Tuesday, February 26, 2013


A few weeks ago I picked up a skein of Noro Nadeshiko at Wolseley Wools. I was going to make another "Identical But Not the Same" cowl, until I realized it wasn't bulky enough. Time for yet another new cowl pattern. I was on a roll this winter it seems. I'm normally not a cowl-person, or at least I don't think of myself as one, but upon some Rav-project reflection (of my own projects) I see I've knit a few over the years. I just happen to only own one of them. Yes, the cowl may be one of the knitter's most reliable, quick gift ideas. A little fancy yarn and a few minutes (couple hours) is all you need. It certainly helped me out this winter with gift giving.

I call this the "Really Want You In My World" cowl. It's a simple and quick knit in a "step by step" stitch pattern.
Get it?
Well, the gift recipient will.

I love how the stitch pattern creates another soft, squishable cowl.  Not as squishy as the SquishaCowl, but the Noro makes up for that.

Earlier in the winter I whipped up a trio of IdentiCowls with stash yarn.  They are "identical but not the same" using the same basic stitch pattern in different yarn weights (and some other small differences in the pattern to account for those differences).

Super Bulky and Aran/Heavy worsted are my favourites as they're the quickest to knit up.

I confess this light worsted/DK was frogged because I hated the yarn - the colour and feel of it.  I only persevered for the sake of testing the pattern in a lighter weight.
I am currently working on a few more IdentiCowls in Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick sized down for youths.

The first cowl design of the winter was actually my SquishaCowl design.  The mock-up was a child-sized cowl with a horrid seam, but the 'real' version appears seamless. (Only appears so, yes there is seaming.)  I was using up stash leftovers for it, but I think the two yarns go well and the gift recipient loves it.  It turned out she had just bought herself a new, red coat and this is the perfect winter accessory for it.  Funnily enough, she had bought a turtle necklace for me, which just happens to match the green-blue yarn - so I had to photograph them together before I packaged up her gift.

That turtle is bigger than it looks. I call it my Turtle Bling.  It's so big and shiny that I actually like the crazy thing. The matching earrings are much smaller and less "bling-y".

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mini Shawl in Silk

I hummed and hawed over what to do with the silk I'd just spun. Letting it sit around in my stash is never an option for my handspun. (I already have the Peruvian Blues and the Black Alpaca waiting to become mittens, and it's weighing on me.) There's not enough to make a shawl... Unless it's mini.

The result is a Mini Shawl necklace. It is warm and cozy on my neck (like a shawl should be).  More importantly, it allows me to show off my handspun silk.  Now I'm working on a bracelet with a snowdrop lace insert.  There's plenty of yarn for such small projects.

I tested the design idea first on some fingering weight yarn (silk above is a fine lace) and larger needle.  It makes a lovely shawl for a Groovy Girl.  I've been informed that I need to make a couple more shawls that are slightly larger for her knit dolls.

Doll photos taken by 4 year old.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


It took some time, but I finished the ounce of silk, plied 3 strands together into 176m (193yds) of lovely lace yarn and now need a project. There's another 58m of silk thread single that I plan to embroider with.

Lace Yarn

3 ply and single ply

3 ply

I've moved on to a silk and camel blend. Another gift of Sericin Silk roving from KW Knitter's Fair. The colourway is "a dance with fuschia".  This is another fine yarn I will 3-ply.  I decided to play with my support spindle for this project and I am loving it.  It's much easier working with the camel/silk than it was when I first tried this spindle with alpaca.