Sunday, 19 July 2009

My Latest Fad!

Inspired by Rudee's gorgeous shawl, the idea of knitting one started to grow in my mind. I've always loved shawls and lace knitting but I've never knitted one. My fine lacy knitting has been confined to little baby matinee coats. I always finished them!

I had managed to get over my urges to buy wool, and lots of it, when all the wool shops around me closed. I bought loads of it and there's still quite a hoard of it in the black hole cupboard under the stairs. Every now and again I get it out, look at it, think what I could do with it, then put virtually everything back. I have knitted quite a bit of it over the years but there's still a lot of guilt about the money just lying there. Yes another one of my guilty pleasures which I thought I had got over.

Now that I've been reading people's blogs about their hoards of fabrics, wools and other stuff I don't feel quite as bad. They call it a stash. Doesn't sound anything like as bad as my hoard of unused stuff. In fact it sounds a really positive thing.

I'm tempted to get all of it out and display it in my shelving unit in the spare bedroom. It would look quite nice, a bit like a wool shop that I've never had the pleasure of going into for years. There just aren't any here now. Problem is everyone would see it! I say everyone, I really mean my husband. He knows there is quite a lot of stuff in there but as it's spread out and in various bags, it doesn't look so bad. I'll just leave it there!

Have to say I enjoyed browsing about on the Internet looking at all the beautiful lace shawl patterns and the scrumptious wools on the various sites. I got totally absorbed with it looking at the fabulous colours of that lace wool. Main problem was I wanted to feel it.

Eventually I decided to make this one. It's not the mammoth one that Rudee is making but I'm hoping I can manage it. If I do, I get the feeling this may become a habit. Oh the pleasure I got out of looking at the lace wool on all those websites doesn't bear thinking about for too long. It takes all sorts doesn't it!

I got the pattern here from Knitty and really enjoyed reading about how it was designed. It's called an Aeolian shawl and apparently the inspiration came from aeolian erosion in the Mohave desert! Well whatever takes your fancy.

Next I had to research where to get the lace wool. Most Internet suppliers seem to be in the USA but I did find one down in Wales. This is the odd bit. Yes, I know it's a wool website and the idea is you order there, but the colour I wanted was out of stock, so I decided to ring up to have a chat about it.

The lady was really lovely, her two children had just broken up from school and I could hear them chattering in the background. She was really helpful but the shade I wanted, shades of deep blue, won't be available for a few weeks. She did have my second choice, variegated shades of lilacs and blues, so I went with that. I consoled myself with the thought that it might be easier on the eyes to knit the lighter coloured wool! It's an age thing.

What was really surprising was it worked out cheaper than ordering over the website. Weird that!

Now I'm dying to get my hands on the wool, it looks so gorgeous. However I'm dreading my husband's comments if he's here when it's delivered. I'll have to hang around the front door tomorrow!

Just hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew as they say. The pattern is knitted with a circular needle which is not one my favourite things to use. In years gone by I've used them for yokes on fair isle sweaters and was glad to get them finished. The pattern is composed of various charts which I need to print out. Probably easier to keep your place with them than following rows of written instructions. You can mark them at the side to keep a tally of how far you've got. The other thing I've never done is that soaking and blocking of lace. Sounds a bit daunting but I'm up for the challenge. I've also got lots of babysitting to do over the school holidays so maybe knitting will help me keep my sanity if the monsoon weather returns.

In the meantime I'm getting on with my long overdue mailart cross stitch project for Michelle. Got to finish that before I start the shawl.

Can't wait for the Open to finish, it's been on all day and it's near the nail biting end but I have to get off to church now. You'd think I was a golf fan. I'm not, but it's been an interesting afternoon. Will it be Westwood or Watson? I'll find out later.

Post 107


  1. I know exactly what you mean Winifred. I also have miles of wool waiting to be made up into whatever takes my fancy, obviously bought with something in mind (now long forgotten). The thought of you hanging about by the door for your delivery made me laugh - I think I've said it before - we could be twins!

    Will look forward to hearing how you get on with the shawl - it looks beautiful. A x

  2. You should display your stash ,I bet the colors are beautiful.

  3. Hi Winifred! I admire anyone who has the patience for knitting. I'll look forward to photos of your progress!

    I'm glad you like the blog layout. I think the colors turned out really soothing and I'm glad to know I was on the right track for ease of reading.

    I actually have an odd form of dyslexia myself called 'directionality dyslexia' meaning I can't tell left from right, north from south, etc. I hid it for years and it makes following directions almost impossible. I have to really plan trips by myself and study and memorize maps and still I'll get lost five times before I get there!


  4. Thank you for the link. The blocking was easier than I thought. When you get ready, email me and I'll send you links about blocking.

    I like the trick of knitting with a light color and then dying the final product. Brilliant idea that I didn't think of, or that's what I would have done with mine. As it was, my reading glasses were a permanent attachment during the project.

    Good luck. Aeolian is absolutely beautiful.

    (why didn't you use stash?)

  5. Strawberry Jam Anne - Interesting thought that I've got a twin. I didn't think there could possibly be another like me. It's very comforting Anne.

    Bennie and Patsy - I really would like to put it into my shelving. Would look much better than the files of Tax, car records, pension stuff etc. WOuld complement my books too. However Eric would see the enormity of my sins - wool and fabric greed!

    Carmon - I hadn't heard of that type of dyslexia beofre. Maybe that's why they invented sat nav. Have to say I don't have one and won't be either. Like you I'll stick with the maps and the Google directions. My daughter's sat nav apparently told her to do a U turn on the A1 Motorway last week! You can just imagine it - "It's not my fault officer, the sat nav told me to do it"!

    Rudee - Yes I thought that was a good idea too. That orange was fabulous. There's lots more of the undyed merino wool around and it seems cheaper. Thanks for the offer. I'll be in touch when I finish. Note that positive WHEN I finish!

  6. Winifred, This is so funny I can really relate to your hoarding problem in my case it is fabric. I have thousands of dollars invested in fabric, and two years ago got disinterested in quilting. I too, feel very guilty and can't believe my husband hasn't complained or had me committed. He has never said a word.

    I love your shawl, beautiful! Maybe I will drag out some of my stash and make a small quilt before I forget how

    Your other twin :).

  7. Every time I get a hobby that I love I go out and buy way too much of whatever it is. I seldom spend money on anything other than my hobby loves though. I have a room that was a bedroom for our children when they lived at home and it is crammed full of those hoards of things. It is out just enough that I should make use of though, someday. If it were in a closet and out of sight, I doubt I'd ever get to it. Sometimes it just takes a real desire or a nudge from a friend to get us to get busy and create though. Sounds like Rudee helped give you that nudge. Also knitting doesn't sound like a new hobby for you.
    The shawl does look like a beauty.

  8. Hi Winifred, just keeping up with your posts. I'm not sure how viable it is for you but there's a great wool shop in Birtley (Vera's) my mam has bought wool in there for over 40 years. I'm not how much longer it will be going as when Vera retires I should imagine that will be the end of it. There's another in Washington Galleries Inshops, (plenty of wool, but not half the atmosphere)

  9. I'd love to see your stash! I am also a packrat. I keep anything I think can be used for a future project. (My husband picks on me all the time). I don't knit, but I paint and teach and like to dabble with things! BTW the shawl looks beautiful!

  10. I only knit a very little, mostly scarves. I have some beautiful yarn that I plan to knit into a scarf when the winter weather comes around.

    I will be anxiously awaiting pictures of your beautiful shawl. I am really a lover of shawls.

    Sorry I haven't been around lately. Our summer has been really crazy. I don't think it will calm down anytime soon either.

    ~hippo hugs~

  11. Dear Winifred ~~Lovely shawl. so I hope you get to do it. I was thinking
    baby shawls. I have knitted 5 of them, the first when my eldest was born, and then one for each of my 4 kids for their first babies. They were very lacy with a square in the centre and 4 pieces of edging.
    Glad you enjoyed the jokes about
    Forgetting(which Jim had similar
    hiding and losing valuables) Glad you also liked the electric fence etc. Thanks for your kind words about my posts. Glad you get a
    good laugh from them. Take care
    my friend, Take care, Love, Merle.

  12. This is certainly going to be something quite special when you have finished Winnifred.

    I have to say that I cleared out all my knitting stuff.Patterns, wool and most needles. Ihad a stash too.

  13. i hope you display the shawl when it is completed. I am a crocheter, nothing fancy like that shawl. I can only wish.... I used up a bit of my yarn last winter by making an afghan out of some of the yarn. I still have enough left to make another one. I had a talk with myself, and will not buy anymore yarn until I use up what I have on hand. LOL....We'll see...

  14. I'm am not a knitter at all and I admire those who do because I have no idea how to make things, although sometimes I wish I did.

    By the way, I love your picture of the cappuchino you got in Rhodes - it looks fabulous!

    Also? I'm going to try to friend you on Goodreads!

    - Margaret

  15. Many years ago I was on my way to the hospital for a horrendous surgery and spent a month there, in ICU. Believe it or not, but I got an insane urge to learn to knit and no one in my family knew how except for! He had learned to knit while in VietNam to try and calm his nerves!! So I'll always cherish my ability, learned from my adorable brother.


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