Off The Needles: my latest knitting project

Like many knitting and crochet devotees, I am exceptionally good at starting new projects. But I am less accomplished in the finishing-off department. That is why it is always cause for celebration when I do actually manage to cast-off, block and start using a completed piece.

This is my latest creation, the Dimitri Shawl by Steve Rousseau Designs:

 

Here it is spread out along our king-size bed so that you can see its full extent:

 

I have used one ball of Scheepjes Whirl in Green Tea Tipple plus the majority of a ball of Whirlette in Frosted.  The pattern called for 1400m of yarn and the Whirl is only 1000m. The Whirlettes are designed to complement the Whirls, as this project shows. I used the Whirlette in the middle, allowing the gradient colours of the Whirl to speak for themselves on the edges.  It worked out just right, as you can see from this picture of the left-over yarn:

 

It is a very large project, but I like wraps and shawls which give you a big hug. This is definitely in that category! The yarn is beautifully soft and the whole thing is light and airy. It will be lovely to wear later on in the year as temperatures cool.

And it was an absolute delight to knit. The pattern is my favourite combination of easy knitting, with just enough stitch variation to keep it interesting. I love the geometric end result.

I blocked it pretty tightly to maximise the stitch definition. This meant blocking in two halves as you can see:

 

 

You can also see from this picture the benefits and impact of blocking:

 

It is in no way ideal to block in two goes, but needs must and the end result has come out fine. I will, however, get a few more blocking mat squares so that I can make some more of Steve’s designs. I have my eye on one of his blankets….!

Another adjustment I will make with my next pattern will be to go down a needle size. In this case, I used 3.5mm needles, which were fine and have contributed to the airy nature of the shawl. For a blanket, though, I would want the final fabric to be a bit tighter and denser, so will go with 3mm needles, especially as I tend to knit on the loose side.

Meanwhile, I have resumed work on my Hourglass throw. Knitting with 5.5mm needles feels like working with tree trunks!  As you can see from this picture, there does not look to be that much of a difference between the two sets, but it feels really strange:

 

Overall I can highly recommend the Dimitri pattern, and the Whirl yarn. It’s a cliché to say that the journey is as important as the destination, but it fits perfectly here. I really enjoyed the knitting, and am really pleased with the outcome. Result! 🙂

100 Days of Creativity: it’s a wrap!

On 13 June 2018, I embarked somewhat rashly, or so it seemed at the time, on an art project that would last 100 consecutive days. I committed myself to producing and publishing a piece of digital art each day.

Writing about it at that time, I wondered whether I would be able to complete the project. I spoke rather modestly about creating ‘doodles’.  But overall, I was hoping that it would work, because I had long wished to create a daily art habit.

Well, I did it folks! On 20 September, I published for the 100th day in a row, producing a total of 107 images (on some days, I built up a head of steam and published more than one picture).

 

Fireworks marking the 100th day of my project

 

It has been an amazing journey. I learned so much about creating images, making improved use of my digital art tools, and perhaps most importantly, my own style as an artist.

I’ll be reflecting further on what the project has taught me in future posts. But for now, I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me all through this project. Whether you have joined me via instagram, facebook or this blog, it has meant the world to me to have all the likes and comments. I’ve really enjoyed sharing my art with everyone, and having such warm and positive feedback to spur me on each day.

 

 

So what’s next? First, I have arranged for all the images created for the project to be publicly available. I hope people will enjoy using the artwork for cards, wallpaper, blog posts or any other personal endeavour. You can read more about this, and find links to my new Flickr account here. Feel free to have a browse through the pictures – do you have any favourites? I’d love to know.

And for the future, I will continue to create images for free personal use. I will probably give myself a few days off, but watch this space for possible sightings of some spooky Halloween images! 🎃