Hyrna, an Icelandic Shawl, & Continental Knitting

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Completed Shawl!
My time spent in Iceland last year holds a special place in my heart.  So many good memories of such a beautiful country, warm people and happy sheep!
I keep meaning to write more blog posts about my trip…they ARE coming…but as I’ve said before, it’s so hard to capture the experience in pictures and words.
Recently though, I completed a shawl from a yarn kit I bought while I was in Reykjavik.  It was a yarn kit created by Gudrun Bjarnadottir, the owner of Hespa.  Gudrun takes Einband, a single ply Icelandic wool yarn, and dyes it naturally, mainly with native Icelandic plants.
Perhaps letting her speak for herself is a better idea:
“I teach Botany at the Agricultural University of Iceland at Hvanneyri. I spend all my spare time collecting plants and coloring yarn. I also make my own yarn from the Icelandic wool. Plants, knitting and nature are my favorite things and I am so lucky to be able to combine them all in my work and life.” (Etsy Owner Description)
At the end of  our Hiking with the Elves tour, we had a workshop run by Gudrun.  She explained her process and discussed the various plants and lichens used to create the various colours of yarn.

Hyrna, an Icelandic Shawl, & Continental Knitting

IMG_7993
Completed Shawl!
My time spent in Iceland last year holds a special place in my heart.  So many good memories of such a beautiful country, warm people and happy sheep!
I keep meaning to write more blog posts about my trip…they ARE coming…but as I’ve said before, it’s so hard to capture the experience in pictures and words.
Recently though, I completed a shawl from a yarn kit I bought while I was in Reykjavik.  It was a yarn kit created by Gudrun Bjarnadottir, the owner of Hespa.  Gudrun takes Einband, a single ply Icelandic wool yarn, and dyes it naturally, mainly with native Icelandic plants.
Perhaps letting her speak for herself is a better idea:
“I teach Botany at the Agricultural University of Iceland at Hvanneyri. I spend all my spare time collecting plants and coloring yarn. I also make my own yarn from the Icelandic wool. Plants, knitting and nature are my favorite things and I am so lucky to be able to combine them all in my work and life.” (Etsy Owner Description)
At the end of  our Hiking with the Elves tour, we had a workshop run by Gudrun.  She explained her process and discussed the various plants and lichens used to create the various colours of yarn.

Knitting Your First Socks: Your First Mistakes

So, in knitting my first pair of socks, I learned quite a bit; both because I was attempting something new and because I made a ton of mistakes.
Sock knitting wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. This is big part thanks to Wickwum Mom’s tutorial. (If you’re feeling intimidated by the idea of making a sock…I highly recommend you check out her website AND her facebook group. It was really easy to follow and the online group is incredibly encouraging and helpful.)
I have already mentioned my first pair of socks on this blog in my Afterthought Lifeline post but I wanted to add another quick write-up to a) show off my socks 😉 and b) share the two major errors I made so as to help you avoid making the same mistakes.
And so, here we go!
a) Show off socks!
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Yup, pretty darn proud of these socks!  Mistakes and all!
b) Share mistakes!

Letters from Iceland: Hiking (and Knitting) with the Elves Pt 1: The Group

This past July, I spent 10 days in Iceland. It was my second trip to Iceland after an initial 4-day stopover last January, on our way home from Europe.
This time though, I signed up for a structured pre-planned trip. The majority of my 10 days were spent as part of a hiking and knitting tour created and run by Hélène Magnusson called “Hiking with the Elves“.
I have been meaning to blog about the trip ever since I arrived home.
I want to record my experience, but I also want to share it with others who are considering a similar trip in the future.
Unfortunately, this has proven to be such a difficult post to write.
Part of the challenge is to try and capture the experience without writing for pages and pages. I’m sure that you, my dear readers, have better things to do that sit in a comfy chair,  with a glass of wine, snuggled up to your computer screen while you read through the novel that is my Icelandic blog post.
The other difficulty comes from the fact that the experience was so tremendous.  How can I ever hope to capture the magnificence and grandeur of it with mousy little English words?

Communal Scarves & Happy Customers: Vending at the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival

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Skull ornament on sale at Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival
Last weekend, a friend and I had a booth at a nearby festival, the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival.
I have sold at a market once before but this time we approached it properly, as though we were attempting to set up a small pop-up shop.  We discussed displays and stock items and I ordered a Stitch Noir banner! 🙂
Having a physical presence, even for a short time, was a lot of work.  Well, having an internet presence is a lot of work too, but this was work of a different kind.
Stitch Noir booth at the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival
Stitch Noir booth at the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival
I can work on photos and try to ensure that they really show off the product for my etsy store, but displaying product on a table or in a tent…completely different world.

Communal Scarves & Happy Customers: Vending at the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival

IMG_9964
Skull ornament on sale at Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival
Last weekend, a friend and I had a booth at a nearby festival, the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival.
I have sold at a market once before but this time we approached it properly, as though we were attempting to set up a small pop-up shop.  We discussed displays and stock items and I ordered a Stitch Noir banner! 🙂
Having a physical presence, even for a short time, was a lot of work.  Well, having an internet presence is a lot of work too, but this was work of a different kind.
Stitch Noir booth at the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival
Stitch Noir booth at the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival
I can work on photos and try to ensure that they really show off the product for my etsy store, but displaying product on a table or in a tent…completely different world.

Super Bulky “Outlander” Cowl – Free Knit Pattern

I recently made a number of awesome SUPER bulky wraps.  They are quick (only took a few hours each) and easy (Can you garter stitch?  You’re good!)
Some of these are available in my Etsy store but if you are a knitter, scroll down for the pattern.
black and white super bulky cowl
My adventure starting during a recent trip to Michael’s Crafts where I picked up a set of the biggest knitting needles I have ever used! (Also known as vampire stakes…but that’s another story)

Super Bulky "Outlander" Cowl – Free Knit Pattern

I recently made a number of awesome SUPER bulky wraps.  They are quick (only took a few hours each) and easy (Can you garter stitch?  You’re good!)
Some of these are available in my Etsy store but if you are a knitter, scroll down for the pattern.
black and white super bulky cowl
My adventure starting during a recent trip to Michael’s Crafts where I picked up a set of the biggest knitting needles I have ever used! (Also known as vampire stakes…but that’s another story)