All the shawls

As promised I filmed another episode in June for you 🙂

I hope it doesn’t come across as too disjointed. I was interrupted quite a few times by phone calls and people, including Eliana, who was home sick. She makes a few background appearances and says hello later on in the episode.

Right, what have I been up to since I chatted to you last?
I finished the socks for Conrad!
They took forever!
Because he wears a size 46, or US 11/12!
I end up with 80 stitches on the needles and I just run out of patience after a while. I do like how they turned out though. The pattern is Driftwood by Mina Philip and it’s from her Beyond Vanilla collection (Part 1). I used Drachenwolle yarn in the Supernova colourway and I love how the yarn looks different with and without the pattern.

I’ve also (almost) caught up with my Scheepjes Last Dance on the Beach CAL squares.

The squares and the socks have been the only things I’ve been working on since I last posted.

My WIPS haven’t changed much, although I have woven in most of the ends on my Greg blanket squares. Once they are all done I can carry on making more squares and finishing the blanket off.

Talking about weaving in ends… I take my squares to knit group with me and use that time to weave in the ends (or I work on something simple, like socks). Otherwise the chances of having to unravel everything when I’m back home are too great.

So, that brings me to unravelling…. haha! Remember the Piha shawl I’m crocheting? The one where I misread the pattern? And then I said, no, it’ll be ok. I won’t need to re-do it all?

Well, guess what I did the evening after I filmed the last episode…
Yup! I unraveled it because I tried it on and the point came past my hips already, which is not the look I want in a shawl! So, I did work on that too for a bit and it’s pretty much back to the same amount of rows as it was in Episode 5 but it now has the correct shape.

While we’re on the topic of shawls… I’ve started another knit shawl (one can’t have too many shawls, right?)
It’s Julia Pehl’s Squishalichious shawl, which is for sale on Ravelry.

I’m using glitter sock yarn in the Hanami colourway by Das Mondschaf (I’m a bit enamoured with Das Mondschaf, as you’ll see later 😉 ). Anyway, I just had to make the Squshalichious with this yarn because Julia made one of her sample shawls in the same colourway and I love the way it looks.

In terms of design work, I’ve not got much to show.

I need to type up the Frosted Breath shawl pattern so I can get that out to testers and I’ve been playing with briochet again. I’ve finally perfected the method, so now I just need to wait for my friend Regina to finish moving back to Cologne so that she can dye the yarn I have in mind for the project I’m planning.

Talking of brioche… the reason I went back to experimenting with the brioche is the fact that Sally, of the Wooldiaries podcast, is making an Exploration Station, a pattern that I’ve been wanting to make for a while. That got me thinking about the briochet again… and also about making an Exploration Station for myself.

I ended up buying yarn specifically for the pattern from Das Mondschaf. It took me quite a while to pick four colours but the website made it easier because there’s a ‘recently looked at’ section at the bottom of the page, which means you can see the last four things you looked at next to each other. A very helpful feature for when you want to check how well colours will work together.
I love the colours I picked and am really impressed with the yarn. It’s super soft and squishy and the colours are vibrant and saturated.
I’m using Einhorn Pups, First Kiss, Leela and a neon yellow, which will be the contrast colour running through the whole shawl.

I’m also planning on making a Doodler, also by Stephen West, after watching an episode of Legacy Knits, where Chelsea shows how she turned her’s into a cowl/poncho.

She only knit parts 1 and 2 and then stitched then ends together to make a closed object. I think it looks fabulous and went stash diving for two skeins that might work. I picked a skein of Haut Knit Yarn in Silence, a white, grey and black colourway, which I was given as part of a swap and a skein of Das Mondschaf in Pinkman, a pink and black colourway.

I also joined  Helen Stuart of Curious Handmade‘s The Shawl Society, thanks to The Happy Knitting Podcast and Little Bobbins! Who spoke about it in their most recent episodes. I love the look of the Talisman shawl and so ‘bit the bullet’ and bought a copy.
If you like knitting shawls I think it’s a great idea. You will receive an exclusive shawl pattern, one per months, for six months. In Euro that works out to around four Euro per pattern.
I initially wanted to use a skein of lace weight single yarn also in the Einhorn Pups colourway but then thought about the circular shawl I’m busy knitting without a pattern. The shawl is already quite large and I haven’t used much of the yarn. I really want to make something with the yarn that will use all of it, and the large version of the Talisman uses 800 meters of lace weight yarn. Perfect for the Hartlam Street Racer that I have :).

I am planing on designing something with the Einhorn Pups single and potentially combining it with some Malabrigo Baby Alpaca singles I received at Christmas. The Einhorn Pups is a 70/30 Merino Silk blend, which I think would be quite lovely combined with the Baby Alpaca.

I bought a little pattern book of lace crochet patterns, which I want to make a few things out of. I mainly bought it for the lovely shawl on the cover, which I think will be my next crochet shawl, once I’ve finished the Piha shawl.

Oh, I also wanted to show you the Das Mondschaf yarn which Heidi picked as her prize for winning the shawl naming competition.

She picked a DK Alpaca yarn in the Neptune colourway. It’s gorgeous and so very soft. I’m not sure what you’re going to make with it in boiling hot Darwin, Australia but if all else fails you can just put it on a shelf as an ornament to cuddle occasionally 😉 I’ll send it to you ASAP.

There was a question in my Ravelry group about yarn and whether some yarns untwist when crocheting….
I must be honest and say that I have only had that issue once, when I was centre pulling Vinnis Colours yarn. I eventually contacted Vinni, not because of the untwisting, which I didn’t actually have an issue with but because of several terrible yarn barfs. She replied by saying that her yarn is not suitable for centre pulling and since I’ve stopped doing that I haven’t had any untwisting issues.
Having said that, I know some people do have issues with untwisting and I think that maybe I’m lucky because I am left handed and I also knit funny ( through the back loop for a normal stitch and through the front for a twisted stitch).

There was a lot of discussion about untwisting in the Scheepjes CAL Facebook group and the simple solution given in the group was to start using the yarn from the other end of the skein, this will stop the yarn from untwisting.

Lastly, I want to chat to you about Ravelry Project Pages.
This topic is quite important, especially for us designers and I myself, as a knitter, am terrible at it, so I will try to be better in future.
The reason I am mentioning Project Pages is because I have been having an email conversation with a crocheter who made my Rhino pattern recently. She had a problem getting the neck opening right and I helped her with that. She sent me photos of the competed Rhino, which I loved and I asked her to please add a Ravelry project page.
She replied that she didn’t know how to do this, and didn’t know what the point was.
I told her how to add a page, which is very easy btw!
And then explained the following:

Project pages help designers to spread the news about their patterns.
They also help crafters to decide whether or not the pattern is for them. Especially since the projects will show alternative colour options and combinations, as well as yarn substitutions. This information is critical to designers because we ourselves can’t make endless amounts of samples in uncountable colourways and combinations.
The yarn substitution is also important for those living in areas where not all yarn are available. It gives an insight into what yarns will work as substitutes to unsure crafters.

Pattern notes can also be helpful when it comes to alterations for better fit, for example if you have a very long upper body or are short but big busted. If you add notes on how to adapt the pattern for a better fit others can then follow your notes too.

Lastly, we, as designers, love seeing how you interpret our designs, and Ravelry Project Pages are an easy way to check this. For every design listed on Ravelry there is a Projects tab which shows all the made objects for that design.

So, please add your projects to Ravelry, even if you just upload a photo and list the yarn you used.
And I promise I will start adding project pages of my own.

That’s all for now.
Enjoy your crafting!
<3 <3 <3

26. June 2016 by Stephanie Davies
Categories: The Podcast | Leave a comment

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