I am wrapped in my Evelyn A. Clarke icelandic shawl today. I am amazed at how warm this small wrap is on my shoulders, and I am grateful for the comfort. I do not wear shawl’s often, I am more of a scarf person mostly due to my own challenges with lace knitting. However I am changing my mind, and have cast on another of Evelyn’s design’s in my icelandic yarn to have another to slip on during the cold Fall and Winter Days. This icelandic fiber is amazing. Light, but not drapey. Warm but not heavy. Bursting with personality, like the hearty sheep it comes from, yet “tame-able” into the most intricate lace patterns, providing stitch definition.
The Runi shawl is knit in Narfi, a two-ply fingering weight that comes in this natural grey-brown color. It takes dyes intensely, the brown undertone giving the colors warmth and a heathery effect. I have dyed it a rich red, blue, and purple, and like just looking at it in a pile waiting to be made into a design. It is the same feeling as stocking up your pantry with jars of homemade jam, peaches, pickles, applesauce. I drift into Winter knowing I have a supply of this fiber at hand.
Fall sort of pounced on us here in the Northwest. One day it is warm and sunny, the next the rain comes and the temperature drops. I think that is why I feel particularly affected by the cold. I remind myself that cold weather gives purpose to knitting with wool. While I’ve never needed a practical reason to pursue my passion, there is something wonderful about producing clothing that is needed. Again, it is the well-stocked pantry effect.
I am heading into the Thanksgiving Holiday with three projects on the needles, the icelandic shawl, a new fairisle hat design with Finn wool (hand-dyed purple and natural grey), and a Finn wool garter stitch shawlette from a pattern offered by Acorn Street, a lovely yarn store in Seattle. I had the pleasure of holding my first booth at the Nordic Knitting Conference in Ballard, and I fell in love with this simple pattern that adds an edging called “Ric Rac” by Borroco. I am adapting the gauge of my yarn to the pattern and will offer the adjustments and a link to the pattern when this project is done and photographed. If the power goes out then, I am prepared to sit in front of our fireplace with plenty of knitting to do.
Many attendees to the Nordic Knitting Conference asked about my website, and I promised to get it up and running so people can purchase the yarns I have developed. I am so close! The final touches will be made over the Holidays, and I will get it launched and running, I am determined. I am grateful for the opportunity to work on it with my 15 year old son who is an amazing talent, and as an added bonus loves to wear my hand knit socks. (My daughter loves them too. I can’t knit them fast enough to satisfy.) I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving, and hope you find yourself wrapped in the warmth of family, friends, and a nice warm handknit. Kerry Graber