This is the package I send in the secret swap Elementary, my Dear. It was send to a raveler who enjoys high quality yarns and playing with colours. She adores Paris and culture and ballet and the opera and good wines.
This is the yarn I send her, Holst Garn Noble:
Holst is a one woman company in Denmark, specializing in yarns in various coordinated shades.
Two of her bases, Coast and Supersoft, are in shops in this country but his particular yarn, Noble, is not available in the Netherlands. I thought it might be just the thing for my swappee.
I had it shipped from Denmark (and since I was paying for shipping costs anyway, I had them add a little something for myself to the package.)
Noble is a mix of Extra Fine Geelong (?? a Scottish fleece) and Cashmere and it grows wonderfully soft after washing. I had felt this in a big gorgeous shawl of a knitter friend who invited a bunch of internet knitters to her house two months ago. It was such a treasure of a day! Her hospitality, her beautiful house, wool everywhere and then that shawl in this yarn.
Holst yarns come in colour palettes that fit the North Sea countries. A bit subdued but with lots of character under the surface.
Based on the colours that suit the face of my swappee I choose shade bag no. 7 , which gives 5 x 10 grams in different colours, and added 50 grams of Almond as a base colour.
I chose the colour Almond instead of the white or wool white colour Whisper because that would be too harsh against the harmonious colours of shade bag no. 7.
Here’s Almond next to small skein of Whisper (the whiter of the two) and a skein of Durable Glanskatoen (cotton) in colour 87, “ecru”, and the bottom of an elderly Birman cat:
At first I had chosen a dark grey to go with the shade bag. To make the colours pop.
But when the yarns arrived I saw that this cool grey colour was overpowering the harmonious colours of the shade bag.
I had to put in a second order and chose the Almond and a small skein of the Whisper in case my estimation of internet colours was way off. But it was not, Almond looks perfect with the colours of the shade bag.
The little skein of white Whisper is for me, to go with the small skein of dark grey (Qyarry) and a skein of dark cassis (Elderberry) and soft rose (Cinder Rose):
I’m thinking a stranded hat and mittens.
That was the main part of the swap taken care of. Now on to the various other lovelies.
My swappee is someone who likes to make things herself. Especially tatting is a technique she likes to try out. We call it “frivolité” over here. I found The Website about this technique and it recommended shuttles with a little hook. So I ordered one and an extra bobbin. And a little project to get her started: red x-massy earrings. They came with a pattern and thread. In one of her favourite colours:
I got some tatting advice from my very skilled friend FiberRachel and saw that a bobbin without a hook actually might be much better for tatting. It allows for a continuous motion, in and out. It was a wonderful thing to see, such souplesse. Made me want to try too.
My swappee mentioned in another group that she’d lost all her x-mas decoration in a fire in the storage unit last year. She had just started to replace things and had knitted a little bird for herself. She vowed it would be the last bird she ever knitted, such fiddly business!
So I knit her a bird:
This is free pattern Love Bird by Angela Mobley and I used Durable Cotton nr.10 (which I bought when I visited the city of Utrecht, with the big tower and Pip the Zorro Kitten)
The bird was knit on needles 3mm and was fiddly indeed! I knit a prototype in green cotton to learn the pattern and that bird will hang in my own tree. The pattern is that good. The shaping is really great. But I doubt I’ll ever knit a fiddly thing like that again.
Since it was a swap about British Detective stories and my name on Ravelry, snorrepot, invokes moustache associations I knit some great Poirot moustaches for my swappee:
Free pattern It’s a moustache, for your fingers! by Megan Death, knit in Holst Garn Noble, on needles 2mm.
Not only a little joke but also a way to show her how soft the Noble gets when washed. Only it didn’t! My swatch didn’t get nearly as soft as the great shawl that inspired my love for this yarn. I don’t know why. Perhaps the water was not warm enough, perhaps I should have used soap.
It was also a way to get to know the yarn, as a knitter. I found that in single stockinette stitch the fabric is way too thin and souple for my liking. I really want this stranded. Which will work out great because it’s a light fingering weight so the resulting fabric will not be thick nor stiff.
Excellent deductions, my cher Hastings!
Another DIY present for my swappee: x-mas angle. Resembling something I found on her Pinterest boards.
Then I send her a bag of our own apples, freshly picked from our little apple tree near the cabin. They are a breed called Pinot Noir which suits a wine lover I’d think.
Here’s a bad pictures of the apples I plucked some weeks ago:
They grow to be so dark red it’s almost black. When you make apple sauce and keep the skins in the sauce turns pink and red.
For my final trick I zoomed in on her love for Paris and especially park Jardin du Luxembourg.
In a free pattern maker called Stitchfiddle I made several charts of typical things from the park. The Orangerie, the boats at the fountain, the chairs, the palm trees, the great vases and the music kiosk with its typical ornaments.
Stitchfiddle really is something!
It makes charts for knitting and embroidery. Both lace knitting and coloured charts for stranded knitting are possible. You can upload photo’s and it makes it into a chart, all automatically. Or you can design a chart yourself. I heartedly recommend it.
Here’s an overview of the charts I made of typical things in the park:
It tied nicely in with her love for stranded knitting. But it didn’t tie in with the Holst Yarn because Jardin du Luxembourgh has vibrant colouring, even when it rains. Nothing of the misty, salty colours of the North Sea.
She really liked the package I think 🙂