I’m sure you might have guessed but I love knitting.  I love the sensual experience of choosing, working and wearing thoughtfully crafted knitwear.  A while back Machelle over at Chopped Tomatoes decided to stop selling 4-ply yarn.  A sad day for fibre lovers, but being a devotee of the Design Kitchen I decided to buy some of those precious last skeins.  And the Yarn gods did smile, for lo, there was a technical error and the beautiful Machelle sent me an apology in the form of More Yarn.  I’ve not been spinning much lately, as I’m in the middle of moving house and my wheel is buried behind stuff.

More Yarn + Buried Spinning Wheel = Mucho Knitting

I’ve knitted a gift for a friend whose birthday is tomorrow so I’ll post about that one then so as not to accidentally ruin the surprise.  I’ve knitted a big shawl and a smaller cape type one. Want to see?  Oh, go on then…

Thunderheads

Named for the colours in the gorgeous yarn from Machelle this cape-ish type shawl was adapted from the Sunshine Shawl by Amanda Reed.  I realised fairly  early on that I was going to have much more yarn left than the pattern implied, so I went off piste, making it longer and larger and improvising the bottom of the pattern so that the whole thing flowed and didn’t look like I’d tinkered with it too much.

I liked this pattern for it’s simplicity.  It is a clever mix of stockinette and garter stitch, creating texture in a very simple and effective way.  It works very much like a triangular shawl, but with two extra sets of yarn overs, creating the cape like shape that allows for better shoulder warmth and less slippage when worn. When I began knitting this, I decided that I was going to go up a half needle size at the beginning of the project, as the yarn is beautifully lofty and can easily handle a 4mm needle.  I added an extra 44 rows overall, going up another half needle size for the second section in keeping with the original pattern.  Even after using the super stretchy bind off I still had yarn to spare.

Whilst still on the needles for section one I added the following rows:
repeat rows 9-14
repeat rows 1-8

Change needles and follow the pattern as written then:
Knit row 1 then use the WS instructions for row 1 from the 1st section. (3 times)
Knit rows 1 and 2 a further 12 times for a total of 24 rows.

Using the super-stretchy bind off gives the maximum real estate for blocking and gives my favourite edge. It’s the one that goes: K2 then…
K1, replace knitted stitch back on LH needle, K2tog tbl. Repeat until finished 🙂

When I started blocking this shawl I was very surprised.  It was huge. I had 24 square feet of blocking tiles on the floor.  It touched 3 edges.  Off the pins and around my chilly shoulders I was really happy with the way this shawl turned out.  It’s perfect for  throwing on when watching tv or knitting on the sofa – lovely.

 

Nemetona

Named for the Goddess of the Sacred Groves this shawl is one of my favourites.  It is the Lady of the Forest shawl by Ilga Leja.  She is an awesome designer.  I’ve never knitted anything constructed this way before and I have to admit being a little daunted at first.  However, Ilga explains everything so clearly in her pattern that my fears were soon extinguished beneath the big silver snuffer of the Goddess of ‘I knew you could do it’.  Beginning at the bottom of the back of the shawl, construction starts with easy increase/decrease shaping.  Then there’s some clever jiggery pokery with stitch holders, short row shaping, pick up and knitting (over 300 stitches) and before you know it, you’re finishing the front edges and Voila!  One lovely shawl all ready for blocking…

Now – as you can see this dwarfs my little dining table.  That there is 36 square feet of blocking mat.  Yep.  It took me a while to get it all wired up and pinned out, but the larger than recommended needle size:yarn ratio that this pattern calls for means there was lots of lovely fresh air able to get into the fabric and it dried in a trice.  The next day it was off the pins and with a little sewing to finish off – nothing too scary just stright lines down the front – it was around my shoulders and held together with my lovely Nicholas and Felice shawl pin.

 

I really enjoyed knitting both of these shawls and the second one inspired my first published pattern my Super Quick Wrist warmers. They are all super toasty and luxuriously soft thanks to the lovely blend of merino and cashmere that goes into the yarn.

I’m having such fun knitting at the moment it’s become a really comforting place to drop anchor in the whirlwind that is selling, buying, and moving house.  I’ve finished the second Shared Secrets pattern and  am working hard on a third.  The second pattern is a lovely scarf and should be available to purchase in the middle of Feburary-ish providing the box I put it in is within reach!

Happy trails folks – enjoy your adventures, treasure your journey and find joy in the little things 🙂

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  One Response to “Knitting up a Storm”

  1. Your projects are always so inspirational — thank you for sharing them! And I am so looking forward to your patterns too (I will be casting on the mitts soon!). Big hugs and love to you, heart-sister! x

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