Friday, June 22, 2012

118335 stitches

wedding shawl 4
i've been working on something top-secret for the past three months, but at last, i can share it.

wedding shawl 2

one of my very best friends got married, and i knitted her a shawl. she knew i was making it, but didn't know which pattern - or just quite what a labour of love it would be.

wedding shawl 3

when i asked her for suggestions as to the style & pattern, she gave me a stack of books, with the book "shetland lace" by gladys amedro in the middle. on the pattern page for this shawl was a note that went something like this: "this is my absolute favourite shawl of all time, and i've always wanted it. but don't knit it, because it's completely insane". when i saw the pattern, i knew exactly what she meant. it wasn't charted, and not only that, it was written in non-standard knitting abbreviations, so it would require a lot of patience to decipher. but how could i not make her the shawl she's always wanted, even if it meant working from pattern notes like this?

wedding shawl notes

and it was definitely worth it - all 118,335 stitches.

wedding shawl 1

project specs: pattern: brora black shawl by gladys amedro
needles: 3.5mm knitpro circular
yarn: jamieson & smith 1ply shetland supreme, 85 grams & 1450 yards
started: 13th march 2012
completed: 12th june 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

non-monogamous

i've never been good at project monogamy - i usually have at least three knitting projects on the needles, and sometimes even more. sometimes, you feel like a little lace; sometimes you need something a bit simpler.  sometimes, you need to commit a big chunk of time working on a complex cabled sweater - and sometimes, you just need straightforward, easy, quickie socks.  i mean, you  can't really expect one project to fulfill all your crafting needs, can you?
well, these past few months have been a seriously long period of enforced project monogamy for me - there just wasn't any other way i was going to finish the Epic Wedding Shawl in time.  miles of cobweb shetland lace on 3.5mm needles wasn't going to magically knit itself, so there was nothing else to do but finish everything else i was messing around with, and focus all my attentions on this one project.  (i did have a little fling with some plain socks on the side, but i don't think that counts - i just needed a little something to take the edge off, & they didn't mean anything.)
but i can now report that the wedding shawl is done.  i cast off on monday night, and felt as though a huge burden had been lifted.  don't get me wrong - i did get a lot out of our time together.  i learned that i can achieve something pretty impressive; that i can actually commit to one project if i need to.  and that i really, REALLY love my friend (the bride).  but now that my period of monogamy is over?

L-R: reykjavik, turbulence, solfar (all Cookie A. club patterns)

i'm going to have a LOT of socks.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

as a general rule

as a general rule, i don't dye to order.  it's difficult enough trying to get what's in my head out through a dyepot & onto the yarns, let alone trying to take someone else's idea & make a colourway from it.  but lately, something very odd has been happening. 
a couple of months ago, in relation to bigger on the inside from the latest issue of knitty, some members of the Old Maiden Aunt group on Ravelry began musing.  "wouldn't it be great", they mused, "if there was a "tardis" colourway, so we could knit this shawl in Old Maiden Aunt yarn?".
i resisted.  i don''t consider myself a doctor who fan (i liked some of the older seasons, but haven't really been watching it lately).  & besides, as a general rule, i don't dye to order.
but the musings grew louder, and more (politely) persistent - and i found myself looking at all kinds of blues, and trying to track down police call boxes (of which there are only a few left, and only two near-ish me that i know of).  now, as a general rule, i don't dye to order, but i like my customers, and i had a little spare time, and somehow this happened:

merino superwash 4ply in "tardis"

then, a lovely customer with some very particular needs got in touch, about a super-secret project using several different colourways of the merino/cashmere/nylon 4ply (it's all completely mysterious, & very intriguing, and i still don't know what the project is going to be!).  in addition to loads of other, already-dyed colourways, she wanted what she described as an "oatmeal" colourway - a pale neutral that would tie all the other colours together.  now, as a general rule, i don't dye to order, but i had a little spare time, and i didn't already have a colourway like that in my range, and somehow this happened:

merino/cashmere/nylon superwash 4ply in "greige"

so, it would appear that although as a general rule, i don't dye to order, i do occasionally take requests....

(want to make a colourway request of your own?  check out this thread in the Old Maiden Aunt group on Ravelry...)