Goodbye UK

Goodbye UK - Last Minute Knitting

Goodbye UK - Last Minute Knitting
Goodbye UK - Last Minute Knitting

I was in need of a bit of quiet this afternoon. Just a couple of hours to sit and knit, drink tea and catch up with a couple of my favourite knitting podcasts. It was rather delicious. 

I'm enjoying another skein of Skein Queen's luscious cashmere, this time in the Sage Teal colourway. The colour is slightly richer in the flesh. It is deep tones of teal greens and is knitting up beautifully with fantastic depth of colour. 

Remember my Loch hat? My dear friend took a fancy to it and so this skein is destined to become a Loch hat for her as a thank you for having us to stay before we leave. To be honest, this is something of a challenge - I'm not too sure that I'll get it done in the next 24 hours ... but hey, it's worth a shot?!

Goodbye UK - Last Minute Knitting
Goodbye UK - Last Minute Knitting

Although I'm following the pattern as written, I'm trying a couple of little tricks for the left-slanting decreases and the yarn-overs to make this as perfect as I can.

Woolly gave us a bunch of different left-slanting decreases to try at her workshop and I rather liked the SK (slip next stitch knitwise then replace it to your left needle, turning it backwards. Then knit two stitches together through their back loops). The result is neat with a twisted back stitch, matches the right-leaning decrease (knit two together) rather nicely and is a little speedier than your standard SSK.

When I knit my previous Loch hat I didn't like that the yarn overs were slightly different sizes depending on whether they followed a knit or purl stitch. So this time I'm trying something different. I'm not doing a yarn over by carrying the yarn at all. Instead, I'm letting it form "naturally",  by knitting or purling the next stitch but not moving the yarn from front to back or back to front after the prior (opposite) stitch. This way, I'm left with a length of yarn over the needle to knit into on the next round, but it isn't too long so the resulting hole is neat and even on each side. It's a bit fiddly on the next row where the yarn over occurs after I have changed from a purl to a knit stitch, but I'm getting the hang of it. 

Does that make sense? I'm not sure how coherent I am at the moment. I'm tired!


Goodbye UK - My LYS & Woolly Wormhead

Goodbye UK - My LYS & Woolly Wormhead
Goodbye UK - My LYS & Woolly Wormhead

Well, my stash of fabric, yarn and all things crafty has been packed into a huge shipping container and, along with the rest of our worldly belongings, is already on its way to New Zealand. I can't quite take it in. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of sorting, packing and cleaning and in five days we're boarding a plane and leaving the UK.

I've already said lots of goodbyes, but today I said a sad goodbye to The Sheep Shop and its lovely owner Sarah. Isn't it a dear shop? Sarah fills it to the brim with delicious yarn, and gorgeous displays and the community that she has created is warm, friendly and enthusiastic. I just love it.

But, today wasn't just any ordinary Saturday morning. I was lucky enough to nab a spot at a class run by hat designer extraordinaire Woolly Wormhead. I know, awesome right?!

Goodbye UK - My LYS & Woolly Wormhead
Goodbye UK - My LYS & Woolly Wormhead

Woolly's class was all about decreases and increases and she talked to us about a ton of different methods of decreasing and increasing in her hat patterns. Do you know how exciting it is to meet someone absolutely passionate about knitting techniques? Very exciting. Woolly just loves her stuff and boy does she know a lot. I learnt heaps and can't wait to try out some of her ideas. We did get to knit wee swatches during the class to see how a range of decreases and increases looked (although I did a terrific amount of nattering and only managed to finish one swatch) and Woolly leapt around the table helping each of us with our questions and confusions. 

And, as if that wasn't fascinating enough for a knitting nerd like me, we also got to try on a bunch of her fabulous hat samples and she helped us work out what suits us and why. I was pretty surprised (and relieved) to find that quite a few hats worked on my newly cropped hair (look out for some Woolly Wormhead patterns popping up on Truly Myrtle next (New Zealand) winter) and I was totally inspired by Woolly's use of colour and how well she manages to match yarn and pattern. Clever lady.

In fact, I bought her latest book while I was there: Playful Woolly Toppers. I'm particularly taken with Selkie, Morea, Beelore and Labyrinth - expect to see some on the heads of the Myrtle kids!


In the meantime, it's time to say goodbye to the UK. I've got five days so I'm planning five posts. If, like me, you're prone to tears, you might like to grab some tissues.