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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Swan Lake (MS3) Stole Finished!

I am doing well - two posts in one day but, you see, I couldn't wait to show you my MS3 stole, Swan Lake, which is now finished! Any of the pics can be clicked to make them super-dooper large!!

MS3 is my first mystery stole and I started off loving it but, some time after clue 5 or 6, I began to gradually lose the love and this culminated in me feeling, as it was blocking, that I'd enjoyed knitting it but I'd probably wrap it in acid-free tissue and it would go into the drawer until the right person came along to receive it. However, post-blocking, I'm pleased to say that the love has returned and I'm definitely keeping it!

Some more shots.

I'm not entirely sure that I've displayed it the way it's meant to be worn but at least you can get the general drift.

Some of the symbolism of the stitches used for those who are interested are as follows.

Wings of the swan which edges about two thirds of the stole.

Cat's Paw which symbolises the Pas de Chat which is performed during the Dance of the Little Swans.

The feathered pattern of the swan's wing.

This culminates in relatively longer feathers each of which are tipped with three beads and which have been blocked into points.


Yarn: Gold & Ivory Cashmere/Silk Laceweight from Posh Yarn
Needles: 3.5mm Bamboo straights
Beads: Czech glass in topaz
Finished dimensions: 72" long x 20" wide

I'll definitely be buying the pattern from here when it's published. I think there will be different versions including a symmetrical version and a two-winged version.

The Winners!

Okay, without further ado, I'll announce the winners of the Blogiversary Prize Draw and the 'desk' competion.

The winner of the Blogiversary Prize Draw is:

So, Mandella gets the skein of Handmaiden Seasilk and the choccies!

Next, we have a tie for the 'desk' competition as two people each got half of the answer right. The answer is that I emptied three drawers of my desk of homoeopathic remedies.

Then I filled the drawers up with beads!

The two winners who tied on the 'desk' competition are:


As it's a tie, Arianwen and Ikkinlala will share the prize which is £20 worth of goodies from Knitz & Glitz. This means that they'll receive £10 worth of goodies each. I'll need to know all the winners' snail mail addies and also which goodies Arianwen and Ikkinlala would like. Please contact me via the contact link on my blog.

Congratulations to all three winners!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Seasilk's Arrived!

The prize for my 2nd Blogiversary Draw has arrived - one skein of Seasilk in the Pinata colourway. This is accompanied by a lovely box of Swiss chocolates.

The draw will take place tomorrow (Friday 17th August) in the evening as I need my DH here to pick the winner out of the hat! I'll leave it open for anyone who wishes to be included in the draw until noon tomorrow. So, if you wish to be included, leave a comment on the post headed 2nd Blogiversary Prize Draw (scroll down) before noon tomorrow. Good luck!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Prizes, MS3 Clue 6 & Future Projects

The Blogiversary prize for which I gave a cryptic crossword type clue still hasn't arrived from the US. I was advised that it would be here in about a week and that was eleven days ago so it should be here any day now. Until then, for those of you who haven't guessed what it is, recall the clue was:

EXTREMELY large puddles of water lie before one of a particular type!
So, EXTREMELY large puddles of water = SEAS (well, I did say EXTREMELY large!)
Hence, SEAS lies before "one of a particular type" which = ILK.
Put the two together and you have SEASILK! - in the hard to find Pinata colourway!!!

As soon as it arrives, I'll let you all know. Then the draw can take place and the winner of the 'desk' competition will be announced at the same time. So, if you want to get your hands on that yummy seasilk, you've still got a few days to enter the Blogiversary draw.

Moving on to MS3, the penultimate clue was released yesterday and I had to wait until 8.30 pm before I could start as I was house-clearing all day. Unfortunately, my in-laws' house has had to be sold to fund their care and, I can tell you, that house-clearing is one big, stressful job and we have a very short time in which to get it done! Suffice to say, that knitting MS3 is what I do for relaxation at any opportunity I can grab between sorting, packing, cleaning, more packing, trips to the dump, etc, etc. Having started last night, I was impatient to see what it would look like after the completion of Clue 6 so I got up early this morning and finished it. This is how it looks.

I'm really not sure whether I'm going to go with the original design or whether to do something different with it so I've left the lifeline in place just in case. I may end up doing it without the wing and making a symmetrical stole as, at the moment, I do feel that the wing (although very lovely on its own) does look a tad incongruous as part of the whole. When I've seen what the final clue brings, I'll make a decision. Here are a couple of close ups of Clue 6.

I have such a love of lace at the moment, I really can't let a beautiful design pass me by which is why this new Fiddlesticks pattern, Arabesque, ended up in my Woolly Workshop basket!

It's knitted in Jaggerspun Zephyr laceweight which I've been wanting to try for ages. Now, the UK, as far as I can tell, seems to be a bit thin on the ground when it comes to sources of solid coloured laceweights so I was glad to discover that KCG stock it and Gill at Woolly Workshop has just got some in, too. No prizes for guessing what else ended up in my WW basket, then! Yes, that's the two skeins you see in the photo above in the Dianthus colourway. It's very delicious, being a blend of 50% merino wool and 50% tussah silk. I love the Jade colour of the original but, alas, neither Woolly Workshop nor KCG had any!

Last but by no means least, I SOOOOOOOOOOOO want to make this!

This is Cirkeltroje which is just one of many beautiful designs featured in the book, Feminin Strik. Having bought the book from Saxo, all I now have to do is to fathom out the instructions with the help of an online Danish-English Knitting Dictionary such as this!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

MS3 - it's Swan Lake!

Well, Melanie has had us all sweating over the last few weeks as we were told to put a lifeline in our stoles on one particular row but not told why as that would give the game away so to speak. There were all sorts of mutterings, wonderings and extrapolations going on as to why this lifeline was placed but, of course, no-one guessed the real reason. Turns out it was there because the next clue involved adding a wing to our stole - just one wing - so, those who didn't want an asymmetrical stole could frog back down to the lifeline row and, thus, have the opportunity to opt for a symmetrical one.

The one wing depicts the not quite swan, not quite human theme in Swan Lake and the other motifs on the stole all have their meaning which have now been explained. The wing was done by short-rowing.

So, until we get the next clue and knit it, I'm finding it a bit difficult to envisage exactly how it will hang, how it will look, and how it would be worn. I'm loving the almost 3-D featheriness of it though!

EDIT: I've just seen a rough schematic of the finished stole provided by Melanie in the group's files section and I'm pleased (and relieved) that it shows 'the wing' is part of the overall shape of the stole and doesn't stick out at all!

It would have been perfect, of course, knitted in black or white to represent Odette or Odile but I like to think that my stole represents Odette in her full golden glory when she captures the heart of Prince Siegfried and they first dance together!

If you're in the mood to watch The Dance of the Little Swans, here you go!

Lastly, don't forget to leave your name for the Blogiversary Prize Draw or have a guess at the 'desk' competition below if you feel like it and you haven't done so yet!