Easy as Pi

I don’t know about you, but this has been the hardest April I can remember. In fact, I dont think I’ve ever experienced such a difficult start to the year. In December I got a promotion at work. I was in a job I didn’t like, and now I have a job that I enjoy a lot. But the job comes with more responsibility, and with responsibility comes stress. Cue knitting to save my sanity.

A few months ago I finally bought the Knitter’s Almanac. I walked through Elizabeth Zimmermann’s fabulous “unventions” and sage advice, and decided that now was the time to cast on a Pi Shawl. Sometimes you start something and you’re not sure why, but it just seems like the right thing for the time. This shawl is what my brain and my heart have needed over the last few months. I sit down to work on it and it helps me to slow down and stop worrying. The yarns are beautiful and make this knitting a very tactile experience.

Earlier this month I got a call that my grandma was very ill and might not make it for much longer. I bought a plane ticket, packed a bag, and went to be with her. This shawl was such a comfort as I travelled and sat in waiting rooms. I showed it to her and she thought it was so beautiful. And then as she started to recover I knit on it in joy, so pleased that I was not knitting in mourning.

So often in my knitting I try to be smart. The easy solution or the obvious solution are not good enough, I have to do it the hard way. But sometimes I need something easy so that my brain can stop working on overdrive. That is what this shawl is for me.

New Free Pattern: The Balai Shawl

I am excited to tell you that I’ve just published a new pattern! And this time, just to change it up a little, it’s a crochet pattern!

broomstick lace shawl

Meet the Balai shawl, published in Knotions Magazine. This shawl is worked in Broomstick lace, which I learned from my husband’s grandmother. Now I am not a super-experienced crocheter, but that just means that the pattern is simple enough that anyone can do it. All it takes is a little practice. The shawl is worked by increasing every other row, so you can make it as big as you like. And, the pattern is written to work with virtually any yarn and hook (bulky, super bulky, and jumbo weight yarns are not suggested as they may not drape well). So what are you waiting for? Grab a hook, some yarn, and a dowel (Broomstick Lace requires a dowel or stick to hold your stitches open across the row…kind of like a giant knitting needle), and get started!

broomstick lace

For more information on Broomstick Lace and a free bracelet pattern, read this post.

Pattern Testers Needed!

Hey friends! One pattern has just been published, so that means it’s time to get the next into testing. My next pattern is quite different from normal for me, in that it is a crochet pattern. It all started on my vacation last October, when my husband’s grandma taught me how to crochet broomstick lace. I got an idea at that time, and now I’ve made it a reality: I made a Broomstick Lace Shawl!

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The beauty of this shawl is that it can be made any size, and with any weight yarn, so the possibilities really are endless. Mine is a shawlette, made with a skein of Miss Babs Yowza (Worsted, 560 yds/ 512 m).

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I’m looking for 6 pattern testers – 2 each to make a shawl in fingering, Sport or DK, and Worsted weight yarns. If you’re interested, all the details are here.

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Also, I need a name for this beauty. “Broomstick Lace Shawl” is descriptive, but not very evocative. What would you name this shawl? Leave a comment and include your Ravelry name. The person who comments with the best name will receive a free copy of my Ribless Hat as thanks.

My First Crocheted Finished Object!

I’ve been quiet recently about my Half Granny Shawl, but I’ve been working on it a lot and I am ecstatic to say it is done!

I love how it came out. In the skein the yarns reminded me of sunrise and sunset, but worked up they make me think of ripe peaches and plums in a woven basket sitting on a wooden table with dappled sunlight falling through leaves. Yummy!

It’s a little smaller than I would normally make a shawl, but it completely used up the 2 skeins of yarn I had (from stash!). Any extra yarn I put in the tassels. Perfect.

tassels

Yarn: Araucania Nuble – 2 skeins (273 yds each) – 75% merino/ 25% silk – Colours: Yellow-Peach-Grey and Sienna-Magenta-Purple

Hook: 4.5 mm

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In Progress

My Fibonacci blanket is getting too big to cart around. Thusly, I have barely looked at it recently. This square is going to be done soon, though.

blanket

My Crochet shawl continues apace. As a knitter this is surprisingly easy to work on and I am enchanted with the play of light and colour in these two yarns.

shawl

My Pink Floyd socks are close to being finished. I have a few more inches left on the foot and then the toe and afterthought heel. I’m hoping to finish them this weekend.

socks

And here’s a sneak peek of a project I’m just about finished with! I can’t wait to tell you more about it next week! (Look, it has a pocket!!!)

shirt

Works in Progress

I have a lot of things I am actively working on. And a lot more things I want to start…. Here’s what’s in progress.

My Fibonacci Blanket: the 3rd square is almost done. It only gets bigger (much, much bigger) from here.

blanket

Pink Floyd Socks: One done. Now to start the 2nd…

sock

Raindrops and Wildflowers cowl: I’m 2/3 done knitting this. The pattern is written, but needs revision.

raindrops and wildflowers

Half Granny Shawl: I am surprised by how much I enjoy this and how easy it is to work on. It’s growing by the day.

granny

Rumplestiltskin yarn: My singles are spun, and I’m 1/3-1/2 done with plying. The main hurdle is stringing 63,871,688 beads. It’s so pretty, though, that it’s worth it. Pattern suggestions for when it’s done? I’m thinking a shawl.

rumplestiltskin

The Shawl that Started Itself

We’ve talked about the sweater and how it’s eating my life. In reaction I want to cast on all the things. The other morning I was partially awake and dreaming of knitting a shawl. You just can’t ignore your subconscious when it tells you to knit, so I did some thinking and planning. I decided to knit Simone’s Wedding Shawl with some of the yarn I bought on my honeymoon – Hedgehog Fibers Sock in Nutmeg.

hedgehog

A short trip to the yarn store later (who are we kidding? Trips to the yarn store are never quick!) I had found 2 coordinating yarns and I was ready to get started!

yarn

I cast on later that day. But only after I had reached my daily goal on the Behemoth.

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