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Good beer week sneaker liners

After I finished Boxythere were still two days of Good Beer Week left. I was home sick on Friday - nothing to do with the week, there is a horrible cold going around, so I cast on a pair of sneaker liners, using left over Mothy and The Squid yarn.
I just love these colours, and there is plenty more yarn left over from my What the Fade shawl.I did a basic sock, with a Fish Lips Kiss heel. All very simple. I cast on on Friday, and between the sick day and Saturday's beer festival I had them finished by Saturday night. I was tempted to immediately cast on a pair with the colours reversed, but I resisted that thought, at least for the moment.

Good beer week and Boxy complete

It's Sunday, and that means good beer week is over. We had a great time, culminating as we usually do with the GABS Saturday afternoon session. I did get a lot of knitting done during the week, and finished my Boxy on Thursday - which just gave me enough time to block it and wear it to GABS. And what better place to take photos than the stunning Royal Exhibition Building. 

I made the sleeves full length which, looking at these photos, may have been rather pointless, because in most, although not all, these photos I've pushed the sleeves up. Other than that I knit it exactly as the pattern suggested. 


The shape is very different from anything I've worn before, but I love it. It's really comfortable, and wearable, and - I think - flattering.

Considering how much yarn it used - 330 grams of sock yarn, I was very surprised to  finish it in 15 days. They were good days, full of friends and beer and such pleasant knitting.


Rapid progress

It's been a good week so far! Our good beer week started with an event where we couldn't find chairs when we walked in. that was fine, I found a ledge I could put my drink on so that my hands were free for knitting. As I was setting up, and Leon was at the bar, a girl said to me "do you want these two stools, we don't needs them". "Well" I replied "They'll be too high for our ledge here". "Or just come and sit with us" she said, and we did, leading to a really fun evening of talking and drinking and knitting. Beer people (much like knitting people) are good people.

Progress on my Boxy has been quite ridiculously fast. I'm joining the shoulders tonight - so excited, after that it's the collar and I'll be able to try it on and get an idea about how it will actually look.It's big on Skip a man who is somewhat larger than I am, so it's all a bit interesting right now. I'm since the sleeves start at the elbow, I…

Good beer week 2018

Good Beer Week is always a ton of fun around here. We call it "Leon's Christmas" although it's 10 days, not the traditional 12. Seeing friends, drinking craft beers, dinners out, lots of time in pubs, loads of time for knitting. I always make sure I have something simple to knit - there is lots of knitting time, but no guarantee of good lighting, or a seat, or complete sobriety. In the past I've knit socks, shawls, anything simple really. This year I decided it was the perfect opportunity to finally knit Boxy.

It uses 1300 meters of sock yarn, so, when I finished Leon's winter set with a week to go before Good Beer Week I figured I may as well start. after all, this has to be at least a month of knitting, right?


Well, despite the rather large stitch count, this knits up really fast.I'm more than halfway through the body at the beginning of Good Beer Week. It's possible (not likely, but possible) that I will be able to finish this, and wear it to GABS ne…

Strathendrik swatch

I told you about getting the yarn for Kate Davies Strathendrik. It's currently 6th in my queue, a queue that includes Boxy, and a colourwork vest:



So I don't really need to worry about it just yet. But I was. Normally when I'm choosing colourwork colours I take a while. I might discuss it with friends, play around, consider for quite some time.

Not this time. With the help of Tiina from Tukuwool it was done and dusted in 5 minutes flat.

And then I worried about it. Kate Davies' version is on a light background, with contrasting sleeves and trim, and that's how everyone on Ravelry has knitted it too.



I decided to do mine with a dark background, and use the same colour for the sleeves. And I worried about it.
So I wound my wool and did a one repeat swatch, just to see what the colours look like: 
And I like them. The only one I'm not one hundred percent about is the yellow, but I also think it gives a nice pop of colour, so I will probably leave it. Now I'm putting…

An ongoing duty of care?

My mother showed up for dinner last Friday with two jumpers, one being Bright Enough? which I knit for her in 2014, and the other being this:

A colourwork jumper knit flat for my father by my mother in the early '80s. 

Look at the finishing on that collar. Inspirational. 
My mother allegedly wanted to see if we could match the yarn with anything from my stash. For my fathers jumper, nothing even close. For the hole in her cuff:

I still have some of the original yarn. When I told her I'd hang on to the cardigan and reknit the cuff, she seemed surprised. Like we were going to darn it, when I can rip it back and back it as good as new!

Or, unfortunately, better than new, because the cuff that's been worn for four years is darker. Getting the cuff ripped back took about 45 minutes, it's a bit felted and dense. Still, it was worth doing properly, now I can send my mother out into the world, knowing she's looking her best, and representing my knitting well!

Leon's winter set 2018 complete

This year's winter set is complete! I took the stitch pattern from Kate Davies' Highland Rogue pattern, and used it on the traditional hat, mitts and scarf set. This year this year I also added socks to the mix.

As always, knitting Kate Davies' patterns was a delight. I made the scarf half as wide, and did not join it as a cowl, because Leon prefers that, and it just looks magnificent. 




I love a double sided stitch pattern! 


So there it is, ready just as the weather here is started to get a little chilly - Leon's winter set 2018. May it keep him warm in the body and warm in the heart all season long.

Vitamin D

In 2016 I knit Vitamin D and loved it. Soft Patonyle, a flattering silhouette, a cheerful colour. what's not to love?


The problem was that it attracted stains. First there was what looked like coffee down the front, and then when I tried to clear that up there was this:

I have no idea. I spent a lot of time considering what to do. I thought about ripping and reusing the yarn to make socks. I thought about just chucking the whole thing. But first I decided to try overdying it. A little bit of blue in the dye water should make a nice light green, right?
I'm pretty happy with how it came out. Basically a slightly muddy version of my favourite colour, and now it;s wearable again.

Yarnalong - the one where it's May

I know I shouldn't be surprised at the normal passing of time, but I am! Especially since I missed April's yarnalong because I was on holidays in Scotland

Now, as if to continue that holiday for as long as possible, I am knitting Kate Davies' Highland Rogue scarf for Leon, in Scottish yarn that I bought at Edinburgh Yarn Fest. It's nearly done - currently about a metre seventy, I think I'll knit until that ball of yarn is finished.


Off the Scottish theme, I'm reading, or rather re-reading, Robin Hobb's Fool's Errand, the first book of the second Fitz trilogy.I'm just loving it. I don't remember anything from last time - about 15 years ago - but Fitz is no longer a whiny teenager, but an approaching middle aged man. I'm glad I'm enjoying it, it took me a while to find a good book this time. i actually DNFd a novel by my favourite romance author - I found I just didn't care about romance, and I struggled through an urban fantasy set in…

Hipster hat

I made Leon's hat to be using the Highland Rogue stitch pattern and the numbers from the Bracken beanie, since the beanie, made slouchy for me, fit him like he normally likes his hats. But we have had some issues with his hats. when in New Zealand his hat wasn't long enough to cover his ears, and in Scotland he actually bought a liner to keep the win out. so, I thought he should have a deep double brim this time.

When I finished the hat, I quite liked the way the decreases look, but I was worried they were a bit too ruffled for a beanie. Would look good on a slouch hat though. I had Leon try it on and he was quite happy.

Then we went to the park for photos, and I styled it hipster style, and I love it on Leon worn like this. I think it looks fine as a beanie, but as a hipster slouch hat, it's just perfect. Leon actually likes it this way too. I suggested putting a big, plump pom-pom on it, but he drew the line at that!


One blocked, one not

After I finished Leon's winter set 2018 mitts, based on Kate Davies' Highland Rogue pattern, I decided to block one of them and not the other. Why? Because I wanted to see what difference, if any, a soak would make. The yarn is "oiled" for weaving. I know many (sensible) people would have knit a swatch before embarking on this project at all, but I figured these mitts were the swatch.

I quite liked it before washing. I was a little worried they would grow, because they are none too tight. instead, after a wash the fibres bloomed:

It got tighter, fluffier and actively changed colours. Look at it now. Just a little bit cleaner, a little bit nice, a little bit better.
Now I'm off the block the matching hat, and looking forward to seeing how that comes out.

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…

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…