Now, where was I?

As I was saying (three months ago, I’m afraid) my TV knitting was Spicy Sparrow:

Spicy Sparrowwhich is Helen Stewart’s Red Robin Shawl in my favourite West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply. I even added tassels – aren’t they fun?

Despite getting covered in fluff from the Kidsilk Haze I finished Misty Falls, which is gorgeous:

Misty FallsDon’t you just love the silky softness of it? It’s Tetiana Otruta’s Little Falls and it took me six weeks to knit. Now that’s a long time – but I’ve been a bit busy.

I didn’t get to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival so I made Jo Kelly’s Spring Festival in Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal. Here’s Fine Festival, which I knitted during the Cheltenham Festival:

Fine FestivalNow I have a small confession to make. I was in a crabby mood when I got round to blocking this shawl, and I may have been a bit aggressive with my pins, because this happened:

Broken ShawlOops! Well, I darned it and you’d never know.

Staying on the northern theme, I joined the KnitBritish Hapalong, which has been massive. The cast-on day was April 10, and I finished Dilly Hap on May 4:

Dilly HapIt’s a full version of Gudrun Johnston’s Hansel in Jamieson & Smith’s 2ply Jumper Weight. I ordered a cone of the stuff (which came really quickly) and I’ve got loads left. The yarn is slightly oiled for machine knitting, and I love the smell. I was reluctant to wash and block the shawl just for that reason, but it’s lovely and warm and cosy. Ahhh.

There’s still time to join the Hapalong – the final cast-off date is July 12 – and I might even cast on another myself.

So now we’re just about up to date. Happy knitting everyone!



Right back where I started

It would seem that I cannot give up the habit, and these pages will continue to feature pink and purple shawls.

My first YOUS2015 project, using Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace, is Fated:


The design is Frambuesa, by the lovely Julia Trice, known as Mind of Winter on Ravelry. I knitted with the yarn held double and it was all over in a matter of days.

Worked from the bottom up, and shaped with short rows in the main section, I needed the equivalent of only 235m of 4-ply yarn to make this fuchsia beauty. It’s a lovely little shawlette and just right to wear as a scarf.

Here’s a little detail of the edging and the start of the short rows:

Fated detail

Filled with renewed enthusiasm I cast on some West Yorkshire Spinners Signature in Pennyroyal and got stuck into Tornved, by another of my favourite designers, Karie Westermann.

Here’s Pudding Grass:

Pudding Grass

I added beads as suggested, but I think they detract from the eyelet design in the stocking stitch section. They look fine in the edging, though:

Pudding Grass detail

So the stash was reduced from 14 to 12. Great stuff!

But I’d been fibbing – there’s more, and I dug out some Signature from the pretend-I-don’t-have-it stash. This is an amazing bright and happy colour, just right for Helen Stewart’s Red Robin Shawl:

Cayenne in the making

So that’s my current TV knitting.

In the burst of startitis I also cast on Tetiana Otruta’s Little Falls using my last Kidsilk Haze. I couldn’t get on with the charts in the pattern because I’ve been using StitchMastery for so long, and it had to go back into the WIP basket for a while until I re-draft the charts. This is as far as I’ve got:

Gotta ConcentrateThe yarn is from stash, so YOUS2015 was on track for a while…until I visited my LYS on Friday.

Yup, I’m right back where I started.

That Feeling

When you finish a project there’s always a sense of achievement. At least the thing is done, whether it looks good or not.

And then there’s the time in the LYS when you spot a yarn in a colour that  says “I’m coming home with you” and you can’t resist.

Or when you see the most gorgeous design and you’ve just got to knit it.

Yup, well fine. But what happens when the buzz isn’t as buzzy any more?

Well, there’s another, rather smug, feeling when you use up some stash. The feeling is even nicer if you’ve knitted some of the expensive stuff, the buying of which was accompanied by a little guilt, if not a lot when times were hard. The smugness is more like self-justification, but who cares? There’s space for more yarn now.

I have 14 items in my Ravelry stash. At least they’re the ones I admit to. “Is that all?”, I hear. Well, I want to reduce it to around zero this year. So, maybe I’ve had a clear out.

Anyway, for me, 2015 will be the year of using stash, and the first challenge of YOUS2015 will be knitting with the yarn I’ve had the longest. Now that’s sure to make me feel good.

So here it is: 2 skeins of Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace in – of course – Fuchsia. Some things don’t change around here.

Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace Fuchsia

I’m going to use it double, because I like that at the moment.

So what can I knit with around 390m of fingering weight, 100% merino? Something with texture, because this yarn has excellent stitch definition.

A shawl? Probably. A cowl? New year, new obsession.

I may review some candidates in my next post. Or I might just surprise you with a finished object.

But I’ll take suggestions, if you’d like to help.

Shawl Challenge 2014 – December FOs

Better late than never, here are my final FOs for my shawl challenge of 2014.

First off, published in issue 78 of The Knitter, here’s my version of Albertine by Anniken Allis, Purple Pie.

Purple Pie

It’s knit in The Natural Dye Studio Dazzling Lace which is a very nice wool/silk blend. But, being hand-dyed in a strong colour and not rinsed enough before sale, there was an awful lot of dye transfer during the knitting. Every knitting session on this project, no matter how long or short, had to be followed by hand and nail scrubbing.  Before blocking, I soaked the shawl and then rinsed it about six times before I was happy that most of the excess dye had gone.

Still, with all those beads it does look good!

Purple Pie detail

There was more drama with the pattern itself since the final chart was full of errors. Well, I wouldn’t be a tech editor if I couldn’t fix it, would I?

The last shawl of the year is Final Irony, which is knit from a Renee Leverington (aka Goddess Knits) design, Maebh. I’ve wanted to knit one of Renee’s designs for a long time, hence the choice.

Final Irony

It’s knit in natural-coloured DROPS Lace which I hand-dyed in a fuchsia/pink mix. There was no dye transfer during this knit!

The shawl features beads as well:

Final Irony detail

And that’s it! I’ve duly knit at least one shawl published each month of the year. Will I do this again? No. Will I knit any more shawls? Well, I have one on the needles which I’m making on request. After that, what do you think? I reckon I’m due a break…

Shawl Challenge 2014 – December Shortlist

With only 13 pins on my board of designs published in November, I might have been a bit pressed to shortlist. Not so. Have a look at these beauties!

The first is Albertine by Anniken Allis, and is already on the needles:

Albertine on Ravelry

I’m using The Natural Dye Studio Dazzling Lace in a deep shade of purple. The only trouble is, after a few rows of knitting my fingers are a similar shade to the yarn. The last time I experienced this level of dye transfer I threw out the yarn and unfinished project in disgust. These days, after my own hand-dyeing experiences, I’m a little more forgiving. But I’d never sell anything in this condition, I’d rinse it a few more times.

In one of my recent favourite yarns, Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal, the next on the shortlist is Fossgate by Liza Gustin:

Fossgate on Ravelry

Of course there’s Valency by Heidi Alander, since I love her designs:

Valency on Ravelry

And finally, Ozukuri Lace Shawl by Alina AppasovOzukuri Lace Shawl on Ravelry

I want to make them all!

Note: all images in this post are linked from Ravelry.