Knits for Others

I recently had a craving for some really luxurious merino/silk yarn. I think it was a response to all the baby knitting I’ve been doing lately. I swapped away a lot of my pretty laces and fancy yarns on the Stashdown group over the summer in exchange for baby-suitable yarns.

Or maybe it was just a call to make something for me. It made me go back and check and since last June I have made two things for me. One was a hat that I simply needed as none of my hats fit my huge head right. The other was a garter stitch shawl because I needed some really easy knitting. Everything else (lots of baby knits, several pairs of socks and some shawls) have been for other people. And while it shows no sign of stopping ( i’ve 7 left on my baby queue plus two other gifts) I’m quite happy with that.

I enjoy knitting for other people, especially if I know (or think) that it’ll mean something to them, even if they’re not keen on the item itself. I’ve learned there are some people who should only be knit for under carefully specified circumstances. Where possible I like to let the recipient pick the pattern and the yarn, though sometimes my own intuition has been more successful! Of course I’m lucky that my own Greg will happily accept any and all socks, though he does have his favourites :)

So with 3 baby knits almost ready to go in the post – just needing buttons *shudder* – I think it’s time to take a break and knit something for me. I’ll knit with beautiful luxury yarn (Fibrespates 4ply in Midnight) thanks to a lovely package from the wonderful R. I still can’t get over the generosity and I’m so grateful. I can’t decide between the ‘Precious’ cowl, which seems so appropriate, or another Elanor cowlette sample. 

Just as soon as I finish test-knitting a baby vest for Yvonne of the Dublin Dye Company…

Busy bees

So, it’s probably worth noting that I didn’t actually get buried in a glacier after my last post back in April. I did make it home safely. And then leave again, and then came back, left again and came back again. You might suppose that summers are less busy in universities, without all the students, but it’s also prime travel and conference time. Getting to travel around meeting new people in new places is a great part of my job, but it has meant that the last few weeks have been short on schedule.

Of course not all trips are work trips, and I’ve just arrived back from a Fibre Friends weekend, which mostly consisted of watching Babylon 5 (I’d never seen it before), knitting and me tasting all the treats I can’t easily get in the UK. We also had a lovely visit from Undermeoxter to chat about a few different things. All in all, we have a few busy weeks coming up in Fibre Friends land, but no spoilers!

I did, of course, take the opportunity to visit This is Knit while I was in Dublin. We were very restrained, but did leave with two balls of yarn, courtesy of a voucher from Christmas, and one pattern booklet, a birthday present from Cathy. Naturally, as soon as we got home, I had to borrow some 5mm needles and cast on!

20150820_095758The pattern is Mahy, a lovely Shetland style shawl that I found sitting in my queue. It’s perfect for a nice, crisp, heavy laceweight (or even a light 4-ply), so it was a natural choice for the Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal that I bought. This isn’t my first time with this yarn, having recently finished Miraldas Triangular shawl in the purple colourway. The yarn has lots of lovely body for lace, but it has enough cashmere to add a touch of luxury as well. Add to that the signature Donegal slubs of colour, there’s so much I love about this yarn.20150820_095721

The Mahy shawl starts with the central triangle, which is just garter stitch with a yarn over before the first stitch, used for picking up the boarder stitches. It’s a lovely way to ease into a project and get to know the yarn before things get interesting. By the time I was ready to fly home, I had finished the centre and was ready to get into the lace. I’m now nearly finished the first of four lace charts and loving it. I am “cheating” a little though. Since this is a garter stitch base, there is much less need for directional decreases than in stockinette, so instead of ssk, I’m using k2tog. Nobody would notice by looking though.

I suspect this will be a reasonably quick knit, so I may have another FO to show for myself soon.