Tuesday, 28 November 2017

One Week Later. . .

What a difference a week makes.  On Sunday we did the Win-Lose walk with our rambling group.  It was colder, windier, and much muddier. We also had to walk quite briskly to make sure we were down from the hills before the light faded. 

Snow does add some beauty to the landscape however.

All the woollens were on - hat, mittens, cozy cowl.  I also switched out my usual fleece for my Icelandic lopi sweater and while I did sweat going up the hills, my core never felt chilled.  So wool wins the day again.

Friday, 24 November 2017

A Win-Lose Situation. . .

I have done several walks in the Peak District but have always started from Hayfield, as in this classic Kinder Scout walk, or Edale, (see this walk and this walk),  so I enjoyed helping the Liverpud recce an upcoming walk in the area, starting this time from Castleton, which is on the other side of the Edale Valley.

We started our walk down some pleasant country lanes, crossing a few fields of relaxed sheep who were clearly enjoying the late autumn sunshine.  We are heading for Win Hill which is just peeping out over the crest in the photo below.

Below is a photo taken half-way up Win looking back at where we came, and also at Lose Hill (pronounced Luce, I believe), that pointy hill just popping up between the two trees. That will be our final climb.

But first Win Hill.

From the top you can get a nice view of the Ladybower Reservoir.  The colours of the moorland are so rich this time of year.

Coming down from Win, we followed this path along the ridge, getting ever so closer to Lose Hill.  It was just a glorious day - chilly at times when the sun went behind a cloud, but otherwise the perfect temperature for a pleasant walk.

At this point we came down off the ridge, crossed the valley below and started our ascent up Lose, which is quite gradual.  It starts off in woods.

And when you come out of the forest at this gate, you feel as though you're at least half way.

This is the view from the top of Lose looking towards Mam Tor and the Edale Valley.  Again you get to walk along a ridge and enjoy the views . . .

. . . before turning off and heading down, back to Castleton.  You can just see Win Hill in the distance.

Castleton is a really delightful little town but it was too dark when we arrived to take any decent photos. It has lots of lovely shops, pubs and cafes, and their Christmas lights should be on when we return this weekend with our walking group.  Though we only did this walk last Sunday, I'm quite happy to revisit it; I just hope the weather is as nice.

Friday, 17 November 2017

An Interesting Construction Sucks Me In . . .

I swore I wouldn't cast on another 4ply sweater for a little while, having just finished my Ola Yoke and still needing to complete the sleeves on my Carpino.  But then the latest Pom Pom issue arrived and I was smitten with the cover pattern, Tabular, designed by Maja Moller.  It was also the case that I had the house to myself that weekend so there was nothing and no one to stop me from casting on at 10pm on a Friday night. So that is what I did.

The jumper is knit in pieces and then seamed together. You start with the triangle at the top. It doesn't take long, so you immediately want to join those two rectangles of garter stitch, never mind that it's way past midnight by this point.

Then comes a long stretch of stockinette knit back and forth.  I haven't done so much purling in a long time, but when I'm excited about a design. . .

It's quite a cropped sweater which doesn't really suit me, but it is easy enough to lengthen and I appreciated that the designer put a note in the pattern at the point where you could do so.  I added thirty rows, and this is what the front now looks like (the final two rectangles are picked up next but I haven't yet decided on a colour).

I next decided to knit the back. Again, an awful lot of stockinette back and forth. So in order to keep my interest, I decided to stripe it.  It's also useful for counting rows.

The yarn is Jamieson & Smith 2ply jumperweight (grey and beige) and the red is Jamieson & Smith Heritage Light Fingering.  Now I am half way up one sleeve.  I'll finish the second sleeve and then make a final decision on that last colour. Stay tuned. . .

Friday, 10 November 2017

A Very Special Jumper. . .

Earlier this week, I finished my Ola Yoke jumper, designed by the very talented Ella Gordon.  I started the sweater while still in Shetland, and it holds a lot of great memories for me.  The dark charcoal grey is Jamieson & Smith 2ply jumper weight.  Ella herself sold me the cone at J & S headquarters in Lerwick.  The yoke is knit out of a variegated merino yarn by Nova Scotia's Fleece Artist, part of a series of special skeins celebrating Canada's National Parks. The lovely Janet, who was part of our knitting group exploring Shetland (and a fellow Canadian), kindly brought each of us a skein of this very special yarn.

As soon as I saw the colourway - Nunavut - with all its glacial, icicle-like blues and whites, I was reminded of Canadian painter Lawren Harris, in particular his paintings of Baffin Island and the far north of Canada.  I really wanted to use Janet's gift in a garment that would remind me of the great adventure we all had, the friendships we formed, and all the laughs (and there were many).  This pattern and yarn was perfect.

I added a few rows of purple (it's either J & S or Jamieson's of Shetland 4ply - I have long lost the ball band), as a nod to Harris who often includes the colour in his paintings.

I am completely in love with this jumper.  Of all the garments I've knit this year, it definitely has the best fit. The Shetland wool is warm and cozy, and it just feels so good to wear this. The only modification I made was to add a few extra decrease rows for a smaller neckline.  And this will always remind me of a fabulous vacation with a great group of women.