Monday, 25 April 2016

Alpaca Shawl - Design S207

I decided to make another shawl the same as the black and red Shetland wool shawl but this time using my own hand spun Alpaca.  This skein is 131g/288m of sport weight 100% Alpaca yarn and you can read about how I spun it here, its the very last skein at the bottom of the blog post.

I cast on on 20th April and finished on 25th April 2016.  It was rolling up on itself pretty bad.

I soaked it and pinned it out on my blocking boards and as it began to dry I noticed something that I didn't like, a definite line of change of colour right along the centre of the lace and then again, another shift in colour a little further up, right in the centre above the lace, just as I started the short row knitting.  There is nothing wrong with a variation of colour in a skein of natural coloured yarn, no animal is one exact shade of colour throughout, even human hair is more than one shade of colour naturally but it was more to do with the severity and placement of the colour shift. If the shift in colour had been very close to the point where the lace joins the main body of the shawl I would have been happy as that would have looked deliberate.  I decided that I didn't like it and would dye the finished shawl.  I dyed it using Greener Shades Dye, choosing the most natural colour that I could find in the recipe book and hoped for the best that it would at least hide the colour shift.

I think it turned out alright, it could have all gone terribly wrong, not only the dye job but the whole thing could have turned to felt during the dyeing process.  I think it looks like a natural colour of Alpaca, I've spun some this colour before.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Pretty in Turquoise - Design LF433

I loved making that last shawl so much that I just have to make another one right now.  What colour though?   Oooh I have so many colours in all kinds of amounts but the main deciding factor is the main colour, the one that joins all the flowers together because you need 8 full reels of Goldfingering for that and with all but 7 colours now discontinued that makes it a little trickier.

What I did was to sort out what colours, other than gold or silver, that I have at least 8 full reels of or the equivalent of 8 full reels of and put these in little bundles and then looked at what colours were left and what would work with those main colours.  I have been able to sort out the colours for 6 more of these wonderful shawls in a good range of colour combinations.

I chose to use navy blue, white and turquoise for my next shawl.  The turquoise is the oldest thread, then the navy and the white is a new reel.  You can tell this by the way that it is wound onto the reel.

Initially I was unsure whether to use white for the centre with blue petals or blue for the centre with white petals but then nature provided the answer for me in the name of Anemone Coronaria.  Such a strikingly beautiful flower.

I started making this on 6th April and finished it on 19th April 2016.  Of course, with the thread being 80% viscose, 20% metallised polyester, the sun really does catch it wonderfully and makes it sparkle.  I hope the photo below in the top right of the group of four shows this off.

I love turquoise, it belongs to one of my favourite colour groups which are green-blues and blue-purples.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Pretty in Lilac - Design LF433

I like to vary the craft that I do so I switched to crochet again.  Choosing both a design and thread from the 1970's, both by Twillley's, I set to work on making a fringed motif shawl.  I chose three complimentary colours that I had in the right amounts from my vast "collection" of discontinued Twilley's Goldfingering Thread.  Twilley's do still make Goldfingering but only in a range of 7 standard colours; black, white, gold, pale gold, silver, bright red, forest green, which is a shame because I love Goldfingering, its so sparkly.  The fibre content is 80% viscose, 20% metallised polyester.

I chose to use silver, purple and lilac, with the silver and purple in this instance being the older two of the threads.

Silver for the centres, purple for the petals of the flowers and lilac to join them all together.

I started this on 28th March and finished it on 3rd April 2016.  The next two photos show the shawl before soaking and blocking and the results afterwards.  Don't worry, the fringing isn't clumped together in strips that is just how I laid it out for the photos.

Close up photos of the affects of a soak and block and how it really defines the pattern.

I really really love the finished shawl.  Ok, so its not soft and cuddly, its metallised polyester so it's not going to be, but at the same time its not so scratchy that you can't wear it either.  It is really sparkly, especially under good lighting or sunlight and that fringing has such a good sway to it.  I have to make more of these in other colours, it would be rude not to!