Crochet, Lace Making

Homespun Comfort Shawls

crochet shawls

This review has been a bit delayed, but that has turned out to be a good thing. I like to be able to include my own photos when I am doing a review and the delay has allowed me to use much better ones than I had originally intended.

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This book of “Comfort Shawls”, made using Lion Brand Homespun yarn, is very relevant for me at the moment as we are in the middle of winter here in New Zealand. As with previous Leisure Arts books I have reviewed, I was again very impressed with the range of different styles included in this book. There should be something to appeal to everyone.

Homespun Comfort Shawls

The pattern I was drawn to when I first looked at the book was the “Broomstick Lace Shawl” (the third photo above). I had heard of this technique before but had never had the opportunity to try it out. Fortunately one of our local yarn suppliers had the Lion Brand Homespun yarn on sale just when I needed it, this being the reason that the delay was a good thing for me.

IHomespun Comfort Shawls had originally planned on getting a light colour for my shawl, but was really taken with the wonderful rich colours in this darker one. While I still love the colours, I have found this yarn a bit of a challenge to work with. The dark colours and the boucle effect of the yarn make it difficult to see and count the stitches, particularly the setting up chain stitches, so it required a lot of concentration at the beginning. Having said that, I really like the way the garment is turning out, and the lovely soft, warm feel of it.

The instructions in the pattern I am using are very clear. I have found a bit of discrepancy between the instructions and some of the diagrams given, but I have found that sticking to the instructions has produced a good result. The book contains clear instructions and diagrams for all the patterns as well as a number of stitches and techniques, for example fringes.

This yarn and these patterns are a lot different to my usual projects, but I have enjoyed the challenges and learning some new techniques. For more pictures of these lovely shawls please check out the Leisure Arts website.

 

Knitting

Winter Birthday Presents

Winter Birthday PresentsJune is the official beginning of winter in New Zealand. I have recently finished a couple of winter birthday presents and sent them off, a bit belatedly, to my youngest daughter. There has been some very cold weather in the South Island, and even in the North Island, over the last few weeks, including enough snow to allow the early opening of some of the ski fields.

Winter Birthday PresentsIn March I made my daughter a pony tail hat which she seemed very pleased with. I thought it might be useful for her to have a few more, so I have just knitted another two. Hopefully they will help her keep warm.

I have also been waiting for an opportunity to try out a pattern I got a wee while ago for “Owlie Mitts”. I had a lot of fun making these for the most part. There was one problem though. I misread the pattern when I made the first one and, instead of doing 6 repeats of the 4 row rib pattern (ie 24 rows) I only did 6 rows. The result of this was that I had to make three mitts instead of two, which was the reason the presents got sent away late.

Winter Birthday Presents
Before Beads
Winter Birthday Presents
With Beads

I have included a few photos of the finishing process on the mitts to illustrate the difference that a bit of trim can make to a project. In this case it was the addition of black seed beads for the eyes of the owls. (See also “The Magic Of Outlining”.) The yarn I used was Opal sock yarn. While it may not have been the best yarn to show off the owls to best effect, I felt the colours were a good match for both the hats.

My next projects will include a scarf knitted in thick yarn and some light weight woollen singlets for the local neonatal intensive care unit.