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 reckon I’ve knitted more this last year than ever before, and I’ve learned a lot too. According to my Ravelry projects page for 2011, I’ve completed 51 projects. I haven’t been idle then.
I joined the 11 Shawls in 2011 group on Ravelry and completed the requisite number by mid-July. But I just kept on going. I’d made 19 shawls by early December and so, in knitty logic, I had to knit another to reach 20 in 2011. Here it is:
It’s Birgit Freyer’s Lazy Katy – a nice, quick and easy knit. It seems the 11 shawls group has morphed into 12 Shawls in 2012. I’m not sure I have the motivation this year but maybe I’ll concentrate on laceweight.
One of my Christmas presents was Clara Parkes’ The Knitter’s Book of Socks. There’s not much on sock construction, but quite a bit on sock yarn. And the designs are rather nice: I’m planning to start with Hummingbird using the same yarn as my Lazy Katy. It’s my own hand-dyed which I kept back for myself since I wasn’t too sure about its colourfastness. I shouldn’t have worried since the shawl washed fine before blocking. But matching shawl and socks. Cool? I’m not sure.
I got some sock blockers too, and here they are with my last project of 2011: