shawls

Can you PYOO?

My latest shawl design - Spreading The Love - is a half Pi, semi circular shawl featuring stripes, stocking stitch and a fun star shaped stitch.

Formed by passing a yarn over, over several stitches this stitch is given the rarely used, but quite amusing abbreviation PYOO. For those who share my slightly juvenile sense of humour I thought you might appreciate the explanation.

Essentially you work a yarn over and then knit several stitches before slipping that yarn over, over them. The end result is an atrractive 'bar' of yarn which sits neatly across the base of your worked stitches, adding texture without affecting your stitch count.

It works well with this Wenslydale and Shetland blend, but would also give a very interesting effect with a variegated yarn too.

I would be really interested to know what you think of it. So why not give it a go and have a PYOO today?

You can buy the pattern - which has a 50% discount until Friday 25th November - along with all my other patterns over on my Ravelry page: here

 

Paris and a new shawl design

As a designer I am known more for my sock patterns but recently I have found myself drawn to the way of the shawl. Specifically garter stitch shawls using gorgeous woolly, British yarns. Proper cosy, wrappable, squishy shawls. The kind that will provide a welcome layer under your winter coat or that will be great to throw over your shoulders on a chilly morning as you gently potter about at home.

Paris is Always a Good Idea

Paris is Always a Good Idea

 

My newest shawl pattern is no exception to this. Using the wonderful Tamar 4ply yarn from Blacker Yarns this shawl was originally conceived as a travel project for a planned trip to Paris with knitting friends - hence the title Paris is Always a Good Idea. In the event, life intervened and I wasn't able to go on the trip but I did have the perfect project for some sick-day recuperation as the medicinal powers of soothing garter stitch are surely well known by now?

The shawl starts with the longest edge so all you have to do is to cast on the required number of stitches, wind up your yarn and you are good to go with the perfect portable travel project. There is very little counting involved and specific yarn amounts needed are given so that you can customise as required to meet the demands of your stash.

Whether this is worked in subtle tones, bright contrasts or with a colour pop this shawl is bound to find a special place in your heart - a bit like Paris really.

You can buy the pattern here, and if you are quick before the end of the bank holiday weekend here in the UK (Monday 29th August) you can use coupon code for 20% off the purchase price.

The Gift of Knitting

This week has been a particularly trying one. Lots going on at home and the impending school holidays rushing towards us like a juggernaut. School activities always take on  more of a frenzy at this time of year, particularly so this time as it is my DS1's last few days at primary school (cue emotional wreck of a mum in the corner).

Knitting the Amulet shawl - in fabulous speckled yarn from Countess Ablaze.

Knitting the Amulet shawl - in fabulous speckled yarn from Countess Ablaze.

Lots of school plays and after-school activities have meant that my normally busy day has had to expand into the evenings with a sort of taxi-shuttle run service to and from school.

Never have I been more grateful for my knitting. With my trusty project bag (or two) stowed safely in the car I truly don't mind having to sit and wait for an hour (and I would rather do that than waste time and petrol by shuttling to and from home).

Last night, it was a balmy evening for once so I left the car and found myself a perch on a bench in the school grounds. The doors to the junior hall were open (to avoid the occupants dying of heat stroke) and the sounds of joyous (and only slightly off-key) singing wafted across the field.

The previous night I had been watching both my boys perform (whilst dying of heat stroke, seated on a tiny chair) with a tear in my eye and a very full heart. But last night was special too. Just me and my knitting (the new Amulet shawl from Curious Handmade, in case you were wondering) and a fabulous summer evening. I even had hot coffee. And for that one perfect hour - I could bask in the sense of a job well done. No where to be and nothing to do apart from knit - that's my kind of evening.

Ambitious? My weekend knitting plans.

I have high hopes of some serious knitting action this weekend.

As well as two designs that need to be finished - one shawl and one pair of socks - I have two other exciting projects clamouring for my attention.

Keeping busy this weekend.

Keeping busy this weekend.

The first is the new shawl design from Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. The Talisman shawl is the first in a series of six shawls which she has called The Shawl Society. Each month sees the release of a new pattern which is kept secret until the release date. As you would expect from Helen, tons of additional information is provided in terms of yarn choice, sizes and top tips to help you achieve a great looking shawl.

I'm not sure that I will manage to keep up with all six - the KAL running over on Ravelry is super busy and full of lots of chatter - but I know that I will be able to work my way through them in my own time and end up with a series of fabulous shawls at the end.

My own personal challenge during this KAL is to use up yarn from my stash, and to use the yarn I have to showcase the fabulous range of indie dyers we have in the UK. Many of the 4ply skeins I have in my stash have come to me via The Golden Skein yarn club and are from some brilliantly talented dyers. As each shawl design is kept secret it is difficult at this stage to know which yarns I will be using but I have quite a lot to pick from so I think I should be OK.

I am knitting Talisman in one of the recommended yarns, which must be a first for me. It just so happened that I had a coveted skein/cake of the Wool Kitchen's Urban Hints yarn which was one of the ones Helen used for the samples.

Urban Hints is a wonderful gradient yarn that gradually introduces speckles of darker colour until eventually you transition fully from light to dark. Interestingly though, Helen opted to start with the dark shade on the outside of the cake and work towards the lighter centre - so I am copying her :) I think the lighter border will work really well with the long crescent shawl border.

Working clockwise we have a sock design using lovely Rusty Ferret yarns from Fluph. My tech editor is primed and ready to go with the pattern draft so I just need to get a wriggle on and get these beauties off the needles.

Next up we have a shawl design using the fabulous new Wenslydale/Shetland 4ply from the Knitting Goddess. Again this is nearly 75% done and just needs a final push to see it on to the next stage of it's journey.

And finally, we have the amazingly addictive Vivid blanket which is approaching completion. Happily the new parents have requested a small pram-sized blanket as all their larger blankets keep dragging on the ground. This means that a 4x3 square arrangement will work perfectly. Just 1 square to go and then I get to practice my mattress stitch skills and turn it into a Finished Object. One more to go towards my Stash Dash total.

Right, that's my objectives sorted. How about yours? Do feel free to leave a comment below or tag me on social media with your #weekendknitting plans.