Wednesday, August 30, 2006

found some

I found this skein in a basket full of yarn at the back of Armadale Pottery in Sleat (South Skye). It's Merino Shetland cross with 12% mohair. The colour's come out a bit drained, even using my duvet cover as an improvised light tent. In person it's a heathery purple with blueish patches. The mohair gives it an extra softness. I'm planning to use it for a hat and gloves, probably some sort of cabley pattern.

This stuff came from Teo's Handspun in Broadford, also on Skye. It's kid mohair, beautifully soft and fuzzy round the edges. This picture really doesn't do the colour justice. It's a shiny purple, with patches of darker bluey purple and light patches of golden toned brownish purple. Er, sort of. Trust me, it's gorgeous. I think it's going to be some kind of shawl or scarf. It would be perfect for Clapotis, but I think I'd rather make it into something with a more complicated lace pattern. Not too formal though, something flowing. Still thinking, but since I've got loads of things on the go at the moment, not to mention Christmas knitting to start thinking about, it'll be a while before I get round to it.

I also bought some wine-red 4 ply from Shilasdair, which I might use for the border/ties of Arisaig. I almost wish we'd gone there first, as I'd spent my yarn budget by then. HP (little sister) bought a knitkit for a ribbed cardigan in lovely purple (see, it runs in the family) angora/cashmere/wool blend. All their stuff's gorgeous, mostly handspun and naturally dyed in smallish dyelots. They had a dyer's garden outside with things like bog myrtle, heathers and lichens.

In terms of knitting, I finished two socks (not a pair though) and got some way up the back of Arisaig. Unfortunately I left the bag with the socks in my mum's car and it's stuck in London until I next go home. Arisig made it home though, so I've still got something vaguely Scottish to work on.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

to Scotland, in search of wool

I'm back from beautiful Scotland. We stayed in two beautiful places - Laide, (on the West coast between Ullapool and Gairloch) and Kyleakin on the Isle of Skye (over the bridge and turn left). I wanted some local yarn to remind me of where we'd been. I'll show you what I bought tomorrow, but here's a picture of possibly the most remote yarn shop in Scotland. It's just North of Applecross, on the mainland near Skye and to get to it you first have to negotiate the terrifying Pass of the Cattle and then wind your way along single track roads with passing places past gorgeous views of sea and sky and heather. We were beginning to think it wasn't really there and then, there it was.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you whether it's worth the trip because it was Monday and it was closed. Looking at their website, the grey Gotland wool sounds interesting. Ah well, if anyone else goes that way, they can find out.

Also near Applecross was Angora Ecosse, further along the same road to the North. They had angora/merino yarn, some Shetland lace and natural dark brown Hebridean wool. I didn't buy any, since I didn't like the colours of the angora (too pastelly) and I couldn't think of anyone who'd appreciate a brown, slightly itchy wool jumper. Still slightly wish I'd got some Hebridean wool anyway.

Coming soon, the yarn I did buy and some knitting progress.

Monday, August 07, 2006

need a holiday

My brain is already on holiday, but the rest of me is still stuck in the office until thursday.

I've been thinking about what to take away with me. I'm off up North to Scotland, so I thought I'd take some Scottish inspired knits - Arisaig, which I've been wanting to make for ages and Pixeldiva's Hopscotch socks. And then, for Project Spectrum's August neutrals and black and white, a black and white version of Alice's Lovemeknot socks. Which is quite a lot of knitting for a fortnight's holiday. Hopscotch sock one is already up to the heel and will probably get finished this week. I started Arisaig yesterday sitting in the sun in my back garden. It's lovely, but it's going to take a long time to knit. It starts with 7 inches or so of 2x2 rib, over 154 stitches on 2.25mm needles. After a couple of hours I had about an inch and a half and the ribbing (and the sunshine) were sending me to sleep. I'll take it, but I suspect it's not going to get finished any time soon. But I can spend the next few months knitting it and remembering my Scottish holiday. Sounds like a good plan to me.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

psychedelic tigers

psychedelic tigers, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Finished late last night, just in time for the end of July for Project Spectrum.

Pattern: Jaywalker (my third pair)

Yarn: Fyberspates Hand-dyed sock yarn

Needles: 2.5mm

Modifications: Started with 92 stitches, decreased to 78 after the heel by leaving out one set of increases and continuing to decrease the heel gussets until there were 36 stitches on the sole. This means I can get my feet into them, but they aren't too baggy on the foot, which was a problem with the first pair I made.

These socks remind me of an art project I did aged about 13. It was based around self-portraits and finiding an animal we thought expressed our personality. I chose a tiger. Not entirely sure why, I think a tabby cat might have been more appropriate. My favourite colour combination at the time was purple and yellow, so my final piece involved a self-portrait of me as a tiger, trying to snarl, done in purple and yellow stripes. Hmm. Anyway, that's why they're psychedelic tiger socks.

I'm intrigued by the way the yarn's pooled differently on each sock. It was one big 100g skein, but it's made the two socks look quite different, especially on the leg. Curious, but it's part of what makes them unique.