Autumnal Handknit Sweater

IMG_20171118_152537 (1)
Rust, Ivory, Black and Air Blue Hand Knit Icelandic Style Cardigan!  Inspired by the East Coast in the fall – where blazing eastern forest meets sky and water ❤

Hello and how are you!

I am well, wrapped in blankets with a hot cup of tea, candles lit and one of my favourite Irish bands playing, the Bothy Band.  It’s Sunday and rain is gently falling.  We have been having fires every day, even if it’s just to keep the damp out on a mild, wet morning.

IMG_20171118_155955 (2)
indoor world

 

We have been so busy as well!  I started a new job in the library system, working as a call in.  I had best get use to driving at night and in all weather since the job requires me to go quite far to some rural branches.  I am excited to be back in the library, I already have a long queue of books on hold (just finished The Moomins Vol 1) and will share with you later more of what I’ll be reading this winter (I’m going to work through my long list of “To-Read” on Goodreads).  Apart from work… there is STILL wood to stack, wood to bring in, vegetables to take care of (I’m down to the last of the tomatoes) and cats that are beginning to explore the outside world.  There is an etsy shop, art work and a very, very active dog.  Jamie is also giving me guitar lessons again so I’m hoping to pick it up again and encourage him to make more music as well!

Before I launch into knitting… our little 1.25 acre is also constantly on my mind.  I have been transplanting saplings that have come up on the outskirts of the farmer’s field, buried many chestnuts, planted lupin seeds that I collected in July from the wayside and transplanted some of our rose plants and lavender.  My ultimate goal is to have every inch of land planted with trees, bushes, flowers… anything!  And then buy more land :D.  Anywho…. this is all a side because I came here to share with you my latest cardigan handnit.

H A N D K N I T  C A R D I G A N

IMG_20171105_162025
Just the buttons left! 

I cast this sweater on in the blazing sun of glorious July!  Yes… it has taken me quite a while.  It was the first cardigan, knit in the round that I have ever made which is why it took me so long.  I believe I actually finished the bulk of the work in August or early September but waited until a visit with my Mom before I actually steeked the body (Steeking is the word applied to the actually cutting up the middle of the body to open up your cardigan sweater).  Thank goodness my Mom has absolutely no qualms about trying anything in the fibre art world.  When we finally were together in the latter part of October, she actually did the crochet stitch up my purled stitches and then I (palms sweating and heart beating!  Clearly a life or death situation) cut the sweater! It was so satisfying 😀

The inspiration for the design comes from the fall here in the Canadian East Coast, where miles of forest stretch along the ocean shore, spotted with wooden white houses.  I have started to really simplify my designs, favouring simple blocks of colour.   I really love the rust Léttlopi!  I find it both striking and subtle (if that makes any sense…).

I started the sweater with the full intention of finishing in October.  It’s nearly a month after when I thought I would be writing this post.  At the end of October, my sister, Mom and I travelled to Ontario to see our family and friends, thus putting a halt to all of my work (It was a very nice visit and I hope to be back again soon!).  And just other life things have continued to pop up, derailing my physical artistic world.

So below I have shared a couple pictures of the fall here, my sketch book and the sweater!  I have not taken anywhere near as many pictures this fall but alas, here are a couple!

IMG_20171016_172607
Home in October, the leaves are all gone now but these hundred year old sugar maples are beauties!
IMG_20171116_100306
Little messy paintings for inspiration
IMG_20171116_095507
Cape breton house by the sea – Colour source for the sweater – Red mountains filled with sugar maples, birch and spruce, the blue/grey water and sky and a cute white house. 
IMG_20171018_100005
The colours of our backyard, briefly in October ❤
IMG_20171118_155005
Finished!  
Processed with VSCO with p5 preset
Right after I finished sewing on the buttons, one quick picture!  Buttons successfully fit in the button holes, phew! 
IMG_20171119_122346
The rain let up so we went to the back behind our property to get a couple of photos!  I love the contrast against the grey sky and golden grasses.
IMG_20171119_122441
Out after the rain – a  little close up
IMG_20171119_122157
wooden buttons and abandoned farm land 

IMG_20171119_122057

Processed with VSCO with  preset
And it’s raining again

 

It’s raining much harder now.    It is also my sister Meaghan’s birthday today! We are separated by the strait, but I am wishing her all the best in Nova Scotia today!  Send her loving vibes this day ❤

I hope you enjoyed this post!  I am settling in to actually put up the listing of this sweater on Etsy and respond finally to my comments and messages on both wordpress and instagram.  I have generally been steering away from Social Media and have finally developed a pretty solid system to keep me from being distracted.  Perhaps I’ll share this with you in another post!

IMG_20171119_103538
My Knitting Projects!  A Grey Icelandic Cardigan!  I’m hooked on making the cardigans despite being a bit more work!  Oh and those one ply mittens… maybe next year i can share them with you 😉

**A note on this sweater, it is made from I C E L A N D I C W O O L!  The specific name of the wool is called Léttlopi  which essentially means light Icelandic Wool (Létt = Light / lopi = Icelandic Wool).  This  wool is made using the sheared fleece of Icelandic Sheep.  Icelandic Sheep are very different than other sheep around the world, they are descendants of Norse Sheep from 1000 years ago!  Their unique fleece is composed of 2 layers, one which is water repellent and the other is an insulating coat.  This unique fleece keeps our friends dry and warm in the rather unpredictable Northern Atlantic Icelandic climate.  If you have any allergy or discomfort with wool, this wool is most likely not for you.  It is a hardy and durable wool which can withstand weather.  I live on an Island in Atlantic Canada and find this type of wool ideal for working outdoors in the fall/winter and “spring”  (our springs sometimes feel non-existent). **

Be well!!!!!!  Slán a’charaid!

Advertisements

Hazel Heather Pangur Bán Handknit Sweater

IMG_20170503_191034 (1)

Hello 🙂

I wanted to share a few pictures of the latest Pangur Bán sweater.  I have it all ready to be shipped off to California but wanted to document it as much as possible!  It’s a funny thing, dedicating countless hours to knitting a garment and then shipping them off to their new homes – you so often forget about things that you have knitted!  Instagram has been good in a lot of ways to go back and remember different things that I’ve made in the past, however I find blogging about it just a wee bit more personal.  And I don’t feel like there are these silly rules about how many pictures I can post 😀

You can see the wool (Léttlopi) I used on the Alafoss Website.  The main colour is hazel heather and the contrasting colours are beige, black heather, oatmeal heather.  I guess I didn’t take too many pictures of the process, so I hope you enjoy the few that I did 🙂

And so, without further ado, here are some photos of my latest handknit sweater (you can read more about the design of this sweater in one of my first posts!).

Sleeves
Still winter and so much snow when I started this knit!
Sleevess
Finished sleeves – I had the mug pictured here for such a short period of time 😦 it was chipped and cracked after it fell off the coffee table and now is home to an English Ivy
Knitting
Sunroom Knitting
Working on the yoke
Yoke Knitting
Pangur
My knitting basket and Pangur ❤
IMG_20170503_191326
It was windy – I started with my hair up and it slowly falls out 😛  But in this photo, you can see Shipwreck Point Lighthouse and below are red rocks and the ocean
IMG_20170503_192252
Feeling the wind by the Ocean (i.e. just posing for a camera :P).
IMG_20170504_094830
Colour Contrast
IMG_20170504_094726
The blocked yoke
IMG_20170504_094333
Laid flat on the old
IMG_20170508_124101
packaged up with a card and a little bit of extra wool in the emergency situation
IMG_20170508_124324
The workroom has been completely taken over by plants!
IMG_20170508_124404
Lastly, stamped handmade bag !

Off she goes today!  I am being swamped at home right now with chores upon chores to do before we catch our flight in Halifax this Friday.  I can hardly believe that in a week’s time, we will be driving on the left side of the road and in the country of my ancestors.  I have a lot to share with you all before we go and will likely afterwards as well!  We have had a lot of rain which has made the PEI country side so lush and wonderful. It’s hard not to be happy in the midst of all the green and warmth!  Especially when hiking in the mountains on the other side of the Atlantic is just before us!

PEI
Our side of the Ocean ❤

I am on the fence currently about bringing any knitting on the trip.  For some reason, I am hesitant to bring knitting needles on the plane – I have read that it should be fine, but I remember once I had my knitting in my bag when a friend and myself went on a tour of the Parliament Buildings (just for fun one random afternoon when I lived in Ottawa) and they took my knitting from me and sealed it in a bag!  I may go scout out some wooden circular needles tonight (cross fingers that such thing exists in PEI!).  I do hope to, we have a 5 hour lay over in St. John’s and a long plane ride which I will be incapable of getting any rest >.<

Anyhow, my family is coming tomorrow to house sit for us and I have SO much to do before!  Getting very excited!  I may be very stereotypical and post a packing for Ireland blog, if I have time!!!

Slán!!

Preparing Shop Orders & More Snow

 

Back Yard
Henry among the snow

And it’s back.  A foot of snow, freezing temperatures… the chickens refuse to leave the coop and boots full of snow.  We can at least take heart that it is technically *spring* and this won’t last.  But for now, my nose is running and my feet are damp.  I feel like watching The Ken Burn’s documentary about the Civil War and not leaving the couch… eating brownies and drinking peppermint tea. But first, before I succumb to these whims, I thought I would be somewhat productive and share some photos I took the other day while I was preparing for Etsy shipments.

This week, I prepared the folkloric Lopapeysa, A Fairisle pull over  and some hand-pressed cards.  I have been feeling SO lethargic and just “blah” this past week (I think a combination of the blizzard and monthly times), such little drive to do anything at all.  Last week, I baked like 5 different types of bread (2 loaves of french bread, 2 loaves of whole grain, 2 peasant loaves, 12 buns and some naan bread!) and was just on a wild spree of being a productive human being.  I even read one of my favourite books, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and picked out some new books to pick up at the library.  I felt SO good and happy and this week has just been the exact opposite.  I have just been down in the pits or as my girl Anne says, in the depths of despair.  Winter melancholia.

But alas, it is sunny and sometimes, it’s so difficult to feel anything but hope and happiness when you are basking in the sun.

IMG_20170323_112801
Folding the Fairisle

P R E P A R I N G

To get out of a funk, I enjoy the creative process of simply packaging up orders.  I wanted to share a couple photos with you since I am much better at that than descriptive writing!

I make wrapping paper for the cards, using hand-carved stamps.  Last weekend, I bought some red ink for a different look (what do you think?).  I really enjoy wrapping up cards and tying them up with string. Simple pleasures that I hope bring a wee bit of happiness to the person that receives them! I stamp the brown paper based on what type of artwork has been purchased, for instance if it is a botanical or fungi print, I make sure it is plant based wrapping paper.

E T S Y   O R D E R S

Wrapping
Pressed Paper for wrapping cards! I just bought some red ink and love it!
IMG_20170323_132014 (1)
Cards to be shipped out!
IMG_20170323_132045
Farewell
Snow on March 24th
The view from my workspace  – snow and wind (and some flies that have taken refuge)
Ways of Wood Folk
Choosing a tag
IMG_20170323_113009~2
Wrapped up with a handmade card
IMG_20170323_120220
Details of a sweater – lettlopi wool
IMG_20170323_115831
Bound up with some extra wool for any potential mending and a hand-pressed card
IMG_20170323_120146
a tag with some wool

 

IMG_20170323_121007
Envelopes
IMG_20170323_133701
Snooow!!!
IMG_20170325_113255
Saturday Hike with Henry and Jamie to Strathgartney, PEI
IMG_20170325_115210
Beautiful Pine tree, one of my favourite trees ❤
WOodland
Snowy Woodland at Strathgartney

N A T U R A L   W O R L D

Jamie and I went on a really beautiful walk in Strathgertney Provincial Park yesterday.  Luckily, there was a path to follow made by snow shoes rather than us struggling in our winter boots in the snow.  The park is beautiful, with a range of different woodlands, walks along the West River.  We only met two other people and were free deep in the woods from the sounds of cars on the nearby highway.  I can not wait for the snow to melt and the mud to dry up so we can freely walk in the different beautiful spots on this island.

A  NEW  WEEK

This week, I am hopeful that the temperatures will rise, that the sun will come out, that we will be free of blizzards and impending storms. My Mom has graciously agreed to come stay with me for the week since Jamie will be going to Ontario for work and I would love company living out in the country during my bluest time of year.  For some reason, the “Winter Blues” descends upon me in the beginning of “spring” rather than the winter.  I feel very alive and happy in the winter months but March often sees me down.

I see the light though, because April, April is next Saturday!  Praise the Gods!

I hope you all enjoy your last week of M A R C H! Bye Legions!

tumblr_nn2ilwnpha1s9vnvvo2_1280
Bye Friends!  I’ll be out here for the week (Song of the Sea, 2015)

 

Links to our Shops:

KNIT WEAR ETSY SHOP : Ways of Wood Folk

ART WORK ETSY SHOP : Wood Folk Prints

 

 

Blizzard & Knitting Progress

On Saturday, I wrote about my peaceful mornings.  Filled with tea, knitting, scents and animals. Winter is so unpredictable in Eastern Canada that I feel like we see the moon more than the sun.

And then there are winter storm mornings that stay for days and nights. There is something about blizzards and winter storms that I find really exciting (as long as you can stay home – there is nothing exciting about having to go out in a storm).  I can probably partly attribute this feeling to my childhood and snowdays.  However, now as an adult, I love the energy of the storm and my very legitimate excuse to just knit all day by the fire!  I started the body of my latest Lopapeysa which I am either going to name “Celtic Garden” or “Folklore” because of the pattern I have in mind for the yoke.  If you’re curious about our last 2 days staying in doors while harsh wind and snow drove at us, please continue on!

M O N D A Y

Winter Storm

On Monday morning we awaited a blizzard – impending sense of wild, lashing doom that rips across the province.  I definitely received a not so peaceful omen during the early hours of Monday.  When I woke to bring Henry outside, I could just hear the wind was beginning to pick up.  I walked downstairs and in the dark I could see something not right sitting on the kitchen floor with cats padding about.  Lovely! A very inverted mouse, thank you so much Petey.  We always know that Petey is responsible for the crime – he just sits and watches too when I clean up his work.  Afterwards, I took Henry outside in the wind and the misty rain while a small murder of crows flew directly over us, swaying in the wind, caw – cawing.

I decided to just sit, knit and drink tea and fill the house with some warming, calming scents. I sat by the window to watch – but nothing happened really until around noon. The wind and snow began to pick up.  The chickens were out during the morning but we closed them back in around noon when the storm really was upon us.

Our main task during storms is to make sure we are prepared if the power goes out, that the animals are taken care of and that the house is heated.  The previous evening we made a double batch of chili so food would not be a problem.  I collected all of our candles to make sure we could turn darkness into light (luckily it never went out!). But otherwise, I spent most of the day knitting!

When I slept, the house shook. I imagined the roof tearing off and somehow fell asleep after that thought.  How calming?

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Monday morning  – waiting for the storm and the progress of my latest lopapeysa
Processed with VSCO with g3 preset
Henry and I get out before it really picks up
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
The snow is picking up ❤
Processed with VSCO
Snow sticking to the front door
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Making a calming tea for my cabin fever – Chamomile, lavender and lemon balm
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Preparing candles for power outage
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Cabin Fever is producing Knits!!  A thistle ❤

T U E S D A Y

The province was shut down yesterday.  The blizzard statement was lifted around noon or so.  We were greeted by very large snow drifts throughout the yard. Shoveling to be done in the chicken run (it had about a 3 foot drift which was preventing us from even opening the door to it) and the front walk way  –  no where near as exciting as the previous day.

Since the power stayed on, our only real challenge was shoveling, etc and dealing with the stress that can accompany staying in doors for too long.

I still had a lot of time to knit.  I have put away the shawl that I have been working on and have been knitting a new lopapeysa for the shop.  I made huge progress this past week since the weather has been a bit mad.  Finishing both sleeves and making very good progress during the blizzard.  I decided to make a little border of thistles along the bottom of the sweater.  When it’s complete, I will make a post just about this particular sweater 🙂 But for now, I will just share the progress photographs ❤

For Valentines Day, Jamie and I hopped in the car when our driveway had been plowed at around 4 30 and drove very, very slowly to town for the sole reason to pick up pizza. Usually we make our own, but time was of the essence!  We had pizza by the fire and watched a murder mystery show with all the animals.  It was perfect.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Morning out with Henry
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Early morning light, showing my progress
Processed with VSCO with m5 preset
For the Clean up in the diffuser
Processed with VSCO with t1 preset
Feel the love ❤ Pangur, Petey and Henry
img_20170214_072739
And out to shovel!
img_20170214_151419
Snow drifts, oh boy
img_20170214_151513
wood’s a little damp
img_20170214_151112
a path is cleared!
Processed with VSCO with t1 preset
Breaking down and having hot chocolate instead of calming tea
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
An afternoon of knit

 

Today, My body is aching from shoveling (in a good way).  I have been so off-kilter from my regular schedule since last Friday (we had a storm as well) and since Jamie has been home due to the storm that I hope to grasp some sense of normalcy today.  There are orders to be packaged up and shipped out, a lot of laundry and general cleaning up, a dog that can actually walk down the street rather than jumping in the snow.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my progress over the storm and a couple of photographs.  I didn’t manage to take too many of the storm because it was basically impossible.  I couldn’t really go outside and from the window it just looked like a white blur.  The weather is around 0 today, and the landscape is a host of white, grey and black (until of course you look a little closer).

I hope everyone on the East Coast of Canada/United States stayed safe and indoors and enjoyed time as much as we did ❤

Julia

xo

P.S.  I will soon have the most awkward vlog!  I bought some ‘equipment’ (I don’t know why I put that in single quotation..) and although I have much planned for the next couple of weeks, I will try to squeeze a video in there (how hard can it be….right? :|)

 

 

Riddari Knitting Kit Give Away!

img_20161216_114421
A Special Knitting Kit from Alafoss in Iceland, just for you ❤

Today on PEI, we are snowed into our homes.  The province essentially shut down.  We do however have power (amazing!) so I think it is the best time to discuss the Riddari Knitting Kit GiveAway!

We are very excited to have partnered up with Alafoss to offer you a chance to win a Riddari knitting kit!  The Riddari pattern, designed by Védís Jónsdóttir for Ístex, is a classic take on the traditional Lopapeysa.  It’s a fun, unisex pattern that is perfect for a beginner who is ready to tackle something a little more challenging as well as advanced knitters.

The kit includes:

14 x Léttlopi (50 grams) – 100% Icelandic Wool Yarn (Check out the Alafoss website – linked above – to see the colours included in the kit)

  • 9 x Color 1420 (Murky) Pictured first on the left
  • 3 x Color 0059 (Black)
  • 1 x Color 1418 (Straw) Next to black
  • 1 x Color 1419 (Barley)
  • img_20161216_114247
    The colours in the kit (These are from my own kit:) You will get your own, untouched and free from the animals of my house!

The yarn included in this kit is enough to make the XXL sweater (the biggest size in this pattern) – if you are knitting a smaller size, you will have left overs to make fun mittens and/or socks!

Needles not included but you need:

4½ mm circular needles 40 and 80 cm

3½ mm circular needles 40 and 80 cm

3½ mm and 4½ mm double pointed needles

These are readily available at any craft/wool store for reasonable prices.  They are also necessities for any knitter and will be used time and time again!  I often snatch up any knitting needles I find at thrift stores.  You can often fine a bag with dozens for a couple of dollars.

img_20161216_112110
Working on my own Riddari Kit on a snow day
img_20161216_113148
pretty simple knitting in the round ❤
img_20161216_114339
Snow drifts on the window in the bedroom and a sleepy pup
img_20161216_112457
The pattern 🙂  This picture of the man with the rope is the one available
img_20161216_112514
So much wool in the kit!  14 balls of beautiful, Icelandic wool

This was the first Lopapeysa that I ever knit.  After my partner Jamie and I drove around magical Iceland in April 2013, we stopped in at a shop and I bought enough Léttlopi to make him the sweater (the rough sea one in the pictures).  I loved it so much and that really set off my love for knitting Icelandic sweaters in the round.  Featured below: Jamie’s “Rough Seas” Riddari on the left and my Oatmeal Riddari on the right.  I wear Jamie’s even though it is much too big for me >.<

And there you have it!

The Giveaway is open today on Saturday, December 17th 2016 and will close next Friday, December 23rd.  Anyone and everyone can enter.  The winner will be chosen at complete random.  I suggest entering even if you don’t knit,  Perhaps there is someone you know that would really appreciate a beautiful knitting gift?

Details for entering can be found on my Instagram page @woodfolkk  Simply comment on the picture featuring riddari and tag 2 people you think would be interested in the contest.  That is how simple it is 🙂

This is all thanks to the wonderful people at ALAFOSS Please do yourself a favour and find them on instagram at @alafoss and check out their online shop (http://alafoss.is) for a myriad of Icelandic woolen goods (among other things <3).  They have been in business since the late 19th Century, how cool is that?

GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS ❤ ❤ ❤

“So in peace our task we ply, Pangur Bán, my cat, and I…”

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

This week, the Pangur Bán sweater will be bound up with twine, placed in a cloth hand-sewn bag and shipped to Germany. Across the Atlantic Ocean, leaving behind its humble beginning on Prince Edward Island.

This original sweater was made during the summer of 2016 using Létt-Lopi that I purchase online at Alafoss. What you may ask is LOPI?  Lopi is the term for Icelandic Sheep’s wool.  Icelandic Sheep are very beautiful animals that are direct descendants of the first settler’s sheep brought from Norway in the 9th and 10th Century! How neat is that! They sport a unique dual layered fleece, which helps to protect the sheep and keep them dry and warm (aww).  I grew up with little Lopi sweaters that my mom knit, however they were infinitely bulkier than the sweaters made with Létt-Lopi.  The Létt means “light” and is actually half the weight of the old Alafoss Lopi.  It creates a garment that is.. well.. light and delicate, yet hardy all the same. I don’t think it really needs stating that I love this wool… the colours, the texture the end result! It’s so perfect ❤

Anyway! This sweater saw her beginning on a ferry crossing the North Atlantic from Sydney, NS to Argentia, Newfoundland. I purposefully started the sweater just before the trip so I could work on it during the 16 hour ferry ride and long car rides crossing the province.  I packed very little on this trip, some clothes suitable for camping and a backpack for my cotton wool bag  (filled to the brim with wool!) so I could work on the body of the sweater and mittens for market.  This suited me well until our car troubles began… and our stay was extended 5 extra days in a campsite with no drinking water or transportation (I may have been cursing my bag full of wool at that point :P…).

20161017_141636

20160721_084517

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
In Gros Morne National Park, a boardwalk that passes the veil
20160724_130917
Hiked to the top of the mountain and started to knit, regular reaction to stunning views (right?)

 

No worries though, both Rachel and I returned unharmed in Nova Scotia with a new found knowledge of Mechanics and Garages (who knows what you may learn when you go on a trip!).  Also of course, a love for that giant, wild province out in the Atlantic ocean.

The sweater, as you can imagine was put on hold during our trip.  I think I managed to complete most of the body while I was away but the rest was completed on PEI.  My intention was to display the sweater at the Etsy Made in Canada Market which was at the end of September.  I had about a month before I could complete not only a sweater but other items for our market table.  And so I got to work…

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset
Working away in August
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
regular breaks from knitting

Processed with VSCO with t1 presetMy pattern for the yoke was not really set in stone.  I didn’t write anything out.  I actually just kept tabs on when to do my decreases and what made sense with the decreases and the pattern.  This is the first time I actually hadn’t even drawn out a chart.  This is how I knit my mittens, from memory and without a chart, so I felt like I could do a yoke too.  I was really uncertain about how this one would turn out, but I trust the elves that they will look after me 😉  My vision was that it would be similar to the old style lopapeysur so my whole intention was to keep it simple, focusing on the diamonds and triangular mountain peaks (I tried to search for pictures of vintage Icelandic sweaters and came up with our sweaters… not quite google, not quite).

Processed with VSCO
Completed :)!
20161015_085554
Modeling for the Etsy Listing, Not posed at all… I always stare wistfully off to the sky in front of our woodpile 😉

And there you have it!  My completed Pangur Bán sweater.  It’s my more subtle take (with a lighter more flexible wool) on the 1970s/1980s designs.  It is also a much closer fit than the older lopapeysur, but that also is due to the nature of the wool.

You may have questions about the name, which I am more than happy to answer!  My cat’s name is Pangur Bán. His namesake is an Irish poem written in the margins of a manuscript in the 9th century.  The author was an Irish monk, living in Austria at the time.  He penned a poem detailing how his cat Pangur Bán (meaning literally something along the lines of “white fuller”) and him are quite alike in how they work, silently side by side while he searches for knowledge, Pangur diligently hunts mice.  It’s a beautiful little poem. But why did I name the sweater after my cat/9th century Irish poem?  Well, when I chose to use the gold as a contrasting colour, Pangur actually jumped up beside me looking for pets and I was struck by how similar the two were!  A good friend of mine pointed out the similarities as well and I thought it would be the perfect name 🙂 I suppose you could also say that we worked silently side by side, however he is a terrible mouser and I am binge watching Tales from the Green Valley or Tudor Farm.

THE PACKAGING

Lastly, I want to share with you the sweater all bundled up in our handmade packaging.  Creating packaging for knit goods has taken us years.  We have finally created handmade cotton drawstring bags to allow the wool garment to breath and just offer a unique little detail when receiving a specially made sweater.  This was always on our “to-do” list but both Meaghan and I were busy as Masters students when we started this shop and then lived in different provinces.  As you can imagine, it was difficult to get those details ironed out and put into action. I also often wrap things up as well in my hand-carved stamped, brown paper but the sweaters are now sent in bags.

20161019_180421
Handmade stamp on a handmade drawstring bag for out knits 😀
20161020_164926
The simple drawstring bag, isn’t it cute?

I always feel a little withdrawal when I finish a project that I have put quite a bit of time and thought into.  So I look to future knits so I can be a happy house elf.

              FUTURE KNITS

ARAN PULLOVER:  Using leftover yarn (only 20 per cent wool) from last year.  I’m planning to just make up a combinations of cables and have it loose fitting.

ARAN STOLE:  I’ve been dreaming about making a thick, earthy cable-knit stole/shawl/scarf (whatever you want to call it).  In the winter, I basically live in a lace stole that my mom made for me several years ago, so I’d love to have another one to give my lace a break.  If anyone has any suggestions for wool (looking for aran weight, pretty durable and earthy… I hope that makes sense), please let me know!

ARAN SOCKS:  a couple of months ago, I bought a vintage sock yarn that is Oh so nice.  It would be perfect for one small, cute pair of aran socks.  Now, I just need a pattern.  If anyone knows of any small, aran sock patterns please let me know!  I’m hoping to do a love knitting order soon, so if I need new needles for these I can get them then 🙂

LOPAPEYSA:  I don’t know if I need to even add this, but of course I have some in mind and have already ordered wool.  I have joined my sister to make some custom order ones again so I will be making my Winter Woodland in Ash for a customer as well as 2 more this winter that will likely have original designs and then be put up on the Etsy (wait until you see the colours!!)

And of course, I am making mittens, etc.  while I wait for wool orders and find out where my mind is before I can start making.     Can you tell I have a preference for Aran and Icelandic knitting…. 😀

I hope you enjoyed this post, please send me a message or leave a comment if you have any questions!

*Title of blog post is taken from Robin Flower’s English translation of Pangur Bán