While I was away you may recall I knitted Annis in a beautiful green and blue hand painted and beaded silk lace by SilkIndian. I have a fairly large ball of yarn left – I reckon 200 metres or so – and I said I thought I would have to find some patterns for knitted jewellery. Salpal over at What I’m Up To Today recommended checking out Laura Nelkin, which I promptly did on Ravelry! I discovered she was the designer of a pair of fingerless gloves I had seen on Ravelry and have been dying to cast on – Prolix – and her other stuff was fabulous too. So, I promptly ordered, on Amazon, her new book Knockout Knits and it was waiting for me when I got home!
It’s not often I look at a book of patterns and want to knit most of them, but that happened this time! It’s a book of accessories or small knits and they are all lovely – it’s split into three chapters, one with designs made using wrapped stitches, one with designs made using lace and one with designs made using beads. The photography is beautiful, the designs clearly laid out and all in all I am delighted with my new purchase. I recommend it highly (for designs and all round loveliness, I can’t comment on the patterns yet, though Salpal is pretty discerning and she recommended the designer!).
For me, the stand out patterns are:
That last one is destined to be made in the indian silk! Isn’t it gorgeous?! And as soon as my new set of Knit Pro Karbonz DPNs arrives I will be casting on Prolix using the Countess Ablaze yarn D bought me for Christmas! I have never previously needed 4 and 5mm DPNs for a project so I don’t own any – even though I do own and have used smaller sizes. I wanted to get the longer length as well. Anyway, having intended to only order the two pairs, the set was on sale on Amazon so I am getting six sets for the price of three. Not a bad deal, and one that D fully encouraged. He does love a good deal that man. (As a side note I must sometime soon rationalise my knitting needle basket and get rid of the metal and bamboo needles I bought when I got back into knitting. Obviously I won’t get rid of ones in sizes I don’t have, but where I have upgraded my equipment, it seems silly to keep the stuff I don’t use. I’m sure the charity shop will be able to sell them.)
This talk of purchases brings me onto what constitutes THE most expensive ball of yarn I have ever owned. Back in November, I was reading the yarnharlot blog (if you don’t you should, its hilarious) and she was knitting a simple top down shawl with a colour change yarn that was dyed specifically for shawls. The colour stripes got longer as you knitted so the stripes in the shawl were always the same width. Brilliant idea. So of course I trotted off to Caterpillar Green Yarns and discovered I couldn’t buy one but I could order one, which I duly did. I paid $46 Canadian dollars, which was about £26 on the exchange rate at the time – yes, pricey, but it is 600metres and it was a treat to myself. Bearing in mind that I knew I was going to self impose a yarn buying ban in the new year in order to knit some of the yarn I currently own! Anyway it arrived while I was away and D had to pay £5 VAT on it (I can’t be bothered to work out why) and and £8 handling charge to the Post office!!!!!! The VAT is fair enough, but I think the handling charge is EXTORTIONATE. So, my little treat to myself has cost, in total, £39! Wow. Here it is – you can’t see the colours as I haven’t wound it up yet.
I have put it safely in my ‘best yarn’ box until I have recovered and hope to knit it sometime later this year. The colour-way is called Concrete and Tulips which makes me think I need to knit it on a visit to Amsterdam! Not that I have one planned…
And finally, I must show you this. My sister has been taking her undergraduate degree by remote learning for the last six years while bringing up a family and holding down a very demanding job in further education. She’s on course to get a first too. Yesterday lunchtime she submitted her final dissertation! And yesterday evening she sent me this picture!