Wovember, A Reflection

What I’ve Worn

I think it is safe to say that need to make more of an effort and actually ensure that I wear / use more of my finished pieces. In terms of gaps in my wardrobe, some more jumpers and cardigans could be useful. And I definitely need another pair of mittens along the lines of my Stripelets – I’ve already earmarked some yarn and a free pattern on Ravelry to address that. I’d also like some more hats – I’ve loved having a bit more choice; I have the yarn and pattern for Snawheid and a couple of others.

What I’ve Knitted

Very little in comparison to normal months. I’ve finished the Pink Elephants! socks and the Encircle hat (the Woolly Wormhead 2012 Mystery Hat). I’ve also knitted many little hats and jumpers for a never-ending stream of Korknisse. All of these used wool. Then I got seduced by silk and bamboo and ended up knitting on my Shipwreck shawl and what started out as a possible top but which got swiftly frogged and restarted as a Hemlock Ring blanket.

What I’ve Spun

Nothing. But I want to – so that counts – right? I’ve picked up a couple more pieces of fibre this month – from Ring-a-Rosie and HilltopCloud. I think I need to make more of an effort to spin regularly.

In general I think that despite good intentions this month was never going to work out as planned. The whole emergency and upheaval at the start of the month set things back from the start and it has been hard to get / keep momentum going from that point onwards. However, I think this is something I’d like to have another go at in the future – just maybe with less chaos and more forward planning. It has also become apparent that I’m easily sidetracked by whatever shiny thing I find in my stash and have the urge to cast on immediately with whichever yarn I’ve just rediscovered.

On the plus side, I have managed to reorganise all my knitting supplies this month and it means I have a better grasp of what I do have in both my yarn and fibre stash. And I’ve gotten rid of a couple of things I won’t knit with – so all to the good.

 

Image from here.

Wovember, Week #4

What I’ve Been Wearing

A bit of everything really. It has been nice to get home and have a good rummage through all my finished pieces. I’ve had the opportunity to wear a few of my favourites this week – primarily my January Morning cardigan, the Persian Bull mittens, Vortex, the Unwind Wrap (a.k.a. Violetti), a Bobble Hat and of course, my ever-present Stripelets.

What I’ve Been Knitting

Safe to say… not wool. I was tempted by bamboo and silk yarns and have been knitting those instead.

What I’ve Been Spinning

Still nothing! Have spent some of the week drooling over spinning wheels online. When I get a proper job I’m getting one. I did get the HilltopCloud Best of British November Fibre in the post this week. It is a 75% Shetland / 25% Kid Mohair blend called ‘Sitka Spruce’ and it is gorgeous. I have an immense urge to start spinning it up immediately but am being sensible and not doing that (since I have other things to do) – so have resorted to keeping it next to me on the sofa and just pet it occasionally.

 

Image from here.

Lopapeysa – Part 3

Before I washed the Lopapeysa yesterday, I spent a bit of time studying the yokes and hem/cuff motifs. And I think I have indeed suceeded in reverse engineering the patterns (including the decreases). There are three different yoke designs, and three matching hem/cuff charts.

I’ll need to check these over and get proper pictures of the originals, but hopefully in the next couple of weeks I’ll release these as charts for purchase via Ravelry.

This means I had to think of a name to list these under on Ravelry. Since they are Icelandic in design, construction and materials, an Icelandic name seemed like the most appropriate option. I love the names of the Icelandic volcanoes but most of the best ones are taken already on Ravelry and since there were three separate versions to include within the charts it seemed more sensible to choose a name which indicated the fact that there is more that one. So Reykjanesskagi it is. The name refers to a south-west penninsula on Iceland, as well as being the name of volcanic system.

The region is also known as Reykjanes, for more information on the area, click here.

Image from here

Lopapeysa – Part 2

After checking for guidance online, I washed the three Lopapeysa. All I can say is that I am glad I did, and secondly, that Soak is a wonderful, wonderful invention.

I ended up filling the bath with tepid water and soak. I left them in for about 30 minutes to start with – once I’d persuaded them that they did not want to float. The water came off brown.* Ew! So fresh water, more Soak and another 20 minutes and the water was thankfully much cleaner looking.

Next problem – how to get the water out. These things get ridiculously heavy when wet and I didn’t want to stretch or felt them. So I ended up squishing most of the water out in the bath. Transferred them to a pile of towels and dragged them across the floor (too heavy to carry plus too many drips) to the kitchen. Put each one in a pillowcase and used the spin option on the Wool cycle to get rid of the rest of the water. That took two goes. But at least they weren’t in danger of causing flooding in my spare room.

A little bit of arrangement around the existing furniture and they are all laid out flat drying. When they get to a safe drying point, I’ll hang them up and let them dry that way so they don’t spend too much time damp.

Fingers crossed they’ll be dry by the weekend and I can wear mine. And most importantly they smell better.

*Actually brown. But then when chatting to Mum we figured that these things are around 35-40 years old. So maybe brown is only to be expected.

Blame it on the Bamboo…

… and the Silk. Originally when I sat down and considered the options for blogging in November I had planned to ascribe to the ideas presented by the whole Wovember initiative. Then all hell broke loose and things changed. I didn’t have access to my stash or my fibre or my knitted wardrobe of finished objects. All these things put a dampener on carrying out Wovember properly.

So here I am.. playing with silk (the Shipwreck Shawl) and bamboo (for an as yet un-named and un-designed top) rather than working with wool… oops.

 

Image from here.

Lopapeysa

Earlier this year, my Mum (with permission of the family) brought the not insignificant remains of my Grandmother’s knitting yarns up to me. Sorting through it all, we were both struck by some bulky, lightly spun singles which my Mum identified as being Icelandic. Further to this identification, it was remembered that my Grandmother had knitted Icelandic-style sweaters for herself, her husband, both daughters and both sons-in-law. Mum remembers her sweater as being in the bluer shades whereas the males in the family got ones in more neutral tones. These predate my existence. I have no memory of them. Nor did we seem to have any pictures.

Until now.

When clearing my Grandfather’s house, we uncovered various bits and pieces that my Grandmother had knitted. A little pale blue hat went home with my Cousin. We also found a number of shawls, all in pristine condition – although the decision was made to donate these to goodwill so that others may find pleasure in them. However, the best came home with me. Not one, but three Icelandic sweaters. All knit in the yarns that we had uncovered in the remains of the stash.

Two appear to have been knitted with women in mind, the third is definitely man-sized.

This the man-sized one, a lovely cream, green and brown number – which happens to fit the boyfriend quite nicely. There is a mark on one sleeve which may need reknitting with replacement yarn (which I have) but I’ll wash it first and see if the mark comes out.

This is the larger of the two female sweaters – and this fits me (in an oversized fashion) – not perhaps the most flattering but it is cosy and it will be worn.

The last is extremely small but I think with a little steeking (and a button band) it will make a nice little fitted open cardigan.

It is lovely to have something that my Grandmother knitted, but even better to have something that she knitted that can be worn, used and loved.

One Week On…

So a week on from the pattern launch of The Kentigern Blanket, it seems like a good moment for reflection – although that may be the whisky talking.

It has been a busy week, I’ve re-started work in a yarn shop and it has been wonderful to keep an eye on the pattern on Ravelry.

The blanket made it up to #32 on the ‘Hot Right Now’ feature of the pattern page on Ravelry. Which means it was on page 1 of all the patterns on the site for a little while. That may not seem like much, but given that there are 326, 944 patterns on the site (as of 24/11/2012 @ 23.59) – #32 is pretty darn good. Add in the fact that it now has 177 favourites (the original project has 25) and it is in 27 queues. In my opinion, it goes from good to impressive. Even more so considering it is my first ‘real’ (by which I mean ‘paid’) pattern.

What is even more exciting is that tonight the fifth pattern sold. It is truly wonderful to see something that I created make its way out into the world. And I do mean world – or at least bits of it. Those people who queued the pattern appear to come from across the globe – North America, Asia and Australasia… it is just so unbelievable in a way.

So thank you.

Beads!

A few months ago I started knitting up the Shipwreck Shawl (a free pattern from Knitty amazingly), which was swiftly christened the Epic shawl by my mum on the basis that a) it was going to take quite a long time – given that I’m using 1500m of laceweight, and b) Shipwreck Shawl is something of a tongue-twister if you aren’t paying attention.

So far I’ve managed to complete the central lace section – with some errors but I can live with those.

Last night I started stringing beads…. and promptly dropped a few dozen on the carpet.

Beads get everywhere – did you know that?

Wovember, Week #3

I think rather than focusing on what I’ve been knitting, spinning or wearing this week (although it has been nice to finally get home and get back to all my cosy handknits), I’ve spent the last few days actually taking stock of what I have, and how I want it organised. You only have to look at the first couple of posts on the organisation of my study to realise that I have something of a relaxed attitude to housework and tidiness.

But things like that do need to change. Thanks to my efforts over the last two days my stash – both yarn and fibre – is organised, and I’m delighted with what I’ve found. I decided when I was orgnaising it all, that I should be ruthless – if I don’t love it, it doesn’t stay. Surprisingly there was very little I wanted to remove from my stash. Just a skein of some sock yarn that I dyed as an experiment – I love the colours I managed, but I know it isn’t me, I wouldn’t knit it up and use it – and some Opal self-patterning sock. Thankfully, this yarn can go to a good cause.

The now annual p/hop event is occuring again at The Yarn Cake here in Glasgow on December 8th, and these little skeins will be going off to new homes. And that I think is a good thing. And they are both wool sock yarns so that counts too 🙂

 

Image from here.