Tuesday, October 29, 2013


My knitting life has been a bit of a mystery lately, in that I've been doing design work. Since I design (and knit, frankly) at the pace of molasses in winter, that adds up to a whole lot of silence! But I'm happy to say that my one stage of my design is done, and I am moving into completing some work that I can share. And that makes me very happy!

One of the first patterns I can share with you is one that I actually started while on vacation in Scotland. I picked up a special yarn at Kathy's Knits in Edinburgh spun by Blacker Yarns. This particular yarn is sourced from the island of St. Kilda's from the feral sheep that live on it. Called St. Kilda Laceweight, this fine lace is rugged. I learned from the owner of the store that the sheep are manually rounded up, sheared, and then the fleece is hand-picked to remove the guard hairs and then spun. It comes in two colors, cream and brown (both undyed). By the time I reached the store, the only color left was cream, so I picked up one precious skein of it. Because I was limited to 440 yards, the question then became what pattern to choose for it. I elected to knit a free pattern that I found on Ravelry, called Jardin d'hiver. The name means "winter garden," and I think this will knit up nicely in it.
Jardin d'hiver, unblocked, and still OTN

Another project I recently completed was a true delight to knit. One of my favorite companies, Tom Bihn, is a company located in Seattle, WA. Known for their excellent travel bags, they also construct knitting bags out of high quality materials such as ballistic nylon, Cordura nylong, and Dyneema nylon. I own several of their bags, and love Tom's responsiveness to his customer base and the way he treats his staff. Someone on Ravelry suggested people stitch up a few scarves or cowls for the staff out west, so I decided to contribute. I dove deep into my stash and came up with some Cascade Magnum from my days in the frozen north called Dayton, OH. I only had a small amount left, but I had three different colors, silver, black, and red, so I decided to combine them together to knit the Clydesdale Cowl. Knit on size 15 needles, this project fairly flew off the needles, and I loved the result.
Me, wearing the completed cowl.
I hope it gets cold enough to wear in Seattle, as it is an extremely rare day in Jacksonville where anything that thick would ever be warranted! I have gone ahead and modified the pattern somewhat to begin some more in lighter-weight yarns to give as Christmas gifts to some special people in my life.
Hmm. I wonder who will get this? Oh, and is that a Tom Bihn Swift I spy?!?
So that's where I'm at currently. Given all that's happening in my life, that's quite enough. Homeschooling is still my main thing, and it's where I daily labor in the love of learning. But it's good to have an outlet from the daily trials and tribulations. I look forward to sharing more photos as I continue to work through the fall.

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