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Leon's winter set - the yarn and the sense of urgency

I  knit Leon mitts and hat and a scarf every winter and usually I try to get it done by the end of March. This year it was all a bit delayed, because I bought the yarn at Edinburgh Yarn Festival and didn't cast on until we got home - mid April. "Luckily" because the weather is so screwed up it's definitely not winter knitwear weather right now - but the cold could hit any time!

So, what am I knitting him? As discussed, I'm using Kate Davies "Highland Rogue" pattern as the stitch pattern for the set. The yarn is Arlandish, from the Isle of Mull.  At EYF I sought this out - I used to work at Duart Castle, on the Isle of Mull, so I have a lot of affection for the area.

I wasn't expecting the person working the stall to be the actual weaver - or for her to be a New Zealander! We had a long chat about  Mull, being expatriates, weather and family, and then I bought this stunning cone of yarn:

It's so sheepy and delicious. It doesn't wind all the well…
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Highland Rogue

As part of Kate Davies latest collection, she released a pattern called Highland Rogue. I immediately knew I was going to use it for Leon's winter set. I've actually made Kate Davies inspired winter sets for the last two years.  It seemed fitting, since this pattern is about Rob Roy, and Leon's nickname is Roy (Leon - Leroy - Roy. His friends are weird). Walking the West Highland Way, we walked through Rob Roy territory, seeing his (probable) cave.
We also did some trail running on the Rob Roy Way.
I had already thought of making Leon a pair of socks in this stitch pattern, although in my head this was going to happen after I made his winter set. While we were heading for Inverness I realised I was going to run out of yarn before I was reunited with my EYF purchases. we visited a yarn shop in Inverness, and while it was not a bad shop, it had NO Leon coloured sock yarn. I was feeling quite desperate by the time we visited the small, multicraft shop in Pitlockerie. Luckily, i…

Bracken Beanie

When I got to Edinburgh, one of the first things that happened was an impromptu gift exchange. Kate made us all  project bags and brought Kiwi chocolate:

and Kat gave us Northern Yarns Yealand Manor (all the wool come from one flock of sheep!) and the Bracken Beanie pattern to match. During the trip I got obsessed with knitting this, and I cast it on as soon as I got home. Maybe it was me trying to extend my holiday - we saw a lot of bracken when we were hiking, or maybe it's because I don't have any cabled hats, or maybe I just wanted to.

It was a glorious knit. the yarn is stunning and sheepy and beautiful, the pattern well written and fun. I love a ribbing that merges off into the body of the pattern.
As I finished it I knew it needed a pom-pom. A big one.Sonia was kind enough to bring her clover pom-pom maker to Monday night knitting, and Katie "directed" my efforts and together we made this wonderful pom-pom.

This hat already has so many memories, from the new frien…

Some stories about yarn I bought...

I'm not going to list everything I bought at EYF, beacuse that would be boring, but I am going to tell some stories - and then do a stash count, because I am apparently obsessed with statistics.

I bought yarn for some big projects, all of which, I'm pleased to say were on my shopping list. I knew I wanted yarn for a Boxy pullover. Something speckled, but not loud. On the afternoon of the first day I mentioned this to Kate, who pulled me into the marketplace, looked around pointed to the Wool Kitchen (who I had been following on Instagram for a while) and said - "There it is" and indeed, there it was, the perfect yarn:


I also knew I wanted to buy yarn for Kate Davies'  Strathendrick jumper. Same shape, but colourwork. The show was crowded, and choosing colours is hard and I had basically given up by the afternoon. And then this lady walked past:
I bailed her up, complimented her and then asked what yarn she used. "Its my yarn, I'm selling it at Ysolda's …

What I knit while in Scotland

While I was away I planned to knit Andrea Mowry's What The Fade shawl. And I did. Short story!

The full story:

This was a great travel project. I did cast on and learn to brioche on a car trip, which left me feeling a bit ill, but after that it was all smooth sailing. It was simple enough to knit in all circumstances, and the ever changing colours kept the interest up.

I had the fun of buying the last two colours at Edinburgh Yarn Fest, and got a couple of speckled yarns from Mothy and the Squid!  They were the first things I bought at the festival, and they were exactatly what I was looking for:

This shawl was originally a mystery knit a long and I cannot imagine doing it that way. The final rows are endless, which was fine for me - I did the 500+ stitch iCord cast off on a two hour bus trip. The shawl took me exactly four weeks, and on holidays I knit a lot!

I'm wearing it now, and it's lovely and bright and warm and fun.

Each ball has between 59 and 23 grams left over:

Any ide…

A quick wrap up of our Scottish adventures

I really did plan to blog while I was away, but then I remembered how much I hate typing on my phone, so, here's the wrap up our month in Scotland, which divided itself neatly into 4 weeks:

Week 1: Edinburgh Yarn Festival 

I recommend reading Kate's wrap up, because she sums it up perfectly. Also, I failed to get a photo of the three of us in our stasis jumpers, so I've used hers:


It was amazing, sharing an Air B and B with other knitters, getting to spend time with Kate, and getting to meet Grace and Kat in person.

The festival itself was so much fun. I did most of my shopping on the Thursday, which was the quietest day. On the Friday I had an advanced Kitchener class with Woolly Wormhead, and a talk by the always inspiring Kate Davies, and Saturday I did a class about knitting and place with Karie Westermann, which changed the way I look at knitting design.

One of the real highlight was walking around, or sitting in the marquee, seeing everyone in their amazing designs, and b…

Holiday readiness

I've been getting ready to fly out tomorrow night. Because I finished my last project on Wednesday, I've been doing homework for my EYF classes and knitting on my sockyarn blanket. i'm looking forward to casting on a massive big shawl. 

I have wound my yarn and packed my needles (and my spare needles, Knit-Pro have a habit of falling apart on me)
Of course, before I buy a ton of new yarn (I'm predicting 5 kilometers, but it could be quite different in either direction) I did a stashcount. My new number is 11,315 meters, the lowest it's been since I started counting.


And that's  my stash box, ready to receive the yarn I buy at EYF. 
I am going to try to blog while I'm away - I've got a new app, so hopefully it will  be easier than last time.