Some knitting time...

While we were away in Shetland I had some stretches of time entirely devoted to knitting. I can't tell you what a treat that was!

Before we left I was able to get the Hyacinthus armwarmers finished off, and into the grabby hands of their new owner. :D I literally wove in the ends just before we got in the car to drive to the airport!

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October: Ruschia knitalong

Welcome, welcome! Another month is on us, and October is all about short-row shaping. We are working on Woolly Wormhead's brilliantly cosy Ruschia Hat, which uses a provisional cast on (the crochet method that we met in August on the Little Tern blanket) and garter stitch grafting (which we mastered last month!), as well as introducing us to either German Short Rows or the wrap and turn method.

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Yarn bossing

Do you happily knit from the ball, taking the yarn as it comes? Or are you more of a yarn bosser? Do you look at the colours in a ball of gradient yarn, and decide where you want to start, or move things along a bit if you're getting bored of a particular colour? Or are you one of those people who cuts out the dissonant shade in a ball of Noro?

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The state of the WIPs and a few FOs

Goodness it has been a long time since I did any update on what I've been knitting. This year has been so involved with knitting things that I couldn't share, that I've got out of the habit. Happily now, all of those projects are out in the wild, so I can do something of a progress update.

This year, more than ever before, I've been struck by the link between how I'm feeling and what I'm knitting. There have been projects that I've just needed to get on with, but there have been others that I've picked up and put down depending on how things have been going in life generally. When there is a lot going on in my life - either work or family but sometimes both together - I tend to reach for projects that are simple. It's so obvious, but when my bandwidth is stretched during the day, there isn't much left by the time I flop in front of the telly for an hour before bed. On those days I've found comfort in the soothing rhythm of plain socks, or the garter stitch stripes of a Wood Warbler cowl. I've knitted 2 cowls now - the first on needles that were rather too small, although I like the effect of the firmer fabric. The second (see below) I made in two bright, green colourways (Tea Ceremony and In the Meadow), with the shot of shocking pink at the start. The shaping in the cowl is pretty straightforward, and there's enough of it without changing that I could just chug through it. It was great mindless knitting for tired evenings. So great, that I'm already eyeing up another - perhaps in two shades of blue Gradient (Beyond the horizon and Stone washed)? 

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Trunk Show at Jamieson & Smith

I'm thrilled to be travelling up to Shetland in just over a week's time for Wool Week 2017. I first visited Shetland in 2012, when I was asked by Jamieson & Smith to recreate patterns for some garments in the textile archive. Jim and I had an utterly brilliant trip, and fell very much in love with the islands. I returned later the same year to teach at Wool Week 2012, doing a class on pattern writing. I've been longing to return ever since!

While we're in Shetland, we are holding a trunk show for A Year of Techniques at Jamieson & Smith. We will have all of the samples from the book, as well as some light refreshments. The lovely Ella Gordon will be there, along with me and Jim and we'd love to see any of you who might be visiting for Wool Week!

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Oorik tank top by Mary Jane Mucklestone

The fantabulous Mary Jane Mucklestone has created our final design for A Year of Techniques: the Oorik tank top.

Oorik (meaning small person in Shetland dialect) is a Fair Isle tank top (US vest) knitting completely in the round. The arm and neck openings are created with steeks, thus allowing you to always be working with the right side of the fabric facing you. This makes it easier to avoid mistakes in the colourwork, and there's no purling to do in the Fair Isle section.

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