Saturday, January 22, 2011

Blue Lagoon

Well, hello, and Happy New Year, everyone!

I know, I know, it's been a litte while. I needed a break from the Internet and my computer altogether as I took a few days' break; then work got once again hectic as hell.

The weather was so spring-like last weekend that I gave in to Seb's plea, took a break from it all, and we grabbed our bikes (well, a friend's bike in my case - I don't have one down here yet) to go see the sea.
The cycling (and walking) path from the town to the beach we chose to reach is sheltered from the cars; the path runs between lagoons and you can see flamingoes preening themselves, Camargue horses gathered along the path to get some attention... and the blue of the sky reflected in the water all around.
This was also a nice opportunity to photograph the set of matching béret and shawlette that I'd just finished making.
The béret, which I made first in late December, is the Crochet Basque Hat by Drops Designs, with a very interesting stitch pattern. Le patron est aussi disponible en français... :)
I was finding the original model a bit too bulky for my taste, so I chose a yarn in a lighter weight than recommended (Aran instead of Super Bulky) and a crochet hook in size 7 instead of 8.
I made the béret larger than the pattern - first because my gauge was smaller for the reason stated above, and because I wanted a snood-like béret to accommodate the buns I usually wear when going out.
The pattern starts decreasing at round 11. Instead, I continued increasing twice:
Rd 11: As Rd 9, but start with 11 ch; in pattern, chain 7 instead of 6
Rd 12: As Rd 10
Rd 13: As Rd 9, but start with 12 ch; in pattern, chain 8 instead of 6
Rd 14: As Rd 10.
Rd 15: As Rd 11, and I then followed the pattern.

Once I'd made the béret, I decided I wanted a matching scarf. I had half a skein left from the two skeins I'd bought for the béret, so I got 3 more (or rather, Seb got them for me as a Christmas gift ;)). In the end, I settled not on a scarf, but a shawlette. The pattern is another freebie - the South Bay Shawlette, by Lion Brand.
This shawlette came along amazingly quickly. Of course, it helps that I used a 8-mm hook and that my yarn was bigger than the recommended fingering! :) Still - it took less than a week to make, and a busy week at that (I only crocheted it during part of a Sunday afternoon and a few evenings). This is a mindless project once you’ve started on the first few rows.
The stitch is very pretty, I think :) Here is the shawl on my white sofa to show the stitch pattern better. I did not even block it - I was in too great a hurry to use it!
My idea is not to wear it as a shawl, though, but scrunched up around my neck, like this:

The yarn for both is Carpe Diem by Lang, a soft, warm merino and alpaca blend. I used 5 skeins for both projects - 150 yards (1 skein and a half) for the béret, and 350 yards for the shawl.

I didn't need a coat that day, but the turquoise makes a nice contrast with my purple coat, which is why I chose this shade.
If it is any consolation to those of you dealing with wintry weather (and even snow in some cases!), and possibly gaping at the pictures, the temperatures are now back to freezing in the morning. The sun and impossibly blue skies are still here, though, which is what matters to me!

OK - back to work...
Have a great weekend, everyone :)


KarenV said...

What a beautiful set! The colour is a dead match for GAST's Brethren Blue, which I've been stitching with a lot this week :) At least you have sunshine, it's grey and dull again here, which is very unmotivating :\

Tracy said...

Hi, Isabelle--Happy New Year! Such a nice walk & getaway close to home, I like that. And just LOVE the new beret and shawlette--that teal color is GORGEOUS and suits you so well. Wishing you all the very best of health & happiness, peace & joy in 2011! :o) ((HUGS)) Oh, if you get a chance, stop by--I'm having a fun Valentine gift giveaway from this weekend!

Jali said...

Ah, I don't think I even wished anyone properly on my blog for the new year. It's nice to see such a beautiful place even in pictures and to know that you are writing from there. Why do I feel like trying harder at crochet every time I visit your blog? This time the shawl in the picture keeps smiling back at me...Have a lovely new year Isabelle!

Little Hunting Creek said...

What a beautiful color and such a pretty design

cyberphenicia said...

Très bonne année Isabelle. Ton nouvel ensemble en tricot est très joli. Quelle chance de pouvoir profiter de la douceur du sud en janvier! Profite de ces moments de break bien nécessaires au milieu d'un emploi du temps bien chargé.

Jennifer said...

Flamingoes? Really? And they can stand when it gets so cold at night? Such beautiful scenery and a lovely beret and scarf set. I also love, love, love that Cosmopolitan Dress from the previous post. Happy New Year to you also.

Sigrid said...

Happy new year Isabelle. What beautiful color for your beret and shawl. And the weather so warm you don't need a coat, I'm longing for that.

Rebecca said...

So pretty! and you're a gorgeous model for those beautiful oeuvrages.
it was nice last weekend wasnt it - bet you're geting a lot of use out of your coat and scarf and hat now though, huh?
i was wandering how on earth i missed that gorgeous coat and then saw it was in 2009 - that explains it. it's absolutely perfect - i cant believe someone could make something like that (silly comment i know,!
hope you had fun at the tricothe yesterday.

Summerset said...

What fun, it looks like it was a nice little break from your very busy schedule. The blue pieces are very pretty and look lovely on you.

Karoline said...

They're gorgeous, congratulations

The Slapdash Sewist said...

You are really making me jealous with your backdrop here. I carried my bike up the stairs for the season--how I wish I was cycling to the beach (which would take me a couple days from my house, lol). Gorgeous set in my favorite color!

Shashi Nayagam said...

Happy New Year to you too Isabelle. What a beautiful part of the country you live in and your beret and shallet are beautiful.

pinky said...

J'espère que tu n'as pas manqué de visiter l'abbaye de villeneuve lès maguelone!
En tout cas merci pour ces photos qui me rappellent la gardiole de mon enfance :)
(pour l'anecdote, il y a une rue des éléphants d'Hannibale à vic la gardiole... ils sont surement passés pas là !!)

valérie said...

Cela fait un moment que je ne commentais pas bien qu'étant une lectrice de longue date .... Cet ensemble est absolument magnifique ! La couleur est sublime ! Bravo !

sissy135 said...

bravo! moi aussi je debute le meme modele en rouge carminé, mais je vois que tu as reussi un beret assorti , puis je avoir un diagramme ne comprennant pas l'anglais , merci pour ce joli blog je continue ma visite . sissi