A new pin

As you may remember during British Wool Week I started knitting a shawl in British Suffolk wool. By the end of the week I had only completed a bit of it, but because the wool was chunky and the needles large it was soon finished. It is great for wearing around the house, especially when sitting still… as I am now, writing this post. However, I realised that I needed a pin to hold it in place… something that I didn’t have.

As you know, I like to support small producers, so I hunted around the internet, but just couldn’t find anything that appealed. Eventually, however, a friend recommended a company in Portugal who sell via etsy and who will make items to order, so I contacted Pedro and Cris at Artis Ignis. What a lovely experience – they told me that they had been thinking of making shawl pins for a while, so my request had given them a nudge. Then, they sent me some sketches, asked me which I liked and offered to make up a couple of pins, photograph them and I could choose – with no obligation to buy if I didn’t like them.

Artis Ignis shawl pin - designed for me

Artis Ignis shawl pin – designed for me

When I received the photographs, I was delighted… I had asked for a pin with leaves and was given the choice of a vine theme or ivy leaves. For me it had to be the latter to fit in with my British wool – ivy is characteristic of British winters (think of the Christmas carol ‘The Holly and The Ivy’) so seemed the perfect companion to my cosy shawl. In total from first request to the pin arriving it took just over three weeks, including me spending a few days making a decision about designs!

I have been waiting until I had a pin to photograph the shawl , but here it is:

British Suffolk Wool Shawl and Portuguese Alder Wood Pin

British Suffolk Wool Shawl and Portuguese Alder Wood Pin

Having a woolly week

This week, 14-21 October 2013 is UK wool week… I’ve only just found out, but I feel that I got it off to a good start with my felt slipper-making yesterday.

I love sock knitting... especially with self-patterning yarn

I love sock knitting… especially with self-patterning yarn

As usual, I have a pair of socks on my needles, but (a guilty pleasure) it’s not British wool. In fact it’s a yarn made by Opal in the bizarrely named ‘Smokey eyes and coloured lips’ range (shade 6640, if you are interested). I do feel, however, that I should celebrate wool week by knitting something in a British wool, and so I have decided to cast on some yarn from my stash. Specifically, I’m going to start a chunky shawl/poncho in undyed Rowan Purelife Suffolk yarn… it’s a lovely steel grey. In fact, I’m not a great fan of knitting weighty yarns on fat needles (hence my love of sock knitting and amigurumi), but I really want a nice warm ‘personal blanket’ to keep me toasty over the winter and reduce the need for heating, so I’m biting the bullet and going to make a start. I might also get round to perfecting crochet amigurumi bacteria, so I can sell anyone who wants one a ‘germ of an idea‘!

Chunky British Suffolk yarn for a really warm shawl

Chunky British Suffolk yarn for a really warm shawl

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