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Did you know this blog has been going for four years?!? That’s a lot of yarn, knitting, spinning and nonsense. I have been wondering whether or not to continue, I mean why on earth do I do it? Some of you lovely readers have been with me since the beginning (for which you really should be awarded some kind of endurance prize) and others might dip in and out occasionally. Altogether there are, on average, 16,000 of you a year (well not so many the first couple of years but now that seems to be my stable readership). Thank you, having just gone to find that out, I’m pretty astounded to be honest.
But back to my wondering about blogging and life and the universe in general. Well, just the former really. I started a video blog for a couple of weeks, however I have decided not to continue, for several reasons. Firstly, it’s more work over an intense period. I thought talking to camera would be easier than actual writing, energy wise, but as it happens, this is less tiring. Then there’s the exposing factor. I mean you get to see me with all my stutters, pauses and sniffs (I discovered I do that a lot!) whereas there’s a chance to edit this (I know you can edit videos but I have no idea how to and no inclination to find out). So I think the blog is the way forward for now.

Right, now we’ve sorted out that dilemma, let’s return to a little yarny chat.

I have two main wips on the needles and one finished object. Joji Locatelli released a new pattern not so long ago (have you noticed she’s one of the pattern monsters? She releases tons of them, I have no idea how she manages it) called ‘I see Spring‘, which is a plainish boxy-style sweater with just a little lace detail at the front neckline. Having some Eden Cottage Titus burning a hole in my stash I thought it would be perfect; I was right! It’s a lovely pattern with some interesting short row shaping and I’m really pleased. I know I’m pleased as I didn’t take it off for about a week after finishing it.


My only misgivings are that I made the sleeves slightly too long, although I quite like that as it makes little ‘hand hugs’, and that the Titus, probably due to the silk content, is very unforgiving. You can see every tiny inconsistency and hiding balls changes is difficult so I think in future I’m going to save it for shawl knitting. I like the boxy shape and the dropped shoulders, especially as it means you don’t have much knitting to do on the sleeves, plus the colour is very wearable. I’m a bit slow to the party as it’s only just dawning on me that I need to knit in colours I actually wear as opposed to any random pretty skein colour.

So I had my usual couple of days of moping about with finished object trauma then started this

which is on its way to being Tegna from Caitlin Hunter (aka Boylandknitworks). After the lace border, it’s a tedious hike through stocking stitch tundra but at least this one has short sleeves (there’s a tiny voice inside reminding me I hate short sleeved tops, but my other ‘this time it’ll be different’ voice is happily drowning that out).

And to see me through the boredom, I’ve started a shawl from Curious Handmade, I’ll tell you more about it next time but here’s a wee photo to keep you going.

Cat and Sparrow Fibre Club Review

The lovely Racheal of Cat and Sparrow has started a monthly fibre club inspired by world feast and festivals. Being one of my favourite dyers and fibre suppliers I had to try it out.

Prior to signing up though, I was mindful of the theme of the club; it’s only too easy for people of privilege, of which I’m one, to trivialise other cultures and belief systems so I discussed the question of cultural appropriation with Rachael via her Facebook page. I was reassured that it was to be a thoughtful and considered theme and not an insensitive exploitation of other cultures. I find one of the disadvantages of living in the Highlands is I miss experiencing other cultures in the way I did when I lived and worked in a very diverse city so I saw this was a way of continuing my education.


So I was very excited to receive the first parcel.

I chose to spin the above first, on my ladybug using the medium whorl to give a ratio of 6.5:1, to give a loosely spun 2 ply worsted spun yarn. 

It’s a blend of silk, alpaca and wool and because I didn’t want it to get too muddy looking I decided to split it into colour groups first comme ça


It spun beautifully and made this pretty skein which has been added to my collection!


This club also contained some different blended top, some silk hankies (! They’ll be fun!) as well as some dyed mohair locks which I’m saving for the Tour de Fleece as I love a little lock spinning in between finer spins. I’m really looking forward to the next month’s parcel, it’s so exciting to open.

Just quickly before I go, I finished this too. It’s a Snowmelt Shawl, there was a mystery knit along on Ravelry earlier this year but as I prefer to see the whole project first before I commit to it, I’ve waited until now to give it a go. It’s honestly the best written pattern I’ve come across, with the percentage completed alongside the instructions which is encouraging. The lace is very simple but did require lots of stitch markers to keep me on track. It’s made me realise how much better I’m doing health wise too, as there’s no way I could’ve tackled this kind of project earlier in the year. But I have a clearer mind so it’s easier to follow patterns that aren’t just straight stocking stitch.


The yarn is some gorgeous Titus by Eden Cottage Yarns, a blend of silk and merino that’s perfect for a shawl project. I have some more in my stash waiting for the right sweater pattern too…

Woo hoo

Well hey, I was going to write this post after I finished these socks (Fyberspates ‘Vivacious’ and a pattern called ‘Nutkin’, free on Ravelry


but well, you know me by now. 

And this just happened


‘This’ being the Marled Magic MKAL, a mystery knit along hosted by Westknits.

It’s so much fun, I’ve not been this excited by a project for, ooooh, at least a week. No seriously, it’s fun.

I’d originally decided against it as, from the teasers, it appears to involve large amounts of seed stitch. Meh. 

But I’ve recently been trying to address my weird purl technique; I don’t think anyone purls the same way and it’s just plain weird. I’m a continental knitter, so I hold my yarn in the left hand and I could never get the hang of using it to purl, it just doesn’t work for me so I developed this weird thing that I can’t even describe. 

Then I came across a method a while back, had a go and dismissed it as too much faffing, as it involves more movement than my adapted way. I saw a video by chance on Instagram showing the Method (as it is now known here) and it seemed the best way to manage purl where seed stitch or other patterns where you’re swapping between knit and purl stitches. Here’s the YouTube link if you’re interested, hang on, let me find it…

Link!

Anyway, the MKAL, it’s been designed so you can use up odds and ends of sock yarn as well as incorporating texture if you wish. I decided, after seeing some lovely photos by others, including Skein Queen, to use a strand of mohair with a strand of sock yarn which makes it it gorgeously floofy. Although it’s very early days, I’m really pleased with the result.


I have some news other than knitting too. If you are a regular reader then you’ll know I have ME/CFS and the last twelve months have been especially tough.

I’ve been aware of Dr Myhill’s work for a long time, since diagnosis really, but dismissed it, plus following her protocol (paleo or ketogenic diet, lots of supplements, pacing, sleep management) seemed like too much. As someone who’s life has been significantly restricted I didn’t want to restrict it further.

Desperation is a good motivator for change though and I’ve been slowly incorporating her suggestions over the last few weeks. I’m now fully keto, diet-wise, and am taking so many different supplements, most of which I have never heard of before – l carnitine, ubiquinol to name a few. While I am cautiously optimistic, I am overjoyed to have experienced progress. My energy has improved, I don’t take two hours before I can even communicate in the mornings and although I’m still all too capable of forgetting important things, my brain fog has begun to disperse. Like I said, I’m cautious; I’ve experienced improvements before, like when I did the Lightning Process training but I can’t help but feel over the moon about it. Whoot!

I strongly recommend her book about treating ME; she doesn’t promote anything not backed up by research nor anything other than an improvement in symptoms but being able to cook a little and be able to sit comfortably is such joy.

WIP crack awaaaay!

Following a change in one of my boobs, I went for a mammogram recently (all clear thankfully) and though I wasn’t unduly worried, while ‘tidying’, aka moving around, some yarn I caught myself thinking ‘if I have cancer then I’m casting on that shawl right away’. That shawl being Exploration Station by Westknits and the yarn being this:


It then occurred to me that this was such a ridiculous thought. Why on earth do I need to wait until I have cancer before I cast on another shawl?

It’s a little like housework; I have never been an especially houseproud kind of person and I can’t imagine lying on my death bed regretting I hadn’t hoovered under my sofa on a regular basis (something that never happens, I know there’s a small dog under there but if it gets cleaned up another one will only appear). Frankly life is too short and energy too precious.

So I’ve eased up on myself WIP-wise, hence two new sock projects, a new spinning one and yarn ordered for another shawl (this time the Transition Stash Buster, yeah I know it says stash buster but you know…).

As someone who has previously worked in mental health, I am all too aware that self imposed rigid rules are a recipe for all kinds of issues including depression and anxiety, certainly as a contributing factor anyway. As I have started noticing mine I’ve realised I have quite a few, from eating pizza only on a Friday night to always getting up out of bed every morning even if it’s to have a cuppa then return back to bed on a bad day.

I think they are a way of creating a sense of control over my life, something that anyone with a chronic health issue struggles with as you never know how you’ll feel tomorrow.

On the whole most of mine are functional. It doesn’t hurt to get up every day, even to discover that it’s a bed day as sometimes I can discover I feel better downstairs, and eating pizza every night is a fast track to heart disease but some I can really do without. So here’s to numerous WIPs, SABLE (stash acquisition beyond life expectancy) and UFOs (unfinished objects).

In the meantime, enjoy a photo of what will soon become a very rare finished object. Happy knitting.

Dear diary…

Oh man I’m having a grumpy day today. Probably not the best time to write a blog then, if you’re a sensible person…I’ve never been accused of being sensible so here goes.

I’m not grumpy about anything specific, it’s just a day where I find most people annoying.

One of the reasons I object strongly to the idea that M.E is a psychological, whether partly or otherwise, is because, to coin a phrase, I’ve done a lot of work on myself. Some of that included learning how to be angry as our culture tends to discourage angry women. We can be kind, compassionate, caring, and within reason funny (although not too much as that would be threatening right?), but not angry. 

So I quite enjoy it now, as long as I don’t act inappropriately it’s kind of fun, and feels a little like being naughty.

Right onto ‘proper’ stuff. I realised that this blog is becoming more about M.E (me me meeee!) than anything else and as it reflects what’s going on here then it’s pretty inevitable. Life is very dictated by my health and my activities shaped accordingly.

It’s been a very quiet weekend as Mr Weaving Heart kindly drove me all the way to Inverness on Friday for a posh haircut. Now this is a big trip for me and requires resting before and afterwards. My hair is one of the ways I’ve adjusted things to fit with my health, I now have short hair (and getting shorter) as it’s so much easier to look after and I was slightly anxious about how I would manage sitting in the hairdressers for a wee while. I get orthostatic intolerance – basically unable to remain upright – so wasn’t sure how this would be but it actually went fairly well. One of the paradoxes of M.E is that I can run on adrenaline, and do this for quite a while, adding, of course, to the myth that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with me. It’s very useful as long as I don’t do it too often and this was one of those days; my hair cut took less time than expected so I had a little spare time before my lift arrived and quite happily walked over the bridge and back feeling ‘normal’. It was lovely and quite bittersweet as it reminds me of how I used to feel prior to chronic illness.

Contrary to how I may come across, I’m actually very content with life. It’s been five years (five years!!) since I was diagnosed and having travelled through the various lifestyle changes that come with this, I’m now very grateful I don’t have to force myself to work anymore. I have a comfortable and safe (especially important as so many don’t) home with a life partner who accepts my illness and doesn’t see it as defining me.

Everything from Netflix and social media all contribute to a sense of community as well. There are some great M.E groups on Facebook and I’ve just started participating in ‘Spoonie Mail’ where I exchange proper letters (I know right? Such a long time since I’ve done that other than the odd card to family) with others living with health conditions. It like having lots of pen pals all over again and writing letters gives me a good way of hopefully bringing a little joy into someone else’s life; I know how exciting it is to get post that doesn’t arrive in a brown envelope.

Right, as I need to add a few photos to this I’ll give you a brief update on my FO’s and WIPs. Firstly, I didn’t  immediately cast on that shawl I mentioned last time but managed to get the socks finished.


I’m a complete convert to the Fish Kiss Lips heel after my friend recommended it. It’s so much quicker than a more traditional heel flap gusset thing except I’ve discovered that unless I ensure my measurements are completely on point then they don’t fit well. It’s less forgiving, as I discovered with this pair – one sock fits perfectly, the other is slightly shorter and is, well, annoying. I guess I could frog the toe and reknit but life really is too short.

So having completed a project I had the perfect reason to start a new one, never mind the half dozen or so that are currently on the needles. So here’s my Peachy shawl, using the yarn originally intended for a cardigan (Shusui) that was completely frogged.


It’s very similar to the cardigan pattern, being written by the same designer, and is a top down brioche garter stitch combo. It’ll be very snuggly when finished and hopefully perfect for keeping my shoulders cosy in bed.

Right plenty enough for now, I hope you’re having a slightly less grumpy day and I’ll be back very soon. Thanks for reading.

Guilty knitting

Guilt is a funny old thing. Here I am happily knitting along when wham! I get the overwhelming urge to knit socks.

That’s fine. As a good friend pointed out, I’m missing a small project on the needle right now so socks are perfect for that. 

Ok so one more WIP justified…


…However…I’ve finished one sock (in the most gorgeous yarn from Stranded Dyeworks) and I now want to cast on another shawl; not content with the two blankets, other shawl, second sock that are on the needles right now. Hence Guilt.

This thing is, it makes no sense. Who cares how many projects I have on the go right now? Why does it matter? The thing is it doesn’t, but try telling that to my conscience.

Anyway, guilt aside. On a mission to find the perfect sock yarn, I encountered Yarn With a Curse. I did, I really did. The first yarn I considered was a new skein that had arrived a couple of weeks earlier (yes I was on a yarn diet, it’s gone out of the window, but more of that another time). However, I have this thing about keeping speckled yarn for shawls so decided against it.

I had a brief rummage through my stash and found a beautiful skein that I’ve been saving for a special occasion (because a new WIP is always special). As I was pulling it off the shelf, a bag of fibre from a completely different part of the shelf flew out and hit me on the head.

Then I ran into all kinds of trouble when I came to caking the yarn. It got into all measure of tangles never seen before and I ended up having to chop it four times. 

By this time I was a little concerned, and scared. However, I cast on, using Petunia Dursley’s Double Eyelet Sock pattern with the needles recommended and knit the first couple of rounds. It was tiny. I mean really tiny, like big enough for a leprechaun kind of tiny. 

So I admitted defeat and ended up using the yarn I’d originally thought of. Which tells me I should just follow my heart, so I’m going to cast on that shawl I was thinking about…

Silver linings

Have you come across the Pussy Hat Project? If you’ve seen the news or been on social media over the last day or so the chances are you have.

I’ve felt very humbled to be part of a community that has produced this and it’s reminded me that there usually is a silver lining to whatever happens in life.

Take my health condition, without it I doubt I’d have had the opportunity to set up a moderately successful baby wrap weaving business which in turn introduced me to some amazing women (you know who you are!).

We most likely wouldn’t have moved either, yet by doing so I’m now living in our house. You know, the one we have been meant to live in all along. 


I love living in Helmsdale, I’m a city girl at heart (disappointingly) so being in the midst of a village with all the sounds of habitation around me is very reassuring.

The house is perfect, not a kit house without character like our old one but a home filled with light and colours, quirks and comfort. I look around and have that glow of contentment every day.


Our small garden is filled with birds too, so I watch them squabbling over the feeders and strutting about in the mornings, along with two very interested dogs!


There’s a walk in the nearby hills that is accessible by car and follows an old disused road, it’s something I can manage a little of once or twice a week and it has fabulous views out to sea and across the strath.


So despite the fears I held about leaving my studio and bungalow in the middle of nowhere, everything has worked out well, very well indeed.

Now, I promised some more photos of my Find Your Fade shawl, it’s worn all the time but I managed to do without it for a few minutes in order to fulfill my commitment.