Dechox 2016

From tomorrow, there will be none of this…

Chocolate!

…and more of this…

Much better for you!

…because I’m giving up chocolate for the whole of March! Yup, it’s a DECHOX, and you know how much I love chocolate. I used to say I ate a balanced diet: 50% healthy stuff and 50% chocolate. But that’s got to change.

It’s going to be tough and I’m doing it for a good cause: British Heart Foundation.

So if you’d like to help, then please sponsor me.

On another bright note, I’ve started knitting again. More of that soon.

JustGiving - Please sponsor me!

And 2 makes 12

So I made my target 12 shawls in 2014 – and more!

Here’s number 11:

Fuchsia Jewel

This is Fuchsia Jewel, which is Robin Ulrich’s Amethiste knit in Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal – currently my favourite yarn.

Here’s number 12, Soft Glow:

Soft Glow

This is Helen Stewart’s Candlelit Shawl, knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply and lots of glittery beads. And it’s not purple!

Finally, here’s a little bonus:

Cloud

A classic, Cladonia by Kristen Hanley Cardozo, knitted in Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace held double.

Now I’m done. Happy knitting everyone!

Getting there

I joined the 12 Shawls Forever group on Ravelry a while back when it was 11 shawls in 2011. I probably made over twenty. And even more in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

This year has been a bit different. Without reviewing the new releases each month and challenging myself to knit at least one of them, I’ve been a bit distracted.

But there was Holey Moley, which is Susanne Visch’s Cirkels design:

Holey Moley shawl

and then there was Purple Betty:

Purple Betty shawl

which is Dee O’Keefe’s Elizabeth Shawl, the first from her Ethereal Lace Shawls collection. So I’m just about getting there.

But having run out of inspiration, I joined a cardi KAL. I almost finished, but decided I didn’t like reverse stocking stitch. Instead of petulantly binning the whole thing, I got out my niddy-noddy and frogged it into skeins. I washed them and was delighted all the kinks disappeared. The yarn has a tonal effect, although it’s not hand-dyed, and it’s crying out for right side stocking stitch. And so it will be. Soon. Definitely. Yes, indeedy. It will be re-purposed.

Purple skeins of WYS Airedale DK

Now life can be tricky at times, and I’ve had a few stressful weeks just lately. So a nice and simple shawl seemed like the perfect therapy. I used some laceweight held double to knit Judy Marples’ aptly-named Harmony Shawl and you can see the blocking photo on my Instagram feed.

Now, not only has my inner peace been restored, but I’m only two shawls short of my quota. That’s a relief!

Back on track

I’ve finished a couple of shawls so far this month: the first took a while and the second no time at all.

Here’s Soft Beige, which is Softwood by the talented Katie Flora, knitted in Drops Lace:

Soft Beige shawl

I got a head start on this because I edited it for Katie, and I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this beautiful design.

Soft Beige detail

After that it was time for another KAL. As you will know from reading this blog last year, I’m a fan of Heidi Alander. The Sock Monkey is currently hosting a KAL on Ravelry for any of Heidi’s designs. I picked Kottarainen, since it’s nice and summery.

Knitted in a bamboo-cotton blend, the shawl flew off the needles in a matter of days. This is Galah:

Galah shawl

That makes seven out of my 12 shawls for this year, so I’m back on track if not ahead of schedule.

I’ve also got my stash (the stuff I admit to) back down to 14. How long will it last? Probably until next week…

Sometimes you see an offer which just can’t be missed. On Sunday morning I was Rav-browsing when an advert caught my eye. Any triangular lace shawl is sure to do that, right? Anyway… the wonderful Dee O’Keefe is offering her Lace Triangle Collection eBook for $10.99 throughout June. So that’s Elizabeth, Glenallen, Nadira and Edwina for less than the price of two patterns. So now the problem is, which to knit first?

And I’m off to Yarndale again in September – yay! I’ve booked my place on a LYS-organised trip for the Sunday. Last year we went in a 16-seater minibus. This year it’s going to be a 52-seater coach. So if the visitor count at Yarndale increases by the same rate it’s going to be pretty busy!

Happy knitting!

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? Continue reading Now, where was I?