Sunday, January 23, 2011

Back, and Beret-ed


I've been back home for 6 days, and am just about over the jetlag, but not nearly over the wonderful time I had in Paris. I'm hoping to make it back there soon, although it won't be soon enough!

Shortly before I left, I finished Estella (Rav link), which I started just before Christmas but haven't shown here yet. It's a beret that looks more complicated than it is, although the decreases were a challenge because I kept ending up with the same number of stitches as I started with. I used some Berroco Ultra Alpaca that I bought when I was swatching for the Liberty blanket. These colors that didn't quite work out for that project, but I think they look good for this one. I schlepped it all the way to Paris, but it was really too warm to wear most of the time, and I forgot to bring it with me when it was cold enough.

I started a second beret a few days after this one, with a simpler pattern but glitz-ier yarn:

Sparkle Beret

I needed something relatively plain to knit while at the movies on Christmas, so I started Laura Chau's Lightweight Raspberry Beret using Yarntini Sparkle Sock. I've just started the decreases, so there is a glimmer / sparkle of hope that I'll finish it while it's still cold out. Although it's been in the 50's here, so I may need to send it to my chilly east coast friends!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Paris: A Few Fotos Dramatique

Paris streetlight -1

This photo, taken before dinner at Au Vieux Paris last night, does not overemphasize the atmosphere of Notre Dame at night in the rain.

Laduree, Champs Élysées

Laduree Champs Elysee. Macarons and cafe in an amazingly decorated bar.

Parc Monceau, Paris

Parc Monceau in the late afternoon, where I went for a short run before dinner. My pedometer has put my daily steps around 20K since I got here, but with foie gras at every dinner and more to come, a little extra exercise can't hurt. Parc Monceau is a real neighborhood spot, with people strolling and kids running around like crazy.

Only two more days here, it's gone really fast. Today's agenda includes museums, a trip to La Drougerie (craft store), pre-dinner drinks at L'Avant Comptoir, and dinner at La Ferrandaise.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Paris 2011: Day 1

First day in Paris: Took a 2 hour orientation walk while waiting for my room to be ready, but left the camera behind. This is the only photo I took. After checking into my room (which is very clean and cozy), I took a four hour nap, then worked for a couple of hours, then had a light dinner at L'Avant Comptior. If you consider a lard sandwich and ham crocettes to be "light". It was delightful. I expect to go back tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

This Time, It's a Blowout


I blew out a sock. I'm pretty sure it's fixable, just need to locate the yarn & darn it up, but I was surprised when I pulled them out of the wash (I use one of those lingerie bags when I wash handmade socks). I finished them in 2009, though, so they are almost two years old, and they are thin enough to wear with my clogs so they do get regular use.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy New Year, Lonely Mittens

Lonely Mitts

So before I recount the final irritation of the disappointing year that was 2010 (pictured above), let me recount a few victories accomplished in 2011:
  • I ran a 5K in 30 degree weather on the first, and I did so after staying out until after 2am the night before.
  • I also ran this morning, outside in 30 degree weather
  • Walking home from my run this morning, I slid on an icy spot that I didn't notice, and despite some pretty amazing contortions to keep my balance, I did not fall and I do not feel injured.
  • Today I booked a hotel in Paris for a trip later this month. I'm arriving a few days before the people I'm travelling with (we booked an apartment), and have been agonizing over where to stay because there are hundreds of options at many different price levels & no clear correspondence between price, # of stars, and user reviews.

So the final bit of insult associated with 2010 should fade quickly under the bright, shining hope that is 2011, but since it's knitting related I need to memorialize it here. Somewhere between errands on New Year's Eve, I lost one of the last complete pair of fingerless mitts that I've knit. So now I have three single fingerless mitts, shown above, that I keep in hopes that one day a lost mitten will show up. From left to right:

  • Spincycle Mitts: I'm pretty sure I lost these at a Mariner's game. They were perfect for cold spring & fall games, and they got a ton of use before I lost one. I have enough yarn to make another mitt, and I bought another skein of this Spincycle yarn at the Urban Craft Uprising this year, but I'm worried that the new mitt will look too "new" with the fuzziness of the old mitt. A new pair doesn't take that long to knit though (I recently finished a pair that I gave as a Christmas gift), so I should just suck it up and knit between two and four more mitts.
  • Endpaper Mitts: I don't remember getting a lot of use out of this pair, though according to this post, I did use them a lot and lost them in Arizona (they were probably in a coat I packed?) . I loved the squooshiness of the yarn, and the extra coverage of the long size, but the "seams" up the sides of the mitten and the thumb didn't turn out that well, so I have never considered knitting a new mate for this mitt.
  • Stripey Mitts: This is the pair that was cruelly separated on New Year's Eve, and it's a harsh blow. They stretched out to become a little too big, and the worsted-weight yarn made them a little bulkier than they should be, but I will miss them. Hopefully, I can find my notes about the pattern (which I never got around to writing up), and make another pair. Maybe in a sport weight, or at least with sport-weight for the pull down ribbing.

If you see any of these, please let me know.

So that's my last sad story of 2010. Hopefully, 2011 will be all happy stories about knitting, such as the beret craze that is sweeping my knitting basket, and fantastic French purchases that I anticipate in the coming weeks. And probably, very probably a new pair of fingerless mitts, because I really, really need some.