Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Old Shale

Also known as 'feather and fan,' Old Shale is an old, well-known  stitch pattern  common in Shetland shawls.
it is  to be found in Hap Shawls and was where Brooklyn Tweed's Baby Blanket found its inspiration. For quite some time I have wanted to knit this simple, effective shawl cum blanket for snuggly winter days, so  when we were on our recent holiday to Reykjavik I had this pattern in mind when I was doing some of my fabulous yarn shopping. (Well, Number Guy, when you said 'Buy more Icelandic yarn, for us it is really cheap.' I took you at your word, hence the 76 balls which found their way into our baggage....)

  There is lots of lovely yarn around but I wanted something which was  soft, but not merino-soft. I wanted a bit of texture in there as well. As soon as I got my little mitts on
 Kambgarn I knew  that this fit the bill perfectly. And yet it is apparently merino! Well, that's totally fine. The only rule I had when we were in Iceland was that I buy yarn produced there. So several balls of this were added to the basket.

The yarn was beautiful to knit with and I cast on while we were still on holiday. The simple garter stitch square which forms the centre of the blanket was very soothing. I wasn't up to anything at all complicated because I was in the middle of a medication trial which  was terrible.Let's just say that it had absolutely no effect on my trigeminal neuralgia and I was suffering greatly. In addition, I was still  doing my best to get out and about and sight see and that plus the pain left me exhausted, so evenings of simple knitting  and an audiobook were just what I needed. I finished it a  couple of weeks ago, save for the ends, and here is the blocked result:

I love the creamy yellow colour which reminds me of ripened fields of grain and the yellowy-green  of the border is a satisfying contrast.

I have enough of the Kambgarn to make another Sweet Tea, a crocheted camisole.

 I have made this pattern recently and really enjoyed the process and the finished product. The Kambgarn has knitted up into a lovely swatch so I think it'll be great in the camisole.

The remainder of the yarn haul is the well-known Lett-Lopi and  lots of a laceweight yarn called Einband. This yarn actually feels appallingly rough in the skein but I have been assured that upon washing it softens considerably. I sure hope so as I have a lot of it....

And would I recommend a trip to Iceland? Well....when we first got there, the day after a fabulous sunny week in Stockholm it was cloudy, raining, cold. The bus to take us from the airport to reykjavik was broken down and we had been travelling since 4.00am.As my husband said,'If anyone wants to come to Reykjavik, I'm going to recommend Stockholm' ;0) But...the weather turned the next day and we had a  great time.  Neither of us wanted to be driving on this holiday: I was too ill and Number Guy needed some serious relaxation. Therefore we booked three tours with   Reykjavik Excursions . I thoroughly recommend this company- they collect you at your hotel, the buses are clean and safe and the guides friendly and knowledgeable.

So, all in all, a great time was had by the both of us and I came home with lots of knitterly loot. Perfect:0)


  1. I laughed out at the "76 balls" :)
    Iceland is definitely on our "to go" list - problem is, we tend to not go to places on our "to go" list because of reasons (well, laziness, mostly) :P

  2. Yes, I restrained myself and just bought a few...