Posted by: christinelaennec | January 13, 2012

Knitting news: rainbow dreams (and a confession)

Time for a knitting update!  I finished the shawl I was working on over Christmas.  This photo, taken after work and thus after dark, doesn’t show the colours very well, but it was great fun to watch them glide past my fingers as I knit.  I bought the wool at the Glasgow School of Yarn in October.  The shade is “Rainbow Dreams,” which is perfect for the yarn and also perfect for me just now.  I am trying to keep very positive and I am actively looking for rainbows!

My Rainbow Dreams shawl. The pattern is "Damson" by Ysolda Teague.

The pattern is both easy and clever, and I really like the effect:

Back of the shawl

Now for my confession.  Over two years ago I saw a cardigan a friend had made:  “Wentworth” by the brilliant Kaffe Fassett.  I am not normally a big fan of mohair but I loved the cardigan.  I asked her whether it was too delicate to wear as an everyday cardi and when she said not in the least, that she wore it loads, I was smitten.  The next problem was that the wool to make “Wentworth” – all nearly 20 shades of Kidsilk Haze – cost about £200, which is more than I’ve paid for any garment I’ve ever bought, much less made myself.  So I decided that, especially since I had plenty of other wool to knit up already, I would let time be on my side.  Over the course of two years I bought one or two balls of the wool each month.  And this Christmas, my stockpile was complete!  (I don’t think I actually took food out of my family’s mouths.)

More rainbow dreams: the start of a Kaffe Fassett cardigan ("Wentworth").

It’s not the kind of project that you can do on the bus, as most colours are used for just one row.  But it’s simple, and immensely pleasurable.  (The original pattern has you knit the back and two fronts separately and seam them, but I’m knitting from one button band to the other, and I’ll divide when I get to the underarms.  I’m also weaving in ends as I go, insofar as possible.  I know that assembling it will not be the work of an afternoon!)

This has been a good week at our house.  The Dafter has managed to go to school – form class plus one or two lessons – each day Monday through Thursday.  This morning, Friday, she was so very exhausted and becoming unwell again that we sent her back to bed.  Thanks to everyone again for your kind thoughts and encouragement.  I am so pleased that she’s taken this big step, and I am focusing on the fact that she is better, overall, than she was before Christmas.

Have a really good weekend, everyone!



  1. Congratulations Christine you are my sock contest winner! I just need you to let me know what size, design and colour of socks you would like. I am prepared to knit just about anything so long as the yarn doesn’t cost like, the price of diamonds or something daft! Have a think about what you would like and let me know. If you go on my Ravelry page you should be able to see socks I have knit before but I am more than happy to try something new – set me a challenge and let’s see how it works out. One condition: I will have your socks with you at some point in 2012 but I’m afraid I can’t guarantee when they will be finished as life is stressful enough without me setting myself time limits unneccessarily. Looking forward to hearing from you! Helen (Purlpower)

    • Oh my gosh!!!! Folks, will you look at that!

  2. I am so very glad that ‘The Dafter’ managed almost a whole week at school and please tell her how brave she is and to get well rested over the weekend.

    The ‘Wentworth’ cardigan is one of my favourites and on my list of ‘To Make One Day’. Please keep us updated on your progress and make sure to let us see when it is finished.

    Have a lovely weekend x

  3. Brilliant! Both the work in progress and the Dafter’s progress.
    I used to knit in mohair and the finished garment(s) just never wore out. Probably still going strong after being recycled to charity shop.

  4. I’m really pleased that the Dafter has done so well this week.
    The shawl is beautiful, and very clever. I think. And I hope you’ll have enormous pleasure knitting the Wentworth cardigan. I’m a great believer in using a long needle and working back and fronts together at the same time; it works really well..

  5. Oh my – sock gold at the end of your rainbow post! 😀
    Lovely knitterly goodness, Christine. Your yarn-saving skills are amazing!
    Keep it up Ms Dafter – we are rooting for you!

  6. Wow what a week, Dafter who is doing well, the pair of socks you’ve won and your gorgeous shawl…I love the mohair you are using …

  7. your shawl is beautiful. did you knit it in bits or one big long piece? i love the mohair! absolutely gorgeous and a big hooray for your lovely daughter. well done! (and congrats on the socks coming, how exciting).

  8. A very pretty shawl and it looks charming on you! I love the colors you have chosen in both of your projects. The mohair looks so soft, I would not want to put it down. That is such a good idea to buy expensive yarn in small doses. You and the Dafter are very brave together. I like your focus on the postive, even in your knitting! I can’t wait to see the progress of both your sweater and the Dafter. xx

  9. Wow! The colours in that mohair cardi are amazing! I love the shawl too! I have been promising myself a shawl for ages now, I really should get down to knitting one 🙂
    I am so pleased that the Dafter is making progress with her health.
    Wishing you both a restful weekend and a positive week to come.

  10. I’m all admiration over your knitting skills. I went through a crocheting phase a few years back and made lots of scarves, but I’ve never attempted knitting. Your shawl is lovely, and I can’t wait to see the cardigan! How clever of you to buy the yarn piecemeal (skeinmeal??). Hurrah that the Dafter felt well enough to attend classes most of this past week! Very wise not to push it, though. I hope rest this weekend will strengthen her for the coming week. Blessings!

  11. Christine I’m a rainbow fan too and adore your shawl. It looks fabulous and will be perfect in its colour healing properties! As for the kaffe mohair- its beautiful in the extreme and I’m impressed by your lay away plan. How exciting to be able to start!! I hope you enjoy the knitting. Also good news that your dafter has been feeling stronger and has been even able to take in some school. Hope it all continues slowly but steadily …

  12. Dear all,

    Thanks very much for your lovely comments! We have had a restful weekend, and the Dafter is gearing up for another morning at school tomorrow. We’re very much taking things one day at a time.

    Heike – I’m glad you approve of “Wentworth”. I will definitely do a show-and-tell post whenever I finish it.

    Jill – it’s very heartening to hear that mohair is so durable!

    Flora – Good to have a thumbs-up for the knitting backs-and-fronts at the same time approach! I don’t ordinarily mind seaming, but the thought of having to do more than absolutely necessary with stripes one row wide needing to be lined up, and ends sewn in, is too much.

    Roobeedoo and Erna – yes, isn’t it great about the socks!!! And as far as yarn-saving skills, two years is nothing. I have fabric for a quilt that I brought over to Scotland nearly 20 years ago. I will make it some day!

    ajb – the shawl begins with 6 stitches at the centre neck and grows out from the center by increasing with yarn-overs. I have no idea how many stitches you end up with on the last row!

    Karen and Suzy – thank you both. I never can have enough shawls, I wear them daily in the winter (and sometimes summer here). Suzy you should definitely make yourself one!

    Ellen – skeinmeal – ha ha! And yes, we have to be careful not to overdo things. I hope your two are both well on their way to recovery by now.

    Mrs. Scruffybadger – colour healing is exactly what I wish for, for myself, the Dafter and indeed anyone. Slowly and steadily is also exactly what I wish for, rather against my somewhat impatient nature. As Roobeedoo says, small steps!

  13. Gorgeous!! I think there is nothing more healing feeling than a beautiful shawl around one’s shoulders and I think it is wise to make something in a color you love to wrap around yourself. I adore Kidsilk haze too, and I think that sometimes it is important to give our artist something truly beautiful to work with. In a way these colors remind me of all the hues you capture in your sunset photos.

  14. Ooh, Ooooooh, those colours!

    I’m very glad to hear good news about Dafter!

  15. The Rainbow shawl is beautiful and the cardigan looks fabulous a torrent of colour!

    I will look forward to seeing the finished project


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