Saturday, 16 June 2012

Denver, CO

I have been a little busy lately, and I totally apologise for my neglect of this blog; I've been to busy having fun (and working). I'm on a trip to the USA for a summer school, and did a little travelling before it started. Our first full day of the holiday was a Sunday in Denver, which was lovely and quiet (plus jetlag meant we did get up a little earlier than most sane people!). It is a lovely city, though we kind of thought it was mainly for residents and less for tourists; or at least on a Sunday, some of the main sights were closed. Though we did get to see the Big Blue Bear:

He looks into the Convention Centre (the lobby bit, not the bit where you'd actually give a presentation. That would be intimidating, having a 40-foot, blue concrete grizzly bear watching you), and is officially called I See What You Mean, but he does seem to just people-watch over the lobby. There are worse ways to spend your time I guess.

Here is a bit of a shot of some Denver skyscrapers (sorry about the guff on my lens in the top-left); so not how UK cities work but still very photogenic.

We spent most of the morning in the Denver Art Museum, which is brilliant and we got tired before we ran out of things to look at. There was an Yves Saint Laurent exhibition on, which we went to. So. Many. Pretty. Dresses.

Denver is not far from the Rocky Mountains, and as soon as you get above the level of most buildings they start to dominate the view to the west. Beautiful (though unusually cloudy).

We had a good long wander around most of the city centre, did a trip to REI and walked through the 16th Street Mall and did have just enough time to pop into this amazing bookshop (but sadly not enough time to purchase anything).

I did enjoy Denver, with it's lovely laidback feel and love of beer, food, and activity; people seem to cycle and walk more than I had expected. But there were bigger things to come....

Saturday, 2 June 2012

FO: Ziemlich Kaffee und Kuchen

After my cross-stitch disaster, I did actually finish something this week. Knitted of course - after all, who doesn't change craft when something is driving you up the wall? It is a lovely frivolous shawl called Afternoon Tea, a recent free pattern in Knitty.

When I saw the pattern I instantly saw this skein of yarn magically turned into it. This did not take much imagination though, as there is a sample that looks very similar indeed.

I was hoping I could go all Austrian, knit it while I was in Vienna and call the project Kaffe und Kuchen (lit: coffee and cake. Normally eaten in the afternoon so it approximates to afternoon tea). However, I had quite a lot of work to do actually, so the amount of knitting time that week was less than usual. I think I knit maybe four rows of it. That is all the knitting I did that week. No wonder I went a bit mad when I got back and finished the thing in double-quick time. And why this is nearly Kaffe und Kuchen.

This is probably the best representation of the colour, apologies for the blur:

Yarn: Old Maiden Aunt 100% superwash merino in leanan sidhe. Lovely yarn to work with, beautiful colour. Maybe a bit prone to letting the needle through the yarn but that might have been me!

Pattern: Afternoon Tea by Helen Stewart. Easy-to-follow pattern that I had no trouble with until the blocking instructions; it says you need blocking wires, and I don't have them. As you can see in the first picture, it probably would have been best blocked with wires not pins!

Mods: I added an extra repeat to the edge, as I had plenty of yarn left. By the actual edge though I was lacking in yarn, so cut out the final bit of pattern (there is meant to be another row with YOs every other stitch) and after casting off had about 6 yards of yarn left. I'm not sure how much longer it is as a result but I do prefer the edging on mine (if I do say so myself). 

Simple, sweet and frothy. Just how I like my coffee and cake!