Sunday, July 31, 2016

Building Houses

Each year there is an official hat pattern designed for Shetland Wool Week. Last year it was the enormously popular Baa-ble Hat by the event's patron, Donna Smith.

This year's patron is Ella Gordon and her official design is The Crofthoose Hat.  I've already made one in earth tones in Jamieson & Smith Shetland 2-ply Jumper Weight wool. You'll see the charming croft houses dot the Shetland landscape.  

I enjoyed making it and decided to make another and the colors I'm using are quite different. This time I'm using wool from the other Shetland company, Jamieson's, using their Shetland Spindrift. These two companies are not the same, the similarity of names is a coincidence. The wonderful thing is that these fingering-weight balls of wool are interchangeable and they give knitters a huge range of colors.

Now that all of my crofthooses are built, I can move on to the crown of the hat.  By the way, Ella has also made a pattern for a yoke sweater with this design.  She is a talented lady, and very lucky to work at Jamieson & Smith.  Can you imagine being around all that fabulous wool on a daily basis? I'm going to a talk given by Ella in September.  Should be fun!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Countdown to SWW

With it being about the midway point of summer the conversations I hear around me most often are about vacations:  Are you going anywhere?  What are you doing?  How long are you taking off work? etc.

My answer is that I'm working all summer, saving my vacation time for a trip back to Shetland in September.  I was there last year and love the place.  It's remote, but has an unique energy and a wonderful culture.  Last year I was there a week before Shetland Wool Week and I'm glad I saw it in its "quieter state" - able to enjoy it without crowds.

This year I'm going to be there for the full of SWW and I'm expecting it to be different, more crowded.  I'm looking forward to this visit just as much.  I expect to meet people from all over the world who just happen to be knitters, as well.  I'm taking classes, will be visiting studios, enjoying Sunday tea, sightseeing and knitting with others every chance I get. 

I hate to wish the summer away (winter comes too quickly and is too long), but I'm looking forward to being in Shetland again. 

Enjoy this video I found about Shetland Wool Week (filmed last year).  I see some familiar faces:  Oliver Henry from Jamieson & Smith, Hazel Tindall - the world's fastest knitter and Di Gilpin, designer.  I was lucky enough to listen to them speak, take a class and visit a studio. 

For more videos and more information about Shetland, here's an excellent link.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July!

I hope that it's been a good 4th if you're celebrating.  I had planned to wear, what I thought, was a pair of socks in the colors of the US (or Texas) flag.  However, when I opened up the skein it was obvious that the colors were not true.  They were more of a pink/red and a medium baby blue....and not quite as bright as they appear in the picture below.  It didn't look bad when it was all wrapped in a skein, but spreading out the yarn and winding it into a ball proved that the yarn was not the rich red, white and blue that I'd hoped it would be.  The colors are fine, just not the patriotic ones that I was going for.  However, another project is now finished.  I'm working through my fabulous collection of sock yarns.  So much fun, and such variety.


Pattern:  My generic pattern - 2x2 ribbing, stocking stitch leg, short row heel, stocking stitch foot, toe,
Cast on 60 sts.  Size:  Medium

Yarn: Perfect Sock - Self striping from Must Stash Yarns
75% Superwash Merino / 25% Nylon
6 Uneven Stripes
Color: Elevens - 2016 Fiber Fest
This yarn was a Dallas/Fort Worth Fiber Fest exclusive.
Elevens refers to the fact that this year was the 11th Anniversary of the event.

Needles:  US #0 / 2.0 mm

Notes:  This yarn doesn't have the twist that you often find in sock yarns, but the yarn is strong.  I normally break a yarn with my hands but I needed to use scissors for this.  Must Stash had gorgeous colorways in their booth.  I ended up with two skeins.  The other one is speckle dyed.  

Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day

I think I saw this video from the National Film Board for the first time about 30+ years ago. To me, it screams "Ottawa Valley"!