A few months ago I treated myself to a lovely skein of yarn in a beautiful soft grey colourway from the magical land of Etsy. I was saving it for a special patter, and over Easter I cast on a the first stitches of my next project. The yarn is from indie dyer Kristin of Voolenvine Yarns and she hand dyes skeins of yarns in the most beautiful shades I have ever had the fortune to happen across. She also produces a rather charming weekly podcast from her home in Brooklyn across the pond. This was no an inexpensive purchase, but the skein has almost 900 yards of alpaca, silk and cashmere goodness spun into 100g of fine, 2-ply lace weight. The colourway is named Poe and it is my favourite skein I have ever bought.
It was quite exciting when it arrived; the yarn was packaged beautifully and Kristin had included a little chocolate, a teabag and a lovely postcard in with the yarn. Little touches like that make it really worth supporting independent small businesses.
I decided to knit it into a lacey, beaded shawl and I found a pattern called Fragile Heart by designer Boo Knits that I thought would be ideal. I'd like to make it quite large so it can go around my shoulders and keep of the slight coolness that can descend on summer evenings. I'm adding in some extra beads and some extra pattern repeats to personalise it, but I've knit patterns by Boo knits before - 3 to be precise - and they've all turned out wonderfully.
Every day I ride the London Underground for just under an hour. After a couple of weeks knitting this is where I'm up to. It's riding to work with me each day and now the rows are quite long, so I tend to get 2 or three rows done a day. Perhaps more if I hit a row with fewer beads. I like knitting on the tube. It keeps my hands busy while I listen to podcasts, I enjoy the rhythm of it, and it makes the journey fly past.
And I've got to say, you simply cannot imagine how soft this yarn is. It's like silky, sleepy, gossamer kittens, I don't think the shawl looks like much here (lace never looks very impressive until you block it and stretch it out to see the pattern), but trust me, every time I get out this knitting, I first have to put my face in it and breathe in.
Monday morning? I've got it covered.
P.S. One of my goals is to design my own lace shawl, and now that I've made a few can see how to put one together, I'd like to give it a try. What a shame: I'll need to get another skein of yarn...