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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
To fellow aficionados of Arthur Ransome these need no introduction
'The Swallows set sail'
'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!
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.
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!