Tag Archives: shawl

Joanne to the rescue

For those of you who know that we have half term here you may well be wondering why I haven’t written more posts. The simple answer is that I did but I am struggling with WordPress. It seems to not save everything. Anyone else having these issues?

Anyway back to the point of this post. My lovely friend Joanne came to my rescue this week. I had really lost all mojo when it came to yarn related projects. Luckily I knew she was just THE person to sort me out. After Christmas I had picked up this lovely yarn in the sale:

It is Rowan Sock yarn.

It is Rowan Sock yarn.

The first obvious place to start is with socks. We logged onto Ravelry and started searching. I really liked the look of these:

beauty shot Skew by Lana Holden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really like these and will probably make them one day. We then saw these:

beauty shot

Wraptor 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The thing about these socks that really appeal is the unusual way the stripes go across the socks. Definitely on the to-do list but not quite right for now.

We then went onto shawls and found the one.

It is Miss Winkle by Martina Behlm. This is a lovely pattern that is easy but the hoops along the edge add that bit of interest. Perfect for those evenings where I am really tired and need something to take my mind off the events of the day.

Joanne being Joanne bought the pattern right there and then. She then popped home to get her winder so I could wind the skein and get going straight away. How lucky am I? I am very, very grateful and look forward to the next couple of weeks. Thank you lovely.

Settler Shawl – finished!

Before I went on holiday I wrote the post “It is meant to be.” The shawl that I was knitting is all finished. Knitted, blocked and end weaved in. I LOVE it.

This is my swatch.

This is my swatch.

We had a very long car journey (6 hours or so) and I did not want to waste a minute so got started with the swatch. It is a very important part of the process although Libby (the designer) had said that she thought that most people would not bother with a shawl but I was going to do this ‘properly’.

I say do it properly but I didn't want to waste time blocking so I gave it a good tug, let it settle and measure this (Sorry Libby). Yes it was all on my knee but I had a lot more quality knitting time ahead of me in the car.

I say do it properly but I didn’t want to spend the time wet blocking so I gave it a good tug, let it settle and measured this (Sorry Libby). Yes it was all on my knee but I had a lot more quality knitting time ahead of me in the car.

I also took the opportunity to practice the cross over pattern that I had not done before, which was just as well because I got it completely wrong!

I didn't read the (very clear instructions) properly which I put down to doing it in the car!

I didn’t read the (very clear instructions) properly which I put down to doing it in the car!

The first bit of the shawl was all garter stitch (one of the reasons as to why I was keen to get going whilst in the car.) It shows the variations in the colour of the yarn really well. It also makes the project a great one to take out and about. I went on to take this project onto the beach and was able to take part in conversations whenever I was doing it.

The criss- cross pattern done correctly :)

The criss- cross pattern done correctly 🙂

Once you get onto the cross over pattern it is still not difficult (as long as you get it correct;)) but it does require a bit more concentration – I had to look at what I was doing whereas I didn’t for the garter stitch.

Once finished the magic can take place!

Before blocking - please note that the foam blocks that I am using are small. I had to go out and buy bigger ones to fit it onto.

Before blocking – please note that the foam blocks that I am using are small. I had to go out and buy bigger ones to fit it onto.

After a soak in water, a gentle dry within a towel and pinning out this is what you get:

IMG_1075I think that the transformation is amazing. I just know that I am going to get LOTS and LOTS of wear out of this.

I loved knitting this and I love the end result even more. A real win – win 🙂 The good news is that you can get your hands on this pattern TODAY here, or if you fancy your chances and waiting for a bit then I have 1 copy of the pattern to give away thanks so much to Libby also known as Truly Myrtle.  All you have to do is leave a comment below and I will randomly choose a winner on Saturday 6th September.

A huge thank you to Libby for giving me this opportunity.

Good luck and enjoy.

PS: Joanne I have not deserted you, I am currently working very hard on your project 😉

It is meant to be!

Last week something really exciting happened on Twitter. I noticed a link to instargram by a friend Truly Myrtle. I clicked through and saw the most beautiful shawl. What is more she designed it herself. I was feeling a bit cheeky –

Conversation on twitter.

Conversation on twitter.

How lucky am I? The e-mail come through really quickly and I got straight online to order the yarn required.

Having ordered it I then had a panic – it would not come in time! I decided to phone the shop Meadow Yarn and try to upgrade my postage to a faster service. You know what? The lady was SOOOO lovely that she offered to do it for me without charging me any extra as her random act of kindness for the day. I was totally gobsmacked!

The best bit of all? IT CAME 🙂 I was so grateful that I phoned the lady straight away to tell her that it had arrived. The Yarn is soooo yummy:

Wasn’t this project just meant to be? I really hope that I enjoy knitting this. It has a quick turn around so look out for updates :). Oh and I will so be visiting Meadow Yarns again!

 

 

Blocking and Ta Da!

Regular readers of my blog may well remember my recent post about test knitting / crocheting (here) where I first showed you this shawl that I was making:

© Christina Loman, 2013

You may also remember that it was meant to be finished by 17th March but that I was unable to do this. Well this week I did finish it  🙂 Before the final ta da however it needed blocking.

So What is Blocking?

Blocking, like gauge swatching is sometimes seen as another bothersome extra to knitting or crochet – ‘It is finished so can’t I wear it?’. I, however am a fan of blocking. I love the stitch definition that it gives to my ‘works of art’ that I have worked so hard to achieve. This shawl shows this more than ever.

  1. This is what I started with:

This will block out and stretch out much more giving the pattern much more definition.

2. The next step is to wet it in some way – because I really wanted to stretch this to the max I soaked this in a bowl:

It looks like a gooey mess!

It looks like a gooey mess!

3.

The next step is to get rid of the excess water by rolling it in a towl.

The next step is to get rid of the excess water by rolling it in a towel.

4.  Now for the stretching. I normally pin the items out onto rubber ‘play’ mats but this apparently called for something a whole lot different:

The tools needed to block this shawl!

The tools needed to block this shawl!

(Thanks to the superb notsogranny who lent this to me!)

The wires are to feed into the edges of the shawl and the pins are to pin it into place. The ruler is so that you can measure a piece out to the specific measurements if so required.

Here it is with the rods in. I have to confess that I wasn't quite sure how to use the pins effectively (please don't laugh).

Here it is with the rods in. I have to confess that I wasn’t quite sure how to use the pins effectively (please don’t laugh).

5. Wait 24 hours for it to dry!

6. Un-pin it and wear with pride 🙂

See not that hard really. If you want more info have a look at the Vogue page here.  I figured they ought to know what they are talking about!!

I am hoping that you can tell the difference between this:

This will block out and stretch out much more giving the pattern much more definition.                 and thisleonard town shawl 003:

This shawl also shows another important thing to remember when we are buying yarn. Make sure the dye lot is the same for each skein. Can you see the stripe? I bought this yarn on-line, at the same time and assumed that they would check the dye lots. I didn’t. Never assume anything as these clearly are different! I just hope that it doesn’t show when I am wearing it too much!

Pattern Details

Yarn: EllaRae Lace merino (should have been three balls but, being a test knit I only got two instead of checking with Christina. Sorry but at least she was able to rectify this.) This yarn is lovely to work with.

Needles: US 4 or 3.5mm circular needles.

Special Notes: It uses a picot cast on and cast off that is new to me but which gave the edges a really pretty effect. It comes in  written and chart form and is a repeating pattern over 32 rows. I enjoyed knitting this as it was interesting without being over complicated.

Should you wish to purchase this pattern then you can here. Also pop over to the designers blog here to see what it should look like and what the actual designer has to say about it.

As always on a Sunday / Monday I am linking up with Handmade Monday. Do pop over and see what everyone else has been up to this week 🙂

Testing!

You may remember a couple of weeks ago I was saying that I had a project I was doing that needed a lot of knitting? I was unable to share this project with you because it was a test knit – I was testing it before it became a published pattern.

So what is a test knit?

It is what it says on the tin. Testing to make sure that the pattern works. I suppose it is a bit like proof reading. You knit the pattern in the hope that you pick up on any small mistakes there are. When you are writing something important you check it, review it and check it over numerous times. Unfortunately this is no guarantee that there are no mistakes lurking in there somewhere. You are so familiar with it that your brain doesn’t recognise any mistakes anymore. There are ‘Tech Editors’ that will check patterns for you but some people still like people to test their patterns. It is also a way to get your object knitted in a different colour without having to knit it yourself.

So what do I get from it?

Usually you get the pattern for free (yes I am a bit of a cheep skate) and you get the garment to keep. You also get the experience of knitting things that you may not normally knit thus expanding your repertoire. This test knit taught me that there are a few differences between UK and US knitting terms – something that I had not realised before.

So what is it?

Well …it will be a beautiful shawl. Unfortunately I was unable to meet the deadline of this project – it was last Sunday but I had knitted enough to get a good idea of the pattern and was able to give the lovely designer some feedback. Even more unfortunate is that it is still not finished. I really hate to let people down but this is one knit that is taking longer than usual to knit up. That said it will be so worth it.

This will block out and stretch out much more giving the pattern much more definition.

This will block out and stretch out much more giving the pattern much more definition.

It is a beautiful lacy pattern and lovely to knit with enough interest to keep it interesting. The cast on was a new one for me and one that I love. It gives a beautiful edging without going back and adding one later.

© Christina Loman, 2013

See isn’t it gorgeous? You can see the lovely edge on the left and the way that it blocks out beautifully. Should you wish to knit it (and who wouldn’t?) you can get the pattern from here. If you would like to read more about it then see the blog post here. On the blog you will also be able to see more of her amazing patterns.

Test Knit number 2

Well crochet to be exact. This week I was a little distracted and offered to test an amugurami pattern for Joanne (notsogranny). This was a quick, easy project and very fun to make:

cute isn't he?

cute isn’t he?

He started out as a rabbit – then a bear. Finally he turned into a mouse.

See, I even did a tail!

See, I even did a tail!

I have to say that I can really see how this could become really addictive. I shall definitely be making others!

The really interesting and unexpected thing about this happened when I put a picture of him on my Facebook page on Friday night. It has turned out to be my most popular update ever. I have 58 lovely followers to whom I am very grateful for their interest. This got 220 views!! When I put the tail view on, that one got 109! Completely amazing. I have no idea why except that he is obviously cute. Thanks to Joanne for her pattern!

So you see that testing things is a great way to have a go at new techniques as well as a few unexpected benefits too. I recommend it to anyone.

Yet again it is a cold, snowy evening – perfect for snuggling up and having a good old read of lots of amazing blogs. Do follow me over to Handmade Harbour and have a look – there is not a lot else to do is there?

Hope you all have a lovely week. Thanks for visiting 🙂