Friday, 27 March 2015

Easter Socks :)

I seem to be jumping from one project to another with great urgency at the moment - no idea why, but I can't cope without having some 'crafty/knitty' project on the go!

My 'Bubbles' shawl is all done and dusted with and I was really pleased at how it turned out (pic to follow).

The general idea was to draw things to a brief halt before the Easter Hols . . . . hmmmmm, well that was the idea anyway :)  However an old pattern jumped out from my folder, saying 'knit me, knit me!' - you know what I mean, hehe!  I was looking for a quick 'knitty' fix before eldest son comes home from Uni for the Easter break (I'll need all my time to make him some home cooked meals as an anti-dote to student fare/ready-meals!)

Circles and Spirals Socks by Mimi Kezer is such a fun pattern to knit!  There were only 9 projects attached to this pattern on Ravelry (now 10 with mine!) and I can't understand why - the photo grabbed my attention straightaway :)  

I used yarn from my stash (remember the self-striping yarn which was meant for a plain old 'vanilla' sock earlier in the year - too boring!).  I think these yarns were made for this sock pattern :) :)  The self striping effect of the contrast colour yarn gives a really clever effect of lots of of colour changes without the hard work - only two colours and it looks like twenty, whoooop!

I was a little wary of the 'flea stitch' patterning on the heels and soles but it was more straightforward than it looks and gives a lovely 'toasty' warm feel to the sock :)

The first sock came off the needles last night and I was delighted with the fit . . .

Very cute pattern and it really revived my colour stranded knitting skills - a good learning curve for colour work too.  Well done to Mimi Kezer for such a fun knit!

Now I can't decide whether to cast on the other sock straight away . . . . I probably will though :) :) :)

Cheerio an Drasda!
Alison xxx

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

A Frothy Confection . . .

I've found myself (again!) doing a body swerve and going off to embark on a new project.  The snowflakes and flowers shawl is sitting pretty for a wee bit - but I will get back to it very soon!!

For some reason or other I started looking at baby shawls - I think mostly I really wanted to use fine yarn on bigger needles and push my lace knitting a bit further.  Anyhow I saw this old Patons vintage pattern from the 1950s and thought I'd give it a bash because (a) the yarn was cheap as chips, being acrylic! (£6 to knit a huge shawl - I can never resist a bargain!!), (b) I actually own a version of this shawl as it was made by a family friend for my youngest when he was born, so I had a good reference point!!, and (c) it just seemed a big challenge and I love all that frothy Victorian style of lace - just yummy!  Seemingly the pattern is an English Victorian version of an old Shetland style of shawl (but more of that later!).

The pattern is called Bubbles - A Beautiful Circular Shawl by the way.

Here's how it started - it has a garter stitch circular panel for the middle - the yarn overs (holes) make the increase and it just grows and grows . . .

It took three days however to complete the centre part and then onto the lace border . . . 

I think this is it sort of halfway through the lace panel (its an old Shetland lace pattern called Old Shale - see I did my research, hehe!!)

Long story short - because it is a very looooooong story, I completed the centre panel and border in about two weeks (Yes, that's where I've been all this time!).  I'm now into my third week of working this shawl, the lace border is complete and I started the lace edging this weekend.  I scribbled a note to say that I estimated 3 days to do the lace edging - who am I kidding!!  Now that I'm in full swing I'm giving myself  a minimum of two weeks - there are 54 scallops . . . .

. . . and it takes me 15 minutes to do each scallop - you can do the math(s)!!!  Well, don't bother actually - it just takes a long time LOL

It's really lovely to do though and I'm particularly enjoying the lace edging - very pretty!  I sort of rushed through the body of the shawl but the edging feels like I'm just adding the finishing touches, so it's quite relaxing.

Here it is today . . . 

It's a bit 'Downton Abbey' - even although I never watched the programme but I love how it's turning out.

Yarn purists might say (and I would have probably said previously) that it's a huge amount of work using a cheap acrylic yarn but I'm using the recommended yarn and really wanted to make it as a learning process.  Just to clarify - there are no babies on the horizon in my immediate family/social circle but some day I might get called up to make a baby shawl and I'll be standing at the ready having completed my 'training' hehe :)

Talking about Shetland Lace, I grabbed myself a little bargain on Amazon and treated myself to this lovely book as I've been getting into the whole lace/shawl knitting thing and I do love traditional knitting/crafts . . . 

It's a really lovely inspiring book - well, I felt I deserved a treat after all my hard work - let's call it an early Mothers Day pressie . . . . . for me of course :)  Written by Elizabeth Lovick - another knitwear designer Giant!  (I have an ever growing list of my knitwear designer heroes!)

OK, back to knitting my lace scallops . . . only another 38 to go!!  (they actually take 12 minutes each to do - not that I'm actually timing that or anything ;-))  However, you can't actually watch TV safely while doing them, so that slows me down somewhat!

It's blowing a 'hoolie' of a gale here in the Outer Hebrides today  . . . so if I'm not back for a while I'm hanging onto a fence post or something, clinging on for dear life - oooops!

Bye for Now,
Alison xxx