Here, There, And Everywhere

Hello! Today I am writing to you from sunny, windy, lovely Aarhus, where I have had the pleasure of staying this past week. It’s been a rather disjointed couple of weeks for me, I’ve been here, there, and everywhere, but of course, my knitting has never been far behind.
At the end of my last post I promised to give a run down of any yarn shops I had visited whilst being here, and trust me, I have a lot to share! But for that reason, rather than cramming everything into one monster entry, I thought it best to to talk about my visits to the various yarny establishments of Aarhus in a separate post, so keep you eyes peeled for that in the coming days!

Right, now we’ve got that ironed out, allow me to jump back into my usual format and share what I’ve been working on recently!

What’s off my needles…

Pattern: Step Out Hat (my own)
Yarn: Sheepaca by Wool and the Gang in Jog Grey

Step Out Hat

After being on a bit of a sweater-knitting kick for the last month or two, I was pleasantly surprised when this hat appeared, as if by magic, over the course of just a few short days. I’d forgotten about the instant gratification of projects like this, and it felt really great to not only design and knit something so quickly, but also do a bit of stash busting at the same time. However, this project also served as a reminder that sometimes it’s good to take your time. Although I swatched, I didn’t plan ahead to the decrease section, and so only when I had completed the main body of the hat did I realise that I had cast on a really awkward number of stitches which was only divisible by 4 or 29. Not ideal! Anyway, you live and you learn, and I’m trying not to be too hard on myself.

The stitch pattern I used is a variation on what I believe is often called seeded ribbing but I mixed things up a little by offsetting the pattern by one stitch every eight rows to create a subtle, spiralling effect. I just love how spongey and squishy the fabric is, and how it contrasts against the corrugated texture of the twisted rib hem. This hat is destined to go to New Zealand and I really hope the recipient likes it enough to get some use out of it.

On the whole, I’m happy with how the hat turned out regardless of the numerical boo-boo, so I think I will knit a second sample (my boyfriend has been hinting that he needs a new hat anyway) and write up a free pattern to upload to Ravelry so that others can knit it up if they wish.

The yarn is one of the many odd balls of Wool and the Gang yarn which I accumulated during my time working there. Sheepaca is a luxurious 50/50 blend of merino and alpaca, and although my recent knitting habits have steered me in the direction of more rustic yarns, there is no denying how soft and squishy this blend is. I actually have a sweater’s quantity lurking in my stash, destined to be a Svenson sweater for my boyfriend, so I’m hoping my renewed enthusiasm for Sheepaca, along with the fact that Christmas suddenly feels like it’s fast approaching, will cajole me into getting his sweater cast on!

What’s on my needles…

Pattern: Moss stitch sweater (my own)
Yarn: Cascade 220 by Cascade Yarns in River Rock

Aarhus sweaterI hope you aren’t too tired of hearing about my progress on this sweater, it certainly seems like I’ve been working on it for rather a long time. I thought I would give a little update on it today seeing as I didn’t mention it in my last post.

So, I finally finished the body, hooray! As much I was enjoying knitting those rows and rows of moss stitch, it was a welcome relief to switch things up with some 2×2 rib for a while. It’s such a simple sweater so I feel like I have no excuse to not get every little detail right. Can you tell I’m a bit of a perfectionist?! I really like the split hem, and although I’m keeping things basic with this commission, this detail is definitely something I’d like to explore more in future designs. I really like how it’s both flattering and functional, and I think it would be fun to play around with differing lengths, i-cord edgings, or additional shaping to add subtle points of interest. Anyway, sleeve number one is now underway and I’m not going to lie, I’m getting a teensy bit tired of it now. I know I’m not alone in my feelings towards sleeves, and I always try to combat the inevitable tedium by knitting them first when I am working a sweater from the bottom up. I couldn’t do that with this sweater so I’ve just got to suck it up and plough on. Maybe I’ll have it finished by my next post…or maybe the post after that. I can but hope!

Pattern: Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Leuder
Yarn: Trinket Sparkle by Sinew and Stone in Stormurinn

Hermione Socks

This is a project that hasn’t had any attention on the blog before now, mainly because it hasn’t been getting much attention IRL unfortunately. But seeing as holidays often involve train/ tram/ plane/ bus travel (and yes, I used all four methods to get to Aarhus!), I knew I should be prepared with a small and simple project to whip out in times of need, and what better project than socks?! The yarn is pretty special to me as it was dyed by a lovely lady who I met in Iceland. In English the name of the colourway means storm and I think it captures perfectly the changing skies, mossy lava fields and cold ocean spray of the windswept north Atlantic island. It goes without saying that the photo I have inserted here really doesn’t do the colours justice, in reality they are filled with vibrant green and blue tones and the stellina sparkles when it catches the light.
Meadow has her own hand-dyed yarn company Sinew and Stone under which she sells unique colourways inspired by her surroundings, on a range of luxurious bases. I love supporting independent designers and makers where I can, particularly when I have had the pleasure of meeting them in person, so if hand-dyed yarns are your thing, I definitely recommend you give her shop a look.

I cast these babies on way back in July and I knew I wanted to use a fairly simple pattern to prevent the speckles and texture from fighting each other for attention. I’d never knitted the Hermione’s Everyday Sock pattern but it had been on my radar for a while, and let’s face it, with over 20 thousand (!!!) projects logged on Ravelry, I doubted I would be disappointed with the results. The pattern is truly perfect for hand-dyed yarn, just enough interest and texture to stop stocking stitch boredom from setting in, it enhances speckled and semi-solid colours without being distracting. I absolutely love how my pair are knitting up!

Unfortunately, despite trying several different sock knitting techniques, it seems inevitable that I run out of steam midway through the project. I have tried dpns, 2 shorts circulars, magic loop on one long circular, and even knitting on a teeny tiny 9” circular but I still can’t seem to get a pair of socks finished in less than six months. Sick of Second Sock Syndrome (SSS) I decided to knit this pair concurrently, knitting the cuff on sock one, then the cuff on sock two, working the heel flap on sock one, and so on. Now I’m not sure when sock two overtook sock one, but I think it marked the point when my knitting ground to a halt. I would resign myself to not being a sock knitter except I have SO MUCH SOCK YARN in my stash which aint going to knit itself, and I love wearing hand knit socks. If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them!

I hope you’ve had a great week, and that your weekend brings time to craft and relax. I can’t wait to tell you all about the yarn shops I have ventured into over the last few days, and unsurprisingly, I will have some stash enhancement to share with you too. Until then, happy knitting!

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