Tag Archives: lace shawl

An excuse to work with hand-spun yarn

It’s so nice to have an excuse to work with my own hand-spun yarn. I really enjoyed making this Blackberry crescent shawl even though I was on a deadline.

Here is a version of one of my newest released patterns called Loganberry. I dubbed this hand-spun merino-silk version with the name Blackberry because of its color. Make sure to click the photo to get a better view of the texture and subtly varied colors.

my "Blackberry" version of Loganberry Crescent Lace Shawl
my "Blackberry" version of Loganberry Crescent Lace Shawl


The yarn is hand-spun merino/silk plied with hand-dyed silk hankies. The yarn structure is a 2-ply (S) of:

  • merino/silk blend spun Z
  • hand-dyed silk hankies spun Z
Blackberry Handspun Yarn
Blackberry Handspun Yarn

Actually, I’m not back to actively spinning yet. (but hopefully this will start getting that back into my life priorities). I don’t have a date on the tag for when I spun this yarn, but it was probably around 1998! It was time for it to become something else, don’t you think?

Blackberry Crescent Shawl in progress
Blackberry Crescent Shawl in progress

The merino/silk fiber was from Lambspun in Colorado (they are still in business). Unfortunately I did not make a record of the exact name from Lambspun on my tag, so I am not sure if there actually was one. The hand-dyed silk hankies came from Woodland Woolworks, which closed not too long ago. I really liked that place for the range of spinning tools and fibers they carried. Good thing that I still have a good stash of some of my favorites from them.

The Loganberry pattern was launched at TNNA. I knit the original Loganberry in a new yarn that Mountain Colors just came out with (a luscious cashmere/silk blend called Louisa). I had so much fun knitting up the sample model in the Loganberry color of their yarn that I wanted to do one for myself. However, there was not enough time to get more yarn dyed and mailed to me in time to knit before the show, so that was my excuse to check my handspun stash. I always have some sample models at TNNA that are made in handspun (there are some spinning vendors and shop buyers there), so I figured that having the sample at the Mountain Colors booth and another sample at my own HeartStrings booth would cover even more bases.

Although I had not planned to make this additional model until just a few days before the show, I’m glad I had an excuse to enjoy knitting this handspun. The shawl moved along really quickly (the Hiya Hiya needles I was using helped a lot, I think) and I had the knitted shawl completed and blocked in plenty of time before the show. It looked nice on display, too! Others thought so, too. In fact, Nancy George of Knit Stop in Indianapolis talked me into selling it and it now is on display in her shop. If you are in the area, be sure to check it out!

Debut of 2 more Colinton kits for HeartStrings patterns

I am delighted that Colinton Australian Angoras debuted 2 additional kits for HeartStrings patterns at the recent TNNA trade show in Columbus, OH earlier this month.

Because of the success of the launch in January, Colinton has expanded their attractively  packaged “Tucker Box” kits from the initial offering at the January TNNA show that included the White Lotus Shawl. Now there are also kits offered for the just-released A Touch of Beaded Class Stole and the “get a taste of Colinton” small project Coronet Collaret.

These Colinton Tucker Box kits include all materials to complete the project, including Colinton’s silky worsted-spun 100% Kid Mohair yarn, top quality Japanese glass beads (for the Stole and Shawl kits), pattern instructions, plus the extra bonus of sample packets of Unicorn Fibre Wash/Rinse. All 3 kits come with choice of natural color yarn only, or with dye packet in any of 7 different jewel tones.

Colinton Tucker Box Kits

Please contact Colinton Angoras for wholesale orders or check their website for retailers.

More information about the pattern designs is here —

p.s. Wondering what a “tucker box” is? It is an informal Australian term for a bag or box used for carrying food. Maybe we can’t eat yarn like regular food, but I think you will find the Colinton yarn to “yummy” on your knitting needles and in the finished project.

KyleAnn loves Peggy

… Peggy’s Shawl, that is.

KyleAnn Williams is a good friend and fellow knitter. She happens to be a designer in her own right, as well as a knitting teacher. And that is why I am particularly flattered that she became so enamored of the Peggy’s Shawl I had designed.

Peggy Shawl in Kid Merino knitted by KyleAnn Williamss
Peggy Shawl in Kid Merino knitted by KyleAnn Williams

I’ve lost count of how many Peggy Shawls that KyleAnn has made. They all are always lovely, but I think this one that KyleAnn knit in Crystal Palace Kid Merino in a strawberry-lime color will always remain my favorite.

You can read more about KyleAnn’s making of the Peggy Shawl in her own words here.

KyleAnn Williams
KyleAnn Williams

I am really fortunate to have had KyleAnn assisting me at the TNNA Shows held in Columbus, OH each June. When TNNA changes its venue in 2013 to a different location, I am not sure what I will do. We have so much fun together. I just wish we lived closer to each other!

What flower is this?

Last spring I planted a few seeds I had been holding onto for 8 years. I had collected them from a fellow fiber-friend on the other side of the state. Jean – are you listening in? All I remember was that I was attracted to these flowers she had growing along her fence and that she was happy to share some seeds. I am sure she told me the plant name, but of course I didn’t write it down at the time.

Viney Flowers - What are they?
Viney Flowers - What are they?

So with just 3 of these plants along my back fence, I had a glorious fence-ful of viney flowers that I enjoyed through the summer and into the late fall. They even served as a nice back-drop to the preliminary photographs I took of the “Half-note Symphony” shawl.

Half-note Symphony Shawl
Half-note Symphony Shawl

But I still do not know the name of this flower/plant. Do you?

p.s. If this flower is looking somewhat familiar to you, but you need a larger photo to look at, try this. But beware that it is a 3.8 MB file and could take a while to download depending on your connection speed.