Saturday, 29 June 2013

Woolfest 2013

The morning of Woolfest dawned yesterday, and of course it was raining. Sadly not the best weather for a trip to the Lakes, but perfect weather for yarn purchasing. It was a fabulous day out, despite the weather. I am incredibly greatful to eweniq for all her hard work driving and excellent company.

After an awful drive over (including a debate about where the fog lights might be on our hire car), the day was quickly brightened by colourful yarn...

... beautiful spinning equipment....

... and of course, cute sheep!

But what did I buy? Well, I did stick to form....

My first purchase was Laal Bear Lush Hand-dyed Sock Yarn 75% merino, 25% nylon. The colourway is Beltaine, which is the festival that marks the beginning of summer at the start of May. The colours are more teal and magenta than my photography skills let on. This is destined to be socks, but what pattern depends on what happens when I ball it up.

Next up, a little quality time at the Sparkleduck booth. I really enjoyed knitting socks with their yarn after getting it from Woolfest 2011, so I was determined to go back, and this colour just spoke to me! It's Spirit yarn (75% superwash merino wool, 25% nylon) in Sea-quine. Also destined to be socks, probably in a pattern from Socktopus but not deciding what yet.

I was also determined to visit Ripples Crafts after finding her on Twitter and often nearly purchasing her yarn. I got myself Hand Dyed Sock Yarn in Violet Ombre 75% wool, 25% nylon. And yes, you guessed it, probably more socks....

The Easy Knits stand in the photo above had so many beautiful colours, but the one that really spoke to me was this Deeply Wicked (100% superwash merino) 4ply in Crystal Blue - more turquoise and less green than the photo lets on. However, in a shocking turn of events, this is probably going to be a shawl.

On our way out, we ran into Knit.Spin.Cake., who suggested we visit one stall that we had kinda missed as it was right in the corner, up a dead end.The reason?

Ten of these for £10 - they are Woolyknit 100% superwash merino wool DK in navy. Destined to be some jumper, sometime, after I've knitted the queue!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Le Weekend avec le Barf de Unicorn.

Reading over my last post, it sounds a bit like I'm heading into some kind of Knitting Dark Place - sorry about that (though thanks for the lovely comment, it did help me gain a little perspective). I read it a few times after posting and decided that what I needed was to assuage my guilt.

I could not find a pattern good enough for this yarn. There were several false starts. I tried socks with different patterns, but they looked way too chaotic no matter what. I was not happy, stamped, stomped, shouted at the yarn a bit (particularly 'too much entropy!' and 'stupid unicorn barf!'). I then shoved it to the bottom of my knitting in tray and tried to forget about it.

Then I started to get guilty about everything under the sun, including that I'd not managed to find a project to do justice to this beautiful yarn. At some point, I was moaning about this to my lovely housemate, who is both a knitter and one of life's 'doers'. So she did the leg work, found me a fabulous pattern* and I just had to cast on.
*actually, she found me half a dozen patterns, but we decided that this one was the best.

Pattern: Le Weekend [rav link]
Yarn: Toddy in colourway Spectrum, by The Yarn Yard.
Needles: KnitPro interchangeables in 4.5mm (5.5mm for cast on and cast off). 

I knitted all the way up to Aberdeen and all the way back, and basically finished the whole thing then - but then I spent a week thinking about how I could possibly use up the rest of the yarn and then deciding, with the beautiful shape and all the short-row shaping I'd just done, that it would be best just as it is. SuperHousemate has solved this one too, and suggested I knit a few sets of baby booties out of what's left - after all, they don't care how crazy the colours are!