Ithilien meets Las Vegas

Las Vegas viewIt’s odd, how the fictional world created by J.R.R. Tolkien can seem so much closer to real life than the artificiality of the Las Vegas strip. I’ve been walking around that part of Las Vegas the past few days, and must say I can’t wait to get home! I know there is a more or less normal city just a few blocks away, but the Strip is such an assault on the senses that it’s hard to remember that there are peaceful green places where you can hear birds singing.

Knitting in my comfortable hotel room is a lovely respite from the busy, noisy days. The colors and design for the Ithilien Brocade Jacket are progressing. I’ve simplified the leaf pattern, and have settled on the final colors – almost! I have been considering some kind of fastening for the sweater; it will be a cardigan, and I did not want buttons or a zipper, and originally thought I’d just leave it open. But I started looking around, and think I have found the perfect solution!

Bronze Celtic Horse clasp

This Celtic horse design clasp has all the elements I wanted. The interlace echoes the cables, the bronze color is part of the design from the beginning, and the horses symbolize the heritage of the Tolkien character, Eowyn, who was the inspiration for this garment.

Ithilien swatchI am still working on design swatches, making final decisions before getting to the nuts and bolts of pattern charting; fine tuning the gauge, deciding on the stitch background for the cables (leaning toward seed stitch just now), thinking about putting shaped cable panels at each side, and deciding whether to work 3 or 4 rows of each cool color before changing to the next one in the sequence.

Now, just to set the record straight, there are some things I liked about Las Vegas. Here are a few, in no particular order:

  • the Bellagio fountains
  • some good information from the conference
  • a chair massage at the conference!
  • Caesar’s Palace statues and fountains
  • considerate cab drivers and talented shuttle bus drivers
  • making a new knitting friend and seeing her lovely work

Hippocamp fountain

Update: My home, that ‘peaceful green place’ I am longing for, is not so peaceful or so green since the violent wind, hail and rain storm this afternoon. It will take a while to repair the damage to buildings and possessions, and probably much longer for the plants to recover from the beating. And I’m still far away. But we are very thankful that it wasn’t much worse.

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