I was hoping to post about the blue linen cardigan today, but it is too soon; right now I am dealing with a temperamental button band, which needs to be tamed before I sew in the sleeves and render a final verdict. Oh, and buttons will need to be purchased too, once there is a proper button band in place to welcome them.
This is where I discover that knitting a linen cardigan is not at all like knitting a linen pullover; picking up stitches all around the garment while attempting to keep a good tension on the super-slippery yarn was torture challenging. I can only hope it all evens out in the washer and dryer. My faith in appliances runs deep.
For now, let us turn our thoughts to chocolate. My mother happens to live a short distance from a gem of a chocolatier. The shop isn't well-known, I have never seen it mentioned in guidebooks on Paris or anywhere else, although it is always busy and clearly known within the neighborhood as a local treasure. Besides punctual visits, we always end our stay with a shopping spree, followed by weeks of slow rationing to enjoy each morsel to the fullest and to make our bounty last as long as possible.
No wonder chocolate is what popped not in my mouth, but in my addled brain when I logged this latest, barely finished project into my Ravelry page today. I bound off my shawl yesterday and managed to take a quick picture to prove that I do finish things now and then, even though I am anxious to block the thing and show it more properly one of these days.
This is my copycat version of Mason-Dixon Kay's gorgeous versions of Mustaa Villaa's wonderful take on Cheryl Oberle's Wool Peddler Shawl. The brown yarn is Miss Babs' Yummy, a 2-ply merino superwash yarn very similar to Koigu in feel and stitch definition, in a colorway called "Bruin." This yarn comes in generous, 400-yard skeins; let's see if you can guess where skein one ends and skein 2 begins.
It turns out that skein one is closer to milk chocolate, and skein two, to dark. Good thing I love both. I started the second skein in Paris, where the light wasn't that good. It was only once back in California and its unforgiving, pure daylight that I realized I had a problem. By then, I really didn't want to frog a few rows with hundreds of stiches on them; besides, the label doesn't provide dye-lot numbers and I couldn't imagine being able to match a skein bought months ago at Stitches West. Instead, I decided to make the shawl a few rows longer than first planned, so that the darker stripe looks a bit less accidental. I am fairly happy with it now.
I nearly ran into the same predicament with the yarn I had chosen for the ruffle, Harrisville shetland in a shade called Suede. I had an orphan skein of it in my stash, purchased a good three years ago in a local shop. This past weekend, it became clear that that one skein would translate into a rather measly ruffle -- not good at all. Miracle of miracles: I found one other skein of the same colorway at the same shop. The owner thought that this may just be the last skein from the same dyelot, as that particular shade of Harrisville shetland had failed to excite other knitters (so unfair! such a gorgeous beige!). I should mention at this point that I had managed to lose the band from my own skein, so I just gambled, and I am pretty sure I won. The second skein is a perfect match for the first, even at high noon, even in California.
This thing now awaits to be blocked, which means I need to clear a bed where I can set up a giant blocking station. Right now it looks a bit opaque for a shawl, and I am not a hundred percent sure that I want my ruffle to be quite this ruffly. The phrase that comes to mind is "Curb your enthusiasm. "Followed by, "Have another chocolate, why don't you."