Sunday, August 6, 2017

This is war, Peacock! Casualties are inevitable!

In July we usually go to Canada for the Shaw festival. Every year I am looking to this trip with anticipation. It is a wonderful possibility for us to unplug, enjoy theater and each other, and just relax and eat great food. After spending many long months in Florida building a house, we deserved this break.

If you love theater (we obviously do) this is your place to come. Usually plays are very different. There is something for everyone: one play for children, one musical play, one or two experimental plays, one or two famous/classical plays. This year the festival new artistic director – Tim Carroll – brought in new ideas and interesting choice of plays as well as much more actors – audience interactions to re-energize the event.
The acting is superb:  in Pennsylvania, we don’t see performances of this level often. Everything else is also executed on the highest level of professionalism.
The Shaw festival takes place in a tiny picturesque town of Niagara-on-The-Lake from April till October and is getting more and more popular every year. If you live in a driving distance from the place I’d wholeheartedly recommend coming and checking it out. This year we saw 11 plays on 4 different venues in 12 days.

We discovered this festival about 6 years ago and since then try to go there every summer. The weather in Canada at this time of the year is much better than in Pennsylvania (to say nothing of South Florida). We can take our daily walks through beautiful and peaceful countryside. Usually our final destination is a farmer’s market where we buy some fruit that we eat on the spot and go back home.
 Next to the market there is a little chapel that is apparently considered the smallest church in the world. Every day buses and cars bring lots and lots of Asian tourists who relentlessly take pictures of the chapel. Apparently, they all have it in their tourist guides as one of the world wonders or something. Anyway, it was hard to get a picture of it without tourists, but I managed.

There are also vineyards and wine testing in the area, great food and quaint antic stores – what’s not to like!

Before leaving for Canada I got sick and spent a day in bed recuperating. Soon I got bored and decided to make something from the leftovers of Fanion that I used to make Bo. I chose Blue from Kim Hargreaves Crush. Not only because it is light and summery but also because my gauge was spot on and I had enough yarn to make it. Plus it was black and white – and this summer black and white became my knitting trend.

I picked size M because I didn’t want the tank to be too snug on my hips. Boy, was I wrong! The result is cute, but VERY revealing and stretchy. I like it on the pictures but am not sure how to wear it in real life.

More pictures - on my Ravelry page.
Military style jackets with multiple zippers have been always much-coveted but unapproachable designs to knit for me. Two reasons: they definitely look better when store-bought and they are too difficult to make because of the zippers.
Zippers are hard to insert in knitted garments: unlike knitting they don’t stretch. I did it successfully once many years ago but it was so time consuming and all over so much pain everywhere that ever since I avoided garments with zippers.
I don’t remember when I bought this Phildar pattern (it is not on their website anymore and not on Ravelry) but decided not to make it for above mentioned reasons.
Till this spring when I unearthed it, took a closer look and decided to try it with the leftovers of great yarn. Again my gauge was spot on. I used this yarn twice before – for a Kim Hargreaves cardigan for my daughter (didn’t photograph it but it looks and wears well) and this pattern, also from Kim Hargreaves (yarn held together with Rowan Kidsilk Haze).
Soon I discovered that the original pattern as it was written is rather tight fitting. Not exactly what I am looking for in a jacket. That is why instead of knitting the smallest size as I usually do I settled on size 42/44. Among other changes: full length sleeves and  3 garter sts at the front borders – but otherwise I just followed the pattern.

Yet, I got constantly distracted. I made this and this instead of finishing my zipper jacket. Which is not how I normally operate. After some soul searching and deliberations I figured that the main reason for my procrastination was the necessity to insert zippers at the end. Yet, unraveling everything that was already finished by this time looked also kind of stupid so I made a decision to take this unfinished garment to Canada with me, work on it in between walks and plays, and see what happens.
As a result when we came back to Pennsylvania I had all the parts of the jacket finished. And I got zippers in a close shade of green and required length (from this website). And 8 days before leaving for another trip.  

All this trouble was not in vain. I got myself a cute jacket that is light and soft to the skin, goes with all my clothes, and could be worn underneath other garments. The buttons were bought in an antique store in Canada and are from a real military uniform.
Again, more pictures - on my Ravelry page.
This is the Summer of Basics after all and what can be more basic than a jacket military style!
I wanted to call it Colonel Mustard (Clue is one of my favorite movies of all times and I know it by heart) but its color is greysh-green. So it is Colonel Not Mustard for now. Do you have any other suggestions?
This summer I managed to make already two projects that were postponed for several years. It is August and we are leaving on Tuesday but hopefully by the end of the month I’ll be able to finish at least one more knit that I’ve been wanting for ages (or two?!!!).

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