Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Mystery shawl

It is not too late to join the Spriteling mystery shawl KAL and there are 2 ways to join - either via ravelry or the socktopus website. You can search on ravelry patterns for spriteling and there is a spriteling mystery shawl KAL group to go with it. The clues come out fortnightly with the second one due on Friday - it runs until sometime in May.

I have to admit this is quite a challenge until you get going and 'into' the pattern and I have used both the chart and instructions to get going. I haven't quite finished the first clue yet as I was struck down by this horrid bug going around and was too ill to knit anything - I am hardly ever too ill to pick up the needles for something!

I did however manage to cast off my Pi shawl yesterday - pics to follow once it is blocked. The yarn was amazing to work with and I shall be casting on more of this soft and fluffy yummyness once I decide what to make. I have loved this Pi shawl even though it was a bit of an experiment - I added a hearts pattern from another Pi shawl I had seen but had a section of plain knitting in there as well (it would have been better with more hearts). Am off to wind my Royal wedding yarn now as I want to get that started soon as well!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


There have been a couple of questions for me to answer from the blog so I will start with those - firstly yes hands up I do have a Smart Car (a bit like marmite!) and I really love it - it does indeed have a personalised number plate which was swapped over from the blue car that died - a gift from the past that I did not want to part with. Secondly silk hankies ( not the nose blowing variety ) are made from the fibres of degummed silk cocoons that have been laid out on a square frame and there are many layers in one hanky which you can peel off and spin separately (there are a few how to's on utube if you have a look). It is like spinning a cloud, they are so soft and light, hence the tiny spindle to do it on. Because you need to prepare the fibre so that it is a 'thin roving' before spinning it seems quite quick to spin up but I am not sure how long it will take for me to spin enough for a shawl (will keep you posted on that). The lovely shawl pins were from the 'Ingrid De Vane' stall at the NEC but I know she does lots of other shows so keep an eye out for her - they were on offer if you bought 3! Knitting progress: The Pi shawl is mid way through the last heart repeat and so I am hopeful to finish it soon and show you. I also cast on for the Spriteling shawl KAL over the weekend, the chart I printed out on draft and I may have to reprint it as it is quite complicated so I have been working from the written directions but I am at the point where it would be easier to use the chart. I have to say that this is quite different to other shawls I have done and is coming out nicely using some very pretty 'sugar hippo' yarn........ see what I mean?

I am using a 4mm needle for this because even though the pattern said 4.5mm I thought that the fabric was a bit too sloppy when I did the swatch. The smaller needle makes the stiches a little smaller and gives it a better drape rather than just floppy. I think that it is because the yarn has silk in it and is a little less 'fluffy' than an all wool yarn. I must add here that I do not normally swatch (I know I should) but I was so excited to try out the swatch pattern that I gave it a go and am glad I did because not only did I switch yarns I also corrected the needle size to give a better fabric - something I would not have done otherwise! I am sure there is a lesson to learn here but I have my hands over my ears and I am humming a tune!

Right now I am off to find some dispirable aspirin to gargle with as my throat feels like the lining has been stripped out - hope I can catch it before worse things come out!