We left Denver for the second leg of our trip. Austin. After the arid climate of Denver, I really appreciate the moisture in Austin. Thankfully, the temperature was in the perfect range of 70-80 degrees F. It was mostly sunny with one day where we had thunderstorms. Nothing is better than warm rain. Well, warm rain when you aren't stuck outside. Some cooler areas had golf ball to soft ball size hail. I was happy to miss that!
Roger had a conference at the convention center downtown and I had my days to fill. I discovered two things: cafes with wi-fi and Hill Country Weavers.
It is a converted house full to the brim with yarn. I looked through every room a handful of times and probably still missed half of it. The best part is the friendly staff. This much helpfulness and generosity clearly starts at the top with Suzanne, the owner.
On Thursday, I stopped in to look around and found some lovely silk yarn from Habu for a shawl.
I asked for a recommendation on where I could find a cafe with wireless. What I got was a comfy sofa in the new hang-out at HCW called Knit Buzz. It is created to build community among knitters. Who doesn't love sitting around with other knitters? Have I mentioned how friendly Texans are?
That evening, Roger and I went to a local bar, Rio Rita, that has been converted from a biker bar to a crafty/scrabble crowd (funny story from the Austin Statesman newspaper). Thursday night is knitting night at Rio Rita. We crashed a group of friendly local nighters and had some beer. Afterward, a bit of research on the interwebs (love the new "experimental" search on Ravelry!) turned up the gorgeous Laminaria, the Estonian inspired shawl by Elizabeth Freeman in the current Knitty. Gotta love the beer, bar, knitting, and free wi-fi combo!
With a pattern in hand, I went back to HCW to show my meager progress and get another skein of yarn (I didn't have quite enough yardage). I ended up in Knit Buzz again visiting with Suzanne, Stella, and a crowd of regulars there for the official opening of Knit Buzz on Saturday. Wine, cupcakes, knitting, and socializing; I was feeling like family now. This is the LYS of my dreams. Too bad it is so far from home.
My Laminaria has had several starts.
My inner perfectionist was bugged, so I started over. The modification for symmetry was to do the 3-into-3 star on the left panel by k3tog-tbl, yo, k3tog-tbl. It is not perfectly symmetrical because of the twisted stitch, but also not terribly noticeable in this yarn.
The next chart perplexed me because the stitch count once it is completed is smaller than when it is started. What to do? Log in to Ravelry and look for a Laminaria group of course! A reply from the pattern author taught me three things: the stitch count is correct, the pattern looks symmetrical once blocked, and it looks way better when knit at a loose gauge. Was my gauge loose? Nope. I am on hold until I can find a yarn store in Southern Louisiana with Addi Turbos.
I have almost finished clue 2 of Mystic Light. I'll have a picture of that in the next post.
Meanwhile, here are some Texas wildflowers seen along the roadsides everywhere. They are a part of the legacy of the late Lady Bird Johnson.