Foggy Sunset

Foggy Sunset
Photo by Aisling Doonan

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

11 Shawls 2011

It’s January again (happens EVERY year, tut tut!) and I’ve been trying to come up with some shawls for 2011 to participate in the Ravelry competition/knit along.  I began knitting 18 shawls last year and managed to finish 15 of them, which wasn’t bad innings!  This year I have a lot of yarn in my stash that could be used in some small shawlettes and it would make me feel a lot better about buying more.  My first New Years Resolution is a necessity rather than a vague hope, in that I am more careful with money.

So I have been racking my brains to see what I could actually make, here is my list so far (it’s more of a stash yarn appointment rather than a specific pattern list!)
  • Jamieson & Smith Christening Shawl in Optic White Cobweb – This is a commission for baby Simon and needs to be finished before March.  Looking forward to it as I’ve never made one of these before and I think that there are written instructions rather than charts, which will make a huge change for me.
  • Hedgehog Fibres Silk in Ink – This 100% pure silk lace is so decadent that I mostly sit there stroking it!  I have a pattern called Monte Cristo that I haven’t knit up yet, that I think this will be perfect with, can’t wait!!!  It’s a triangular shawl knit in one piece (edgings included) and knit from side to side.  Psychologically it seems to take less time to make this way!

  • Dublin Dye Company Alpaca Lace – This yarn is also gorgeously soft and squishy and in a beautiful stormy grey blue colour.  The dye does come off on my hands though and my hands were a beautiful shade of blue when I had finished winding the skein by hand (I don’t have a swift or a ball winder, so this was fun!)  I have another small pretty pattern called Plumfield that I think I will pair with this one.  It’s a top down triangle so I can just keep knitting until I run out of yarn.  Will need to knit with a tea towel on my lap though.

  • Heirloom Knitting Gossamer Silk in Royal Blue – Wow, I fell in love with the colour of this as soon as I saw it, it’s fabulous.  It’s also a 100% pure silk and I have ear marked it for Sharon Miller’s Love Darg Shawl, from her book of the same name.  I’ll be making the gossamer 2010 version I think, though that may change by the time, I get to it!

  • Heirloom Knitting Cashsilk in Hyacinth – Also fell head over heels in love with this colour (points to anyone who can guess what my favourite colour is!) and I bought it with the intention of making Sharon Millers Queen Ring Shawl.  Whether I get it done in, the year is another story.

  • Cushendale 4 ply in Indigo – I bought this from The Yarn Room website and hopefully it will lend itself to Mwaa’s EZ Anniversary Pi Shawl, either the Camping or the Hearts and Gulls pattern.  It might be a fraction too thick but I’ll have to swatch to see.  If not it could be an afghan or I could just make a cardigan out of it.

  • Heirloom Knitting Cashsilk in White Shine – I bought this last year as I had just come up with a pattern for a veil and I wanted to make Mimi her Holy Communion Veil (even though she hasn’t even started school yet!).  Even though I have years to go before she needs it, I’ll hopefully get started on it this year.  It will be a semi circular veil with a knit on edging.  I’m going for an all over pattern for the main section and will incorporate some symbolism for the day into the edging.  I hope it turns out as well as it looks in my head.

  • Various 2 ply lace weight remnants – Mostly in Jamieson's or Jamieson & Smith with some similar colours and some contrasts so I should be able to invent a small shawlette with these.

  • Various 2 ply jumper weight remnants – Left overs from my Blankie Hap.  A nice and simple stripy triangle with little or no lace might look well here!

  • Various Heirloom Knitting Merino Lace remnants – As fine as cobweb and in some gorgeous colours too – turquoise, dark green, bright pink, navy, red, airforce blue & biscuit.  Again, delicate contrasting stripes (or waves?) might be nice.

  • And finally, Jamieson & Smith Shetland Supreme 2 ply Lace Weight – I still have lot’s of this left on the cone, even after my Peerie Smoorikins Shawl and A Stóir Baby Blanket.  It’s such a joy to knit with and block, is definitely my favourite workhorse yarn, I don’t ever want to be with out it!

So there you have it, I am going to be very very busy this year.  When I sat down to compile this list I honestly didn’t think I would be able to get to number 11.  The fact that the yarn ALL comes from my stash and I don’t have to spend a penny on this is a HUGE bonus.  Though, the only down point is that I have some very large shawls in there, the Love Darg and the Queen Ring could take months to complete.  So I think I will have to make the other smaller ones closer to the minimum requirement of 250m/273yrds.  Still it looks good on paper, it will be interesting to look back in twelve months and see if I changed my plans much or if I made more than 11!

Happy New Year & Happy Knitting all!



  1. Hi there! I'm one half of the Dublin Dye Company. I'm sorry you're having dye issues!! You've already wound it into a cake, I see. If you want to send it back to us, we can try to do some magic on it and then get it back to you. Or once you've knit it I can give you some suggestions of ways to try to set the dye more. Blue is a really really hard dye to exhaust. We try our best to get all the excess out before we sell it, and this one (I was pretty sure which one it was before I saw the picture) had gone through 4 rinses plus two vinegar baths.

    If you would like, you are also more than welcome to return it and we will send you another skein. I'm not sure if we have the same colourway (or if we can replicate it, the laceweights are really hard to duplicate), but we will try or you can choose another colourway.

    Whichever you would like to do, we'll accommodate as best we can! If you do get another skein, I'll make sure to wind it for you first! :D


  2. Hi! Thank you so much for leaving a comment, I'm chuffed! Your customer service really is second to none! If you don't mind I'll keep the yarn, I'm so in love with the colour that I don't want to let it go! Some suggestions for setting the dye more would be good though, I hope to knit the shawl up soon so I can do that when I block it. The fact that my hands turned blue didn't turn me off at all, it was such a pretty colour!!!

    Thanks for replying & I hope to increase my stash with more Dublin Dye soon ;-p

  3. We do our best..we're just knitters who like yarn too :D. I had the same issue with some Debbie Bliss yarn. What fixed it for me was a big glug of vinegar in the blocking water. It's still gonna come out some when you dunk it tho. I've heard tell from a friend who had other yarn that ran that Soak made it run, and Eucalan didn't. YMMV.

    If vinegar doesn't work, salty water sometimes helps. I'll have to play here in the studio a bit to work out which one sets it better. You can email me (elanais at gmail) to let me know when you block it and we'll figure it out together.

    Thanks again, and I can't wait to see what you make from it!

  4. Great, will try the vinegar first so! I still haven't matched up a pattern to this beauty yet, I'll probably make one up when I get to it. I'll keep you posted though, thanks for everything!