What a week! It was the last week of term here so been busy with school award ceremonies, plays and day-to-day mayhem, as well as getting two job applications in. For months, it seems like there’ve been no teaching jobs advertised anywhere that we could move to with D’s job (and his job’s quite incredibly flexible about where he could live!) and then three come up at once. So with a bit of luck we could be moving to Perth, Stirling or back home to Fife. Fingers crossed!
Haven’t managed to get any spinning done in what seems like weeks now, but I do have a bit of knitting to show you. I’ve just released Asphodel Shawl on Ravelry.
I really love this shawl, it’s a pretty geometric design that goes from big diamonds to small diamonds with a pretty lace border. And it’s giant! You can totally wrap yourself up in it. I love it for reading in bed to keep my shoulders warm.
It’s also available on Craftsy and Etsy, in case you’re interested!
Here’s another FO to show you. This is knitted up from the Gotland yarn I bought from Croft Wools up on Applecross in the summer.
I’m hopefully going to get the pattern written up this week…. It’s lightly felted which really softened up the yarn and gives it a really pretty finish. Haven’t thought of a name for it yet either, thinking of pattern names is so hard!
Ok, so it’s been a couple of weeks since my birthday, but I thought I’d show off the yarn and fibre I’ve got now. (The last couple of weeks I’ve had nice beach and walking pictures to share but this week’s been a bit boring!)
So, here they all are:
The spinning fibre is from Three Waters Farm, it’s a polwarth silk blend.
That’s from my parents, as is:
This skein of laceweight merino from Welthase. It’s going to be a scarf with a lacy leafy kind of pattern.
D’s parents gave me 7 (!!) balls of Jamiesons of Shetland aran weight. I’m going to knit up a fair isle cushion for the flat with that I think…
And my little brother got me a skein of Abstract Cat yarn. It’s handdyed, sockweight bfl, not sure what I’ll knit with this but the yarn is gorgeous!
Sorry to be such a show off!
Knitting wise this week, I have finally made a start on a second project with my gradient batt yarn. I started knitting up a shawl, but was wildly overoptimistic when planning how far the yarn would go, so it’s been ripped back and is being knitted into a hat.
You can’t see very clearly, but it’s twisted 1×1 rib split into 6 sections which will spiral round. Hopefully lots of progress will be made by next week and you’ll be able to see what I mean!
Long weekend for Glasgow schools this week, so I had Friday and today off. D managed to get time off too so we went up north for a bit of fresh air and exercise!
On Saturday we went up Buachaille Etive Beag. It’s one of my absolute favourite hills. Amazing views and a beautiful airy ridge for really not much effort at all. And the weather was gorgeous, maybe a tiny bit hazy but a perfect temperature. Great walking weather! Here’s some pics:
We stayed in a “microlodge” at the Blackwater Hostel in Kinlochleven. They’re a bit like a cross between a shed and a barrel, but with two beds, a telly, kettle, microwave etc. All you really need and very reasonably priced.
Next day we climbed the “three Sgurrs” at Ballachulish. The weather this time was immaculate. I don’t think I’ve ever climbed a hill in better conditions. From the top we could see all the way out to Jura, to Skye, we could see munros in Torridon, and beautiful views of hills nearby. Wonderful views to the Mamores, we’re planning on doing the ring of Steall in the October holidays now.
An auspicious start to the day with a field jam-packed with sheep:
A scramble up the spur to the first top, Sgurr Bhan:
Then round a breathtaking ridge to the first munro top, Sgurr Dhearg:
Here’s the panorama from the top, absolutely unbelievable! (You can click it for a better view.)
Down to the low point, then a bit of a scramble up to the final top:
What a walk! Feeling pretty sore today!
We went back to stay with my parents in St Andrews this weekend. It’s my birthday on Tuesday so we had a family weekend at home to celebrate. Checked out the new wool shop in St Andrews (I forget the name but it’s on Bell St if anyone’s visiting and wants to seek it out). They had a lovely selection of undyed alpaca and handknitted scarves. Really cute soft toy alpacas too, would make a lovely present for a knitter’s kid! Bit on the pricey side, but it is St Andrews so I’m sure they can find plenty of people who can afford it. And I think the rates there are horrific so fair play to them…
Didn’t spend long in town, but I’ve got lots of lovely pictures of windswept beaches for you! On Saturday we walked along the West Sands in St A’s. The tide was right in, and it was overcast but the sea was amazingly calm. There was a huge flock of sanderlings flying in unison which was very pretty. Here’s a couple of pics anyway….
Sunday was much sunnier, and we headed out to Tentsmuir forest for a walk. It’s a pine forest just north of St Andrews by a huge beach. You see lots of seals there in Summer, but at the start of Autumn, it’s just amazing for finding mushrooms!
Here’s a small sample of the mushroom pics!
Here’s a nice foresty pic:
And some of the beach:
Knitting-wise, things have been a bit up and down! I knitted up as much shawl as possible with my gradient yarn from the last post, but there just wasn’t enough for an anywhere near decent shawl. Back to the drawing board and I think I’ll knit up a hat with it instead. Got an interesting idea for a twisted rib hat that I think will look nice with the colour change…. More on that hopefully next week!
Added a new free hat pattern to my Littletheorem site today. Islay Hat is a simple, unisex hat available in two sizes. The stitch pattern is Twisted Moss Stitch, it’s become a firm favourite with me!
The pattern’s available for free on my Littletheorem website and you can download it from Ravelry too.
I know I said last week that I was planning on making a hat from my handspun gradient yarn:
But I think it’s going to become a shawl. Here’s the (very limited!) progress so far. You can see bits of pinky red just turning up at the edge:
Couldn’t get a better shot of the whole thing, knitting it up on old needles and they’re very twisty!
A wee treat turned up for me in the post this week too. It’s my first year as a fully qualified teacher so I’ve had a pretty big payrise. When my first month’s pay turned up, I of course had to look into purchasing a sweater quantity of cashmere. I found a website selling the only uk grown cashmere, from a gorgeous farm in Devon. And the cashmere is amazing!! Really soft and smooshy with a beautiful halo. It’s going to be a bottom-up, raglan sweater in double moss stitch if all goes to plan.
Here’s a pic of the yarn
And a close-up of the swatch:
Last week a carded a pretty gradient batt:
And this week I’ve been spinning it up. I spun it all into laceweight singles (somewhere between 2 and 3 ply weight), then navajo plied it to make about a dk weight yarn.
Here’s a pic of the singles:
And the plied yarn:
Really pleased with how it turned out! I’ve got about 180m of it, think I’m going to make a cabled hat. Was planning on making a lacy hat, but I’ve got a bit too much yarn for that if I want to show off all the colours in the gradient…
Two FO’s this week too:
A hat for my aunt in twisted moss stitch. The yarn is Shilasdair luxury dk. It’s dyed with woad and it’s dyed a blue line on the index finger of my right hand where the yarn runs over it. Going to write up the pattern and stick it up on Littletheorem hopefully sometime this week.
Also finished off a little external hard drive cover for Dunc. This is leftover Rowan Felted Tweed from knitting my brother a sweater for his 30th. It’s pretty cute I think!
Remember the alpaca I was spinning a few weeks ago? It has metamorphosed into a chunky lace cowl for which I have just released the pattern. Whoop!
Etive cowl is a soft, cosy, lofty cowl that’s really quick to knit. The lace pattern is suitable for beginner knitters and is perfect for handspun yarn. It’s available to purchase on Ravelry here, Etsy here and Craftsy here. I knitted this up as a birthday present for a friend. She used to work in a posh knitwear shop on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and would always say how soft (and unaffordable) the alpaca scarves were.
I’ve just started a new spinning project which I’m pretty excited about (although I haven’t got very far with it). I’m spinning a gradient batt into colourchanging yarn, which will hopefully become a lace hat in the near future.
So far I’ve carded the batt:
Tore it into strips:
And spun about 10 grams. Why only 10 grams?? We’ve been inundated with guests! My brother, my cousin, his best friend, his girlfriend and his housemate all dropped in this afternoon. He lives in Birmingham and stopped by on his way to visit his Dad in the Highlands. And last night we were dogsitting for a friend (the same friend who now owns the Etive cowl above). So we’ve been spending a lot of time playing tug of war with a squeaky toy pig.
And generally being overwhelmed by cuteness…