Sneak Peeks – Progress (Part 2)

Following on from the previous post on progress, here is another sneak peek at the third shawl in the collection.

This one uses Ginger’s Hand Dyed Yakety-Yak 4 Ply (love the name!) in the beautiful ‘Toasted Walnut’ colour way. I’ve never used yarn with yak before and this yarn is very soft but also quite strong and has a great sheen from the silk content.

As you can seen from the teaser picture (another one from Instagram), that it is rather lacy. This shawl has a fantastic drape. It is unbeaded, but I think (after a conversation with someone who has seen the shawl) that beads could be a fabulous addition – especially if they follow the patterning from the lace.

Amazingly this is the last sneak peek! The next post on this collection will be the announcements concerning the Collection itself, the inspiration behind it and more information on pre-ordering it! This will out on September 16th!

As it happens, the fourth shawl has just come off the needles today. This used a now unavailable yarn (Yarn Pony Show Pony 4 Ply) but another of Ginger’s Hand Dyed yarns is an excellent match, namely the Splendor 4 Ply in the Selkie colour way. 

Sneak Peeks – Progress (Part 1)

For our next sneak peek, a little closer look at the first couple of shawls!

These will be the first shawls released from the collection, on the actual launch day. You’ll be able to see full images of the shawls when the full announcement is made and pre-orders open.

Both use Skein Top Draw Socks. I have to say I love this yarn. It has beautiful drape and is incredibly soft. It also blocks like a dream and is perfect for the lace I’ve used it for. As a note, Skein tends to change up their colour ways every year and both the shades shown above are from older collections. The currently available shades can be found here; if you’re looking for a close match colour-wise, ‘Barley’ works as a substitute for ‘Sandstorm’ and ‘Rustic’ for ‘Equinox’.

These two have since been knitted up into these. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen these images.

As you’ve probably spotted, the one on the right has beads too – these are the antique copper ones I showed in an earlier sneak peek!

There is another sneak peek on progress coming up next!

Sneak Peek – Collection Information

So far we’ve seen the yarn (all 4 Ply) and some beads… I’m not going to talk about the theme or inspiration of the collection yet but I can share a few more details.

As I said in the first preview (on the yarns) that there were eight patterns. And there are, eight shawl patterns to be precise!

Each pattern takes 1 skein, and there is a mix of top-down, bottom-up and side-to-side patterns. All have lace as their main feature, and most will have charts and written instructions for their motifs (at present only one does not have a chart, but the motif is simple enough on its own). Two add beads for some extra detail (though as I said earlier, these are entirely optional).

And while I cannot share the specifics, I can share the shapes:

Shawl Collection (Shapes)

As you can see there is a mix of shapes, some more familiar than others!

Next up… some information on progress.

Sneak Peek – The Beads

Two of the patterns in the upcoming collection are beaded. If you’re not interested in adding beads, never fear, both patterns with beads include notes for un-beaded versions.

Beads add a new dimension to your knitting, and there is a lot of fun to be had when matching beads to yarn. Should they contrast or co-ordinate? Both the bead choices I made for this collection opted for the latter.

Equinox yarn and beadsFirst up, the Skein Top Draw Socks in the Equinox colour way. This was paired with antique 4mm copper beads.

OMA yarn and beads

And secondly, Old Maiden Aunt Merino / Silk 4 Ply in the Cold Sheep colour with silver-lined glass Matsuno beads and Swarovski 11mm Drop Crystals. Instant sparkle!

Etsy is a good source for beads like the antique metal ones shown above, but there are plenty of online bead retailers to choose from. Just make sure that if you want to use beads with knitting that you opt for ones of a suitable size (Size 6 is good for fingering weight yarns) and that the holes are of a sufficient size for the yarn to pass through them. I sourced the Matsuno beads shown above from The Bead Store Scotland. These are 4mm beads and are listed as being suitable for knitting.

As a useful tip, the numbers assigned to beads are the quantity it takes for an inch, very similar to a gauge swatch! The smaller the number, the bigger the bead, and the fewer beads it takes to reach an inch. But always check that the holes are a suitable size, just because a bead is bigger doesn’t meant that the hole has it is larger!

Next up – More information on the collection itself!

Sneak Peek – The Yarns

Part of the fun of working on a larger project is choosing the yarns! I shared this image on Instagram a little while ago.

Yarns for Shawl Collection

Clockwise from top: Handmaiden Fine Yarns Sea Silk (Sweet Tea); Skein Top Draw Socks (Sandstorm, Equinox); MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Mare); Ginger’s Hand Dyed Yakety-Yak 4 Ply (Toasted Walnut) & Swell Ewe Sock (Cantilever); Old Maiden Aunt Merino / Silk 4 Ply (Cold Sheep); and Yarn Pony Show Pony 4 Ply (Sandalwood).

When picking the yarns, while it is fun to choose a big mix of colours, it is also important to ensure the colours work together as a group. You can see in the image above that the colours are quite varied but they do work together.

Looking over the assortment, you’ll probably spot that all are 4 Ply / fingering weight yarns. And that there are 8 of them. So 8 yarns = 8 patterns. Yep, this is going to be a collection. 8 patterns, each using 1 skein of fingering weight yarn.

As a note, if you’re familiar with some of these yarns, you’ll know that the Yarn Pony one is no longer available. However, it was the best match for the pattern planned for it, and a suitable currently available substitute has been identified (Ginger’s Hand Dyed Splendor 4 Ply in the Selkie colour way if you’re interested).

Next up… beads!


A sneak peek

… or several sneak peeks for that matter.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you may have seen a few references to a forthcoming project. If you don’t, well I’ll be sharing the previews here as well over the next few weeks.

This is probably the biggest thing – design wise – that I have done to date, and I’m hoping that everyone loves it as much as I do.

There are five preview posts coming up over the next couple of weeks (the schedule is shown below), with the grand reveal coming in mid-September.

28th August 2015 – The Yarns

31th August 2015 – Beads

4th September 2015 – Collection Details

8th September 2015 – Progress

12th September 2015 – Teaser Pictures

16th September 2015 – The Big Reveal