Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sky Blue Lace

Have you ever wanted a pattern that's good for working while traveling? I have. I favor shawls for this, for several reasons:
  • One yarn: no cutting, and therefore no need for airplane-contraband scissors.
  • One piece: new sewing, therefore no need for needles / clips which are easy to lose.
  • Lightweight yarn: easy to fit in a purse or carry-on.
  • Short instructions: easy to keep track of.
Enter Alandaluz. It's a one-skein, top-down fichu with wings, so it sits securely on the shoulders without bunching or folding like a traditional triangle. It has two lace patterns in the body and an easy sideways edging, but they're fairly intuitive, so it's not necessary to refer to the chart so much. I assembled the lace patterns to look like feathers, with quills at the center and feathery bits at the outside. After blocking it, I also see a resemblance to a dragonfly - also appropriate! Sky-blue yarn just seemed right. (It's Cherry Tree Hill Suri Lace Semi Solid, 100% suri alpaca, in case you were wondering. I've used it before, and it's an absolute dream with only one caveat: it doesn't like to be frogged. The alpaca fibers stick together.)

You want to talk about World-Wide Knit in Public Day (or week)? It's got nothing on me. :) I worked on this fichu in cars, planes, two airports and three countries. As for the name, Alandaluz is Spanish for "winged light." I borrowed the name from the eponymous (and now, sadly, closed) resort in Ecuador. Their etymology: “luz” is light; an “ala” is a wing; adding an ending to the noun makes “wing” into “winged” to connect the two. I've been informed (thank you, Marie-Christine) that the word is also related to the Arabic Al-Andalus, which may be derived from either the Germanic Vandal tribe or the Arabic name for Atlantis. That's entirely possible. I love that the word means something in multiple languages. For more fascinating explanations, see the Wikipedia article here. Given that the region of Andalus covered modern-day Spain, maybe it’s a multi-lingual pun? One of the sections in the article refers to a Berber dynasty called the Almohads. There's a certain similarity in that name to the Spanish "almohada," but I doubt they had anything to do with pillows ... at least not linguistically.

So, there's your new pattern for the day. Another lace fichu is in the works, coming soon. Meanwhile, happy news - do you remember Peter Lorre, the Mysterious? It was originally published by Sanguine Gryphon, which has since divided and become two separate yarn companies - The Verdant Gryphon and Cephalopod Yarns. In addition to the sources of Ravelry and Patternfish, as of today Peter Lorre is now available through Cephalopod. They also have some other great patterns, with presumably more to come. Check 'em out!

Have a fantastic day. Happy knitting. :)

Alandaluz Fichu - $5.95
Ravelry | Patternfish

Peter Lorre, the Mysterious - $6.00
Ravelry | Patternfish | Cephalopod Yarns

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