Lots of woolly / knitting things seem to have happened since my last Woolly News mainly as a result of my holiday.
As you will know I recently returned from the Isle of Lewis and before leaving gave careful consideration to my holiday knitting projects. One of my projects was nearly scuppered when two hours into our journey we discovered that my birthday presents had been left at home. I was obviously upset but then released that I had asked for some new 4.5mm circular needles. The size I needed for my Vaila shawl......... Luckily I found a charity shop after getting off the ferry and purchased some plastic straight needles. Problem solved!
I started and finished two of my holiday knitting projects and I am still working on Mr D's socks. I didn't get around to starting my gloves.
The first project started (on my birthday) was my Dufton hat in Eden Cottage Whitfell Chunky. I finished this the following day and then wore it pretty much everyday during the holiday. The pattern was easy to follow with extra tips if you wanted to make the hat longer, which I did. The Whitfell Chunky knitted up really well and despite it being amazingly soft has stood up to some pretty harsh treatment / weather. It still looks and feels great. I highly recommend both the yarn and the pattern!
On the journey up to Lewis and throughout the holiday I kept working on Mr D's socks. Whenever I picked up my other projects I think he got a bit jealous! I reached just after the heel on the first foot while away. Thanks goes to Mr D for helping me with the maths for the heel. While the pattern gave some advice on making different sizes it gave no information on the heel section! Luckily Mr D worked it out and it seems to have worked ok.
My final holiday project was my Vaila shawl designed by Clare Devine. This was cast on with a glass of whisky to hand while it rained cats and dogs outside. Again this was a great holiday pattern - easy so I could gaze at the view but with a bit of lace to keep the mind focused. The pattern was written in a very friendly style with lots of additional information (including to to use charts) and space to write out your rows and weights. I was a bit gutted I was not able to wear it while on holiday but it needed a good block. Fizz very kindly modelled it once home and blocked. I would love to knit this again perhaps in an aran weight.
Now holiday purchases...... there were quite a few! I bought a lot of wool from the two Harris Tweed and Knitwear shops (The purple skein top right is an example). Their wool is all DK and sold in weight rather then per ball. It is a very woolly wool and not to everyones taste. I am not even sure I could wear it directly against my skin. I have cast on Bru by Amanda Collins (as part of her Glasgow Kal) (Ed its finished and blocking, I will update you next month) with one of the skeins. So it will be interesting to see if it softens up with washing / blocking.
I also made a few special purchases including some hand spun (the grey with pink, blue and green flecks) and hand dyed (the rest in the photo)!