This and That

Random bits of my life

Archive for December 19th, 2012

Rainbow Shawl: Farewell and New Beginning

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 19, 2012

Last look at Rainbow shawl

Call me the Frog Queen (unraveling is called “frogging” on some lists because you “rip it, rip it”). Or call me Penelope…. 🙂

I’m starting over. I was worried about not having enough yarn for this shawl and the texture seemed a bit dense. Aade Lõng Artistic 8/2 is a springy, somewhat coarse yarn. Some people try soaking it in conditioner to soften it, but, hey, the sheep is what it is! And this sheep is no merino. A yarn with this texture holds up beautifully for outer garments and pieces that don’t require soft drape. The pattern is Garden Path Shawl, free from Elann yarns.

New beginning of rainbow shawl

The photo above shows the original shawl, worked on 4 mm needles, and the new swatch, on 5 mm. (I could possibly go a little higher, to 5.5 mm, but I don’t want the yarn-overs to look stringy.) I think the larger needle diameter suits the yarn better. The pattern will have a bit more defintion and the yarn is not going to start pilling or sag out of shape.

The yarn comes in a very long skein (over 900 meters). I divided it into three balls and wound them on a ball winder, carefully numbered so that I would knit them in sequence. The swatch (light blue) is worked from the outside of the third ball. The plan is that I will knit the yarn in reverse order — the third ball from the outside inwards, and the rest of the yarn directly from the old shawl itself. That way I bypass the stage of unraveling, skeining, and rewinding into balls, not to mention finding the splice where I joined the yarns.

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A Closer Look at the Ponte Vecchio, Florence

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 19, 2012

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

I realised that the earlier shots of the Ponte Vecchio (the postcard shots 🙂 ) don’t really give you a sense of what it’s like to cross the bridge on foot, so these photos will take you across the bridge itself. The first photo (above) shows the western side of the bridge (most of the photos I showed you earlier were taken from the east). The shops are built on the outside of the bridge, on supports. As I mentioned earlier, originally they were meat shops but the smell and the mess weren’t in keeping with the dignity of the only direct route between the Palazzo Pitti (residence of the Grand Dukes) and the Uffizi and Palazzo Vecchio (seats of government).

The next photo was taken from the sidewalk along the Arno River, walking towards the bridge.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

The middle of the bridge is an open square. There are no shops on the western side, where all those people are leaning against the wall.  On the eastern side, the Vasari Corridor (second floor) passes over an open arcade.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

Open square with a bust of Cellini, surround by fences covered with padlocks, despite the 200 Euro fine.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

Portico at the north end of the bridge. If you continue straight, under the arches, you are walking directly under the Vasari Corridor to the Uffizi. If you turn right, you are on the bridge.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

Walking over the bridge. Lots of tourists and lots of gold jewelry. You can see the open square ahead.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

Looking up at the Vasari Corridor on the eastern side of the bridge (Cellini is behind you). The original small windows were replaced at Mussolini’s orders with panoramic windows in 1939, so that Hitler could have a better view of the Arno.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

View looking back towards the north end, if you turn 180 degrees (it looks like I didn’t take any photos of the south end of the bridge, probably because it was rather non-descript, with jewelry shops on either side and expensive hotels and restaurants on the other side):

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

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