Saturday, 18 April 2009


Can you guess what this is?

Yes, the Simple Yet Effective Shawl by Laura Chau is finished!

I was really looking forward to this shawl as it was my first. I had never wanted to knit a shawl before as I’m not so keen on lace, which most shawls seem to be composed of (controversial, I know, but we knitters are all different!). Then I saw this fantastic looking shawl on ravelry and wanted to start it immediately.

The simplicity of the plain striping is what I liked the most (along with the centre and side YO’s), and I loved the designer’s colourway. However, once I started knitting it. I soon realised that it was going to take ages to make any progress! The sock yarn together with the small needle just made progress soooooo slow, and hence it went into hibernation for months.
Finally I finished it last weekend (having thought I never would) and am very pleased with the results. I used two balls instead of one, because it would have been tiny otherwise. I suppose this is why it took so long.
In summary, I was very disappointed in the length of time it took and would never do another one in sock yarn. However, the beauty of the pattern is that it could be easily adapted for a heavier weight yarn, and would look just as good, whilst retaining the integrity of the original design.

Next up is a bag I finished a few weeks ago.

My parents have been visiting so I haven't had a chance to post until now. It was an alpaca kit from Toft Alpaca Farm that I found at the Stitch & Craft Show at Olympia. I absolutely love it. It was so quick to knit up (one evening) as the pattern requires 15mm needles and four strands of yarn held together at a time, then you felt it in the machine. If you look closely you can still see the stitch definition, so I may felt it again, though it doesn't look bad as it is. I'm just waiting for all the fluff to fall of the outside as it keeps covering all of my clothes!

So far, on it's first day out it was admired by two people, one of whom runs a yarn store, and the other at a gallery pre-view who asked if I was "in Handbags"!! Kudos to me (if only I'd written the pattern)!
Below is a selection of ceramic buttons I picked up at that same show and forgot to photograph for you.

My favourites are the rabbits in dungarees. I'm a sucker for ceramic buttons and pick them up whenever I can because they're hard to find. I have added these ones to my worryingly large collection, a habit I have definitely acquired from my Mother!

Now look what I found!:

My neighbour Antonia was throwing out an old family Singer and I managed to rescue it! Actually she was going to give it to a charity shop so I've donated a small amount to them.

I've always loved the look of this classic model, but it clearly needs a good clean and possibly some new parts, so I'll scrub away then take it to the sewing machine clinic around the corner.

Now, I promised you pink blossom and here it is!

And up close: the cherry trees are in full bloom...

and the petals are beginning to line the roads and pavements like a carpet.

My parents were here for the white, but missed the pink blossom. We had a great time while they were here. DH and I took some time off work and we had lots of lovely lunches and dinners out, visited Stash, saw the Palladio exhition at the RA, attended a private view at a gallery I'm a member of, and had lots of long walks in the sun.

Now I'm off to pick up the needles xx