A finished shawl

I can’t believe how much this Gail aka Nightsongs shawl changed from its “off the needles” state when I blocked it.

Shawl after knitting

Off the needles

Shawl being blocked

Being blocked

It’s been on a circular needle for the last three or four weeks, once there became too many stitches for a straight needle.  The circular made it hard to see what shape it was.  I’ve only ever knitted one other triangular shawl, which was top down starting with a huge number of stitches and reducing gradually to the point.  This one started with a tiny number of stitches and gradually increased.  In my ignorance, I expected it to be a reverse of the top-down one with the cast-off edge forming the long side of the triangle.  So I was quite surprised when I was casting off to find that I was forming the two short sides of the shawl.

This shawl only weighs just over 50g, it’s light as a feather.  It’s still on the blocking mat at the moment.  It should be dry by tomorrow and I can’t wait to see what it looks like when I unpin it.  I can see why people get addicted to knitting lace.

New life for old curtains

I’ve found a home for the 30-year-old curtains I’m replacing in the bedroom we’ve redecorated.  They were made of linen union, which is my favourite curtain material because it’s weighty and hardwearing and it washes well.

After 3 decades and annual laundering the curtains were looking past their best but it seemed a shame just to put them in the recycling bin where they’d have ended up as roofing felt or possibly printers’ wipes.  I asked around and a friend of a friend has taken them.  She makes beautiful items like bags and cushions from second-hand fabric, selling them in local outlets.  I look forward to perhaps spotting part of a curtain in a shop window some day soon, or being carried through town full of groceries.

The new curtains are completely different: blue and white stripes with a little ikat for good measure.

Blue curtainsI pre-shrunk the cotton fabric, which is just as well because the length reduced by 6%.  Up to 3-4% is more normal, but I suspect that this fabric was woven somewhere fairly rural, it has that homespun look about it.  The ikat is genuine, not printed on – the warps have been dip-dyed in the hank – and I love the irregularity it brings to the design.  This blue-and-white freshness is definitely a change from the dark, heavy linen union, but I doubt these curtains will last 30 years.

About yorkshirecrafter

I live and work in West Yorkshire.  I've always enjoyed crafts of all types, from woodwork to lace-making.  I also enjoy anything mathematical, which makes knitting a favourite pastime, especially complicated designs.  I've been advising businesses and industry on environmental matters for 30 years and also have an interest in green living, especially where it saves me money. I live with my husband and our Maine Coon in a 100-year-old cottage that constantly needs something doing to it.  Fortunately, I enjoy DIY too.
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