So as Australians, it is a bit of a cold shock to visit Europe in winter. Our hand knitted socks have been in high rotation, and I finished these ones for the Fireman on the flight from Sydney to Hong Kong. Their first day out was a visit to the Musée Jacquemart-André, one of my favorite small museums in Paris. I tried to persuade him to pose with the socks closer to the art, but this shot was the best I could extract.
We are now in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, and the sock model was feeling a tad more co-operative – the absence of museum guards, and the the lure of a glass of red might have helped. Don’t be fooled by the pose into thinking that the weather has been warm – when the socks were hanging on the line today after a wash they froze!
Technical details here.
In Iceland, there is yarn for sale in lots of places, but so far as I could see – it was all Lopi. As a wool lover, I feel like I should really like Lopi, but, I really don’t.
Part of the problem is that I was knitting this scarf while I was in Iceland.
It doesn’t look like much in the photos, but the yarn is the softest I have ever felt. When I went to the Nordic Knitting conference in 2009, I felt the original Raha scarf as knitted by Nancy Bush, bought the yarn, and let it age in my stash. Last October, my mother and sister went to the Nordic Knitting conference (without me! the traitors!) and I thought that the time was right to knit up my qiviut.
I followed the pattern pretty closely, but did a provisional cast on and made it into a cowl. I pretty much knitted until all the yarn was gone. More technical notes on Ravelry. It is the softest, lightest cowl and feels like an angel is caressing my neck. You can buy some here. I finished it last night in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, and wore it today. It makes even slightly scratchy yarn very difficult to contemplate.
These were commuter socks. Inspired by a lot of beautiful stripy socks around including Sabs, Linda, and Siow Chin. After quite a few years of knitting socks, I think that the Regia promise of 10 years is a reasonable one – these socks are 6 years old and are still going strong.
I only found one skein of the Regia at Spotlight when alerted (I think by Donna) to the fact that it was on sale there for a ridiculously low price. I think I paid $1.70 for one 50 gram skein? The Wollmeise leftovers from these socks padded out them out. I will be very interested to see the relative wearing properties of the two yarns.
The dog decided to add his foot for scale.
Speaking of Regia – I am now knitting socks using the first range of Arne & Carlos Design Line. They are the prettiest faux-isle patterns that I have seen to date.
I don’t knit as much as I would like these days. I write a lot, but all in corporate litigation practice (and I’ll spare my gentle readers from the delights of that vocabulary).
Writing this post makes me remember fondly learning the Roositud technique in Estonia. These socks were knitted out of Wollmeise, with enough of the contrast coming from a taste of Wollmeise pack. As my sister points out, Roositud is just reverse fairisle, and it makes a very nice pattern on the socks. The pattern is Roosimine, and includes a very detailed tutorial on the inlay technique. More technical details here.
They were entered in the Sydney Royal Easter show, and I was surprised (the Roositud is quite uneven on the first sock) to receive a third prize.
These socks were my slow commuter knitting project. They went to the naughty corner several times because I had persisted with trying to knit from the centre of the skeins. I ended up with a great snarled mess of knotted yarn. Things moved much more quickly when I broke the yarn, and started knitting from the outside of the skein. The downside of this approach was that somehow it involved me missing the pretty aqua part of the colourway of the Noro Kureyon Sock, but that might also be the mystery of Noro working it’s charms. I was very concerned and annoyed when I knitted the first sock, and realised that instead of the regular 2 skein stripe that above the heel (on the left foot in the photo below), I would have a 3 row stripe. I almost frogged the whole heel, but at that stage was on the knitting tour of Estonia, and the message from the Estonian knitters that we were meeting, was always to knit on. Certain imperfections are to be expected, and time spent unpicking is time wasted. They similarly were not worried about the “jog” that can occur with striped socks and I resolved to be more sanguine. The advice must be working, because the three row stripe is almost undetectable. I will however, also remember that the next time that I knit striped socks, to only knit 1 row of the heel colour prior to starting the heel, so that the 2 row pattern is maintained after the heel… For more technical details – the Ravelry link is here.
In May/June this year I was very lucky to go on a tour of Estonia led by Nancy Bush with my mother and sister. I intended to knit this cardigan so that it would be finished while I was there.
I knitted on the flight to Estonia, and on the bus as we drove around Estonia. We had amazing lessons, learning many new techniques and making friends with each other.
We stayed in a huge variety of accommodation (the photo above shows my mother and sister in the doorway of our cabin in Kihnu – it was by far the most rustic) and I knitted this cardigan outdoors while drinking Estonian pear cider.
After lessons where I learned to make braids like the ones on the troi below, I sat and ploughed through stockingette.
We visited castles – the one below is in Haapsallu (yes the town of the shawls).
But I wasn’t knitting as I walked down these steps! The variety of knitwear that we saw was truly amazing – these socks are knitted at an incredibly fine gauge and date back to the late 19th Century.
The variety of mittens and gloves that we saw have given me lots of inspiration for colour work. Nancy was a very thoughtful and organised tour leader and the tour group laughed constantly. Despite all the inspiration, I plugged on with the stockingette.By the time I hopped onto the plane back to Sydney, I had finally reached the collar of the cardigan, and then I remembered that I hated knitting twisted rib. The cardigan sat scrunched in a bag until a couple of weeks ago, and I finally finished it today.
Technical details here. The dog is Percy, who joined our family in April as a retired pets as therapy dog. He is a delight; a neurotic, food motivated, delight.
Late last year I joined the NSW Knitter’s Guild. When I attend (which is highly intermittent due to teaching and family commitments), I have a great time, and at my first meeting I purchased some 3 skeins of Silkbloom Fino from Suzy Hausfrau.
Through the Guild (and Jane), I heard that if I entered the Royal Easter Show, I could receive free tickets to the Arts Preview. As I paid $30 for that ticket last year, and thoroughly enjoyed myself, spending $11 to enter the show seemed like a good deal.
I found Delynn after searching around Ravelry. When I turned up to the show preview, I ran into Margarita and Lynn, who completely surprised me by telling me that I had won a prize! I will admit to enjoying the sensation – future show entries are likely.
As for the Silkbloom Fino, those of you who are familiar with the late lamented Kiama might get a sense of deja-vu. I don’t know where it is spun, but the resemblance is astonishing. Needless to say, I love it.