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The Heat is On!

I'm in Miami (well, Miami Beach, technically), and I've brought my knitting with me. Miami's not really a knitting sort of place (though I found a yarn store in Coral Gables and will visit it next Saturday), no doubt owing to the outrageously warm temperatures and complete lack of any practical reason for knitted garments whatsoever. I suppose Miamiites (Miamioans? Miamiers? Miamiians?) could knit Christmas stockings, or small stuffed animals, or the occasional cotton dishcloth, but that's about it. The prevailing wardrobe seems to be gauze robes belted at the waist, or, for men, swim suits.

I'm trying to take it easy while on vacation, so while I've brought along some semi-challenging projects, they've languished in the bottom of the bag, and all I've knit has been my Magic Ball* scarf. Here's my Magic Ball in media res:

You can see I'm working on a blueish teal now, with some blood red beneath, and then something whitish, and so it goes, endlessly surprising me since I can no longer remember which yarns went together to make this.

I've cast on for a scarf, did my best guess as to how many stitches would resemble 6-ish feet, and then I just started knitting. When I hit a particularly thin weight by comparison I got creative and tossed in a slight lace section; when I had white above red I varied my pattern to be k3, slip 1, just for fun. I can do anything I like, and I'll still end up with some variant on a vertically-striped scarf. It's very Zen.

I don't spend all my time knitting (or at the beach): today I visited the Wolfsonian, a fabulous museum dedicated primarily to 20th century decorative arts. It has a spectacular collection of Art Deco, which one might expect given its location (South Beach is a protected neighbourhood because of its many Art Deco hotels), but it also featured an exhibition on MITA (Manifattura Italiana Tappeti Artistici, aka the Italian Artistic Carpet Manufactory). Founded in 1926, this company mostly created woven material (tapestries for ocean liners, drapery for ocean liners, scarves for wealthy women as they travelled on ocean liners), and it was fascinating. I was particularly pleased by how well I, and Rhéal (Mr. Uncle Stashley) matched the tapestries.

At the end of the day we wandered north, into Miami Beach proper (rather than ultra-trendy South Beach) but discovered some of our favourite haunts--the glamorous old Fountainebleau hotel (by designer Morris Lapidus, who essentially invented that Disney Tomorrowland look), and the brand new Faena Hotel which featured 6 outrageously gorgeous new murals by artist Juan Gatti:

Tomorrow it's off to the extravagance of the Vizcaya Manor and Gardens, and then a Caribbean cruise, where we'll visit other destinations who have no particular need to knit. Maybe there'll be some thriving artisan hammock-design subculture? Fingers crossed!

Off the Needles:

  • Sea Grass Scarf by Janina Kallio (I did it in time for Christmas, woohoo!) shown below

  • a linen dishcloth, Eloominator's Diagonal Knit dishcloth by Jana Trent (also in time for Christmas)

On the Needles (and actively being worked on):

  • Sophie's Universe crochet project #1 (Part 18: Round 111, almost done--it ends at round 113! (And then I add extra rounds, to turn it into a queen-size bedspread))

  • Ridiculous Giant Blanket, blog post to follow about this.

  • Persian Dreams Blanket (round 1 of Hexagon 6)

  • A Dream of Steam and Brass (it's a scarf/kerchief/shawlette--I'm making it bigger than patterned--for a colleague. I'm basically finished it as written, but I'm carrying on in pattern for as far as a second ball will take me)

  • GGN Norwegian Ski Sweater (finished the torso, currently well above the cuffs of Arms One and Two (I'm knitting both at once--but on separate needles, I'm not that clever yet))

  • Sophie's Universe crochet project #2 (Part 4: Round 32)


*Magic Ball = a whole bunch of leftover bits of yarns, that you think go together, nothing too thick or too narrow, tied together and wound in a ball.

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