Weaving in ends – sneaky techniques with EastLondonKnit

EastLondonKnit has returned to the blog to help the speedy people already finishing up their Naloa in the ongoing KAL. Thanks Renee, and well done speedsters! 😉

(It is still not too late to start your shawl as the KAL runs till October 4th and there are many exciting prizes available for those who take part.)

I love how this technique hides the straggling threads and makes the weaving in seamless. So sneaky and clever!

Take it away, Renee…



Naloa features gently undulating stripes of colours in the lace edging.  Each colour change begins on a right-side row, thereby making an end to be woven in once the shawl is complete. (So if you’ve just completed a RS row, slide the work to the other end of the needle, and begin the next row from the RS again!)


There are many ways to weave in ends, but when working with lace, you have to be more careful to keep it tidy and invisible.

I used duplicate stitch in Naloa. It’s a handy technique for  solving many different problems.  Check out this primer.

EastLondonKnit Naloa technique 1

First, thread a sharp tapestry needle with the end, and following the end from whence it came, trace the row back through 4-6 stitches, splitting the yarn with the needle.

EastLondonKnit Naloa Technique

Although I wove in my ends before the shawl was blocked, many people prefer to do so afterward, to make sure they don’t tighten the edges of the shawl too much.

I can’t wait to see your beautifully finished Naloa Shawl!

Happy knitting!
Make sure to check out Renee’s other beautiful designs on Ravelry and find more  useful tutorials on her blog and follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

Show me your poms!

A little something to brighten up your Monday morning…

I don’t have a lot of time to troll my beloved blogosphere lately so was WAY chuffed (little British-ism there for you non-Brits!) to get this link sent to me by the lovely Dirtymartini104 from the Mr Printables blog… a tutorial on how to make fabulous pom pom FRUIT.

You could use TWIST skeins for these as I have many colours of these smaller skeins needed in stock… If you don’t see a colour you need just email me as I have more in the studio that I haven’t had time to list just yet.

(Thanks again Alison!)

The endless joys of yarn pairing

I think most of you know how truly and thoroughly a yarn nerd I am already, so the title of the post should come as no surprise? 😉

Last Monday I showed a few examples of possible yarn pairs for blindingly simple but stunning subtle-y striped shawls like Camomille and Merlot. I got a bit carried away with the process and decided at the last minute that I’d better split the post as my yarn-nerd-ness was getting out of hand!

I’d paired up 2 more, classic grey combos to show you – ‘ColebrookeBFL/Alpaca‘ and then ‘Colebrooke/Dusty Miller‘ – and then realised how different these two shawls would be due to the properties of the yarns being paired and got really excited!

While the two above look incredibly similar in the skein, the two pairings would create substantially different moods in a shawl!

The BFL/Alpaca combo is more lofty on the right will knit up significantly warmer and ‘fuller’ than the Bloomsbury BFL/Silk, with a sumptuous Alpaca bloom and sponge. It is so warm – even knit as an open lace – that I often find myself overheated with this blend in the mild autumn chill!

In the pairing with Bloomsbury (right) the 80% BFL makes stitches hold a bit more crisply open and the extra silk adds to Westminter’s already substantial drape giving a slightly more dressy (formal/evening wear) feel to the shawl. Both could be worn to dress up last winter’s coat OR over a party dress for a holiday event, but the subtle difference lets you tailor for personality.

You would never think it just looking at the skeins, which look quite similar at first glance, would you?

I first discovered the joys of yarn pairing when knitting Helga Isager’s Nightingale Vest.

It was amazing how even adding a single thin strand of lace to otherwise rather unpleasant feeling sock yarn transformed the fabric into something much greater than its parts (knitting gestalt)!

Yarn pairing is amazing and opens up a world of possibility in stash busting. Add a strand of another yarn and you can create amazing colour effects like heathering and ombre – like in Antonia Shankland’s Kinetic cowl below which starts with 2 strands of the same colour, moves to two strands of 2 different colours for a gradient, then back to 2 strands of the new colour:

Or even change the drape and handle of a yarn and counteract a less desirable trait by blending to better suit your pattern – create more drape, LESS drape and more structure, or add a fuzzy soft halo for an feminine ‘sweater-girl’ twist.

Fun AND useful!

Goin’ it oldschool

Feeling super eco-smug as I have just, single-handedly saved all the dull scissors in the house. *cue triumphant trumpets!*

The smugness is compounded tenfold by the fact that to do so meant braving what my partner dubbed ‘The Shed of a Thousand Eyes’ – and all the spiders it contains – to get the honing stone that I put out there more than a year ago (after picking it up for a couple quid in a yard sale – packrat much? But see? It came in handy! hah).

Thought I’d ruined my good knitting scissors cutting ancient silk off a vintage spool and was bricking it. I started to google ‘scissor sharpening’, as one does, and found this fab video from Expert Village:

This is the honing stone I used:
I couldn’t believe how easy and quick it was to get my swan scissors back up to lethal sharpness (just the way I love them)! HOOray!
It was so satisfying that I promptly hunted down all the scissors in the house and sharpened them too!

If you have dull scissors kicking about the house I highly recommend giving this a try. It is SO easy and quick. I just googled it and a honing stone can cost you as little as £3.50. Worth it to keep your crafting tools sharp an prolong their lives!

And of course it cuts down on all those perfectly good scissors that end up in landfill every year. (eco-smugness again. Sorry, sorry!) 😉