Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Post Knit Nation doings

 Since the chaos that was Knit Nation I've been taking a bit of time to catch up on all of the things that were postponed during all that crazy (and what wonderful crazy it was!) It was only this morning I was reminded that I have yet to give you an update on what I bought and what I've since been up to.

I did get a couple of bits...

 Such as this lovely skein from Habu! When Habu were announced as once of the vendors for Knit Nation I danced around the room, very excited to get to see more of their yarns in person. As the time grew closer and circumstances changed I knew I wasn't going to be able to indulge myself as much as I may have liked. As such, I carefully searched through their beautiful stand before coming across this fantastic skein of 100% cotton boucl√© laceweight. This really was my only real treat to myself at Knit Nation (frozen yoghurt aside), and I have no idea what will become of it as yet!

 The next skein was bought with the complete opposite of intentions. This gorgeous skein of Old Maiden Aunt 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon sport weight is destined for a special design coming up soon. The colourway, Baobhan Sith, is a really deep wine, with a lot of subtle semi-solid texture.

 I was very lucky to receive 4 skeins from Tash, one of our fantastic crew members at Knit Nation (you may have seen her calling the bingo!). Tash runs yarn store Holland Road Yarn Company in Wellington, New Zealand, well worth the trip if you're in the area. She was handing out samples to all sorts of important people and somehow I managed to persuade her to let me try some yarn too.

The top photo is of some Zealana yarn, which is made with possum fur and merino. I'd heard alot about the use of Possum in yarn production, and the debate around it's usage (Possum fibre is reclaimed from the pelts of culled possum in New Zealand). Many of you know that I am and have been a vegetarian for many many years, and as such I did read around this issue carefully. Ultimately I cannot object to the use of what would genuinely be an otherwise wasted product, and, unlike the leather industry, the possum fibre industry is not impacting the decision to kill these animals.

The yarn itself is far more unusual to the touch than I expected. The closest analogy I can make is that stroking it feels like stroking my cats. Which I guess makes sense when you consider that the possum fibre is hair and not wool. I can't wait for a spare minute to start swatching with this, it's going to be so much fun!

Tash also has her own range of hand dyed yarns under her label Knitsch. I highly highly highly recommend you check these out, her colours are amazing. I don't have any photos of them in the skein because the first thing I did upon returning from Knit Nation on Sunday night was wind them. I just needed to feel them properly, and they feel amazing! The ball on the left is Auburn, and by the end of the weekend I was boring all of the crew by continuously showing them how great it is. This is going to become a bright winter cowl (I think). The ball on the left is Heart of Glass and will be perfect for socks. You can buy yarn from her website, and she does ship internationally!

Tash also wrote a very lovely post about me and my designs (and my incontinent cat) that you can check out here, she mentioned the schematic for Koho being what attracted her to the design, so I have now added that to the Ravelry pattern page here.

The final 3 skeins of yarn that I bought at Knit Nation (of the 5 total) are already well on their way into my new design, the Ropery Pullover. As you can see, progress has been speedy, I've already finished the back and sleeves, although the front is where the fun really is. I'm using Merino/Cashmere/Nylon (which I suspect may be the same base yarn as the OMA I bought, but don't quote me) in colourway Gun Metal.

Please don't mock the sketch. The only A I ever got in art was for drawing a shoe. :)

I'm hoping to publish this pattern by the end of August, leaving the perfect amount of knitting time before the cold weather really starts. The pullover is unique in it's deep and flowing cowl front, making it a perfect second layer in the autumn, or a great shape for accessorising with handknit scarves and shawls. It is an exercise in short rows, and uses the Socktopus Shadow Wrap technique extensively, so makes a great tutorial piece too, although any short row technique can be used.

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