I blocked the Beachy Blue Swallowtail and I'm fairly happy with it. It's a bit small but it's still a pretty colour and the yarn became very drapey after soaking, which is nice. I sort of wish I had done another repeat of the first pattern but not so much that it's spoiling it for me.
You can see below how the buds pattern flows into the lily of the valley after I upsized the stitch count of the lilies to a 12-stitch pattern. I think it may be because of my cleverness that the third pattern doesn't flow properly and is a tiny bit too tight. Anyway. I still like it and have no plans to give it away.
I might even wear it.
I reached the shoulder of the first front of Billie and expected to cast off, but then discovered that I had a huge chunk of hood to do. It's done now. I had thought the hood was knitted on afterwards by picking up stitches from the back and fronts, but it isn't.
That piece is about 43 inches long. I've started on the right front now. Still love it.
I think I know what pattern I might use with the lovely Mamba colourway that I bought from Fyberspates at Woolfest last year. On this hunch I wound the first skein into ahem, three balls. This is nothing to do with Fyberspates but is entirely down to my poor housekeeping and the luxurious habits of my moths, who insist on the finest Kidsilk Haze and on this occasion, the softest blue-faced leicester wool.
I discovered that the colours look utterly fabulous in sunshine (I wound in the morning) and just sort of ordinarily fabulous later in the day and by electric light. I have done a little swatch but a) I might change my mind and b) I can't find it.
One of my niecelets is starting university this month and I thought she might like to have a friend to take with her.
Can you tell what it is yet?
While all this was going on I watched a very good Japanese film called Departures, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2009 and was recommended to me by Valerie of Idiosyncratic Fashionistas. I sort of hesitate to tell you what it's about but the synopsis on IMDB begins, 'A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals...' There's lots of life in too though, and some nice warm human beings.
The cellist and his wife live in the loveliest house too. I realize that might sound shallow but sometimes one of the pleasures of foreign films is simply seeing how other people live, and how this young couple live in the house which his mother left him is an important part of the movie.
I also watched a film which is unashamedly shallow and totally delightful - Priceless or Hors de Prix. Audrey Tatou is in it, again, and it is frothy, frivolous and angst-free. After an hour and a half of beautiful photography, luxury hotels on the Cote d'Azur, gorgeous clothes (Audrey wears more than one Chanel frock) and some fairly ghastly people, we arrive at the conclusion that love is more important than money, which is always good to know.