Monday, 1 September 2008


For what seems like an eternity I have been working on this shawl, but last night it was over! This is made in an unusual yarn which consists of pineapple plant fibre combined with ramie - which I have just looked up, as I don't know what that is either. Apparently, it is a plant related to the stinging nettle! So this is a very organic, 'green' item of apparel.

To begin with, it took me over two hours to wind the yarn from its skein into a ball - some of it is so fine it is almost like hair. Luckily it is also quite strong and the only breakages were when I got into a hopeless tangle and had to cut out a knot and start again.

This made the choice of pattern quite important - I have a lot of complicated lacy shawl patterns but I felt this needed to be kept relatively simple because controlling the yarn would be hard enough, let alone following a knitting chart. So I chose a Rowan pattern that I have used before in laceweight mohair with success, so I knew it was 'do-able'. What a sensible decision that was! The yarn seems to have a mind of it's own as it is quite wiry despite being so fine, and tangles and twiddles were a problem the whole way through. I also managed to pull the needle out of great wadges of stitches on several occasions and only sitting very still and VERY carefully re-threading them on saved it from complete disaster.

But it got finished with no glaring errors that I can see, and after washing it and drying it stretched to it's proper shape, I am very pleased with it. It is triangular and as light as air, and when scrunched up it fits into one hand. The yarn has a slightly crisp feel to it, without being harsh which is very pleasant. The pattern is a simple recurring motif with little triangles of stocking stitch among lacy holes.

I have to give first refusal of this to a friend of mine, but if she declines it then it will be on Etsy very shortly. Good Grief!! SOLD - that has to be the quickest sale on line I've ever had!

After all that work, I treated myself to a little play with the banana silk yarn - and made the above knitted rose, which will shortly become a brooch. Very silky and shiny yarn, with a fluffiness to it where it has been hand-spun. Unusual and very pretty - I shall be buying more of this!

And finally, I received another batch of potatoes to paint this week, including some amazingly coloured ones - one is deep indigo and maroon. I can't wait! Who knew the humble spud came in such glorious technicolour?


Magpie Magic said...

This shawl is definitely MINE!!!! LOL Really, don't let anyone else have it. I'll cherish it forever. :-)

The banana silk looks great. Cute little rose. :-)

Can't wait to see the new potatoes.

Laura said...

Dang, that's so, so gorgeous! Really stunning, Caroline.