Have you ever been reading a book and not wanted it to end? I was like that with Knitlandia by Clara Parks. Each chapter is an essay on a yarn-based trip, show or holiday Clara has been on. It has made me want to go to Iceland, and it has made me want to explore and expand my horizons with the yarn I use. It has also made me want to push on with my knitting, where my skills are pretty limited compared to my crochet. I loved it so much I used a Christmas voucher to purchase The Yarn Whisperer, also by Clara.
Recently I have been dipping my toes into the world of hand-dyed yarn. This yarn is dyed in small batches by small, independents. Instagram is an absolute hive of hand-dyed, small batch yarns, and I'm discovering new dyers by the day. My sister moved from the south of England to Leeds for university and is really really suffering with the cold. She asked me for a handknitted hat for her Birthday the end of January. I already had the pattern, a cable favourite I have knitted for a friend before, and scrolling through Instagram I saw that Helen from The Wool Kitchen had a new upload of her beautiful hand-dyed yarns to Etsy, including a few skeins of Champagne Supernova, cream with multi-coloured neon spots. Instantly grabbed by this yarn (perhaps also helped by my love of the band Oasis) I thought it would make a perfect pairing for the hat pattern I had in mind. It took me a while to get past the ribbing, and despite suggestions it was due to the whisky nightcap, I soldered on until my fifth attempt before giving up.....funnily enough it worked perfectly the next morning!
Once I got going though I flew through it. I'm so glad I went with the yarn, as being a blue faced leicester/alpaca mix it is lovely and soft but also so squidgy and warm, perfect for my sisters chilblain-ed ears. And its in unicorn colours!! EEEK! I've been sharing a few progress shots on Instagram, but here it is finished!