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Monday, October 22, 2007

Spring Things and Estonian Lace Swatch

Presenting Spring Things (now blocked)!

I used beads instead of the nupps and I think the effect is rather nice.

Specs: Knitted in Rowan Kid Silk Haze, Dewberry colourway on 4.5mm needles. Finished size was larger than in the pattern which is what I wanted and, after blocking, is 66" x 33". The beads are size 6 raspberry lined crystal AB from Earth Faire.

I haven't really got anything against nupps though as you can see by this photo!

I'm helping out with knitting swatches for the Estonian Lace Study and this is my first one completed and blocked. The swatches are from an Estonian book, 'Pitsilised Koekirjad' which contains charts for the most amazing Estonian lace patterns.

The book, of course, isn't in English and the chart symbols are not as we know them but with the help of this translation and the book itself, they can be understood. I love the way Estonian lace combines the openness and airiness of the lace with the textural effect of the nupps, etc. The swatches can be quite big when finished (this one is 13" x 12.5") as there need to be enough stitch and pattern repeats to fully illustrate how each pattern will look when knitted. This is a problem in the original book which contains poor quality black and white photos that appear to be too zoomed in on just one area in a lot of the patterns so it's difficult to get a good idea of the finished result. I've learnt a lot already by just knitting this one swatch. The most complicated rows in this particular pattern are the ones with the nupps and cables in the same row. I did 9 stitch nupps worked over two rows and the cables required working with two cable needles at the same time, one at the front of the knitting needle and one at the back. I'm actually finding it rather enjoyable!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


The Arabesque stole is now blocked! (Spring Things is next on the list for blocking!)

Pattern: Fiddlesticks Arabesque
Yarn: Fiddlesticks Zephyr Laceweight in Dianthus colourway
Measurements: 76" x 22"

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Well, I got my invite to Ravelry a while ago now but, apart from accepting the invitation, I wasn't really focused enough do anything else with it until today . . .

. . . today, I've been having fun uploading my projects and some of my books and generally feeling my way around. My Ravelry name is Knityoga (what else?!) so, please come and say 'hello'!

Now I know why you're all excited about it!!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Chocolate Rainbow

Those who check my blog will probably have noticed that I haven't blogged for quite a while. Well, things have been pretty hectic here not to mention emotionally traumatic. Sadly, MIL passed away on August Bank Holiday Monday and since then there has been such a lot to sort out. She wasn't really prepared for death as she would never accept how ill she was which made her passing very difficult. We knew thst she didn't have long but she went very quickly after entering the first stages of dying and we found that we hadn't really been prepared for it either.

The funeral was just as she would have wanted. A simple humanist ceremony with music including Joni Mitchell's Circle Game on entering the chapel, a very moving eulogy by Chris, a meditation with Vivaldi in the background, music from her favourite artiste, Ella Fitzgerald, and poems. She was then buried in the natural burial ground in a willow wicker biodegradable coffin and we adjourned to a room that we'd hired in a local inn for the funeral reception. She is in a beautiful peaceful spot surrounded by indiginous plants and trees which will eventually become woodland.

Knitting, as ever, I've found very soothing. Whenever I'm upset or emotional about anything I find the mantra of just knitting very comforting so knitting has been done! I've also recently taken up a hobby in beading. I'm not talking about the jewellery making I've done in the past but proper beading, i.e. sewing together tiny little seed beads and crystals and such like until you have something like what you can see below which is a photo of my first project, a spiral necklace adorned with Victorian pendant.

I have to admit that I'm really chuffed with this. The necklace is a spiral of size 11 chocolate rainbow seed beads (I bet you were wondering what inspired the title of this post!), size 8 gold seed beads and amethyst Czech fire polished crystals. The pendant is composed of four units individually sewn and then stitched together by using brick stitch and the loop that holds it on the necklace was done in peyote stitch. Forgive me if it seems like I'm blowing my own trumpet but I can't help feeling really proud of this pendant. Here's a close up.

It's done to match the necklace in the same chocolate rainbow seed beads and fire polished crystals. 'Chocolate rainbow'! Love that name! You know how they say that there's a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow? Well, for me, the name of those seed beads keeps conjuring up an image of a pot aux chocolat rather than a pot of gold. Yum!

I've also made an art deco bracelet on which I used one of my smaller sized Czech glass buttons as a fastening rather than using a clasp.

This is a very simple design using 12mm bugle beads for the base which are ladder stitched together and then the base is embellished with a picot edging of seed beads and megatamas and a criss cross of seed beads and crystals.

This next project of necklace, bracelet and earrings is more jewellery making than beading but I did learn new techniques in stringing which will be very useful.

As I said, knitting has also been done some of which is shown below.

The Spring Things Shawl and the Fiddlesticks Arabesque Stole are both finished but awaiting blocking. The beaded thing is the start of a scarf from Jane Davis' book, Knitting with Beads. In actuality, it's green but, as usual, my monitor makes it look grey which is a bit annoying as it's a very nice shade of green Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. In the pattern, the whole thing is done in reverse stocking stitch but, as I didn't want the edges curling up on the whole length of the scarf, I've modified it to moss stitch. Here's a close up of the beaded section.

I'm not sure how practical this scarf is going to be as the beads make it very heavy and I'm half tempted to frog it. However, I did think it might come in quite useful to use as a cosh if I ever found myself being mugged. LOL So, if I do finish it, it will thenceforth be referred to as the cosh scarf!

Some close ups of the Spring Things Shawl and the Arabesque Stole. (Better photos to come when blocked).

I inherited the KSH that the Spring Things Shawl is knitted in from a knitting friend who couldn't get on with the yarn and I made sure that she relieved me of some of my stash in return! Rather than the nupps, I decided to add beads as I had some lovely size 6 raspberry lined crystal ABs from Earth Faire.

As far as future projects are concerned, one of them is the circular cardi from Feminin Strik that I mentioned in this post. Fleegle and I are ready to go with our translations and are probably going to start knitting around December. If you feel like joining our little KAL, please feel free to do so. There are loads more things I wanted to mention but this post is already long so they can wait until next time. That's the trouble with not blogging for so long!