Happy New Year! New shows, new yarns….

Happy New Year! Hope it was a wonderful one;I did my usual fall asleep before the fireworks….

Looking forward to Waltham Abbey Wool show and Sandown this month, then it’s off to Paris for Aiguilles en Fetes followed closely by Unravel.Sooo, I’ve been dyeing up a storm. Here’s some newbies-

then there’s some fat lace/skinny sock-

next, Bfl/nylon high twist sock:

then some silvery stellina sock:

and a little bit of lace:

Clearly had a blue /green couple of days.

loving the ultra fine merino lace weight (100gm=800m). It has a micron count of 17.5 and is incredibly close to cashmere in feel. I have finished my Christmas pine tree shawl- but need to properly photo it-

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Also loving the Bfl/Silk yarns. My most popular sweater of the year was knit in the 4 ply version:

Named the wedding sweater as I knit this during the 2 week frantic lead up to Alex’s wedding. It’s pretty mindless except for a cable running up each side. Very wearable and the yarn makes it special.

Waltham Abbey Wool Show is next Sunday, the 18th. There will be a wonderful group of vendors so well worth a visit.

Gretchen’s Bag

A  client from Sandown took 3 skeins of the Pampa Aran yarn to make her version of the Gretchen bag- which looks fabulous. It was her first felted effort and while she suffered somewhat  during the i-cord work at the top, she produced this stunning  work. Speaking of the Pampa Aran, I am awaiting  a big shipment of new colours dyed to my order and am busy designing  away- chunkier yarns feel right to me  this fall and have mapped out at least 3 ponchoy sweater creations as well as a couple of new hats.  My kids are getting sick of me knitting the 1 ball chunky cowl which I love because it is mindless and takes only 2 TV programs ( they do like to wear it however).

Not Just Novelty Yarns

My friend Renee who is the chicest person I know(sorry Annabel) goes straight for the dramatic in the store we visited. She has me knitting this:

Online linea Solo ruffle yarn . This is seriously easy, fast and fun. She loves orange.

She also asked me to knit her a long scarf with fringe in  Ironstone’s Starlight- a hand dyed blend of mohair with some thin rayon ruffled strands.  You may notice in big letters the Spun in England- I’m presuming that Ironstone plyed this up themselves. Where’d they get the base yarn from?

I have been calling this genre of yarns novelty- but they go beyond  the typical novelty we see in England – a  scratchy crude acrylic eyelash, ribbon or ladder. I was in the  local yarn shop for the south shore recently – Ribbonesque . The store was a riot of  yarn concoctions, more often than not hand dyed and a mixture of  natural and synthetic fibres.. Think loads of tilli thomas, Prism, Blue Heron , Great Adirondack etc concoctions stuffed everywhere.So-called  standard yarns  were present but not prevalent. Also interesting, sock yarn was downplayed (which I also noticed in New York).

These non-traditional yarns spur my imagination , but if you can see the price tag,more often than not, they are some what pricey. $30 (~£20) a skein for 140 yds of the Ironstone. To do the kind of scarf she wants , I need 3 skeins- not so sure this will play in the UK…..

knitting on the beach spring break 09

  managed to knit and needlepoint on the beach in florida this year- note flamingo on bag. black yarn is a mink ( brushed from animals not pelts) and cashmere blend which is amazing. it turned into this hat.

 Also did cute child’s sweater using the german self-striping yarn( schoeller &stahl). the pattern looks vaguely missoni-ish with a slight chevron. very easy and inexpensive to make. Also, saw sharks in the water (right after I’d gotten out..), ate too much and shopped too much, love Florida….

legionella in london- bad news/good news

 The latest drama in our family – annabel received a letter from her flat’s mgmt company the other day informing that the building’s water supply contains dangerous letter of the 2/14 legionella bacteria- needless to say she and her 2 roommates  were immediately evacuated to chez us (their families live in Geneva) while we figure out where they are going to live next. ( because they are not going back and oh, by the way this is a very respectable building in kensington/hammersmith border). The good news is that this vastly increases my model pool and I’ve managed to get some new items photographed at last. The bad news is that annabel is at the age of 20 well on her way to eclipsing my record of weird, outrageous  life  dramas.

Sophie photos particularly well and we’ll catch Jen yet-1st-br-lace-card-doc-img_7077sock-mitts-ipod-doc

KNITTING AND GOLF

My friend Ellen knit these wonderful club covers from my pattern- she wants to add pompoms to denote wood number- very cute. Ellen also knit this cashmere hat for me-

A Cashmere Holiday

I feel like a returning student writing the obligatory what I did on my summer vacation-but this was the ultimate knitting holiday- nothing but cashmere. La Bottega del filato cashmere will be launched next month- it provides the ultimate cashmere knitting experience and I did it everywhere- on the beach, on the train etc etc. This yarn will make its debut at IKNIT show in London on 6th Sept!

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