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Whispering Island Shawl

I’ve been hinting all week about my newest pattern, and I’m so excited to share it with you all that I’ve decided to release it a day earlier than planned.

The pattern is available on Ravelry to buy now.

“My readers will want to know if Whispering Island is real, set in the great blue harbour in the story – and if the little cottage on the hills is there still…Yes, the island is real, and lies in the great harbour, still full of whispering trees. The little cottage on the hills is still there, with its magnificent view and its old well… I have taken them all and put them into this book for you.”

Enid Blyton “Five Have a Mystery to Solve”

Cliffs and caves, coastlines and caravans: Whispering Island is inspired by the landscapes of beautiful Dorset and the fun to be had there by the young at heart. This generously-sized shawl wants to be slung across your shoulders as you wander through fields, explore forgotten ruins, scramble up hillsides, and toast marshmallows over a campfire.

An elongated triangle shawl with a rounded border, Whispering Island is all about texture. Knit in a rustic, rugged DK weight yarn, it features rippling ridges and just a hint of feminine lace in the eyelets along the edge. Although packed with lovely details, this pattern is amazingly easy and fast to knit: the perfect project for a knitter setting off on their first shawl adventure, or for the experienced knitter who wants something simple to finish by the fireside in the long summer evenings of a camping holiday.

This particular project has been such a joy. It was one of those patterns that seems to know exactly what it wants to be from the beginning, and I had a wonderful time bringing it to life. I also had the immense pleasure of working with three marvellous yarns, which each brought their own magic to the design. As any knitter knows, it all begins with the feeling of fibre in your hands.

Whispering Island in Hole & Sons Yarn

The first inspiration for Whispering Island came from my precious stash of Hole & Sons wool. I was lucky to get my hands on some (the last release sold out online in a matter of minutes.) I knew I needed a very special project to make the most of its wonderful qualities, and I felt it was worthy of its own new pattern. I enthuse at length about what makes this yarn so miraculous in tomorrow’s podcast, where I interview Benjamin Hole about his farm, process, and philosophy.

For the original Whispering Island, I used Hole & Sons Pure Wool in the “Fog” colour. [100% Dorset Poll Pure Wool, 110m/119yds per ball], 6 x 50g balls.

Because there will be a bit of a wait before more Hole & Sons yarn is available for purchase, I also wanted to knit this shawl in some other lovely yarns which allow for more instant gratification.

Whispering Island in Blacker Shetland Yarn

Blacker Yarns Shetland DK shares a lot of qualities with the Hole & Sons wool. Soft, springy, and heathered, it is actually spun in the same mill in Cornwall. It manages to be both rugged and incredibly cuddly, all at the same time, and it’s very smooth on the needles. The colour of the wool, Fawn, is completely natural. It’s an undyed light brown in a creamy caramel shade: it reminds me of Werther’s Originals! [100% Wool, 110m/119yds per ball], 6 x 50g balls]

Whispering Island in Acadia

You’ve probably heard me mention the Fibre Company’s gorgeous Acadia yarn. I was planning to knit a two-colour version of Whispering Island, and I wanted a yarn that would still capture the outdoorsy feeling of my original vision. When I looked at some other shawls knit in Acadia I suddenly knew that this was the perfect yarn for the job. I can’t say enough about what a pleasure this yarn is to work with. The blend of merino, alpaca and silk is wonderfully soft and luxurious with loads of rustic character. [60% Merino wool, 20% Baby alpaca, 20% Silk, 133m/145yds per skein], 4 x 50g skeins, Colour: 2 x Driftwood, 2 x Summersweet]

The result, in all three yarns, is a big, welcoming shawl with lots of heart, an all-season shawl that will be equally at home sheltering you from the soft breezes of a summer evening as it will be cuddling around your neck once the winter winds begin to blow. It’s a surprisingly quick knit, and lots of fun: I’ve made it three times now, and it has never lost its charm.

I really love Whispering Island, and I hope you will too.

Knitvent Week 1- The Candlelit Shawl

Helen —  November 11, 2014 — 2 Comments
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Candlelit Shawl

The Festive Mystery Knit Along is finally here and the first pattern is LIVE!

The Candlelit Shawl is a lightweight shawl that brings a little festive light into your knitting. Work up the fully beaded version for seasonal sparkle or let the simple lace stitches allow your yarn to shine for a quicker but just as satisfying knit. A fingering weight shawl to make use of that lovely one or two skeins in your stash for a special someone who is very deserving – whether that’s you or a loved one!

Candlelit shawl

Candlelit shawl in BFL Sock

Working these shawls up was a joy as the simple lace stitches catch the subtle shifts and tonal changes in handdyed yarns beautifully. The small shawl sample is knit up in Eden Cottage Yarns BFL Sock [100% Wool,399m/436yds per 100g skein], in the ‘Robin Egg’ colourway. You will need just one skein of either this yarn or a 100g skein of fingering or sock weight yarn totalling approximately 399m/436yds to make the small version.

Candlelit Shawl in Tosh Sock

Candlelit Shawl in Tosh Sock

For the medium, I used Madelinetosh Tosh Sock [100% Superwash Merino, 361m/395yds per 100g skein], in the ‘Sand Dune’ colourway. For this larger version you will need 1 and a 1⁄2 100g skeins or 1 and a 1⁄2 100g skeins of fingering or sock weight yarn totaling approximately 542m/592yds.

The Candlelit Shawl is now available as part of the Knitvent 2014 ebook and will be available to purchase individually from 19 December 2014. Join in each week as we take the stress out of holiday knitting and cheer each other on with Knitvent 2014. Each week another pattern is revealed which is perfect for either a gift or your own selfish desires. The Collection will feature 5 accessory patterns with each pattern offering a choice of at least two sizes or tips on how to modify them, all for an introductory price of £9.50 (just under US$15).

 

To celebrate the launch of Knitvent 2014 put both Knitvent 2014 AND Curious Knitvent 2013 ebooks in your basket and the 2013 collection will be FREE! This offer will end Sunday 16th November. 

That’s a total of 13 gorgeous patterns including my incredibly popular Red Robin Shawl for £9.50. After this week, the price of the Collection will go up making this a particularly good bargain!

 

Knitvent 2014

Knitvent 2014

Still undecided? Join in the KnitVent 2014 chatter and fun with our Ravelry group, inspirational blog posts and a newsletter packed full of discounts and goodies, thanks to the Curious Handmade seasonal challenge. You can sign up here for the free Holiday Knitting Planner and Knitvent updates

Let the Curious Handmade community help you get your knitting #giftingzen on this holiday season.