Over The Rainbow – Machine Knitting Shawl Pattern

I recently came into possession of a knitting machine – a Brother KH-836 complete with many accessories (including a lace carriage!).  I wanted to try and make a semi-circular shawl on it, but I just couldn’t find a pattern I liked.  So this is my pattern for a rainbow coloured shawl!  It is a little over semi-circular but it means it wraps nicely round your shoulders!  This is my first machine knitting pattern, so I hope it all makes sense!

It is entirely possible to knit this by hand if you don’t mind endless rows of stocking stitch…

You’ll Need:

  • 1 standard gauge knitting machine (I hoped this would be obvious).
  • 6 balls of 4-ply (or light DK) yarn, each 100g, optional 7th ball for the edging (about 25 – 50g depending on far round you want your edging to go)
    • For the main part of the shawl, I used Hobbycraft’s Women’s Institute Soft and Silky 4-ply in the following colourways:
      • 211430 Red
      • MR-03 Yellow
      • 31639 Lime
      • 6370/2 Turquoise
      • 6350/3 Lilac
      • 6349/3 Pink
    • I found acrylic really good to use because it was easy to aggressively block/lightly kill into being flat otherwise it does like to curl (stocking stitch does that…)
    • For the edging, I used some leftover 4-ply sock yarn in grey.
  • Waste yarn for temporary cast offs (I found using a thinner yarn helped, but your choice)
  • Transfer tool(s)
  • Darning needle to sew in the ends

 

Pattern

Tension on the carriage set to about 8.5.  It’s easier if you make your yarn into a centre pull ball using a cone winder before starting.  Start with the carriage on the left-hand side of the machine and using normal/plain knitting settings.

This is worked with the purl side facing you throughout.

First Triangle

1:  Cast on 2 stitches using your first colour (by using a slip stitch and a backwards e-loop or your preferred method). I used the furthest left 2 needles (100 left and 99 left) so I could decide how big I wanted to make my shawl based on how it was looking.  If you prefer to work more centrally, I used 120 needles in total so you’ll want to start at 60 left.  Keep the rest of the needles in non-working position (position A on my machine) for now.

2:  Knit across these 2 stitches, and back again.

3:  Now bring the needle to the right of the knitting into working position.  Knit across and back.  You should now have 3 stitches.

Repeat step 3 again and you should have 4 stitches.
Repeat it again and you’ll have 5 stitches.
Keep repeating step 3 until you have 120 stitches, ending up with the carriage on the left hand side of the machine.

4:  Grab your waste yarn and knit at least 6 rows with it.  I don’t trust temporary cast offs so I always thread another yarn through the final row of stitches (like a life-line) to ensure that no stitch gets dropped.  Once you’ve done this, remove the knitting from the needles and return your 120 needles in working position (B position on my machine).

Second (and subsequent) Triangles

Your triangle is assymetrical (or it should be if you followed the instructions).  This gives the shawl a nice pinwheel effect.

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Make sure you’ve got the purl side facing you still so you pick up stitches along the correct edge.  You’ve got the cast off edge which should be easy to identify.  To its right you’ve got the increasing edge.  To the left you’ve got the usual stocking stitch edge.  We’re going to be picking up stitches along this stocking stitch edge.

5:  To pick up the stitches, start at the wide end (next to the cast on edge).  You should be able to see that there are tighter stitches that look like little knots and then a bar between them.  Using a transfer tool, pick up that bar and hang it on the furthest right needle by pulling that needle out into holding position (position E on my machine).  Then pick up the next bar and hang that on the next needle in the same way (working from right to left).  Keep going all the way to the thin end and you should have picked up 119 stitches.  (One less than your total number of needles.)  End with all 119 needles out in holding position (position E).

6:  Set your machine so it won’t knit the holding needles.  (On my machine this is a little switch on the left of carriage which I switch to H, but check your manual for your machine if you aren’t sure.  Push the currently empty needle and the first needle into upper working position (position D on my machine).

7:  Switch to your new colour of yarn and knit these 2 needles across and back again.

8: Now, push the next needle on the right of these 2 needles into upper working position (position D on my machine).  Knit across and back.  You should now have 3 stitches in your new colour.

If you repeat step 8 again, you’ll have 4 stitches in your new colour.
If you do it again, guess what?  5 stitches in your new colour!
Keep doing this until you have knit all the stitches you picked up and have 120 stitches on your needles.  End with the carriage on the left hand side again.

9:  Grab some more waste yarn.  Knit another 6 rows in waste yarn and remove your work from the machine just like you did before in step 4.

10: Continue making the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th triangles in exactly the same way as this second triangle.  (Repeat steps 5 – 9).

You should have a lovely sized shawl by this point with 6 colourful triangles all with waste yarn cast off edges!  We’re nearly there!  At this point, return all your needles to non-working position (Position A).

Pie-Crust Edging

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11:  To do the pie crust edging you don’t need to remove the waste yarn cast offs.  You can do that at the very end.  Keep the purl side facing you and go to your first triangle and find the rightmost 3 stitches on the cast off edge that aren’t in waste yarn.  Use your transfer tool to pick these 3 stitches up and hang them on 3 needles, bringing the needles into holding position.  Be careful to ensure that you don’t get any of the next stitch (which is in waste yarn) and that you go right through the centre of the stitch.

Set the carriage so it’ll knit the needles that are in holding position.

12:  Knit 8 rows on these 3 needles (ending with the carriage on the left).

13:  Pick up the next 3 stitches and hang those on the same needles that you used last time.  You should have 2 stitches on each needle – 1 in your edging yarn and 1 that you just picked up.  Knit 8 rows on these 3 needles (ending with the carriage on the left).

Repeat step 13 until you have 6 stitches left to pick up.

14:  Pick up the next 3 stitches and hang these on the needles in the same way.  This time, knit 7 rows so you end with the carriage on the right.

15:  To finish this off neatly, we have to do the final 3 stitches by hand so we can bind them off at the same time as knitting them.  Pick up the final 3 stitches and hang them on the needles and put the needles in holding position (position E)..

16:  Now, make the first stitch by hand by laying the working yarn into the latch and pulling it through the 2 stitches to make a new stitch (by pushing the needle back).  Using a transfer tool, transfer this stitch onto to the needle to the left so that needle now has 3 stitches on it (an edging stitch, a picked up stitch and the transferred stitch.  Knit this stitch (again by hand), pulling the working yarn through all 3 stitches to make the next stitch.  Transfer this new stitch onto the final needle and knit 1 more stitch by hand.  You should have 1 stitch left on your needles!  Cut the yarn and fasten off (pull the tail through the loop).

17: Remove the waste yarn cast offs.

18: Weave in all your ends and block aggressively to reduce the curl.

Enjoy your new shawl!  I hope you liked this pattern, any questions please ask in the comments below or by contacting me from the Ravelry pattern page.

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Stump Teapot Cosy Crochet Pattern

It’s been a while since I last posted on here, but today I wanted to share a free crochet pattern for a stump teapot.  I searched on Ravelry and just couldn’t find one so I created a basic one and wanted to share it with you.

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You’ll Need:

  • ~40m of worsted weight yarn
    • I used Cascade 220 in two colours (blue and green)
  • 5mm hook
  • Darning needle to sew the ends in
  • The stump teapot you’re making the cosy for

Pattern

This pattern uses UK terminology and the chain 2’s at the start of each round don’t count as a stitch.  Should fit a small teapot of size: 17cm from tip of the spout to the end of the handle, 8.5cm diameter across the top (not including spout and handle), 11cm diameter across the bottom.

Notes for colour changing: There are various options to change colour.
1) Easy way:  Fasten off each round and join the new colour with a slipstitch.
2) Hard way: do a jog-less change by using the new colour to make the joining slipstitch (when working in the round) or by using the new colour to do the final part of a treble crochet – pulling a loop of the new colour through 2 remaining loops (of the previous colour) that are on the hook.  Don’t fasten off and pull the yarn up to the next row that needs it.  You’ll find this is easy when working in the round but when you’re not working in the round, you’ll have to go back to the start of the row to go over the top in the second colour.  (I.e. two consecutive rows will start from the same end of the row).  To not have random loops that will unravel, the final treble of the second row should go through the stitch as normal and also through the loop from the stitch that is waiting to start again.

I’ve done Rounds 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15 in blue and Rounds 2, 4, 7, 9, 11 in green.

Abbreviations (UK terminology)
Ch – chain
Dc – double crochet
Ss – slipstitch
Tr – treble crochet
Tr2tog – treble crochet two together

Round 1 – Make a magic ring, ch 2 and make 12 tr into the ring.  Pull the ring tight and join with a ss. (12 tr)

Round 2 – Ch 2, make first 2 tr in the same place as join, continue round circle with 2tr in each st, join with a ss (24 tr).

Round 3 – Ch 2, make first tr in same place as join, 2 tr in next, [1 tr in next st, 2 tr in next st].  Repeat the part in [brackets] till end, join with a ss (36 tr)

Round 4 – Ch 2, make first tr in same place as join, 1 tr in next 2, 2 tr in next st, [1 tr in each of next 2 sts, 2 tr in next st].  Repeat the part in [brackets] till end, join with a ss.  (48 tr)

You’ve finished the flat circle part for the top!  Check it against your teapot.  Add extra rounds in the same way if you’re using a bigger teapot (so the next row would be [1 tr in each of next 3 sts, 2 tr in next st] and would have 60 tr total, you’re increasing 12 sts every round to make a flat circle).

Now we need to make the holes for the spout and handle.  We stop working in the round for a few rows now.

Round 5 – Ch 2, 1 tr in join, and 1 tr in each of next 18 sts.  Ch 2, ss in each of next 7 sts (spout hole). Ch 2, 1 tr in each of next 18 sts. (38 tr, split over two sides – feel free to adjust the gaps to fit your teapot).  Turn work.

Round 6 – Ch 2, 1 tr in each of next 9 sts (including same place as ch 2), 3 tr in next st (should be in the middle of the side), 1 tr in each of next 9 sts.  Ch 7 to join up around the spout, continue along other side with 1 tr in each of next 9 sts, 3 tr in next st, 1 tr in each of next 9 sts to end. (42 tr, 7 ch).  Turn work.

Round 7 – Ch 2, 1 tr in each st (including where the ch 2 is) up to chain sts. In chain sts: 1 tr, tr2tog, 1 tr, tr2tog, 1 tr. continue along other side with 1 tr in each st to end.  (47 tr (including tr2tog)).  Turn work.

Round 8 – Ch 2, 1 tr in each of next 21 sts (including where the ch 2 is).  This should take you up to the 5 centre sts under spout hole.  Tr2tog, 1 tr, tr2tog.  1 tr in each st along other of side. (45 tr) Turn work.

Rounds 9 – 11 – Ch 2, 1 tr in each st (including where the ch 2 is) (45 tr). Turn work.

Round 12 – Ch 2, 1 tr in each st (including where the ch 2 is). When reach end, make ch 4 and join into round with ss.  Do not turn work.

Rounds 13 – 15 – Ch 1, 1 dc in each stitch round, join with ss.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

I hope you enjoy your teapot cosy, let me know if you find any problems by either commenting below or contacting me on Ravelry from the pattern page!

Recently Off The Needles (And Hook)…

Hello there!  It’s been a while, I know.  You know that thing where life gets super busy and something has to drop by the wayside for a time?  That happened and sadly my blogs had to take a little bit of a timeout.  However, I’m back, although I can’t promise to post regularly at the moment!  Today I thought I’d take the opportunity to share with you some of my favourite recently finished projects.  The links on each title go to my Ravelry project pages (you don’t have to be a member of Ravelry to see these projects) and I’ve also linked to the pattern pages on Ravelry too.

Green Fan Bookmark

First up is this gorgeous crochet bookmark.

 

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The stitch pattern is a little similar to a Queen Anne’s Lace, but not the same.  It was quick to make and is very lovely.  The pattern was well written and easy to follow too!  Part of my new love affair with tiny crochet!

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Quick details:

Passionflower Doily

Next up is another crochet project, this time not in tiny crochet though!  A reasonably thick silver-grey doily – perfect to go under a pot plant or use as a mat if it weren’t so pretty!

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This is actually the second time I’ve made this pattern.  The first time I forgot to take any pictures and stopped a few rounds earlier so it would fit on the front of a card to be posted to my Godmother.  This is my second and it was just as pleasant to make as the first time.  This is one of my favourite doily patterns.

Quick details:

Caledonian Forest Hat

I originally shared this project way back in September.  If you’ve been around since then you might remember what it looked like then, but here is a reminder:

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Caledonian Forest Hat

This project sadly stayed like this for a rather long time until I had an email from some friends last week asking if I would still knit a shawl for them to gift.  I was of course very happy to knit the shawl, but it did mean that I needed to get this work-in-progress off the needles.  The yarn is beautiful and soft and gorgeous, and not something you really want to put onto scrap yarn until you fancy finishing it.  So the hat got finished.  Very unseasonal timing, but there we go.

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The pattern was clear and easy to follow, although I did make a few mistakes on the decrease rows on the crown, but hopefully, no-one will notice!  (I was knitting this during a ceilidh band rehearsal and had to stop half-way through a row to do a clog solo…possibly why there were a few mistakes looking back…)  However, if I were to do this pattern again, I’d probably either do more ribbing or another repeat of the pattern as it is a tiny bit shorter than I would really like (or even check my gauge…)  However, it is a lovely hat so I’m sure I’ll still wear it!

Quick details:

  • Yarn: (Possibly the most gorgeous and softest yarn I’ve had the pleasure to knit with) Artesano DK 100% Pure Superfine Alpaca (colourways 785 Bolivia (green) and 1532 Chile (Red), purchased up in Morpeth while on a band tour a couple of years ago!)
  • Needles: 4.00mm circular (80cm cord using magic loop method)
  • Pattern: Caledonian Forest Hat by Sarah Franklin

So that concludes some of my recently finished projects.  I’ve got a number of knitting and crochet projects on the go, including 4 shawls (guess what I like making…), a scarf, some bed socks, a toy mouse, a hand towel and a doily.  I hope to share some of them with you sometime.

Advent Calendar

Welcome one and all to Stephanelli Designs in this cold, frosty week!  It seems fitting for December to start with the coldest, frostiest days thus far where I live.  When I left for the nature reserve at 9am yesterday morning the outside thermometer read a whole -4°C (and I when I got in at 12:30pm, a mere 1°C!).  The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice that we’ve had a visual update here!  It’s still the Stephanelli Designs you know, just streamlined and more beautiful (in my opinion anyway!).

Advent is one of my favourite times of the year.  Christmas preparations feel like they can properly start in earnest and exciting things like Christmas lunches, Christmas band rehearsals and such like can occur!  A time of joyous expectation!  Not to mention the Christmas music can start and the daily advent calendar…

Talking of advent calendars – for today’s post, I thought I’d share with you a lovely advent calendar I’ve put together for my little mouse, Colin.  Bonus picture of Colin at the end of this post too!  For his calendar, I’ve crocheted 9 stockings and made a lolly-stick Christmas tree to hang them on!  I’m very proud of it.

The patterns I used for the stockings came from Bethany over at Whistle and Ivy which I found from the ever trusty Ravelry pattern search!  They are a lovely set of patterns and I thoroughly recommend them.  I’ve only made the first 3 patterns mostly because I ran out of time and partially because I figured we could just reuse some of the stockings throughout Advent…he’s a very intelligent mouse, but I don’t think he’s going to complain!  Each stocking has been stuffed partially with tissue paper and a selection of treats put on the top.  Each day he’ll get one to empty out and enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed viewing his calendar, I’m planning some Christmas craft tutorials (origami napkins for Christmas lunch anyone?) throughout December so keep a look out for that and I hope the seasonal preparations go well for everyone who celebrates!  If you’ve got any crafts you’d particularly like me to cover then do drop me a comment at the bottom of the page!

Have a photo of a cute mouse to end!  (This picture won Mouse of the Month on the pet mouse forum I’m a member of!)

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Crochet Slippers

This week has been a bit busy for me so I’ve just got a relatively short post for you today.  I wanted to share with you my most recently finished crochet project – a set of snuggly slippers!

The Pattern

The pattern I’ve used I found on Ravelry and is Priscilla Hewitt’s Hexagon Boot Slippers.  It is a very easy pattern to follow and didn’t take very long to work up at all!  I used a bulky yarn instead of an aran yarn so I adapted the pattern to fit my feet by making four hexagons per slipper and joining them up as per the diagram (read the caption for explanation!)

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Join up along the pink lines (the vertical one isn’t supposed to reach the top), then join the rest of sides by matching their letters.

I also threaded some ribbon round the top to help them stay on as I like my slippers a little big so they feel more cosy.

The Yarn

For this project I used some King Cole Chunky Tweed in colourway ‘1075 Balmoral’.  Its 72% premium acrylic, 25% wool and 3% viscose.  Its quite a stiff, not soft yarn (ideal for walking around the house in).  In case you’re wondering because you’re aware of my wool sensitivity, this seems absolutely fine so far, but then my feet have always been the least sensitive part to wool – they’re also only 25% wool which probably helps too.  I like this yarn so much I’m making a pair of stripy bedsocks for advent using it!  (By for advent, I mean that I am going to be knitting a set number of rows in a set colour every day throughout advent so I end up with a Christmas present to myself of bedsocks.  The hard bit will be only doing the set number of rows each day!)

I used a 6mm hook with this yarn.

The Finished Slippers

So after all that waffle about yarns and patterns, I guess you’d like to see my finished slippers!  So here they are in all their glory!  Join me next week for another crafty post (hopefully another finished project…so I’d better get busy!)

Stephanelli’s Knitting Guide: Cables

Continue reading “Stephanelli’s Knitting Guide: Cables”

Meadow Trails Washcloth

I’m very excited today!  I have a new knitting pattern published on Ravelry today and I decided that I’d love to share it with you!

I’ve recently rediscovered how nice cable stitches are and so I thought I’d use four basic cable stitches to make a simple washcloth.  I love my knitted washclothes – I use them in the bathroom, in the kitchen and for all sorts of cleaning around the house.  Sure I could get cheap ones from the shop – but this is much more fun, and much prettier!

This pattern was inspired by the intertwining tracks you can get across meadows and fields that have been made by animals or humans wandering through them and also by the plants themselves as they weave around each other in the wind.  The woven centre cable on the cloth represents the tracks, and the ascending spirals on either side the plants as they twirl around each other!

It uses four basic cable stitches which are normally the first ones you tend to learn when cabling:

  • Cable four back – slip two stitches on the cable needle and hold at the back of your work, knit two stitches on the left hand needle, knit the two stitches off the cable needle
  • Cable four front – slip two stitches on the cable needle and hold at the front of your work, knit two stitches on the left hand needle, knit the two stitches off the cable needle
  • Cable six back – slip three stitches on the cable needle and hold at the back of your work, knit three stitches on the left hand needle, knit the three stitches off the cable needle
  • Cable six front – slip three stitches on the cable needle and hold at the front of your work, knit three stitches on the left hand needle, knit the three stitches off the cable needle

I used to really struggle with cable stitches because I used to knit so tight, but since rediscovering them, I’ve realised I’m very gradually knitting less tight and so cabling is becoming a technique of pleasure rather than pain!

You can find my pattern over on Ravelry here and I’d love to see your projects if you knit one of these or my other designs!

Autumnal Preparations

Wow…another long blogging break on Stephanelli Designs and all across my blogs sadly.  That feeling when life gets the better of you and you end up rushing around madly for a couple of months wondering where life is going and has taken you!  That’s how its been for me anyway.  I once again apologise for the break, but there we go…its in the past, hopefully you forgive me and we can continue where we left off!

Actually, the reason I haven’t been posting much here is because I haven’t been doing as much crafting.  Sure, I’ve been knitting and sewing on and off, but primarily I’ve been enjoying the nice weather and getting out in the garden and generally doing more things.  Obviously this leaves less time for crafting sadly – but just maybe I can address that balance by doing more crafting over winter when I have less motivation to go outside!

Since the weather has started turning autumnal I’ve noticed a certain change in my mindset.  I’m less about heading outside and more about spending more time in my craft room with my knitting and sewing.  I’ve been more interested in finding soft yarns and creative patterns.  The last few weeks I seem to be finding my knitting motivation perk up again after the summer of knitting my wedding shawl (its not finished yet, but I promise to share photos when it is!).

Today I thought I’d share my recent yarn stash additions with you and show you two of the projects I’ve already started and some plans for a couple of others!  The rest of this post is mapped out by yarn with details of what I want to use it for in the description.

Artesano 100% Superfine Alpaca – Colourways Boliva (Turquoise) and Chile (Red)

Actually, I’ve had these yarns for about a year now and they have always been intended for a hat.  And you know what?  I’ve finally started that hat!  I’m making the Caledonian Forest Hat which I found on Ravelry after deciding I wanted to do more with cables – because I recently discovered that cables aren’t nearly so bad as I thought.  This is as far as I’ve got…still got a long way to go…but its so amazingly soft!  I love alpaca wool!

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Caledonian Forest Hat

 

Cygnet Boho Spirit – Colourway 6461

I found this yarn while I was on holiday in Yorkshire.  It came from a yarn shop in Pickering and I just fell in love with its colours and softness.  It’s single ply of approximately DK weight and I’m using it to knit a simple stocking stitch scarf for myself – just a nice soft, thin scarf that won’t take ages to complete.  The colours are absolutely gorgeous.

West Yorkshire Spinners Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) – Natural Ecru Colour

This yarn also came from my Yorkshire holiday, but from Saltburn.  I’ve always wanted to feel and knit with BFL and its softness didn’t disappoint me.  I’m hoping to use this to make a snuggly hot water bottle cover although I might pair it with another yarn if I don’t think I’ll have enough.

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Sirdar Cotton Rich Aran – Colourways 5 (Red) and 2 (Light Blue)
Rowan Creative Linen – Colourway 644 (Pink)

I’ve put these two together because I’ve got them with the same purpose in mind.  I’ve recently discovered a love of hand knit (mostly) cotton washcloths and dishcloths.  I’ve also purchased two new books which have yet to arrive.  One book is a ‘dictionary’ of cable and aran stitches, the other of lace and eyelet stitches.  These yarns are to make some simple cloths using the new patterns I find.  Its a way of testing the patterns while also making something useful!

So…that’s it for my creative updates, I’m hoping to be able to have lots more things to show you soon, but stick with me and I promise I’ll try and be a better blogger!

Fluid Ice

I’m quite excited to share today’s post with you!  Since June 2015 I’ve been working on a beautiful shawl.  It was originally going to be a cape, but due to finishing the yarn and deciding that its a perfect size for me, its turned into a shawl instead.

The Story Behind The Shawl
I started off following a simple shawl pattern based on the classic granny square look.  I got a bit fed up with this, so I restarted and made it simpler and quicker while still retaining the granny square look.  After August I got fed up with it so it got put in the hibernation pile and this last week I picked it up again.  Originally, it was going to be the same pattern all the way through, but I realised it was going to take so long to complete, so I figured out a beautiful yet really simple lace pattern to use instead.  Finally, I raided my stash for a contrasting colour yarn and added a very simple one row border.

The Inspiration Behind The Name
Fluid Ice.
What image does that give you?
For me, its pale blues and lilacs, changeable, surprising yet gentle, flowing and soft.  That’s what this shawl seemed like to me so it seemed the perfect name!

The Pattern
The pattern is available on Ravelry and I’d be delighted if you decided to crochet one!  You can use any yarn with an appropriate hook (and one slightly larger for lacier stitches).
It uses just two basic stitches (UK chain and UK treble stitches) so is really simple.

Photos
No blog post would be complete without a selection of photos – I present to you Fluid Ice!

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Fluid Ice Shawl
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Close Up
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Wearing it normally!
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Folded Layers
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A blue ghost?
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Enjoying the warmth