wool&gathering

Knitting, design, wool and other gatherings….


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Headband…

This started out as a hat, and ended up as a headband…

Skiing in the spring always reminds me that I need a headband …or two… same procedure every year. Yet, I never seem to get around to knit headbands. So I decided the hat on the needles were not a hat, but a headband – much quicker! In fact I finished this so fast that I just had to add some time-consuming finishing at the end. The inside looks almost as good as the outside …IMG_6152IMG_6155IMG_6156It´s knitted in Telespinn´s Mari (mohair) in Gray/blue with Turquoise pattern – and lined with Du Store Alpakka´s Tynn Alpakka (alpaca) in orange and pink on needles 3mm / US 2,5.

I´m ready for more spring skiing!


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Don’t give up…

No, I´m not referring to the Peter Gabriel / Kate Bush song from IMG_6073´86. It´s not that serious, it´s just (ehrm!) yarn-related…

I´ve made an effort to remove some of the color from my overdyed “Mari” mohair yarn from this post. I managed to remove some of the yellow, it´s now a shade of purple…, so I´m sort of (…and hopefully) back to scratch.

I´m aiming to overdye the yarn to make it look close to the color in the last picture … a very dark, warm gray. I´ll give this yarn one more go, -and if anyone would give me some good advise…?

And when I say “one more go”, that´s exactly what I mean… I realize this yarn is an “impossible project”, but I´m not ready to give it up just yet!

I have a plan…


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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…


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Toppsamling II…

Toppsamling II

Toppsamling II

Vertices Unite translated into Norwegian becomes something like Toppsamling. I´ve just finished my second one, and I think I´m going to leave it with that, though I find myself dreaming of even more great Vertices Unite shawls in hundreds of different color-variations… Enough shawls for a while…

I dug into my “precious-stash” for this one, -you know, the stash you often think of using and then decide against it for no obvious reason other than that it is a bit precious… And so the years passes…

I finally got to spend some of my Mari from Telespinn, got to throw in some left-over alpaca/silk (in Bitter Bug and Moody) from Old Maiden Aunt and even squeezed in a bit of Shilasdair Luxury 4 ply in Tansy Gold / yellow. I love yellow, but it´s a difficult color to be used with care… this shawl was perfect for it.

Mari from Telespinn ( see my last post) is a wonderful rustic mohair/merino grown and spun in Telemark/Norway. It´s listed in Ravelry as a light fingering yarn, but in my opinion it´s more like a fingering/sport weight… I have to add that my Mari has been in my stash for years, and the yarn may have been changed since I purchased it…

The Vertices Unite pattern comes in two sizes: Small and Large. I´ve adapted the pattern to a Medium. See my Toppsamling II ravelry project page for the details. My shawl measures 190 x 60 cm, and weighs 248 grams.

My fog & whisper cardigan is almost finished, and I aim to finish it by this weekend, and then I can go back to my last purling project; the raglan baseball sweater…


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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.