Wednesday, February 27

Celtic Hearts Shawl -- the pattern!

Have you been looking for a lace shawl pattern that is less complicated? Something that won't take you 6-8 weeks to knit, require tiny needles, and a thousand yards of very fine yarn?

Celtic Hearts is a seriously easy and fast knit. I designed it to be knit with dk weight yarn on size 8 needles. The sample shawl was knit from a single skein (350 yards) of Mountain Colors Weavers Wool Quarters in Rich Red.

The design is simple, striking, and beautiful. Diagonal lines radiate off a central motif and connect to a line of hearts in the border.

The triangle shape starts out small and grows as you knit each row. It's a versatile shape that can be worn around the shoulders, draped around your head and neck, or wrapped around your waist. Knit it smaller as a scarf or larger for a bigger wrap.

The pdf pattern is four pages long. There is one page of general instructions, two pages of line-by-line directions, and a final page of lace charts for the body and the border. I've included some lace knitting tips and information on how to upsize the pattern to knit a bigger shawl.

I try my best to make my patterns clear and easy to read. The pattern has been proofed and knitted twice to prevent errors. (That said, let me know if you find any.)

For more information, visit my Ravelry pattern store to see all my available designs, current pricing information, and purchase pattern downloads.

Tuesday, February 26

Name that shawl & other contest results

Wow! I am overwhelmed by the number of names suggested for my new shawl. It was very difficult to choose between so many good suggestions.

After giving each submission serious consideration, I finally narrowed the list down to my favorite five: Cupid's Arrow, Love-ly!, Wright Angles, Heart Deco and Celtic Hearts. Though I like all of them, I think that Celtic Hearts best expresses my new design.

Congratulations, DJ!
You submitted the winning name. Check your email box for your copy of the pattern.

Thanks everyone, for taking the time to send in a name. I will try to get the shawl pattern posted for sale on my blog and Ravelry tomorrow.

Winners of the "What Can I Make Contest?" are: Marsha, Judy, Jenifer, Cheryl, Tanya, Vandy, Helen, Rachel, Estella, Nicola, Emily, Wendy, Marceline, Carly, Amelia, Sherri, Nadine, and Turvid. I sent email out last Friday to everyone notifying them that they've won. (Check your spam or bulk email folder if your name is on this list and you haven't received the email. Three winners have not responded.) Prize packages were mailed on February 29.

Thanks for being patient with me. The flu bug picked a very inconvenient time to visit my house. Today is the first day I haven't felt like roadkill. I hope to be back to normal soon.

Sunday, February 24

I'm sick

I'm sick. Hubby brought the flu home from work. Bear with me for a few days while I try to get over this. I'll answer emails and such when I am able.

This flu bug is a nasty one!

Tuesday, February 19

Name that shawl! (a blog contest)

Woo-hoo! I took my newest shawl off the blocking board this morning. Isn't she a beauty?

It's an easy and fast knit that looks a lot more complex than it really is. It doesn't take a lot of yarn. I knit this small shoulder shawl with a 350 yard skein of Mountain Colors Weavers Wool quarters (dk) on size 8 needles.

I'm in the process of finishing the pattern, but I can't come up with a name for it.

Anyone want to take a shot at naming it? If some one can come up with a name I like, I'll give them a free copy of the pattern.

You have until Friday, February 22 to send in a name(s).

Post a comment or send me an email with your entry.

Saturday, February 16

Carnival handspun & more contest prizes

It's been another busy week. I'm working on a new shawl pattern design. This one will be a fast knit for beginners. It should have been finished by now but Solitaire decided to scratch the thumb and index finger on my right hand. I know she didn't mean to do it. The scratches are more like paper cuts and even though I disinfected and medicated them, they're sore as all blazes. Washing my hands and how dry they are this winter hasn't helped them heal up any faster. They've been a little too tender to try to knit.

I've tried to cast on for a pair of toe up socks with the remaining yarn from the red shawl I just finished. Patons Kroy must be a thinner than normal sock yarn because I'm having a devil of a time getting the toe stitches tight enough. I may have to give up and find another yarn for socks.

I pulled out some really brightly dyed Rambouillet combed top to spin. There was a little piece as well as a 3.4 oz ball. I spun up the small bit and plyed it. I'm not happy with the way it turned out. I love the bright colors in the fiber but spun up it looks too wild and crazy. I'm thinking this would have looked much better plyed with a single of black or gray. I will probably sell what's left of this fiber. The yarn I spun weighs 1.2 oz with an amazing 232 yards! Top spins much finer than carded roving.

Two more prizes are being added to the "What Can I Make With? contest. Amelia of The Bellwether donated two of her handspun mini balls of yarn. (Thanks, Amelia!) There's nothing "mini" about this yarn! The purple one is 258 yards of fingering weight yarn in a blend of wool, silk, viscose, tencel and silk noil. The blue one is 208 yards of fingering weight yarn in a blend of wool, silk, tencel, and viscose. Both are simply gorgeous and have me itching to knit one of them up! These prizes will be added to the pot when the patterns on the list hit 350 and 400. Check out more of her handspun in her Etsy shop.

The pattern total stands at 330. Yes, I have more links to post. Be patient as it takes me quite a bit of time to get them posted.

Please spread the word that the contest is still open and I'm still taking entries. I challenge everyone who reads my blog to find just one pattern to add to this list. You know you're going to use it someplace down the road when you have a ball of yarn or leftovers you want to use up.

Thursday, February 7

The saga of the Syrian Shawl

In late January I found out about a surprise party that was being planned for a friend on February 6. That party happened last night and we were able to surprise her--a very difficult thing to pull off with this friend.

Brenda and I go back 25 years (unbelievable)! I've worked with her in the office and assisted her with a number of books she's written. She's also been a very good friend who has helped me through some tough times over the years. Her most memorable rescue came on my wedding day, when she stepped in and officiated at our wedding ceremony (as an appointed judge-for-a-day) . This after the person who was supposed to perform our wedding ceremony bowed out inexplicably two weeks before the wedding.

Last night, I and a number of other women friends gathered to honor her and tell her how much we value her as a friend. We shared stories of our personal histories with Brenda, shed a few tears, and laughed a lot. It was an enjoyable evening that we hated to see end.

I knew I wanted to give Brenda something special at this event, but I didn't have a lot time. Maybe a lace scarf? I searched through my yarn stash seeking inspiration. Several yarns looked promising though I kept coming back to some bright red sock yarn. It was a perfect choice for someone as vibrant and lively as Brenda. It said shawl not scarf. The perfect pattern popped into my mind--a graceful triangular shawl pattern from 1891 that would stand up to and compliment the bright yarn--the Syrian Shawl from Victorian Lace Today.

Now I had a problem because I only had 2 skeins of yarn. This wasn't enough for a shawl. The only shop in town who carried the yarn had a completely different dyelot that would not work with my original yarn. I went online and posted a plea on the knitting lists and Ravelry looking for more yarn that would match what I had. Meanwhile, I was working on a project for Brenda during the day and knitting the shawl in the evenings. A Ravelry member, Sara, from Illinois came through with two skeins of yarn that were a close match to my yarn. She was kind enough to mail it to me immediately. (Thank you, Sara!) With her help, I was able to finish the shawl and block it only 2 days before the party. Whew!

Brenda loved it! Here she is wearing it. Something special for someone special.