Fuss Free Festival Shawl - with added stripes

I am really pleased to say that my Fuss Free Festival Shawl pattern has now been expanded to include directions for making a striped version. The original uses just 1 skein of sockweight yarn and the striped version uses this plus 25g of a contrast colour.

You could go the whole hog and use both skeins to create a larger two colour shawl - just keep going with the contrast colour. Just make sure you save enough yarn for the picot bind off if you want it to be in the main colour.

In the pattern I've allowed fairly generous yarn estimates but the pattern is very adaptable and you could easily change it to suit the yarn amounts you have.

When estimating the yarn needed for the bind off the conventional wisdom states that you measure the length of knitting to be bound off and then multiply this by 3 to give you the length of yarn you will need to finish the bind off. It's important to remember that a picot bind off uses considerably more yarn than normal and so I would probably double this number just to be on the safe side.

The pattern is available to purchase on Ravelry or if you sign up to my newsletter you can snaffle it for free for a limited time. If you are already a subscriber - check your email as you should have received an email with the update in it yesterday.

I really hope you have fun with this pattern and I can't wait to see how the different projects take shape.



Something approaching normal

A new month is just around the corner and for me that means a new notebook and some new design projects. I've been rather taken aback over recent weeks in how much my creativity has taken a nose dive. Looking after DH after his operation, keeping the house going, being the sole parent and taxi service has really taken it out of me. Both of us have been surprised at the impact his recovery has had on us as a family. 

In the run up we were solely focussed on the operation and the logistics of it, barely giving a thought to what would happen afterwards. And the resulting adjustments meant I barely had time for anything else - and my design work was very firmly relegated to the back burner. For me, creativity requires that I am calm and peaceful and have space to myself. Chaos, stress and having other people constantly around is the kiss of death and generally means that all I'm capable of doing is knitting garter stitch  (or crocheting, it seems).

But now as we have turned a corner and DH is becoming much more mobile I feel as though for the first time in weeks I can turn my mind to sock knitting and design work. It's a good feeling and I'm excited to get back to it.

Just 1 more cup of coffee though first.

The best bits.

One of the best bits about designing is neatly summed up in this photo. Delightful, squishy garter stitch on its way to becoming a lovely, warm shawl in a fabulously soft shade of grey. And a beautifully bright yarn waiting patiently to be added into it. 

I am knitting with the Fibre Company's Cumbria yarn which is a DK weight and I'm aiming for a shawl which is light and squishy but also warmly substantial too. The kind of thing you could fling over your shoulders whilst you enjoy your morning coffee in peace. OK, it's wishful thinking on that last point I must admit. There is never any shortage of coffee around here but as for peace and quiet...That's another thing altogether.

Normally when designing I make numerous swatches beforehand and I know in advance how the colour placement and stripes will work out. With this one though I am just going with the flow and will add in the colour when it feels right. This beautiful buttery yellow/grey yarn is crying out to be included but I want it to be an accent to the grey rather than the main focus. 

A few more rows I think, and then it's time will come