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!

 The monkey was delighted with the finished armwarmers!

The monkey was delighted with the finished armwarmers!

I was full of grand plans of finishing Pinglewin and my Alonzo socks while we were in Shetland, neither of which have much knitting left to do. But in the event I left Pinglewin at home, and although I packed my Alonzos, I managed to leave the pattern at home. Whoops.

Instead, I cast on for a Bousta Beanie (designed by this year's Wool Week patron, Gudrun Johnston) in the car on the way to the airport. I made the ribbing on our first flight, and moved on to colourwork whilst we changed at Edinburgh. By Monday morning, I was enjoying breakfast at the Peerie Cafe and well on my way through the body of the hat. By Wednesday it was complete! I am still undecided on whether to add a pompom or not, but so far apathy has won out. It was just too easy to pop the hat on my head and wear it. It's not even blocked. That's twice in two projects the finished item has been put straight to use without so much as a rinse. What is the world coming to?

 These are our leaving Shetland sad faces! As you can see, the hat was getting plenty of wear!

These are our leaving Shetland sad faces! As you can see, the hat was getting plenty of wear!

I used a ball of Shetland Supreme jumper weight as the background colour for my beanie, with normal J&S jumper weight shades FC34 and 29mix as the contrast colours. My perfect colour palette! Greens and blues forever...

I had totally forgotten just how addictive Fair Isle using jumper weight can be. I absolutely love the rhythm of it, and found myself working "just one more row", again and again! I have plans for more Bousta Beanies - I think that Jim could do with one for Christmas, perhaps with FC41 as the background colour? And when I was choosing colours before we left, my second option was a grellow combination of grey 203 as the background shade with 28 and 66 as two different yellow contrasts, which I'm still really tempted to make!

 My first project in Loft - the colourways are all beautiful!

My first project in Loft - the colourways are all beautiful!

The other project I've been working on is a "sort of secret" project... I promised to make some armwarmers for our wonderful friend Tabitha, who kindly lent us her house for photography back in February, and it has taken me rather a long time to get going with them. There's been the small matter of AYoT projects keeping me busy for most of this year! I'm now off the start line and making some armwarmers using this lovely shade of Brooklyn Tweed Loft - Stormcloud. It has beautiful tweed-flecks and the cables look great. I just need to get a shimmy on with them. If they turn out well, I shall probably write up the pattern.

In between working on my Bousta and the cable armwarmers, I pootled round and round on my pair of simple Dave socks. Plain socks are the perfect in-between-project, for those times when you can't quite decide what you should be doing. I'm well on my way to the toe of the first sock, so I will need to be disciplined and cast on the second sock straight away once that toe is grafted, before I get sidetracked by anything else!

 No turquoise in the first sock, but definitely in the second! :)

No turquoise in the first sock, but definitely in the second! :)

And talking of sidetracking... I have been lusting after a gorgeous Fair Isle yoke for a while. In Shetland we saw lots and lots of beautiful yokes of course, but the one that kept jumping out at me was Ella Gordon's lovely Ola Yoke, so while we were doing the trunk show at J&S I cheekily enlisted Ella to help me to pick some colours so that I can knit my own! I've chosen the magical shade 366 mix for the main body colour. If you're familiar with your J&S shades, you will know this is an incredible combination of turquoise, yellow, pink, purple and blues (it's also comfortably in my blue-teal-turquoise palette that will match most of my wardrobe!). It's a complex colour that should pick up the yoke shades really well. For the contrasts around the yoke we've gone for green (24 mix), pale pink (FC50 mix), that versatile grey (203), deeper pink (72 mix) and a solid deep pinky-purple 43. I'm thrilled with the combination, and am really keen to get knitting, particularly as I've reawakened my absolute love of Fair Isle. It will also be a great simple project to do when I'm tired or at knit night etc, since there will be plenty of stocking stitch before I get to the more interesting Fair Isle on the yoke.

 Massive thanks to Ella for helping me to choose such lovely shades!

Massive thanks to Ella for helping me to choose such lovely shades!

I'm toying with ideas still, and really ought to do some swatching, but I'm thinking I'll most likely add a steek and make a cardigan, since that's what I wear most often. In fact I'm wearing my J&S jumper weight Northmavine hoody today. That's one of those knits that gets a LOT of wear, so I'm hoping my Ola Yoke will too.

I don't think there will be much talk of my projects round here for a while now, as I need to knit some samples ready for our next book project. Yes, we've barely finished the first one, and the next is already well in hand! It won't be out for a while yet, so don't get too excited! But know that plans are underway and we're working hard on them.

In the meantime, if you fancy some Fair Isle of your own, we've got a modest selection of J&S Jumper Weight in the shop, along with Shetland Heritage in a range of colours. Both yarns are of course outstanding for colourwork, and newsletter subscribers should look out for a special offer later in the week. We run two subscription lists, the first sends all blog posts to your email inbox, and you can sign up for that here: Blog Post Updater. And the second is for the general newsletter, that allows you to keep up to date with all our news, and the best special offers. We send a newsletter very approximately fortnightly, and it also gives an overview of what we've been talking about on the blog. You can sign up for the newsletter here: A-C Knitwear Newsletter.

How's your knitting time at the moment? Are you making progress with your projects? Or are you in a bit of a rut? Do let me know in the comments. Happy knitting!