It really is all about the yarn, too. Although I do believe that Jared Flood has something to do with it as well.
I have given in to the lure of the lovely wool and silk mixture that is Noro Iro, and its beautiful slow colour changes, and started an Iro Scarf for myself.
So far I have worked about 30 inches of this, and it is growing very fast. I had two-and-a-bit skeins to start with, left over from my husband's pullover, the name of which I cannot recall at this minute. I've used the bit, and started one of the whole skeins.
This is extremely simple. Inspired by Jared's 'You're My Iro' scarf - and also by the Ellis scarf in Jane Ellison's Simply Noro book, now that I come to think about it - I cast on 20 stitches with 8mm needles (US #11) and I am working in straightforward garter stitch. Jared's scarf took two full skeins and was worked on 17 stitches. I have slightly more yarn, so I cast on a few more stitches - and I think I am just going to keep going for a while now. This is coincidentally the same shade that Jared chose - #47.
Such a pleasure to work with, truly.
And yes, those are Denise needles that I am working with - and yes, they are bright yellow. I have a set of Rainbow Denise's which I bought from Amy, and I use these in preference to the grey ones nowadays.
That multi-coloured thing in the background is another of my favourite things. I decided that if I was going to have projects lying around the house, it would be nicer for all concerned if they were in attractive bags rather than plastic carriers. So, this is a vintage knitting bag which I recently bought on eBay, and it is made of random strips of different corduroys and velvets.
I love things like this. Somebody made this, years and years ago, and they used it for a long time - you can tell. And now I am using it, and no doubt it will be passed on again in due course.
Where was I? - oh yes, the yarn. And Jared Flood's ideas.
The new Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts magazine has an excellent pattern by Jared, the Koolhaas hat. I loved this as soon as I saw it, and as soon as the magazine arrived I started looking through the stash in search of some Cascade 220 that I knew was in there somewhere - a lovely ruby red. I did find it eventually (I must get the stash into some sort of organised status, no doubt at all about that) but whilst I was looking for it, I also unearthed some of Tess Dawson's Baby Alpaca Aran in teal blue. And that was it, I had to cast on straight away.
I know that I am starting to sound like a stuck record about this range, but really this is lovely yarn. It is so good that I am having trouble getting back to the Iro.
The Swirly Scarf is slightly stalled by the presence of all these lovely alternatives - although this, too, is about the yarn. Tess's alpaca again, you see.
Not the most inspiring picture, but what can you do with 450 stitches on the needle, worked in garter stitch with fine black yarn? It is always going to look like a blob, as indeed it does here.
Actually I think I am going to make this rather wider than the scarf in the pattern. I have completed 14 of the 20 rows so far, and I have plenty of yarn - 200 metres for this half of the scarf, as opposed to 160 metres for the Koigu that the pattern is written for. I'll need to find out roughly how much yarn a single row takes - later today, perhaps.
And finally, more yarn. If you are a member of the Blue Moon Rockin' Sock Club, and don't want to see the October yarn, then - well, I don't know. Avert your eyes, or something. Also if you are an arachnophobe, that goes for you as well. But if you do want to see it, then scroll down................
Here is Lenore. This is the first appearance of Blue Moon's Raven series, to be released in November. The name of the series - and also of the kit, of course - refers to Edgar Allan Poe.
Red and black, I believe, and very definitely Gothic. The pattern is also called Lenore, and is by Stephanie. I'll show you that later. Now, I am extremely non-Gothic, but I absolutely have to cast on for this straight away.
I need more hours in the day.