Sunday, 15 February 2015

Shawl update . . . half term hols :)

We've been on our school half term break here in the Hebrides - not sure how this works elsewhere in the country but we've enjoyed it anyway!  My plans to document the making of my new shawl from start to finish are a little behind schedule but I HAVE been photographing it as I go along and hope to divulge any tips and info I've gleaned along the way.  With shawl knitting I feel like I've joined a new club in the same way as with sock-knitting, hehe - it's quite exciting :)  

So, I've started another shawl from another free Ravelry pattern which is specifically designed for shawl/lace 'newbies' so takes you from beginning to end with explanations along the way - perfick!  It's called 'Snowflakes and Flowers', by  Sandra Oakeshott - just perfect for this time of year, and it has three different lace patterns to practice your lace knitting techniques.  A lovely pattern to practice with and yet again I'm being forgiving with my errors - no big 'frogging' tantrums here!

This is the shawl after I've finished the first pattern of the  snowflakes - I'm using Drops Delight yarn which is a little similar to the Noro yarn suggested, yet another variegated yarn I had left from an abandoned crochet project. . . . 

Here's the start, nearer the cast on stage . . .

The lower edge of the picture is the cast on edge (the top of your finished shawl).  You can see there's a column of single knitted stitches down the centre.  Either side of this centre line is a repeat of the same pattern, which is gradullay increased row by row.  The pattern asks for a garter tab cast on method -  I think this is a good tutorial to follow if you get confused!.

Both patterns I've followed give instructions for one side of the shawl which gets repeated for the other side, so you have a centre panel (of one or two stitches) with the pattern repeated on either side.  Both shawls are triangular shaped and knitted from the top down.  I was very confused when I started the first one as I had no idea which part of the shawl I was knitting!

Here's a pic of the beginning of my current shawl where you can see the pattern more clearly . . .

Sorry, I'm holding it lengthwise here - just to confuse further!
You can see the centre stitch and also the edging along the top - the line of holes are created with 'yarn overs'.  This is the snowflake pattern - quite small motifs but still pretty.  I'm using a 32 inch circular needle with bamboo points (cheap and cheerful!) - size 3.5 mm.  In shawl lace knitting I think the general idea is to go approx one needle size bigger than the yarn suggests so you get a 'floaty' fabric, but it depends on what you want.  I had a few test rows and decided this needle was fine for my first attempt at a more floaty shawl - it's all a bit experimental!  (I actually thought I'd chosen a 3.75 mm needle but never mind).

By the way, I've found that having gotten used to reading knitting charts, I tend to use a mixture of both and sometimes write out pattern repeats to keep me right - this combination works quite well for me.

I've just finished the second pattern repeat which is tulips - let me tell you there are a couple of wonky tulips in this shawl 'garden', hehe but heigh ho, I'm learning so there!  Today I'll be knitting the 'flower' pattern if I feel so inclined!  (well, it is Sunday after all) :)

Anyway, all very technical information but I am getting into this 'shawl knitting' thing :)

Here's a nice pic of the moor yesterday - we had a lovely crisp sunny day - first moor plod of the year, hurray! . . . 

Yes, I do go outside occasionally!

Also I made some flapjacks yesterday just because.  They look a bit disastrous here but they tasted nice . . .

I'm off to have one right now with a nice cup of coffee :)  This recipe came from youngest's Dorling Kindersley's 'Childrens Quick and Easy Cookbook' - a much used copy!

Hope you had a nice weekend, extended or not!  I'll be back soon with more tales of the shawl - I'm taking a relaxed approach to this one as I know the 'ropes' so to speak so no frantic knitting sessions thankfully!  Perhaps an end-February finish-line??  See you soon :)

P.S.  If I make the flapjacks again I'll post the recipe - I'm thinking of adding a drizzle of chocolate on top, some dried apricots maybe - mmmmmmmmm! :)

Alison xx

1 comment:

Alessandra Poggiagliolmi said...

An applause for your patience and bravery!!!!! ;oD
Your work is really nice Ali!
xxxxx Ale