The one with the Icelandic yarn

Thursday, 26 May 2016

I'm not really sure why I started titling blog posts like Friends episodes but it seemed to fit my last one (or maybe just my sleep deprived state). I'm sitting on the sofa with my little pup on the first Sydney night that has begun to feel like winter. We had a Saturday this weekend past at 28 degrees.  According to the news the El Nino is past and we are entering a La Nina. So naturally my mind has turned to all things cold and to knitting. I am an equal opportunity crafter after all.

Recently two of my sister-in-law visited Iceland. The spent 10 days driving the loop road and had a fabulous time. I was pea-green with  envy until they gave me this - Plotulopi yarn.

They gave me 4 balls/skeins of it in 4 gorgeous colourways. Green, purple, grey and white. For those, who like me, have never heard of it, its 100% new wool, with a thickness/weight of about ten ply but its unspun. Its like a very narrow length of roving, and , as you can see from the pictures, it breaks quite easily. The fibres are very long, however, so once you knit it the fabric becomes very strong. You just have to be very careful with it as you pull the working yarn from the ball. Its a bit like working with fairy floss. Fortunately its very easy to connect again and even if you pull it quite thin it maintains its strength once knitted up.

I hit Ravelry to figure out what to do with it. I saw a lot of patterned yoke jumpers which we neither me nor conducive to my colours. I thought shawls. Yes! A superwarm garter stitched shawl. I cast on and started knitting. Diagonal garter stitch - minimal casting on and cute stripes too - design feature and laziness, my favourite! Plotulopi is wonderfully light. At 300m per 100g its wide but light (think goose down parka vs heavy woven wool, same thickness, much less weight.) Air traps in between all the fibres and creates warmth. Once knitted up this thing is something else. Its feather light but is robust with a large halo so feels like its taking up more space than it actually is. It has great recovery. Squish it up in your hand and it bounces back like one of those squeezy balls for tense people.

So far I have done 24 repeats of two row garter stitch stripes on 5.5mm needles using the grey and purple and I've hardly made a dent in the balls (not a phrase to take out of context). I plan to keep expanding, increasing at each end of the right side rows until I run out of these colours, then start decreasing in pattern with the green and the white. So now my shawl has become a blanket. Oh well, I can live with that.

Goodnight from Cheshire Cat (and her little pup).

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