Coming Up for Air

Hello, Blog. It's been a long time, hasn't it? Did you miss me? I see the Lair is quite dusty *cough*. Time for some spring cleaning then!

So I'm back. I honestly have no idea what happened. I knitted a cardigan, then cast on for a new one and what do you know, it's suddenly next year - next decade in fact! -, and nearly six months since I blogged. I needed the break, though, to figure out what to do with the Lair. It has also been a time of adjustment - we moved to a new country only a few months ago (I know it's my home country but after 5 years it felt like moving to a new country), and there have been times I wanted to pack everything and go home. It has not been the easiest of winters, although I have enjoyed the company of my friends and family, and it has been desperately beautiful outside, but it's also been a very dark and cold winter. Moving from a busy metropolis to a village of six (6!) houses has not been entirely easy.

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On top of this all, I have been on the road a lot, teaching my sweater method to Finnish knitters. And it has been fun, meeting new people and knitting with them - but it has also drained me of energy. And I am applying to a university next summer, which means I have to read, read, read, and perhaps then read some more.

I have not been entirely idle and hibernating though! So let's clear out the dust and take a look at some of the items finished in the Lair over the past 6 months or so!

First up, the bathrobe. Clearly, not my greatest hour, despite the smug grin!
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The yarn is a fuzzy acrylic blend, rather horrible to work with but knits up really fast. And it's warm, which was what I wanted. But it does look a bit like a bathrobe, and it wasn't really me - the color and the design looked awkward on me. I gave this cardi to Mum, she likes it and that's what's important.

The next big project was my Double Lattice Sweater. Like the green cardi, it is knitted with the top-down seamless set-in sleeve method, and I absolutely love the way it turned out.

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The yarn was rather unforgiving, 100% mercerized cotton, which does not stretch, so the minicables were truly painful to work.

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The result is a shining fabric which looks nothing like cotton fabrics - but wears well and is machine washable. Which is great, since normally, white and I do not mix very well.

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And it fits just the way I wanted! I could lose a few pounds and it would be even better still, but I am very happy with it as it is. It has been worn a lot already, and it's surprisingly warm considering it's cotton.

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And no seams!
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I have also been spinning! The Lair has seen some changes in the wheel family - Butch is gone to a new and loving home, since here, he was badly neglected and lonely (and I think Sylvie verbally abused him on a regular basis). The Pocket Wheel is going through some repairs, and has not been actively in use for months. Sylvie is the same, although she has competition now: I have a new wheel. Sophie, a Kromski Sonata, is a true workhorse, not the prettiest wheel there is but a great companion. I'll show pics of her later, but for now, something we played with together.

First, a handspun Baktus, spun from the beautiful Allspunup Falkland fiber to a thick fingering weight single and knitted in a couple of nights to a warm and comfy little shawl.
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The colors are truly breathtaking. I love the subtle tones and the variation of dark colors.
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I love wearing handspun socks, and these are no exception. There is an element of rag rug-esque striping in the yarn, but I like the vivid colors. The fiber is 100% SW BFL I dyed and spun ages ago.
rag rug socks

One last thing I want to show you: my Emerald Sweater. I was lucky enough to get some KnitPicks Gloss Kenai yarn for a sweater*, and used 10 skeins of this truly beautiful teal colored yarn for this design.
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It is a simple design, twisted stitches on a reverse stockinette background, but in the cuffs and the hem there is a lace pattern I adapted from a Japanese stitch pattern book.

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This was really a lot of fun to knit, despite the gazillion stitches on my #1 needles. The best bit: no seams!

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Mr HairyFeet was kind enough to photograph it with me, and I wore it with my Winter Skirt. I really love the combination of these two handknits together.

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Happily there is still a lot of time to wear both of them, the spring is only beginning here. As is clearly visible in this picture with the Mount Doom of Snow behind me!

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And last but not least, the pattern for the Winter Skirt is finally available through ravelry! That's all for now, next time - Casbah!

*Yarn sponsored by KnitPicks.