Finishing the Daelyn Sweater by Isabell Kraemer

Finishing the Daelyn Sweater by Isabell Kraemer

I’ve been dithering about my Daelyn sweater for months, probably most of last year. It’s been on my needles since 31st December 2018. I know, I should be horrified, but it’s not my oldest WIP by a long, long way. It is, however, a luxury yarn and an investment so I need to either finish it, frog it and knit something else or put it away and pretend it doesn’t exist.

I opted to finish the Daelyn sweater, picked up the underarm stitches and am now working the first sleeve, in the round. That wouldn’t be my first choice, as I prefer sleeves worked flat, I purl faster than I knit and it speeds things up. I don’t enjoy knitting small circumference items and sleeves are my nemesis.

Loraine wearing her Daelyn Sweater before adding the sleeves, knitted in Malabrigo Rios colour Archangel with 5mm needles.
This is me wearing my Daelyn Sweater before starting the sleeves, taken in March of 2020 at the start of lockdown.

I’m using Malabrigo Rios in the Archangel colourway. It’s richly purple with oranges, peach, khaki green, greys, yellows and warm reds. I love it. The yarn needs to be worked in stripes of two rows or rounds per skein to minimise colour pooling. Notice, I don’t say to prevent it, as you can never quite be sure it’ll be perfect. Look at the purple pooling (purpling) on the front shoulders.

Malabrigo Rios in Archangle colour way, see the variation in the skeins.

I’m using two balls of yarn and striping them every two rows to minimise the pooling, it’ll never eliminate it entirely but hopefully I won’t look like I’ve got bruised arms.

I’m about four inches into the first sleeve and tempted to pick up stitches for the other sleeve so I can work on them both at the same time. To be clear, I don’t mean two at a time on circular needles, the last time I tried that my sweater sleeves look more like kids trousers.

Once the sleeves of my sweater are finished, I will weave in ends and pick up stitches for the neckband, that’ll be worked in the round on a 16 inch circular needle.

I’m wishing I had added a few more short rows to the neckline to drop the front in relation to the back, but I am very happy with the fit of the sweater itself. I do love her designs and the patterns are always very well written.

The pattern includes sizing and instructions for both men and women and it’s easy to adapt sleeve or body length to suit the recipient.

What are you finishing off this year?

How old is your oldest WIP? No shame here, let’s celebrate them and make a choice to finish it, fix it, frog it or forget it. What’s it to be?

Is it poncho, a wrap, a bolero or a blanket?

Is it poncho, a wrap, a bolero or a blanket?

What’s on my needles, is it a poncho, a wrap, a bolero or a blanket?

After a conversation with a good friend, Helen, she talked to me about a poncho she wears a lot. It’s not a garment style that I have in my wardrobe but it’s been on my list to make one for several years.

We chatted about shapes and styles that are flattering, particularly for plus size sizes and I was keen to design a poncho that was versatile. But, also an easy knit for someone new to cables, with stocking stitch sections for an easy TV knit. That would be your go-to for an extra layer on cooler days, evenings or at the park with the kids when the breeze is a bit more than you expected.

My poncho on the needles, I cast on for the larger size using Stylecraft Special Aran with wool in a blue/green called Spruce.

I didn’t want to work the piece bottom up and I’ll explain my reasons why. If you aren’t a shawl knitter, a sweater or cardigan knitter, it can be daunting to be asked to cast on a lot of stitches. I almost always use longtail or the thumb cast on which uses the tail of the yarn and the working yarn to effectively knit your first row as you make your stitches.

If you’re familiar with it, you’ll have had the experience of being short of yarn, or having too long a tail at the end. As I knew I’d have to cast on a lot of stitches, I used a piece of yarn from two balls, one for the ‘tail’ and one for the working yarn. At the end of the cast on, and having counted my stitches very carefully, I cut the tail, leaving an end to weave in and worked a wrong side (WS) row with the ball that is now my working yarn.

Why working the poncho one piece sideways wouldn’t work

My other option was to work the Wheatsheaf Cable section to the height I needed, and pick up stitches for the stocking stitch portion of the poncho. I wanted to add buttons and buttonholes, to give you several ways to wear your poncho. That would mean picking up stitches for borders, adding edgings and a lot of faffing about. It would be an interesting and more advanced piece to knit, but how many people would want to knit it knowing the work involved?

Here’s my swatch, showing an icord cast on, an icord end to the cable, side border with icord knitted at the same time and stitches (on the left of the photo) picked up to work sideways from the cable section to make the rectangular piece. It uses different directions, picking up stitches, adding applied icord to finish one edge and an icord cast on for the lower edge of the cable. It’s hard to make it match and have some symmetry.

Here's my poncho swatch, showing an icord cast on, an icord end to the cable, side border with icord knitted at the same time and stitches (on the left of the photo) picked up to work sideways from the cable section to make the rectangular piece.  It uses different directions, picking up stitches, adding applied icord to finish one edge and an icord cast on for the lower edge of the cable.  It's hard to make it match and have some symmetry.

Knitting a wide Poncho bottom up and why?

Why I’m knitting my Poncho bottom up and why that’s a far better idea. The icord edgings I want to give the piece finesse and a neat edge can be knitted at the same time as the rest of the poncho. The button bands and buttonholes are also knitted as you go. The side borders can also have buttonholes if you wish to wear the piece folded like an asymmetric poncho and create the illusion of cuffs.

Working bottom up, even with a lot of stitches, is as easy as knitting a simple shawl, once the knitting is finished, you add buttons, weave in ends and you are done. No picking up, no fancy finishing. If you don’t want to add buttons, you can just fold the piece and seam it closed and only wear it two ways. If you take the time to add a few buttons (super easy) then you have at least three ways to wear the poncho, maybe more.

Ways to wear the poncho, rough sketches over some designers croquis.

Is it poncho, a wrap, a bolero or a blanket? 1
Is it poncho, a wrap, a bolero or a blanket? 2

The Wheatsheaf Poncho after two vertical repeats of the cable pattern

Poncho laid flat on a wooden background, knitted using Addi 5.5mm circular needle and Stylecraft Special Aran with Wool in Spruce, a blue/green.  The poncho has a decorative cable on the right and left of the wide rectangular piece.
Poncho laid flat on a wooden background, knitted using Addi 5.5mm circular needle and Stylecraft Special Aran with Wool in Spruce, a blue/green. The poncho has a decorative cable on the right and left of the wide rectangular piece.

What’s next with the poncho pattern and testing?

We’ve been thinking of events and Knit Alongs/Crochet Alongs (KALs/CALs) to have during the year to keep everyone entertained and another designer in our group is also working on a poncho pattern. Our plan is start at the end of January (Sunday 31st) and the Poncho Along will end on 30th April. I’ll have the pattern ready to test and any of my testers can take part in the Poncho Along, with their garment.

Happy January and checking in

Happy January and checking in

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and every good wish for 2021

What’s going on at Woolly?

Those of you who receive our email newsletter may know that I was unwell between Christmas and the New Year with suspected Norovirus. We won’t discuss it, you know what it is and we can just leave that in the past.

I’m back to full health and catching up with correspondence, working on some patterns and filled with hope for the coming year.

What’s on my needles/hooks?

I didn’t knit or crochet a single thing while I was unwell and it took me until the middle of January to really get back into the swing of things.

I finished another Ribbed for MY Pleasure Hat, to test the pattern again before sending it to the Tech Editor and having it proof read. The brim uses a provisional cast on and is folded inside the hat and worked together with the live stitches for a double thick brim. Links to how to do this will be included in the pattern.

Ribbed for MY Pleasure Hat pattern, hat laid flat on a wooden table, shown in James C Brett Woodlander yarn in colourway L9 blues, sand, light brown and cream.
Ribbed for MY Pleasure Hat knitted with James C Brett Woodlander in colourway L9 muted blues, sand and beach colours with cream and light browns.

Another hat was finished, knitted in a couple of evenings using Rowan Yarn Company Cashsoft Aran in light blue, it’s another Bay6 design featuring simple knits, purls and easy decreases to shape the crown and give it that quilted appearance.

I’m stuck for a name, I had thought A Girl’s Best Friend (for the diamonds). But maybe I should continue the theme and go with Quilted for MY Pleasure? What do you think?

Bay6 Quilted hat using Aran weight yarn in light blue.
Bay6 Quilted hat using Aran weight yarn in light blue.

I finished another hat before Christmas, as part of the Indie Design Gift Along, called The Big Crush by Faye Kennington, it’s a free pattern and is designed as a swatch for one of her sweater designs.

It’s a quick knit and I enjoyed the stranded colourwork. I also found this amazing pompom for the top.

The Big Crush Hat by Faye Kennington, shown in Japonica Pink for the main colour and light blue for the contrast with a pink faux fur pompom.
The Big Crush Hat, shown in japonica pink with blue colourwork band.

I am still working on Alameda by Clarice Gomes, it’s a lovely pattern and I really enjoyed it. The shawl will be fabulous and it’s a really enjoyable knit.

Happy January and checking in 5

I had the urge to knit socks – what is wrong with me?

I started with the James C Brett Woodlander and used leftovers of the L9 colourway to knit some basic dk weight vanilla socks, top-cuff-cown and really enjoyed knitting them.

Happy January and checking in 6
Basic Vanilla socks in dk yarn in beachy colours

I then cast on another pair, my friends think I’ve been replaced by an alien, but I am enjoying them. Another basic vanilla pair but using some West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley DK in a blue/teal colour, gifted by a good friend. Perfect for socks.

Basic socks knitted in Teal yarn, Aire Valley DK by West Yorkshire Spinners
Basic socks knitted in Teal yarn, Aire Valley DK by West Yorkshire Spinners

What’s next?

Well, I cast on some more socks, using Stylecraft Jeanie Aran in Denim Blue, the pattern is Ultimate Answer Socks by Mary E Rose Designs and I am loving them. Top-cuff-down and an easy knit, only one cable crossing per repeat, basic knits and purls and simple decreases/increases. Easy, well explained and I love them.

Happy January and checking in 7
Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Sweater Favourites

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Sweater Favourites

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Sweater Favourites

Here’s a selection of Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Sweater Favourites I wanted to share with you today.

Bobbles

by Christelle Nihoul

This pretty yoke sweater is knitted in sport weight yarn and is perfect for using up mini skeins or self striping yarns for the bobbles.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Sweater Favourites Bobbles Sweater by Christelle Nihoul

Ginkgo Leaf Top

by Michele DuNaier

Knitted in DK weight yarn with a beautiful lacy yoke, this sweater would be one of my go-to items to wear every day.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Sweater Favourites - Ginko Sweater by Michele NuNaier

Linnutee

by Arella Seaton

Linnutee (Estonian for Milky Way, however the direct translation would be A Birds Path) is a cute tee specially designed for gradient yarn cakes or mini skein sets. It would also be a great way to use up those self striping yarns you aren’t sure how to use.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Sweater Favourites 8

The Raglan Cardigan

by Cynthia Spencer

It is completely sized to fit each part of your body, from the hips to the shoulders. If you have trouble getting your sweaters to fit, this book is for you!

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Rhys

by Kat Riddell

A cropped layering pullover in worsted/aran weight yarn will be a super fast knit and come in a big range of sizes.

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Vera

by Emma Sadler

I’ve knitted this myself to test the pattern for Emma, it’s easy, relaxing and a great way to use up scraps of sock or sport weight yarns to knit a very lightweight but super warm sweater for cool days and nights.

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Sabino Canyon Cardigan

by Megan Nodecker

I love the collar on this cardigan, but suggest you look at other projects for this garment on Ravelry as the designers photos, whilst beautiful, are really dark and are very hard to see.

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Hope cardigan

by Anne B Hanssen

The body of the cardigan is worked in a lovely lace-pattern.
The sleeves are worked in stockinette sts, and could be worked to any length. The hems of the body/sleeves are folded back.
The cardigan is supposed to be roomy and comfortable, with it’s rounded neck, and box-shaped body.

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Rather Nice Jumper

by Helen Gipson

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https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rather-nice-jumper

Bittercress

by Faye Kennington

Part poncho, part pullover, and all pretty with flattering ombre neckline and an elaborate and large floral motif around the yoke. Knitted in sport weight yarn and perfect for mini skins, gradient sets or self stripers.

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Eazy

by Anna Johanna

Top down and brioche, a fabulous combination and such fun to knit.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Sweater Favourites 16

Endorphins

by Kim McBrien Evans

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Cascading Kittens

by Claire Slade

cat, cats and more cats.

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Peasant Surprise

by Hanna Maciejewska

Worked top down and in the round with texture patterns on the yoke and body, the sleeves are the start of the show in this peasant style top.

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Parsons Green

by Kathryn Folkerth

I love the mustard colour at the start of the top down yoke on this one, a beautiful contrast to the crisp cream and navy. Knitted in DK for a relatively quick knit.

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Spica sweater

by Anke Telschow

Bottom up stripes and mosaic, super easy colourwork for those who don’t know to create a striking yet simple to make sweater.

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Hamiltonian

by Kathryn Folkerth

Aran weight, oversized with a boxy shape, perfect for working at home, a coffee with friends (via Zoom or in person).

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Mrs Grimmet’s Pullover

by Carol Sunday

The pullover is knitted from side to side in one piece beginning with a provisional cast-on. Pockets are cleverly knit in. Cowl and ribbing at hem are picked up and knitted. Sleeves are knitted from the top in the round, and sleeve caps are shaped with short rows.

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Joan

by Christelle Nihoul

A chic and stylish top down sweater knitted up to plus sizes

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Once Again

by Debra Gerhard

Once Again is a top-down, pullover sweater; knit in-the-round with a stranded yoke that is coupled with simple cable stitches. Short rows are used to shape the neckline after the yoke pattern is completed.

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Brise soleil

by Paola Albergamo

Brise-soleil is a double-breasted, asymmetrical cardigan with textured elements.

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Utmost Happiness

by Katrine Birkenwasser

Utmost Happiness sweater is worked seamlessly top-down. After a ribbing for neckband and set of short rows to raise the back of the sweater, a round yoke is decorated with an elaborate cable pattern achieved with mosaic knitting.

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La Briohème

by Lesley Anne Robinson

A bohemian open cardigan with drop sleeves, long brioche cuffs, a cozy brioche collar, and a large brioche hem as the focal point.

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Twisting Lights

by Artesanitarium Designs

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Sweater Favourites 29

Potala

by Hanna Maciejewska

“Potala” is a seamless open-front cardigan, especially warm thanks to the yak-merino-silk blend and a ribbed back.

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Haiku cardi

by Svetlana Volkova

A simple shawl-type construction applied to an oversized sweater. An easy introductory garment and a fun knit.

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Telos

by Jennifer Dassau

Knitted in Aran yarn, worked top down and a great cardigan for work or play.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Sweater Favourites 32

Sprague Lake Pullover

by Triona Murphy

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Flight formation

by Fiona Hamilton-MacLaren

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Sweater Favourites 34

Longbeard Hooded Cloak

by Raven Knits Design

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Sweater Favourites 35

Morning Walk

by Becky Wilkins

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Sweater Favourites 36

Cambria Cardigan

by Brenda Castiel

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Sweater Favourites 37

Adult Modular Cardigan Jacket

by Loraine Birchall

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Sweater Favourites 38
Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns and designs I’d love to knit/crochet.

Foxy Stripes Cowl

by Janelle Martin

I love the rich, autumnal green yarn for this one and the strong design lines, very clever.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns- foxy stripes cowl in green by Janelle Martin

Double Wrap Fair Isle Cowl

by Michael Harrigan

I love this in two contrasting colours but it would be a fun way to use a solid with a self striping or variegated yarn too.

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Cathedral Cowl

by Loraine Birchall

This is one of my own designs but I do love this cable, it’s fun to knit and evokes gothic arches and strong lines.

Cathedral Cowl, photo used with permission by Amanda of http://www.gratefulkneadsandknits.com
Cathedral Cowl, photo by Amanda of http://www.gratefulkneadsandknits.com

Whitethorn Cowl

by Megan Nodecker

I love Megan’s designs and this cowl caught my eye. I love the tassel, a nice finishing touch.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 40

Chevroche Cowl

by Sarah Jordan

A fun project to get you started on brioche knitting with two colours.

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Faileas

by Sierra Morningstar

A bit of two colour stranded knitting, worked in the round and joined with a graft, really effective and a lovely design.

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© Abby Lank

Leafy Origami Cowl

by Michele Bernstein

Beautiful use of brioche knitting and a very pretty result.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 43

Diamonds and Lace Cowl

by Loraine Birchall

Easy cables and a bit of lace, worked in the round in either Aran or DK weight yarn.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 44

Avenoir

by Hanna Maciejewska

I’m knitting her CareAway shawl using this same stitch pattern, it has lots of twisted stitches but is really addictive.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 45

Dogwalker’s Cowl

by Raven Knits Design

Two colour stranded knitting, simple but stunning. I love the use of a variegated yarn and a great way to use those pesky skeins with lots of pattern or colour.

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Ripples on the River

by Stacey Lewis

A bit more stranded colourwork with a simple pattern repeat, easy to make wider or taller to suit the recipient and great to bust some stash.

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Kruska

by Elena Fedotova

A bit of crochet and such an interesting looking texture, in three sizes of loop to suit your yarn stash.

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Cobblestone Cowl

by Rachy Newin

Wonderful use of colour, as is always the case with Rachy. Beautiful crochet.

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Simpson Cowl

by Amy van de Laar

Lovely pattern, undulating travelling stitches, no need for a cable needle.

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Evergreen Cowl

by Loraine Birchall

One of my new cowls, I just love the cables and knots.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 51

Shine On

by CJ Brady

A speedy crochet cowl and brilliant for those highly variegated skeins you want to use but have no idea what to make with them.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 52

Finding Your Way Cowl

by Lilinette Crochet

Mosaic crochet used with different colours work really well in this cowl designed to represent a garden maze.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 53

Tuberose Cowl

by Kavitha Raman

Lovely use of vertical columns and lace, all simple stitches but very stylish.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 54

Symbiosis Cowl

by bunnymuff – Mona Zillah

Amazing colourwork and look at the motifs, love, love, love it.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 55

Stormfront

by handmade by SMINÉ

Evokes the stormy clouds in Cumbria where it’s either raining or about to rain.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 56

Stornes Cowl

by Cheryl Chow

Lovely way to use up mini skeins or self striping yarns, simple crochet but really stylish.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 57

Orchids For Eve

by Kirsten McTeer

Very pretty lace and love the picot edging.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 58

Laketown Cowl

by Raven Knits Design

This could be my first proper foray into double knitting for an actual finished item, it’ll be super warm and so stylish.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 59

Strawberry Fluff Cowl

by Denise Balvanz

This cowl is definitely on my knit list, I made the hat and boot cuffs a few years ago and love them.

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Crocheted Harmony, hat and cowl set

by Darleen Hopkins

Great use of simple shape and granny stitches to make a warm but chic set.

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Twisted Textures Braided Cowl

by AlyseCrochet

Very clever construction and great use of both texture and colour. Wow!

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Lille Loop

by Frauke Neubauer

It’s green, two greens which is bonus points for me, lace and garter used to create a super stylish cowl.

Indie Design Gift Along 2020 Favourite Cowl Patterns 63

Cove Neck Cowl

by Michele DuNaier

i crocheted this a couple of times, enjoyable and a really effective cowl, the recipients love them.

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Indie Gift Along 2020 my WIPs, FOs and plans

Indie Gift Along 2020 my WIPs, FOs and plans

Indie Gift Along 2020 my WIPs, FOs and plans

Indie Gift Along 2020 my WIPs, FOs and plans for December knitting and crochet.

I cast on the Ronan Cardigan by Tiona Murphy for the Gift Along, it’s going to my friends Ben and Kelly for their new baby boy who was born a few weeks ago. I used Stylecraft Special Aran with Wool in the Denim colourway and it works well with the cables. It’s also machine wash for a new and busy Mum of two.

Indie Gift Along 2020 my WIPs, FOs and plans - Ronan Cardigan in denim blue on a teal wash background
Indie Gift Along 2020 my WIPs, FOs and plans - Ronan Cardigan back view  in denim blue on a teal wash background

I’m also sending them a couple of cotton burp cloths from a pattern by my good friend Emma Sadler, it’s called Muzies.

Indie Gift Along 2020 my WIPs, FOs and plans - Muzies cloth in natural craft cotton shown laid on a teal plank background

I have wanted to knit Alameda by Clarice Gomes since I saw her knitting the sample in a beautiful green colour when we met on a Saturday night Zoom knit and natter which we both go to. It’s absolutely stunning and I love it so much. I’m using Lanas Stop Bambini in the Linen colourway. You can buy that yarn here. I’ve knitted a bit more since then and will add another photo to the project page, click the image below to see more info.

Indie Gift Along 2020 my WIPs, FOs and plans 65

This is Clarice’s sample

Indie Gift Along 2020 my WIPs, FOs and plans 66

I did another crochet test of a pattern for Lillinette Crochet of her Ilsan pattern, you can make two of the squares and join them to make a Biscornu which is a clever construction and makes a very pretty pin cushion. I used scraps of DK sparkly yarn in silver grey, purple and magenta.

Indie Gift Along 2020 my WIPs, FOs and plans 67

I cast on for the CareAway Shawl, I’m not sure I made the best yarn choice, but I do absolutely love the colours, it’s a creamy white, a light grey and a mustard yellow and is called Skittles. The yarn is Stylecraft Bambino DK.

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CareAway Shawl by Hanna Maciejewska

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Next up to knit is a non-gal project, the Christmas Robin by Jacqui Turner which is fun and super cute.

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