wool&gathering

Knitting, design, wool and other gatherings….


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A new hat pattern… soon to be published!

10 years ago I knit myself a double reversible hat in thin alpaca. It was knit “top-to-top” and the circle pattern-section was knit in the intarsia-technique. It would have been possible to knit this section in the stranded-technique, but I gathered the fabric would be too thick that way. Also, the fabric would not have been as stretchy because of the long strands. I knit one for my then 5 yr old daughter as well, but that hat has been displaced …or given away …I can´t remember.

The hat is a bit short, -it does´t cover my ears properly, and I really wanted a new one…

So I knit one – and immediately wanted another one in a different color-combination. So I knit another one. I´ve simplified my original pattern a bit, added some length to it and added another element – an “eye”! I´ve used Garnstudio´s Drops Alpaca for the Light Gray / Coal version, and Du Store Alpaca´s Tynn Alpakka for the Purple / Acid Green version. Both yarns are fingering weight with approx. 170 m (180 yd) / 50 g.

The hat is wonderfully soft and warm and stays in shape after extensive wearing. And – you get two hats in one! Just turn it for another look! How great is that!?

I´m having the pattern checked at the moment, and I hope it will be ready for publishing in a few days. I will be back with the “iSpy double hat”!!


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An impossible project….

Many years ago I ordered some yarn from Telespinn. I´ve mentioned this yarn producer before. They were until recently the only private-owned wool-spinning mill in Norway, and their own Mohair goats provide most of the wool for their great range of yarn.

IMG_3208I was looking to develop this project from 2010, including a new top-down  shoulder-saddle / contiguous -method, without the turtle-neck. I called the new project: “SkiingJumper II”, but had to rename it: “SkiingJumper II meets an obstacle…”. But in my head I always refer to this sweater as: “The Madonna-sweater”. The reason for this is that I´ve “stolen” the stranded pattern from a cut-out magazine page from 1986, showing the artist Madonna in a Norwegian-inspired sweater – what we would call a “kofte”.

The magazine tempted it´s readers with a chance to win a copy of this sweater, and as you can see I´ve meticulously cut out, and sent in my ticket to heaven! This magazine (which I don´t remember the name of…) even provided the knitting-pattern for this sweater, so you could knit your own – should you not18-2_medium2 win – which I didn´t! So I had to knit it myself – the sweater is long gone, but wearing it did not make me look anything like Madonna …maybe because I had not mastered the art of biting my lip / gazing sensually… still haven´t by the way. The pattern was provided by Garnstudio and knitted in the yarn Karisma (no pun intended), both still alive and kicking today, -but the pattern isn´t. I´ve checked Ravelry´s pattern pages, searching through Garnstudio´s patterns (they are all free…). But the pattern for “Madonnas genser” was not to be found. The closest I found was this: “40-18 Sweater with ethnic borders” – a name which really just shows a lack of history – knitting wise… This is a knitting pattern with long roots in Norwegian history. It´s origin is probably Eastern European / Russian – but it´s been used and developed in Norway for at least the past 100 years…

On the back of the pattern-page I found the reason why I did not win my copy of the sweater – here you see the Horoscope for February / March 1986, and reading through my star sign, it says nothing about being lucky… Quite the opposite in fact, but “interrests and family-life will be smooth” – so I guess I sat there knitting my “Madonna-sweater” in front of the TV – together with my father – (we only had one (1) TV-channel in Norway in those days, and you watched what the Norwegian Broadcasting Company would serve you) – probably watching some obscure Finnish “TV-theatre”, including a lot of saunas and “birch-branch-whipping”. And if when the “birch-branch-whipping” would become too intense (as it sometimes would – involving a bunch of naked Finnish men) …I can vividly remember refining the art of “loosing-stitches-and-being-very-busy-picking-them-up-whilst-keeping-a-secret-eye-on-the-TV” – in hope of my father not catching it…

But back to my impossible project…

I started knitting using my old Telespinn “Mari” yarn – knowing I would have to order more. And also knowing the color would probably be a bit different. But I thought the difference in color would not be too noticeable keeping it separated by a block of stranded pattern.

As you can see from the middle picture, it did! So I did not even try to continue my knitting-project. Instead I tried to over-dye the new yarn. As you can see from the last picture, I did not succeed. By far! Instead I think I´ve ruined the yarn by adding too much yellow… Mohair takes color better than most other wool. I´ll give it another go, by trying to remove some color and add more blue / black to it. But as I told Telespinn in an e-mail conversation: “I won´t even try to pretend to know anything about the art of yarn-dyeing…” But it´s still worth trying …and I might even learn some more about yarn-dyeing, though this knitting-project probably won’t be finished with this yarn. I hate to have to rip what I´ve already knitted. In my mind, the sweater is almost done when the upper-body is done in the top-down technique (maybe you have the same experience?), and all that remains is finishing…

Note: I sent Telespinn an e-mail to let them know about the difference in color. Knowing the years between my orders it was not formulated as a complaint, but just to let them know. I got a nice answer – to let me know they are aware of the difference, and why the dyeing-process does not allow them to continue the “old” color.

I have to admit I like the “old” gray better…