First—The swatch was painted—and I love it. It will be fun painting the shawl—It won't quite be the same—I think some colors could be moved/ less prominent. But I like the overall effect, and I like how the center of the feather (the eye) come out. Do the colors surprise you?
Until you look closely at a peacock feather (something I have been doing now for months!) you often fail to realize just how many colors there are in one—Everyone thinks about the blue green (peacock!) turquoise color but these feathers are body feather (and the background of the medallion)—but often over look the purples, browns and bronzes, the lime green—that are more common in the eye of the feather. So many colors!--have you ever really seen them before?
Socks? Nothing to report. (nothing done)
Vest—well enough done that you can see the beginning of the pattern. I think a small over all textured pattern like this is just right for a simple vest. Its enough to keep the knitting interesting, and enough to make an interesting fabric—but not too much. It's still hard to see much--its all bunched up on a circ. Not quite three inches isn't very much to see, either.
But its coming along. I'll knit about 12 inches before I start the armholes—then another 7 or so till the neck shaping.. it will finish up about 20 inches long. I have 10 balls (50g) and the first 2 inches used up 1 ball. But I am going to be decreasing soon--giving the vest a bit of shaping. And there will be fewer stitches come the armholes--but it will use up most of the yarn.
It would be faster to knit with worsted weight—but finer yarns, and smaller needles make a nicer fabric in many ways—It's so worth the effort—at least some of the time. The color is a bit off (well at least on my monitor.) It is actually a bit darker, browner-- But it is a warm, orangey brown--not a chocolate one.
My top? Lots of adjustments to make.. It's too loose at the top (shoulders and above the bust) and too tight below (midriff)--I'll undo most of the seams, trim where needed, and put together again. Its the sort of thing that makes me very happy I am working with something other than my good fabric!
Some other contributions to this hodge podge—a recipe (and a memory of one)
Long, long ago, (circa the 1970's) I had a super simple recipe for cocktail franks and meatballs—in a sweet and tangy sauce. The sauce was deceptively simple: take 1 6oz jar (the kind that became a juice glass after) of grape jelly, plus 1 6 oz jar of mustard (the recipe called for the yellow kind, but it worked better with a coarse spicy one even better). Cook together over low heat, stirring frequently till the jelly is melted, and the sauce was heated. Add the cocktail franks and meatballs, and continue to cook until they are warmed. Serve.
The sauce is something like a honey mustard—the grape jelly adds a sweet—a fruity note—a bit different than honey; the mustard adds the spicy tang. Everyone liked it, (especially the cook). It sounds weird—but it worked. I haven't made it years (do they still sell little jars of grape jelly in re usable glasses?)--but I know it would be as good today as it was all those years ago. The sweet spice blend works. (even if this recipe has gone out of style.)
This summer, at the pool, I came across another weird recipe—for a wine spritzer—and this one, too, works. Start with Dr Brown's cream soda. OK-- it doesn't have to be Dr Brown's--(even though Dr. Brown's is the best) but certainly—a really good quality cream soda.
I realize Dr. Brown's is a regional brand--(for sure, its not available on the west coast—My son misses Dr Brown's Black Cherry soda (with natural cherry flavor))--and real NY'ers enjoy Dr. Brown's Cel-ray soda--(the best thing to drink with a deli sandwich!)-as a local specialty. There are, likely, some other excellent brands of cream soda out there—but I can only speak to this recipe working with Dr. Brown's.
Mix the soda with your favorite wine (red is suggested, but it went well with white wine, too) 50/50, and serve over ice. I know, it sounds awful—but it's not—it's really quite good! It's the Maritza Spritza--(name for Maritza who brought the cream soda for our enjoyment)--We all thought it was weird, and that it wouldn't work. But we all tried it, and liked it, and had it, with of all things, pizza.
So try it yourself—you can mix it up by the glass full—with an inexpensive wine at your next picnic or pizza party.