Emma Shrug

Hmmm.  I am not so sure about this one.  I think much more fun to knit than to wear perhaps.  Time will tell.
The lace pattern was a fairly easy one.  A 20 row repeat that made sense and could easily tell if a mistake was made and correct quickly, so basically no ripping out.  The pattern has both written instructions and a chart.  It is basically a long rectangle, knitted from cuff to cuff.  I shortened the length of the XS by 4 inches and feel I could have shortened it even more.  I used needles sizes 1 and 3, rather than the 2 and 4 the pattern called for.
 The yarn is the sweetly named Sparrow by Quince and Co.  100% organic linen that is soft enough while knitting, but being linen it didn't have the fun bounce of wool.
And here's the back.  I don't know what to say about it.  I think it makes me look hunched.
 Here it is on my Ravelry page.

bee story

This weekend we were visited by forty thousand bees.  We got swarmed.  It was absolutely beautiful.
Twenty ladies were at my house for an afternoon tea, sipping champagne, nibbling goodies and watching a bride-to-be open her presents, a very elegant little gathering.  Suddenly we all turned to look out the window to see an enormous swarm of bees circling through our mulberry tree making the most tremendous humming racket.
I am not afraid of honeybees in the slightest, and daily work side by side in the garden with many bees and love and appreciate them.  But, to see and hear a thick swarm just feet from your door is eerie.  Not scary, or frightening, but...I don't think I have the words really, it was just a big wow experience.  The ladies-at-tea were all speechless.  If I had had my wits about me I would have taken a picture of the swarm AND the looks on the ladies faces.  ALL jaws were dropped.
My across the street neighbor was my first call, he had kept bees in the past, I knew he would know what to do.  By the time he walked over 40,000 bees had gathered on a branch 10 feet up into a cluster the size of a basketball, with the new queen in the center and all the workers and drones clinging to her.   He thought they were settling there for a short time, as few as 10 hours and to up to 5 days, while bee scouts looked for a new place to build their hive.  In the meantime, he called his brother who kept bees and was very happy to come over and capture them and the queen and move them to his property.
I read up on the internet and found the most interesting swarm info here.  It's been a most fascinating experience!  Live action nature doings in our backyard.   It makes me want to see The Bee Movie again, which I dearly loved and recommend to any age group for a fun summer movie.
Anyway, wow, I am pretty honored to have this giant show in my backyard and I had to share!
On the knitting front, I have made a wooly u-turn and started knitting Aislin out of Rowan Kidsilk Aura.  What makes me change gears and start a winter project when I am working on a half dozen summery projects already?  I don't have the answer except I cannot seem to ignore HER emails.  Do you get them too?  Any luck ignoring her?  Me neither.  Especially when she offers free shipping.  Gah.
The beautiful Aislin above, photo courtesy of Kim Hargreaves.

And on the house-cleaning front, I have just cleaned out my freezer.  I LOVE the tidy look of a clean freezer.  Opening the door of a clean freezer will bring me monumental joy, until, you know, when it gets rumpled again.

dinner party

We had a dinner party in the garden last week.  There are 12 in our gourmet group and I set up two tables.  So pretty, I have to share.

This table has my 30 year old blue and white willow, Le Jacquard linens and my aunt's pretty Lenox stemware.  I love that I inherited them, they are a copy of an old Williamsburg pattern.

 

This table below has the discontinued and gorgeous sage green Arte Italica Portofino.  I only have 6 dinner plates and 8 soup plates and am on the hunt for more.   Also on this table I put out my rarely used  Lalique Langeais stemware that I see is over $300 a stem these days.  I will never understand how I thought to put these on my bridal registry 38 years ago.  I can only guess I must have thought myself as a very fancy miss.   They are soooooo pretty, but you can imagine that they don't get replaced when they are broken.  Boo.


We had a beautiful view of the veggie garden.

 


And had pretty flowers on the table.


But that's the last of my pictures, because as soon as the guests come and I have a glass of wine, my picture taking abilities abandon me. 

So let me tell you how this gourmet group thing works.  There are 6 couples, we've done this for close to 30 years, and while we have known each other a long time, I think this would be a great way to meet a new circle and build a community of friends.

Even though we see each other often, we meet for this dinner about 3 to 4 times a year.  When you are the host, you pick a theme, choose the recipes and mail them out.  The host and hostess make the main course.  This is harder than you may think, as over the years we have "done" almost every cuisine in the world, Chinese, Indian, French, Russian, etc.  Last time it was at my house I had "The Last Dinner on the Titanic" and really did my research and created the exact last dinner served in First Class.  Another time I had a summer "Sunflower Dinner" and planted masses of sunflowers that year and had vases and bowls of them all over the house.

This year we did Tapas, as we had all just been to Barcelona and all loved the food in that beautiful city.  I found this site and easily picked out all my recipes.  In the kitchen right before dinner there was a flurry of activity as everyone put the finishing touches on their dish.  We are all pretty good cooks and do enjoy cooking, so it was a lot of fun.

That night everything was just great, the weather, the setting, the food, and especially my very lovely guests.

at least we had lunch


Today my husband had an early doctor appointment in San Francisco.  We decided that after that we would go to the MOMA and see the latest exhibit, The Steins Collect, Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde and then lunch afterwards.
 
We just returned from France and Spain visiting great museums and art, plus I'm just finishing The Paris Wife, a book where Gertrude Stein is a key character.  A perfect exhibit for me, er, us.

We parked, walked over and saw the closed sign.  MOMA is closed on Wednesday.  Grrr.  Why did I not know this? Doesn't Wednesday seem like a stange day to take off? (My husband didn't seem so disappointed).  So, we took a taxi to the Ferry Bluilding and had lunch at The Slanted Door and had this view from our table.
(The Bay Bridge, this shot is snatched from the internet)

After lunch we ambled through the Ferry Building and bought some Manchego cheese and quince paste (for a party this weekend) at the Cowgirl Creamery and salty dark chocolate (for moi) at Sharffenbergers.  The doctor's office and missed exhibit had been forgotten.