Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sunday Stuff and a Butterfly Shawl

I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel. – Audrey Hepburn
The tricky thing about Sundays around this time of year for me is that I tend to try to do too much within a few short hours of daylight, especially if it's a bright, dry day. I remember Oprah Winfrey saying, "I love a rainy day. Know why? No pressure! On a sunny day, I gotta go for a bike ride, have a picnic, meet with friends..." And I get it, Oprah. I totally get it. Gimme an excuse to stay inside on a weekend and I'll totally take it.

But I digress.

I signed up to do a group exercise class earlier in January. It's on Sunday mornings, which is a normal gym day for me, but I thought I'd switch things up a bit and give this class a try. I am not normally into group exercise. That fear of being the slowest and the weakest in the class is a real thing, and after a couple of years of injuries, that person is me. I won't lie: that was hard for me. It still is. But I also know that I can't get stronger until I do the hard stuff, so I sweat through my Sunday mornings and then drag myself home to lick my wounded ego.

It also means that I'm tired on Sundays, so it takes extra effort for me to do all my Sunday stuff: cooking, walking the dog, getting ready for the upcoming week, not to mention trying to fit it in a nap. I was sitting on the phone with my mom this morning after the gym when I suddenly realized I'd planned to make some soup and totally forgot to start it. It took me a couple of tries to heft out my cast iron Dutch oven, but the look of the veggies cooking away was totally worth it:

After lunch, we decided to get Seymour out for a good walk while the dry weather lasted. After weeks of rain, every moment of dry weather is precious. We walked by the Nanaimo River and it was amazing to see how much the river had gone down just a couple of weeks after it threatened to break its banks:

Seymour was less impressed. He is not a water dog. He was also too busy snuffling through the leaves and branches on the ground to take notice of a silly river:

Tired as I am, I am pleased to show you my finished Papillon Shawl. Papillon is French for "butterfly," and I can say it was truly a metamorphosis from a bunched up pile of knitting that spent hunched and cursing over to a truly beautiful creation. After all those frigging short rows and all those weeks of counting stitches, I will admit that the effort was worth it. It is a very impressive project:

I used much less yarn than I expected to for this project, almost 400 yards less than the pattern notes said I would need. I have no idea why. I very nearly started to calculate how I would add on more rows to use up more yarn, but then I remembered how much I really wanted to be finished this thing and decided against it:

This yarn is a cotton/acrylic blend from a brand called Scheepjes, which is a brand I have only recently become acquainted with after using one of their yarns or my Rozeta Blanket CAL. This blend is called Whirl which is the gradient version. This colourway is called Black Forest Zinger. It is an affordable option if you're after a big cake of gradient yarn to play with. I worked this project by pulling the yarn from the centre of the cake and working outward. I worked it with a solid purple version of the same blend called Whirlette in the colourway called Grappa:

I wasn't sure how much I liked the colour changes while I was working with it:

But you can see it totally works when you look at it from afar:

Since I wasn't able to use up more of the yarn cake, I was a bit disappointed that I didn't get to use more of the grey section, but now that I see the finished project, I kind of like that the last few "eyes" are nice pops of grey on the edges:

And I guess that just means I have half a cake of gradient yarn and a third of a cake of the solid colour left to play with r. Half a cake of anything is really not such a bad thing. "A third of a cake" is a pretty good thing to dream about as well, either in yarn or not.

Mmmmm cake....

So now that I am finally finished this shawl, I have pulled out another gradient yarn cake in the stash to play with. It's a wool/acrylic blend I got during our last trip to the UK. It's an experiment right now. I'm trying to make a knitted version of a crochet garment I saw in a magazine a few months ago. So far, I THINK it's working out, but I guess you can't really tell how it's really going to go from a three-inch strip of knitting:

It's nearly time to cook dinner. I guess I don't have time to try to fit in a nap. Luckily, someone else has that covered:

Have a great week!

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