Another pair of Skedaddle socks, pattern by Lena Gjerald. You may have seen these ones in grey, but this time I've gone for something more spring-like with Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn in 'Teacup'. That colourway is very hard to get hold of at the moment as it is so popular, but I found mine at A Yarn Story, and as I write they do have it in stock. Here it is in close-up:
This is Just Knit It by Susan Ashcroft, a wide but shallow (62" x 11") triangular scarf/shawl that requires you to cast on three stitches and then knit into the front and back of the first and last stitch of every row. That's all there is to it! The pattern gives instructions for an optional edging, but I made mine without, and of course you could knit it in any weight of yarn and to any size, so it's versatile as well as mindless.
These are Skedaddle by Lena Gjerald - of the A Wee Bit Knitty* podcast and blog - made in Osiris Sock 'It was a dark and stormy night' from Great Woolly Owl, with a little Madelinetosh Tosh Sock 'Ink' as the contrast. They were a very straightforward knit with a twisted rib cuff and an easy braid/cable pattern running down the back, and I've already cast on another pair.
*Look out for Gustav, Lena's lovely flat-coated retriever.
I was in Oxford for a few days last week* and I popped into Oxford Yarn Store for a look, coming away with a wonderfully soft skein of handspun Jacob from a local flock. Mr. C. has already nabbed this and asked for a neckwarmer or short scarf, and his wish is my command.
From the artisanal to the mass-produced, and a ball of West Yorkshire Spinners Bluefaced Leicester DK 'Owl' which I found at Maple Tree Yarns. I've seen so many people making socks out of the WYS Country Birds range lately, and very nice they are, and as I've never used self-patterning yarn before I thought I'd start with this one. Incidentally, Maple Tree Yarns gave me extremely speedy service and their postage charge was very reasonable.
Socks for Mr. C. He has big feet, so I took the speedy option and used a heavier weight yarn, the very cushy Cash DK from Mellifera. The colour is Terra and looks olive green in some lights and a rich loamy brown in others, and the pattern is Cabin Socks from The Knitter's Book of Wool by Clara Parkes, shown in earlier iterations here and here.
The Snældan yarn from The Island Wool Company in the shade Midnight is a true dark blue, captured best in the picture directly above, and a brief soak in Navia Wool Care has made it soften and bloom without losing any of its character.
I spoke to Karina Westermann, the shawl's designer, at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival the other day and thanked her for such an enjoyable knit; I'm tempted to make another straightaway as it was such a soothing, rhythmic piece to work on and I love the end result.
I went to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival this morning. It's the first wool extravaganza I've ever attended so I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I was as prepared as I could be with a list of shops I especially wanted to visit and yarn requirements for specific projects in mind.
Here's my haul:
Whistlebare Yeavering Bell 4ply (Fine Kid Mohair/Wensleydale), All's Shipshape.
Not true to colour - in reality it's more of a teal/turquoise than it appears here - this is the Present Cowl by Mademoiselle C, made in Lord of Silk Aran (merino/silk) from the Countess Ablaze Odyssey Trail collection, colourway He will not long be absent*.
Karina describes it as "a simple, rhythmic knit designed to give you comfort both during its making and afterwards", and I can attest to the soothing, meditative qualities of the knitting, as once the pattern is established it's intuitive, and as Karie says, rhythmic, and that appeals greatly to this maker.
I'm using the suggested wool, Snældan 2-ply from The Island Wool Company in Midnight Blue which is very characterful, and pleasant to have running through the hands, and I must be around the half way point now, keen to finish but just as keen to cast on another.
above is a sample of Southdown which the ever generous Deb included in my package along with a lovely stitch marker and the makings of a cup of tea!
So far, I've spun the blue and white fuzzling and I'm about to tackle a rolag, and it is all great fun and very absorbing. I happened to read an article yesterday which mentioned the myth that if you spin your own yarn you will buy less yarn. The more likely situation is that you will buy just as much yarn as you did before only you'll have less time to knit it because you'll be busy spinning. I can see the truth in that.
Having neglected my spindle - or 'gravity bobbin', as Mr. C. calls it - for a twelvemonth, I got it out the other day, picked up where I left off, and gradually found my technique improving, so I wound off the yarn and decided to knit with it. It's still very uneven but has fewer kinks than I feared, and produced a respectable enough fabric for a beginner and a small test piece. More importantly, this minor triumph has encouraged me to stick at it and experiment with different fibres, so maybe there will be some proper yarn to show in due course. I'll be amazed and delighted if there is.