Sunday, 27 March 2016

Black and Red Shetland Shawl - Design S207

I've chosen a skein of my own handspun for my next shawl.  I made this yarn about 3 years ago, you can read about it here.

I decided to make a simple scarf type shawl with a lace border in sport weight of 87% Shetland Wool, 13% Cotton.


I started on March 22nd and was done by March 25th 2016 and used all but about 20m of the yarn.  This design has you knit the border first and then knit to the middle and work short rows back and forth, knitting across extra stitches every time until you have knit across them all.  A simple row of eyelet lace for the top and and cast off.


As you can see in the photos below, blocking really made the lace border and the shaped edging stand out.


I always struggle to take good, clear, details pictures of the darker items, especially black or nearly black.  Its lovely, soft and warm.



Thursday, 24 March 2016

Passionate Beaded Lace - Design L323

I have been wanting to use this yarn for a long time but was in two minds about using it to make something for my shop following the very big public outcry about how some producers in China keep their Angora rabbits in tiny wire cages, stacked on top of each other so that the rabbit cannot run around, the wire cuts into their feet and food and excrement drop onto them from cages above them.  When they harvest the fleece they literally rip the hair from the rabbit, causing severe pain and making it bleed.

Whilst this may be true of some producers, lets face it there are immoral rogue traders in every industry that only focus on profit and don't give a damn about welfare of people, animals or the environment, this is not true of all producers.

Being a Pagan, a lover of animals and the environment I am mindful of where I source all of my materials.  I want the best quality that I can get but I also want materials that are produced in a way that does not harm animals or the environment.

I bought this yarn, and a couple of other colours in the same yarn, from a lady in the UK that looked after her Angora bunnies like they were her children.  They had huge pens in which they could run around, inside pens for bad weather and night time and outside pens for daytime and good weather and they got to feel the grass under their feet and get some sunshine.  Unfortunately, since I bought my yarn her health took a bad turn and she has a debilitating painful chronic illness that is not curable but is manageable but she no longer produces yarn.  I know that her family were helping with the bunnies, making sure that their numbers did not increase but making sure that they were happy and well cared for.

Angora bunnies coats are constantly growing and moulting, like a cat or a dog's coat does and it requires regular brushing to prevent matting.  They were handled daily and their coats get brushed carefully whilst they sat on her lap nibbling at carrots.  She then removed what had been collected in the brush and this is what she spun and dyed once she had  collected enough of it.

The yarn is 100% Angora rabbit in laceweight, each skein being 50g/400m and the colours is "Passionate" which is a vivid blue with pink streaks.  I decided to have another go at making the shawl that took me two years to make and challenged myself not to take that long this time!  I picked beads to represent the colours in the yarn as best as I could, blue with a touch of pink, and so they are Size 8 Toho round seed beads in shade 168: Trans-Rainbow Light Sapphire.


Starting on 16th November 2015 I used the same bead placement as last time, adding one to each of the diamond centres of the border and between the two rose leaves in the centre panel




I finished on 21st March 2016, used 248 beads and all but 5g of the yarn.  The photos really do not do the shawl justice as it is a really vivid blue, which is difficult to capture the exact colour.  It is so lightweight but warm too and floats like a dream.