The fine weather, summer holiday visits and other projects have been distracting me from completing my coursework for module one of knit design online, although I did dedicate an entire toddler nap time to experimenting with casting on methods from Vogue Knitting.
There is still a wealth of work to do on all the other elements of the coursework. I'm hoping this will become easier as the nights draw in and I feel the need for a warm inside activity with a cat on my lap.
For the odd minutes I find during the day I have filled them with a minor social media habit of Instagram. It has proved to be an excellent way of keeping up with Emma's new colours at The Little Grey Sheep whilst I've been away visiting family. I also have a number of Scandi knits that pop up in my Instagram feed. A particular favourite is Knitting For Olive, and I scan the website regularly to check for the new patterns popping up as available in English.
But I have not been idle with my needles. My main project has been ensuring that a pair of toddler Frugi dungarees that I bought in the spring will last longer that just the summer, by making a cardigan and hat to take it through the winter (providing the toddler doesn't grow too much). Emma nudged these Stein DK beauties in my direction and we worked out a plan for a short sleeved cardigan and I developed a hat idea to complement it.
The Stein is a wonderful yarn for next to the skin. It's so soft and I don't get any complaints from my little one (except that I wanted it modelling it for the family when it was too warm for a woollen layer). With the remaining yarn I developed a hat to complement it, which you may have seen on the stand if you visited Wollfest and Yarndale.
I've written up the patterns that should work for aged 18-24 months if you want to try your hand, the yarn is Stein DK Little Miss Sunshine, Looking Out at the City and Polar, the buttons are from Textile Garden. The pattern can be found for free here.
I have found a couple of alternative colourways which may get you thinking:
My next project is a work in progress with Jessica's Story. This is a yarn that is somewhat overlooked when it's compared to Emma's soft bright Stein and luxurious complex Gotland. Jessica's Story knits up as an aran. It's springy, the colours are bold and fun, and it's machine washable. That's right, machine washable, and you can stick it in the tumble dryer. Emma is pretty sure that Jessica's Story is the only UK non-Superwash machine washable pure wool (but is happy to be corrected).
Woolful has a great post on Superwash wool which you can find here: http://woolful.com/fiber-conscious-superwash-wool/ which explains that "Superwash wool is made by exposing the fibre to a chlorine gas that erodes the scales and then it is coated in a plastic called Hercosett 125. This doesn’t even include the toxic chemicals that are used in the overall process." Needless to say, The Little Grey Sheep will never stock Superwash yarn.
Look out for the pattern for the Jessica's Story project, which is a small tank top, inspired by The Little Grey Sheep's noisiest neighbours at Royal Air Force Odiham. I'm working out a two colour intarsia to showcase the yarn and hope to have the pattern available in a couple of months. Here are some two colour combinations I'm experimenting with to spark your imagination: