Election Day

Today marks one of the most important elections in the history of Finland, so this post will be brief as I am about to watch the results show and knit (dishcloths, nothing very exciting). But I couldn't wait any longer, I had to show you this small stitched project I just finished today.

This is what I finished stitching on Friday:
arbre aux oiseaux 1

The fabric is 32ct linen from the Lair, the design is L'arbre aux Oiseaux by Jardin Privé. I had to stitch it, the sheep are way too cute. I think the shape of the stitched design would show well in a round object, and as I was lucky and got some cardboard for finishing, and a fellow stitcher gave me some ideas as to how to do it, I finished it into this:
arbre aux oiseaux 3

I have no idea what that is called, but it is now on the wall in our living room. I think it is quite cute. Here's the closeup of the design:
arbre aux oiseaux 2

That's all for now, hopefully I have the finished Gingko shawl to show you sometime next week!

It's About Time!

The Lair etsy shop has just been updated with yarn, silk and wool! Expect another update early tomorrow morning (or later today), the South American combed tops will be added then. The blog will be updated once all the fiber has been updated in the shop :)

Thank you for looking! :)

New Lessons in Photography

I got my new lens over a week ago, and it is wonderful! (For the camera enthusiasts out there, it's a Canon EF 24-70mm/2.8L USM lens.) So now I have no reason to blame the equipment for the poor quality of pictures - the culprit can be found in the bathroom mirror. The 24-70mm lens is a very, very good lens, but also not a very forgiving one. You make a mistake in the settings, and it shows. This led to some serious navel-gazing and, eventually, I learned a few new tricks. (Such as, "hey, my camera has an 'M' setting - wonder what that is".) But along the way, I rediscovered some old truths.

One, burgundy is a very tricky color to photograph.
bfl silk 2

Also, single-ply yarn is always very, very pretty.
bfl silk 1

And fun to knit with!
bfl silk 3

The fiber is 70% BFL 30% silk, and it was the February club fiber in the Little Bit of Luxury Fiber Club. I managed to squeeze out some 550 yards or 500m out of the 6 oz (150g) of fiber I had. The top was gradation dyed, one end being darker burgundy than the other. But in between there are tiny specs of burgundy, and I didn't pluck them out, which resulted in a slightly striped yarn. I like the result a lot, and hopefully this'll become a nice shawl (the pattern is Gingko).

The second truth I learned was that dark teal is nearly impossible to photograph correctly. I managed to do it though, with serious tweaking of the settings. (These pictures are SOOC, I've only cropped them and added the copyright notice.)

hedda 2

The pattern is the amazingly cute cap/beret pattern Hedda by the incredibly talented designer, Vilma. I used some 200 yards of Aran weight yarn which will be introduced in the Lair in detail a little bit later. I wanted to test how it takes dye and what it is like to knit with, and the results are very nice. The yarn is 100% wool, has a lovely texture to it, and it's quite soft, too. I'm thinking of a cardigan in this lovely yarn (the only thing holding me back is the fact that it requires quite large needles and they make my hands hurt).
hedda 1

I knitted the slouchy version of Hedda, but didn't block it too vigorously and thus got a snug cap. But I don't mind at all, I think it looks quite lovely!
hedda 3

That's all for now! Stay tuned, the etsy shop update is coming up next.

Sparkling Wine with Wool

Last weekend I packed my car with over 40 lbs of wool and headed south to the 4th knitting retreat. I have no pictures of the retreat, unfortunately, but you can imagine what happens when you combine 50 knitters (and 27 spinning wheels!), sparkling wine, sleep-deprivation and candy. (Hence, no pictures.) I came back on Monday (after nearly buying a spinnery) and since then, I've spent the last 4 days under my blanket, in my bed, shivering in bouts of fever.

I managed to spin a little, and I chose Allspunup's absolutely wonderful 85% BFL 15% silk blend.
asu bfl silk

Spun into fluffy 2-ply, I managed to get some 500yds out of the 4 oz of fiber. It was truly lovely to spin with, and I can't wait to knit it.
asu bfl silk 2

I got started on a second ASU braid, this time a merino-silk-blend.
ASU alpaca merino silk

I didn't get too far, since Jeremy is quite popular with the ladies, but I passed the time quite pleasantly with the aforementioned candy and beverages.
ASU alpaca merino silk 2

And Jeremy came back home with his own little herd of sheep. (A gift from a friend, they are adorable! Shirley is in fact a swap gift, the rest came in a set with another Shirley, but the other Shirley was too much for Jezza and couldn't fit on the bar!)
shaun and the sheep

I have some wool left over from the retreat, and they will land on my etsy shop sometime next week. As soon as I get over this fever and as soon as my new lens arrives, you'll see pictures of them when I update the shop. 'Til then, stay tuned - the shop update will be announced here in the blog!