we have "palm trees" in the west of ireland! and we are already at the height of summer - as you can see from the very blue sky! well, ok, not really, but if you didn't see the rest of the countryside, you might be mistaken by the agave and the eucalyptus tree....
look at that! we are well after St. Brigid's day - and we have snow! I do like snow, but at that time of the year I am already planning the gardening and wouldn't mind to do at least a few scores outside! well, never mind - at least the sun is shining again and tomorrow we're supposed to go back to wind and rain, so we might as well make the most of it. it's not enough for the sleigh or snowballs, but at least it looks nice.... and it's not as if I'd be bored staying inside!
when the winter issue of "knitter's" arrived I really liked the cardigan on the cover. ok, the original yarn is way beyond what I'd consider usable - I just hate knitting with extremely chunky yarns! the pattern gives size 10 mm needles and I figured half of that would still make a nice outside cardie for me. but which yarn to use? I wanted to put some of the fine yarn on cones to use, i.e. some schappe silk (very fine), mohair (light rose), some cashmere and/or some fine, soft wool. and I also wanted to use the light grey fibre blend of silk with cashmere that I received as a gift some time ago! it's very soft with a slight lustre, but not too much. so I spun this up first and then plied it with 4 of the other yarns. never did a 5ply before:) it worked very well though, the thicker single of grey silk/alpaca fluffed up a bit and the 4 fine yarns stuck together, so it looks more like a 2ply... this is how it came out after washing. it looks nice after knitting it up, too - I just have to decide whether or not to dye it all. if I do, I'd dye the yarn in skeins, not the finished project. I was hoping that the different fibres/yarns take the same dye slightly different - to end up with a heathered yarn. but I'll give it a try on a very small scale first, I don't want to ruin the whole lot!
it feels very soft and cozy when knitted up and I like the raised simple cable pattern too, even though they don't show up quite as strongly as in the photo - with only half the yarn diameter. the pattern uses a second yarn for the two rows with cabling - and I decided to give that a try too. I plied a finer yarn with the commercials only, but used two instead of one very fine schappe silk thread. it's barely visible colourwise, but it does give a bit more definition to the cable, I think.... of course, I'll probably finish this cardie in summer or at least late spring - by which time I hope I won't need it for a few months at least! but then you never know how warm (or rather: cold!) the irish summer is going to be. if the coming one is anywhere near the last one - I might be better off by knitting old shopping bags into a raincoat!!