Happy new year! I hope you all had a lovely new years celebration. We had a low key celebration at my parents as we're still in Norway. I was looking forward to the fire works at midnight, which are a big deal in Norway but due to thick fog and the location of my parents' flat we didn't actually see that many. But we had an enjoyable evening.
2012 was a great year and I'll do a year round up but I'm planning to do that when I'm back in England next week. At the moment we're enjoying the last few days of our holiday.
I've explored a couple of local yarn shops. There is a big yarn shop just 10 mins walk down the road from where my parents live. It's a big shop with a good selection of Norwegian yarn brands plus a huge selection of Rowan. In addition to that they also had lots of fabric and sewing related stuff. I came away with 3 balls of Du Store Alpakka 4ply alpaca yarn. My plan was to knit a headband that I could use while we were still here but I've still not decided exactly what I want to do. So I'll be taking these balls home with me.I also bought a skein of Marks & Katten sock yarn. This is a Swedish yarn, I think, and has long stretches of colours in a variety of greens. I've cast on for a shawl/cape but I forgot to take a progress photo before it got too dark. So far it's very simple and in garter stitch which meant I got a lot of knitting done on it at the cinema last night. I've also decided that I'll probably need a second skein so I'll have to visit the shop again tomorrow.
A few days ago we went for a drive to the nearby town where my parents used to live (they moved back to my home town earlier this year) and when we drove past the yarn shop I noticed it was open and surprisingly Simon agreed to stop. Simon and Em stayed in the car while I popped in for a look. This is a much smaller shop but still with a good selection of Norwegian yarn. I've been to this shop several times before and the owner remembered me and we had a long chat. I came away with a skein of Drops Lace in a gorgeous silvery grey colour. I don't have any specific plans for this yet.
I've done a lot of knitting this holiday and even finished some stuff. My Handmaiden Seasilk shawl was my main project for the first week of our holiday. I had no idea how big this shawl would become and once I finished the knitting I blocked it. I have a foam blocking board (made up of jigsaw pieces), blocking t-pins and blocking wires at home and that makes the progress a lot easier than using a towel and my Mum's dress making pins. I'm not 100% happy with my blocking so I'll probably block it again next week when I'm home.
I am very happy with how this shawl turned out though. The stitch pattern shows up really nicely in this luxuruious yarn. I'd like to work up a larger size in my own Silky Camel 4ply. This one skein shawl is big enough to be worn as a scarf for me and a bigger shawl size would be nice too.
I'm aming for a February release date for this pattern. That should give me enough time to get a larger size knitted up and the pattern writing/editing/photos done.
I knitted a hat for Emily from my sparkly merino/silk handspun yarn I brought with me. The yarn is a 2ply and I ended up with about 720m in a 100gr skein. I decided this was a bit fine for a hat so I held the yarn double. Em already has a handspun hat i knitted last year but wanted a slightly bigger one. She often wears her hair in a pony tail and wanted a had that would fit her pony tail and could be pulled down over hear ears properly. She seems happy with the result. These pics were taken on our walk this morning.
I didn't use a pattern for this hat. I cast on using a circular cast on and increases at 4 increase points to shape the crown. Once the hat was big enough I just knitted until it was about 10 rounds shorter than the full length and then did a 2x2 rib to finish it off. It took me about a day to knit (an afternoon, evening and about an hour the next day) so it was a quick knit and I still have enough yarn left to knit something lacy for me which was what I planned to do with this yarn.
I've made great progress on my Manos Silk Blend Fino shawl. This was another design I'd hoped to finish while in Norway but I'm close to running out of yarn and I've decided to get the size I want I'm going to need another 50gr skein. I'll order that next week and it shouldn't take more than a couple of days to finish.
My Wollmeisse shawl which was a re-do of a shawl I knitted earlier this year but wasn't happy with so I frogged it. I made a few small changes but I'm just not enjoying this shawl at all and I've decided to frog it. I saw some Du Store Alpakka alpaca/silk 4ply in the local yarn shop last week and I'd like to get 2 balls for this shawl and use the Wollmeisse for something else. I love the colour and have 2 other skeins in other purple colours at home. I'll decided on ther perfect pattern for this yarn soon but I know it's not right for this design.
My parents live in a top floor flat and outside in the hallway by the lift this little santa is keeping an eye on everyone coming and going. I keep looking at him every time we walk past. He's all knitted and I'm not sure if it's handknitted or machine knitted. It does look machine knitted to me but I thought he was cute and that you might enjoy him too.
I hope you're enjoying the start of 2013. I have a lot of plans and goals for this year and I'll share a bit more of that next week.
If you'd like to challenge yourself this year and try to use some yarns and colours you might not normally consider or perhaps learn or improve your lace knitting skills then why not join my Lace Lovers Club? The club is nearly full now and I'll be closing sign ups to order yarn this weekend so hurry up and join us now. You can read more about the club and what previous members have said here.