I had a custom order before Christmas for a yarn set to knit the Indigo Sea Shawl by Carrie Bostick Hoge – it is a lovely shawl which uses 50g each of three shades of 4ply. I dyed the set in heathery shades on Bluefaced Leicester Suri Alpaca 4 ply, over the Natural Silver shade (naturally dyed with logwood, lac and iron). While I was dyeing the order I created another 3 x 50g set (165m/50g x 3 = 495m/150m) and several 5 x 50g sets (165m/50g x 5 = 825m/250g) which fully exhausted the dye bath.
The three shade set would make a lovely Indigo Sea Shawl as per the original custom order, and there will be many other options I’m sure. For the five shade sets I had a quick search on Ravelry and found some really stunning designs that I think would work well (this is just a tiny snippet, have a look here for more ideas) ……..
Designs, clockwise from top left – Winterlight by Meg Gadsbey, Miso by Ambah O’Brien, Indigo Sea Shawl by Carrie Bostick Hoge, Honey Honey Honey by Lisa Hannan, ADVENTurer Scarf & Wrap by Ambah O’Brien, Bark Lines by Joji Locatelli and Colourblind by Jana Huck (all design photos by designer)
Two skeins of Bluefaced Leicester Suri Alpaca Blend 4 ply would make a wonderful one-colour Eathie Shawl – the original shawl used just 180g, so with 200g you could add a few extra repeats and end up with a beautifully long drapey shawl. Or a single skein would quickly knit up in Clare Devine’s Lode Shawl……my version, in one skein of last year’s Longwool Blend , is shown below (another yarn that I hope to bring back this autumn!). I find it is such an easy, comfortable shawl to wear and it is getting a lot of use at the moment.
I do love knitting hats so have another three to suggest to you (all of which would be good in any of my DK weight yarns but I think, especially, Gotland DK). All will work with less than one skein of yarn and are fun but relaxing knits. The photo shows myself and my two daughters on a walk this winter, when I suddenly realised that we were all wearing hand knit hats – needless to say that made me very happy!
On the left I am wearing my Acai Hat by Clare Devine (knit for me as a very kind gift, in my Shetland DK, by the lovely Lorna). In the middle, Katie is wearing her Wildflowers Cap, a pattern by M J Mucklestone. I knit this in Silver Grey Gotland DK with naturally dyed Gotland DK for the flower and pompom. And on the right, Islay is wearing her Chamomile Hat which is (another!) Clare Devine pattern. I knit it several years ago with West Yorkshire Spinners BFL DK and some leftover yarn scraps but, again, I think it would be lovely in Gotland DK. I think you could have a lot of fun with these last two patterns (or indeed, many other hat patterns) using Gotland DK with one skein of Cream or Silver Grey as the main colour and a mini skein gradient set for accent colours. **
And finally, if you are looking for a bigger project I can definitely recommend Renee Callahan’s Angelus Novus cardigan. I have progressed quite a lot since I took the photo below and can’t wait to wear this stylish cardigan. One of the fascinating things about this cardigan is the construction, you start off as if knitting a shawl and then, later, it morphs into a cardigan shape. So clever!
* Another batch of Shetland DK (and 4ply this time too) is being spun by The Border Mill as we speak – I’m really looking forward to having this beautiful yarn back in stock, it was very popular last year.
** For info, amounts of yarn used per hat as follows (including pompoms): Acai 76g, Wildflowers 71g and Chamomile 69g.
The beautiful, cosy and stylish Comfort Shawl was designed by Sarah Hazell. Sarah is a very talented (and lovely too) designer with a vast amount of experience. So when she suggested working with my yarn I was bowled over and followed up her offer pretty quickly!
After swatching with Batch Number 2’s Shetland, Shetland~Cheviot Blend and Cheviot, Sarah decided that she’d like to work with the Shetland~Cheviot Blend. This blend brings out the best of the two different wool characteristics; it gains softness and a slight lustre from the Shetland plus strength and bounce from the Cheviot (the other yarns are lovely too, of course, each with their own special characteristics!).
I knew that Sarah had a textured shawl in mind and although I did see a couple of in-progress sneak peaks I wasn’t prepared for how lovely this shawl would be. It is simple yet detailed, soft and cosy yet striking – I can’t believe how lucky I am to have had such magic worked in my yarn!
The Comfort Shawl is completely reversible and is an easy meditative knit. It is a long and shallow design which is cast on from the top edge and decreases each row……….very rewarding as the knitting speeds up the further you go on!
The Comfort Shawl is beautifully sized for wrapping cosily around your neck or can be worn in a more draped fashion for a bold and dramatic effect. The shawl measures around 200cm (79 in) along the top edge and is approximately 55cm (22 in) deep excluding the tassels.
It uses 330g of Black Isle Yarns Shetland~Cheviot Blend, beautifully semi-worsted spun at DK weight by The Border Mill. Each kit will include 360g of yarn plus a paper copy of the pattern. Kits will go on sale tomorrow (Wednesday) night at 7pm UK time.
There’s only a few kits left, if you’d like to snap one up before they are all gone you can find them here.
I’ve recently finished this second sample in my Autumn 2016 Zwartbles~Alpaca Blend. I wanted to knit a shawl that showed off the beauty of this yarn – it’s squishiness and texture – and settled on a simple triangular kerchief design (the Romney Kerchief by Jared Flood).
The pattern itself is simple and straight-forward and I enjoyed adapting it slightly. I used a garter tab cast-on rather than the pattern’s provisional cast-on and then played around with the bottom edge using some stunning Shilasdair scraps in vibrant pink and yellow. As ever I do love Shilasdair (the colours achieved by natural dyeing are so stunning) and was very pleased to use almost every last bit of these two small scraps………my stripes weren’t quite to plan as I had so little to work with but I’m happy with the outcome and with having made best use of what I had to hand. The Shilasdair is 4 Ply and was held double. This was my first time using a sewn bind-off – it looks great but I did find it slightly tedious!
Yarn Details: Black Isle Yarns Zwartbles~Alpaca Blend
The Shilasdair DK in naturally dyed Tansy Gold (dyed with tansy unsurprisingly!) is soft, plump and light (a luxurious mix of alpaca, camel, angora and lambswool) while the Chopped Ginger Gotland Fingering is a much more lean and heavy yarn (in a natural undyed dark grey). Both yarns were lovely to knit with in different ways – the Gotland has lots of character but did require some concentration at times. I absolutely love my finished shawl and am sure I’ll have many happy years wearing it.