Treats And New Projects

A short while ago there was a lot of excited Twittering about the launch of a new collection of patterns, a joint venture between Jen Arnall-Culliford and Kyoko Nakayoshi of a collection of nine accessories called ‘Cloudy Apples’. The first couple of patterns released for the collections were gorgeous, so quite early on I decided to treat myself to the collection. It’s especially lovely the way that Jen and Kyoko have decided to release the collection incrementally over a few weeks. This makes it almost like a mini version of a magazine subscription in that you look forward to new instalments for just long enough to forget that they are due, and then a new surprise arrives in your postbox (or, in this case, your Ravelry library).

I especially love the Dunkerton Sweet socks from the collection (though I am not allowing to cast on another sock until my two single socks have siblings), and the Puffin Apple hat.

Feeling a little bit restless in my lack of knitting over the past few days I decided to cast on a new project last night, and really fancied beginning the puffin hat. Unfortunately the only yarn I could find in my yarn box that would knit to a similar tension as the Puffin Apple hat was a couple of skeins of Rowan ‘soft baby’ yarn, in a shade that a friend once described as ‘the colour of glow-in-the-dark things when they’re not glowing’ which is just about an accurate description of a shade as I have ever known. It is an off-white with not-quite-delicate overtones of greenish yellow (it is a colour that is extremely difficult to capture accurately with the camera, too). The yarn handles extremely softly. It is almost cloud-like in its softness with a fuzziness that means that you have to keep your hands well-manicured and moisturised otherwise the fine fibres would catch on every rough piece of skin or un-tamed cuticle you dare not to have properly tended to.

As the yarn is rather ‘fuzzy’ in its softness this will mean that the wonderful cabling on this hat will not be as defined as it might otherwise be in a yarn that would give crisper definition. However, Jen mentioned that for her original knit for the pattern that she really appreciated the softened effect of the cabling when she knit the hat in Jamieson & Smith Shetland Aran, so I am going to hope that the beauty of the cables won’t be entirely obscured by the hazy outline of this yarn.

Though I am only a few rows into the pattern I am very much enjoying the project so far. There is enough detail and challenge in the cabled panel to keep the project challenging, yet as soon as you are past the cable panel there Is a wonderful break for free, quick knitting as you reach the broken rib that makes up the rest of the hat. It’s pretty much the best of both worlds as far as knitting projects go.
I actually have a few more balls of this yarn (I was completely without funds for knitting and found it on sale for 10 skeins for £6, so was understandably unable to turn the bargain down) but have a friend who is expecting soon that I want to knit a treat for, a recipient which I think this yarn will work perfectly for, so I’m interested and hopeful for some success with this project so that I can go about planning for what kind of project to knit for my friend’s impending arrival.

In the meantime I shall keep a hopeful eye out for the last treats from Cloudy Apples and see if anything else demands knitting as soon as possible.

The patterns from Cloudy Apples are available separately or as a collection, and if you’re quick you can pick up the entire collection for the special introductory price of £7.

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