Purl Crush

Last year I knitted my first ever Westknits pattern Purlbreak. I loved it so much I decided to knit myself a second one.

Purl Crush 3

This time I used 8ply cottons from my stash. These were actually the first limited edition cotton crush colours Bendigo Woollen released early 2017. I’ve used them a few times now in various projects. Playing around I decided I really liked these 4 colours together. The official colours are sambuca, orange, sherbet and grape. I wasn’t sure how cottons would go in this pattern but they were fantastic.

Purl Crush 4

This was such a relaxing knit. I started it at the end of January just after I did all my Meld shawls. Last year when I made this I had my row counter by my side clicking the rows during all the colour sections and I had my pattern by my side. This year once I started on colour stripes I didn’t bother using my row counter to count the rows I just remembered the pattern and I could see what I needed to do differently each row. It was only when I was doing the colour blocks at the end that I used the row counter again to ensure I did the same amount each section.

Purl Crush 5

I love big shawls and this is a huge one. Once again I didn’t bother blocking this.
1. I don’t normally block cotton shawls
2. I finished it just as I was getting to the final weeks of packing to move so I didn’t have the ability to block things as all my blocking tools were packed.

Purl Crush Dropped Stitch

Knitting confessions… I have a bad habit of putting my knitting down mid row on the lounge and leaving it to do other things. I try and push it back on the needles so the live stitches don’t fall off. Things happen, needles get bumped and on more than one occasion I have lost stitches resulting in me having to rip back my project and start again as I couldn’t rescue it. In last years version I dropped a stitch, tried to fix it and was somewhat successful but it looked messy as it wasn’t the correct way. This year when the same thing happened I decided to learn how to fix it. Once it was stretched out a little you couldn’t even see the 2 places I lost stitches so I am pretty proud of that.

I finished this at the start of April, almost 12 months to the date of finishing my first one coincidently. I am yet to wear it as it is only just starting to get to knitwear weather but I can’t wait to wear it. I adore the colour combination even though I’m not a pink person. The colours are bright and funky. Despite some of the facial expressions of looking like a deer in the headlights (I struggle to look straight at a camera thanks to dodgy eyes) I love this shawl.

Purl Crush 1

I have a few Westknits patterns in my stash. Some are a little more complicated and I want to start trying those…. Or I may end up knitting another one of these!



Daybreak At Kendall

I am so excited I have finished my first ever Stephen West pattern!!! Never heard of Stephen West before? The best way to describe him is I guess a bit punk, a bit funky, a little outside the ordinary. His patterns are contemporary and amazing. He uses a lot different colours in his work and they look fantastic.

The pattern I chose was Daybreak. There are 2 versions of this pattern, the original version which I did try at first has a little bit more complicated stitches in terms of the purl stitches you do. It is also a more tighter shawl due to the way it is knitted so you have to be careful with your tension, I’m a tight knitter so not good for me. The second version is Purlbreak which I made. Purlbreak is a garter stitch version of the same pattern. Where you change your colours in the stripes isn’t as tight. Originally I was going use to 2 skeins of yarn that my best friend brought me for my birthday last year which is the blue yarn (surprise surprise I chose blue yarn) I would have just had enough yarn but the pattern looks better if at least 3 colours are used. When I went to visit my friend in January I checked the store that I got the yarn from to see if they had any other colours left and all they had was 2 greens. I took my original yarn with me and went to the store to see if they would look ok together. They yarn used is Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk which is a 85/15 Merino Silk mix, it is so soft.

I’m calling this my Daybreak at Kendall shawl now a little insight into how my mind works, my mind was just spinning at how it was all coming together. The yarn came from a shop called Purlwise which is located in Kendall, I was going to make the Purlbreak version with yarn from Purlwise. All the colours in it remind me of all the colours up there. Kendall is located a little inland and there are trees and greenery everywhere. I catch the train there and the train is blue. Also the colours remind me of the colours that are around me and my friend when I’m up there. Her property is very green with the bushland around it and each day we would go for a walk along the river (or it might be called some other sort of waterway) anyway the point is it’s blue. All the blues and greens just remind me of being up there and the fun we have together. All this is wrap up in shawl so it makes this shawl very special.

This shawl ended up being huge! By the far it is the biggest shawl I have ever done. I struggled to block it, I really needed a queen size bed that wasn’t going to be used for a few days but didn’t have one. I decided instead of pin blocking it just to stretch it out and let it sit flat naturally to dry. I love it. Sometimes when I’ve pin blocked things the edges look really rigid and jagged, I felt blocking made some things look worse. On this shawl you can see the natural curves and it looks organic again bringing in that feeling of being up north amongst all the nature.

I will admit this shawl isn’t perfect but neither am I. I’m not bothered by the random incorrect stitches or where I tried to fix a mistake and made it look worse. I have an awesome meaningful shawl and I am now a Stephen West knitter so I’m pretty happy ūüôā




Blue Brings Me Joy

Last year I started watching pod casts in particular a knitting one called the Grocery Girls. The Grocery Girls are a pair of sisters from Canada who love to talk all things yarn. I love watching them as they are hilarious.¬†A warning watching their podcasts leads to your to make list growing substantially as they always keep showing wonderful designers and patterns and you think I really want to make that! One designer they introduced me to was Joji Locatelli who does some wonderful shawl patterns. As far as knitting goes I would call myself an advanced beginner so complicated patterns still freak me out. On the podcast they mentioned a good beginner shawl of Joji’s was Pure Joy so after having it on my to knit list for a while I finally gave it an attempt. It is a crescent shaped shawl so has one straight edge with the other edge going in¬†a¬†semi circle shape expanding out.

This wasn’t a stash busting project I did buy yarn specifically for this shawl but I have made it now so the yarn isn’t still sitting in my yarn drawer taking up space. It is made in 4ply yarn. I wanted 2 contrasting colours so I used Fyberspates Vivacious in Blue Lagoon (darker blue) and Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in Tooth Fairy (white colour) After finishing my shawl this is all that I have leftover.

Before I start I should say the pattern did say to block the shawl once you finish it but I haven’t. I do have a few tiny misshapen sections which may have corrected themselves had I blocked this. This shawl starts at one end using a provisional cast on garter tab then you do a series of short row wedges to grow it into the curved shape. It sounds complicated but it is not. The short rows are all garter stitch and every so often the pattern has you do a row of yarn overs to form the eyelets. I read through the pattern and was pretty sure I had it correct in my head but I did take it to knitting guild to double check I was reading it right. That is the great thing about meeting with fellow knitters in real life everyone is only to happy to help with your knitting. My beginning section has a slight hump to it. It is only when it is laying flat on a table do you notice this.

I did stray from the pattern a little in the design way. I was using light yarn to do the majority of my garter rows but towards the end I was worried I was going to run out of yarn and not have enough. Perhaps I panicked a little unnecessarily but I don’t know how to estimate if I will have enough yarn¬†or not. I decided to do alternating stripes of the darker yarn on one of the wedges. This is why I call myself an advanced beginner I didn’t think about the right side and wrong side of my work. I just thought you could only incorporate a new yarn at the start of a row so when I changed colours my stripes were on the wrong side of my work. Does it matter… No! Do I care… No! When I wear my shawls I just throw them on I never look at which is the right side and wrong side.

Both ends of the shawl have a curl to it. I am thinking perhaps I pulled my yarn too tight as I was dropping one colour and picking up the next. I was trying to keep my yarn relaxed. Since it is on both ends let’s just call it a design feature but I don’t think others who have knit this have this happen to their work.

Another slight variation I did was the last bottom row of eyelets should have been done in the darker colour so the entire wedge is that colour. I did these eyelets in the light colour. As mentioned I never blocked the shawl.¬†I guess blocking would show the eyelets more and¬†stretched out some of misshapen¬†areas¬†but this looks pretty good as is. It feels lovely and soft and I know the more I wash it the softer it will become. Even though the lighter yarn is a sock yarn which has nylon in it you don’t feel it. My Pollux shawl is made from a sock yarn and it is getting softer after each wash. I agree with the Grocery Girls this was a great beginner shawl to start on. The instructions were well written and easy to follow, this really was an easy knit. I have now¬†made a shawl which has wedges and row repeats. Would I knit this again? Yes but I think I would choose 2 colours with more contrast to them.¬† I love the colours I chose, they work well together but I think if you really want each section to pop with an impact you need 2 highly contrasting colours. I do love this shawl and next winter I can see myself in this a lot.


Grain Shawl

I knitted my stash!! I wanted to join a knit-along held by the Grocery Girls in their Ravelry group in which you knitted a pattern by Tin Can Knits. I set myself the rule that is if I was going to join in I had to knit yarn from stash, no buying new stuff for this.

The pattern I chose was the Grain Shawl, some Tin Can Knits patterns you do need to buy but this one is a free pattern. This pattern just jumped out at me so I knew I had to knit it. I used 8ply Bendigo Woollen Mills cottons I had in my stash, the colours I think are Kiwi, Fawn, Honeydew and Moss. The first 3 colours are still available but I am not sure if the dark green (moss) is.

This shawl was a new challenge for me where I learnt some new techniques. There are some fantastic tutorials that accompany this¬†pattern which step you through how to things.¬†I had never knitted a shawl where you start in the centre and work outwards, I did a provisional cast on for the first time.¬†Another new thing believe it or not is¬†I had never done a yarn over. I had to go learn how to do them just to make this. I used dangly stitch markers for the first time, they were an experience in themselves to learn how to use because if you didn’t flip them the right way you accidentally knitted them into your garment when you did your yarn overs.

There are several ways you can wear this. Personally I don’t think I will wear it wrapped around the front hanging down unless I had a jacket on. With the bulk of it and the fact my front is bulky as it is it I just look like I am wearing a giant bib.

The way I will wear it is wrapped around my shoulders. Although it a large shawl it looks slim line wrapped around, the bulk is spread out and not so in one spot. Summer or winter this will be great to wear in an office at work.

I knitted this on a 3mm needle. I decided to knit continental style and my tension is looser this way so I needed to go down to that size to get the fabric tension I wanted. I wanted to have this off my needles before I¬†went to my sock¬†class and mission accomplished. This flew off the needles and I finished it in about 22 days, I didn’t block it.¬†¬†The pattern doesn’t tell you when to change colours so you could do as many or as little as you wanted. From the centre spine I was measuring around 7″ of rows for the greens and about 3″ for the fawn. Personally I am not a big fan of ombre or tonal fades so that is why didn’t do my colours lightest to darkest.

This is brilliant simple mindless knit pattern, you knit until you reach a stitch marker than you do something. As mentioned the tutorials that come with it are very informative and are perfect if you have never done anything like this before.