Sunday, March 28, 2010

More on the red shawl, Phat's Pho

Hello everyone,

It's a beautiful spring Sunday in San Diego, sunny, clear, warm, and breezy.  Birds chirping, flowers blooming, trees budding out in fresh spring green, tiny pink roses on my porch.    I got a good night's rest and I feel great.

I've been getting emails asking for more details on the pretty red shawl I gave my sister.  Gay Fakkema made the "shades of red" sock yarn I used.  Not so much difference as to show,  just enough to provide depth of color.  Gay is so happy at how it turned out, she asked me if she could use my sister's pic in the shawl.    Evva Gay (number 1 sister) said, sure, use the pic, she'd love to be famous, LOL.   Gay can be reached at  Lamzie Divy Woolens on Etsy, on a web site and on a blog of the same name.    Just Google it and you'll find all three.    This is the sock yarn she sells, Jacob sheep and a little nylon, I think.  Firm twist.  Yes, it was 1 skein and a little more than half of the next.  I'm guessing 1 2/3.   Gay puts up a nice big skein, almost 400 yards, if I remember right.  For details on the yarn, you'd better ask Gay.  I gladly 100% recommend her sock yarn.  Nice on the hands to work with, too.

Before I blocked the shawl, it was small and woolly and cuddly and warm.    An entirely different animal.    When I washed the shawl in shampoo in prep for blocking it,  I used a whole mini-"hotel bottle" of hair conditioner in the rinse water (Sheraton mint and lavender, LOL) which I did NOT rinse out.    This makes the yarn slip easily on itself and the blocking comes out so much evener and bigger and drapier and prettier.   Otherwise the yarn grabs itself and impedes the blocking.  If there is a bit too much conditioner in the yarn, no problem, it rinses out at the next washing.  Also, I think the moths do not like the herbal conditioner so much, so....  that helps with them, too.  BTW, the red color did not bleed much in the wash, so my compliments to Gay's dying skills.  Now is is big and floaty and drapes elegantly.  The pattern really pops.  You can actually see all those nupps in detail that I worked so hard on.

The pattern is Evelyn Clark's Swallowtail.  Free on her web site,  Size 9 needle for sock yarn opens it right up.  Thank you, Evelyn.

Right now I am busy with a beautiful snow white shawl in very fine merino yarn (smaller than sewing thread) in Estonian Lily of the Valley pattern for my nephew's bride this fall. It's coming along nicely.  I think I will use the edging from Swallowtail or one from the Estonian knitting book on the bridal shawl.  They want to marry 10-10-10, so I'm in speed knitting mode.   When I finish the bridal shawl, I want to make another one in Gay's sock yarn.  Maybe deep regal purple or Greek Islands blue.  She has very intense colors.  Assuming the bridal shawl has not made me blind, LOL.  Well, at least it's white and easy to see that way, even if the sheer number of tiny stitches on the barely-there yarn is crazy-making.

Today Dare took me to lunch at Phat Restaurant in Kearny Mesa, 4633 Convoy.  Wow!   It was great!!!  
And handy to the SGI Community Center.  We had the pho buffet.  If you love pho like I do, this place is amazing.  I can't wait to bring my grandson, Nathan, who is pho-crazy.  There is one long table of appetizers: roll ups, dumplings, Chinese red roasted Cha-sha pork, lettuce cups with spicy chicken, different kinds of chicken wings, shrimpies, Hue dumplings, etc.  Many, many appetizer dishes, more than you can try all in one visit.

Then you help yourself at the pho bar.  You put whatever you want (very thinly sliced raw meat, cooked and sliced tendon, noodles, sprouts, herbs, etc) into your bowl and then choose the boiling hot broth to ladle over.  The hot soup instantly cooks the meat and turns the whole thing totally yummy.  There are 4 kinds of soup to choose from: rich beef, spicy beef, rich chicken and another beef identified with a label in Vietnamese, so I do not know the difference on that one.  I had half spicy beef and half rich beef.  To-die-for good, and not expensive.

Speaking of food, my husband has started a foodie blog, so check him out. 

My favorite track on this dance CD, Nine levels of consciousness, is "You are perfect, just the way your are".  I'm dancing in my seat.

Lilo is sleeping beside me.  She loves to help me blog. 

Have a great afternoon,

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