wool&gathering

Knitting, design, wool and other gatherings….


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A great Alpaca day…

I had the pleasure of visiting a local Alpaca Farm today: Lundegård Alpakka, in Tysvær, Norway. I was greeted by the owner Britt and a few of the “guys” in the most beautiful spring weather.

They keep their 30+ alpacas for breeding and fiber production. They got yarn spun from a few fleeces last year, and will increase the production this year. They aim to be able to produce 100 % ecological yarn, and I´m very happy to find locally spun alpaca yarn from happy animals – they even have names! Meet: Olav, Laffen, Edwin and Marius.

I got to bring home 3 skeins of the softest fingering alpaca. This natural white color is clearly a bit different from natural white sheep´s wool. It´s deeper and looks more “faded”. I think I would call this color “putty” (nor.: kitt ). I love this color! I can´t wait to start knitting, and if you hang around this blog a bit more, you´ll definitely hear more about this project!

Lundegård Alpakka

Lundegård Alpakka

Other news: The kayak-season has started. Had my second day on the fjord today. I´m thrilled!!


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Lonely Tree Shawl II…

I´ve just knit the “Lonely Tree Shawl” for the second time. This pattern from Sylvia Bo Bilvia, a hit on Ravelry, recommends a worsted weight yarn. The first time I used a fingering weight alpaca yarn, and had to knit the pattern chart twice to get it big enough. This time I used Merino Worsted from Abuelita Yarns. Both shawls are gifts, -so I guess I will have to knit a third one. I want one too….

WinterTree:IMG_5877_medium2

Still Lonely Shawl:IMG_3230_medium2

IMG_5867_medium2Speaking of shawls – I have this shawl on my needles. I´m making it up as I go, but It´s clearly influenced by a Veera Välimäki shawl, only a bit different. We´ll see how it ends up looking… The purple yarn is The Verdant Gryphon´s Mithril in Wild Pansy, and the yellow is Garnudsalg.dk´s Italian Single Tweed in Sol.

We have two days left of the Easter holiday here, and are currently busy skiing. The weather is fine and the snow is perfect! Not much time for knitting I´m afraid…


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New pattern: The “iSpy” double hat

Double, reversible hat knit from top-to-top in thin alpaca. Two hats in one – just turn it for another “look”! Go color-wild, or choose a more subtle version – or both…

A part of the hat is knit in the «intarsia»-technique. Some experience in this technique is recommended.

The hat is published on Ravelry. Find it here: iSpy

The pattern is also written in a Norwegian version. After purchasing you will be able to choose the language you prefer.

The pattern includes written instructions for two sizes: womens and mens, a detailed chart for the circle pattern and instructional pictures.

See more details about this hat in this post.

 

Yarn: fingering 100 % alpaca, 160-170 meters (175-185 yards) / 50 g. 1 of each color

Gauge: 28 st = 10 cm on needles. 3mm / US 2,5

Needles: Circular needles 30 cm (optional) + 40 cm + double pointed needles (dpn´s): 3 mm / US 2,5

Tools: 8 stitchmarkers, tapestry needle

Sizes: women (men), fits head circumference 54-58 cm/ 21-23 inch (58-62 cm/ 23-24,5 inch)

Measures (flat): Women: height/widt: 23/25 cm (9/10 inch). Men: height/widt: 24/28 cm (9,5/11 inch)

Special techniques:

intarsia – link to purlbee.com / youtube.com

mattress-stitches – link to purlbee.com / garnstudio.com

Yarn used in this pattern:

Col 1: 50 g. Du Store Alpakka, Tynn Alpakka, 116 Acid Green

or: 50 g. Garnstudio, Drops Alpaca, 9020 Pearl Gray

Col 2: 50 g. Du Store Alpakka, Tynn Alpakka, 167 Purple melange

or: 50 g. Garnstudio, Drops Alpaca, 6506 Charcoal

Col 3: 50 g. Du Store Alpakka, Tynn Alpakka, 113 Dark Gray melange

or: 50 g. Garnstudio, Drops Alpaca, 2923 Yellow

Col 4: 50 g. Du Store Alpakka, Tynn Alpakka, 138 Pink

or: 50 g. Garnstudio, Drops Alpaca, 6736 Purple melange


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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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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”!!