Thursday, 26 February 2015

Unravel rewind

Gosh, I can't believe it's Thursday already! Maybe it was all the excitement of the weekend, or I'm getting old but I don't feel quite recovered yet...

That is not to say that it wasn't a lovely weekend, because it certainly was. Friday felt a little frantic as we'd come down from Wales, set up and started trading all on the same day - by the evening we barely had enough energy to stumble across the hotel car park for dinner and were in bed by 9.30, but Saturday brought a very solid breakfast with endless coffee refills and we arrived at the Maltings to find our stall bathed in sunshine.

We met so many wonderful and enthusiastic people and really enjoyed hearing the response to our yarns. The Linus shawl was a big hit again, as was the Gotland wool which left us by the armfuls.

Maddy stopped by to show off her carefully coordinated Harvest cardigan in thick Pirkkalanka:

and Mark got a lot of admiration and encouragement for being a Man Who Knits:

For me, by far the hardest part of yarn shows is watching everyone parade their beautiful knits in front of me all day long! I have a project list as long as my arm and then some, but I just kept seeing wonderful ideas that I want to cast on immediately...
I tried really hard to contain myself, but eventually succumbed to John Arbon's bargain basket which was right under my nose tempting me all weekend.
I snaffled up all their beautiful Viola yarn in underweight hanks, unintentionally replicating a colour combination that seemed to be the theme of the event: blues and teals with mustard

and then, in a fit of madness, I picked up 4 bags of broken Superfine Merino tops because what I really need right now is to start spinning a whole new sweater project. In black, midnight blue and anthracite. yup.

I blame the lady in the hand spun Vitamin D. This is her doing.
Were you at Unravel? Did you pick up anything fun for a new project? Or maybe just planned one from home?

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Easy like Sunday morning...

Pattern: Kynance Cove by Isabell Kraemer

Yarn: Filcolana Gotland Wool in Cocoa, Deep Sea Green and Vibrant Green

Needles: 4mm

The perfect, perfect lounge sweater! I am so very pleased with it!
The yarn is light as air, only 550gr for a loose, long sweater in 53inch bust size, and the hairy mohair aspect typical of the Gotland sheep makes it feel completely different from all my other woolly garments. It's just loose and lovely and comfy and warm.

The pattern is very well written too, and clever: the sleeves look set in but the sweater is actually worked top-down, which means there is some utter witchcraft going on at the beginning, but keep with it because it eventually starts to make sense.

Can't wait to show it off at Unravel next weekend now :)

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Giant Granny (no grannies were injured in the making of this post)

Pattern: Half Granny Square Shawl
Yarn: Thin Pirkkalanka, one skein each Raspberry, Denim and Moss
Hook size: 4mm

After playing with the Pirkkalanka colours last week, I decided to make a new show sample to show off the brighter, springier side of the range. I also wanted to try using the Pirkkalanka's generous meterage for crochet rather than knitting and I must say I'm delighted with the result. The yarn is really easy to work with a hook and gives a nice crisp result, and once blocked, the fabric relaxes and drapes nicely, making for a huge, warm shawl!

The pattern is essentially half of a giant granny square - I added an extra chain on the 3 chains at the row ends to keep the edges loose, and a little shell border as a finishing touch. 


Sunday, 1 February 2015

Playing with colours

Unravel is now only a few short weeks away!

 I am so excited for the show season to start again, getting a chance to meet so many other people passionate about yarn and wool and crafts and just being surrounded by yarn all weekend long. The exhibitor list looks so inspiring and I know that as ever I will struggle to stay put at our stand in the Great Hall and not go running off to look at all the shiny things! 

In preparation for the show, I did a stocktake of some of our yarns this weekend, among them our beautiful Pirkkalanka wool from Finland, and while I had them all out, I had a little play with some colour combinations. 
The joy of the Pirkkalanka is the richness and vibrancy of its colours. This pure wool yarn is dyed onto a marled grey base rather than plain white, giving so much depth and life to the colours. It has a really crisp feel and bounce and comes in both fingering and worsted weights. The fingering weight in particular is fantastic in garter stitch, such as Veera Välimäki's Colour Affection, which really allows you to play around with the different combinations. 

Rhapsodie in Blue: Stonewashed, Denim, Navy

Glorious jewel colours: Teal, Jade, Raspberry

Subtle frosty shades: Blushed, Seafoam, Frosted Lime

And of course, Midwinter's retro shades: Moss, Deep Orange, Natural Pale Grey
All of these and many more will of course be available at Unravel - hoping to see you there!