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Posts Tagged ‘Jared Flood’

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Finally! The laying and sanding of our sitting room floor has unfortunately eaten up rather a lot of knitting time, but after a few hours in the car last weekend visiting friends and the odd row snatched here and there, my Jared Flood shawl is at last finished.

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It consisted of three sections, all knitted using different techniques, which kept it interesting, although I was ready for it to be over with by the end!

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I did try take some photos of it without the use of children and dogs as props, but the colour just didn’t look right. It’s a gorgeous Shilasdair yarn dyed using tansy flowers. My sister is the recipient- I hope you like it Sophie!

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I’ve now knit this pattern most of any I’ve tried- it’s no longer necessary to dig it out from the bottom of my knitting bag or rip back and start afresh the seemingly endless times I had to when it was way out of my depth. I still love it and enjoy it, and the resulting fabric is stretchy, bouncy, and beautiful enough to be special without being so fragile and precious as to be squirrelled away for the moths to enjoy. I don’t think there’s a specific baby in mind yet for this one, the client who wanted it was given one for her baby and just wanted another one, this time in a darker grey. Otis certainly enjoyed it!

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As often is the case, a quiet blog belies a busy time here at the cottage- the Easter holidays promted a huge push on the ‘garden’ (still more accuratey described as scrub land) and I’ve not been idle on the crafting front either. In addition to wee Fergus’ quilt, I’m still knitting ‘Quill,’ a Shetland hap-style wrap for my sister,which is a Jared Flood pattern. There’s no rush on this, and the progress on it creeps ever more slowly as each round gets larger. It’s great TV knitting, though (until I get to the rather more complicated-looking border!)

Also on the needles is another Old Shale baby blanket, this time in a dark grey superwash merino, which is soft and bouncy. I’ve knitted this (yep, another one of Jared’s) pattern several times now, so despite its lacey appearence, is also now quite happily mindless.

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It’s the first Easter holiday we’ve spent at this house, and I must say I’m loving the days warm enough to spend outside but evenings cool enough to still warrant a fire. The cold, dusty hearth of summer is such a sad sight, I feel.

As always, the last weekend in April heralds the Banchory Scout Jumble Sale, a bit of a Deeside institution which raises in excess of £10,000 for the Scouts every year. It must be a mammoth undertaking, but, as ever, the queue snaked round the block. The bric-a-brac table was  full of hidden gems and slightly out of breath punters jostling for space as we raked through the piles of baking tins, china and a large porcelain white tiger figurine (which, along with two very, um, sculptural candelabras, was sold to a most satisfied chap). I did my best to steer clear of the embroidered textiles this year -tempting as they always are- because I am amassing a huge collection and am rapidly running out of space! Instead I bought some glass jars for flour, lentils and the like, for £2, and 9 beautiful hand thrown pottery mugs, interior and rims glazed in a lovely bluey green, also for the measly sum of £2. I feel very much the cat who got the cream as I sit here sipping tea.

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I also bought two very large, very fluffy and -crucially- very absorbant towels for… the dog. A 5 year old German Wirehaired Pointer named Amber came to live with us just over a month ago, and after a few issues here and there, is settling in pretty well. She’s very sweet and very affectionate, and despite now having to sweep the floors pretty much constantly, the happiness she brings the boys and the joy of taking her for walks (good recall! A first for most dogs I’ve known!) is worth it.

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A long, long time ago I cast on a wrap for my sister. It was to be the biggest version of Brooklyn Tweed’s Topiary, a geometric, cabled wrap designed by Michelle Wang for the company that looked just lovely in the pattern photos. I’ve used Jared Flood’s patterns before, and found them to be well written, beautiful and clear. The models are apparently all friends of the designer, and are not only gorgeous but epitomise fresh-faced American youth, full of eager potential in their stunning hand knitted garments. Just look at her, she’s so beautifully happy with her Topiary wrap:

What’s not to like? I bought the pattern and plunged in. And quickly realised I was out of my depth. Once I had mastered the actual reading of the chart (aided by an attack with some highlighter pens) I realised that I would never be able to memorise it or be able to knit it with anything other than maximum concentration. At first, this was ok: I was breastfeeding Otis to sleep (yes, I started this years ago) and so had a good hour or so every evening of being pinned to the bed. It was a good use of the time. But then it was put away once I realised it wouldn’t meet the birthday, then the Christmas deadlines; and then it languished. I tried to take it up again a few times, but my heart wasn’t in it. I also had made the error of using a slightly hazy yarn which rendered the time and effort put into all those tiny cables completely pointless, so poor was the stitch definition.

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I was a third of the way through and I just realised I had to give up. After gloomily contemplating frogging the whole thing, I decided to just cast it off, fold it in half and seam it to make a cushion.

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I still love the pattern, even with the poor stitch definition, and am actually rather pleased with it.

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My lovely sister is rather inundated with cushions (her own doing, so I presume she must like them), and I know her husband relishes the chucking of cushions with gusto to make room for actual people on their sofa. She seemed happy with it, and to be honest I mostly feel relief: that it’s finished with, and that I can rummage in my knitting bag without coming across it and feeling the UFO (Unfinished Object) Guilt. Farewell, Topiary!

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I bought a large quantity of undyed grey wool recently from a lovely couple on the Applecross peninsula on the West coast of Scotland. I just love yarn like this-  the sheep are reared and (hand!) shorn by the couple and the fleeces spun into the nicest, springiest natural yarn you could imagine. It’s a from a special corner of Scotland (highly recommended for its award-winning seafood pub alone, never mind stunning landscapes, art and crafts, jaw-dropping beauty) and so begs for something special to be done with it. In my dreams, Jared Flood’s Grettir jumper would be ideal- an Icelandic-inspired design with a beautiful colourwork yoke. I need this jumper in my life- although I’d leave off the roll neck, as shown in the men’s sample. I think a bit more colourwork practise might be in order first though!

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After the dispatch of the ship quilt to baby William, I was asked to knit a blanket for a baby Lily. I plumped for the faithful Old Shale Baby Blanket by the amazing Jared Flood and was even as unimaginative as to use the same exact yarn in the same exact shade as my first one, Drops Merino superwash in a soft dove grey.

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But I make no apologies, as it’s fantastic yarn: not too expensive, soft, washable and with nice stitch definition. And I much prefer this sort of grey to any pale blue or pink out there aimed at babies. The pattern, which flummoxed me utterly on my first attempt, is in fact very simple and easy to memorise once you get going. It’s a great one for a beginner with YouTube at your fingertips!

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Spring is (at last!) in the air, but even at the height of a Scottish summer those long light evenings need a wee blanket to keep the chill at bay. Happy snuggling, Lily! (Sol’s just testing it out)

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After the ship quilt and in between another Old Shale baby blanket (and the interminable Christmas present for my sister) I knitted this woolly hat for… myself! In an alternate reality, I really want to knit the amazing Kate Davies’ Ursula:

or Bláithín:

But as I think such colourwork beauty is rather beyond me at the moment, not only in terms of skill but also of time, I opted instead for a hat adaptation of the gorgeous Hemlock blanket popularised by Jared Flood. The lovely knitter who provides the hat adaptation, Robyn Wade, is here.

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As you can see, a nice warm hat is still very much in order, and we’re off skiing soon (which seems rather ridiculous!) so I hope it will keep me cosy on the slopes. It’s in Drops Lima, a DK wool and alpaca blend which I thought would be soft and fuzzy (alpaca) but durable (sheep’s wool). It was a lesson in using double pointed needles, which I found a total faff and resorted to the magic loop method which is basically cheating. But it still works! I enjoyed the stitch explosion of starting with only 8 stitches in the centre and rapidly increasing with each round- the big holes are made by creating a double yarn over and then dropping the first one off to create 9 stitches on that one bit of yarn. The resulting stitch and creation of further stitches is just so pretty and starts of the petals. Clever people, these knitter folk.

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It ended up quite slouchy and loose, but I love it. And it’s rather nice to have something to keep for myself!

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Don’t you love the abandoned ride-on Lightening McQueen car in the background? Classy.

Come back mummy!

Come back mummy!

 

 

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