Taking Yarn Stock : Hebridean 2ply

jenjoycedesign©virtual-yarns
Yarn. I have more yarn than I need, but still far less than many.  Here is Virtual Yarns Hebridean 2ply fanned out on the table.  I love this yarn, so now I’ve got all the colors, ordered over a couple of years , beginning back in 2009 when I fell in love with color work after buying Alice Starmore’s Book of Fair Isle Knitting.  I will replenish as used, so there will always be enough of any one color to snatch up in the throes of creative impulse. As you can see, some have already gotten knit up…

jenjoycedesign©Hebridean-2ply

The camera never can give a totally color neutral eye, it always seems to favor one tone over others, and the greens & neutrals to the left are not very vivid. You can certainly see better representations of the colors on the Hebridean 2ply yarns page of their website.

Virtual Yarns sources premium quality pure, new British wool, then it is dyed in the wool and combined into the unique blends inspired by the natural environment of the Hebrides. I love that !

jenjoycedesign©shades

Here is all the thirty-five colors , attached to their original labels, in one-yard lengths, optimal in versatility as far as shade card archives go.

*  *  *

Note about the photo at the top of the page : It is the new table we just moved into the house from the workshop over the weekend! A project Jeff has been laboring over for months, the post & beam table, that which has made me seriously proud of him, he’s such an amazing artisan with wood!

((And yes, in case you’re wondering, that *is* Emma’s yellow football and  water dish.))

Refining

I took a dive into my stash of Scottish yarns .

Virtual Yarns, Jamiesons Spindrift and Elemental Effects !

A bit like a wild fox diving nose first into the snow

after a mouse in a wintery landscape !

fox-dives-into-snow

. . . and up I came, with these three skeins !

“Mountain Hare”, “Red Deer” , and “Sun Dew”

of the Hebridean 2-ply from Virtual Yarns.

jenjoycedesign©virtual-yarns

 A little thicker & fluffier than Jamiesons.  I mean to refine things a little , from DK to Fingering,  from Superwash to Virtual Yarns… all of a mitty sort of persuasion.

Lichen Waistcoat


I decided that to stray from the pattern’s borders, peeries, and color sequences was courting disaster.  Even though I always seem to have an overwhelming impulse to substitute (as in cooking), knitting is perhaps a little less flexible.  It’s always a valuable learning experience about just how far I can deviate from the author’s pattern or colorway. I’m one of those who very rarely has stuck completely to a pattern (or cooking recipe). I ended up becoming quite unattracted to the alternate color sequence and peerie which I originally started to substitute in the first attempt at the Lichen Waistcoat in this post , reason being that I didn’t want to introduce a fifth color which would detract from the ‘sparkle’ of the bright green center in the borders, an accident which I found unexpectedly perfect.  I just wanted that green pinstripe to stand alone. That’s not too hard to understand, is it?

I soon ripped back to the first border and settled in to the author’s pattern, and now happy enough with my own colorway at least, being completely infatuated with the pair of Virtual Yarns “Red Deer” and “Mountain Hare” colors, of the Hebridean Moor & Mountain color story, and well, the soflty neutral Jamiesons Spindrift “Natural Black” is a very nice choice for the motifs I think.

I am now back on course with this project. It however, is near the back burner as there are four other projects which have seemed to make their way into my priority knitting. I will have this well under way if not finished, in the Autumn of this year… or am I kidding myself ?

Beet & Neep Heid !

Here I am wearing Beet Heid on it’s maiden voyage down the mountain and into town.  This tam makes me feel my Scottish roots right there in the wee beet roots.

I love this pattern, and have made two of these tams so far!!!  It just knit so intricately, yet the pattern was so well written it just made it seem somehow easy.  I was really blown away at how it came together ~~ I made that ???

Shown above is the one made with mostly Virtual Yarns Hebridean 2ply , and also Elemntal Affects Shetland.  The pattern suggests for a red rooted version, this colorway is called ‘Beet Heid’ as as the neeps are more deep maroon or crimson. The red color for beets = Elemental Affects Shetland “deep garnet”, background = Virtual Yarns Hebridean 2ply “mountain hare”, and the greens are Virtual Yarns “bog bean and calluna”.

Another below, made of scrap fingering weight yarns I had on hand, just to sketch out another colorway (it ended up more a child size with the very fine yarn and needles I used).  I am somewhat of a gardener, and in a family of obsessive gardeners, so I very much connect with this clever designer from Edinburgh, named Kate Davies.  Well, here is my second Neep Heid, folded in quarters to see the full profile of the motif:

Below it is shown blocking out on my ironing board.  Oh, what is that cheerful flowery thing to the right? That little pin cushion is the embroidery sampler my grandmother taught me when I was 10 years old.   I found it in a box recently, of bits from my childhood, and decided to actually use it, to hold blocking pins, and not having tossed it in the years of my disregarding youth.

~ Here is Kate’s pattern for her  Neep Heid Tam.