wool&gathering

Knitting, design, wool and other gatherings….


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The “Moscow” Shawl – and it´s copy…

A few years back I had the opportunity to go to Moscow to visit the parents of one of my friends, who lived there for a few years because of work. We had a fantastic time and were very generously shown around the city by our hosts, who had acquired an impressing knowledge of both the language and the culture in only a short time.

What striked me most about Moscow was that my own image of what the city would look like was in many senses wrong. I imagined it to look more “behind the iron-curtain” gray and dull – it most definitely did not! So if you get the chance to visit Moscow – go! See the buildings, the metro, the parks. Visit the ballet, the handicraft markets, the museums and try the local cuisine. See the Red Square with the Kremlin and the Cathedrals. Everywhere you go you get a strong sense of the rich Russian culture and history. But this is not a travel blog…

Just below the main entrance to the Red Square I bought the most beautiful hand-knit shawl. Pensioners in Russia are in general very poor, and offering their beautiful handicraft is a often a way to make a better living …so I bought two shawls…

This one I love to bits. I have worn it so much I had to let it rest for a while – afraid it would fall apart. In fact I was so afraid it would be ruined that I had to make a copy of it – just to make sure… The shawl is most likely knit in a mohair/silk blend – the fringes are pure silk, and my worries were largely exaggerated. The shawl is still in a very good shape and will luckily last for many more years.

The lace pattern I believe is called “diamonds”. There are several knitting patterns available in this pattern, but I used this as an opportunity to test my skills in lace-pattern-writing. And I think the result is pretty close to the original, and best of all; I can read my own pattern – If I should happen to make another one later.

My Moscow-shawl copy is knit in 100% alpaca, -and is a gift for my friend HG, one of my Moscow travel-companions (I know she envy me the original shawl…).

News: “iSpy double hat” is less than a day away from being published!


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Bjørk i Skumring…

I´ve finished all 4 of my “Mostly Purled” projects from this summer! I´ve shown “Cashmere Summer Top” and “Fog&Whisper” on this blog earlier. Now I´m presenting “Bjørk i Skumring“!


Yarn: Mirasol, Sulky Legato, lace weight
Color: Birch Bark + Twilight (100 grams of each color)
Needles: 3,5 mm
Pattern: My own
Technique: Top-down, short-row shaped shoulders, Boxy, 3/4 sleeves, v-neck

It weighs 205 grams. The v-neck edging is done in i-cord using a small amount of Tynn Alpakka in col. coal, from Du Store Alpakka. The tight 3/4 sleeves are knit by picking up stitches from the body. The yarn is great! Love the colors!
Thanks to my lovely model H!

I´ve yet to present the last of my mostly purled projects: the baseball sweater… I´ve just got to wash it first, due to a LOT of wearing …always a good sign…


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Secret of Change V…

Secret of Change V

Secret of Change V

We´re sort of soul-mates, the Secret of Change shawl (by Veera Välimäki) and I. But when I decided to use the 2 skeins of WalkCollection BFL sock for a shawl, the search for a new pattern was on. I ended up with a few choices; Fresia, Dendrology and Charm. But as you see, I ended up with the Secret of Change, again… The Secret of Change V. I usually either knit from the top of my head, or jump at the opportunity at a new and exciting design. I very rarely knit the same pattern over again if it´s not my own pattern that I need to improve on.

So why have I ended up knitting the Secret of Change shawl 5 times? I could admit to poor imagination or laziness, but it´s really the great design. The shawl has a classic ease to it and the eylet details are a beautifully incorporated part of the construction and the overall “look”. It has a perfect size for a shawl (mostly used as a scarf) and the garter stitches makes it an easy knit. I simply just love the look of this shawl, and it´s also interesting to see the different versions in the different fibers.

Secret of Change collection

Secret of Change collection

Secret of Change collection

Secret of Change collection

My first version dyed&changed, was knit in a gray self dyed corriedale superwash sock yarn. The yarn is quite “hard” on the skin, and was only my favorite shawl until I knit the next one. The Another Secret. A dream in light pearl gray alpaca. My third: Secret III, was knit in Black Trillium Fiber Studio Pebble Silk Sock, in a pink/purple washed out color with some yellow and gray speckles. It´s beautiful but the color is quite special and you need the right occasion and the right outfit for it. My 4th version, the Secret of Change IV is a lot more versatile in that respect, being knit in a heavenly charcoal lambswool/cashmere lace yarn, held double. So I think knitting a 5th Secret of Change was a only a rational choice, since everybody needs a shawl in a great blue/green color, and my collection of shawls has got the perfect addition, just to wrap it up, so to speak…

Vertices Unite

Vertices Unite

And speaking of re-knitting a pattern, I just had to… a second Vertices Unite by Westknits. A long-time project this time, I think… I´m using “Mari“, a 80% KidMohair 20% Lambswool, fingering weight from Telespinn, a Norwegian grown and spun yarn. I´ve had this yarn in my stash for ages, and The VU shawl is perfect for this yarn. I´ll also mix in some left-over Alpaca/Silk from Old Maiden Aunt and Shilasdair Luxury fingering. I don´t have enough yarn for the Large size, so I´ll just adjust the size to the amount of yarn.


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Cashmere Summer Top finished…

My Cashmere Summer Top is finished! Project no.1 of three mostly purled projects…

The top weighs no more than 122 grams, and came out just as I wanted it to be! (the pattern is my own) See my last post for more details on the yarn and the construction.

Fog and Whisper

Fog and Whisper

I cast on for my “Fog and Whisper” cardigan by Veera Välimäki a few days ago. It´s looking good, and I hope to start the front bands today… I´m making a few mods in the pattern. You can read about them on my ravelry project page.

I still don´t hate purling, but I better hurry up and finish these last two projects before my mojo leaves…


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The joy of purling…

I currently find myself purling – a lot! This is something I usually avoid. I tend to choose projects I can knit in the round – with a minimum of purled stitches. I´d much rather steek than purl, and I tend to choose my projects with this in mind.

Then I started my Landfall, and finished my BlueSand Cardigan. And all of a sudden I´m «blind» to the downside of purling, and plan my projects without restrictions. I´ll be fed up in a while, but until then – I purl…

To me, purling is also a summer-phenomenon. When using cotton, linen and silk – the typical summer fibres, steeking is a bit harder, and the drape of the fabric will in my mind be disturbed. Which is why I never knit typical summer garments. Also, I´m Norwegian – I wear wool all year ´round, and if you put in the hours to knit a summer top, you usually end up slapping your own head in September for only wearing it twice!

So this season I´m going for «fusion». The materials will be mostly wool, mixed with some cashmere and silk, – and a lot of purling. For no obvious reasons – other than the fun of constructing without limitations…

summer top

summer top

First up is a summer top in lace weight 80% wool / 20 % cashmere (640m (700yd) / 100g), col. «kit» (putty), from garnudsalg.dk, knit on needles 3,5 mm (US 4). My gauge is 26 st(s) / 10 cm. It´s deliciously lightweight and soft, and I love the color which has a subtle tweedy look to it. It´s knit from the short-row shaped shoulders and down, back first –  down to the underarm, and then the front down to the underarm, where all the st(s) are gathered on a circular needle, and the body are knit in the round. St(s) for the short sleeves will be picked up from the upper-body, and finally the st(s) for the neck-line will be picked up and knit in the round. I haven´t decided yet whether to shape the hem with short rows, or to create some drape in another way …we´ll see. I´ve still got some endless hours of stockinette ahead of me…

baseball sweater

baseball sweater

My second project is a baseball sweater in fingering weight merino. I´m using tosh merino light for the first time, and I can see why this yarn is popular. It´s wonderfully soft! As a design feature I wanted the shoulders of this Raglan sweater to be purled in a contrast yarn. I have chosen Numma Numma, Panna sock, col «Vintage Velvet» lot B. The fact that these two yarns are so close in color just adds to the fun of it! All this purling for almost no reason!! The tosh´s color is «Black Panther», and the sweater is knit on needles 3mm (US 2,5) and my gauge is 27 st(s) / 10 cm. The second sleeve is almost done, and I´m looking forward to starting on the body. Being so similar in color also means I can go a bit «crazy» in creating the details without it being too obvious…

 

 

 

fog-and-whisper-2_medium2This seasons third project will be Veera Välimäkis «Fog and Whisper» …I think. I haven´t started it yet, but it would be a perfect way to use my WalkCollection´s Cozy Silky Fingering in the color «Stone». I´ve got 3 skeins of this beautiful yarn.

WalkCollection silky merino

WalkCollection silky merino

The color reminds me of oxidized silver. It has a vintage glow to it, and would be perfect for a summer cardigan. I´m concerned it might look too shiny, and I think I will use the purled side out, and an option is also to knit 3/4 sleeves, should I run out of yarn. I have told myself to finish one of the two other mentioned projects before I cast on for this one…