Posts Tagged ‘shawl’


Browsing ravelry again – overtaken with urge to knit another Daybreak.  Such a good design.  I gave the one I knitted to a friend for her birthday – need one for myself.  Also a Boneyard in finer yarn than the pattern was written for.  And an Arroway…

First, Tempest.  It’s been on my list for so long, and I think I have the yarn for it.  We’ll see.

I’ve been stalled by Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heels, not fitting quite right, intriguing, like them, don’t like them.  I’ll try casting on for Tempest tonight at City Knitty.

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Frogging and reknitting

I’ve started a version of Shaelyn – gold stocking stitch with various lemon yellows for the lace parts.  Then I added a longer lace insert, knitted several more pattern repeats and cast off.  Two weeks later, I realised that the reason I hadn’t blocked the shawl was because I didn’t like the longer lace repeat.  Off to the frog pond!

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Blogging again

Blogging?  Haven’t done that for months.  However, I want to marvel again at what wondrous things shawls are.  To think that a mere 5 or 6 years ago I was anxious about starting a shawl lest I should appear (to myself rather than anyone else) of the grandmotherly nature and no good for anything except rocking in a chair.

Moving to Edinburgh has changed all that although I did start the shawl journey before I emigrated from Sussex.  Up here shawls are a wonderful way of ensuring that whatever the weather does, there is protection.  So many shawls have been born:  Victorian Lace, Forest Canopy, Shetland Triangle, Simple (with rather complex adjustments), Ishbel / Fishbel, Ulmus, Lace Shawl, Hamamelis, Day Break, Meandering Vines… and a variation on Day Break which is not on Ravelry yet.

I’m itching to start another one, not sure yet which, but I have in mind Shaelyn or Morlynn Shawl – or maybe Photosynthesis.  So many decisions, and so much yarn in the stash to knit up!

Talking about stash, I did clear out the stash cupboard and re-order my yarns into colour boxes, clear blues, duck egg blues, teals, pinks, oranges, reds, deep purples, dusty lilacs, whites blacks and greys, rich greens, sea greens, yellows and golds, browns, and finally sock yarns.  Yarns I have acquired in the last couple of years, from K1 in Edinburgh and earlier on this year in Stirling Knitcamp are in baskets rather than hidden away in the yarn cupboard.  Rather a lot of lace weight and 4ply appeared.  I’ll be knitting until I’m 303 to get through it all, but that’s fine by me.

Cats update:  they are both doing fine and enjoying being inside when it’s cold and outside when it’s sunny.  Lots of space to play and chase each other, and lots and lots of devoted admirers at our knitting group evenings 🙂

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I’m knitting an Ulmus shawl in yellow / gold and a variegated blue / green / red / gold sock yarn with the striped, slip stitch garter beginning and a wavy lace outer section in the darker variegated yarn.  All in 4ply from my stash and very satisfying.  Picis soon. 

My still-husband’s now girlfriend is on the very point of selling her house, so she can  buy me out of mine, which I still own with my still-husband, so this means he won’t have to move (bless!) and I can look for somewhere to buy myself as soon as the divorce comes through, looking like beginning of October.  I can’t believe how amicable this has all been barring the first few weeks of shock, so I am profoundly grateful.  I think the whole process, though, however ‘easy’ in comparison with others’, may be fuelling some of my extensive yarn buying.  Just a hunch.

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Ulmus and hand-dyed yarns

I’ve been thinking about using hand-dyed yarns in shawls, the kind of yarns that have big colour changes, not semi-solids.  The latter look beautiful, always, the former can look garish and clunky, jarring from one colour to another.  This pattern, Ulmus, is one that can take advantage of big colour changes and show off these yarns to their best, by combining them with one solid which holds the whole thing together.  Some of the examples in the gallery are just amazing.  I think I prefer the ones in which the edging is in the darker yarn, whether that’s the multicoloured yarn or the more solid one.

I want to knit one in green.  Green green green.  Several greens.

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I am, that is… something wheezy in my throat and chest, so have had to cancel clients for today and tomorrow, they wouldn’t appreciate me spluttering over them.  Hopefully I’ll have bounced back to enthousiastic self by Monday. 

The new commuter knitting is based on Anne Hanson’s Cluaranach, a beautiful stole in 4ply.  I’m doing it in a very weird chinese yarn (ebay!!) which appears to be 100% something and 10% something else… (help!), feels and smells like wool.  It’s space dyed in short lengths of autumn reds, greens, gold, and is lovely and clean to knit with.  I’m just doing the Thistle Flower Border for the whole stole/wrap/shawl/very wide scarf, in one piece, as I really don’t want to be grafting and the pattern is good to work.  Interesting AND memorable.  It was ok on the way down to London on Sunday, but on the way back I was already fighting off the lurgy and had to frog two rows.  Hmmm.  Picis when I can be bothered to get out of my comfy chair.

I’m also into Vinyasa by Susan Pandorf, another of my favourite lace designers, Pandosu on Ravelry, (have I already blogged this? Head full of cotton wool) in wonderful Malabrigo lace yarn in dusty pink.  That would be my commuter knitting but I prefer working it on metal lace addis, and I can only get plastic blunt, bendy needles through Gatwick security.   Susan has a real eye for detail and clarity in her designs, and in this one her use of twisted stitches with dropped ladders is very good fun.

Must find honey and lemon…

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Ishbel with fishtails… Fishbel

An intriguing little pattern, Ishbel.  Very pretty lace, a little too complex and unwieldy for easy reading of the knitting, and I never quite memorised it comfortably.  I worked garter stitch instead of stocking stitch to help it keep its shape, and tidied up the centre stitch, knitting into the back of the loop to avoid the sloppy look.  After the second AB repeat I got very bored and went into a swooping fishtail edging, finishing it with a few rows of garter stitch to prevent rolling.  The last few cm of the edges are blunt. 

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Knitting and trauma

I’m traveling again, in London doing the last of six modules in Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing Training for treatment of post traumatic stress disorder and physiological or neurological overwhelm in the body and brain.  Good 3-year training, full-on, but we certainly end up knowing what we are doing. 

Trauma Knitting… Ishbel with garter stitch instead of stocking stitch – a little like wool pedlar’s shawl in that respect, but much wider.  Even wider than the original Ishbel design, obviously, as garter stitch reduces the length down the middle from centre back to tip.  I’m enjoying it, even having to frequently rip back a row when I haven’t paid attention – or is it the trauma – anyway, it’s looking lovely in raspberry pink hand-dyed 4ply yarn.

I’ve finished two ‘Perky Parallelogram’ scarves, smallish and not unsurprisingly parallelogram-shaped.  No picis as yet, life in general has been full-on, without the trauma training to complicate matters. 

I’m fantasizing about doing some Mindful Awareness Meditation training after this… it’s an oasis on the horizon… 🙂

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… and it’s not even nearly over yet.  However, it did start an awfully long time ago and kertrillions of gallons of water have flowed under the bridge where the trolls live.  I managed to avoid eye to eye contact with any of the worst trolls and stuck to knitting shawls for comfort. 

There’s the Forest Canopy shawl, the Shetland Triangle shawl and the rather odd very easy shawl in garter stitch and stocking stitch, with variations on reverse stocking stitch and k3 rows, p1 row… in a very weird yarn from Wendy (who? vaguely reminiscent of Patons or Sirdar?) called ‘Happy’. Still not really happy, splits a lot, was tempted by 75% bamboo and 25% nylon… and the price tag £5-50 for 400m. I made up the pattern as I went along, bored by the yarn, not wanting to give up.  Even the increasing either side of the five central ‘spines’ did not keep me from boredom.  Maybe I should meditate more.  In any case I’m into my second 400m and zooming along, bit between my teeth.  Just let me meet one of those trolls on the way!

I’ve still got two pairs of socks on the go, one in Edinburgh for J and one at home for me, in Noro sock yarn, which I don’t like either. 

Time for reflection.  I have baskets and baskets of yarns I drool over.  Why am I knitting with yarns I don’t like?  Since I think it’s already the end of the year – mere wishful thinking – I shall make this my New Year’s resolution, to knit with the most yummy yarns I have.  I am not exactly likely to stop buyin them when they are used up ;/

Picis of Forest Canopy, Shetland Triangle and another, Nutmeg Alpaca, on ravelry

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This I started for Ravelympics 2008… and had I knitted it to the size indicated in the pattern I would have finished… but I did 18 repeats instead of 11 and it has turned out to be a beautiful full sized shawl.  More details on ravelry ‘alternativeyarns’.

Now I’ve started a very simple small shawl in bands of stocking stitch and garter stitch, using ‘Happy’ by Wendy, a 4-ply bamboo / nylon mix.  75% bamboo, 25% nylon.  Feels very soft and silky, splits, and has long colour changes not unlike Noro.  Won’t use it again, but I have 2 balls equalling 800m.  Instead of 3 points this shawl has 7, so 2 additional points between the ends and the centre.  That makes for 12 increases instead of 4 each increase row, so the increase rows are decreased in frequency accordingly. 

Life has been very BUSY, so it’s an amazing feeling to have finished the Shetland Triangle.  My instinct is always to dive into another project immediately, never mind the others I have on the go.  So the Noro socks are still waiting, and so is my top down raglan in alpaca silk, as is the 720 squares wrap.  I’ll ease into them, particularly as I seem to havea couple of weeks at home, and whilst working, at least not dashing all over the place juggling way too many balls at the same time.  Sleep?  I slept until 11:30 am this morning 🙂

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