Posts Tagged ‘ravelry’

 

Excuse the face, my other half spent most of the shoot trying to make me laugh!

Excuse the face, my other half spent most of the shoot trying to make me laugh!

I love this shawl.  It’s like a celebration of Loki, Odin, Freya and Frigga all at once.  Odin, for the raven-coloured yarn and winged shape, Freya, for her cloak of feathers, that she lends to Loki for so many of his adventures, and Frigga for the celebration of spinning and home crafts.  I’m also proud of it because it represents my most handmade item to date.  I wanted to look back on the process of creating the shawl, so here’s some photos and a few reminders of how it came to be.  Not much in the way of words, this is a celebration in pictures.  But, for those of you who want to make your own…

It started with my custom blend from World of Wools.  25% raven merino, 12.5% raven tussah silk, 12.5% each of midnight and aubergine merino, royal blue and amethyst tussah silk and rainbow trilobal nylon, blended the maximum five times.  I love the rainbow colours, but the next time I make the fibre I think I’ll skip the trilobal, add a little more raven silk and blend it a little less, to show off the colours in the fibre better – the trilobal does overwhelm the blend some.  I’d probably also add beading, now I know how the pattern comes together, I could add beads quite easily to really show off the shape.

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“How about you do one of those poncey fashion magazine poses?” “Okay, but no trout pout.” “No you have to trout pout!” “Fine!”

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Obligatory look-at-how-mysterious-and-artsy-I-am pose

This is Ravelry Mondays, a weekly event where I pick three-five patterns seen on Ravelry that week, and share them on this blog.  Some weeks will be themed, and there are some rules.

In order for a pattern to qualify it must:

  • Be on Ravelry
  • Be available for download either on Ravelry or from another website – no patterns only available in print or magazines, but it doesn’t have to be free
  • Have at least one photo clearly showing the item as a whole
  • Have at least one photo where the item is not being manipulated, so we can see accurately how it hangs and fits
  • Must have the necessary minimum information on the ravelry page – sizing info where applicable, yardage, yarn weight, etc
  • Clothing items will only qualify if they are available in plus sizes*
  • Only one pattern per designer per week

*And the plus sizes given must have MEASUREMENTS.  Calling the sizes XS-XXXL means nothing if you never tell us what XXXL is.  I’ve seen a 40″ bust called that, before!

Since I missed last week’s Ravelry Monday, due in large part to spending every second of my spare time knitting furiously to finish my gorgeous, luvverly shawl, I’m presenting some extra bits and pieces this time around.  The focus this week is on socks – although I found a few other things that were just too pretty not to share.

I hope I haven’t given the impression, through lack of attention, that I’m not a sock lover.  I do like them.  I just have a history of being bad with socks.  My house is the place where socks go to die.  I don’t think I’ve managed to keep a pair of socks intact for more than a week before one goes missing, and for the last three months I’ve been borrowing my other half’s three remaining pairs when he’s not wearing them.  Because of my terrible sock habits, I’ve been loathe to knit any for myself in spite of the gorgeous patterns out there, simply because I feel they’d be wasted on me.  And I feel bad about spending money on good yarn to make something I know will just disappear before I’ve had a chance to wear it more than twice.

But I do love socks, and have a rather large list of queued sock patterns waiting for me to get better at this stuff.  Maybe I just need to charge in and make some.  Maybe having a pair of socks I made myself, from fancy yarn, will motivate me to take better care of them.

Time Traveller

This is a very cute pair of socks.  I love sock patterns with very thin cables, and the heel looks interesting as well.  These are knit in fingering weight yarn, and have a lovely shape to them.  I’d love it if there was a knee-length option, simply because I love knee-length socks, but the mid-calf length is a good, standard length that’s easy to wear.  As an aside, one thing I love to see in photos of knitting patterns is a range of different sized people wearing them.  I know I talk about that with knit sweaters and the like, but I think it’s especially important for items like socks.  Shop-bought socks can be very uncomfortable if you’ve got chunky calves like I have, but I can see here that the cuff stretches beautifully, so these would no doubt be very comfortable for me.  The pattern is available for download at Ravelry for under £4.

Tiril

Here’s another pretty pattern, where a cabled design is knit wide to create a gorgeous pattern of ferny, leafy things along the sock.  This is another fingering weight pattern but is knit top-down, which is a great way to ensure the cuff is nice and stretchy – binding off can often tighten stitches, which results in a more uncomfortable sock.  The Tiril pattern is also under £4, and is available for download at Ravelry.

Gatlingburg

Now this is a great, gender-neutral sock pattern.  It’s a fingering weight again, with a slightly longer shape to it that would make it great for longer-legged people, and an interesting design of cables.  The pattern is available for under £4 and can be downloaded at Ravelry.

Charlotte

This is something a little dfferent.  A very nice top in DJ weight yarn with a thin striped pattern, and a really attractive shape at the shoulders and neckline.  It’s also available up to a 60″ bust, making it one of the more generous patterns available, and at under £3 is a real bargain.  I really like this one, and it is available for download at Ravelry.]

Aquae Tank

This is another pretty DK-weight top, this time featuring wider stripes knit using a gently variegated yarn that leaves the finished top with a pretty, painted look.  The pattern is simple and easy to modify, and is available up to 60″ again, so is another great pattern.  I especially like the length of it, which sits nice and low on the hips and would look great layered over a thin shirt.  The Aquae top is available for under £4 and can be downloaded at Ravelry.

Sheherezade

It’s possible I have a weakness for beautiful beading on shawls that’s making me biased, but I think this is simply stunning.  A gorgeous, large, lace-weight shawl with a distinct lace pattern and a second, independent pattern worked in the beading itself, and that rough, frilly edge that makes it look so light and cobwebby.  The Sheherezade pattern costs £4, and is available for download at Ravelry.

DSCN0225It’s done, it’s done!  My Ravenwing shawl is done!

Okay, that’s not quite true.  I still need to block it, and weave in the many ends of yarn, but the spinning and knitting is done!  And I am so pleased.  This is the most handmade thing I’ve made to date.  The fibre blend was custom designed by me and blended to order by the wonderful World of Wool, handspun and plyed by me, and then knit by me. It’s absolutely beautiful, and I’m so sorry the early-morning light couldn’t capture how gorgeous this is, with the glittery rainbow fibre, glossy silk and deep, complex merino.

DSCN0219I’m not going to have a chance to block it until Monday, probably.  I’m off today to watch my little sister row at her last ever Women’s Henley before she leaves for exciting university adventures, so will be spending most of the weekend gushing with pride and feeling emotional.  I plan to at least get the ends weaved in so I can wear the shawl at Henley, though, and will endeavour to get some photos of me wearing it, for you.

DSCN0215It turned out exactly like I wanted – the fringe just reaches my hips now, so once it’s blocked it should hang a little lower, and the arms are long and wide enough to drape across my bust very comfortably.  It did take up rather more fibre than I expected, though – I have a single hank about the length of my arm left from the fibre, so we could very easily have had a bit of a panic moment, if spinning had produced just a little more waste!  In the end I was so excited to get it done that I was knitting straight off the spindle without even bothering to hang the yarn, not that it’s done any harm to the end result.

 

That’s it for now, and I’m very sorry I didn’t give you any Ravelry posts this week.  I’ve been knitting flat-out to get this finished, and simply didn’t have the time.  I’ll have to make it up to you with an extra-large one next week!

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While browsing for new Ravelry patterns to share on Monday, I came upon this lovely knit tee.  It’s DK weight, available up to a 60″ chest and looks perfect for the Summer!  What’s even better is, the pattern is on sale reduced from $4 down to just $2!  It’s an introductory price, so snap the pattern up quickly if you want it!

This one is still a possible contender for Ravelry Monday, simply because it’s such a treat to find a pattern with a decent size range, but I wanted to share it with all of you while it was on offer!

DSCN0199These are not the best quality photos.  My camera is out of batteries, I don’t have the spare cash to replace them and just today managed to scrabble for a couple with just a little juice left by scrounging up every battery-operated item in the house and testing them in turn.  Once I found a pair that had enough juice to turn the camera on, I didn’t dare turn it off again so just grabbed a few photos as quick as I could before the camera died again.

 

DSCN0200As you can see, I finished the construction of the body since my last update, and have made good progress on the edging.  I think I’m about 30-40% done with the edging.  I’ve finished it along the length of the left wing, at least.  It’s actually really quick and satisfying at this stage – the edge pattern is simple and repetitive enough that it didn’t take long to commit to memory, leaving me free to watch whatever shows I feel like while I work.

DSCN0198Of course, the shawl is going to be big,  Which is just how I wanted it.  The standard pattern creates a shawlette just large enough to drape the wings around the chest.  But my version?  The wings were each as long as my arm and hand before I started the edging, and I need to block it after that, as well.  I wanted something generous that I could pull around myself and know that the back was reaching at least my hips, and I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what I’ll get.

DSCN0205I really like how the shawl is constructed.  There is almost no cast-off edge anywhere on it.  The raw edges of the centre circle are taken up by the wings and connecting wedges, and the raw edges of those are taken up into the border, which is taken up along the length.  The edging is worked perpendicular to the body, picking up a stitch every right-side row, with just a few cast-off stitches here and there for shaping.  The result is no right areas, no tension changes and a very smooth, open shape that will probably only need minimal blocking.  I can’t wait to get more done.