New stash and a new finish

I’ve been hanging on to the good feelings I have from visiting Unravel last weekend. It’s one of my favourite shows on the yarn-y calendar and it’s always nice to catch up with old friends and new ones.

One friend I was especially happy to see was Sue Stratford, formerly of The Knitting Hut. I’ve long been a fan of her books and her latest one Knit Me, Dress Me, Love Me features more of her signature knitted animals and a whole wardrobe of hilarious little outfits for them. I particularly loved the frog sweater for the puppy, the mouse sweater for the cat, and the knitted y-fronts. So much fun.

Some of Sue's delightful creatures

Some of Sue’s delightful creatures

Sue also had the most amazing badges for knitters. I can see these being popular at more than a few knit nights! Knitting and Gin is the name of Sue’s new blog and I’m looking forward to keeping up with her adventures through it.

Love this cheeky badge for knitters!

Love this cheeky badge for knitters!

I also really enjoyed running into Michelle from The Loveliest Yarn Company who was exhibiting at Unravel this year. Michelle had some gorgeous West Yorkshire Spinners undyed Aran that I used for a swatch for Shadowlines in my Knit Play Colour book and I have been wishing I had an excuse to knit it some more. I’ve been swatching with it for my Vika project, a beautiful sweater by Veronik Avery. I may have told a few too many people my intentions to knit myself a new jumper – perhaps to help keep me accountable and on track? I’ve cast on, people!

Yummy West Yorkshire Spinners Bluefaced Leicester Aran with amazing texture!

Yummy West Yorkshire Spinners Bluefaced Leicester Aran with amazing texture!

Considering how much there was to see and pet at Unravel, I think my stash enhancement was reasonably modest: a little more linen from Namolio to pair with some of their yarn already in my stash, the new Laine magazine filled with gorgeous inspiration, some knitter’s graph paper (definitely a work-related expense!) and some vintage needle gauges from Jayne at Ida’s House. I’d love to visit the shop in Caterham and will have to plan that soon.

My modest Unravel stash enhancements

My modest Unravel stash enhancements

Lastly, my new Girasole shawl by Jared Flood wasn’t blocked in time for me to wear to the show but it has been blocking this week and I’m thrilled with the results.

Girasol by Jared Flood

Girasole by Jared Flood

The shawl itself was started two years ago and only finished this past summer. It then languished without any blocking (one of those “oh yes, I must get around to doing that!” things) until this past week. As spring is around the corner, it was time to get this sunny project done! The shawl is knit in Shilasdair Luxury 4-ply and it was a dream to work with. I’m almost sorry to see it leave my stash but equally chuffed to have used it on such a special project.

Of course now it seems I’d better be getting a move on knitting that jumper that I’ve been telling everyone about….and, ahem, the linen one that’s already on my needles…

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