Let me just squeeze this in before winter is completely upon us!
First of all, the final item in my Four Seasons challenge from the beginning of the year.
If you remember, I began with a beautiful winter hat, the Constellation hat by Hunter Hammeson (a paid-for pattern on Ravelry), not difficult but probably the most complex of the four patterns.
The last in the quartet is autumnal indeed, cosy socks which are the brilliant and easy Nutkin pattern by Beth LaPensee (a free Knitty pattern also available on Ravelry). I have made this pattern before – and since! – and love it. It’s the perfect combination of slightly lacy and stretchy but warm and cable-y, without needing any cable needles: truth be told, it’s just a wandering stitch of increases, decreases and yarn overs and very quick, too.
A reminder – all the yarn is Malabrigo Mechita single-ply Uruguayan fingering, a super-soft yarn, and the colours were Unicornio, Lluvas, Aniversario and Piedras. Thumbs up all round!
Other autumnal projects started off slowly. On our short stay in Portugal, my efforts to get going on the Woodland Tales pattern by Melody Hoffman with the West Yorkshire Spinners’ Wensleydale in a luscious cranberry shade were thwarted by endless difficulties. Eventually, in France, I managed to get a reasonable gauge and get past “Go”, but I must admit it was a bit of a struggle, dare I suggest due to the pattern being one of her first and marked with inexperience? However, the resulting lacy mittens are a delight and I’m very pleased with them. Being lacy does not make them less warm, however, in a pinch (or a very cold day) they could be worn over machine-knit gloves or mitts, for pretty, if you will. I like the fact that the wool is Yorkshire Wensleydale and this particular colour being what it is – in case you don’t know, Wensleydale Cheese with Cranberries is a “thing” and something we’ve often brought home from England with us ever since the children watched Wallace and Gromit years ago and Wallace loved his Wensleydale cheese…and we love cranberries lol. So again, a big positive result!!
That’s a gratuitous shot of Sophie the cat, one of the last ones, unfortunately, as we had to have her put to sleep last week… as I’m not ready to write about her, yet, here’s a link to my mom’s lovely obituary! https://catterel.wordpress.com/2017/11/28/miss-sophie-the-sophisti-cat/
Next is technically still a WIP (well, not when it takes me an age to write a post!), but should be easy enough to remedy: the Treehouse Mitts, also by Melody Hoffman (from the video podcast Mandarine’s) in Blacker’s 12th Anniversary wool called Brushwork, in the colourway Wash. These are lovely and dense and the colour is so pretty, with tiny specks of grey, pinks and blues in it. This pattern is also a bit fiddly, but not hard. As it’s a DK weight, they are knit quickly and it’s only due to distractions and castonitis that I haven’t yet done the second one! Due any moment… tada…
Back in April my daughter lent me her Traveling Cables hat (Purl Soho) when we went sailing. My initial plans with the Baa Ram Ewe Titus in White Rose were abandoned – another Yorkshire yarn and the colour in memory of my Granny had been intended for a Celtic shawl but I wasn’t happy with the fabric and when my daughter mentioned that the hat was made of the same yarn (in a different colour), held double, well there was nothing holding me back. Now I, too, have a dense and cuddly hat to wear against biting winds… I loved this free pattern, especially the way the cables come together at the top, very clever. 🙂
The Drops Nord I was trying out – a wool, alpaca, polyamide blend that isn’t machine-washable – turned into two pairs of what are essentially bedsocks, or lounging socks if you like. The blue is fog, the pink I believe is just antique rose, both lovely soft colours and the general impression of the wool is supersoft, cloudy, squishy and actually a pleasure to knit. The recipients are both blue-eyed and fair-haired and I think the colours suit them! I didn’t get a picture of the blue socks with pink heart heels, but these are made from the leftovers – two balls of blue and a bit of the pink, plenty left.
Two sweaters have fallen off the needles, I’m not quite sure when – the first certainly knitted itself and is a Flax by Tincanknits (free!) in Drops Lima (wool/alpaca) in a lovely mustard colour. Sorry about the selfie, but heyho, a girl gotta do what a girl gotta do! I’m very happy with this slightly cropped (by me!) sweater, ideal with a skirt.
Then some Drops Puna arrived, a wonderful 100% alpaca yarn that was so wonderfully rich and squishy. I had chosen the purple because I like purple, but the following day after I received it, Pantone announced their tribute colour to Prince – “Prince Purple” and I swear this is exactly it, so my sweater is now dubbed Purple Rain!! It’s the Wind Down pattern #175 by Drops, another free one. This knitted up beautifully and like the other, is a dream to wear. Very warm but light! The little bit of lace at the raglan is pretty and there’s a sneaky little row of eyelets along the underarm “seam”, too.
I’ve been knitting like a fiend to use up as much of the acquisitions as possible!! Some more Nutkin socks in a plain grey, Poppyseed, by West Yorkshire Spinners in their very lovely Signature Blue-Faced Leicester sock yarn happened, too, but I haven’t photographed them, yet (ah…time lapse…)! The same goes for Sjärbo.se Maja’s Mamelucker woolly knickers, yes, you read right, big pants!! I made these out of solidarity for Maja, whose pattern was apparently duplicated by Drops without permission, a big no-no – I agree with Skeindeer about this, as well as a number of other podcasters and designers who called us knitters to arms, or rather needles, in defence of Maja’s pattern. As I like wearing skirts and tunics in the winter, a pair of woolly (over)knickers sounds just the thing, so why not?! I used a large 100g ball of Wolle Rödel’s Paint sock yarn in grey and a smaller 50g ball of Drops Fabel (I know, ironic, but I do use a lot of Drops yarn…) in a soft pink and when I ran out of that, a slightly more mauve Wolle Rödel Paint for the crotch – it’s hardly noticeable and nobody will see, in any case :o. It is very pretty, though, so looking forward to using the rest of that ball soon!
See that little dish of buttons? Dish and buttons courtesy of Granny! So nice to have things around to remind me of her! And the flowers were a generous offering from my daughter and her BF for my birthday, lucky me!
So, that leaves current WIPs – works in progress… The biggest is also a challenge, The Oa by Kate Davies, a lovely stranded colourwork hoodie I’ve coveted since the pattern came out. It’s in her own lovely Buachaille wool and I’ve got about 6″ up the body, so quite a while to go.
There are other (secret!!) projects and a few ideas milling around but when I want a soothing knit, I head for my birthday yarn, a very generous gift from my good friend who knows me well: Blue-Faced Leicester and silk blended and hand-painted by Artist’s Palette Yarns. Ooooh yummy!! It’s a colour called Fireside and I have been sitting by the stove knitting Ysolda Teague’s Fraxinus cowl… it’s a while since I knitted one of her patterns, but I do love her work and admire her as a young designer. It’s a lovely pattern and not difficult so I’m really enjoying making progress 🙂