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!

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!

One does not simply buy a lopapeysa

Every year, I have to make one. My collection of lopapeysa is rather small, but that’s mainly because the last few have been made for other people!

A lopapeysa is an Icelandic jumper, generally made from Icelandic Lopi yarn which is particularly special because it has been bred in isolation in Iceland where it has developed a special hollow fibre wool which is incredibly warm. The lopi I have used in the past, has always been imported from Iceland directly, but the downside to these is that they ITCH! With that said, they are so lovely and warm.

However, the same visual effect can be achieved with some wool blend Aran. And that’s exactly what I’m doing this year.

Last year was a bit of a penguin thing for Beanpole. This year it’s a traditional jumper for me 🙂

One does not simply buy a lopapeysa – you have to knit it yourself. (Or find an Icelandic grandmother, who do actually advertise online!)

Happy knitting xx

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