Wednesday, 3 July 2013

WIPs & Books: What's purple and ruffled...?

Regular readers will know that I generally favour natural fibres and indie-dyed yarns, but there are a few occasions when I prefer acrylics:
  1. When knitting clothes for my kids. I learned this the hard way - after knitting a couple of gorgeous woolly things that snuck into the machine on a regular wash and ended up 1/3 of the original size! 
  2. For novelty items - not that I make very many novelties, but there have been a few crowns, bracelets and so on where sparkly acrylics are absolutely perfect
  3. When making gifts. I prefer to give gifts that do not require too much special care or blocking after each wash in order to look good. It's just not practical for non-knitters unless they have lots of time and millions of pins!
A few weeks ago I discovered Red Heart yarns were launching in the UK and Germany and was sent a generous sample pack of different acrylic yarns, and one cotton, to try. My first project from the sample, and the WIP I'm going to show you today falls into the third category above, as it's going to be gifted. 
Red heart Sashay scarf in progress.
It's not really my style but I know several people who have bought these scarves (two of them quite discerning non-knitters) who absolutely LOVE them and independently enthused to me about the level of intricacy etc. When my mum (a knitter) saw it this morning she almost ripped it out of my hands to try it on. I do hope the recipient feels the same way! 
Knitting with Red Heart Sashay yarn
The yarn is a kind of mesh ribbon - unravel it and use the 'rail' of hoops to knit with (click here to see a video).

The great thing about this scarf is that it's just 6 stitches and each row is knit - pretty much ANYONE could make one of these. Crocheting it is probably even easier and something I would look into if making another. Now you would think the tiny 6 stitch rows make it a quick knit, but using regular yarn I could probably knit 30 stitches in the time it takes me to knit these - even so I made 1/3 of a scarf in a few hours last night. My first Red Heart project gets the thumbs up so far, I'll let you know how the others get on. By the way, you can find lots of patterns and videos on their website, whichever yarns you are using.

I've also cast on Dragonfly Wings for the Pick A Boo! Knitalong. I'll be updating on that in a dedicated post tomorrow but if you haven't seen the Kal details or if you are going to be knitting along but haven't entered the giveaway, you'll find the details here. The draw will be made on Friday, so there's not long if you want to be in with a chance of winning the great prizes!

A quick book update today - I'm still reading Immortal by Dean Crawford and having finished listening to Inferno by Dan Brown (not so great, and I feel like I lived it in real time *yawn*) I've started listening to Behind The Scenes At The Museum by Kate Atkinson. If you followed my earlier recommendation and enjoyed Life After Life (I know many of you have), this may be another one to add to your list - so far it's very similar in writing style, has wonderful characters and is very interesting, this time following a character born in the early 50s but with lots of back story.

Several people have asked me about audio books - I use the Audible App (via my iPhone and iPad). It's free for 30 days - which includes one free audiobook and member prices on any others and you get to keep anything you download during the period. I did that and then signed up to a monthly subscription which is £3.99 for the first 3 months and £7.99 after that (cancel at any time) - it's working out great, as it takes me about a month to listen to each book.

Today's links are WIP Wednesday and Yarn Along. If you have spinning-related posts and would like to link them to Spinning Show & Tell, you will find this week's post here


  1. I bought a bunch of this yarn on sale to make for holiday gifts. Money is tight right now and I've seen these scarves selling for quite a bit at local craft fairs. I can't wait to get started.

  2. A lady at my knit and natter group was working with this loopy yarn the other week and I was completely baffled so thank you for the information!

  3. I'm with you on the acrylics for children and for gifts way more practical. I'd heard Red Heart had launched but as of yet hadn't heard any reviews on it. I'll watch this space to hear your thoughts on it. Will be back tomorrow for an update on the shawl, I've cast on mine and loving it so far. I to use Audible and its good on the phone, frees up the hands. Sorry the Dan Brown is not working out, its on my list to read but as of yet hasn't come to the top.

  4. Love the scarf- not my style either but I can appreciate the beauty of it nonetheless!! Thanks for the explanation because I had no idea that was how those scarves were knit...

    I have heard huge raves about Audible so I am hanging on to the idea for when our budget isn't so tight because audiobooks are my newfound love... how can I have gone through almost four years of motherhood without having resorted to audiobooks! I can actually "read" now!

  5. Great scarf, they make great gifts and quick to knit. I love the Dragonfly Wings and will do that one after I've finished Cloud Illusions. Deb x

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  7. Love that purple/pink color you chose. Beautiful. I crocheted one of these scarfs but I find it quite heavy to wear. Maybe it is just me. I have another skein. Think I might try knitting it this time.

  8. I'm quite snobby about those types of yarns/scarfs but actually yours looks quite nice. Don't tell the knitting police I said that though ;-)

    Looking forward to seeing your shawl pictures

  9. Awesome yarn! My granma made me a scarf and it's amazing.

    Here's my WIP:

  10. I am with Evelyn! Here in South Africa curly wurly scarves are all the rage but I have yet to see someone pull off the look in a way that will make me look twice (for the right reasons LOL). I guess I am a minimalist by heart and prefer structured looks. It sure looks like a fun knit/hook though!

  11. I'be always wondered about that yarn. Saw lots at the marketplaces. I love how your mum ripped it out of your hands.


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