shifting shapes and colours

The third shape we examined in The Whispers Lace Program currently running here on Wednesday evenings, is the asymmetrical shawl. A gradient handpainted yarn seemed perfect for this one! I chose the Dangling Conversation and used Freia Fine Handpaints in 100% wool. This morning I soaked the finished piece and the wool blocked out into a Hokusai Wave! L.O.V.E

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Kate Davies’ Miss Rachel yoked sweater was my choice for the Fair Isle Fiesta Program that finished here a few weekends ago.  Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth from Gawthorpe Hall, is the inspiration behind the patterning on this design. I chose stash yarn that had been patiently waiting for me for ten years! Jamieson’s DK weight Shetland Wool was my choice, and I love it just as much now as when I bought it long ago. I purchased the body colour Eesit in the same yarn from Camilla Valley Farm in Ontario. A bottom up, yoked pullover means lots of stocking stitch, preparing the body and the sleeves to be joined to work the yoke and colour work section in one piece. This is going to be a favourite in a few months but meanwhile I am happy to work on it outside in the amazing sunshine where I daydream of taking my sweater to visit Gawthorpe Hall.  That’s a some day dream.

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Sometimes I order yarn that arrives looking quite different than it did on the website – ‘ever happened to you?  A hank of sock yarn arrived a few weeks ago that I knew I would never knit if I didn’t cast it on right away.  An opportunity to work on some textured fabric came up and I began to see some potential. Choosing a yarn that pulled some highlights from this yarn really helped and so it became my ‘because you are a bee’ socks.  I modified a pattern by Nessa Townley, working my favourite rib, a variation on the heel, and shaping the sole so that it pulled into my arch.  I almost have a pair of socks that will bee amazing!

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Now and again a colour comes along, that I can’t stop thinking about.  Sometimes my own reaction makes me think I don’t know myself at all!  I am not one to stick to a colour palette in my wardrobe, and that can make pulling things together interesting when I’m in a hurry.  But, I do like creating outfits when I begin a project.  So if I choose to make a sweater I pretty well have the whole picture painted in my mind, accessories and all, by the time the sweater is finished.  I begin pulling all the other pieces in while the knitting gets done, and it feels like a big event (for me only!) when I can finally wear all the bits.  The most recent event that inspired an outfit was The Firsties’ drama production, a piece I wrote about here.  In that post I mentioned the skirt in swamp green, that took me down the rabbit hole.  I had purchased an amazing lace shawl pattern a while ago, and had it in view in my studio.  It seemed to be the right texture and design.  I noticed that a few indie dyers had been dyeing up swamp colour ways, so I did some research and began to see that the shawl, swamp, and . . . . royal purple! could be a great combo.  The shawl is Piccadilly by Justyna Lorkowska, the Swamp colour way was dyed by Vicky at Baerenwolle in Germany, and the Purple Reign colour way was dyed by Beata of Hedgehog Fibres in Cork, Ireland.  It works for me! In the first picture you can see the skirt, and a needlework piece my Dad, Michael worked for me to refinish a piano bench.  In the second picture you can see one of my favourite progress keeper/markers made by Crystaletts.  They are really thin and unimposing, but super sparkly!  But wait!  I also ordered two more hanks of Purple Reign to knit the Talavera Lace top.

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Until next time, I post regularly on instagram and ravelry (as workinghandstudio) if you want to see what is in my working hands.  Thank you so much for reading my posts and emailing about them.  I am so glad to know that you enjoy them!   I hope you are loving every making moment!

Venessa