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?

Change is the only certain thing in life

Usually my wool colour range is oriented towards cold, natural, or Christmassy shades – it has no ‘alternative’ colourways. I mentioned in a recent post that change is the only certain thing in life and we ought to embrace it. Yesterday, on a rather low-mood day, I did just that.

ImageImage

Unusual for me, I braved Oxford Street on a Saturday (if you’re not familiar with that, it’s a busy day and place to be!) to buy some fine DPNs that I had set my eyes on while ago – maybe they would work well with my Shetland 2-ply yarn. While there, I was squeezing some wool (you can’t do that on the internet!) and almost bought some in natural tones, but instead decided to opt for another one I had seen online earlier, which is from a local producer and sold through a small yarn shop.

And then the unexpected happened… May it be because of some Flashdance posts I have been reading recently? Or perhaps due to a need for something less conventional? I ended up buying this chunky yarn in black and red, plus some more in neon green to go with the flashy pink wool snapped at the charity shop.

ImageFab Big by Patons, shades 08233 Neon Green, 02311 Black and 02348 Poppy

ImageAnchor tapestry wool, colours 8434 and 8454

Candidate items would be:

… suggestions are welcome.

Skull neck warmer, free pattern by Birdface  Flower neck warmer, free pattern by Birdface                    Neck warmer, 2 free patterns by Birdface

Image Image          Anticraft – Knitting, beading and stitching for the slightly sinister, by Rénee Rigdon and Zabet Stewart, photo by Al Parrish.

Image                                         Legwarmers they made at the ‘Flashdance: Movie and Knitting’ workshop

But there is also another confession that I have to make: the chunky yarn is 100% acrylic… well, at least the other pink one is 100% wool. I can hardly believe I did this!! I just couldn’t find there any neon wool made of… er, real wool. So if you know of any, pretty please, would you share your sources?

On the same tour, there were a few definitely more conventional finds: a handful of fabric cuts and some wool in Nordic shades. Yes, I swing from one extreme to the other… Am I the only one?

Image

Image

Malabrigo Worsted (Paris Night)

Image

This was one of the first yarns I fell in love with. Its settled, muted, semi-solid blue reminded me of the night colours, and, of course, blue is my favourite colour.

I came across Malabrigo Worsted while searching for the yarn (Louet Gems in shade Paris Blue) for some beautiful leg warmers I had seen in the book One Skein.

Sure enough, I bought a skein right away, not knowing much, nothing at all in fact, about the brand or the wool. It turned out to be a soft and squishy merino yarn – a delight to work with.

The technical specifications:

1 skein is 100 gr and approx. 210 yards, 4.5-5.5 mm (US 7-9) needles.

Image

Image

Image