Category Archives: Knitting

Grey Lace Shawl in Wool – Custom Order

I’ve had this lace stole pattern knit up in a bamboo worsted weight yarn for several years, and the people who have bought them all love them – they are soft, squishy and warm. A bonus is that as they are grey, they go with almost anything.

Grey Lace Stole

I had a request from a bride in the US for 4 of them, but the yarn is discontinued, as I’ve posted before, and I don’t have enough left for 4. So I looked for another grey yarn, and found 2. One was an alpaca/merino blend and the other a wool/acrylic blend. The alpaca/merino was much thinner than the wool/acrylic, but I held it double and knitted up a small sample of each yarn in the pattern then took photos for my buyer-to-be. She picked one and I gave her a quote, with courier shipping and she bought them.

It took me about 6 weeks to knit them – the yarn is thinner than the old yarn, but there is more in the skeins, so the pattern got adjusted slightly to make sure it was as wide as she wanted them to be.

These stoles are approx. 19″ wide and 84″ long – considerably longer than the old stole, but as they are finer, they are the same weight and don’t feel too long when you wear one.

The buyer loved them and couldn’t wait to give them to her bridesmaids! I love it when I get an email from a happy buyer!

She wrote: “I got the Shawls today, they’re lovely!!! I love them & cant wait to give them as a gift to my bridesmaids! Thank you so much for all of you help.
I’ll have to try and remember to send you a picture from our wedding this September with the girls wearing them :-)”

Here they are, and the new stole will be in my Etsy Shop shortly!

Wool Blend Grey Lace Stole

Wide Grey Lace Stole
At the back
Pinned at the Front
Pinned at the shoulder
As a scarf

Rainbow Mini-blankets

I found a rainbow yarn online recently and bought some to knit up for mini-blankets. It’s a wool blend yarn, from the burn tests I did, and it knits up as a fingering weight yarn. There were 2 colourways, so I bought both. Neither are a ‘ROYGBIV’ rainbow yarn; the colours mostly knit up that way, but not always, as you can see from the photos. The colours are very blended; there’s no way I could cut and split the yarn so it kept to the traditional rainbow line-up. I still can’t decide which one I like better!

I knit the blankets on my knitting machine, then washed and blocked them. There isn’t a lot of roll because I knit them using every other row, which gave enough yarn to adjust the tension so that they can lie flatter. These are perfect for any newborn photo shoots, not just for rainbow babies!

I offer them in my Etsy Shop with and without a cream wool fluff; which would you choose? You can find the bright rainbow mini-blanket here and the rainbow mini-blanket here.

Bright Rainbow 1
Bright Rainbow 2
Bright Rainbow 3
Bright Rainbow 4
Rainbow 1
Rainbow 2
Rainbow 3
Rainbow 4

Navy Blue Shawlette – Burn Shawlette

I recently knitted my first lace shawlette – well, it’s really a lace and cable shawlette. I used an Ice Yarns Cashmere Silk DK weight yarn (sorry, it’s discontinued) in a lovely navy. It was gorgeously soft and easy to work with – but some of the colour did come out when I washed it – both times.

Navy Blue Shawlette

I actually knitted this twice as the first time, the cast on row was too tight to block properly, while the cast off was too loose. The 2nd time they were more evenly knitted and it blocked out much better.

I haven’t yet decided whether I’m going to keep it or sell it, but I’ll let you know! The pattern is well-written and easy to follow, I used the chart to knit the cable & lace section. I will definitely make this one again!

You can find the pattern on Ravelry – Burn

Being Blocked
Close up of Lace & Cable section
Ta Dah! Finished
Finished Cable & Lace section
More lace.
Wrapped up like a scarf
Close up.
The back.

Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, Decisions….

I’ve been offering this Grey Lace Stole almost since I opened my shop on Etsy and it’s been a decent seller for me. The yarn is now discontinued and I have to decide whether to source another yarn for the pattern or find a different yarn and pattern combo to offer. I have enough yarn left for 1 more stole.

Grey Lace Stole

I base what I offer for sale on several things; what yarn I can get and what I want to make to sell in my shop are two. I have tended to go for thicker/chunkier yarns as they knit up faster, and how long something takes to make is a factor in whether or not I’ll make it to sell.

Some knit/crochet items I find don’t sell well, and I sell a few then stop listing it, other items sell very well only at certain times of the year. (My Herringbone Handwarmers come to mind here!)

Herringbone Handwarmers

I prefer to use natural fibres and blends and not just 100% acrylic – they tend to be nicer to knit with, and can last longer without pilling. As I now have a knitting machine, I’m hoping to offer items using finer luxury yarns and bigger items such as larger lace stoles and wraps. I have to master the machine first!

I don’t tend to jump on trends like the ‘pussy hats’ or the polo neck rectangular ponchos with cables and large buttons for toddlers, I am careful about ending up with (more) yarns and materials that I won’t use if they don’t sell.

I did think this Girl’s Spring Poncho/Capelette would sell, but while the pattern does, the actual item doesn’t.

Girl’s Spring Capelette

And back to the original question – to find a new yarn for this pattern? Hmmmm…. I’ll have to let you know.

Grey Buttoned Cable Cowl

I finally managed to get decent photos of this warm and cosy cabled cowl – the weather hasn’t been very co-operative lately. This a lovely grey cowl made from a worsted weight acrylic yarn. The buttons add a pop of colour and you can do up all 3 or not as the mood takes you. It’s listed now in my etsy shop here

Grey Cabled Cowl
Grey Cabled Cowl
Closeup
Closeup

img_0373

img_0375

If you’d like this cowl in another colour, let me know!

Yarn, yarn and more yarn!

I really do have to talk more about my yarn webstore – great yarns at even better prices! Some of my patterns like the Waves Cowl, use yarn from my yarn website – this gorgeous Bamboo Classic – and some of it is on for as little as 77p each skein right now! The cream is currently out of stock, but the grey is gorgeous!

Waves Cowl
Waves Cowl
Doubled up Cowl
Doubled up Cowl

There are lots and lots of yarns – ladder, eyelash, mohair, alpaca, cotton… too many to list. There are basic yarns – acrylic, baby yarn, wool blends as well as luxurious yarns that would make the most gorgeous jumper/sweater, shawl or cardigan.

Cotton Blend yarn
Cotton Blend yarn
Mohair Yarn
Mohair Yarn

There are new yarns coming out every week – I want to try out this new cotton ribbon yarn, it looks like it will knit up very quickly! And even better, it’s 100% recycled too!

Pink Cotton Ribbon Yarn
Pink Cotton Ribbon Yarn

Soft Grey Cowl

Here’s my latest cowl.

All buttoned up ©Looking Glass Designs
All buttoned up ©Looking Glass Designs

It’s small, soft and cosy with some lovely black & grey buttons. I knit it in a new pattern with a 100% wool Italian yarn called Regina by Adriafil. It’s a lovely, fine and soft wool yarn in a very pretty grey (I seem to gravitate towards greys for some reason!)

Just over the shoulders
Just over the shoulders ©Looking Glass Designs

I really like this cowl – perfect to fit under a coat collar, not bulky but I’m sure it’s very warm. You could also pop it on top of a loose collared jumper or sweater, or even a T-shirt. It would even scrunch up into a pocket and still look great when pulled back out again.

What would you pair it with?

2 Buttons
2 Buttons ©Looking Glass Designs

New Scarf – Lace Chevron & Stripes

I just finished this lace scarf – my first. I bought the yarn from one of my local yarn shops because I wanted to practice with some laceweight yarns before attempting to knit with some gorgeous silk blend hand-dyed yarn I bought on a whim from Solstice Yarns on Etsy.

I mostly knit this scarf in the car while waiting for my son’s school to let out, so this scarf took me months, which, if you know me, is unusual….

I love how it’s turned out, I managed to continue the stripes from the first skein when I started the 2nd, which is something else I haven’t done before. It will be listed in my etsy shop in a couple of days, so if you would like it, you may very well have to be fast!

Lace Scarf
Lace Scarf
Close-up
Close-up
Chevrons and stripes
Chevrons and stripes
Wide Scarf
Wide Scarf
More stripes
More stripes

Anatomical Knits – Uteruses

I’ve had time to recover and go onto another wholesale order since I finished the 150 uteruses and placentas. I don’t think I will ever take on an order like that again. It was a large number of items on a very tight timetable (which was most of the problem) with a customer who didn’t actually know what I was making them and thought they were getting a slightly different design because the person I was dealing with hadn’t read the listing. Lesson of the day: “When buying lots of something, READ the description. When selling something and the customer wants a large order, check that they have read the description”.

Plain Uterus and Placenta
Plain Uterus and Placenta

I was knitting/crocheting for up to 14 hours a day. I also had help from some local and not so local knitters and crocheters – without them I’d never have completed the order! I suspect my hands would have given out… My hubby also pitched in and used the Prym Knitting Mill I bought to make lots and lots of I-cord for me. I had him make very long cords, standing at the top of the landing with the cord going over the bannister and looping it with clothes pegs, then steeking (cutting) it and weaving in the ends for me. I have to say we never had any problems with the knitting mill even though the reviews were mixed on Amazon. I suspect it’s mostly to do with the yarn as to how successful you are with it. The yarn I used for the order was James C. Brett Top Value DK, a basic yarn that worked perfectly in it. I’ll keep making the uteruses and placentas – they are available in my Etsy Shop Anatomical Knits. You’ll also find crochet breasts and other body parts….

Uteruses… and more Uteruses!

I’ve been AWOL on here for a while, and I’ve missed my blog! I have been knitting and crocheting for a wholesale order of 150 uteruses and placentas that will be sent off to Africa and Asia.

The timetable was very tight so I stopped making anything else, and disabled all my made-to-order listings. I managed to make 64 sets so far and some lovely ladies locally and not so locally have stepped in to help me out so I spent this weekend delivering yarn.

Knitted Uterus
Knitted Uterus

The buyer decided yesterday that they want a larger placenta so my pattern had to be amended and sent out to my helpers and the timeframe lengthened. It’s back to the yarn store for more yarn!

I will really enjoy knitting something else once these are done, but not until I have spent some time sewing! (I have some curtains to alter for my windows).

What have you been up to lately??