Wednesday, 20 July 2016


Completing a Collection is always a bittersweet time.  The end of a theme that is always enjoyable and can usually go on with inspiration flowing and new patterns forming in my mind but also it is the start of a new thread of thought and exploration; the start of a new Collection!

Fresh off my needles is Rum and Cola; the first pattern in my new Collection - Boos for Beginners.  I know, I just couldn't help myself or resist the play on names.  This will be a Collection of patterns that will be aimed at anyone who would love to knit lace shawls but is a little timid, unsure or scared witless!  There will be six shawls starting with something really simple with each pattern getting progressively more ambitious.  None of the shawls will be boring, none will be too simple for those with more experience but might be wonderful projects for watching television, travelling, holiday knitting or to buy for those non-shawl knitting friends who you know would just love it if they tried.

This simple lace shawl has a beaded body and a small lace border with a pretty picot bind off.  I know it will be one of my favourite shawls to wear - goes with everything and is one of those patterns that will look wonderful in a variegated skein.

The Boos for Beginners Collection will be available on Ravelry at the end of the July.

Sad but true.  This shawl was named Cuba Libre but I had to change the name due to it being considered a political statement rather than just the name of a pretty shawl or rather lovely drink.  Rum and Cola doesn't have the same ring but never mind - international crisis overted!

Tuesday, 12 July 2016


Time and Again I have been asked to produce a triangular version of Sweet Dreams and so here it is in two versions.  The main pattern instructions are for a stocking stitch body with lace border and edge and there are detailed notes for an all over lace version.  Knit in fingering weight yarn this shawl is a lovely large hug of a shawl with a beaded body (beads here are optional) leading into the beaded lace border and edge.  In a lace weight yarn, the shawl becomes a wonderfully ethereal accessory that can work with anything from a ball gown to a pair of jeans.
The pattern is available from Boo Knits on Ravelry and is exclusive to The Memory Tree Collection.

REQUIREMENTS Yarn: Lichtfaden REI Tussah Silk Mohair 359m/100g – two skeins, WalkCollection Cozy Mohair 360m/100g – two skeins, DyeForYarn Fingering Tussah Silk 800m/200g – one skein, DyeForYarn Fingering Silk Linen 400m/100g – two skeins, John Arbon Textiles Alpaca Supreme 333m/100g – three skeins, Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light 384m/100g – two skeins, or any fingering weight or lace weight yarn.  Finished size: Using Lichtfaden REI Tussah Silk Mohair -  85” (216cm) wide along top edge, 33.5” (85cm) deep as written.  A larger version was made by working Chart B four times resulting in a shawl measuring 103” (262cm) wide along top edge, 38.5” (98cm) deep – this required three skeins of yarn and just under 900 beads.  Needles: 3.75 (US5) for binding off only, 4mm, (US 6) and 4.5mm (US7) or needles to give you a pleasing fabric with drape.  You might want to drop a needle size should you wish to knit the stocking stitch body in a lace weight yarn.  You will also need: Stitch Markers, Needle, Blocking Pins, a small crochet hook (0.75mm) or a 1mm cro-tat hook for applying beads and approximately 750 size 5 Miyuki Triangular Beads or 4mm Miyuki Cubes should you bead the entire shawl as written.  For the all over lace version, should you choose to bead the entire shawl, I would suggest size 6 Miyuki, Matsuno or Toho beads to reduce the weight and would suggest steering away from more fragile fibres due to the number of beads.   Bead Requirements for all over lace version -  Border Only – 270, Last Chart and Border - 390, Last Two Charts and Border - 520, All Over Beading - 960.   Gauge: is not critical and any yarn is suitable for this pattern though needle size and yardage requirements will vary. Using Lichtfaden Rei Tussah Silk Mohair, mine was 18sts to 4” before blocking and 14.5sts to 4” after slightly thuggish blocking.  Size Options:  One Size but easily adapted by working Chart B or Chart D fewer or more times.  Please note that this will result in an additional yardage and bead requirement.   

Saturday, 9 July 2016


Lay your shawl on your blocking mats in an even curve – see photograph to the right.  Pin the top edge into a gentle curve easing the edge so it is taut and with the ends of the shawl curving upwards and around.  Thread blocking wires through the chain dangles (or the centre stitch of your point) and pin the wires pulling strongly.  Make sure you leave plenty of space around your shawl as you will be removing your top edge pins as you stretch your shawl.  Once your shawl is pinned out, take out the pins from the top so you get a nice even line along the top edge and pull on your blocking wires again, repining. 

Don’t worry if your mats curl a little, weight them down and stretch to capacity - I block like a thug and get lovely long points with great definition!   Though you do need to make sure that your yarn will cope with such thuggery – some yarns are stronger than others.

Should your shawl pattern show this in the finished photographs you can pull down the little points between your long dangles and pin to a short point (see photograph to the left).   
This is wonderful if you are using silk or a yarn with a high silk content, however, if you are using cashmere or a more fragile yarn than specified, you will need to be much gentler with your blocking.   

Wait until your shawl is dry, unpin, wear and enjoy!