Thursday 20 June 2013

Coral Reef

This blogging malarkey is a bit addictive isn't it?  I tried really hard to contain myself & wait until Saturday for my next post (when I'll be posting the re-worked neckwarmer pattern), but I just had to share my beautiful Coral Reef Shawl with you! (click here for the Swallowtail Shawl pattern by Evelyn A Clark)
I started it last October - I was making both of my aunts a shawl each for Christmas. Not for wrapping around their shoulders - they're both quite nifty dressers, so I thought they might like them to wear as neckerchief type scarves. I love them as I tend to wear v-neck tops - they cover my chest & don't leave weird drafty bits!!!
 Well, I made a Haruni shawl by Emily Ross (click here to see) for my Aunt in Canada - it only took me a couple of weeks - I made it in Rowan Siena 4 ply cotton & it was just a dream to knit. I can't recommend this pattern highly enough!  With the Swallowtail here though, I chose to knit this in laceweight silk. Now the yarn is gorgeous, and the pattern is beautifully written & simple to follow, but those bobbles or 'nupps' you see in the 'lily of the valley' section were an absolute nightmare in the completely un-giving silk. You knit, wrap, knit, wrap, knit in the same stitch, then on the purl row you purl all 5 of those stitches back together.  If you do them too tightly there is no way you can get your needle through 5 stitches to purl them back together again!  You have been warned!  So I put it back in my knitting basket & forgot about it for 6 months.  When I tried again, leaving the wraps much looser, it was a piece of cake :o) Mmmmm cake....

 As un-giving as the silk is (I mean there is no stretch in it), it was the perfect choice for this shawl - it has a beautiful sheen & once blocked it holds it's shape beautifully - no spring-back! I got it from a lovely little shop in Hay-on-Wye called Wool & Willow.  They don't sell branded yarns - only independently dyed yarns.  This silk laceweight was very reasonably priced, and I'm pretty sure I have enough left over to make another one!  I LOVE that shop!  Actually I love Hay on Wye - wool shops, book shops, antique shops & a tea room called The Old Stables that sells toasted teacakes that are bigger than your head & require 6 butter patts - heaven!!! Their apple & rhubarb cake is also to die for...

Anyhoo, I've been knitting this in my lunchbreaks at work for the last few weeks - I could just about fit in 2 rows per lunchbreak after eating a sandwich!  Those 2 rows a day soon added up and it's finally complete!
Ok - I've already blown my resolution not to blog until Saturday, so can I share a secret with you?  Do you want a sneak preview of my latest design?  It's nowhere near ready - I've not even done a test knit myself yet - it's only on paper...and then only a first draft!  Inspiration struck last night, and I was up until 3am doing the maths & drafting my idea's on graph paper. Wanna see?
 All that work, and such a late night...then I put it in my bag to take to work with me so I could work on it in my lunch break, dashed out of the house (late as usual!) in the pouring rain, but didn't think to cover it:
Lesson learned - graph paper ink bleeds when wet!!!  Oh well - I needed to make a few changes anyway! Right - I'm feeling all inspired again now so I'm going to get back to it.  Hope you all have a lovely evening & I'll chat again on Saturday & share the neckwarmer pattern :o)

Love & hugs

Claire Clutterbug xx

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful work!!! I have dyscalculia so I find it so challenging to work with graphs and numbers. For the same reason I find it hard to do complicated knitting patterns and go wrong all the time. So I learned to crochet and for some reason I can do really complicated lacework easily with it. But I go back to trying to do it with knitting but end up in a mess every time. Hey ho.