I’m a much nicer person when I knit and my sore shoulder/arm/elbow (the pain keeps moving), has dampened my creative enthusiasm a little of late. I’m not usually prone to low ebbs, but this has taken a little of the wind out of my sails, so to speak.
I think, fingers crossed, sod it! – fingers, toes and anything else you can think of crossed, it’s on the mend.
Oddly enough, I’ve still been managing to knit, although at a much slower pace than usual. It’s the typing though, where I’ve really been feeling it, hence my delayed post. Now of course, I’ve tonnes to tell you and the posts could end up very much like buses. ‘You wait for one and suddenly they turn up all at once’ – sorry.
I’m sure most of you will have seen the latest issue of Olann and by now? I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as Deirdre and I enjoyed making it? In the spirit of this post though, I’ve another confession, ‘this issue really wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our family and friends’. All the models are members of Deirdre’s family and three of our lovely friends really mucked in with the making .
Deirdre, had the mammoth task that was the Herringbone Sweater, designed by the lovely Erika Knight and modeled by Dee’s dashing hubby Glen. You might not be able to tell from the photos, but Glen is incredibly tall and, broad across the shoulders, so poor Deirdre had to make the XL. Thankfully in steps good friend number 1 – Catherina, who took up the challenge and made both of the sleeves. We are both incredibly grateful, as matching another knitters tension is never an easy task, but tension over colourwork – scary!
The yarn Deirdre used, is Erika Knight’s British Blue, which is made from pure British Bluefaced Leicester Wool. Each 25g ball, is a little gift of fibre yum and as you can see from the photographs, the yarn works up a treat.
As neither Deirdre or I speak crochet fluently, it fell to our great friend and crochet extraordinaire Goosey Lucy to work the pattern up for us. Being the star she is, Lucy made 4 of the Oakmoor Hats for us, so we could pick and choose for the photos. We would truly be lost without the help of this woman, although I’m slightly envious that I didn’t get to play with the new Illustrious yarn from West Yorkshire Spinners though.
Lastly we also need to say many thanks to our lovely friend Dr. Sock, who knitted the Malabrigo Sock version of If I was Your Girlfriend.
So what does that leave? The Línéadach Scarf, designed by The Merry Spinster aka Heather Marano, was a delight to knit. The Blacker Yarns Blacker Swan Falkland Island Wool DK, might have to enter into my book of favourite yarns. I am, as you know a lover of wool, I make no bones about it, although I will pretty much knit with anything. I was surprised at how soft the yarn was and how much I really enjoyed knitting with it. I was knitting slightly under pressure and with the sore shoulder, but it really didn’t feel like a chore.
Linen stitch, creates a dense, flat fabric that is much more akin to woven cloth and as a result, sometimes it can bring out the itchier qualities of a yarn. Not in this case though, the resulting scarf is soft and smooth and could be worn against the most delicate of necks. As the tension is not overly tight in the design, the yarn has retained a good deal of it’s loft, which makes for a snuggly cosy scarf, that will keep it’s good looks for years to come. The design is completely unisex and lets be honest, it looks like it ‘cost a few bob’ too 😉
Will we talk about the If I Was Your Girlfriend Shawlette? I really wanted to call it I Would Die For You, which is another of my favourite Prince Songs (I love most of them actually), but I didn’t think it had the same ring to it.
As always, I’ve made two of the shawls and I’ll write a whole separate post about the first one, so as not to keep you here much longer. What I will say now, is that my original design, is larger and much more like a shawl, but I was worried a man might not wear something that large. The shawlette I went for is smaller, so it can be worn around the neck in place of a scarf. I think the triangular shape looks great worn over a top if you’re feeling a slight chill, all day, but it also looks great poking out under or over a coat or jacket too.
The Alpaca/Silk/Cashmere yarn from Coolree is divine and if you think I waxed lyrical about the Black Swan Falkland Islands Wool, you ain’t heard nothing yet?
If you’re lucky enough to have worked with Alex’s yarn you’ll understand, if you haven’t had the chance yet, I think you can see just how yummy it is in the photographs? Think soft and delicate, like candyfloss without the sticky. The yarn really does flow through your fingers, which I loved because I use wooden knitting needles. Confession number 3 – if you use metal knitting needles, you might find it too slippy, especially when knitting to the looser tension called for in the shawlette design.
The yarn has a beautiful halo, very much like Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze and it looks like pure luxury – it is after all. You’re not going to want to knit a jumper that you’d like to wear every day for a year in this yarn, but a shawlette you wear all Winter will be just fine.
The range of colours Alex produces are all unusually luminescent, whilst at the same time being muted and slightly understated. The shade we used was ‘In the Burren’, which is a beautiful grey with a slightly blue hue to it. The colour really reminds me of the Cineraria Silver Dust bedding plants you get with it’s pretty ‘iced’ foliage.
The design itself is super easy and it was important to Deirdre and I that the magazine wasn’t totally given over to men (I shall remain mute here, it’s for the best, trust me). The triangular shape creates so much versatility, you can make it as big as you want, adding different stitch patterns and colours as you go. I’m thinking it could be the ideal pattern to use my Famous Five Yarn Club from A Fine Fish Yarns for, but I really must finish some of my wip’s before casting on another item.
Before I go (I’ll be back soon), I wanted to share one of my finished knits. Remember I told you I was smitten by one of the yarns we’d received? Well here’s my latest Milo, this is pre-blocking and I still have to sew the ends in, but it’s rather cute isn’t it.
The yarn is James C. Brett Cotton On Denim and it only took one ball to knit. It’s the 0-3 month size, in case you’re wondering? The whiter band across the chest, isn’t as noticeable in real life as the photograph has made it. I would usually have alternated the balls of yarn, but found myself enjoying the knitting far too much to remember.
I’m sure you saw all of the lovely Milo examples we featured in the magazine? There are literally thousands of Milo projects listed on Ravelry, with people’s creativity knowing no bounds. If you fancy a go yourself, check out the very generous voucher given to readers of Olann and it expires in a week ♥
I hope this post wasn’t too long? There’s loads more to catch up on too. Enjoy this lovely weather we’re experiencing and if you can, perhaps spend some time crafting in the sun.