Monday, January 2, 2017

Good Vibes at the Beach

It's a new day, a new year, and after a distressing year of world news it's time for some good vibrations at the beach! This is my new Good Vibes Shawl and consequently my favorite shawl because for whatever reason whatever I just finish I love the best. Which might explain why I have drawers full of shawls that don't get the love they deserve.

Although this year we are having a real "winter" complete with cold days and rainy weather and I've dipped into the woolly woolens stash more than I can ever remember.   I may look like a walking ball of yarn but at my age I don't care.  I can go outside and feel no pain, no chill, and no discomfort because I am accessorized with woolen socks, hat, cowl, mittens, and shawl and for good measure I even have a felted purse to hug for warmth.  These are good days to be a knitter.

That being said these pictures are taken at our place in San Clemente, California which is farther south than Topanga and right on the water so it has a much more temperate climate.  And in San Clemente even on a cold day all you need is a cozy shawl.  But still.  I'm amazed when I see some young people wearing shorts and a T-shirt cuz it is still, you know, cold.

The Good Vibes shawl is designed by Nadia Cretin-Lechenne and knit in Chelsea Luxe singles.  "Singles" are skeins of yarn that are unplied and surprisingly durable.  Or as durable as any somewhat delicate yarn can be.  I bought the yarn online and my first reaction on seeing it was disappointment because I had been expecting "skinny singles" as opposed to merely "singles."  They are quite different.  The "singles" are much puffier and fluffier than the "skinny singles."  But I've decided there's a lot to be said for puffy and fluffy yarn because this knit into a super soft and cozy shawl. So while I misread the yarn description in point of fact this was the perfect yarn for this project.

Caveat Emptor.  As is true for all merino yarns this yarn will not hold a block.  When wet it may stretch into humongous proportions but give it time and like the special effects in Honey I Shrunk the Kids it will shrink into shockingly small dimensions.  What I recommend is that if you are knitting with merino wool (which I love to do) and particularly the singles you should plan on using at least 600 to 800 yrds if you want a decent sized shawl that doesn't need a tedious reblocking every time you want to wear it.

I found this pattern very fun to knit and I absolutely love the finished shawl.  I did run out of the grey yarn and had to order a second skein and I did skip one of the blue wedges due to yardage concerns although ironically I would have had enough of the blue to knit all 6 wedges.  I actually only needed the additional grey skein for the bind off and I considered substituting another yarn from stash.  But for this particular shawl I felt it would look best with the bind off in the matching yarn.  The good news is that now I have almost a whole skein of the grey to make something else!

Particulars:  Good Vibes designed by Nadia Cretin-Lechenne (aka: Ittybittyknits and writes the blog NCL Knits); US 6 needles; 1.1 skeins of Chelsea Luxe singles (400 yrds 100% merino) colorway London Rain and 1 skein Chelsea Luxe Singles (400 yrds 100% merino) colorway London Sky. A similar yarn found in many LYS is Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light.  Even though I technically had sufficient yarn for this project, as discussed above, I had yardage concerns so I skipped blue wedge No. 5 and jumped right to wedge No. 6.  As it turned out I had sufficient yarn in the blue to have completed all the wedges.  But, even having skipped wedge 5, I still needed to dip into a second skein of the grey.   Post blocking (shrunken/relaxed measurement) 64" x 16."

To see projects using similar yarn see my Doodler Shawl (using skinny singles) and Crashing Waves shawlette (using singles).

Simcha and the Beach

Every year between Christmas and New Year we spend at the beach in San Clemente, California.  And we never take Simcha.  It just works out better for both parties that we take separate vacations.  And before you feel too sorry for him know that he's staying at the Topanga Pet Resort where he always has a fabulous time.  But in case you are feeling sorry for him I thought I would share this picture so that you see he's still getting out and enjoying a quintessential "Southern California" lifestyle. Including morning jogs on the beach in Malibu (that occasionally devolve into chasing after the rich and famous seagulls).

On the topic of living a Southern California lifestyle here's a list of my favorite music videos shot on (or around) local beaches with a SoCal vibe:

Lana Del Rey ~ West Coast
The Neighborhool ~ Sweater Weather
Katie Perry ~ Teenage Dream
Dirty Heads ~ My Sweet Summer
Keith Urban ~ Long Hot Summer

Until next time be well and love well and may 2017 be a wonderful year and a time of repair, unity, and much needed good vibes in this world.


Anonymous said...

I love your comment about being a walking ball of yarn! That is me at my happiest! I love your newest shawl and I hope it keeps you warm and cozy in these cold days. Happy New Year, Claudia, Steve and Simcha!

Hege said...

Beautiful shawl.
Happy New Year to you too. Hope it will be filled with lots of knitting and beautiful moments!

Andrea @ This Knitted Life said...

So awesome. Great knit with great photos.