August. That's the months were you live in the park, on your balcony or in your garden. Soaking up vitamin D, getting a little tan (we don't want melanoma!) and just enjoying being outside.

The view from the study. I am so going outside after I finish typing this up!

 When summer craps out again on us, in a few days, I will be ready! Thanks to the Ravellenics I now have two finished cowls. They are both really pretty but totally different. First up:


This pattern was brought to my attention by the lyrical, maybe even hysterical tweets from Heather McCoy, a.k.a. The A.D.D. Knitter. I follow her blog and tweets and a lot of time she cracks me up. She also picks projects that quite often appeal to me. So did Rayures. The stripes looked like a very easy and soothing thing to knit. So on a trip to Brussels (more on that in a later post) I dropped by Art et Fil. An absolute must for knitters who ever visit Brussels. I found it after this wonderful blog from a Croatian girl living in Brussels. The owner speaks very little English, but is incredibly helpful. Luckily I speak Dutch and French so we were fine. I showed her the pattern and she helped me to pick the colours. She had no problems with taking out ALL the Regia sock yarn from the shelves so I could compare them together.  She also gave some magazines from Lana Grossa and Regia that she wasn't going to sell anymore. Together with the rest of the day I had a wonderful day wandering around Brussels on my own. A long stroll through the lesser known neighbourhoods St Gilles and Ixelles, south of the city centre is an absolute must try for the "off the beaten track tourist".

All my treasures. Regia 4-ply in seven colours. Yet another 4mm circular needle,
magazines, an ochre and a green pair of tights and last but not least, matcha tea
powder to bake green tea cakes!
I had already picked one project for the Ravellenics. I was going to WIP-Wrestle my Imogen Cowl into submission but I was ready to start this one. So while I watched the opening ceremony in my hotel room I cast on. It took me 6 days knitting on it, on and off during the lost hours of the day to finish. And the result is stunning. And the best part? With this many colours (seven!), one of them is bound to match something you are wearing!

Pattern: Rayures by Amy Miller.
Yarn: Regia 4-ply sock.
Needles: 4mm 60cm circulars.
Mods: None
Techniques used, Jogless Stripes, and by lieu of a crochet hook this provisional cast-on technique and the Kitchener Stitch.
Raveled here. The colour numbers are here too.

Imogen Cowl
The second cowl is the Imogen Cowl. There has been a post on this Bad Boy before. But the repeating of the rather intricate Frost Flower Lace pattern got so annoying that I put it in the project bin to be buried under a lot of new projects, many of which have made the finish line way before this one.Then I attended the WWKIP Picknit in June I met Chris. He persuaded me to join his team at the Ravellenic Games, at that point still called the Ravelympics, so I would finish this baby.

Really bumpy and still really stiff. I had little to no hope for this project.
And I am glad I did! It turned out so much prettier then I could have imagined. The yarn went from scratchy and stiff to luxurious and soft after blocking. The lace flattened and got really attractive. The cowl just flows and drapes around your neck.
Thank you Chris!!!

Pattern: Imogen Cowl by Carrie Bostick-Hoge.
Yarn: Annel Malmedy in Teal.
Needles: 4mm Addi Lace 80 cm circulars.
Mods: None, alhough the way this provisional cast-on worked was not ideal, in my opinion. I think a crocheted provisional would be much easier.
Raveled here.

So, that's all from me for now. I am going outside now. Soak up some sunshine.

Have a nice day!

If you feel inclined to, I would love to know what you are working on. Drop me a line (and a Ravelry link) in the comments!