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:
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.
Those 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:
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.)
This 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:
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:
I 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:
I 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.