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)

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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?

What next

I’m about to complete the Old Shale Shawl, after a long time in the making (and hibernating).

I cannot yet officially start projects for the Summer of Basics 2018 (aka Make your Own Basics), so this morning I’ve been perusing my Ravelry queue and picked up a couple of projects (this may be a wildly optimistic plan…).

The first is the famous Nurmilintu shawl, because it looks pretty and easy, and it’s also free. Plus I have a weak spot for Finnish (Nurmilintu means “sleep, sleep, little bird” from an old Finnish lullaby). I plan to make it with Natural Dye Studio Sock yarn in Dragonfly:

The other project is the Pixel Stitch Socks, a beautiful free pattern by Putl Soho, to be made in Natural Dye Studio’s Dazzle HT Sock in Whitby Pool and Lynmouth – high twist yarn for longer durability.

I’m sure I won’t get much done with them until the end of the month, but it’ll be fun anyway!

What are you up to?

Have a lovely weekend!

It’s growing!

Just past row 132 out of 145, which is about 90% done.. I really look forward now to seeing it completed!

Not sure how I’ll manage blocking such a large piece as I have neither space nor specific tools. I’m sure I’ll get creative in the end – I think it won’t be a stylish solution but as long as it’s effective, I’m fine with it.

The colours are a bit hard to capture but the closest is the first picture.

I’m planning for the Super Birthday Sweater I mentioned in my last post, but won’t probably start until June for the Fringe Association’s Summer of Making – I’m thinking of joining in, but haven’t decided yet, I might take part even if I won’t be able to finish 4 projects in 3 months. So far I’ve short listed two jumpers, one summer top, a folk shirt I’ve been wanting to make for ages and a pair of simple cable socks (because never done cables, so that’ll be easy!). A bit too ambitious? I won’t stress wanting to finish it all.

Have you planned projects for your summer (or winter if you live on the other side of the globe)? Or will you just decide as time goes on?

Not a flowey sweater…

I’ve been looking at candidates for this beautiful vintage yarn that I got recently….

(About 1000 grams of bulky yarn)

I thought of something with cables but the yarn is too thick and I’ve never done cables. Plus the fabric would be too stiff.

Then I was eyeing In Stillness by Alicia Plummer, but that would require a more fluid wool.

I think I finally found a good candidate, though. The Super Birthday Sweater, done with some mods in the bottom part introducing some texture (gathered simple cables from a stitch pattern I found).

(The modified version as done by zialaura)

(The original pattern – sorry I haven’t got the link to ravelry at hand)

Here are some late night, awful light, unblocked swatches:

What do you think?

Synthetic fibres (a pledge and a WIP)

Today I was reading a post by Fadanista, who was making a more environmentally-friendly alternative to a fleece jacket from a vintage pattern.

In it she mentions the issue of man-made (i.e. synthetic materials like fleece, nylon, acrylic, etc.) and the negative impact these can have on the environment (as well as on the people wearing them). Apart from the production of such materials, which come from oil basically, one of the key issues is the tiny particles and lints that such garments release in the waterways while being washed and treated. In her post, she mentions some interesting articles and sources (like this one from the Guardian – please visit her blog for more links).

These particles ending up in our waters and oceans, are ultimately contaminating water, as well as are being swallowed by fish and so ending up in the food chain (= on our tables).

I now feel really bad because I know that I have some synthetic yarn and fabric in my stash (not much, but still). There is no good way of dealing with it:

  • if I pass it on, it will still end up in the water
  • if I consign it to the bin, it will end up in landfills where it won’t break down (unlike natural fibres)
  • if I burn it, it will still release polluting fumes (like all oil products)

As she suggested, the only good option may be to “leave it alone” at the bottom of the stash.

Still, I think it’s a good time to have a conversation in the crafting communities about man-made fibres and their ill effects on health and environment. I think of the inexpensive craft packs that are being used in large quantities – the end product may look pretty, but it has a hidden nasty side effect: it pollutes our environment.

So, today I pledge to try and avoid using synthetic fibres as much as possible. I hope others will join in!

~ ~ ~

On the bright side, I had just decided to bring some order to my UFOs queue. There aren’t too many items in there (about five, I think)… still it’s worth dealing with them – do something with them or reuse the yarn.

The first I picked up, is this summer top: Sea top (Ravelry project). It’s made of aran silk and based on Simple Irresistible, a free pattern that I slightly tweaked.

I looked at it again: after measuring the part I had so far (about 1/3) it looks that I casted on too many stitches and is now too large for my size M (even allowing some positive ease for a more flowing line). Despite that, I decided to carry on, because:

  • so I can actually have a better idea of how to alter it the next time around
  • it’s a quick knit, so it’s ok to do extra rows, even if I frog it in the end
  • I’m curious to see how it is in its current version

I’m still expecting to most probably ending up at the frog pond!

A few shots of the top short before it was put on hold… I’ve now added more rows to it and started a new skein. The yarn is an aran silk in Seaweed (one-off stock), it’s soft, drapey and shiny.

There are many other things I wanted to share, but I will leave them for the next posts… one will be about some vintage lace gloves and how they went to some period dances in grand halls.

Until then, take good care x

 

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