Thursday, 8 May 2008

Black Opal

At last the hand dyed yarn has arrived! Under a week from the US - not bad! All excited, I opened the package to find this lovely wrapped parcel inside. What a really lovely way to present your yarns and it makes you feel a bit special.

Now to the close-ups! My photos look pretty similar to the ones on the etsy shop from yesterday - maybe a bit darker? Anyway, it is lovely and soft to the touch and the blending very subtle - which I like a lot.

I may have to rethink what to knit with this yarn though. I am now thinking Pecan Pie may be too busy for the subtlty of the yarn blending, hohum. I've been looking on Ravelry but nothing seems to fit as yet. Any beret pattern suggestions for a subtle variegated yarn?

I originally intended to buy merino but I liked the colours of this one more. Being superwash wool, at least it will be harder wearing and still have a soft-to-the-touch feel. Also as this is a fine DK/Sport thickness, the verity beret, even at the large size would, I feel, be a bit too small.

Until I make up my mind, at least I can enjoy the beauty of 'Black Opal'. Sometimes the hanks of yarn are lovelier than the knitted outcomes! It is weird how some dyed yarns just work knitted and some so don't! That's probably why I like subtle blends more - they can make a statement without having the shocking clashs of randomness. I know you can use two balls alternately to soften the effect but at £12-15 a pop, that can get expensive!

So, off I go to be selective with my lovely yarn......

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Variegated yarns and Pecan Pie

Just wanted to show you my newest purchase from Craftywoman's Etsy shop - isn't this lovely yarn? I found her site through Ravelry and spent a happy lunchtime browsing her lovely hand dyed yarns. I'm thinking this could be a fortuitous substitute for my sister's new hat. As it is a variegated yarn, I'm going to have to consider the hat pattern very carefully as I want it to show up the randomness of the dye in the hat - so maybe not as complex a pattern as the rose red, with YO's and cables! Is it to be another final, final verity? I'm not sure.

I bought this on the 1st of May and am impatiently waiting for its arrival from the US! I think once I see the yarn in reality it will be easier to see how to best use it. I have saved a beret pattern by Nancy Merchant listed on's Fall 2007 called Pecan Pie which is free if you want a challenge and a lovely hat!

Pecan Pie beret by Nancy Merchant.

Look a the lovely use of the variegated yarn contrasting against the plain. Looks quite a firm hat though! After the last few warm days we've had here, maybe I should be thinking lighter weight knits!

Come on yarn! Again, I must find patience......and my sister will have a little bit longer to wait!

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Roses are red and verity's are blue!

At last, at last, the beret's are finished! I've really enjoyed making them but I think I need a rest from hats! But I am really pleased with 'Rose Red'. This Ysolda pattern is even more fascinating than the Verity pattern and I enjoyed that immensely. I think using Cashmerino yarn might have helped the look and the overall feel.

I just love the cabling that goes all the way to the bottom. This did take quite a bit longer than the verity and I ended up getting distracted trying to watch television and having to take back sections. But, it's all a big learning curve!

After subtly (or not), trying to guage whether my friend would prefer the petrol verity for her birthday, I realised that the tactile aspect is so much more important than a lovely looking hat - she loved the pattern, she loved the colour, she loved the cookie button - but the feel was "not as nice as the cashmerino". A lady with excellent taste!
Now my quandry was - birthday in three days, beret to knit, soft yarn to find.... Ah Ha!! Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk! Okay, it's DK but knitting the large size should work???

Long story short - it did! Not as full as I would have liked and definitely a lot neater that even the magenta DK verity but still a lovely, soft, verity beret. I don't think I would use the alpaca again for this pattern but it would be nice on the rose red or another pattern with more structure to help it keep its form.
(sorry the pictures are so poor - only managed to finish near midnight and had to wrap then and there, so artifical light was all there was.)

I took a picture of the yarn before I knitted for my Ravelry stash so you can get a better idea of the final colour - a bit bluer without the yellow cast.

The only issue I have now is that I intended to use this yarn to knit a rose red for my sister to replace the purple verity with the tight headband. Oh, dear! Does that mean I will have to buy some soft, yummy yarn? I'm sure I've seen some gorgeous hand painted merino on Ravelry......


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