Monday, 23 January 2017

Pearl Capelet - Design SB168 Small

I had a small amount of yarn left over in Pearl from when I made the large version of this capelet in various colours last summer.   There was just enough to make the small version, which I have two of in my shop already in a blue-green colour and the same design as the one bought for a photo-shoot.

Of course it looks ridiculous on me as this small version is made with small petite women in mind, and its been years since I could be classed as small or petite when it comes to my figure.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Pretty in Royal Blue - Design LF433

I really love these shawls and working with the bright colours of Twilley's Goldfingering.  It might sound daft but working with Twilley's Goldfingering stirs lots of happy memories from my early childhood.  My parents used this thread to make several "pin and thread pictures" that were so popular in the 60's and 70's.  I know we definitely had one in the design of a London bus and another was a geometric design.  I think there may have been one of an owl and one of a boat as well.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, here a few images that I've pulled from the internet.  People still make these and there are lots of modern designs around now as well.

Ok, shall we get back on track and bring my mind forward about 38 years to the present day?

For this shawl I decided on silver, medium blue and royal blue.

Actually, I started making the centres for this one immediately after making all the centres for the last one on that long train journey but I only managed half a dozen or so before we had to get off the train at our home station.  This one then also got put to one side whilst I made all those Christmas baubles.

I got back to work on this after completing the bright green one, so that would have been the first week of January and I started working with the royal blue on 13th January.  It really is a beautiful colour.

All done by 18th January 2017.  The way that the motifs are joined to one another makes it look almost like a Moroccan tiled floor once it has been soaked and blocked.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Zwartbles Fleece

One of the blackest black fleece sheep breeds is said to be the Zwartbles Sheep which originates from Holland and has been imported into countries around the world.  I bought what was advertised as a "1kg of shearling lamb Zwartbles fleece" back in 2014 and, as always, it got skirted and washed on arrival and once dry it then gets put into an old pillowcase, the top tied and with a label and stored until I have time to process it.  My 1kg of freshly shorn fleece became 690g of washed fleece.

A shearling lamb fleece, or shearling fleece, refers to a lamb born late in the season, maybe May/June time as opposed to most lambs being born January/February, that is not sheared in the year of its birth but sheared the following year as its too young to be sheared in the year of its birth.  The main shearing season in the UK is May-July.

I know that this has been stored for 2 1/2 years but as I worked through this fleece I began to have serious doubts about the validity of this being a shearling lamb fleece.  It is extremely coarse and wiry, more like a fleece that has come from an old sheep and not from a lamb at all.

I combed my way through the fleece, handfuls of locks going straight into the bin due to how coarse and wiry they were, the sun-bleached tips broke off as expected and my 690g of washed fleece became just 119g of hand-combed top for spinning and just 11.9% of the original weight of fleece that I purchased.  Terrible, absolutely terrible and yet all I've heard about this breeds fleece is how nice it is, not as nice as Merino or Polwarth, but good reviews.  I'm seriously disappointed with this one at the moment.  I will try the breed again in the future but make sure I get it from another source.

At the end of everything I have 115g/458m of fingering weight yarn that is slightly crisp, not totally horrible, but its not cuddly soft either but will be a bit more hard wearing and less likely to pill than most other yarns.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Pretty In Christmas Green - Design LF433

This shawl I started making way back at the end of August 2016, using the time spent on a long train journey, there and back, to crochet the centre of the flowers in gold, but only just finished making it on 2nd January 2017.  I find that with the motion of travel I cannot knit but I can crochet quite happily.

It's another of the 1970's crochet motif design shawls made with Twilley's Goldfingering thread that is of varying ages, but all of it is 80% Viscose, 20% Metallised Polyester.

This I have chosen gold, forest green and emerald green.

Because I was making Christmas baubles for the past 3 or 4 months of last year I found that I didn't have much time to spend making this and so really only picked it up again once the baubles had been made.

The photos above show my bag of gold on a train, spread out on my lap being worked on and getting ready to trim that fringe straight.  I have a laminated board just the right width to match the perfect length of the fringing so the knots get lined up along the top edge of the board and the fringe can be trimmed straight using the bottom edge of the board.  In this photo I still have to push it upward to the top of the board.

The true colour is probably best represented by the photo of the shawl in the box that it will be delivered in.