Love, love, love lace-weight

24/04/2014 § 5 Comments

at last, after a proper ‘love-hate’ relationship with lace-weight, I’m in love!

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I have always absolutely loved the yarn, the colours, the touch but how I struggled with finding a pattern.  In the end, I didn’t!!!  I just made it up  …

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On a bright and sunny day, I pinned and blocked my crescent shaped … what?  Scarf? Stole? Shawl?  Well, whatever you want to call it, it blocked beautifully!  What a transformation this simple process performs from crinkly, squished, uneven knitting into the softest gossamer flowing shape …

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I started with 20 stitches and then increased at one end until I had about 80 stitches; worked straight until I reckoned I was about half way, added a few panels of holey detail and then decreased my way back down to the other end!  Simples!!

I had yarn left over for an edging and decided to add 3 rows of double crochet, 3 rows of trebles and then a final couple of rows of doubles again.  The simplest stitches seemed to work well for me!

I love the curly top edge separated from the main pattern with a 4-row cable.

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I’m now truly smitten with lace-weight – again – and have more NDS on my needles already …

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and there’s more …

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Oh – isn’t that Luckwells russet just the most delicious colour?  Let’s hope it’s knitted up before it’s Autumn!  The Drops taupe was equally irresistible.

I have so many quilts and exciting quilty things to share, but for now, I’m going back to the sofa to finish a few more rows of pink lace before tucking up the collies and saying goodnight!

Have a lovely weekend

Adaliza x

Knitting with lace

21/03/2014 § Leave a comment

A sea-green gossamer thread winds between my needles with silken sheen and breathy touch …

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I fell in love with Exmoor as a young girl.  I knew the place before I could walk – where the East Lyn meets the West Lyn lies Lynmouth in North Devon – a tiny seaside village forever bound to Lynton, at the top of the hill, by the Cliff Railway and surrounded by the mystical beauty of Exmoor.  I must go there again very soon.

There’s lots about the Natural Dye Studio on their website and I can only think that some of the magic of their surroundings is woven into their most beautiful yarns – I can almost feel it when I unwrap a skein of their deliciously dyed – and Exmoor named – yarn.

How I have struggled with beautiful Withypool.  I began my search for patterns well before it arrived through the letter box and throughout the lengthy wait for my yarn toys to be delivered just after Christmas. Crochet patterns stacked up in my head, on my laptop and my chair-side table but no matter how I tried, none worked for me on my hook.

I then found the Rill Scarf on Ravelry.  Whilst pondering the picture problem in Coventry last week, I began knitting – and just as with my previous attempts – failed! (Not due to the pattern which is well written).  In desperation, I cast on just 20 stitches once more and did my own thing …

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What do you think?  I’m not through my first yarn cake yet, so there’s a way to go but I’m in no rush.  Sometimes I’ll snatch just a couple of rows whilst I enjoy a bit of a sit down, sometimes a whole evening – it makes no difference – it grows VERY slowly and I’m not measuring!  I shall reach half-way at some point in April – maybe when I’ve just started yarn cake 2.

Will the 2nd half look like the first – more or less – probably!!  I haven’t written it down and counting rows is fiendishly difficult.  One thing’s for sure – I’m not unravelling it again!!  I can’t help thinking about a lacy border, but maybe the simplicity of the wobbly edge (hopefully less wobbly once blocked), will work.

Have you worked with lace yarn that isn’t fluffy?  I’m not sure I’m a good enough knitter, really.  Yarn with a bit of pile seems to hide a multitude of sins.  All I can see are wobbles, when I look at the close-ups – oh dear.

What’s on your needles/hook as Spring arrives?

Enjoy the weekend.

Adaliza

Doing battle …

05/03/2014 § 2 Comments

with lace weight yarn!

Having treated myself some while ago (here) to the yarn, yarn winder and umbrella swift, I thought I was ready to spring into hooky action.  I’d done my research and found a few likely patterns and off I went.  The results however, weren’t so good.  Watersmeet was tried and unravelled on no less than 3 occasions, using different patterns.

I absolutely LOVE the yarn – it’s astonishingly beautiful, but whatever shall I make?  Here’s my latest attempt – a scarf …

Ripply Scarf Pattern

Ripply Scarf Pattern

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a beautiful pattern, but I'm still not sure

a beautiful pattern, but I’m still not sure

What do you think?  It works up quite quickly but I’m in trouble over the edges and I’m not sure whether this is working for me. This isn’t like me – I don’t do INDECISION – I usually sort it out very quickly and see projects through to the end.  This time – I did something I try very hard NOT-TO-DO :: I started with a different project and colour …

Rose Snood

Rose Snood

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A simple enough combination of trebles and chains, I intend working in this fan pattern for about 10″ and then add a pineapple border at both ends.  But again, indecision has set in.  It’s curling dreadfully and I’m not convinced that a final blocking will sort this out.

I could do with some advice – any directions to patterns that spring into your mind, that would work well for 800 yds of lace weight yarn, would be much appreciated.  I’m thinking scarves or snoods.  I know it’s going to take me till next winter, so I don’t mind if it’s a bit of a challenge, though I’d be very happy with simple, hook-along crochet too.

Let me know – I’m getting worn out by this particular battle!

Adaliza x

 

 

Yarn winding …

11/01/2014 § 2 Comments

and sumptious new yarn!

Have you discovered the Natural Dye Studio?  They’re based in North Devon, an area I know very well and love immensely.  I’ve made several bits and bobs for myself as I adore their lace weight yarns.  I made these, my favourite of which is my Tearose Shawl.

NDS yarns are named after local places – Withypool, Lynmouth, Watersmeet, Parracombe – ah, I’m almost there on the Cliff Railway, walking up Glen Lyn Gorge which seemed like my second home when I was little, out across the bay in one of the Oxenham’s boats or walking the dogs on hot summer days and paddling in the Lyn rivers on the way up to Watersmeet.  Now the yarn, that arrives so quickly – often within 24 hours of my placing an order – takes me back and I soak up all those happy childhood memories as I work with hook or needles.

Before Christmas I decided to treat myself to some new ‘toys’ and now, finally, I’m all set up.

yarn winder

yarn winder

Such a simple little gadget that clips under a worktop or table.  As the yarn winds around – by turning the handle – the angle of the winder means that a symmetrically wound yarn ‘cake’ is formed.  The only moan that I have is that the wire yarn holder (on the left) doesn’t stay upright easily, even when it’s clicked out, and if that drops the yarn gets into a horrible knot under the winder.  I hold the bottom of the wire thingy and it works just fine.

Here’s how the yarn starts out …

Skein of Blue Faced Leicester wool and silk

Skein of Blue Faced Leicester wool and silk – 800 m !

Oh those colours and you wouldn’t believe how soft and luscious it is in the hand.  Just imagine winding 800m of lace weight yarn into balls – I’ve done it in the past and 3 hrs later, with all limbs aching, I’ve wondered if I’d ever recover in time to make anything!

Ten short minutes later here’s what I have …

3 yarn cakes

3 yarn cakes

Ahhhhh - those colours

Ahhhhh – those colours

a perfectly wound cake all ready for crochet

a perfectly wound cake all ready for my hook

Now, I’m missed a bit out – another vital ‘toy’ that I treated myself to.  It’s all well and good having a skein of yarn and a yarn winder, but what you really need too, is one of these …

yarn swift

unbrella yarn swift

a yarn swift

my yarn swift

and a collie watching my every move!

I found it very difficult to photograph my yarn swift, so the first image is from Amazon – where I bought both my swift and winder.  I won’t recommend any suppliers as there were a few problems, but I’m delighted now they’re both here.  I rigged them up very quickly on either side of the breakfast bar this morning.

I’d have loved a wonderful wooden swift, but although relatively cheap and cheerful, my vivid green one appears to do the job very well.

So, what’s on my hook?  Well, nothing at the moment ‘cos I’m deliberating about what to make.  Anything made from lace weight yarn is going to be a WIP for months so I’m currently searching for a perfect pattern.  Probably crochet but possibly knitting.  Any bright ideas anyone?  Do point me in the direction of some good patterns if you know of any.  I’m thinking of a wide and lacy shawl or scarf.

Enjoy your weekend – the sun is shining here – YaY!

Adaliza x

 

 

 

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