Impasse

I found myself at a stalling point as I’ve been overthinking how to knit the lace border for my Nurmilintu (Little Bird Lullaby) shawl. Finally I have a plan.

Nurmilintu (Little Bird Lullaby) shawl

In the grand scheme of things, the way I finish a shawl is of infinitesimal importance, so I decided to just get on and finish it, one way or another (remember, “the cult of done”). I allow myself one more week to get this done, which should be more than enough. Not sure whether I’ll block it or when, as I don’t have a suitably large mat for it.

The original yarn, the fabulous Dragonfly shade of Dazzle by The Natural Dye Studio, is surely not enough to complete the three repeats in the lace section and that wool is sadly no longer produced. Shame because:

“Dazzle is an unbelievably soft wool, with an amazing sheen and really is “the Best of British”! This gorgeous yarn comes from pedigree British Blue faced Leicester sheep which is spun and then dyed by us here in the UK.”

One option would have been to use another yarn in three similar shades, but they are quite less intense and the texture is more sheepy, so they might not work well together. You can see the details in this post. What do you think?

Another option was to knit a different border.

Finally, I decided to call it a day: proceed with the original border, using the original yarn by making only one repeat in the section. Hopefully I will just have enough and I’ve not just put myself into more trouble! Living dangerously.

So finished object #2 is going to be the Nurmilintu shawl. Hold me accountable.

Leg warmers

On the background I’ve been working on a pair of leg warmers, perfect for the cold season and working from home: more layering, warmer, less heating used. I’m currently using some leg warmers I knit ages ago, but it’ll be nice to have another pair.

I just realised I never blogged them when finished.. these are the old ones:

and these are the new in-the-making ones:

While ago I made knee warmers for my elder father in alpaca yarn. The yarn is really warm, soft and nice, but it has very little “memory” (it will not bounce back as alpaca has little elastic properties), ending up not staying properly in place. I just had the idea to repurpose them as leg warmers too!

It’s nice to have woolly, own-made accessories to keep warm – a relatively green option to reduce heating costs.

“relatively green” because it depends on the materials used (natural wool vs synthetic yarn), their sourcing (local vs produced across the globe with huge mileage footprint) and producing techniques (more or less environmentally friendly).

I often buy vintage wool yarn (you can find plenty of unused vintage yarn on sale), so the yarn is from already used resources rather than using up new resources. Or vintage fabrics. Do you use vintage or upcycled supplies? What projects you made with them?

Today’s the day

Finished object #1

One down, let me present the next in line – you might remember from old posts: Little Bird Lullaby (the pattern is Nurmilintu by Heidi Alander). 

I want it done before this month moves on. It only misses the border, which is where I stalled because I wanted to make a different one from the pattern.

I’m not into lacy, pointy edges and found some more-me alternatives in one of the many knitting books in my library: The Complete Book of Knitting by Barbara Abbey. I want a knitted border, not too frilly but with a nice motif, perhaps something like a leaf or so (I love plants), that can be knitted on without sewing and follows the skewed shape of the shawl. Easy, she said.

Yarn shopping

Recently I had a bit of a hard and tiring weekend dealing with teenaged relatives…and it left me with a bit of a weird mood.

On Sunday I was in a state that made me feel like doing a stint at yarn shopping (totally unneeded! Obviously).

So off I went, without the other half, to the LYS Loop in London.

They have a nice range of beautiful yarns, albeit rather expensive 😉

So this therapy session wasted a good deal of money. Luckily it doesn’t happen often!!!

Here”s a pic of the haul:

After filling up my basket with pretty yarns, I browsed through books and single patterns.

Loop’s Zabadoo shawl looks very nice – who knows what I will do with so many shawls…. if I knit it it will be with yarn from my collection as I dint fancy the colour combinations and really don’t need to spend £££ on a shawl!

At the shop they had a sample of the Oak Knot beanie knit in the very same shade as the one I was buying (like the one also pictured in the pattern) and the comfortable fit was perfect for my liking (I dislike tight beanies) and large head! So I grabbed that one too, because I yet don’t have enough patterns (lol)

And the skeins in details…

Eden Cottage Yarns Bowland DK in Yassop (British yarn):

La Bien Aimee Merino Singles in Sosu:

The Uncommon Thread BFL Light DK in Citrus Peel (orange) and Fern (green) – another British yarn:

Madeline Tosh Tosh DK in Deep (blue) and Patagonia (light blue):

Well, was adding yarn to my collection sensible? I don’t think so.

Did I feel better after the shopping “therapy”? Somewhat.

So maybe, while not rational, it was a good thing to do (one-off). My wallet tells me that it disagrees…

Next, some natural dyes and maybe new projects (or at least preparations for them)

Little Bird is growing

The Nurmilintu shawl (a little bird, alas a wee child, lullaby in Finnish) hit a standstill some time ago because there was a mistake in the stitches quite a while below.

After long pondering I decided to incorporate that as a “feature”. I didn’t fancy unraveling because the yarn is really slippery and thin, which most probably would result in me having to frog it all!

The shawl is for myself and I don’t mind this feature too much, I hope. This is how it looks after the first lace repeat:

I was happy to see progress after the standstill… when I realised that I may be short of yarn… eek!

I tried to couple the current yarn with others in my “collection” but the only one that seems to match the shades, albeit rather lighter in tones, is The Little Grey Sheep Hampshire, of which I had three mini skeins. This is a swatch next to the main knit (the most accurate colours are shown in the second photo):

It looks ok, but I’m not 100% convinced. What do you think?

Alternatively, I’ll be playing the yarn-chicken game, which I wouldn’t mind, being it not for the prospect of unravelling back some section to then include the new yarn – which I really wouldn’t want to do (it would be difficult to unravel this yarn safely).

So what do I do??

Next time, of yarn shopping therapy (terrible, I know) and natural dyes

An end, a begin… and a mistake

The Old Shale Shawl is finished and awaiting to be blocked. I promise it will happen some day!

The pattern by Amanda Clark is free and really easy to follow. I’m very happy with the finished object and it took me only 4 years… yep.

Short after the Nurmilintu Shawl was cast on, because I just couldn’t wait to try that pretty yarn. It’s Natural Dye Studio’s Dazzle, a British wool, 100% Bluefaced Leicester, in delicate shades of blues, greens and purples – very soft.

The first section before the lace is done

but obviously not everything could go well…

Sigh

See what happened?

That’s about 3/5 from the start. Mep

Whatever. It’ll get a lifeline (because this yarn is very slippery and would unravel to the next rows before I could blink) and hopefully I can recover from there. Not tonight though.

By the way, yes, I love blue and green, if you were wondering.

The weekend was overall quite productive and some tidy up was done, which leaves one with such a good feeling!

Some vintage yarn purchase also happened, because really, I need to build back some of my “collection”. And some antique silver – my new interest since I read some blog posts on silver items! Contagious. But expensive, so only done in wee bits. The best buy was a spoon with my initial engraved (well not mine originally but we share that letter), so now I feel very decadent to enjoy yoghurt with an antique silver spoon (1853) – that is when it arrives!

How was your weekend?