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 ….
Since it’s FOFriday, here’s Bricked Up (my version of Brick by Brick from Michaela Moores) in a lovely burnt orange BFL:
I wore them the other day since it’s still cold here (although things may warm up soon, they say). The combination of knit and purl, and the lustre of the BFL, brings out the colour very nicely – I’m quite fond of them, which is a surprise.
Now, as promised/threatened, here’s a project in bright hand-dyed sock yarn. It’s Unleaving from the latest Knitty:
It’s not that bad, but I think it’s destined as a charity donation because I’m not hugely keen on long scarves at the moment.
As for the WIP, I’m knitting Amelia by Julia Frank from Rowan 51, which is a risky thing to do at the best of times. I’m using Patons Cotton DK, which is highly mercerised, so the project is very probably doomed.
A while back I made the mistake of hand-painting some BFL laceweight.
I love the colours, but what to do with it has become a problem. I started Semi-Precious from a previous Knitty, but the lace pattern was too obscure. So I tried Demiluna and that didn’t look right either. The yarn was just about to be binned when I came across Carie Harling’s Old Man of Storr Shawlette. Will this be third time lucky? Ironically, I named the colourway Smart Step. I hope the eponymous racehorse does better.
And a small confession. On things Rowan, I was passing an LYS in York and fancied a squeeze of Fine Lace. It’s lovely stuff, but the colours are a little on the drab side for me. The staff were very nice and friendly, but I didn’t buy any Rowan (although I wouldn’t rule that out for the future). I bought some Lang Jawoll Magic sock yarn. Why? Because I’ve never bought Lang before. Of course.
To complete my 12 shawls in 2012, this is a Cassandra by Marie-Adeline Boyer (congratulations to her!). It’s knitted in Baby Alpaca, with a few beads in the points (of course).
It’s a lovely shoulder shawl for cool evenings, and there are many of those this summer.
So, I knitted 20 shawls in 2011 and I’m going to do the same in 2012. Probably more, since no one wants to buy my hand-dyed yarn. Here’s Dazmin, in my deep red kid mohair/silk mix:
The design is Yasmin, by Angelique den Brok. It’s knitted on 3.5mm needles, which I thought would be a bit small. The finished object is fine but I think I prefer this type of yarn on 4.5 or 5mm.
I guess I should knit something more complicated but simplicity of design is very attractive. Next up is my take on Dee O’Keefe’s Ashton Shawlette in a burnt orange/green handpainted 4-ply BFL:
I just like the rosebud pattern.
And finally, there’s Joyce Yu’s Budding Shawlette in (very) bright green. It’s knitted on 4.5mm needles, which I’d usually say were on the large side for 4-ply but with aggressive blocking the “bud” design really stands out.
So I’m going through the “where can I add beads to this?” phase.
Here’s a shawl which called for beads and nupps, but I used beads throughout because I’m not overly fond of nupps.
The design is Karen Strauss’ Bella Botanica Shawl. Of course you can’t see the beads in the photo – never mind.
I love the edging:
This is the third shawl from the two 100g skeins of hand-dyed laceweight which came out in a colour I adore. And I’m going to make a fourth!
I’ve been having a good clear out of my libraries: chucking out old magazines and books for recycling and deleting stuff from Ravelry. In the process I thought it would be a good time to knock off a few classics and get them out of my system. Finally getting around to the Prairie Rose Lace Shawl probably triggered things.
I have a couple of skeins of Zitron Filigran which I bought when I first got the lace knitting bug and they’d slipped to the back of my yarn queue. Well, what a lovely surprise! The yarn is high quality one-ply merino and knits beautifully. I started with a limited edition multi-shade in purple/violet and finally got round to Emily Ross’ Haruni.
I’m not too sure about the colour-banding, but it’ll do.
I probably wouldn’t have used the yarn for this design if I’d been more alert when I wound it into a ball. I did it in a hurry because I was a bit incensed over some black alpaca/silk/cashmere laceweight which I’d bought for Jane Sowerby’s Myrtle Leaf Shawl. It’s by one of our leading indie hand-dyers and I’d been looking forward to using it. Having got through the first pattern repeat I looked at my hands. You guessed it – dye transfer. As an amateur hand-dyer I was appalled. I won’t sell anything which I think won’t be colour-fast so why should anyone else? Needless to say it’s all on the compost heap. I can take dye leakage during washing but not in the knitting.
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!
It may be from the strangest looking of sheep, with its Roman nose, but I can’t praise this wonderful yarn too highly.
As part of my austerity stash-busting exercise I’ve just finished a sweater in Airedale Aran which I bought from Texere Yarns some time ago. Since the yarn is charcoal in colour it shows up the lustre of the yarn beautifully. And it’s so soft. The sweater may look like something suitable for school but it’s absolutely gorgeous to wear.
I used Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. Since I’m obsessed with tubular cast on and cast off at the moment I knitted each piece separately to the armholes and then joined all four together on a circular. Why? Because the recommended approach of joining in the round after a straight row where the stitches are swapped into 2×2 rib leaves too bigger a gap for my liking. I don’t mind straight seams, I just hate sewing in sleeves.
And the good news is that I still have another 700g of Airedale Aran, this time in indigo. A round-neck sweater on the same principles, I think. I’m even tempted to put in a bit of “Sarah Lund” motif, but maybe not. She wore about four different sweaters in the last two episodes so the red one isn’t so iconic.
I can’t stop wearing the shawlette I knitted as part of Anniken Allis’ recent Mystery KAL. It’s my own hand-dyed bluefaced leicester laceweight, and I must confess I prefer this yarn to the wonderful Fyberspates Scrumptious, even though that has so much silk content. Perhaps it just suits the time of year better.
I dyed some more of this wonderful yarn (I call it Bemuse) for my Etsy shop, but had to keep some back since I couldn’t bear to part with it!
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.
I go to a knitting group twice a month, and this week we were forced to have a bit of a tidy-up. There’d been a water leak in the meeting room and our cupboards had been turned out and moved. During the re-organisation process I offered to take home some large skeins of yarn to wind them into balls using my yarn swift and ball winder. One of the skeins was a particularly attractive shade of turquoise and it was suggested that I brought it back knitted up, rather than wound into a ball.
The skein turned out to be four skeins, each of 30g. I’d guess the yarn is 100% wool since it’s worsted spun and breaks quite easily. It’s a bit neglected but now it’s in four little yarn cakes it looks fairly inviting.
So, what should I do? I need to make something that will appeal to people who either buy at a charity market or a stall at the hospital. I’m thinking a lace scarf would be best, but I’m drawn to yet another crescent-shaped shawl, like Annis. After all, I wear my Pimpelliese, Mezquita and Annis wrapped around my neck as scarves: I like the variety of shapes and layers I can achieve. But would someone else think the same?
I’m very attracted to Dragonfly Wings from Boo Knits and I think the yarn would really suit this. Any thoughts, dear readers?