The Knitting Magpie looks forward to spring, getting her needles back in her wings and gets a sneak preview of Knit IQ’s No Rinse Delicate Wash.

Hello again Magpies. Well in the true spirit of British weather we had summer for a few days in February (20° !!!) and as a couple of days ago British summertime began we are besieged by rain, sleet & hail. I suggest you come and sit by the fire with a hot chocolate and we can talk lovely knitty things.

So, I’m still splinted post surgery with a list of instructions but I am allowed to pick up needles for a couple of hours divided throughout the day – hurrah. My dexterity is quite rubbish as even without said splint my hand works in a different way now ( full recovery is expected to take a year so it’s very early days ). I tried a couple of items from my awaiting stash, the Brioche Buddies scarf and also Quince & Co’s pretty Azealia cami but both require a little more dexterity than I currently have. What was a Magpie to do? 🤔  Now March happened to contain two marvellous events: Edinburgh Yarn Festival and the Magpie’s birthday. As I couldn’t go to eyf I was following it with much interest ( envy ) and my eye spotted the wonderful new pattern for Loop London from Fiona Alice called Mabels Sister. It is a gloriously vintage style swing cardigan and for eyf Loop put together a kit using some of Emily Foden’s ( Viola Emily ) rare as hens teeth organic merino yarn ( they are also going to make some kits  available with Eden yarn this month ). I managed to snag one of the Viola kits after the festival as they had a handful left. The yarn arrived and is beyond lovely. I am doing it in Silver Birch as the primary with the smock style yoke in Bronte. The silver birch is a cool cream base with overtones of pink, grey blue and cool yellow with bronte a cool heather plum. The pics show the Loop pattern ( in a different colourway plus the yarn in my chosen colours ). I cannot wait to start this, as it is on a 4mm circular and a simple knit I’m hoping it will make a good return project.

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As it was my birthday my husband spoilt me with knitty goodies amongst my treats. I love hand winding yarn with my nostepinne but it is becoming problematic especially with finer yarns. My right hand also has it’s own issues and with the left out of action is working very hard and tiring. Enter this lovely yarn winder from Knitpro.

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Along with that came this beautiful yarn bowl from Scheepjes in the Aboriginal design:

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I was most spoilt even receiving knitty treats like a brioche leather bracelet and a yarn dye kit from hey_mama_wolf from parents and in laws.

I was full of marvellous plans for all I would achieve while recovering from surgery ( sorting out forgotten drawers, decluttering the study of no longer required paperwork and the like. I am used to running around at a zillion miles an hour, leaving for work by 06:00 each day and returning some twelve hours later than starting on cooking, knitting, socialising so I thought I’ve got so much time to fill. What have I achieved? Nada, zilch. My immune system really doesn’t like any interference and made it’s displeasure known resulting in my needing a lie down after a shower! In fact this week was the first time I even ventured out socially. Hubby dropped me off in Leamington Spa where I met a friend for a long lazy lunch which was a total treat – thank you Carol.  Other than that I have pretty much bought yarn. Oh and my birthday treat to me was a very cheerful raincoat from Stutterheim. I’ve had my beady eye on this for a couple of years and it hit the sale in my size. It makes me smile and I regress to a six year old when wearing it. ( The cover pic this month shows me on my first birthday having taken control of the cake knife – I was a horrid child).

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The other useful thing I did this month was try out the new wool wash from the young company Knit IQ.  A few months ago I purchased their knitting blocks ( which incidentally I really like ) and joined their VIP programme. They contacted me asking if I would like to try out their about to be launched wash ( it’s currently available on Amazon.com but will hit the UK / Europe via Amazon co.uk in a few weeks so it’s worth hanging on to avoid duty / shipping ). I did receive the product for a nominal cost but the review is completely unbiased.

I usually use Soak in fig so in order to gain an accurate feel for this new product I washed my mitts ( knitted in Birlynn yarn so quite a rustic texture ) one in each solution in exactly the same way. The price point is similar but you get 500mls of knit IQ compared to 375mls Soak for a similar outlay.

The wash: This is lightly fragranced with lavender and citrus bases and apparently has some moth repellent properties as a result of this. It is a natural product and the scent is light and pleasant. A similar residual fragrance level remains once dry to the level from Soak. The wash plumped up the yarn well and I feel the mitt ( on the left ) washed in this was a tad softer because of this ( it may be due to the lanolin content which I appreciate may mean the product may not be suitable for some folk). When asked to try this I emailed Oliver ( founder ) re the cruelty free status of the product and he confirmed it is cruelty free, this needs to be better advertised as if I hadn’t been asked to try the product, and being happy with my usual wash I may have passed it by. If I’m completely honest I prefer the fig fragrance of Soak to lavender but that is just a perfume preference and the residual fragrance is too light in both cases for it to influence future purchases. I’m certainly happy with this wash and as it gives 25% more product for the same price I would happily recommend and repurchase.

The company: As I said this is a young company with currently just a couple of products. Oliver tells me that he has a lot of knitters in his life who chatted about products they would like to see or products they would like to see improved versions of. As his background is in research he went off to investigate and thus his new product line has begun. Each new product is developed with input from the folk who will be using the end result so if you have a wish list or a product idea drop him a line via fb or Instagram – Knit IQ. I’m certainly excited to see what appears next.

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I hope you are all having a lovely creative time and will chat again next month. I’m off to have a play with my lovely Viola yarn and may do a little winding by the fireside.

Love Magpie 😘

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