Saturday, February 11, 2012

In All Humility and Anticipation

"Life is a long lesson in humility" - James M. Barrie

Well, I had fully intended my next post to be about my stunning victory with Macarons, and have images of adorable little dessert sandwiches in pretty colors to grace my blog. But sometimes we need a kick in the ego to remind us we're still human.

image credit: Colette Obrien

The Macarons did not come out anywhere near what I was hoping they would be (think pancake sandwiches instead), but they still tasted good. If you do invest in the book I mentioned in my previous post, avoid doing the "easiest, fastest method" for mixing them - the key seems to be in whipping, or mixing the batter to make it "fluffy" enough. So, go for either the French, Italian or Swiss method, and do this on a day when you have nothing else going on. Next March, I'm hoping to make the following two combinations to mark St. Patrick's Day, and not have them turn into pancakes again:
  • Mint shells with Chocolate-Mint Ganache
  • Sesame shells with Maple Bacon Bourbon filling

Meanwhile, on the knitting front, my head is full of visions of lace shawls. Besides the Wine and Roses shawl I'm currently making, this shawl is next on the knitting to-do list:

image credit: Susan Pandorf

This is the Evenstar Shawl that I wrote about in a previous post. It's based on the character of Arwen from the Lord of the Rings books. I have the yarn, but need to get my hands on the right kind of circular needles. This pattern calls for about 3000 seed beads which are to go just along the edge, but since they don't really show up all that much, and don't appear anywhere else in the shawl, I will just do without them.

I've been wanting to make a real Shetland Lace shawl for quite a while, but patterns are scarce, and many of them are outside of my skill level. I wandered through the pattern database multiple times without having any luck finding a Shetland-esque shawl within my skill level that had a downloadable pattern. And then, after a second glance, I settled on this one:

image credit: Nazanin S. Fard

The Tahoe Shawl. It's a triangle-shape with lots of lace knitting, and pearl beads methodically scattered all over it. Besides the eyelets, there are beads at the base of each "Tulip" and at the tips of the lace ruffle at the edge. I played with the idea of knitting this in a dark color (such as a Sapphire blue or Emerald green) to set off the pearl beads more, but the delicacy of it leans more towards a Natural, or Off-White shade. Besides, Shetland shawls are devoid of color, and even though this is not a real Shetland pattern, the effect is close enough.

So many shawls, so little time...

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