New pattern: Beeswax Shawl

The Beeswax Shawl is here! I've revisited the large-scale lace of my Beeswax Scarf, but instead of confining it to a rectangle, the honeycomb motifs flow in and out organically to form a long diamond-shaped wrap with gently-scalloped edges.

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The shawl is knit sideways from tip to tip, which has the advantage of keeping the rows relatively short throughout, especially at the narrow beginning and end of the shawl. I love being able to zoom through a lace repeat in a single sitting!

To knit the shawl you will need two skeins of fingering weight yarn. I used Superstar 4ply from Vintage Purls, which is a non-superwash blend of polwarth, silk, and a little black merino. This colourway, Polaris, is a beautiful rich gold.

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Beeswax Shawl features:

  • a long diamond-shaped shawl in textured lace
  • knit sideways from tip to tip
  • techniques include simple lace knitting (knit, purl, yarn-over, k2tog, ssk), and a few double decreases
  • suitable for solid or semi-solid-dyed fingering-weight yarn
  • one size, easy to alter by changing the number of repeats
  • pattern includes full written instructions as well as charts.
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The Beeswax Shawl pattern is available on Ravelry.

New pattern: Beeswax Scarf

I've combined my love of bees and textured knits once again, and the result is the Beeswax Scarf! Its large-scale honeycomb pattern echoes the cables on my Beeswax Hat, but this is much easier to knit - and most importantly for a scarf, it's easy to knit flat. No cables here, just simple lace and garter stitch. It's so incredibly cosy, I can't wait for winter... ;)

The stitch pattern really is simple to knit, and watching the honeycomb grow is quite addictive. The only skills you'll need are working basic lace stitches (knit, purl, yarn-over, k2tog, and ssk), slipped stitches at the edges, and the Long Tail Cast On (which is optional). Charts are included as well as full written instructions.

Bohemia Worsted by Outlaw Yarn is a snuggly, luxurious blend of polwarth wool, alpaca, and possum fibre. This amazing rich golden colour is called 'Troy', and I used three balls for my scarf with plenty left over for swatching.

The Beeswax Scarf pattern includes three size options - a standard scarf (which is the one I knit), a wider scarf, and a wrap. All are a generous length for maximum cosiness.

Features:

  • an all-over textured honeycomb pattern
  • knit flat from end to end
  • three width options (scarf, wide scarf, and wrap)
  • easy to enlarge by adding extra repeats to the length and/or width
  • requires 3, 4, or 5 balls of Outlaw Yarn's Bohemia Worsted (depending on size) or 611-1018 yards of worsted-weight yarn
  • solid, semi-solid, or heathered yarn is ideal
  • pattern includes full written instructions as well as charts.

You can see all the details and download the Beeswax Scarf pattern via Ravelry or Loveknitting.

Bees on the brain

I'm a week and a bit into my holiday at Mum & Dad's in Whakatane, and so far I've knit half a scarf and taken a ridiculous number of photos. I've borrowed Julian's DSLR camera for the trip, so I can get to grips with its manual controls with Dad's help. It's a lot of fun taking practice photos of whatever I fancy!

But before I get into photo-talk, I'll show you the scarf. It uses a stitch pattern I drafted up about six months ago, which is a lace-and-texture version of my Beeswax cable pattern. It traces the same shapes, with decreases forming the surface layer of honeycomb and yarn-overs forming the layer behind. The benefit of this version is that it's easy to knit flat, whereas the cabled Beeswax pattern is only really suitable for knitting in the round.

The yarn is a rich golden shade of Outlaw Yarn's Bohemia Worsted called 'Troy'. I hope to have the pattern available in about a month's time. :)

One really cool thing about playing with a DSLR camera (and having a photographer and his gear on hand) is trying out different lenses. My favourites at the moment are macro tubes, which can be stacked behind the lens to get varying levels of close-up-ness.

You can really see the darker possum fibres and lighter alpaca hairs in this yarn with a macro shot:

I've also been taking lots of photos around the garden, of flowers and insects and birds. I'm most proud of these bee photos, taken with a macro tube extension. The bee was foraging in a big patch of flowering pizza thyme, one of my family's favourite all-purpose herbs.

As part of my new photography learning curve, I've signed up for the free course A Year With My Camera, which involves weekly email lessons and homework assignments to share in the Facebook group (or on Instagram). We're only two weeks in, so you can still join in if you'd like!

New pattern: Liquid Honey

So happy I can finally share this with all of you! Liquid Honey is my second pattern to be published in Knitty, and it's one I'm super proud of.

And that's not all... my face is on the cover of the Spring + Summer issue! I've been making 'cover girl' jokes all day, it's been quite surreal... :)

I love yellow, and I love knitting lace, and I'm totally fascinated by bees. Put it all together, and you get a sunny yellow shawl inspired by honeycomb dripping with honey. I thought its cheeriness would make it a great fit for Knitty, and a nice gift for my fellow knitters.

Features:

  • honeycomb lace with a zigzagging lace border
  • top-down triangular construction with garter-tab cast on
  • no special stitches: just knit, purl, single and double yarn-overs, k2tog, ssk 
  • a decorative picot bind off
  • requires 1.5 skeins of Malabrigo Lace (700yds of laceweight yarn)
  • suitable for solid or semi-solid colourways
  • one size: 63" wingspan, 29" along spine
  • both charted and written instructions. 

The main part of the shawl is very repetitive and intuitive to knit, perfect for an on-the-go or tv-knitting project. The edging requires a little more attention, and I do recommend using needles with nice sharp points, for example Addi Lace needles. They kept me sane!

Shout out to my best photographer Dad for doing the photoshoot with me, and finding all the summery-looking flowers in the garden and around the town. And another shout out to Mum & Dad's 'Fortune' plum tree for co-starring in the photos! Since then, the plums have ripened and been turned into a couple of dozen jars of sauces and jams. Go tree.

The pattern is available for free here at Knitty.com. Its Ravelry page is here.

You can also read my post from last September on the story of Knitty and me.

The Taranaki Trip

This post is a little belated (I've been back for a week!), but in my defense, I have been under the weather. I came down with a cold the day I left for NZ, and it's finally winding down now.

The trip was pretty eventful! The drive down from Auckland to Taranaki was very scenic - we passed through some amazing gorges covered in native bush (the combo of pongas with nikaus was unusual to my eyes), and through lots of pretty countryside.

Once we arrived, party preparation was all on with band rehearsals, errands to fetch food and people, and wrangling giant to-do lists. Just as well we had highly-organised people on board... especially as I was properly sick by then, and kept needing to disappear for naps. In the end, the party was a huge success, and I enjoyed hanging out with Rowan and playing a game of pool while the band played.

Willie, Julian, Chloe, and Julian playing at Sue's birthday

After that, the pace of our holiday became much more holiday-like!
We relaxed in the garden, wandered around the nursery, and even went on a short bushwalk up the mountain.

Knitting on the porch, enjoying the sunshine

A wonderful mass of cosmos flowers!

Bees doing their thing <3

The apple trees in the nursery were covered in apples, as they were on our last visit. I always eat masses of apples when I'm in New Zealand, as I find Australian ones just can't compare. We also gathered a big box of feijoas, my favourite fruit! If you haven't heard of them, they're very much a Kiwi thing, a seasonal fruit that lots of people grow in their gardens.

Brian and Willie strolling in the nursery

Apples!

Under the trees

Feijoas on the bush...

...and feijoas in the hand

All too soon we were off to Auckland again, where Willie and I visited our old friend Karen, and then back to Melbourne.

I've been taking it easy this past week while I recover (from the trip and from my cold), and doing a lot of knitting, which means I'll have some new things to show you soon! :)