Saturday, 30 May 2015

Lilac Blue-faced Leicester Wool Shawl - Design D198

My next project was a holiday knit.  We were camping at Hendremynach in Barmouth, Wales for a few days and knowing the Great British weather I was prepared for time spent inside the tent.  It was extremely windy for most of our stay, as we were camping about 100 yards from the coast line.  The campsite is fairly quiet, it has a shop and shower block but not a clubhouse and that suits us perfectly as we go on holiday for the peace and quiet.  The most noise came a couple of families that were camping not far from us but thankfully they left the day after we arrived.  I have to say that we got a bit of a shock on our first night as the last train came past at 11pm and we were already tucked up in our sleeping bags and dozing off when it sounded its horn as kids from "the noisy family" were obviously near to the track crossing.  I would recommend the campsite, tents and caravans allowed, if you want a quiet walking type holiday or somewhere that you can just get away to for some fresh sea air and sit knitting or spinning or other crafting.  I've put a link to the website at the beginning of this paragraph.

We did get out and about and do a lot of walking and seeing as we were in Wales we met a few of these on our travels, although I am not entirely sure what breed they are and hubby had to drag me away otherwise I would have spent hours just standing looking at them.

Anyway, as I said, the Great British weather didn't let us down and I had a good few hours in the tent whilst it poured down outside and when the kids went to bed before us on the night time to get some knitting done.  I made the same simple shawl design that I just made in blue & white mohair but this time I used some of my own hand-spun from a "mule" fleece.  It's not the softest of yarns and when it was finished I noticed natural discolouration throughout the shawl and I tried my best on my return home to remove the staining through washing and soaking but it didn't budge so I dyed the shawl using Greener Shades dye made up of 65% River Blue and 35% Amethyst Purple at a dye depth of 0.2% for a lighter shade.  Had I dyed it at a higher dye depth it would have been a lot darker.

There is still colour variation throughout the shawl but at least it is now a lot prettier than leaving it natural where it looks like pee stains when in fact it wasn't pee stains at all but a stain that is caused by micro-organisms that live on the sheep combined with rain and the sun and when you buy a fleece you can't always tell if its a permanent stain or if it will wash out.  Its just one of those things that as a spinner you have to deal with when then come along.  I finished making this on 29th May 2015.

Want to know how I made yarn for this shawl? Just click "Mule" fleece

Monday, 25 May 2015

Blue & White Mohair Shawl - Design D198

A long time ago I bought a few skeins of Mohair yarn off Ebay.  Time to use them I think.  Due to the multi-coloured fluffiness of the yarn the design needs to be fairly simple so a nice little shawl with a few simple lines of eyelet lace would be ideal.

I found a sweet little design that can be used as a shawl or a scarf and is just right for the amount of yarn that I have.  This only took me a coupe of days to knit, finishing on 23rd May 2015, the yarn is 78% Mohair, 13% Wool and 9% Nylon.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Earthy coloured triangular shawl - Design A2

I decided to use up the leftover yarn from the last shawl to make a repeat of a shawl I made a couple of months ago.  Its the adjustable length Design A2 shawl that I previously made in bright blue mohair.  I cast on on 20th May and was finished the next day on 21st May 2015.

Once again I didn't take any work-in-progress photos at all and its such a simple knit that it doesn't need any explanation really other than that this one is slightly shorter than the blue version as the last section of eyelet lace has only 2 lines of lace as opposed to 8 in the blue one and this is because I had run out of yarn but that is the idea of this shawl, as long as you have enough yarn to make the main design the last bit is customizable depending on yarn left or how long you want it to be etc.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Earthy coloured scallop shawl - Design SB188

I got myself some more of the same yarn that I used for that huge blue-green pentagon shaped shawl that I made way back in 2010 only this time it was in a browny-peach colour combination.  Its a super bulky 100% Pima Cotton yarn.  The shawl I have chosen to make is very simplistic but works with this yarn perfectly.  I began crocheting it on 14th May and was finished by 15th May 2015.  I didn't take any work-in-progress photos so I don't have a lot to show you.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Anemone Merino Shawl - Design W187

Still staying with my own hand-spun yarn I enjoyed making the leaf edged shawl so much that I decided to make it again but this time with 100% Merino Wool that I hand-spun in 2012.  This time I adjusted the pattern slightly to use up all of this yarn so its slightly different in size to the Peacock one and I used 69 Size 6 Toho seed beads in shade 21 Silver lined crystal.  I started work on this on 11th May and finished it on 13th May 2015.

The beads don't show up all that much but do add a little something.  It was difficult deciding on what colour beads to use and I did consider getting some in a blackcurrant purple kind of colour but then figured that these wouldn't necessarily show up, given the amount of different shades of pinks and purples in the yarn.

Want to know how I made the yarn for this shawl?  Just click Anemone Merino

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Hillcrescent Farm Jacobs Fleece No.2, Part I

I am nearly there, only a couple more fleece to work through from Hillcrescent Farm.

Sheared on 26th May 2013, this is a big one weighed 1.6kg after I skirted it.  I think this comes from the sheep furthest to the right, the darkest one with the white patch just above its tail.

After it was washed and dried I was left with 800g of black fleece and 215g of the mixed colours.  It wasn't worth trying to get white from this mostly coloured fleece.

The mixed colours

I decided to dye this fleece this using Colour Craft All In One dye using two colours, 10g of Jade mixed with 10g of Turquoise.  I dyed this in March and finished making the yarn in May.

Combing made the colours combine, like when you add a blob of black paint into a blob of brightly coloured paint and mix it all together.  I got 91g of combed top from the original 215g.

The finished yarn is Fingering Weight and is 90g/395m.  I've name this Celtic Green.

Just the black to do and that will be another fleece done.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Peacock Merino Shawl - Design W187

Keen to knit with more of my own hand-spun yarn again I could resist the soft squishiness of some Peacock coloured Merino Silk wool that I spun up in May 2013.  Keeping to a simple pattern with a beaded lace edge was perfect for this yarn, which is a worsted weight yarn and is 80% Merino Wool and 20% Silk.   The beads are Size 6 Toho round seed beads in shade 507 Higher Metallic Iris Green.

I cast on for this shawl on 27th April and the shawl is knit sideways, starting with a few stitches, increasing for the back and then decreasing again at the other end.  The beads were added one at a time over the individual stitches and I used 75 beads in total.  The shawl is adjustable in size by increasing or decreasing the number of pattern repeats in the middle section and I used up as much yarn as I could from the skein that I had spun as I hate having lots of left-overs that can't be used in their entirety to make something else.

It was a little crumpled when it came off the needles on 30th April 2015 but I always soak and block my shawls anyway and this made a huge difference.

Very happy with the bead colour choice.  Not too obvious but adds just enough to make the pattern pop and just look at that leaf definition now.  Wonderful!

Want to know how I made the yarn for this shawl?  Just click Peacock Merino Silk