One of the very best things about being able to crochet, is the way you can make any long passenger journey speed by in a breeze.
Gone are the miles and miles of monotony, no more watching the hours tick by and the 'are we there yets' have vanished. Because all that tedious amount of time confined to a one seat on some mode of transport has now been transformed into lots of lovely crafting time. Time that you quite legitimately can spend sitting on your derriere with nothing else to do but hook, hook, hook. Bliss.
Many like to opt for knitting or even sewing in the car but for me crochet is by far the easiest to do on the go as it requires less looking down on my part. That being the case, a great deal of the holiday preparation time is spent mulling over the perfect car/train/plane project to take along. Nothing too fiddly, nothing with a hundred colours and ends to deal with. Potential pattern ideas can be tricky as they usually require too much thought, or note taking. You see, it's not that easy to find just the right mindless, but interesting, easily portable project....
This year I didn't have anything that fitted the bill, so I started something new. Just for the purpose of filling the long car hours. I whipped up a few rows the night before, to get the thing straight in my head before the off and then I was all set. It was the absolute perfect thing, just one ball of yarn needed, a simple pattern to remember and not too large, so nice and easy to maneuver in the limited space.
I made this project in Stylecraft's brand new sock yarn, called Head over Heels. It's only just been released this month and what with lucky old me being a Stylecraft Blogstar, I got my hands on a couple of balls a little before the rush. Yippee!
This new yarn is, as you'll have gathered, a yarn intended for making socks. So it's generous 100g (437 yards) of 75% superwash wool with a sturdy 25% nylon. Perfect for socks. But, rather cleverly, Stylecraft have thought about the fact that a lot of us also like to make other things using our sock yarn, like hats and shawls for example. So they have used a softer and finer wool than the average sock yarn does to ensure that it'll feel as good up by your face as it does by your feet. Hence the name, Head over Heels... niffy eh?
I must admit being a little nervous of this theory when Stylecraft mentioned it. I have a pretty low tolerance to that 'itchy' quality that pure wool has and so I was sceptical as to how well it would work when I wore it around my ultra sensitive neck area.
So I thought I'd apply the acid test, I'd make a scarf and see if I could wear it...
... and you know what? I can!
You can feel the softness in the yarn when it's sitting in it's skein and a quick test of the 'itchy factor' (holding it up to my neck and wrists) seemed promising. Working it up it feels nice and light and the colour changes help keep things interesting too. Another good point for the in-car crochet project.
Now it's all done and blocked and I'm wearing it. Right this second I'm wearing it and it's comfortable.
It's definitely pure wool, it's got that slightly more hairy quality to it that a pure wool has and so it isn't as soft and luxurious as a merino say, but then it's not supposed to be. It needs to be hardy enough for socks too after all. But I'm pleasantly surprised at how successful it is at being the best of both worlds.
The colour I've used for my scarf is the Olympus colourway and it's interesting to see how the stripping comes out in crochet. I think it's fair to say that the stripping of the colours is more intended for socks. Certainly you get a really lovely pattern of stripes when you work up socks anyway. I'm not sure how well they work on my scarf, a little too random for my taste really but I am intrigued to see other crochet projects and knitting scarves/shawls to see how the colours work there.
I'm very interested to see how Sarah's crochet project on Annaboo's House works out in this yarn for example, it looks very promising I think and you can see the stripes in action really well on the pretty new sock pattern that Helen of Josie Kitten has dreamt up too.
So, although I don't suppose I'll be giving up on my wonderful indy dyed sock yarns any time soon isn't it refreshing to have a commercially available sock yarn, in inviting colours that doesn't cost the earth and is a soft and fluffy treat for the feet and the neck?
Yep, for that alone, I think it's a winner...
Just to add, the FREE 'Going to Wales' scarf pattern is now available!