I have been on a crazy knitting spree lately. This week I finished three things and am well on my way on finishing another two. Strange, but lovely. The first finished object is Nev, a huge shawl - the biggest I have ever made, I think. The pattern is Bex Hopkins' Dew Drops Shawl, a free pattern and I used Navia Uno, a Faroese yarn. I had a few issues with both pattern and yarn, but as I really like the finished object it was worth the effort.
You can find my modifications/shortcuts on the project's Rav entry so suffice to say that I thought the pattern had been written in an overly-complicated manner and that there are easier ways of getting the same result. The yarn was very odd: it had a core of lovely wool but also had a cotton-like thread wrapped around the core. It made for an odd knitting experience - a yarn which was partly pliable and partly very inelastic. The thread occasionally bundled up and the two plies frequently caught on my needles. As I said, I really like Nev and I am inordinately fond of the actual fabric, so I would probably use the yarn again, but it does makes for an odd knitting experience. Snældan remains my favourite North Atlantic lace yarn, in other words.
I took Nev out for a trial run this afternoon. It blocked out huge (2.2m across and 80 cm deep, fact fans) which made for a very cosy shawl on a snowy afternoon. Today is my Other Half's birthday so despite heavy snowfall we made the effort to go out for the best cake in the West End (which included sparkles today!) and a lovely meal. Pardon the chubbiness - I wore five layers underneath my coat!
(Incidentally, I felt totally Parisian as we were frolicking in the snow round Merchant City's fab late 19th C architecture and I wore super-cool knitwear. Eat your heart out, fashionistas everywhere)
I also wore the other finished object: my brand-new winter hat. Remember when knitting was a totally utilitarian exercise? Remember when you whipped up a hat because you were cold - and not because you had stashed a handdyed yarn from Ireland or found this totally must-knit pattern on Ravelry? Yeah, I went Old Skool this week. I knitted a hat because winter was upon us.
I found the perfect quick, warm knit in seconds. Danish knit blogger, Julia Zahle, published a hat pattern about a year ago and I had sort-of always kind-of meant to knit it. Intiutive was a practical, quick, easy, and warm hat. I knitted it in less than a day and have worn it ever since.
I used less than a skein of Cascade 220. C220 is heavier than the recommended yarn, so I CO 100 stitches and then followed the pattern from there. The lace pattern is an easy 2-row repeat and although it is a lacy pattern, the fabric becomes so dense that it actually allows for extra warmth. Black is quite a boring colour, but it is also a practical colour.. For the very same reason I am now knitting a pair of black fingerless gloves.
Ah, and as yarn leaves the stash more enters the stash: my gran has a big heart and delights in giving presents to birthday celebrants' partners. This meant that I got a huge bag of assorted yarn - all very nice stuff - today. I'm slightly overwhelmed - as is my yarn 'closet' (a small walk-in closet just off the living room, to be precise. We also store a double bed in there.). One of my to-do things for the week ahead? Sorting out my yarn stash, so I can actually shut the door. Ulp.
Finally, one of my favourite blog posts of the week month: Wearable foods. The bubblegum outfits are achingly beautiful.