Friday, 29 October 2010

Finished objects and stash enhancement

As it's Friday I feel I'd better start things off with an FO as that's what Fridays are all about right? This was a very quick little project knit at the request of my mother in law. Mr NM's aunt is due to give birth in the next couple of weeks and we've been assured it's a little girl. It better had be now! The mother in law requested two pink hats, one in a newborn size and one in a 3-6 months size. I used a pattern from a magazine for these and I hope they're OK. They're knit in Sirdar Snuggly Baby Crofter which is just wonderfully soft. It's an acrylic/nylon blend but isn't squeaky or nasty, it's soft and wonderful plus it washes really well so is just perfect for baby knits. The original pattern included a little crocheted flower for the top of the hats and believe me I tried to crochet, I did. I just couldn't do it. I am determined to learn though so perhaps the next time someone in the family has a little girl I'll be able to add pretty crocheted flowers to the hats! I just hope Mr NM's aunt likes them.

knitting 111

Moving on…

On Sunday evening I travelled down to London with Mr NM. He had to attend a training course for work down there and I was able to get some cheap train tickets and join him. Whilst he was busy learning I was busy doing a little yarn tour of London! I may have fallen spectacularly off the yarn diet wagon! To be fair though this was pre-planned and aside from the wool week purchases I had largely been saving my yarn money for this trip.

We'll start with Monday which was a gloriously bright but chilly day. I started my day with a trip to John Lewis. I know I can visit there when I see my in-laws but I had £20 in vouchers so I decided I would visit their yarn section first. I had a rule for my yarn purchases in London which was not to buy anything I can buy at my LYS near home, the only shop where this rule did not apply was John Lewis as I suspected they wouldn't have much there that I couldn't buy at home but as it was a voucher I didn't mind so much. It turned out though that I did manage to pick up yarn in John Lewis that isn't on sale at my LYS or at the John Lewis in Liverpool (where the in laws are) so that was good.

My standard could get it at home yarn purchase was two balls of Rowan Kidsilk Haze in a delicious deep orange shade. I'm not a big wearer of orange but I do like it and I just loved this, I believe the colourway is "Marmalade" and I want to use it to make a Citron.

knitting 091

My second yarny purchase at John Lewis was one I can't get at my LYS, they had some Araucania yarns and being a lover of socks I went for some of the Ranco. I don't know if the colourway has a name, it's just numbers on the tag but it's beautiful shades of blue, purple, green and a maroony colour. It's just lovely, very similar colours to the Fyberspates Laceweight I have. This may not become socks though, it may become some sort of shawlette but we'll see. I do think it's rather beautiful whatever it may become.

knitting 089

Whilst in John Lewis some sort of knitting group was meeting and there was a woman wearing the Kaffe Fassett jumper dress from the latest Rowan Magazine, I can't remember the name of the design but it uses many shades of felted tweed and stranded colourwork and it's GORGEOUS. I couldn't dream of having the patience to knit it or more importantly the money for the yarn but this lady had knit one and was wearing it. I tried not to stare but I may have just a bit, I wanted to tell her how beautiful it was and how much I admired it but I got rather shy about it and I'm always unsure of how people will react in London, it's not like Yorkshire so I just admired from afar.

After visiting John Lewis I had a general potter around some museums including looking at the fashion section in the V&A but as it was half term everywhere was rather packed. I got some lunch, one of my favourite things about London that you can't get in Leeds…pick and mix sushi!

knitting 074

We do have some good Japanese restaurants in Leeds including one serving fantastic sushi that is much better than this stuff but come on…it's pick and mix sushi, what's not to love about it?! I have to have some when I'm in London.

In the afternoon I hit one of the proper yarn shops in London, iKnit. The only yarn shop in the UK with a licence so serve alcohol apparently though I didn't have anything to drink!

knitting 075

There was a lot of lovely yarn in iKnit but quite a lot of things I can purchase at my LYS and some things I really couldn't think of a project for, I tried to stick to things I had a project in mind for when I was shopping…for once! In the end I only purchased one skein from iKnit but it is very lovely and is my most favourite colour ever, green! Honestly it is green, even though in this picture it looks rather more blue. It's Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Jade. I was hoping to knit the November MOCK for Sock Knitters Anonymous on Ravelry with this but I'm starting to think that whislt it says "semi-solid" on the lable it's too varigated so I may use something else. I'll find a lovely pattern for this though I'm sure.

knitting 099

After iKnit I did more wandering as the weather was so pleasant and some touristy looking at the outside of the Houses of Parliament and such. I did have a wander on Regents Street and went in Hamleys (half term so a BAD idea but I do love it in there!) and I spotted this in a shop window I just had to take a photo of!

knitting 078

I'd argue that lovely yarn for handknits is the best thing to happen to a sheep where this was advertising the woolen tailoring in the (very expensive) shop but seeing adverts for the campaign for wool is always good. Further knitty type advertising was seen in the window of Accessorize where they are selling their knitted accessories and have this rather lovely stripy "Knits" sign. I'm curious as to what they're going to do with these when they change the window displays but I expect that even if they were willing to give them away Mr NM would not be overly enamoured with me having the word KNITS in giant letters in the house, I wouldn't know where to put it!

knitting 083

Monday was very busy with A LOT of walking and when I woke up on Tuesday my legs ached like crazy! Still I had more to see and another yarn shop to visit that wasn't open on the Monday (I knew it was closed Mondays before going so had planned my shopping around this). My Tuesday started with a trip down memory lane to what used to be my favourite museum in London when I was younger, the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. I even managed to find some interesting knitting related items in there, there was a fair isle jumper in the childrens clothes section but far more interesting was this, I just had to get a photo. I don't know how well you can see but those are teeny tiny handknit mittens made for a baby doll. The details of the doll's origins are here and I was amazed by the detail on the knit items, there was a little vest as well but unfortunately the photo came out even more blurred than the one of the mittens. I just imagnie the time and skill in these because really, they were tiny, the needle used must have been less than 2mm thick as the stitches were smaller than those in my handknit socks. So lovely.

knitting 080

After the museum I headed to Islington to visit Loop. This is truly a yarn shop of dreams, I could have happily maxed out my credit card but I tried to be reserved!


knitting 084

To start with I purchased some Skein Queen Blush yarn in Maid Marian, this is a blend of merino and cashmere and is so unbelievably soft and snuggly, I believe this will be a shawlette as it's a bit too delicate for socks and I wouldn’t want to ruin it, also I can never have enough green scarves and shawls anyway!

knitting 102

I then went a bit alpaca crazy, oh how I love alpaca and it's dreamy smooth softness and warmth. It's just gorgeous. Firstly I got some Old Maiden Aunt in Last Night's Red Dress which is more purple than red but at the same time less purple than the picture shows, oh the nightmare of photographing colour! It's a sort of plum colour I suppose and I spend half my time rubbing it against my face as it feels so wonderful. The alpaca is so soft then it has a wonderful sheen from the silk content. I intend to use this for another Rose Red and will knit a small this time as mine is too large and falls off my head when I run!

knitting 105

Secondly on the alpaca front I got some laceweight as I am rather falling in love with lace. Whilst there were gorgeous shades of green I told myself I wasn't allowed to get another skein of green yarn! There was also a rather charming coral pink but it's really not my colour at all so I went for this beautiful silvery grey. It's far less blue than the picture shows (though I was tossing up in the shop between a more silvery grey and a blueish grey) and is Alice Lace by Juno Fibre Arts in Shadow Cave (I just had to get some "Alice" lace as that was my grandma's name) which like the Old Maiden Aunt is a blend of Alpaca and Silk and is also dreamily soft. The colour made me think of frosty mornings and this never fails to amuse people but Mr NM's favourite "colour" is grey so I thought he'd like me in a grey shawl. This was my biggest indulgence and the most expensive yarn though I suppose if you calculate pence per metre it was the cheapest yarn…got to love laceweight!

knitting 097

My final purchase from Loop (and again, I really don't know how I managed to limit myself as they had some gorgeous yarn) was for me to see what all the fuss is about. I bought some Malabrigo worsted in Emerald (I know, I know, more green!) I'm going to use this to knit the Brambles Beret from the latest Knitty which I fell in love with the moment I saw it!

knitting 101

So there you go, congratulations if you got through all of that! Here is my fall from the wagon all together, it's not so bad really…I can always think of it as 2 pairs of socks, 2 hats and 3 scarves/shawls. Mr NM and I have also agreed I wont get any more yarn for Christmas either! Speaking of Christmas…I'd better get back to my gift knitting, only 57 days to go!

knitting 108


  1. It's much more fun to read about someone else's yarn purchases when they have amazing taste in yarn! All of it is gorgeous! Or, to put it in Ravelry terms -- jealous (eleventy billion).

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. A yarn shop that serves alcohol? I wonder how often people combine the two purchases...

  3. Sounds like you had a wonderful time, and you chose some gorgeous yarn! I'm jealous too!

  4. What a haul!! They're all absolutely gorgeous, and isn't Malabrigo fabulous! And I very jealous of your trip, it sounds like heaven.

  5. I love this post. The hats are cute, but that yarn is amazing. I'm totally jealous. I can't wait to hear what you think of Malabrigo. I've been eyeing it myself!

  6. Oooh that sounds like it was FUN! And I love the pick and mix sushi!

  7. Wow, wish I'd known about some of those other shops before I went to London. But I did visit the Loop -- LOVED IT!!

  8. Ooooooooooh yummy! I love all your purchases! I'm hoping to go to visit The Loop in December with a knitting friend. I think we will probably be rather a bad influence on each other!!