Tag Archive: shawl

Something Old, Something New

Let’s start with the new, shall we? Everyone likes to see pictures of new things.

I recently participated in a trade with a local dyer. MamaJude does simply beautiful work with plant dyes and can also dye cotton. I cannot dye cotton, so we worked out a swap where she would acquire a couple skeins of cotton boucle from me, and I would receive some indigo batts from her.

The batts arrived a few days ago, and they are gorgeous! There are six of them total. I haven’t weighed them, but I’m guessing the batch is in the six-to-eight ounces category. Here’s the best picture I could nab of one in the fading afternoon light.

I keep thinking that I should mix these with some of the lovely soysilk I have stashed away and make something large. But they’re so light and fluffy, I’m wondering if I could find a light spring/early autumn top or cardigan pattern. That might do them more justice. Whatever I decide on, it’s going to have to wait awhile. I’ve got two or three other spinning jobs lined up, plus the BFL lace I’m finishing up now.


As I discovered this last week, the proverbial “start-itis” syndrome is not limited to knitting. On the contrary, it seems to be a hobby-wide problem.

Forget hobbies, it’s a lifestyle-wide issue! I’ve been having so many ideas for new projects that I feel like they’re shooting out of my ears and ricocheting wildly off the walls. Sweaters, socks, blog posts, Twitter, fairs… will someone please make me stop? Or just get a notebook out and write down the ideas. (Although there is a drawback with that. I’m the type of person who sees no gap between having an idea and acting upon it. To think is to do. Sitting on a notebook full of ideas is just plain irritating.) (Really.)

But, that’s what I’m having to do these days. I know it’s a good thing to think things over (and definitely pray about them before starting); I’m just having difficulty discerning what needs to happen because I want to discern it at my own pace. I want snap decisions. Paper handed down from God with “do such and such” written on it. But, obviously, that’s not the way I’m supposed to get instructions, otherwise I’d be getting it like that. So back to the notebook for me.

A Birthday Shawl

Remember those undyed batts I carded way back when? (A lovely blend of BFL, baby alpaca, and mohair.) Well, those batts are now being used! Yes, it’s been over a year, but I’ve been waiting for just the right project. Handspun yarn for a birthday shawl.

The shawl was supposed to be my dear aunt’s Christmas and birthday present, however both of those dates have passed, so I decided I’d better get hopping. The last thing I want to do is end up like I did with my last two “birthday gift” yarns and not deliver on them until after the next year’s birthday.

From A Place Other Than My Desk

Hello! I’m writing this from a hotel in Arkansas and trying to get used to the keyboard on a borrowed laptop. No, nothing drastic just happened in my life. I’m on my way back home after a lovely visit in Texas.

Of course a yarn store stop was involved in the trip, and it dawned on me there that I hadn’t blogged for quite some time. Therefore, I am taking the necessary steps to share some of the neat things that have happened lately.

First off, the new purchases, because everybody likes seeing shiny new yarn. Three balls of Jo Sharp wool. They’re not amazingly soft, but I really like the colors and the subtle sheen.

Believe it or not, I actually wound up starting a project with them at least four times. Quite probably five or six. This is what happens when I don’t have a pattern and keep changing my mind twelve rows into a scarf. First it was going to be stripey stockinette, then it was going to have purl diamonds to keep it from curling, then cables, then twists with ribbing, then cables and twists but no ribbing . . . you get the idea. I really think I should find a pattern as soon as possible, otherwise it will become the knitting equivalent of trying to rhyme with orange. It just doesn’t work.

A Full Fiber Schedule

My aunt is visiting, and that, as usual, translates into oodles and oodles of fibery fun. For instance, I have just a few yarns to dye during the two weeks she’s here. (Slight irony implied on the “few” part.)

It’s somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty-plus skeins. Seven of which are for my two stores. I’m hoping to dye those this evening. (Six of mine, that is.) I’ve got an idea for an Apple Cider colorway, and I want to try to dye some “manly” colorways on two of the skeins. There are gentleman knitters out there who would probably appreciate a less-feminine yarn supply. And I’m also hoping to try an interesting new method of dyeing, which may or may not result in color-gradation stripes. Stay tuned.

Knitting time is up a lot more now, since there’s an aunt to knit with, and I’ve made good progress on the fall shawl.
I’m really, really liking the Crow Waltz pattern, and I want to try it again someday the way it’s supposed to be done – with only two colors of similar yarn. I’ve got one eye on the KnitPicks City Tweed for that. Whenever I get to start new projects. Eventually. Along with the seven or eight sweater patterns I’ve been hoarding.

A Setback and a Step Forward

I frogged my shawl. By the time I got to the third row of beads it became painfully apparent that “fixing and fudging” the mistake stitch-count back into behavior was a losing battle. Sure, I was back at the right number of stitches (sort of), but the beads weren’t lining up correctly at all.

Don’t worry, though. It’s re-cast on and I’m planning to dive into work on it again soon. I just need the sudden whirlwind of other projects to die down for a bit. A lot of writing related projects have cropped up, leaving me with little or no recreational fiber time.

Count Twice, Knit Once

This is a confession of guilt, so no laughing. At least, not for the first half second or so. Let me see if I can work myself up to this. Ahem.

While making my shawl I neglected to stop and count stitches when it told me to the first time.

Whew. There. I did it.

So, of course, the inevitable happened and, when I actually counted stitches at the second point, I was off. By about thirty stitches.

Under Certain Circumstances

So, yes, I did say I wasn’t going to buy any more fiber until I’d made a significant dent in what I already had. (And I can already hear you chuckling to yourself.)
But, there are certain circumstances that are just plain not worth resisting. And in this case, it was because I had never heard of nor seen this particular kind of fiber before. Well, that, and because it was shiny.

This is called banana silk. It’s derived from the leaves of banana trees, so it’s a plant-based fiber, and you can see how shiny it is in the pictures. I’d heard of yarn that had banana fiber in it, but it had never registered in my noggin that that would mean there was banana spinning fiber floating around somewhere to be pounced on.

Knitters Have It Easy

A few days ago I began a new knitting project, since I had finished the sweater. “Wait!” you say. “You finished and you didn’t tell us?” Well, it’s not finished-finished until it’s blocked, and I’d rather not model it while it’s soaking wet, thank you very much. And pictures of it laying flat on a table get old after awhile.

Ahem. As I was saying. I began knitting my first shawl. The Emily Dickinson shawl, it is called, and it’s available for download on Ravelry. (I’m LoveFiber on there, by the way.) This is my first shawl, my first knitted cobweb lace-weight, and my first time adding beads to a knitted project.

And let me just say it now, knitters have things so easy where beads are concerned! You just pull the loop up through the beads one at a time with no fuss. The last beaded non-knitting project I made required loading the seed beads onto the yarn ahead of time. All hundred and something of them. Then I had to keep scooching them along the yarn until I needed one. Crazy.

In Which I Dreadfully Overplan

I’m a knitter now. Let me be the first to admit it. The dye. . . I mean die-hard crocheter has fallen. I have succumbed to the knitting realm and now have way too many knitted projects planned.

And to prove how nuts I am, go take a look at my queue and favorites on Ravelry. (I’m LoveFiber on there.)
Not only am I knitting my first big knitting project now — and here’s a picture of my lovely sweater so far — but I have plans for another sweater, two or three giant shawls . . . no, four or five shawls, and a myriad of socks, wraps, and various things that will only overrun my closet. Which is already overrun. Although hopefully I will be able to use things from the closet to make things which go back into the closet and therefore pioneer self-sustaining closet environments.

My goal is to not. Buy. Any. More. Yarn. Until I’ve used up at least some of what I already have. Not too much. Just enough. *cough cough* Will someone please take the KnitPicks and Webs catalogs off my desk?