Monday, October 24, 2011

The Season of Secret Knitting Has Begun

So, I'll show you what came in the mail today.  It was an extraordinarily great haul.

First package opened was an order from Knit Purl in Portland, Oregon

The color is Thistle.  With it, came three bags of tea from Steven Smith Teamaker,  hands down the most beautiful bags of tea I have ever encountered.  Thanks for the tea, Knit Purl!

Then I opened a package from Knitcircus.  It was my prize from the Knitcircus Dolcetta Shawl KAL.

I won a pattern from Bijou Basin for their Bandolier Cardi-Pullover ("Is it a cardigan or a pullover?") You can see it better here.  But that's not all ...

Knitcircus also sent along a 40-yd. sample of merino laceweight from Rocky Mountain Dyeworks.  Thanks, Knitcircus and Bijou Basin!

Oh, and this came, too ...

Icelandic knitting sure seems to be on the radar recently. I myself have plans for an Icelandic shawl once the Season of Secret Knitting is over.

All this and the WEBS Holiday catalog, too!  How adorable is their selection of Lantern Moon stitch markers.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ullared Hat

Ullared Hat in Unspun Icelandic and Dolcetto Shawl  in Fleece Artist Merino 2/6

"Brought to Iceland by the Viking settlers some 1,100 years ago, the Icelandic sheep is one of the world's oldest and purest breeds... " - from The Knitter's Book of Wool

It is also one of the warmest yarns.  You buy unspun Icelandic by the 300-yard wheel.  A display of these wheels - natural greys and browns and beiges, amethyst purple, cayenne, and sumac red - greets you at the door.  They're intriguing so when he amethyst purple colorway matched a shawlette I had just finished, I bought a wheel plus another of grey for a hat.

 Unspun Icelandic is a yarn which inspires intense love or intense loathing, I’m guessing. I love the colors and the warmth. Count me as Not A Fan of the unspun aspect.  A very light hand is required to knit with this yarn.  Pull at all - and I mean at all - and it wisps apart.  
"Use a light hand when pulling the wool from the wheel until the center hole is large enough to permit the wool to flow freely. If the strand should break, simply overlap the ends, moisten your palm, and rub the two strands together for a ‘spit-splice’. " - Schoolhouse Press instructional sheet 

To combat the wispy aspect of the yarn, I threw the completed hat into a pillowcase, wound a rubber band around to secure, and threw the thing into the washing machine.  A wash in hot water later, the hat was perfectly felted.

A fun feature of the pattern is to add your initials in a little box.  Do you see mine above the sold line of purple?

Friday, October 07, 2011

Stashing Down: Dolcetta

Stashing down with Fleece Artist Merino 2/6, colorway Pixie

Does sock yarn count as stash?    I admit to four all-purpose bags full, although there might be five.

Whether or not stockpiling sock yarn is guilt-free, this skein of  Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 didn't hang out in my stash for more than a month.    Along came a KAL for the Dolcetto shawlette from Knitcircus.  It was a simple matter of opening my cedar chest, pulling out the plastic bags stuffed with sock yarn, and choosing what I liked best that day.

But now I might need a hat to go with this Dolcetto shawlette.  Winter is coming.  This is Wisconsin.  It gets cold.  I'm out of this yarn.  My source for this yarn is out of this colorway.  What to do, what to do ...

Go to the local yarn store!  See if they don't have something that coordinates.

 But of course.  The stash that goes down must come up again.  I'll show you what I found on Monday.