Wednesday, 20 July 2016

ONE DOOR CLOSES AND ANOTHER ONE OPENS

Completing a Collection is always a bittersweet time.  The end of a theme that is always enjoyable and can usually go on with inspiration flowing and new patterns forming in my mind but also it is the start of a new thread of thought and exploration; the start of a new Collection!

Fresh off my needles is Cuba Libre; the first pattern in my new Collection - Boos for Beginners.  I know, I just couldn't help myself or resist the play on names.  This will be a Collection of patterns that will be aimed at anyone who would love to knit lace shawls but is a little timid, unsure or scared witless!  There will be six shawls starting with something really simple with each pattern getting progressively more ambitious.  None of the shawls will be boring, none will be too simple for those with more experience but might be wonderful projects for watching television, travelling, holiday knitting or to buy for those non-shawl knitting friends who you know would just love it if they tried.

This simple lace shawl has a beaded body and a small lace border with a pretty picot bind off.  I know it will be one of my favourite shawls to wear - goes with everything and is one of those patterns that will look wonderful in a variegated skein.

The Boos for Beginners Collection will be available on Ravelry at the end of the July.


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

TIME AND AGAIN


Time and Again I have been asked to produce a triangular version of Sweet Dreams and so here it is in two versions.  The main pattern instructions are for a stocking stitch body with lace border and edge and there are detailed notes for an all over lace version.  Knit in fingering weight yarn this shawl is a lovely large hug of a shawl with a beaded body (beads here are optional) leading into the beaded lace border and edge.  In a lace weight yarn, the shawl becomes a wonderfully ethereal accessory that can work with anything from a ball gown to a pair of jeans.
The pattern is available from Boo Knits on Ravelry and is exclusive to The Memory Tree Collection.





REQUIREMENTS Yarn: Lichtfaden REI Tussah Silk Mohair 359m/100g – two skeins, WalkCollection Cozy Mohair 360m/100g – two skeins, DyeForYarn Fingering Tussah Silk 800m/200g – one skein, DyeForYarn Fingering Silk Linen 400m/100g – two skeins, John Arbon Textiles Alpaca Supreme 333m/100g – three skeins, Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light 384m/100g – two skeins, or any fingering weight or lace weight yarn.  Finished size: Using Lichtfaden REI Tussah Silk Mohair -  85” (216cm) wide along top edge, 33.5” (85cm) deep as written.  A larger version was made by working Chart B four times resulting in a shawl measuring 103” (262cm) wide along top edge, 38.5” (98cm) deep – this required three skeins of yarn and just under 900 beads.  Needles: 3.75 (US5) for binding off only, 4mm, (US 6) and 4.5mm (US7) or needles to give you a pleasing fabric with drape.  You might want to drop a needle size should you wish to knit the stocking stitch body in a lace weight yarn.  You will also need: Stitch Markers, Needle, Blocking Pins, a small crochet hook (0.75mm) or a 1mm cro-tat hook for applying beads and approximately 750 size 5 Miyuki Triangular Beads or 4mm Miyuki Cubes should you bead the entire shawl as written.  For the all over lace version, should you choose to bead the entire shawl, I would suggest size 6 Miyuki, Matsuno or Toho beads to reduce the weight and would suggest steering away from more fragile fibres due to the number of beads.   Bead Requirements for all over lace version -  Border Only – 270, Last Chart and Border - 390, Last Two Charts and Border - 520, All Over Beading - 960.   Gauge: is not critical and any yarn is suitable for this pattern though needle size and yardage requirements will vary. Using Lichtfaden Rei Tussah Silk Mohair, mine was 18sts to 4” before blocking and 14.5sts to 4” after slightly thuggish blocking.  Size Options:  One Size but easily adapted by working Chart B or Chart D fewer or more times.  Please note that this will result in an additional yardage and bead requirement.   
  

Saturday, 9 July 2016

BLOCKING A CRESCENT SHAPED SHAWL




Lay your shawl on your blocking mats in an even curve – see photograph to the right.  Pin the top edge into a gentle curve easing the edge so it is taut and with the ends of the shawl curving upwards and around.  Thread blocking wires through the chain dangles (or the centre stitch of your point) and pin the wires pulling strongly.  Make sure you leave plenty of space around your shawl as you will be removing your top edge pins as you stretch your shawl.  Once your shawl is pinned out, take out the pins from the top so you get a nice even line along the top edge and pull on your blocking wires again, repining. 


Don’t worry if your mats curl a little, weight them down and stretch to capacity - I block like a thug and get lovely long points with great definition!   Though you do need to make sure that your yarn will cope with such thuggery – some yarns are stronger than others.

Should your shawl pattern show this in the finished photographs you can pull down the little points between your long dangles and pin to a short point (see photograph to the left).   
This is wonderful if you are using silk or a yarn with a high silk content, however, if you are using cashmere or a more fragile yarn than specified, you will need to be much gentler with your blocking.   

Wait until your shawl is dry, unpin, wear and enjoy!

Thursday, 30 June 2016

WHAT'S ON THE NEEDLES?

Technically it is 'off the needles' as I have just finished the last shawl of the Memory Tree Collection, Time and Again.  It is being tested at the moment and will be the KAL shawl for August in the Boo Group on Ravelry.  Watch this space for more information and a sneak preview!

The new collection
Boos for Beginners has leapt onto the needles.  It will be a series of shawl patterns to take those wanting to start knitting lace from something nice and simple right through to all over lace and a final shawl that will fill each knitter with the confidence and knowhow to knit any of my patterns.  There will be the usual helpful hints, full written instructions, full and easy to read charts with all bead placements clearly shown in both versions of the instructions.

Each pattern will be named after a drink or cocktail with the instructions for making each one included in the pattern - maybe a little celebration for finishing each pattern!   I know,
Boos for Beginners - excuse the play on words but it just had to be done!

So, all in all, if you are wanting to try knitting a lace shawl and want to start with something simple working your way through projects to build your confidence check back here and I will be able to point you in the right direction.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

BRIGHT TOMORROW

Here is Bright Tomorrow,  a new design, for the Sight is Life Initiative that is raising money to restore sight to many, many people in the Congo.  I am so pleased that my 50th pattern will be helping something so special and worthwhile.

Knit in DyeforYarn Tussah Silk Lace, in three colours, it is a very versatile shawl that will be come a firm favourite in no time!



Bright Tomorrow will be released on 5th July and there will be a KAL in the Boo Group in Ravelry starting then and running through to 31st August.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Bright Tomorrow

I have spent some of my time knitting a very special project for the Sight is Life Initiative.  This Initiative is to raise money to help to provide eye care for the people of The Congo, one of the poorest countries in the world.  I was amazingly flattered to be asked to join a group of designers to each design a pattern for the e-book (available through Ravelry).  The first pattern has already been released and my contribution will be available from 5th July.  Bright Tomorrow is a crescent shaped shawl, worked from the top down, with all over lace, a beaded lace panel and border and is worked in three colours though there is no reason why you could not work it in one colour or more than three.  The original was worked in Dye for Yarn Tussah Silk Lace - perfect for summer knitting and a brilliant cause.

Here is a sneak peek at my shawl as a work in progress.  Watch this space for the grand unveiling!


Monday, 21 March 2016

Instagram/Ello

Don't you just hate it when as you start to feel comfortable with something everything has to change.  Change is not always for the better and it is not always progress.  Why, oh why, have Instagram decided to change the feed?  Do they have any idea how many people they have completely alienated?  I love Instagram the way it is and it would appear that many other people do too.  However, for the time being I will run my Instagram account along with my Ello account so should Instagram completely mess things up I shall be at Ello, set up and posting away!