Hackles risen

After a lot of havering and fiddling about (and, OK, another stupid hand injury – this time to the thumb on the other hand, I should know better), I’ve finished up all the yarn I blended on my hackle.

And then I had to hackle up a little more – in fact, I used up all the greeny blue and had to incorporate more white and black merino to make it go further.

It didn’t take long to spin and ply – it should probably have taken longer, hence the Thumb of Doom – but once it was done, I couldn’t wait to get going.

When it was all plied and washed, I worked out that I had about 185 metres, and set about looking for a pattern. I wanted a shawlette, but most of the patterns I found needed a lot more yarn. Then I hit on it. It’s the mini Faroese shawl by Elly Doyle for Fyberspates.

Even then I didn’t have quite enough, so I had to modify the pattern a little – but I was encouraged by someone on Ravelry who said it was great for handspun, as you could make it as big or as small as necessary. I have to say that I don’t think it could be much smaller than mine and still work, but there you go.

It’s knitted on (what are to me) huge needles  – 7mm, but that gives it a softness and a gentle drape. My yarn worked out at somewhere between a DK and an Aran in weight, but it was also inclined to lumps and bumps, so a project like this was ideal.

It sits nicely on the shoulders and the shaping means it’s easily pinned in place. I saved the skein with more black and white for the ruffle; the difference isn’t enormous, but I felt it was marked enough.

Er, yes, I guess I should fess up. That’s not a shawl pin; it’s the proddy bit from a hair thingy. Sorry about my grasp of technical hairstyling-accessory language, but it works. I’m still in search of the perfect shawl pin.

And now for a back view:

The frill is a bit subdued, but a) I’m not really an over-frilly person and b) I was getting dangerously low on yarn. In fact, I ran out two-thirds of the way through casting off, so I had to go to the other end (easy-peasy with circular needles) and cast off the stitches back to the point where I ran out of yarn by passing one stitch over another. It worked, and when it’s in use you can’t actually tell that part of the shawl has one more row than the rest. One of the benefits of handspun…

It’s only the second thing I’ve finished since my left-hand injury, so I’m absurdly pleased. The fact that I’m now taking heavy-duty NSAIDs again for my right hand cannot take the gloss off the gingerbread (um – or whatever). And they seem to be working, too, and next time I’ll be more sensible. Really.

Here’s a close up (no, not of my hand):

It’s soooo soft, but then it is mostly merino. And it’s warm. Perfect for May in Wales – we seem to be having our April weather now, which is just as well for my knitting. There was even hail last night.

(That will teach me to knit winter things in late spring – sometimes you get what you wish for!)

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6 thoughts on “Hackles risen

  1. Knitsister

    I absolutely love this..it looks just the thing for May in Wales indeed!! No hail here but gone very cool and this has given me an idea of what to knit with some handspun I bought at Wonderwool 😉

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      Thank you — it is a little cutie (and very useful). I’m sure I could have come up with something myself, but when someone’s done almost exactly what I wanted, why bother?

      Reply
  2. bigmonkeypie

    This is lovely, and it’s reminding me I meant to work on my spinning this weekend. Thanks for the motivation!

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      Glad I could help! (I’m halfway through some lovely hand-dyed merino fluff and I mustn’t touch it – I envy you!)

      Reply
  3. Harriet

    And what’s wrong with the proddy bit from a hair thingy? We know what you mean and it’s doing the job! Great wool and lovely shawlette(there has to be a better word). For me last year was the year of the sock; this year looks like being the year of the shawl. They’re just such a joy to make. Mind you, some of your handspun wool would make them even better!

    Reply
    1. kate Post author

      Glad you liked the shawlette – ergh, I agree, horrible word. There has to be an alternative…

      Socks have escaped me so far, though several people in our knit and natter group have been knitting them. I suppose I might catch sock-knitting disorder, but I was severely traumatised by hand-knitted socks as a child….

      Reply

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