Karie Bookish Dot Net

Tag Archives: Purls

A Woolly Head

This is how a sewage pumping station looks in my city. Pretty cool, no? I had no idea it was still in use, but apparently so. I pass it every time I am heading towards the 78 or the Kelvingrove Art Gallery. Mi ciudad es bella.

But I mention the Sewage Station because the other night I had a vivid, odd and pretty cool dream about opening a yarn shop in that particular building (blatantly disregarding the fact that a) there’s a funky smell in that little corner of Glasgow and b) it is a freaking big building for a modest little business proposal).I had even named the shop, Riverworks Wool, and had begun planning the inventory in my head.

As it is, my local yarn shop is a boutique with all it entails: exotic brands such as Habu (stainless steel yarn! paper yarn!), vegan yarn (nettle! hemp!), angora produced by one guy on Orkney and interesting indie dyers such as Old Maiden Aunt and Fyberspates. Buying a sweater’s worth of yarn would set you back at least £85 ($120) .. if you could find enough skeins of one wool, that is. It is a place to peruse and maybe buy a few skeins for a luxurious scarf rather than a yarn shop you rush-visit because you have just seen a gorgeous sweater you have to knit.

Obviously my head had that on the agenda the other night as Riverworks Wool (sans smell) stocked workhorse yarns as well as luxury yarn (and a little tea+ cake section). It was packed full of the Garnstudio/DROPS range which is basic, decent workhorse yarn in a multitude of colours at a decent price. I had a fair selection of worsted-weight yarns (like Cascade 220 and Berroco Ultra Alpaca) as well as a substantial sock yarn selection (because I’d want to keep Paula happy?). Add to that, Malabrigo, Kauni, Hanne Falkenberg kits and Amimono ..

.. it is one of those things which continues to puzzle me. My mother’s yarn shop in rural Denmark manages to stock most of the things I mentioned above plus the entire design.club.dk wool range, Italian, Norwegian and German yarns, and also the lovely Rowan yarns . If my mum’s little town of 30,000 people can support such a yarn shop, why wouldn’t Glasgow be able to? I don’t think I shall ever get tired of this little rant.

Anyway.

Speaking of yarn shops, I found this Faroese online yarn shop yesterday. It is very, very difficult to remember that I am on a strict yarn diet. Look at this cardigan! Or this cute girl’s dress! My Faroese is .. well, non-existant .. but it being a Scandinavian language, I can make out that a 1kg cone of beautiful worsted-weight lambswool would set me back £50 and it comes in, oh, 30 colours.

I’m not buying yarn, I’m not buying yarn, I’m not buying yarn.. although I have finished three projects thus far this month. Hmm..

Addendum: Isn’t this Hanne Falkenberg cardigan the most divine ting you have ever seen?

Pattern-Lust Unveiled

november-2008-308Let’s talk knitting.

Having just finished a quick Christmas knit for my Other Half’s aunt, I am now working on the Lush and Lacy cardigan in a soft wool/alpaca blend. It is an interesting knit insofar as something is constantly happening – an interesting lace pattern, some reverse stocking stitch or some garter stitch – but I keep wondering if I will ever wear anything this overtly feminine. I am also slightly frustrated by the pattern instructions which are not as well-written or clear as they could be. I think it is a case of the author knowing exactly what she means but not having had other knitters read through it before putting the pattern up for sale. I have not had any major problems but I must admit to a tiny bit of frustration when I have to rip back ten rows because I missed that throwaway subordinate clause at the very bottom of the page.

What’s next? Well, there are a lot of new patterns out there and quite a few have caught my eyes.

The new winter Knitty has just been unveiled with a fantastic selection of patterns (it is possibly my favourite issue thus far). Amelia is classy and very wearable (perfect for my Noro Cash Iroha in a heady rich purple which I scored at 75% off earlier this year). Norah Gaughan is a fecking genius and her Surface pushes all the right buttons for me. It has a vintage feel whilst being very current – and I have a thing for interesting collars, anyhow. Yarn? No idea. Finally, my three-year-old nephew would just love a fish hat, wouldn’t he?

I’m dithering between liking the new Interweave Knits and .. not. I think Elaine’s Blouse is frigging gorgeous. Funnily enough I just happen to have some peacock blue/teal tweed which I’ve been wanting to use in an unconventional way. A perfect union. I am also going to knit the Climbing Vines pullover, but I will need to a) lengthen it and b) make it more fitted. It would look beautiful in a deep claret red, wouldn’t it? The rest of the patterns in this IK issue underwhelm me, however. They are slightly too nondescript or too frumpy for my taste (although it could be the styling). There’s a fab article on Faroese knitting, though, which caught my attention (I’m one-quarter Faroese).

Another recent pattern which I absolutely love: the Hippocampus mittens. They look complicated, but they are really not. It’d be a good way to get myself back into colourwork and I think they are gawjuss.

And.. I have saved this pattern for last because I am head over heels in love with it to the extent I have to keep looking at it.

May I present to you: Flyte?

It’s perfect. All interwar-period perfect in tweed and subtle colours that ask you in an Oxbridge-Countryhouse voice if you would like some Five O’Clock tea. The designer cites Brideshead Revisited as an obvious inspiration: Flyte is actually the surname of the two siblings, Sebastian and Cordelia, with whom the narrator gets entangled (Go read the book – its first part always makes me ache in all the right ways). I tell you: that top shall be mine once I figure out how to justify buying nine balls of Rowan Felted Tweed.

Having swooned over several patterns, now would be the time to mention that I have signed up for a “12 projects in 12 months” challenge (which should be entirely feasible), that several friends have either just given birth or will give birth within the next six months and that yesterday I was approached by a craft boutique who enquired about me possibly designing some pieces of children’s knitwear(!?) for them. One thing is certain, though: Flyte and I will meet. Mark my words.