Today's blog post is a perfect follow up for last week, wherein I gave you all the scoop on my recent Alaska vacation and showed you a bunch of pictures of me knitting in various picturesque places. Today, I get to show you the fruits of those labors! I dedicated this past week and weekend almost exclusively to finish my Alaska shawl. I love these vacation projects, but I don't particularly love for them to continue too far beyond when we get back. It just rubs the shiny off them somehow. So, I'm very glad to proclaim this one done, a scant two weeks after our return!
I used four skeins of fingering weight Merino from Fleece Artist in colorways Aurora, Forest, Glacier, and Ocean. The color is truest on these pre-blocking pictures, since they look much darker when the shawl is wet. I used the setup instructions from Sivia Harding's Phoenix Rising shawl to get the Faroese shape.
I think the colorways worked fairly well together. If I had it to do over again, I might rethink the Forest part - it's beautiful on its own and was even beautiful with the Aurora, but once I added the Glacier stripe, it looked a bit more yellow than it did before. Still nice, but lesson learned for next time. I have told myself that the sharp contrast of the Glacier is thematically appropriate given how a glacier carves its way through the land, inexorable and uncompromising.
I ended up using three total stitch patterns, all from "Arctic Lace." Five repeats of the North Star motif from the North Star Scarf pattern run down the spine. At the bottom edge, (after some math help from CodeNinja) I added the smaller North Star pattern from the North Star tam. When I finished those stars, I realized I would have to block a huge straight edge if I just quit where I was, so I dove back into Arctic Lace and found the Herringbone Scallop pattern. I had just enough yarn for a single repeat around the edge.
I'm thrilled with the final result.
The perfect souvenir.
Now, it's no surprise that after finishing this epic project, I needed something a little lightweight - a palet cleanser, if you will. A few days ago (yes, days - super fast shipping and arrival!) I ordered a kit for the Butin Collar from Nelkin Designs in Elizabeth Kubler Ross. I thought the necklace was cute but the colorway/bead combo really sold me - I have a pair of copper earrings that I've never been able to find a matching necklace for, and I thought this looked like it could be a winner.
So my kit shows up within days of my order.
Including a teeny tiny yarn bundle (the project only takes 20 yards)...
...and a little baggie of beads, plus a clasp.
And a little bit of dental floss threader that I forgot to look for and almost lost. The hardest part (and it wasn't really hard, just tedius) was stringing the beads. They have to be prestrung on the yarn in a certain order, and I counted feverishly to make sure I didn't accidentally string them in the wrong order, because I know me. Fortunately, I didn't.
A few hours later....voila!
Color's a little off again because it's wet (I didn't pin it, just sort of tugged and flattened it into shape) but there she is. Gorgeous and PERFECT for my earrings (which I forgot to photograph). The only thing left to do is, er - sew on the clasp. I'm a little intimidated by that part, truth be told. Sewing is just about the only craft I'm NOT into. I can cross stitch a bit but somehow I doubt it's exactly the same skill set. But, I'll give it a whirl, hopefully tonight because I really, really want to wear it.
Anyway, I was so delighted with the finished result that - well. I kind of lost my mind a little bit. Remember Merope?
Plenty of Schaefer Audrey in Nellie Bly left over from that project, so I hit up my bead stash, and...well.
(not blocked, so the color's truer but it's not as nicely shaped yet)
The beads are leftover from Elektra, plus some copper lined 'black diamond' beads I had ordered for another project and decided not to use.
It took me maybe an hour to make that second one, not counting bead stringing time. The whole necklace is a total of eight rows of knitting. Insane.
You want to know what's really scary? Remember Maia?
Yeah...I have leftover yarn and beads from that project too!! And I may or may not have strung the beads last night and left it waiting for me to get home to this evening. I'm not telling.