Posts Tagged ‘yarn’

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!

DSCN0222DSCN0224DSCN0223

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.

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!

There’s been quite a broad variety of patterns offered up on Ravelry this week, and it’s making it harder to choose themes!  With that in mind, my only limit for this week’s theme has been how much I personally like the pattern.  There’s some gorgeous bits on offer this week, and I hope you like them as much as I did!

 

Plain and Fancy Knitted Bunnies

These knitted bunny stuffies are almost unbearably cute.  Knitted toys can often suffer a bit from odd shaping or wonky proportions, but these are just gorgeous.  From the careful placement of eyes and nose, to the chubby bellies, these worsted-weight toys could be knit up using all kinds of leftover yarn, and are infinitely variable.  I could see the larger ones being filled with sand bags in the bottom to act as doorstops or book-ends, and you could probably knit up a whole bedroom worth of cute things for a new baby, using the pattern as a base.  At under £4 for a pattern that includes three size variations and knitted clothes, this represents great value and is available for download on Ravelry.

 

Fox Love Jacket

I love foxes.  But if there’s one thing I love more, it’s great knitting patterns with generous size ranges!  And this bulky-weight pattern, available from 38 to a whole 60″ bust, is definitely one of the more generous patterns out there.  It’s sadly rare to find pretty patterns in sizes about 54″, so to find something as versatile, cute and young-looking as this up to 60″ is a real treat!  The thick yarn means this is a quick project to knit up even at larger sizes, and should be extra warm and snuggly for Winter.  The colourwork pattern is simple and attractive, and could easily be modified to showcase different animals by playing with different colours.  The pattern costs under £5 and is available for download at Ravelry.

 

Gingerbread Armwarmers

A gorgeous, colourful pair of long armwarmers in fingering yarn, with a fun striped pattern and additional fair-isle colourwork at the wrists.  I adore this pattern.  The armwarmers are long enough and thin enough that they could be worn under a fitted sweater or layered under a second pair of thicker gloves to increase warmth in cold weather, but light enough that they could be used to keep a mild chill off during cool Autumn evenings, too.  At under £4, this is a nice, low-cost pattern that looks gorgeous and could make a perfect gift, knitted up in the recipient’s favourite colours.  The pattern is available for download at Ravelry.

DSCN0160

This shawl pattern knits up very quickly, once you get the hang of it.  I’ve made both wings, and am well on my way to grafting the whole thing together before starting on the border.  The instructions for grafting look completely overwhelming at first, but if you just take it one row at a time and don’t think too much about what the pattern is doing, it works.

The waste yarn used to hold the stitches in place doubles up brilliantly as a lifeline once you start the grafting, and while I still think I’d rather have used a spare circular needle for each part, I can see why it’s done this way.  I’m just using kitchener stitch to graft, and again it’s one of those things that seems overwhelming, but is fine so long as you just concentrate on each stitch and don’t try to think ahead.

DSCN0162Of course, this is the part where knitting starts to get a bit exhausting.  Extending the edge from the left wing, across the back and joining to the right wing took no more than 30 minutes, and grafting the right wing to the back took maybe 15 minutes total.  I could’ve got the left wing grafted the same way in no time at all, but I just HAD to put the work down and take a break.  It’s not difficult work, but it is easy to mess up and takes a lot more concentration than normal knitting.  I hope to get the grafting finished today, at which point I’ll take a break and spin up some more of the fibre before I get started on the next stage.

I’ve also been doing a lot of baking, recently.  My sourdough starter has really developed into something robust and lively, and I’m getting some gorgeous loaves out of it.  It seemed right to make a couple of plaits as an offering, which is exactly what I did a couple of nights ago.

DSCN0587 DSCN0171

DSCN0172

There’s a thick tree stump in the churchyard outside my house – the tree was felled a couple of years ago, but the stump is alive with whip-like new growth and surrounded with other plants and mushrooms.  It’s as far from dead as you can get, and the flat top makes a fantastic offering table.  I made two plaits, individual sized, and left them on here drizzled with honey.  I figured once the Gods had what they wanted, the local fauna would take the rest, and I was right!  The area here is alive with birds and squirrels, and I hope they made the most of the treat!