knitting

Challenge accepted!

The title of this post is my reply to a friend who received my Aphrodite shawl for her birthday and told me that she loves shawls, even though she might already own an impressive collection, so if I like knitting them, she is more than happy to receive them 😉 Which suits me just right, as I have a lot of shawl patterns in my queue, own some shawl pattern books, and in general, love knitting and crocheting them. But I feel guilty when I think of making so many shawls just for myself, so her confession is a very welcome excuse to knit more!

However, my most recent knit – based on the Kindness KAL Shawl pattern by Jaala Spiro – was made for another friend. I wanted to knit something special for her as a thank you gift, for inviting me to take part in a project we’ve been working on together with her research team (she’s in academia and I used to work in research, so since they needed someone with specific skills, she asked me to join them) for the last several months, outside of my normal job. That really helped me find a new focus in my work, exactly at the time when I needed it most (and to refresh my CV a little which I really needed, too). Beside that, she’s just always been a great friend, so did I really need more to knit something for her? I also knew right from the start that I wanted it to be a shawl, with at least some lace elements, or maybe fully lacy.

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crochet

Wrapped in lace

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Over a year ago I made a lace shawl based on Bernadette Ambergen’s pattern. I wrote back then that I’d like to crochet it again in a more neutral colour, but as usually, there was always something else to do and it took me many months to even think about it again. But some time in early spring I bought this wonderful, soft lace yarn from West Yorkshire Spinners – Falkland wool with silk – and I knew it was time to crochet my neutral lacy shawl.

Except that when I started browsing Bernadette’s designs, I found another shawl that I just had to crochet instead of the previous one. The pattern is called Grace, and I think it’s absolutely beautiful, so I decided that this would be my choice.

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knitting

Something for me

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Since I’d used up half of the yarn bought for Mum’s Madigan top to knit Dad’s hat and scarf, I decided to steal the remaining half for my own selfish knitting. This way I’ll have an excuse to order another lovely colourway for Mum, and that already makes me happy! Besides after all this scarves and shawls knitting, I realised I haven’t actually made one for myself this year apart from the sort-of-felted scarf. Up till now I’ve been wearing my last year’s cabled shawl almost all the time and while I love it, one is simply not enough for a whole winter ahead of us, right? Plus I wanted something bigger, to be able to cover my shoulders and use it as additional layer over the jumper or cardigan.

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knitting

Lotus Shawl

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The gorgeous pine cones pin is from NataliStudio on Etsy

My plan to make shawls, scarfs and in some cases also matching hats as this year’s Christmas gifts for my loved ones is going smoothly so far. Last week I finished this thing of beauty, Lotus Shawl, by Yumiko Alexander (or DanDoh Design). I bought the Interweave book “Rustic Modern Knits” specifically for this pattern, because I fell in love with it as soon as I first saw it on the book’s cover online, and I knew I had to knit it one day. There are also other lovely patterns in the book and I’m going to knit some of them in the future too. I love Yumiko’s style, playing with textures, and unique way in which she makes vintage style look modern. Her designs are very feminine and flattering. She writes crochet patterns as well and there is a similar book “Rustic modern crochet” written by her.

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accessories · crochet

Merino lace shawl

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Happy New Year everyone! I’m really hopeful that this is going to be a good year, or at least better than 2016 – and I wish the same to everyone. If it’s true that the first days of the year are a prophecy for the rest of it, then I’m lucky, because in the first week of January I finished the project that made me really happy. It’s based on the Izumi pattern by Bernadette Ambergen. If you don’t know Bernadette’s patterns and you like shawls as much as I do, you need to check her other designs – they’re wonderful. I’m definitely planning to crochet at least two other in the future!

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crochet · for home · knitting

Doilies and more

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After dealing with all the gift making, I decided to have a go at crocheting a doily. I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea, since I’d tried crocheting with lace yarn before and I hadn’t enjoyed it. But I know why now: wrong hook (not sturdy enough, feeling a little flexible in my fingers) and wrong yarn (mohair lace – not good for beginners!).

I chose the pattern which seemed rather simple, yet lovely: Penelope doily by Grace Faeron. I used 1,25 mm crochet hook – a good, solid one this time, which made crocheting really easy and pleasant – and crochet thread no 10. The thread is gray, for two reasons: I didn’t want the typical  traditional white doily, and I wanted it to suit my kitchen table, which is made of glass and steel. The only worry I had with this colour was that it might look dirty – you know, like white things look sometimes after many years in use. But in the end I don’t think it does, and I’m happy with my choice. Crocheting it was fast and enjoyable, the pattern is very well explained, the thread is smooth and sturdy. I ordered the blocking mat on ebay, but since it’s still not delivered, I blocked the doily on the bed instead to open up the lace – and I like the result!

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