Monday, May 23, 2011

beady, aye

I think I might have a bit of a shawl problem.

This is bitterroot. I loved making it so much I knitted far too fast and gave myself tendonitis. For 2 weeks I was in ouchy-wrist hell, unable to wave at people over the road, or use a mouse.

I was quite grumpy for those two weeks. What does one do when one can't knit or code? I tried to remember Hobbies Of Old. I did a bit of gardening. And grumbled quite a lot.

Then, one day, waking up in a haze of ibuprofen and gin with my arm in a tubigrip with a shatterproof ruler down the inside, it was all ok again! Not having learned any kind of lesson, I picked up the shawl and knitted continuously without pausing to eat / make tea / sleep until it was all finished.

It's for Purl City Yarns, I made it using just under 2 skeins of their gorgeous Manos Del Uruguay Serena, colourway 6977.

I am totally in love with this yarn. If it was human I'd buy it pints and laugh at its jokes. It's a very subtly variegated, soft dove grey alpaca/cotton blend. There's a nice crisp cottony stitch definition but the alpaca softens it and makes it warm.

I got some beads from The Bead Shop in Afflecks Palace. They're clear with a silver lining - these ones i think. (If you've not been to this place, you should. Sweetie jars from floor to ceiling, full of SO MUCH SHINY.)

I made the small size, but it turned out pretty huge, and really didn't take very long at all. I'm a big fan of DK weight yarn for shawls.

It's off to be displayed in Purl City tomorrow (but I can have it back when they get bored of it. bwahahahaaa!)


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

the castoff of adventure

superflying citron
My friend Amy (cross stitcher extraordinaire, creator of this lovely Mr Men wall hanging and Buffy themed awesomeness) has recently enjoyed a birthday. I am a big fan of both Amy and knitting shawls. So I knitted her this shawl.

It all happened because a couple of weeks previously, in the pub she had been describing a new posh dress, made of bottle green and black shot silk. I sipped beer and nodded whilst excitedly traversing the Purl City yarns laceweight section in my mind. It's getting dangerous to even mention colours in my earshot these days.

The next day, I sprinted excitedly to the LYS, had a rummage around the shelves with Vikki and Cara and found a perfectly coloured Schoppel-Wolle Laceweight Zauberball. I cast on straight away for a Citron.

It may be stating the bleeding obvious to point out, that if you are the kind of person who gets bored by large expanses of stocking stitch, it's probably not the pattern for you. But I'm a big fan of keeping stitchwork simple where a multicoloured yarn is involved, and Citron fits that bill nicely. I think the thick/thin textural stripes add just enough visual interest to stop it being boring to work on.

on the washing line

As I had quite a bit of yarn left over (laceweight just goes on forever doesn't it? i love it) and I am a knittingmasochist, I even added an extra pattern repeat. This involved increasing to 636 stitches, using my longest ever Knitpicks Options cable, and developing arms like Mr Tickle. I managed about 8 Stakhanovite rows of the final ruffle before collapsing to the floor begging for mercy. I'm glad I did this though as I think the small size of the pattern as written leaves it just on the cusp of wearability. I don't have any modelled shots unfortunately but this size will stay on your shoulders quite nicely, or you can wrap it comfortably around your neck in a scarflike fashion.
citron money shot
I had just enough energy left to incorporate a beaded cast off before expiring, hooking a small black bead on with a wee tiny crochet hook every 10 stitches in the cast off row. I was worried about getting some of the old stocking stitch roll at the end, so I thought the beads might counteract that. This sort of worked, and where the edge still manages to curl upwards, at least a viewer can be distracted from any structural failings by the shininess of the beads. Look at the beads! look at them!
got my beady eye on you