Friday, March 27, 2020

Knitting - Halimede and Shetland Wool Week

If nothing else all this time at home has been excellent for knitting, something I find really calming, and which also makes me feel like I've achieved something with my day, so good all round. I knitted Ysolda's Halimede shawl/hap in what is record time for me (10 days rather than a month).

I saw this on Instagram where I instantly fell in love with it. It had been a club pattern, but fortunately for me it was released to buy a few days later. It's taken me a while to get to it, but last week was clearly the right time and I cast on.

It's the first time I'd started a hap using a garter tab, or top down construction, so it was all quite new and exciting to me. Especially the reveal once I'd finally cast off and could properly see what I'd made. I'm more in love with the pattern than ever now, to the point that I think I need to knit it again, immediately, in a colour that will photograph better so I can more easily share that love. I've actually started something else but it's only a matter of time before I come back to this pattern.

Apart from getting my head around the garter tab (bear with me, that final reveal still feels like a bit of a magic trick) there was also the challenge of a new set of instructions. The way patterns are charted is fairly standard, but within that I guess every designer has their quirks. I don't think I'd really noticed that before but it's certainly reminded me that of the value of swatching and taking a moment to really think about what's in front of me.

Beyond that I used Jamieson's spindrift which is a lighter gauge of yarn than the recommended sports weight, but it's what I had and I'm happy with the fabric it's given me. I'm particularly pleased with the span of this hap, even more so for the relatively modest amount of yarn used (150g or 6 balls). I also pinned it out to points rather than gentle scallops along the edge, more or less without thinking, but I'm happy enough with that result too. It's definitely a project I can recommend if you have some yarn stash to get through.

Meanwhile the new patron for Shetland Wool Week has been announced. Wilma Malcolmson is an amazing designer, her colour combinations exquisite. I've bought quite a few (a lot) of her hats, scarfs, and gloves, over the years because they're irresistible. Her hat patterns is available to download for free, there are going to be knit-a-longs on facebook, and for anyone who wants a good introduction to fair isle knitting it would be an excellent place to start.

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