Lush is Lush

I am happily knitting away on my newest project using Lush Worsted, from The Uncommon Thread.  This yarn is a blend, 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon.  It is also an example of Truth in Advertising.  Lush is Lush.

IMG_6271I love everything about this yarn.  It is so soft and luxurious, and feels so good that I want to knit all day long.  Unlike Malabrigo Merino Worsted, that other famously soft wool, it is plied and has resilience and elasticity and bounce.  I also imagine that it will not pill like Malabrigo (though that remains to be seen).  The colour saturation is also fantastic.

IMG_6274This colour is called Pontus, which derives from the Greek word for sea, and it really carries in it all of the shades of a beautiful blue sea.  (Pontus also described a part of the coastline of the Black Sea, now in Turkey, where the Amazons resided in Greek mythology.)  The colour has movement and texture without too much variegation; it is rich with great depth but doesn’t pool.  (Can you tell that I like this yarn?)  The stitch definition is also wonderful, and this pattern, which combines a peaceful canvas of stockinette with a twisted stitch detail, shows up this stitch definition perfectly.  The above photo captures the simple but lovely pattern detail that flows down the sides of this sweater.  Also note the collar, in the top photo, where the twisted stitch pattern is reversible and can be buttoned up or left open.  As mentioned in my last post, the pattern is the Livvy Pullover, designed by Tori Gurbisz.  I am planning a number of modifications to the pattern, which I will blog about soon, but so far am knitting as written.

I started this one less than a week ago, and am powering through despite having to do some frogging.  (I knit about four inches into the body, tried it on and decided that it was a bit too tight under the arms, so I ripped back to before the sleeve separation, and added four rows without raglan increases.  I then foolishly decided to attempt a different cast-on method for the stitches under the arms.  After a few rows, I realized that they didn’t look as neat as my usual method, so I ripped back again, which involved separating off the sleeves for a third time.  When I tried it on again last night, I wished I had added 6 extra rows instead of 4, but I’m not frogging again.)

IMG_6267To sum up, this yarn is amazing.  Lush IS lush.  Resistance is futile.  Despite the bitter cold this holiday weekend, I am happy.   I would like to post more, but Lush is calling to me and my fingers are itching to knit.  Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Spring to you all!

Background and foreground knitting

The Exeter jacket has taken on the role of background knitting.  This is the piece that I work on a bit here and there, when I have a quiet, peaceful moment and can concentrate on the pattern.  There is an awful lot of knitting ahead and instead of powering through, I am allowing myself to get distracted along the way.  I think I am now aiming to finish it sometime in the fall.  Here is a progress shot; I have finished one sleeve and begun the next:

IMG_6261

As Exeter chugs along in the background, I have any number of foreground pieces commanding my attention.  First, there was the Arleen T-shirt which I finished and blogged about last weekend.  Then, I decided to cast on a Haruni shawl.    I bought the wool for this shawl, a skein of Wollmeise Pure 100% Merino Superwash, at Knit Nation 2010 in London.  The colour is called “Granatapfel”  (pomegranate).  I bought it before I realized that I love variegated yarn much better in the skein than in the project.  I have been knitting away on the shawl this week, but am still not sure if I like the way the colour looks.  I think Haruni would be gorgeous in a very saturated pure shade.  I am going to give it a try anyway and hope when it is blocked the colour will look more organic and not fractured.

IMG_6234Those of you who are familiar with the Haruni shawl will immediately notice that I am knitting the “plain” version of the shawl.  Haruni, designed by Emily Ross, is a very popular pattern that has over the years developed two major offshoot versions, and within those three versions there are lots of smaller variations.  I will blog about these once I get to the lace section, but for now, here is a teaser photo of the pattern:

copyright Emily Ross

copyright Emily Ross

The weather in England is ghastly this week.  It may be spring but you can’t tell by looking out the window.  There has been snow, power outages, ice, sleet, and also  flooding and landslides.  On Friday, we drove home in the freezing cold, to find the postman had left me a present. (Yarn in a plastic bag does not make for a good photo.  I climbed up on a wet and frozen chair to get this photo, while holding a camera; my feet slipped and flew out from under me and only with luck did I manage to avoid breaking my neck.  After all that trouble, I decided the photo stays.)

IMG_6237This is five skeins of Lush Worsted in Pontus by The Uncommon Thread.  I have been reading about this company for some time and wanted to try their yarn.  The Uncommon Thread is a local (UK) environmentally-aware company that hand-dyes in small batches.  They source British breed yarns from small flocks, which are also spun locally,  thus cutting back on “wool miles”.  When I was able to put in a pre-order for this wool, I leapt at the chance.  I must say that I am extremely enamored of it.  This is a luxury buy; it is not cheap in sweater quantities.  But the colour is gorgeous, and the feel of this yarn is indescribably lush.  I cannot put it down.  It is the most lovely wool to knit with that I have had on my needles in a long time.  It is a blend; 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon.  The colour is hard to capture, but here is an attempt:

IMG_6245What do I plan to make with it, you may ask?  This is destined to be a Livvy pullover, designed by Tori Gurbisz.  Here is a photo of the pattern:

copyright  LachesisandCo

copyright LachesisandCo

My original plan was to wait until fall to start knitting this, because it is now the end of March and I should start some spring knitting.  But, as this is the view out my back window right now:

IMG_6247I am not getting a spring-like vibe.  Thus, I decided to cast on yet another distractor from my Exeter jacket.  (In fact, this is only a partial explanation.  The truth is, this yarn is FANTASTIC.  I must knit with it. NOW.)  Here is the collar:

IMG_6254I have a feeling both the Exeter and the Haruni will be shoved aside this week, while Livvy takes the foreground.  Luckily, I foresee a lot of knitting in my immediate future.  The university will be closed for 5 days over Easter.  During this same period, the train station in my city is being closed for repairs, and the weather is due to remain cold and snowy. This may be a recipe for misery for thousands of holiday-makers during Spring Break, but we knitters can find joy in being housebound.