Let me tell you, trying to finish a full-time degree and maintain one’s Knitter status is no joke! But I keep trying! There have been so many creative things going on in the background here that I scarcely have time to document them all. The see-saw of pandemic lockdowns and life re-boot is gradually coming into balance. I have selected for you today two knitting works-in-progress and I hope you will enjoy them as much as I am enjoying working on them.
First up, we have an extraordinarily bright jumper. I assure you, it is even brighter in person. Forget sunglasses, you’re going to need goggles for this one!
Pattern: Sugarbush by Marie Amelie Designs (Ravelry link). Free!
Needles: 3mm (I cry, but it is worth it). 26st gauge for 10cm.
Yarn: Sandnes Garn Tynn Peer Gynt in red-orange, and natural white for the yoke. I ended up using just over 4 balls of the orange for a 36″ size and hip-length body, and about half a ball of the white.
The yarn is quite wonderful, but its wonderfulness really does depend on how you measure these things at the same time. It is a very fine, a true fingering weight, Norwegian wool yarn. The put-up is 205m per 50g, which is good bang for your €5.
I ordered mine from a shop in Germany called Lanade. I’ve ordered from them a few times, mainly because they have all of the colour of a variety of brands that are not so easy to get here, Sandnes being one of them.
I fell hard for this colour! And for me, the balance of woolliness, metreage, price and colour selection add up to it being ‘wonderful’. But I can see that if you don’t like working with fine needles, or with a slightly scratchy 4ply, then this might not be for you. It’s perfect for colourwork though, and I look forward to using it again down the line.
My other work in progress is a shawl. I ordered some yarn from Kate Davies Design before Christmas for three fairly equal reasons. Firstly, I have wanted to try out some of her yarn for quite a while now and I was convinced by the jewel tones. Secondly, I wanted to support a small business that in turn, also supports other small businesses. And thirdly, I wanted to try out ordering from the UK now that we are post-Brexit. The yarn is very nice, and I didn’t have to sort out customs, so I’m not sure what happened on that front – either I escaped or it was sorted out on their end.
So, the shawl!
Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl (Ravelry link) by Evelyn A. Clark. Also free! This was not free once upon a time – I think I even had the hard copy of the magazine – but it’s downloadable now.
Yarn: Milarrochy Tweed in ‘Foxglove’ from Kate Davies Designs. This comes in 25g balls, 100m each, single (i.e. not plied). I used 3. It is very much a fingering weight yarn. I have grave doubts that I will have enough for the full shawl, but I don’t mind too much. I’m going to go as far as my 3 little balls will take me.
Needles: 4.5mm needles to try and make my yarn go as far as possible.
As far as the knitting experience goes, it is soft, and the colour most pleasing, as are the bright tweedy flecked spun in throughout. It is on the more expensive side of yarn. At £4.50 for 100m, that works out to be £18/€20.50 for 100g/400m, which would be a typical metreage for a yarn that thin.
That’s pretty pricey, definitely compared to Tynn Peer Gynt (€5.50 for 50g; €11 for 100g/410m), and even compared to Studio Donegal Darnie (€13-14.50 for 100g/410m).
So, whilst I wouldn’t be using it for everything, it is still a reasonably affordable treat yarn, if you’re into your jewel tones and woolly-wools!
I’m looking forward to finishing up both projects and moving on. I am really enjoying exploring lots of colour in my wardrobe these days. This is definitely a pandemic, or post-pandemic, side-effect! And is in part connected to the fact that I have been a full-time student, and will almost certainly not return to the way of living that I had been rooted in before the degree. It’s all very interesting, the possibilities that lie ahead, not least with wool.