I finished my second Vernal Equinox Shawl a couple of weeks ago and it was still just as remarkable to watch it turn from this shrivelled stringy thing. . .
into this lofty, lacy confection which is almost double the size of the one pictured above!
The secret? Rigorous blocking - which (for the uninitiated) involves gently washing the shawl, then pinning it out on a firm surface, stretching it out so all the lace holes open up and you can suddenly see the true beauty of the pattern!
This shawl is made with Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace which I dyed myself last year at a dyeing workshop run by Jeni of Fyberspates at "Get Knitted" in Bristol. It's hard to see the colour in these photos but it's a deep purply black, slightly darker than aubergine/eggplant. The pattern is Vernal Equinox Shawl Surprise by Lankakomero. It's a great pattern, as despite looking complex, it's actually pretty easy, and because each of the sections is different it keeps up the interest. As I never made any mistakes in my first one, I risked knitting this one without "lifelines" and I am pleased to say I got away with it :) You start knitting the shawl in the top centre with very few stitches and gradually increase as you work down the semi-circle, until by the end you have almost 500 stitches. There is a knitted or crochet cast off option, but I chose the crochet version again as I love the big loopy effect it gives to the edge. My other Vernal Equinox shawl is detailed here. But this one is a gift for my lovely Wifie, who loved the first one I made so much that she requested one of her own. . .
In other knitting news, I finished my Hitchhiker Scarf, and it really is quite striking. That was made with Knitsch 100% merino sock yarn and I love the way the colour has pooled in this project.
Finally, I am making slow progress with my hexipuffs for my Beekeeper's Quilt, they are great fun to knit but I only work on them while I am waiting - at swimming lessons, Health Centre, or as a passenger on car journeys so this will be another long-term "slow-cooked" project.
I am also experimenting with making a project bag for the hexipuffs, using scraps of bulky 12 ply wool which I have knitted into a giant hexipuff with an open top. I intend to full (felt) this in the washing machine to shrink it down and make it thicker and sturdier. Still a work in progress at the moment. . .