On a recent trip to New Zealand I was tempted by some beautiful yarn. Both the colours (blue, green and brown) and the texture attracted me. Woven from merino, silk and possum, it is soft, light and incredibly warm. You did read correctly, in New Zealand the possum was introduced from Australia and is considered a pest, so it is quite common to find possum pelts for sale, as well as possum fur woven into yarn. This is a win for everyone, it controls a pest animal while making lovely yarn!
Having bought this yarn I really wanted to make something special with it. I bought it as a hank, so I first had to wind it into balls. Having done that I realised that I didn't have much yarn to work with, so I decided to make a shawl. I consulted all my knitting books for shawl ideas (deciding against getting lost in the interwebs, I did want to get the project started this winter!).
I picked up the brilliant book Custom Knits Accessories: Unleash Your Inner Designer with Improvisational Techniques for Hats, Scarves, Gloves, Socks and More (Affiliate link) at a discount store last year, and its my kind of pattern book. It does have patterns that you can follow, but it also explains techniques and makes suggestions for modifying the patterns. As I tend to use patterns and recipes as guides only, this works perfectly.
This time I used the "Mambu Shawlette" pattern as guide this time. It uses bamboo stitch, which is basically just a wrap around increase, two stitches then pass the increased stitch over, purl on the other side. This gives a nice texture without having to follow a complicated lacy pattern.
At first I wasn't going to the centre eyelets/increases, but then I felt that it wasn't getting wide enough quickly enough for me, so I added them in after a few rows. I started with normal needles and switched to a circular needle when it got too big. I was really finding the knitting awkward after I've been doing so much crochet, so I did a deal with myself that I would finish one ball of wall knitting and use the second to do a crochet ruffle.
This is where I really started to deviate from the pattern! All I did was crochet doubles around the edge (and due to increases on the edge there were nice eyelets to hook into), then I went around and put an extra double in every third crochet. Then I just did doubles back and forth until I ran out of yarn.
Its not really cold enough to wear it much yet (photo above I'm still in a singlet!). It has made a small pretty shawlette that I can twist around my neck or over my shoulders and I'm sure I will wear it a lot when winter finally starts here.
What's on your needles (or hook) at the moment? Do you combine crochet with knitting? Do you have a preference?
See below Amazon Affiliate links for a few knitting books that I find useful including the one I mentioned above. If you buy through these links I get a small commission at no extra cost for you. If you're reading this on email or blog reader, you will need to visit my blog to see all the links.
Previous posts about knitting and crochet: