You know it is going to be a good day when you open up your office's email inbox to see this:
Jean is about to give me a huge bag of Lopi yarn. Would you have any interest in some or all of it?
My friend Avice sent this email at 9:00 am yesterday morning, and by 3:00 o'clock pm, I was hauling out a shopping bag FULL of Lopi yarn from her office! I looked like a yarn-y version of St. Nicholas with a big bag slung over my shoulder. Avice insisted that I take all of it, as she claims that she simply has too much yarn, and would not have room for more (ahem… like I don't already have too much?!) Of course, after the exchange, she showed me her lovely new acquisitions from Blue Moon Fiber Arts :) However, I was thrilled to take it, especially since I have so many patterns that call for the Icelandic wool in mind!
When I got home, I surveryed and took inventory. The yarn was moth-free, smelled normal (sheepy), and looked great. Just to be safe, I put some of the yarn balls in the freezer for a few hours. That gave me time to look at yarn requirements for patterns, and to ask Kris about some of his preferences…
I had visions of lovely colorwork with this wonderful natural palette. Kris had a more simplistic model in mind… and that is okay. I want him to wear it, so why not knit what he wants? Plus, this is such a versatile pattern – perfect for everyday winter wear.
Yep, I already swatched and started the thing!
It is the Bulky V-Neck Pullover from the Knitting to Go Deck, the collection of pattern cards by Kris Percival. I love this deck, and recommend it for any level of knitter. The patterns are classic and simple; they really provide a great base to play around with stitch patterns, colorwork, and cables. I made my Pomegranate Pullover from one of the patterns from this deck, and I am also planning to get back to the Lace Wrap that I started ages ago… needless to say, it is the perfect "guy sweater". It got the Kris seal of approval, and while watching The Office last night, I made 4 inches of progress! (I should have been working on the last of the Christmas knitting, alas…)
I am thinking about colorwork, and possibly dyeing some of the raw wools for a palette closer to my preferences. I also have just enough to make the cute Vor Vest, from Lopi 25 for me!
So many possibilities with all of these wonderful skeins! Often Lopi gets a "bad rap" for its coarse texture and its raw-ness. The yarns that I received are softer than many of the Lopi yarns I have felt, and I am convinced that a nice bath with some some wool wash will soften it up even more. Kris will undoubtedly wear the pullover with undershirts, so direct contact with the skin is not likely.
Do you have experience softening up coarse wools? Any tips?