October 02, 2013

Just adding knitting projects to the Ravelry queue.


It all started when I spied this Dagmar Sweater pattern in Ravelry's Hot Right Now list. The best use of a cable to emphasise shape i've seen, maybe ever. Too often this idea is played out and turns into this weird thing that splits the body in two, but here the cable serves as an elegant frame rather than an overwhelming design feature. I'm also smitten with the shaped hem, and the overall texture.


The one thing you'd want to be careful with knitting this pattern though would be the yarn - nothing too stretchy. I'd rule out alpaca or cotton to prevent ending up with the dreaded over stretched bum area. Cascade 220 in a nice heathered shade, though? Perfect. 
Going into Summer I probably shouldn't really be looking at big, warm, cosy jersey patterns. The colour of the Camelia Tee caught my eye first, like a magpie to silver, colour just leaps off the screen to grab all my attention. I love, love, love the lace detail on the shoulder and the relaxed shaping. Not being a summer person, I like garments with room to move in so I don't feel trapped in the heat. 
One little thing - i'd definitely do a nice tight bind off for that neckline. As it is, it looks like it has the potential to fall off one's shoulders. And I'd go for some Knitsch Yarns Sock, maybe in Yellow Brick Road or Pencarrow.  
And this. Cirrostratos reminds me of soft-like-clouds, floaty days. I can just imagine the fabric of it being the perfect combination of lightness plus warmth. Just the thing for lazy hazy days turning into early evenings with a touch of chill. Or for Wellington summers picked by wind that shouldn't ever surprise us but always does.


Zealana Kiwi in laceweight would make this something really special. Or Malabrigo Silkpaca Lace (once we get more in, hopefully it'll arrive before Christmas). 

Argh! There's that word already! The dreaded Christmas. I can't believe it's sneaking up on us so gosh darn quick. I think i'll go back into my nice cave of denial and instead give you this:


Cat's Mane by Mer Almagro.


You're welcome.

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July 23, 2013

Filmy Fern shawl: a gift for a Royal baby

This morning I had a bit of a surprise - tweets from friends exclaiming over the news that Margaret Stove had designed the shawl that was presented as New Zealand's official gift to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the birth of their first baby.


Having absolutely no idea what was going on, and assuming the Prime Minister had maybe got a bit confused between shawls from the Prince William's birth, I rang Grandma. 

One bemused conversation with her later, I have the story. The most hilarious (because all I can do is laugh about it) is that she specifically asked if she could tell me, so I could be sure to have copies of her book in stock, and she was flatly told that she couldn't. 

Anyway, here's the info:

Margaret was commissioned to design, spin and knit a shawl for the event of Prince William's birth in 1982. A special request from the High Country Breeders of Merino sheep, the shawl took nearly 400 hours of work and was a purely original design, inspired by traditional Maori design and native New Zealand flora.

Image courtesy of the Christchurch Star

There is an excellent article, written by Margaret, in the Summer 2013 issue of Spin Off magazine. It details the fascinating process of creating the shawl. 


Anyway, the official gift given by the New Zealand government to the new parents today was hand spun and knit by Cynthia Read of Cambridge. I was lucky enough to meet Cynthia at the Creative Fibre Festival in April but had no idea why it was she wanted to have a nosey at our shawl samples. The design is Filmy Fern from Margaret's most recent book, Wrapped in Lace (Interweave Press 2010). It is an incredible shawl with amazing drape and from tomorrow we'll have the book sample in the shop for anyone who would like to drool over (just not on it, please, that would be gross). It is knit using Artisan Lace Gossamer, which produces wedding ring shawls - that is, a shawl that will fit through a wedding ring.


Image courtesy of Interweave


And here I was thinking i'd be able to avoid all the royal baby mayhem. Hooray babies, but let's value the people nearest and dearest to us first, yeah? We've had a very shaky few days here in Wellington and it means nerves are frayed and knitting really is the ticket for keeping worries at bay. I have even more respect for what the people of Christchuch (including Margaret) have lived through the past few years, what with sleepless nights thanks to aftershocks and the constant worry that we're yet to see our big earthquake. Thanks goodness yarn is soft and squishy and bouncy! 

I'll update this post as I get more information about the gift (and hopefully some pics!). Take care of yourselves xx


Edited to add: A great radio interview with Margaret on Newstalk ZB this morning - the link takes you directly to the clip. 

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November 23, 2012

Gorgeous shawls of delight

 On my usual little meander through the top Ravelry patterns, I came across this beauty:

Holy wow. I'm in love. Well and truly.

It's the Teasdale shawl by Corrina Ferguson. Would like to cast on Right. Now. 

And here's another that would be perfect to throw on of a late summer evening (or make a wonderful Christmas gift)

Shibui Linane by Anna Kuduja

And lastly for now:

Lonely Tree Shawl by Sylvia Bo Bilvia (isn't it great to see a smile? And that hair! LOVE!)

Happy knitting!

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