Sunday, 21 August 2016

Wedding Shawl: Update 4 - The Beads Are Back

At last! The beads arrived quickly thanks to great customer service at Debbie Abrahams. I had to exchange my original purchase of size 8 beads for size 6 because I forgot what my go-to size was. Here they are now and I have been knitting away eagerly to make up for lost time.

That said, this shawl is a much faster knit than expected. Today I noticed I have only one chart left to knit. Amazing! This gives me lots of time to knit the pattern again, perhaps in another colour. I may end up with a choice of shawls on the big day!

How is your knitting going at the moment? Are you about to finish a project as well?

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Passing the Time

So what do you do while waiting for beads for your current WIP? Read a bit of Yann Martel's latest novel and dig out very old WIPs, of course.

It's embarrassing to say how long I have been working on the Beekeeper's Quilt, really. I have made a large number of hexipuffs, but not enough for the full quilt, mainly because I have run out of all my leftover sock yarn. Luckily, I found the last bits of yarn from Handdyed by Kate that make up incredibly soft hexipuffs thanks to the cashmere in them.

I have also knitted parts of a small bag Mark's mum is making for me. The pattern is a bit confusing and we both had problems with it, but completely different ones. So I tried to figure out what was going on and I hope any issues can be resolved because I couldn't actually find anything wrong with the section Mark's mum found dificult. 

Another WIP I picked up in the meantime is a shorter version of Viajante made from some of my earliest handspun yarn. It was a big skein of unknown yardage, so I just knitted on until I ran out of yarn. It is long enough to cover the shoulders so it could be great in winter instead of a scarf. As this shawl still needs blocking, I can't show you any photos yet.

Keep your fingers crossed for the arrival of my beads so I can continue with the wedding shawl. I miss knitting it.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

The Wedding Shawl: Update 3

I have hit a snag.

I have made a lot of progress since my last update, mainly thanks to finally adding stitch markers and a lifeline to this WIP. As someone who makes stitch markers, I should really have done this much earlier, right? I am very good at not taking my own advice, as you can see.

Anyway, the markers now divide all the repeats so I'll notice straight away when I make a mistake and the stitch count is off. The lifeline prevents me needing to undo far more than necessary if I do have to rip back sometimes. All in all progress is much quicker now and knitting is far more fun, too.

And yet I have been forced to take a break. Why? Because silly me bought the wrong size beads.

I was just about to start adding the first bead when I realised that I couldn't get my crochet hook through them. Hm. That never happened before. I bought the beads from the same place as usual and I had been very confident about the size. After all, there are only two to choose from. Unfortunately, I forgot I tend to buy bigger ones than those meant for lace and 4-ply yarn so now I need to exchange them for the correct size

Until then I will have to be patient. In the meantime I have finished a Christmas knit that I started over a year ago, made from some of my very first handspun. That only took one evening, so now I think I will pass my time with reading that book I started not too long ago and put the needles to one side even though I can't wait to get on with the shawl. I am very much enjoying knitting it!

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Review: Wollmeise Wool Wash

When I went to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival I bought a hank of Wollmeise lace and didn't notice that I got a small sample of wool wash, too. Can you tell how excited I was about the day that I didn't even see this? It was a nice surprise when I found the small bottle in the bag nearly a week later! 

It didn't take long for me to give it a go, bit for some reason I simply assumed it was a wool wash like Soak that doesn't need rinsing. Oops. It says right there on the bottle that you need to wash and rinse your knitting. Luckily, my mistake doesn't seem to have caused any problems, though.

My sample was the scented variety (there is also a scentless one) which is quite strong, but nice if you like florals. To me it had a typical detergent smell, if you know what I mean. Not unpleasant, but it reminded me if laundry soap. There was no doubt this is for washing fabrics. I used the contents of the small sample bottle to wash a cowl, a hat and some gloves that I had been wearing quite a lot in Edinburgh. For some reason I only ever go there when it's cold!

I checked the Wollmeise website for more info later on, which states that the ingredients are eco-friendly and of high quality. It is gentle and can be used for wool as well as other delicate fabrics. You can use it to wash your woolly things by hand or in the washing machine as long as you do not exceed 40 degrees Celsius. Wollmeise recommends 15 ml for every 10 L, though I have to say I measured by eye.

My freshly washed knitting was nice and fluffy afterwards so I would recommend it, especially if you use Wollmeise yarn a lot as the wool wash was made specifically for this yarn. It could not top my favourite Soak, however, which comes in a variety of scents and requires no rinsing. Perfect for lazy me.

Have you tried the Wollmeise wool wash yet? Do you like it?

Friday, 29 July 2016

The Wedding Shawl: Update 2

Stitch by stitch, row by row, the shawl is growing. The wedding is still more than a year away so I don't mind the many times I have already had to rip back and fix mistakes. I'm glad I am not in a rush.

I have now finished the fourth chart and there are four more to go. The rows will get longer and there will be more of them per chart, too, but now the most interesting part of the pattern begins. The leafy sections start here and I haven't knitted a pattern quite like this before, so I am looking forward to it.

Not much else has happened in the way of knitting, as you can imagine. I am focusing entirely on this wedding shawl and all other WIPs have got to wait. How many things are you currently working on?

Sunday, 24 July 2016

The Wedding Shawl Update: Slow and Steady

It's cast on and looking good.

The RosaFlora knitting pattern consists of 8 charts and I am right in the middle of the fourth at this time. I took the photo after the third chart so I have added a little bit more to it since then. Just after I took the photo I noticed that the last few repeats on the left were off! Oh dear. Luckily it was easily fixed and now looks just like it should.

Actually, I have had to rip back and fix mistakes more than usual. I really need to pay close attention to what I am doing. You can imagine how glad I am I started knitting this shawl early! Last night alone I only managed four rows, one of which I ripped back three times...

But it will be worth it because the shawl is stunning. I am looking forward to knitting the rest of it and seeing what it will look like once finished. I will keep you updated with photos - and keep your fingers crossed for no more mistakes!

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Dye For Yarn: Blushing Maiden

The yarn for my wedding shawl is here! I bought it from Dye For Yarn, two Germany independent dyers I have ordered from once before.

Their 100% silk yarns look so beautiful on their photos that it is hard to resist them. The pattern I am using for my wedding shawl uses this particular yarn (100% Tussah silk), so I made sure to get it, too.

Choosing a colour was easy: Blushing Maiden is described as a hank of golden cream with a little bit of rose. It looked very slick and shiny on the product photos, which was a little misleading as the yarn isn't that shiny. I had the same experience with the previous two silk yarns I bought there. This colourway isn't really a golden cream either, but it is the same shade I would have had to use if I had chosen undyed silk yarn somewhere else. So all in all it is okay and will make a very nice shawl. The pattern uses just one skein, so I hope the shawl will be big enough.

Let's cast on!