The Acquisition of Wooly Treasure

Clothing is easy to come by these days. You can buy a multitude of different styles at the click of a button from all over the globe. But how much do we really love our clothes now? Are they just throw away items that can be replaced by the next fashionable round of cheap material sewn together by people we’d rather not think about?

I have a handful of items that I love dearly and couldn’t bear to part with. I have many more that are nearly sensible coverings for my body.

My no.1 item are my enormous flared jeans. They’re not actually jeans, they are a denim look cotton with cotton lined pockets and waist, a high waist and three massive colourful buttons up the front. Unsurprisingly, I made them. They are made to my exact shape and are one of the most comfortable things I own. I wanted to find some photos of them, so checked back on my Facebook albums. It turns out I made them two years ago!

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And I can add to the list my newly created lopapeysa jumper. Another homemade favourite. I’ve already spent hours fussing over this jumper, but having worn it for the past two days in the newly chilly weather, I’m in love. And love is…. toasty.

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So, it turns out, the stuff we love the most is the stuff we poured our heart and soul into creating. BeanPole is following a similar train of thought with her special bits. The ones that mummy made for her (TinyPants is a knitted by Nana girl).

Another lopapeysa, but this time with a special Linux Penguin theme from last year which still has some wear in it.

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And the all important unicorn hat which was the talk of the playground (not all good, but they soon shut up when asked what their mummy spent hours knitting just for them).

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So it turns out that the love you feel for your clothes is directly proportional to the love that went into creating them. It’s quality, not quantity. Unless it’s shoes.

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Halloween knitfest!

There are few things that make me more excitable about knitting than joining the body and sleeves of a lopapeysa. This means I’m now eight rounds away from tangling myself up in a multitude of colours and knitting that yoke. It’s all about the yoke.

I’m determined to complete the jumper before I go back to school after half term, but I’m anxious not to rush it. I want to enjoy the colourwork (weird huh?).

But here’s my baby as it stands….

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The next project is Christmas gift socks, then another lopapeysa for LSH for Christmas. It’s a ‘special’ design courtesy of http://www.knittingpatterns.is (yes, it’s an authentic Icelandic site). Nothing says I love you quite like a guitar playing Christmas dinosaur.

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On a less festive note, this afternoon/ evenings Halloween antics were made much more spooky by my very creepy kids.

Beanpole dressed as Slenderman (teenage friends and the Internet make for terrifying children)

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And TinyPants trying out the Harley Quinn look.

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Knitting is therapy. With these kids, I need it!

Here’s a llama, there’s a llama and Another little llama…

Usually the what comes on the mail is boooooring! Junk mail, offers of one time offers for credit cards (for the seventh time), bank statements and bills. BLEUGH.

Today however, was the perfect antidote for my rapidly developing sinus infection (I ought to apologise to the world in general for my crappy boring lessons filled with powerpoints and tests due to the mounting pressure in my face – that and the need to assess everything they’ve learnt over the past 8 weeks!). I’m mildly prone to sinusitis, and am desperately awaiting that sudden release of pressure (usually accompanied by the grim sudden gush of yellow liquid released from my face. YUK!). Actually, I don’t care how disgusting it is, I could have ectoplasm leaking from my eyeballs and I’d be happy if it got rid of the sinus PAIN. So, yes, I haven’t been quite the grade one teacher today.

Anyway, I digress. Today’s post contained this!

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A whole three working days after ordering online, arrives my lovely chocolate yarn and the birch DPNs that I wanted to do the jumper sleeves (I just can’t get a circular needle short enough for cuffs!). And so begins my renewed interested in getting the block colour done so I can knit with the new wool!!!

I also should apologise to everyone who I am insisting instantly touches the yarn. It’s an alpaca yarn thing. Ivy never one across natural fibre that’s so soft & warm!

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footnote: I ought to explain the post title really (and yes I KNOW a llama and an alpaca aren’t quite the same thing.

Good things come to those who knit

There is something comforting about knitting lopapeysa jumpers. There’s a pattern (a bit like socks) that you have to methodically follow to get the desired result. Waistband, body, cuffs, sleeves, join, then yoke.

The jumper is essentially all about the yoke. That’s the pretty bit. It’s the bit that holds all the appeal, but you have to do all the hard work before you can get there. I’m on the body bit and it’s just knit knit knit knit until you reach the required 40cm length. It’s methodical, it’s easy, it’s in the round, so it really is knit knit knit knit… It’s boring. I’m in dangerous territory – boring means wander off and knit something more exciting. But I’m sticking with it. It’s growing, and I keep checking back on the yoke pattern just to remind myself what’s coming up. I mentally return to how flipping cold I was last year during the snowy months (oh yes, we had snow on two consecutive months last year! In fact on one occasion it actually lasted for more than a week! Unfortunately, because it almost never reaches less than minus 10, it feels really cold. And damp.). I’ve also just ordered the dark chocolate yarn that will go with my beige and red to make up the yoke.

What is to come : (the brown is beige, the white is deep red & the black is chocolate brown)

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Yesterday, my efforts of a week of knit knit knit amounted to this:

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After yesterday evening and despite spending a good six hours on germ ridden marking and preparation today (if my lesson plans are dodgy, I totally blame the mix of Beechams flu tablets mixed with antihistamines for the weird underwater style ear clogging), I did get an hour or so this evening to grow it a bit.

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Man flu has set in, and I have spent the WHOLE day in my pyjamas. But it’s Sunday, so I’m allowed. And I was grown up and did my homework (and helped the kids do theirs), so I can legitimately get away with being generally crap in all other ways today. Tomorrow I shall keep dosing myself up with everything going and hold up the Wild-e-Coyote style signs to save what’s left of my voice!

Methinks The Lady Doth Knit Too Much!

This is a distinct possibility.

Having pondered for the last week over the wool for my next project, I’ve been stuck on finding some alpaca wool because it’s warm and really soft. The only trouble is it’s also flipping expensive!

However, I stumbled upon some of this today:

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It’s Lima by Rowan which is an 80% baby alpaca blended with 9% merino & 9% nylon (who knows what the other 2% is…). I bought the dark purple at the bottom and IT’S SO FLUFFY!! Or rather it’s so soft. To the point where I have started following people around the house with a ball of it insisting that they rub their faces on my yarn. I’m pretty sure that’s not healthy behaviour.

What struck me is the way it is spun. It’s almost been plaited into a yarn.

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So this evening, I cast aside my monotonous ribbing of the aran tank top to indulge in some 6.5mm cabling of a cardigan. At £6.99 per 50g, or 170m this needs to be knitted up well, and two cables in, it’s growing well and rather shapely. This may take some weeks to complete, not because of the complexity, but because I’m only buying a few balls at a time to spread the cost if this project (and force me into finishing the Aran tank top).

LSH is not quite so impressed with my Saturday night antics, deciding to fall asleep on the chair in a yarn-widower huff. I’m not sure he’s up for the ‘if you can’t beat em, join em’ idea. I can’t really see him as a knitter.

The Big Knit – Charity Knitting Needs You!

Do you have drawers full of bits of DK yarn left over? I do. And now I know how to use some of it up.

Age UK are running their Big Knit event again this year where they are hoping that people will donate over 1,000,000 teeny wooly hats. Err… Why?

Well, Innocent Smoothie are going to adorn their bottles with them and for each one that is sold, they’ll donate 25p to Age UK for their Spread The Warmth campaign. I may be a little cynical, but this is an excellent marketing ploy for Innocent and what will become of all those tiny hats? I suppose, Barbie may well be getting a new winter wardrobe! But 25p is 25p.

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Lots of details can be found here

And you can download one of their patterns here