Tag: Shawl

A while ago you may all remember me knitting various Harry Potter inspired baby things, well, the baby has been growing and coming on in leaps and bounds and his parents decided to have him christened.

I for one, am not religious. My take on it is: you do you, as long as you don’t hurt anyone. And that’s how I felt about this. After, of course, the knee jerk reaction to the word ‘christening’ being ‘shawl’.

Checked with the mum and, shawl I tell you what the next knit I have to reveal is?

Well, for shawl intents and purposes, let’s pretend you haven’t figured it out…

Its a monster. I significantly reduced the number of repeats in the original pattern, Hush Little Baby Please Dont Cry by Cookknitwine Cook, a free pattern found on Ravelry, but it still came out huge.

But it was worth it, even if it was my shawl and chain for over a month, making me crave knitting anything in any weight and colour that wasn’t lace weight white…

Like seriously. I knit this at home. I knit this at work. I knit this at National Trust sites. I even knit this whilst running Cthuhlu! (I like to think a GM welding small sharp needles adds to the air of terror, but I suspect I came off as more crazy cat lady than cultist)

I probably could have done it faster with less procrastination and less “quality control testing” from my furry helper Outbreak…

Oh, and for those curious, I worked it out and there is just shy of 2km of yarn in there…

In other knitting news, I have immediately started another large project, well, one that will spawn two actually…and an array of accessories…

But we’ll get to that when we get to that.

As for the week just gone, like always, it’s been busy, busy, busy. It has also been very painfully hot… I went to Alton Towers on Monday with my good friend Timbercat and my AC completely died. There had also been massive storms knocking out power to more than half the rides, so I have a free ticket to go back again, and I look forward to it. Just with AC. And not on a blisteringly hot day.

October maybe? Or November? I’ll figure it out nearer the time.

Oh, my car is fine, the valve had gone in the AC unit and she had just slowly leaked away. She’s got a new valve and has been regassed. Seeing as my battle tank is 8 years old now and that’s the first major thing (other than consumables like tyres and brake pads) to go, I am well pleased.

Until next blog post, stay safe!

Starting total – 880

Wool used – 21 (+1)
Wool bought – 13 (+2, but needed for the new large project)
Wool given to me – 13
Wool gifted to others – 3
Wool handspun – 2

Total – 884 (Net difference: +4)

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Have you ever had an idea, inspiration, slowly brewing and building in the back of your mind until you have to create it, unleash it, and let it free?

That’s exactly what happened to me during a family discussion on WhatsApp initiated by my niece regarding her school art project. To pretend to receive a commission, noting what it was and from whom, and then to create it. She wanted to do a sea shell crown but couldn’t think why it would be commissioned.

Eventually it was decided that a theatre was having a production of The Little Mermaid and that’s why they wanted a sea shell crown. Myself and Rabbie where keen for her to scrap the shell idea as another girl in her class had declared that as her project, and felt she could do something similar, with a Scottish twist, perhaps with Selkies…

For those who don’t know, Selkies are a mythical Scottish creature that is a seal who can remove her seal skin to take on the form of a human. As you can imagine there are many tales surrounding that premise, and it was the seal cloak that myself and Rabbie felt would make a great project for my neice.

She stuck with the sea shell crown, but this idea about Selkies and seals and the crashing cold waves along the Scottish coast stuck in my head. And then it began to grow. And change. And form into an idea that just had to be created.

And so, I present the Selkie Shawl:

The centre is meitered squares in varying shades of brown, to represent the different rocks and shale and pebbles of the Scottish coast. Surrounding this is the crashing waves, leading out to slowly calmer sea, and trimmed in a border called Old Shale, that looks like cockle shells and originates from the Scottish isles.

It’s huge, when I blocked it I found that it just kept growing and growing. I stopped at the width you can see in the photo above, but could easily have squeaked out another foot. However, all the wool in this is made from fleece I dyed with natural dyes (coffee and beetroot for the warmer browns and oranges, purple kale from my sister’s garden for the grey blue) and I didn’t trust my own spinning skills to withstand that much pressure!

And so there it is, an idea born from a conversation that evolved and grew into something else entirely. It took six months from conversation to completion, with only four months of actually working on it. First, I had to spin the wool, which I am very slow at, then I let it just do as it wished on the needles. As it grew I had to spin more wool. And more wool. Whilst doing this, I was also working on numerous other projects as I wanted to work in this only when the desire to do so came about.

The shawl has been finished for a few weeks, but I didn’t want to share it until I could get some photos of it where the land met water. Ideally I wanted to go up to Scotland, and with my family, go to one of the less tame Scottish coasts…but lockdown hasn’t allowed that, and so, a local reservoir had to suffice!

That’s all for this week, until next, stay safe.

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This is a very wordy post, apologies, feel free to scroll down to just the knitting.

Before I moved 300 miles away from home, the duty of fixing my family’s drama fell to both myself and my sister Rabbie. Its been a decade since I moved, and unfortunately I’ve left her with the brunt of dealing with this task alone.

I’ll admit, I feel guilty about it, but having two children of my own, it’s generally coupled with the thought that my plate is full enough already, and a wave of home sickness best left not being dwelt upon.

About a fortnight ago, I found out that her brother in law was in a very, very bad way and going in for a major operation with a 50/50 chance of survival.

It was going to fall to my sister to help keep her husband’s family together, to be the shoulder to cry on and to say the right things and keep the world turning for them all.

My reaction: she needed a hug.

But I’m 300 miles away.

So I made her one.

(Clapotis by Kate Gilbert, a beautiful, simple and effective free pattern.)

A long time ago, an old lady told me about prayer shawls (she was making one), at the time I didn’t think much of them, not being religious, but now I see there place in the grand scheme of things.

The energy and need to do something whilst not knowing what I should, and the worry and concern I have, can be knitted into something beautiful that can offer someone comfort.

A hug, that can be worn when I’m not there to give her one.

Wool Count

Starting total – 576

Wool used – 58 (2 used)
Wool bought – 16 (3 more, mentioned above)
Wool given – 155
Wool gifted – 31

Total – 661

Fleece bought/own – 13 lots, varying quantities…in process of being cleaned  (three lots of washing), carded and combined by sheep breed.

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How I wish I was doing just that! It’s gotten so hot at the moment that we’re keeping our time outside to a minimum (I can cope with a fair bit of heat and sun, but Felix and Inkling? Nope) there’s even been amber health warnings issued!

Apologies for the lack of post last week – we had Rabbie, her husband, a good friend of theirs and Felix’s favourite doggy cousin, Missy all staying with us! Lots of fun was had, which Rabbie has covered in a fantastic blog post already, but between that and having no finished project to show you all, I decided to skip a week.

This week though I do have something to show! A birthday present that I was literally casting off at the last minute before heading out to give them!

Its based on the free pattern Wavedeck by Kate Atherley – it’s actually a semi circle but I thought it would showcase the gradient change in the wool off beautifully and I had twice as much as needed…so I made it a full circle.

Which is why my timing was so far off, that and it’s been far too hot to knit with essentially a blanket on my lap…but it’s done and I have another ball of gradient wool, but much nearer the recommended yardage for the pattern, so I see another wavedeck in my future!

But after some smaller knits, at the very least once the heat subsides…

Wool count:

Starting total – 622

Wool used – 47 (1 since last post)
Wool bought – 7 (Bought that lovely ball of gradient wool…)
Wool given – 5
Wool gifted – 0

Total – 584

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The second big project is done! Done!

I made a little advent calendar using the free pattern Mini Christmas Stocking Ornaments by Julie Williams – there are eight designs so I did three of each to make the 24.

The reason behind this? I knit a little string of stockings (several, actually) a few years ago to use as an advent calendar. This year, Felix, despite getting a Lego advent calendar, she decided that she wanted the little string of stockings I was using for myself (containing mint chocolate and fudge this year, yum!) So another string of advent stockings was needed for this coming Christmas, but I wanted to knit something a bit different to the other set, so I went for fair isle…maybe not such a good choice, but so cute!

The sad fact is I know in a few years I’ll be knitting another set for Inkling…

I also had time this week to work on a birthday present for MIL.

I used the pattern Wayfarer by Jen Lucas from the book ‘Doomsday Knits: Projects for the Apocalypse and After’ – it’s a great book with lots of lovely patterns, and this one is going to be made again in something more suitable for my wardrobe! So black or grey…

Now that those two big projects are done with, I have a whole bunch of little ones mentally lined up in my head to do – though who knows if I’ll stick to doing those projects in that order!

Wool count:

Starting total – 622

Wool used – 5 (only 1 this week)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given – 1
Wool gifted – 0

Total – 618

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I’m not talking about ice cream, Raspberry Ripple is the name of the colours way of the lace wool I’ve been using on the big project I’ve been mentioning in the last few posts.

This week, I’ve managed not to get side tracked (it was hard) and managed to push on and finish a lace shawl!

I used the Birch Leaf Shawl (aka Bottom-Up Birch) by Susan Gutperl (it’s a free pattern and fantastic if you don’t know how many yards of wool you have!) The photo above shows it being blocked, I managed to get it to 140cm across and 76cm tall! Though I can’t take all the credit, Engel is actually really, really good at blocking. I suspect it’s the engineer in him making sure everything is just so, he did ask what the tolerances were on knitting, but I suspect that’s his new job affecting him…

That’s a close up of the lace pattern – can you see the leaves going left to right? And you can see why the colour way is called Raspberry Ripple!

Unfortunately I don’t have a better photo of the finished product – it’s been very grey and wet here, and as it’s a Christmas present for the MIL I’ve squirreled it away in the present box now. I don’t usually make such elaborate gifts for Christmas presents but she’s helped out a lot since Inkling has been born, so I wanted too give her something especially nice and pretty as a bit of a thank you.

That’s all really, just back from a Moana themed party that Felix was invited to, so we’re all going to go practice the hula some more! Or possibly the hokey cokey?

Starting total – 650

Wool used – 135 (1 this post – but it was a ball of lace weight yarn!)
Wool bought – 49
Wool given – 135
Wool gifted – 59

Total – 636 (I’m going to give up trying to get below 600 this year…)

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I think that’s an apt name for this:

It’s based on the Free Ravelry Downloadable Pattern Vortex Shawl by Kristina McCurley and made with the yummy wool I blogged about last post.

The name comes from the current computer game Engel is playing ‘No Man’s Sky’ where you got from planet to planet, discovering, cataloguing and mining for resources as far as I can tell…to a relaxing soundtrack…great for switching off in the evening, and what I’ve been watching as I worked in my shawl…

Not the most attractive photo if it, but the best colour match to real life, and it gives you an idea of the shape too. The merino/yak was lovely to knit with, and loved by certain four legged critters…

Salem wasn’t caught in the act of stealing it, three seconds after I put it on the floor to photograph…of course not…

I also wore it yesterday at a wedding banquet, where I shamefully had to call it quits after the fifth of eight courses…seeing as it started with an entire roast suckling pig between eight of us, I don’t think I did too bad. Oh, and for those curious, the heads in the fridge, I couldn’t let such a yummy treat go to waste!

Not much else to say really, life’s been ticking along, I had some family visit, been spending a fair bit if time with Felix, working on her crafty skills – pom pom caterpillars today! And pom pom monsters. She wanted to make a pom pom Cthuhlu, but decided the tentacles would be too difficult to make from pom poms alone…

So cute!

Wool count:

Starting total – 697

Wool used – 92
Wool bought – 10
Wool given – 4

Total – 619

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Hi all,

I’m offering a free pattern as an apology for a lack of update last week – not that much happened (well, above the normal level of madness!) But just failed to actually post anything.

I do however have a few offerings this week to make up for it!

First of all, the pattern for the fox bag holder / purse I posted last time is now available in the ‘free pattern’s section – or you can skip straight to it here.

Yeah! Been a while since I published a pattern!

What else?


It’s a shawl based on the pattern ‘Peruvian Cat Lace Scarf’ by Donna Druchunas from the book ‘Kitty Knits: Projects for cats and their people’ – I love this book, and have made a number of the patterns now.

So, the story behind this one:

Decided to make a shawl rather than a scarf as I felt that the recipient would use it more. (She’s mad about cats, so using this lace pattern for the shawl was ideal)

Managed to make the full sized shawl (3ft from point to top) in five days, having cast on Monday evening and finished it with 15 minutes to spare before setting off for the birthday dinner it was being handed at…

I was also juggling full time work, being a mum, and trying to keep the house tidy enough to live in! But not bad if I say so myself!

Tempted to make one for me (in black) and Felix (my two year old) is demanding one in blue. Or purple. Or blue and purple…

But that’s just one week of knitting, what about the other? Well, I have a toy in progress that’s taking quite a bit of time, but more on that when it’s done, and j finished my fluffy wool projects.


There’s…43 sets of cat ears and matching tails there. It’s a rather messy photo, but also the best way to show the sheer quantity of them.

Worryingly, I still have a load of fluffy wool – nothing to make a set of ears and tail with, but at least it’s manageable! In time, I’ll turn the rest into fluffy mice or fish as cat toys, but right now? I’m satisfied with the dent I’ve put in my wool stash.

I just need to work out what to do with 43 sets of cat ears and tails. Should probably attend a craft fair, or maybe a mandatory wearing of cat ears birthday party for Felix in September…

Any suggestions?

Starting total – 697 balls

Wool used – 73 (5 since last post)
Wool bought – 9
Wool given – 4

Total – 637

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I was working on a christening shawl, made in very fine cotton, for my then boss’s little one christening in Australia. The finished result, looked like:

Lovely, isn’t it? Its a free pattern, Hemlock Ring Blanket by Jared Flood. The pattern suggests a cozy wool and 6mm needles, I worked this with 2ply cotton and 4.5mm, I think, maybe 4mm.

Why do I mention this knit of mine from the archives? Because this year I’m knitting Engel a throw and a baby blanket for an expectant friend at the moment. Both these projects are very slow going, as is the nature with blankets, so I had nothing interesting to show this week…

This week has also been horrid as I’ve spent the entire time revising for two exams that I had on Friday. At least it was a bank holiday weekend to recover with! Helped along with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream, a giant bar of Galaxy chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate cake and cupcakes…and lots and lots of family time with Engel and Felix, which despite my love for knitting, come first.

So those are the reasons why not one ball of wool has been used this week. And why my wool count has actually increased by ten…it was commiseration wool! Very nice, very squishy, commiseration wool!

Wool Count down:
Starting total (28Feb15) – 747 balls
Extra stash found – 20 balls (so far)
Wool used – 66
Wool given – 3
Wool bought – 13

Total – 718

See you next week!

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Hours in the day.

Days in the week.

Weeks in a year…

I’ve been busy. Really busy. Visiting the family up north for a whole month, going further up north for a holiday for two weeks, trying to get going back to work organised, childcare for Felix, little pile of projects, unpacking my house some more, building furniture and ripping out bits of the house (Engel with a crowbar and brute force) destroying the things I’m allergic to in the garden (Engel with a shovel, hedge trimmer and brute force) and much much more that I wont go into detail about.

Instead, completed projects!

Wa na na na na na na na Bat Shawl! Free pattern by Emilee Mooney

Not a great photo but the best I could do sadly to highlight the pattern. Free pattern can be found here.

I wanted to make something for me as I couldn’t remember the last time I had done so, and I wanted a nice little black shawl for the few occasions I wear dresses. But it had to be a little fun, a little quirky. Solution? Make one!

Spiderman-blanket, free pattern by AnneM

As you can see, I did a spiderweb as opposed to a spiderman colour theme, and lovingly modelled with Sabrina. Free pattern can be found here. Cutting a long story short, Engel was driving me mad getting his lego all over the floor ad under the sofa, so I decided enough was enough and made him a solution.

Its essentially a large circular bit of knitted fabric with a drawstring all the way round the edge (finished with cute spiders I add) so when he’s done playing with lego, I can just pull the drawstrings and voila! A sack of lego! The fabric also helps stop the pieces skittering across the laminate flooring.

Engel denies this though and claims that it was actually Felix and her toys that made me do it. But we all know the truth, don’t we?

And last but not least!

Itsy Bitsy Spider, pattern by Lara Breese

Too cute, are’t they? Pattern is free but only available as a ravelry download here. The one in the middle is one of two knitted fr the spiderweb blankets drawstrings. The other two are knitted from scrap wool I had kicking about after I noticed how much Felix really loved playing with them. And I wanted to knit more of them.

Still do. There may be an army of these guys…

Anyhow! Hopefully the next post wont be as long a wait as this one was!

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