Tonight is a nice, calm Thursday night after a very windy day. Unusual for San Diego. I feel fine, listening to Julian Bream's classical guitar.
I was out of town for a few days, but I'm home now. A friend came into town and wanted to see Palm Springs, so he said he'd pay expenses if Dan and I drove him. So I had a nice little mini-vacation in the desert. The desert is lovely right now, not too hot yet. This time of year it is usually already hot, but not this year. Since people schedule vacations bassed on the usual weather, the town was empty, even though it was nice and cool. Kind of Twilight Zoney.
On the way there we went over the "Palms to Pines" road, the one everyone remembers from the movie, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World". We had a great meal at Agua Caliente casino, biggest, fattest shrimp I've seen in a long time.
Then we had a great breakfast at Elmer's. The homemade biscuits are great. The classic Dutch Baby combo was amazing. http://www.elmers-restaurants.com/images/menu/ELCoreMenuBrkfstSB.pdf
Date ice cream at Shields is a must do for us, too.
We stopped in the Red Earth Casino just for a break by the Salton Sea.
On the way back we went over Borrego Springs, then up the Banner grade to Julian. More intense switchbacks.
Desert to pine forest in a brief drive.
Julian was cold, 36 degrees. We had a great dinner at the Rong Branch Cafe. The chicken livers appetizer was fun, Dan liked his trout and I enjoyed a pulled pork bun with Bumsteer BBQ Sauce (they sell it there, too). Very good. The homemade Apple pie was great, of course.
Enough about our mini-vacation. Now, let's talk about wet blocking. This shawl needs to be wet blocked.
We washed it and put some conditioner in to the rinse water and let it soak at least 20 minutes to make sure that the water had penetrated to the very core of the thread. We had tea and talked and in no time it was ready. We lifted it out of the water and let it drain. Then we rolled it up in a towel to remove excess water. We zipped it into a 1 gallon Zippy bag for transport.
Then we went to a park where they had a 10-foot table big enough to stretch the shawl out (it turned out 8 feet long after blocking). We laid a sheet on the table to keep everything clean and stretched it out until it looked like lace. Then we pinned the center top, and then the bottom center. Then we worked out way out to the ends of the "wings" pinning each point out with a rust-less safety pin. This yarn is so fine that the dry time is next to nothing. We left in the fresh breeze to dry in no time at all.
When it was absolutely 100% dry we folded it up in the sheet and took it to Heathers, where we unpinned it stretched on the back of her sofa. No joke on the 100% dry part. If you unpin them too soon, the blocking doesn't hold and they collapse into their unblocked state again. Ask me how I know.... Well, I got it right this time.
Ta-da, all unpinned. Lily of the Vally branches waving back and forth. Hearts in the edging. Points with beads.
Next time we will talk about the final stitching of the corners.
Lilo is helping me post again tonight. She is strutting back and forth rubbing against my legs and wants to be sure I tell you how beautiful and silky soft and white she is. OK, Lilo, I told 'em.
Julie and Lilo