My birthday is at the end of April and it kind of got lost in the whole "recovering from surgery" thing, which is why I didn't talk about it. My very very favouritist present was from my very good friends Martin and Rachael, you know, the ones who took my hand-made hats to their wedding in Finland? Well they went on holiday to Cornwall and they bought me yarn for my birthday!
They went into a yarn shop and asked for hand dyed yarn but they didn't have any, but they did have this lovely yarn. It is a blend of wool from local sheep; Dorset, Ryeland and Castlemilk Moorit breeds and was spun by the Natural Fibre Company in Cornwall. This creamy blend of wools is gorgeous.
You can really feel the lanolin, as you stroke it. It is going to be marvellous to knit with. I got two skeins of double knit yarn, which are 100g each, so I'll have enough for a decent scarf I think. I shall have to plan very carefully to get the most from this yarn. I am still so amazed that my non-knitting friends went out of their way to get me this present and that they knew so well what I love. They went in asking for hand-dyed yarn as they know I love the stuff, and when that didn't work they got me some rare-breeds yarn that I couldn't get hold of any other way. They don't sell this stuff on the internet you know!
In addition to the lovely yarn that I got, I received some vouchers and money. With my Amazon vouchers I bought two books that I have been lusting over for a while. The first is Knitwear Design Workshop: The Comprehensive Guide to Handknits by Shirley Paden. The second book is Brave New Knits and I am enjoying both of them greatly.
I have started reading Brave New Knits from the start and I am working my way through, which I am finding very interesting. There are some lovely patterns in the book to tempt me as well. I haven't started reading Knitwear Design Workshop but the flicking through I've been doing, has shown some very promising glimpses. I'm not sure that I will read Knitwear Design Workshop from cover to cover, but I do know that I will be searching through it for help on my knitting pattern construction, it seems very thorough.
Speaking of knitting patterns, I also treated myself to some software to aid my knitting design called Intwined Pattern Studio. This software seems to be exactly what I need to save me time and energy when charting patterns. There is even a Ravelry Group to help me when I get stuck! I have had a little play with it, and so far it looks fairly straight forward. I'm going to do some more practice before I start using it for my pattern writing but initial impressions are good.
With remainder of my birthday money, I treated myself to a new skein of Posh Yarn. I didn't go looking with intention of buying yarn, but when I saw this yarn, I flipped and had to get it. I started out with 3 skeins in my basket, but I flinched at the last second and only bought the one skein.
Isn't it lovely. It's Sylvia 4 Ply, in the First Class Ticket Colourway. It is 50% Merino and 50% Silk and it feels glorious!
Now I have this yarn in my possession I am so sorry that I didn't buy the other two skeins as it would have been perfect for my intended project, even if it did cost vast quantities of money I didn't have. The project would have been the Shipwreck Shawl from Knitty. I have always loved that pattern and this yarn would have been perfect, but I did make the right choice for my bank balance. If I'd bought the other two skeins I would have been going past my birthday money limit - damn. Ah well, this single skein will be made into something perfect, I just need to find the right pattern.
So there you have it, my birthday booty. I'm pretty pleased with my haul. I hope you forgive me my self indulgent post!