Posts Tagged ‘shawlette’

A fog rolling in

April 3, 2011

This may be my proudest FO moment yet, as this is possibly the most complicated thing I’ve ever knitted (yep, a quick squiz at my Ravelry project page confirms this is so). I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that I’ve only been knitting for five years, and have been doing a PhD for most of that time. Go me! (Don’t ask me about colourwork or steeks, though.)

This is my first Swallowtail, knitted in a yarn that might be the most beautiful in the world. Ever. Softness, colour, smoothness, sheen, stitch definition: it ticks all the boxes. I found it at k1 yarns in Edinburgh when I was there last year, and the label identifies it as Belle Epoque Hand Dyed Yarns silk sock in Haar. It’s 50% silk and 50% superwash merino but is lovelier than any wool-silk blend I’ve seen before. The friendly assistant explained to me that ‘haar’ is a sort of fog they get in Edinburgh, that rolls along the cobbled streets. I think the name is perfect.

I managed to knit this entirely without mistakes which is probably another first for me. Turns out the ‘no knitting when tired/drunk/upset’ rule actually works! This was also my first encounter with nupps, which frankly I don’t see the reason for. Purling 5 together was never going to happen for me even with a pure wool yarn, so I used the cheat of older and wiser Ravelers, i.e. slip 2 knitwise, purl 3 together, pass slipped stitches over. And even that was a harrowing experience. From now on, this girl is saying NUP! to nupps.

I guess they are kinda pretty though. But only kinda.

My misty swallowtail is raveled here. And unfortunately, you can’t buy Belle Epoque yarns online, so get yourself over to Edinburgh. And bring me back another skein too.


Summer of the shawlette

March 20, 2011

One of the nicest things about being a knitter is knowing other knitters. Especially when those knitters knit you something rather beautiful. You really appreciate the thoughtfulness and effort that someone’s put into a knitted gift when you’re in the habit of doing the same thing yourself.

This beautiful citron shawlette was made for my birthday in December by my good friend Suzie, who is an amazing knitter and deserves to have minstrels sing ballads in her honour. And being a knitter who understands the needs of other knitters, she kindly included the ball band in the gift, to satisfy my fibre curiosity. Naturally I have since lost the label but if memory and tactile examination serve, it’s got a large amount of something wonderful like cashmere or alpaca, and some merino. That’s about as precise as it’s getting today, people.

Everyone comments on this when I wear it. And I’ve discovered something even better than saying, ‘I made this myself’. It’s saying, ‘My friend knitted this for me, she thinks I’m worth all the time, money, and effort she put into this, and don’t you think I’m just the most blessed person on Earth?’ Which is rewarded with many strange looks, as the non-crafters just don’t understand.

Luckily everyone can appreciate the subtly varying shades of lilac and smoky blue, the beautiful softness, and the meticulous construction. None more than me, though!

When January rolled around I realised Suzie’s own birthday was coming up soon, and what better way to thank her than in kind? Luckily we are kindred spirits and I happened to have a skein of Malabrigo sock in my stash in a purple I knew she would love. And damson seemed like the obvious choice of pattern.

Because I’m an adult who’s completely capable of organising her own life and not at all prone to unrealistic assumptions about how much time I have, I of course started this shawl at T minus 2 weeks and knit feverishly every evening, every lunchbreak and at most social events. Totally not overestimating my abilities at all.

Because wonders will never cease, I managed to get it to Suzie only a week after her birthday. That’s me: reliable, realistic, and winning at life. Still, Suzie seemed appropriately pleased, and the project made me realise that damson really is a fairly quick knit, and shawlettes are probably the best knitted gift you can give a female friend or relative, given the lack of sizing issues.

My purple damson is ravelled here.

Blue damson (and many parenthetical remarks)

November 11, 2009


Introducing my latest finished knitwear project: the blue damson.

I finished this shawlette a couple of weeks ago but the eventual (welcome) arrival of Summer means there hasn’t been a pressing need to block it. It languished in my knitting basket (okay, okay, on the couch covered with knitting paraphernalia), ends unwoven, until the quiet idleness of Sunday afternoon made me think that I really should get on with it. It blocked beautifully (oh, the millions of pins…) and quickly (ah, the delights of summer!), and yesterday afternoon was all done and ready to meet the world.


Pattern: Damson by Ysolda Teague

Yarn: 2 skeins of Cascade 220 in a bright, saturated blue (possibly 8891 or 8892)

Needles: 4mm circular that was much too short

My blue damson on Ravelry

I like this pattern, and although it calls for sock yarn I think it works well with the DK-weight Cascade (and the yardage is perfect, binding off was a bit tense but I had at least a metre left). It’s shaped perfectly both to drape around your shoulders and scrunch around your neck. And when laid out, the tapered crescent shape and the zigzag lace edging make me think of a moth’s wings.

So: world, meet blue damson. Blue damson, meet the world. And now, back in the cupboard to wait for autumn.


The unintentional secret project

October 28, 2009

I have a confession to make…there’s something I haven’t been telling you.

I believe in openness and honesty in relationships, so trust me when I say I didn’t mean to keep secrets from you. It’s just that, well…somehow this just slipped my mind. Really. It’s my fault, I promise. Sometimes life just gets busy, and I forget that I haven’t blogged about everything I’m knitting.

I’m sorry, did you think I was talking about something else?

Anyway. So I realised that I hadn’t told you about my Damson shawlette, although it’s something I’ve been working on just about every day. Talk about absent-mindedness. I think I’ve been knitting this thing for a month now. Actually I’m close to binding off. But better late than never, right?


Look at that lovely squishy garter stitch! Can you forgive me now? And yes, it really is that oversaturated, brilliant blue. And I mean oversaturated, dye has been coming off on my fingers.

I guess part of the reason for the brainfluff is that this was kind of a last-minute project—at 10pm the night before I flew to Brisbane I was on Ravelry feverishly trying to find a project to take that was small and simple enough to knit while in conversation, for which I already had (a) the yarn and (b) the needles. Shawlettes make pretty portable knitting and the shape of Damson appealed to me. And it calls for 440 yards of yarn, and I had two skeins of Cascade 220 burning a hole in my stash. Match made in heaven, right?


That’s the second ball, and the rows are getting longer. I mean, yarn-gobblingly long. I wish it wasn’t so difficult to knit with all your fingers crossed.

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).