So, still lost in my shawl knitting phase, I’ve finished 5 of my (conservative) 12 for this year. I’ve been trying out some widely available yarns, but I started with my hand-dyed BFL.
Feeling the need for some deep purple around my neck I used a skein of 4-ply to make Peace Offering. The design is Olive Branch by Lindy, and it was a quick and really enjoyable knit.
Next I thought it was high time I became a Posh Knitter and managed to buy a skein in the Sunday evening scramble from Posh Yarn. Here’s Perfectly Possible in the most gorgeous silk/cashmere laceweight. It’s a large and slightly modified Ashton Shawlette – a great design by the innovative Dee O’Keefe.
As usual I beaded the edging with some black size 8s to weight the points.
I took some time off during the Cheltenham Festival and spent my TV couch afternoons knitting Festival in Debbie Bliss Rialto 4-ply. It’s been a while since I bought any DB and the first time I’d tried the Rialto 4-ply. Well, I love it! Excellent stitch definition (of course), and beautifully soft and springy. The design is Karise by Karina Westermann and, in the black yarn, very Art Deco elegant, I think.
I’ve long had a wish to knit the Fountain Pen Shawl by Susan Lawrence and also to use some Knit Picks yarn. Putting the two together, here’s Waterman (because mine is blue) in Gloss Lace. It’s knit on a 4 mm needle, and I can understand why, but it’ll be a while before I knit laceweight on anything larger than a 3.75 mm. Grumpy Old Knitter!
And finally, to prove that knitting charts can overcome any language barrier, here’s my Pink Pavonis from a design written in Finnish by Sarianna.
But I must give a lot of credit to knitoutsidethebox, because her notes on Ravelry made it possible. The yarn is Drops Baby Alpaca Silk and one day I’m going to make a sweater from this beautiful stuff.
As you can see, I’m alternating laceweight with 4-ply. Next up is Po Lena‘s Ink Heart Shawl in Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace. Love the design, love the yarn – it’s just taking ages to finish ….
It was so cold the other week my hands were hurting from arthritis and I thought some new mitts would help. I had enough baby alpaca left and got started on Jennifer Hagan’s Princess Mitts …
… and of course the sun came out! I think it may be a while before the second mitt is done.
Back to the blue laceweight now, I’m afraid. I have this thing about lace leaves at the moment and I’ve wanted to do Evelyn’s Leaf Shawl for quite some time. I thought I’d make the leaves a little smaller (8 stitches instead of 10):
Where to put the beads? Oh yes, the border! I added one to the knit stitch between the yarn overs and then three per point.
The finished object:
So that’s the end of it!
And for the last item in my stash (some fuchsia Filigran) I chose Sue Berg’s Enzian and I’m adding beads to every flower:
It’s taking quite a few so just as well I replenished my stock at Craft Basics last week with 50g of size 8 and 50g of size 6.
And that means, no doubt, that there’ll be more beaded knitting in the future, and it may be 4-ply ….
I love casting on. I get an amazing feeling of satisfaction from a nice tubular 2×2 rib edge:
Anything else, like a cable or long tail, is just a necessary chore. I even use tubular cast on for socks, like my second of 2012 which is the delightfully simple Monkey by Cookie A.
I was talking about sock construction to a knitty friend and mentioned that I hadn’t yet knitted any from the toe up. Which of course meant my third of the year had to use the technique. I picked Cat Bordhi’s Darjeeling from Clara Parkes’ book and went over to YouTube to watch Cat’s tutorial on Judy Becker’s Magic Cast-On. It looked nice and easy in chunky yarn on large needles, but was a bit fiddly on 2.25mm with 4-ply. I gave up my first attempt in frustration but went back to it later with more patience. And so more socks:
At this rate it’ll be 12 pink socks in 2012.
For provisional cast on I tend to start with a crochet chain of spare yarn. So when I read a good blog post on a variation of Turkish cast on for shawl tabs I just had to try it. And try it again.
I suffered a little “startitis” and I have two shawls on the needles. The first, which was the original culprit, is Autumn in New York. Only it’s Spring in Old York:
I had 200g of Noro Silk Garden Sock in my stash, bought for a gift which I made in some hand-dyed instead. I had been looking for something which would show off the best of this wonderful yarn. I came across Andrea Jurgrau’s design on Ravelry and went over to her blog to read all about it.
I’d forgotten how nice it is to knit with SGS. It just slips through my fingers and says “Knit me! Knit me more!”. I couldn’t put it down. But it’s a large shawl and may take a while to finish.
Thinking about the cast on technique, I had the urge to practice it again. I’m trying to use up my early hand-dyed yarns, hence I started Vlad:
I’ve called the project Edward. There’s more silk in this yarn and it’s knitting up a treat too. This one is a reasonably sized shawlette, so it’ll be finished soon I expect.
It’s certainly a mild spring here in York. If you needed a good reason to visit either now or at Easter there’s the award-winning Ramshambles in, of course, the Shambles …..
….. with my hand-dyed laceweight in the window and an excellent selection of yarns inside. The shop is open every day of the week. As if you needed an excuse!
I had quite a bit of trouble concentrating on the design because I was watching some interesting television. So there was a lot to tinking. In fact one night I think I got a net total of one round completed after going back about five. Still, they look good and show off my hand-dyed yarn nicely. I’m very pleased with them.
But I’ve got to get going on the second of my 12 socks in 2012 and it’s definitely going to be from Knit.Sock.Love. Maybe Hedera or perhaps I should do Monkey since it’s so popular.
And I’d just like to say a big thank you to all the bloggers I follow, and all the knitty bloggers I sample from WordPress. You’ve made the last three weeks much better than they might have been with your lively and stimulating posts. And a huge thank you to Fiona Hirst of Grace and Jacob in Barleycorn Yard, York: she may have convinced me to try spinning again!
My yarns have found a comfy nest! Since last week they’ve been on sale at the “dinky but delightful” Sunday Nest in York. This is a new shop selling handpicked haberdashery (including some very interesting vintage pieces) and gifts – and now my yarn.
The shop is upstairs in Me & Mrs Fisher, a wonderful cake and coffee shop in Lord Mayor’s Walk.
Picture by Jane, owner of Sunday Nest
Notice the brick wall? A happy coincidence. And it’s a building with a very well known gable end.
So I’ve been knitting up a few samples to show what can be done with my yarns, particularly the chunky wrap. This cowl, based on Cowl’d and Frosty Morning by Kelly Herdrich, took only an hour or so to knit.
Or perhaps in the plural: images are everything. I know I’m just an amateur photographer but I’ve really wished I was a little better this week. I took a load of shots of my hand-dyed yarn for the launch of my Etsy shop, and I can’t say they’re going to help sell the product! Never mind, though, there are a few skeins which I’d quite like to keep. This one, for instance:
It’s a burgundy/pink mix, although – since the photography isn’t marvellous – you probably have to take my word for it. But, if it sells, then I can always dye another for myself!
Sunday morning saw me out for a run/walk again after too long a gap. I thoroughly enjoyed it, if that’s possible, and felt very smug for most of the day.
So, how long does it take to knit an Ishbel? I managed this one in about a day and a half, leaving it to block for another twenty-four hours. I delivered it to my wonderful neighbour on Monday.
She liked that it was an “exclusive” yarn (being hand-dyed by me).
I’m well and truly hooked on dyeing yarn. I love yarn: knitting is just an excuse to find it, touch it, buy it and then use it. I love thinking up combinations of colours: “never mind the theory,” an artist friend advised me, “just do what you like and see if it works.” Now I have stacks of hand-dyed yarn, but I can’t stop. I tried a silk/kid mohair mix last week and my head is buzzing with ideas of what to do next. I adore Kidsilk Haze and this is the same base, but dyed the colour of my Urchin beret. I’m planning an Ice Queen (from Knitty), without the beads: more of an Sorbet Princess.
So I’ll have to sell my creations, because my new obsession will cost me too much. Since it’s National Knitting Week from 3-9 October, it seems like a good time to open an etsy shop. Perhaps other people will enjoy knitting my yarn.
I’ve been making hay while the sun shines. Not literally of course, but I’ve been packing plenty into these unusually hot and sunny days. Since the heat is so late in the season there’s an obvious urgency to make the most of it. All those housework jobs which I’d put off, waiting for fine weather, have been done. Curtains are washed, cleaning is finished, and now I’m set for whatever winter wants to throw at us this year.
I went along to my second Knit’n'Natter at the Blind and Partially Sighted Society earlier in the week, and enjoyed every minute. It’s really inspiring to discover how knitters are so determined and inventive. To compensate for my lacklustre performance last time, I took a couple of hats, a handful of smartphone socks and my Royal Orchid shawl to sell on the Open Day.
Well, I'll never wear it
I’d asked a neighbour to act as a referee for my work with the Society and she let me know that she’d done the necessary. As a thank you I want to knit her an Ishbel in some hand-dyed merino-silk. She’s a wonderful person and she’s been very supportive.
But I want to do it as soon as possible, so how quickly can you knit an Ishbel?
Liking all things custard, I was immediately drawn to the Kindle book by Susan Alison, White Lies and Custard Creams. I tried out the first chapter and can report that it’s superbly light-hearted. It’s only 97p at the moment so I think I could stretch to that and finish the book. I must confess that I’ve formed the bad habit of downloading samples to my Kindle rather than buying entire books since they’re just the right size to read at night. I guess I’m not alone.