Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wild Cat Island Ahoy!

The sun has finally made an appearance this morning (albeit briefly) so I have enlisted the help of my chief (and only) photographer's assistant to show you the finished, and now blocked, Ishbel:

July 271
This is the larger size of the Ishbel and it gives me a perfect wingspan shawl in this lovely Aegean blue.

The blocking wires have proved their worth too - all of my points are nice and neat and even - achieved without spending hours curled into a fetal position on the sewing room floor, fussing over each and every one of them.
July 272
The great beauty of this shawl is that it really shows off the beauty of the yarn as much as the pattern.

Handmaiden Camelspin is subtly variegated - I think it must be kettle dyed like Dream in Colour - and it has both a sheen and a halo and is so incredibly soft that this rockets right to the top of my list of favourite yarns to knit with and to wear.
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I am going to feel totally cossetted and cozied wrapped up in this shawl in the winter, and for the summer it makes a nice little shoulder wrap.

July 262

The project that has occupied me for the last couple of days has not been knitting (gasp! horror! ring the bell for smelling salts!).

This, or rather, these, are the end result of an idea I had while I was swimming on Monday. The idea started out life as a plan for a quilt - and may well end up as such - but I thought I would trial run with a couple of cushions.

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To fellow aficionados of Arthur Ransome these need no introductionJuly 279
'The Swallows set sail'
July 280
'The Amazon Pirates head out to battle'

I used cheat applique for both of them and I love the stuff - it's the fabric equivalent of sticky-backed plastic and it's brilliant - and quick.

I said I hadn't been knitting though - and I've just remembered that that's a fib - I did knit the Amazon's woolly hats - it was the one bit of authenticity that I couldn't let lie; that and the flags!
July 284July 281

For the backing I went for a pillow tuck (because I didn't have any zips and couldn't be bothered to face town on a Saturday), so I used strips from all the fabrics used in the pictures to make stripy reverses.

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I'm really quite pleased with how they all turned out and H seemed to like them - at least, when I woke him up to show them to him he reached out, grabbed one, tucked it under his chin and went back to sleep which I take to be a sign of approval!

Swallows and Amazons Forever!


  1. The cushions are really good, don't get me wrong I like the shawl but the cushions are brilliant.

  2. Beautiful shawl! I may have to fall into the Ishbel craze some really is a beautiful pattern!

    But those pillows! I've never seen that design before and I love them! Great job!

  3. What lovely cushions, you've come up with a delighful design. And what a coincidence that I watched Swallows & Amazons only a couple of days ago, and at the time I pictured you as a little girl doing their sort of thing too!

  4. The Ishbel is lovely, but those cushions are absolutely stunning! I'm sooo happy to have found another Arthur Ransome fan - I always thought that everyone was brought up with the Swallows, Amazons and Ds, but now I'm a 'grown-up', I've suddenly found that no-one did :s


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