Sunday, April 29, 2012

Colourful shawls

This weeks weather has been appalling - cold,wet, and windy. The sunhats that I made last week are in no danger of being worn for a while yet. Ah well, they are ready as soon as the sun comes out.
Meanwhile, I have been working on two shawls. One crochet and the other knit. Both are beautiful colourful pieces that I can't wait to wear. Neither have been blocked yet, so these are the first pictures that I am sharing because I am so excited to have finished.

 I finished the Ananas Crochet Shawlette  last week and am loving the shape, pattern and colour.  I used Patons 100% Cotton 4ply. It is a very economical yarn that comes in some amazing colours. two balls was just enough to complete this pattern. The shawl still needs blocking to open up the lace and shape the edging into points.  This will be done as soon as the weather warms up enough to enable me to leave it outside to dry.  It is quite large and forms a crescent shape when laid out so I thought I might try tweaking it into shape and leaving it on the trampoline to dry.  If I leave it in the house, the dog will have it for sure.
 I may try this pattern again in a thinner wool yarn to see how it looks.
The knitted wrap is Sheer and Easy by Iris Schreier.  This very simple one row lace pattern was a joy to knit up on 7mm needles using Nimu Sizergh. 

The Nimu yarn was purchased at the craft show I went to at Olympia recently. It is a gorgeous blend of silk and mohair that has been handpainted in the loveliest colours. The variegated colours look amazing both on the skein and when knitted up. I finished this one today and have managed to find a corner of the house to block it in. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Flowers on my hat

I love my new hat! It is yet another version of the wonderful Ewa hat , which is a free pattern that I found on the Ravelry site ages ago. Every version of this has been a success.  It is an excellent shape and the brim is just the right size and holds it's shape brilliantly.  This one is made from RYC Cotton Silk, which I bought in the John Lewis sale 2 years ago. It took two and a half balls to create this gorgeous Summery creation. The yarn is quite stiff and hard on the hands - I got a small blister making this but consider it worth the effort.

 Making the flowers was the best bit. I used a variety of different flower patterns - some from a Japanese pattern book that I bought from Ebay recently.

Just before making the pink hat I revisited the Ewa pattern to make this beige version of my favourite hat.  I used 4 balls of Purelife Organic Cotton, doubling up the yarn. The resulting hat is larger, thicker and floppier than the pink version but still lovely. I bought the cotton yarn in my LYS , Mavis in Bushey, a while ago for just 50p a ball from the bargain bin. I have been told that the colour of this yarn fades really badly when washed or in sunlight so it may not be a great choice for a sunhat.
The Turmeric Top is another pattern that I discovered on Ravelry - where else! I liked the simple top down construction and the front pleat with feature button. I used Rowan Panama which is a 4ply yarn that I have been wanting to try ever since it first arrived on the shelves.  It may not have been the best choice for this design as the yarn has a tendency to stretch. It may be necessary to thread a thin elastic through the neckband to stop it slipping off my shoulders. Although it was mainly just stocking stitch, I enjoyed knitting this top and would probably make it again in a different yarn.

Determined to enjoy Panama yarn, I knitted a quick shawl using three balls in the lovely orange colourway.  Another free pattern, the "Easy as Pie" shawl is just lovely and a really easy knit. I had trouble blocking the shawl sides into points due to lack of space and had to be satisfied with straight edges. The Panama worked perfectly with this design, giving a heavy shawl with lots of drape.
I am loving shawls at the moment and this next one was a joy to crochet. This was the first time I have used a lace weight yarn and it was not as fiddly as I had expected. The Manos del Uruguay lace yarn comes in the most amazing colours and there is just enough in one skein to make a small shawlette like this. I bought this skein at Nest in Crouch End which is now probably my very favourite yarn store. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and it carries an amazing range of wonderful special yarns. Oh yes!...and they serve amazing homemade cake and tea as well. What more could a knitter want.

The Plume pattern was easy to follow and can be made to any size. It is another freebie that got discovered on Ravelry.
After Plume, the Ananas Crocheted Shawlette feels relatively chunky. I'm using Patons 100% Cotton 4 ply in a beautiful bright orangey colour. So far the pattern is easy to follow, but I haven't reached the spectacular pineapple edge design yet. I wanted something really bright and cheerful to throw around my shoulders on warm Summer evenings.  Hopefully the Ananas will fit the bill perfectly.
This cute little brooch is the result of fiddling around with small scraps of yarn left over from the hat brim embellishment. I used this easy pattern.  It didn't take long and I will be making more of these.