woensdag 4 april 2012


Shipwreck, another free pattern from ravelry. I had 2 skeins of Drops Lace in the color Royal blue which I had expected to be a bit more intens and not so dark. It did work perfectly with this pattern and the blue beads.

The pattern was fairly easy, the middle has a pattern in it which is done fairly quickly as the amount of stitches in the middle is not so high. The "edging" if you can even call that since it takes up 60% of the shawl is a lot harder.

I have worked with beads before but slide them onto a stitch each time I need them, this shawl to get maximum effect needed them to float. That meant stringing 4800 beads before starting to knit.

After several evenings of stringing beads the time had come to start knitting the edge, K2tog, YO...repeat... was fairly easy. Now how to distribute all the beads at random over the stitches. 1 bead per 3 repeats was what I had calculated I needed.

A website helped, i printed 4000 random characters in binary.... each 1 was a bead, each 0 two repeats without to get to the1:3 ratio of beads vs no beads. Now to knit..... move beads, move beads, move beads, knit... move more beads....
This process was so intense and so sloooow. Moving beads is the most horrible work I ever had to do especially in the beginning when all 4800 beads had to be moved.
Eventually it got together and the shawl took shape. 4800 beads is very heavy for a laceweight yarn but the end result was quite pretty and I am very happy it turned out the way it did. The floating beads look gorgeous. The problem is that due to all the yarnovers this shawl is extremely prone to snags when it is worn. I expect to have to repair this shawl quite a few times, but i have a third of a skein of this wool left over which I will keep esp for these kind of incidents. After all a shawl is supposed to be worn no matter how fragile, no one can adore it in a box stored away somewhere.

dinsdag 29 november 2011

Cat Mittens quick knit

As life goes on, the knitting goes on. I have been knitting shawls mostly as I just love the evolvement of a fleece into a thread on the spinning wheel and then from that thread into a bunch of "wet macaroni". Then when it is washed and shows its true colors it turns into a fantasticly beautiful object which can be worn by my gorgeous wife or sometimes by others.

Sometimes you just feel the need for something else. Recently I needed a new challenge.... a new thing to learn... well after lace and beaded lace what was there.... well two color knitting. Took a pattern and then took some left over handspun alpaca and whipped up some cat mittens in the space of 4 days. I was home sick a bit and all I could do was lay in bed and knit a bit, it went quite fast. The second was knit over the course of a weekend. In total it was knit in 30 hours or so.

After begin washed they look great and it is really not all that hard, will do it again. They are mighty warm and when the arctic winter hits or the next ice age comes they will keep the hands of my wife nice and warm.

Now onto more shawls, I have made 10 this year so far and for the ravelry group 11 in 2011 I need to knit just one more. I need to finish this Gwendolyn I am making from some red Drops Lace..... off to knit...

vrijdag 12 augustus 2011


This is the shawl I have knitted last month already, it seems that I am almost always one shawl behind on what I should be. Because this shawl is done, blocked and also worn already by my pretty wife.

The shawl was knitted from handspun rosegrey baby alpaca, 2 ply lace/fingering weight yarn. This was the last 700-800 meter of this wool. It is very soft and the color does not show in the pictures as it has pieces of silver and grey in the brown wool. Due to the fact it is a baby alpaca it is also extremely soft.

At this moment, the next shawl is already almost done, 4 more tours and the Morgain made from Drops Lace is done. That should appear here soon.

dinsdag 21 juni 2011

Full Circle

Last year I made the evenstar shawl for my wife. A great pattern made from a gorgeous black alpaca fleece spun up in a light fingering weight. The shawl is beautiful even though i think the 5 lines of beads are too much and too sparkly a bit, hence the nickname the Discoshawl as it goes by now.

I did feel it wasn't complete, it was an "evil" evenstar and to bring balance to the universe and everything a light twin had to be created.

A coworker who had seen my work on facebook thought it was quite something and wanted something special for his wife's birthday which has not happened yet (she doesnt read this blog and it is separate from my facebook so I can post it already). He really liked the evenstar I showed him from Danielle.

Due to time constraints I could not spin wool for this shawl and give him the choice of color, the only spun up wool i had where i had enough quantity of was a natural / white alpaca. Hence the wish for the light twin was answered.

I worked on it and again due to time constraints did not want to put the 5 rows of beads on it (just the edging too 4 weeks the first time around). Now in a little over a month the evenstar was done, with a nice single row of green beads as an interesting edge to it. Not as much as the black one where the beads draw all the attention but enough to cause a nice extra sparkle around the edge.

I hope the receiver will be very happy with the end result and if possible I will post some pictures of her with the shawl here.

I also still have to take some pictures of the dark and light twins together one of the coming days.

vrijdag 10 juni 2011

Rock Island

The Rock Island Shawl was a quick in between knit with some handspun natural/white alpaca wool in fingering weight. It was a pleasant and supereasy knit as it used 4.5 mm needles which feel like treetrunks compared to my preferred 3mm lace needles. It turned out quite nice and was knit for a person who been through some rough times last year and I felt they needed something nice to happen and this was my contribution to world happiness for the moment.

I have also spun up a first fleece from an alpaca in the color rosegrey, which will be knit into a Damask pattern shawl. It is beautifully soft. I got some project lined up I want to knit, In Dream in Drops Lace (soft, shiny and beautiful but still very cheap), and Galadriels Mirror (can you tell i love Susan Pandorfs patterns), but for this I am currently spinning up a 1st place winning fleece of CD Latino. Beautiful Fleece, white, soft, good crimp and good staple lenght. Will take a bit before I have enough to knit this but the other two can be knit first.

I am also working on a job for another evenstar, this time in white with some green beads, I love to knit this pattern the second time around even more. For me personally it completes it, a white and a black evenstar, even though the white one is already sold.
This will have to be finished before I can think of knitting anything else anyways.

donderdag 5 mei 2011

Return from a long absence

It has been quite a while since I posted anything here. And the longer you stay away the higher the hurdle becomes to restart this. So now I have taken the big step and took the effort to start another post. I am not even going to attempt to recap the last 6 months. I have created a lot of yarn in that period and created some shawls.

One of them was this "masterpiece", the evenstar :
This shawl was made from a 1st place winning fleece of a black alpaca and turned out beautiful.

On good friday this year I went back to the same alpaca farm and bought a total of 9 fleeces (all showfleeces) which I will turn into some beautiful shawls again this year.

I am currently working on the Rock Island shawl making in white alpaca :
Currently have made 14 repeats of the edge as this shawl is an edge inward knit shawl.

I am also almost finished knitting the first thing for myself *GASP*.... I have made a rectangular shawl named Goldberry, the same designer as the evenstar. Very very nice soft darkbrown alpaca homespun yarn. I have to take some pictures soon as it is done.

On the spinning side of things I have a new wheel, I have sold my antique wheel and bought a Louet S10 whcih has a bit more options and works a bit nicer and smoother.

Currently on my wheel I have a baby alpaca fleece from the set of showfleeces, it is a very miraculour colour called Rosegrey. This fleece ranging from grey to a brownish red. The spun yarn is a very beautiful color.

maandag 30 augustus 2010

Fleece to Shawl

What you see here is part of the fleece of CD Pebbles, a gorgeous fawn alpaca. I have bought this fleece earlier this year after this fleece took third place in the show. It was buttery soft on the skinside and a pleasure to spin. Total weight of the fleece was 600 gram and I have spun around 2700 meters in 2 ply from this fleece. It has ended up as this project, part of the citron shawl and will also be made into a shawlette.

Here are a few of the centerpull balls after the fleece has been spun.

A spool half filled with singles which have been plied into 2ply laceweight yarn since then.

A work in progress of the aeolian with the bead showing on top of the fleece from which it came.

The whole shawl which turned out way bigger then expected but it is beautiful. Around 3000 beads were used in the process of making it. Here it is layed out on the floor pinned and wet blocking it into shape. There was a lot of give in it while blocking so it ended up even bigger. I think about 15-20% bigger then the knit size.