So, my new Brightness and Contrast pattern is really focused on what I call That Skein. I think most people (well, most knitters!) immediately know what I’m talking about… but let’s take a moment to just revel in the sheer variety and wonderful insanity that That Skein can bring to your knitting. And, at the end, I’ll do a draw for a copy of the pattern!
Tag Archives: shawl
My sister Gillian and her friends the #sewcialists are having an online sewing bee, which is basically a community garment-sewing challenge inspired by The Great British Sewing Bee (go watch it on youtube!) and Project Runway and the like. They’ve asked me (as someone connected to them, but not actually participating in the challenges) to issue the first sewing challenge.
My friend Lindsey runs Waterloo Wools, but she’s been on maternity leave for a while. She’s re-opening the shop with a grand relaunch at the Woodstock Fleece Festival next weekend, and she asked me to knit a sample shawlette for her booth. Of course I said yes!
Lindsey asked me to use her 100% BFL fingering-weight yarn, Tidewater, which hasn’t been a huge seller in the past — it’s a real treat to work with, but it’s less familiar than the usual yarn bases like merino-nylon sock blends or merino-cashmere-nylon luxury blends. We’re hoping that showing how the yarn looks knit up will help customers get a better sense of its possibilities.
Tidewater is a 2-ply yarn, woolen-spun, so it’s lofty and springy and a little bit nubbly. It’s scratchier and woolier than, say, a worsted-spun merino-nylon sock yarn, but it has an almost buttery hand to it — not oily or lanolin-y in the least, but surprisingly soft, even with its halo. (And, when you block it, that halo really blooms beautifully.)
The bonus treat, for me, in knitting this sample shawl, is getting to use a pattern by one of my favourite designers, who also happens to be local, and a member of our Guild. Katherine Matthews has designed a number of beautiful shawls (as well as exquisite beaded cuffs, socks, and so on), and Kiran is her newest design. It’s exquisite!
(My favourite detail is almost accidental, but the way the two picots sit on either side of the centre spine reminds me of a swallowtail butterfly’s ‘tail’.)
For the record, I knit the smallest size of the pattern (it comes in small and large versions with instructions for resizing to any size you like). I used all but about 13 yards of one skein of Tidewater to make it. Full notes are, of course, over at Ravelry.
Lest anyone reading this blog lately fear that I’ve forgotten how to knit, I can offer two pieces of proof to the contrary.
Here is my contribution to Day Four of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, organized by the adorable Eskimimi. Today’s theme is A Knitter or Crocheter for All Seasons…
The funny thing about today’s theme for #3kcbw is that I’ve had a half-composed blog week about winter knitting in my head for months. I seem to do that a lot — get an idea for a blog post, and even think up what photos and phrases might belong in it, but then get distracted, or lazy, or otherwise occupied, until the post is no longer relevant.
I was going to post about how I was working on these lovely Norwegian mittens in Classic Elite Fresco, a super-soft angora-alpaca-wool blend.
I was going to talk about being curled up on the couch, a handknit shawl around my shoulders and a blanket over my lap, with a big steaming cup of milky tea.
I was going to talk about my favourite winter-afternoon watching: Victorian Farm and the other brilliant series in this family of shows. A team of English social historians and archaeologists spend a year on a period farm, using appropriate technologies to better understand life in the Victorian era — or the 17th century, or the Edwardian era, depending on the series. It’s a perfect combination of nerdiness and utter beauty, with a healthy dose of fibre lore thrown in.
I was going to talk about the quiet that muffles the city when there’s a thick layer of snow.
I was going to talk about warm, folky music that sustains me through the winter, like this Queen (!!) cover by my favourite band, The Once:
But you know what? Now it’s spring (even if it did snow the day before yesterday). We’ve had the barbecue out; I’ve shaved my legs and worn skirts and sandals. I still love The Once, but we’re on to watching the Edwardian Farm team in the summer months, picking cherries and frolicking in bathing costumes at the seaside. And as for the mittens, well, I haven’t knit a stitch on them for at least a couple of months.
Now, I’m much more interested in dreaming up frothy, lacy things to knit for a friend’s wedding this summer:
Oh, right! I’ve been so distracted waiting for Jane Austen Knits to get published that I have somehow neglected to tell you about all the OTHER secret knitting I was doing!
My sister got married in August, and that prompted a total of 3 knits — some secret, some less so. I might as well blog about them all now!