Posts Tagged ‘ishbel’

Alpaca shawlette goodness

July 14, 2009

Here it is—after many hours of knitting and desperate improvisation, my chocolate-brown alpaca Ishbel!


I mentioned on Ravelry that I wasn’t sure I’d have enough yardage to finish this. Was that an understatement! But it just goes to show that if you’re happy to spend hours getting your head around the maths and agonising about how best so save the situation without frogging, you too can make an Ishbel out of not enough yarn. I think it turned out pretty well, all things considered.


This beautiful natural alpaca yarn is the most amazing shade of chocolate but unfortunately the few remaining guard hairs are a lot more noticeable now that it’s been knitted up—I didn’t think they were a problem in the ball but I think Ishbel is going to need a few washes to make it bearable neck-candy for longer than a few hours. Does anyone have any advice for alpaca behaving badly?

But in any case I love my new shawlette and am seriously thinking about knitting more.


PS—you noticed a significant improvement in photo quality for this post, didn’t you? My little camera wasn’t up to photographing dark-coloured knits in any sort of light, so these were taken by the lovely Eduard, with his bigger and better camera (matched by bigger and better photography skills).


Comfort knitting

May 22, 2009

It’s been a quiet day for me today—I’m at home with a cold so I’ve been taking things slowly. The brain isn’t working too well so I’m not managing to get much work done, but luckily knitting is perfectly suited to lying on the couch and feeling sorry for yourself.

I think knitting is one of the best things you can do in this situation, as it actually makes you feel better. Of course, listening to Harry Potter audio books helps too! I’m a great believer in ‘comfort experiences’—and I don’t just limit this to comfort food. I have comfort books, comfort DVDs, comfort yarn, comfort tea, comfort clothes…the list goes on.

Anyway back to the knitting. I’ve actually got three things on the go at the moment, but I can only share one of them in any detail, as the other two are gifts. The first is a pair of socks I’m knitting for my Dad—he knows they’re coming so that’s no surprise, but I’d like the construction to remain a mystery, so I’ll just give you a taste of the yarn:


Isn’t that a gorgeous colour? It makes me think of russian caramel. I must admit I didn’t really take to it when I saw it next to all the other colours of yarn—I just thought ‘That’s a good colour for masculine socks’ and grabbed it. But now that it’s by itself, not upstaged by the flashy hues of its brothers, its quiet beauty shines through. I hope Dad likes it.

Remember that lovely dark brown alpaca yarn I bought at the alpaca expo? It was so soft and brown and wonderful I couldn’t wait to use it, so I started an ishbel almost straight away. It’s lovely to knit with and I’m really looking forward to the finished product, but there’s also an element of danger—I don’t know the yardage of the ball and suspect it might not be long enough. At this stage, the plan is to keep knitting until I run out (if I do) and then decide on a contingency plan (if I have to) that still gives me an ishbel. Could I do fewer repeats somewhere? Could I bind off early? These are questions I will (hopefully not) have to answer later. I’m still knitting the stocking stitch centre so have no idea as yet whether I’ll have enough, too much, or (cringe) too little yarn. Though that does make it kind of exciting. That’s me, always flirting with danger.

Anyway, here’s a picture of the progress so far:


as you can see I was knitting on a short (40cm) circular and had to stop while I waited for a longer one to arrive. But now it’s here, I’m itching to get back to my dangerous ishbel.

The last project I want to share with you today has made wonderful sooky knitting. There’s nothing like beautifully soft, fantastically colourful handspun to make you feel happier! So today I got to play with this yarn:


and loved it so much, I finished the project after only a few hours. Unfortunately as this one is again a gift, I can’t tell you any more (at this stage). It is currently blocking and looking delicious (as if anything knit with this yarn could look otherwise!), so will hopefully be dry in a couple of days. Fingers crossed.

The prettiest beret in the world

May 11, 2009

Although you’ve already seen it in the photos from yesterday, I wanted to gush about my new red beret :)

red lace

The pattern is the Ishbel Beret by Ysolda Teague, and I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed knitting something more. The yarn I used—a cashmere, merino and microfibre blend—was so lovely to knit with too, it just made the whole experience perfect! At one point I had to frog because of a mistake I made in the lace, but I was having a such a good time I didn’t mind at all. In fact, I was even looking forward to knitting it all again, because, well, I’d get to knit it all again.


Can’t say I’ve ever felt that before.

In any case, I now have the most beautiful red beret, the subject of many envious groans. Which means it fits in well with the rest of my wardrobe, the philosophy of which is ‘if it doesn’t make other people jealous, it’s not worth wearing’.

sooooo pretty

Ravellers can find more details here.

Now I’m off to Stitch n Bitch, where I’ll hopefully have a chance to boast a bit more!