Camomille – comfort tea in a shawl

Enter stage left new project. The gorgeous Camomille by Helga Isager.
amimono_isager_camomille
Alternating rows of doubled fingering/lace yarn with rows of single lace creates a lovely, light and airy  textural contrast that is knit up to a large, cozy shawl…and then has the magic element – TASSELS! These take the shawl to Frida-esque heights for me by giving it a subtle bit of Mexican flavoured panache that I have been craving since re-watching the movie Frida a few weeks ago!

The pattern I actually have in The Bird Collection book is the Dunlin shawl for children, shown below. But I can’t see a difference (can you?) so will just make it larger! This will be a shawl I can cozy up in on chilly summer evenings.
Isager_Dunlin_Shawl
I have been planning this shawl for a few months  after seeing Leila’s jaw-dropping example on Ravelry.
She not only did a beautiful job matching her yarns, but added a lovely detail of these turquoise ceramic beads on the gorgeously fat tassels. So perfect.

I’ve decided to go halfway between the one colour version and the two-tone Dunlin version on mine, but with less contrast between the grey and pink and a titch darker overall. I  dyed up some beautiful BFL/Silk light fingering in a delicate blush almost-pink and a silky soft but weighty Baby Camel/Silk in a deep metallic pewter for this one.
Kettle_Yarn_Co_BFLcmlSLK
I can’t tell you how good this combo feels. I have never knit anything quite so…exquisite. The BFL/Alpaca is a light, fluffy almost weightless yarn while the Baby camel/Silk gives it drape, depth and the most gorgeous shimmer. Combining the two makes a lofty/drapey hand that I just can’t really describe, but is oh-so yummy!

This combo is such a pleasure to knit I am having a hard time finishing my Buttercup! I just don’t want to put this one down. Especially as I am doing more odious twisted stich ribbing for the Buttercup and it is painful! Not least because I have done the bottom hem twice to get the tension right. Gack.
Kettle_Yarn_Co_camomille
I haven’t yet decided if I will finish the final lace row with the glowing pewter silk, or the softer blush yet. Figure it will come to me the closer I get to finishing, right?

Opinion time

Dear all,

After my post I made a journey to Islington to the LYS there, Loop, to pick up The Bird Collection book mentioned in a last post (it turns out her new book – Finstickat – won’t be translated to English anytime soon, so thought I should grab the book while it was still at Loop. Things there move FAST).

My restraint slipped a bit, and though I was just supposed to get the book, here is what I came home with:
amimono
Naughtiness.

My question from the last post answered. I am going with the Robin:
Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 21.34.31

They didn’t have the yarn recommended in the pattern, though they had a sample of the Robin jumper knit up in the Spinni wool, and it was VERY itchy. I decided I would substitute with the much softer Alpaca 1. The hue is still a desaturated pink, though more magenta than the one in the picture in the book – no. 61.
alpaca1
Now the recommended yarn is a 3 ply and this is a two ply, so both are very fine knitting, though this is finer, and I knew I would be pushing it a bit with the patience factor … but thought it might be good for me. A new level, so to speak.

That is until I cast on a swatch this morning and it took me nearly an hour to knit a 5×2 inch swatch. Gulp.
alpaca1
There is the 3mm swatch of pain with a new swatch cast on with 2.5mm, as I am not at gauge.

In red below is where I have picked up not only the stitch on the needle, but that below, as I am not used to knitting with yarn this fine.detail
And it is VERY fine for me and quite splitty.
2ply
Thing is, I am wondering if I am struggling so much because of a) the fact that knitting with needles this small and yarn so fine is terrifying me, b)the yarn is just too splitty.

Here is where I need some opinions. Those of you that have knit with teeny yarns- what do you think ? Should I tough it out and try to view this as a learning curve, or am I just setting myself up for an expensive fail?

This decision is a bit time sensitive, as I want to go back tomorrow or monday and get Isager’s Highland yarn for this if I give up (before it is GONE with London’s crazy lack of physical yarn shops)…so really stressing!

Help please? What are your opinions?

Cropping it up

I am trying to distract myself from my Odilon troubles by thinking of my next project – as one does!

These are the two things I keep stopping at over and over on blogs and boards – cropped crew necks…

crop
left to right – Band of Outsiders, Ella Catliff, Visual Optimism

And peachy hues, the more desaturated the better!
Untitled-1 22.56.27
Wrap, Humanoid, Amimono

The first slightly androgynous and the other kind of girly.

Which will win out?

FINSTICKAT

Isager yarn’s Amimono publications have recently been making the rounds of the more stylish knitting blogs in the blogsphere. The family run business has seemed to hit on a perfect combo of beautiful yarn/stylish contemporary patterns/young and hip styling/ and ethereal photos!

Having recently contacted Helga Isager regarding her beautiful new book The Bird Collection,

I was pretty chuffed to find out that they have published it in English! It is retailing at approx £19 and you just have to indicate you want an English language copy in the notes when you order.

I have been putting off purchasing, and just went into the site again today to drool. Look at what I found!

A NEWER and LARGER book that has recently been published with nearly all the patterns I was interested in the other books (plural) all in one place…with NEW PATTERNS.

How pretty are these shots?


And the yarn colours are divine.

I am thinking of holding off until this one is translated. It is a bit more (approx £33), but has more of the adult patterns that I want, and I figure if I am going to pay for shipping, I may as well get the motherload of patterns in one go!

Waiting with baited breath for Helga to get back to me. Fingers crossed it comes out in English soon!