Tag Archives: Susanna IC

too many shawls?? – never!!

17 Mar

When I decided to knit my sister a shawl for her 30th birthday I didn’t think it would take me this long to pick one!

Her birthday was on 28th Feb!!

I knew I was leaving it late as I still hadn’t finished my brothers socks, (due 19th Jan! Still waiting to be posted!) but even though I’m never normally on time with knitted gifts, this is even late for me!

The first point I was stuck at was picking the yarn. I gave Jen six options and she got it down to two……


Wollmeise Pure in Petite Poison



Madeleine Tosh, Tosh Sock in Moss

Eventually I decided to go with the Wollmeise as Amethyst is her birth stone and I wanted a shawl with more delicate drape than comfort squish.

Other than finishing Adams socks and picking a yarn, my main issue was that I couldn’t decide on a pattern. I had a few ideas in my head but wanted it to be special and perfect for her. So I took to Ravelry to see if it would help.

Looking through Ravelry just made it harder, there are so many amazing shawls out there, all pulling me in different directions!

So I decided to put together my favourite five shawls and compare them all together to help me decide.

The greatest thing about Ravelry is having the ability to see many knitters versions of patterns, it different yarns, weights and colours.

The pics shown are a mixture of the designers own and other Ravelry knitters projects.

I love the bold, determined style of Trilinear designed by Cindy Garland, but the thought of having to make another decision for the second colour has put me off this but has also put this at number eight in my Ravelry queue!


© Wild Prairie Knits

The delicate draping leaves of The Lonely Tree Shawl designed by Sylvia Bo Bilvia are just gorgeous and the border adds such a pretty finish but I didn’t want a block lace pattern for the entire shawl. (I think this would be awesome in another yarn in my stash too)


© Sylvia Bo Bilvia

The shape of Lazy Katie has me obsessed! Brigit Freyer has designed a work of art in this shawl but it needs a bold, colourful, variegated yarn to create the brilliant effect.


© BonnieRed

Semele Shawl designed by Asa Tricosa is practically perfect, it has a delicate drape a base of stockinette stitch and pretty lace border, I think it has made the final cut….



Whenever I think to knit a shawl my default designer will always be Susanna IC and Oslo Walk is fantastic. I love the dangling ice crystals and the yo’s breaking up the main section of the shawl. Susanna’s construction is always a winner for me so into the final it goes…


© OrangeLauren

The final decision has been hard but due to the weather at the moment being so cold and so icy I’ve made my choice…..

The winner is Oslo Walk!!


new twist collective, spring 2012

18 Apr

How much do I love the shawls in the latest Twist Collective? More than I have words for. But I’ll give it a go.

Janel Laidman’s Elysium is just so, so gorgeous. This shawl is just so unusual, so unlike all the other shawl patterns out there at the moment. I love how round and dextrous the pattern is.  It’s really not like anything I would normally go for, but I find myself increasingly drawn to it (and seeing as I dreamt I was knitting it last night, I feel it might have to be the next project I cast on.)

Susanna IC’s Stellaria is really lovely, too. I love her classic crescent shaping and while I generally am not hot on garter stitch, she works it so that you can wear your shawls front or back, up or down and they always look good.

Although I can’t imagine ever managing to complete one, Kerry Milani’s Paon is breathtaking. She immediately gets a Genius stamp. The pattern is pretty and delicate, the shaping is exquisite and the sheer size is extraordinary. Compared to it, Brenda Patipa’s Satsuma is just a mere slip of a thing, but I really like how directional the lace is. Very different to the other shawls here, but pretty in an almost Metropolis way.

Apart from the shawls, Robin Melanson’s Sylvatica and Amy Christoffers’s Lanata are two tops I can really see myself wearing.

Usually I like my knits to be heavy on the cables, but both of these tops make good use of lace in a primarily unobtrusive way. I’ve got the Acer Cardigan lined up, but I’m starting to think Lanata might come first. Regardless, I want to have Sylvatica ready for the first day of school.

What are your favourites? Are you aching to test drive the soles on Lingonberry? Let me know in the comments!

(All pictures by Jane Heller, slurped from Ravelry.)

so, i got married…

20 Jul

So much has happened in the last six weeks, I almost don’t know where to begin! First of all, and the main reason for my (Emmms) absence: I got married!

Matthew and me on our wedding day.

Matthew and I wed at the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill on a slightly drizzly June afternoon and although I was gutted the sun was hidden, it was such a blessing in disguise, as we were married in the Victorian conservatory and it would have been sweltering in there with full sun! As it was, it was just perfect.

The Horniman Conservatory.

I was adamant from the start that I wasn’t going to wear white — it’s beautiful on some brides, but not on this one! — and that I wanted vintage. My dress is from about 1956-8 and was found at Circa Vintage in Fulham, which I cannot recommend highly enough.

Me and my very best broads, Susanna (l) and Louisa (r).

They were lovely from start to finish and gave me the name of a seamstress who turned my dress from vintage to couture. It took ages to find Louisa and Susanna their Best Broad dresses. We found Lou’s first at Beyond Retro and Susanna’s TWO MONTHS later at the Absolute Vintage Boutique (from I estimate 1960-1966). Just how well these two dresses complement each other is insane. The lace of one is the inversion of the lace in the other; they’re the perfect hue; best of all, they suit my girls to a T!

Amazingly, given the completely haphazard way I set about this venture, we struck upon an accidental theme: outside the general vintage awesomeness, the sherbet lemon of Lou’s dress and the raspberry bon-bon of Susanna’s mixed with the mint creme of the threading in my dress to create a candy theme! From there it was a short step to carnival inspired pinwheels, sweet jars and sweet-bag name plates, all brought together by moustaches on sticks.

The wedding party.

I made my wedding shawl in Hand Maiden Silk Lace — SO LUXURIOUS! — in Ivory, using Susanna IC‘s Little Leaves pattern, and Louisa and Susanna’s Best Broad shawls in Juno Fine Fibres Alice Lace, in Sage, using Susanna IC’s Abrazo pattern (amazing yardage, that yarn. I got both shawls out of one skein and could probably knit up a third!).

Louisa helping to avoid near disaster!

Thank goodness Lou is a knitter — when Susanna’s shawl got caught in my bouquet, she knew exactly how to free it (re: calmly and without so much as splitting the yarn)! Speaking of my bouquet… for various reasons, I decided to make myself a brooch bouquet.

This baby took about 70 brooches...

I began with this excellent tutorial from Fancy Pants Weddings, figured out how it would best work for the brooches I had and set to it. Surprisingly, it didn’t all that take that long, bar sourcing the brooches (that took months!) –making the actual ‘stems’ was easy and fun. The one thing that did nearly make me throw it out the window was when I decided to hand-sew the ruff (two 2-inch wide strips of ribbon) the night before the wedding. Nothing like leaving it to the last minute!

...and more corsage tape than you'd expect.

One of my very favourite is the sparkly purple flower in the centre, which Arianna gave me as my ‘Something Borrowed’. A perfect, intimate touch to this bouquet! Arianna also had a little something to do with two of the best details that were largely a complete and wonderful surprise.

Drool! The beauty, all dressed up.

Her lovely husband tarted up his gorgeous vintage Aston Martin to drive us to our reception. I was so good throughout the ceremony, but this? This nearly had me in floods!

Inside, it's even better.

Then at the reception, I walked up the stairs, all ready to be announced as one half of the newly anointed Grundy Haighs, when I saw this:

Five tiers of round nearly vegan brownie in five flavours (Chocolate Chocolate, Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Caramel and Chocolate Peanut Butter), care of Arianna’s Bittersweet kitchen, each denoted by representative sweets and topped by two tiny pinwheels. This nearly made me not go into the reception at all and instead stuff my face. It looked amazing and it tasted EVEN BETTER! I think I may have actually swooned when I bit into my first piece of the Chocolate Peanut Butter cutting brownie Arianna had placed at the top.

All told,our wedding day was absolutely, headily, deliciously, unfathomably glorious. I have literally never been so happy. I spent the entire day beaming and giddy. There were so many moments that I had to stop myself so that I could really take it in; so many moments that I had to pinch myself to believe it was real.

I am so utterly lucky. I have some of the most incredible people in my life and I am honoured and blessed to call them my friends. The day was missing a few people, to be sure, but I can’t remember the last time I was surrounded by so many of the people I love and so filled with the realisation that I never want to be anywhere else.

Best of all, I’ve just married my best friend. ‘Lucky’ doesn’t even begin to cover it.


*All photography thanks to Sandra Farrow of Farrow Photography, with the except of the very first picture, which is thanks to my dad. If you ever are in need of a UK-based photographer, I highly recommend Sandra. Her professionalism is only match by her warmth and understanding of what we wanted and how to give it to us. She captured our day beautifully.

alcea, almost finished

10 May


Should I be marking final essays? Yes. Do I only want to work on my Alcea? Yes! I’m just nine rows from completion. Surely anything so mundane as essay marking can, nay, should be left for another day! Alas, marking involves a strict deadline and so must be done.

Thank goodness it’s portable. If the weather holds, I rather think I foresee an afternoon of marking in the park for me, followed by an evening of well-deserved knitting!

knit circus summer 2011 and a new ysolda!

5 May

Two new and exciting things have appeared in my RSS feed: first, there’s a new Knit Circus and second, Ysolda‘s released one of her patterns to anyone who’s ordered her new book Little Red in the City!

The more I look at Laika the more I like it. It’s very much what every good knitter needs in their closet. It’s lacy, but not uncomfortably so, it’s light but still warm and best of all it has both hood and fantastic button detail. Could I ask for more?

And the more I look at the Summer 2011 issue of Knit Circus that more I like it! Now this is how a magazine should be styled (Interweave, take note). Not only does everything look amazing, but I’ve got my eye on at least half the patterns.

As usual there are some great interviews, and one of them is with Kieran Foley whose Mughal Shawl is breathtaking. It really does look like the Indian textiles its creation was inspired by; although massive, it’s very much something I want to gather about me as I meander dreamily on some seashore.

I nearly panicked when I saw another Susanna IC shawl, Orchidea: I’ve only just managed to pick which two I might want to be my wedding shawl, if I had yet another one to choose from…! Fortunately, it’s gorgeous but the wrong shape. Phew! Instead, this is a glorious three-quarter-moon with orchid-delicate panelling.

There are loads of adorable baby clothes in this issue, in keeping with a fascinating article on American NICUs. My favourites are by far the sweet Hooded Gansey Vest and Girl Gansey, and the Butterfly Twirls jumper for girls.

The Cinnamon Bay Tank reminds me a little of a top from Interweave Knits (the Cherry Blossom Tank?) a few years back. This tank has a very pretty cinched waist detailing and drapey laced skirt. I also really like Isis, with its lovely lacy detail and fitted silhouette.

Interestingly, the garments (for adults) that I’ve mentioned here – Ysolda’s Laika, and the Isis top and the Cinnamon Bay Tank from Knit Circus – are all modelled on women whose figures are nothing like mine. But these women and these garments all look so good that they make me think I could probably just about pull it off as well and have already got my wondering about what I have in my stash that might fit the design. See? Styling!

Note: All pictures and pattern links taken from Ravelry.

wedding shawls – the mum shawls

3 May

I looked at the calendar the other week and to my horror realised we have just over six weeks to go before the wedding — eep! How has it snuck up so quickly? We’ve got their dresses, but we haven’t found the Best Broad shoes yet (or mine, for that matter). This means I can’t get started on their shawls yet, so I cast on Mum’s thank you shawl over the Easter weekend and finished it on Wednesday.

I went with the Winter Lilies pattern by Susanna IC from the Fall 2010 issue of Knit Circus, in the most gorgeous lilac-y cashmere/merino from Skein Queen. I love the yarn almost as much as I love the pattern! It’s a bit shallower than I thought it would be, but that’s probably just as well as it used up heaps of yarn!


(I don’t think Mum reads this blog, but I’m not risking showing the whole shawl, just in case!)

I cast on Matthew’s mum’s shawl on Saturday, this time the Alcea shawl, also by Susanna IC and from Knit Circus’s Spring 2011 issue, in a beautiful rose from Sweet Clement. (I was knitting a new design with this yarn, but as soon as I saw the Alcea shawl, I knew it couldn’t be anything else. Fortunately I have a growing collection of Sweet Clement yarn at my disposal!)


I adore this yarn; it’s ridiculously soft and is giving the lace pattern such amazing definition. I’m halfway through the chart, so this will hopefully be finished by the weekend as well!


Next up will be my shawl, but I’m having the hardest time deciding between Little Leaves and Susanna IC’s newest pattern, Vesna, in the latest Twist Collective. At least I have my yarn, though – Hand Maiden Silk. Lush!

(PS, If you’re here after seeing the Yarn Harlot‘s Edwardian Boating Socks, thanks for stopping by! I hope you’ll stay a while!) (PPS, Squee!)

annis shawl, a traumatic tale

9 Mar

My Annis shawl is done! I really love this pattern. It’s simple but very effective. And, let’s face it, Malabrigo is lovely to knit with, so pretty pleasurable all round!

I finished this I think on Saturday, but had no time to block it until yesterday. I don’t have anywhere to pin it, particularly now that I’m using my yoga mat for its intended purpose. With yoga classes three times a week the last thing I need is a soggy shawl left in a heap while I go dragging my damp mat to class!


But with Susanna arriving this evening, I figured I’d better get it done before my living room is converted into the spare room! In lieu of using my yoga mat, I used a tall, metal ladder that used to be the side panel to an old bookcase. We dismantled the bookcase years ago but kept the sides because they’re actually useful. We use them to get into the loft, but mostly to hang up laundry to dry! Recently, I’ve discovered they are PERFECT for blocking lace, by tying the project down while still wet using yarn instead of pinning.

So yesterday I secured the three main points of my Annis, the two ends and the central point, then began tying the points into place. Then I began the laborious process of tying down the crescent ridge. And lo! What have we here?


That’s right. My bind off edge UNRAVELLED. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BIND-OFF. I have no idea how this happened. It’s NEVER happened before! But here I was, mid-block.


The bind off was in perfect condition on either side of the unravelling, but towards the left side was an eighteen-stitch slippage. Instead of crying, I secured the dropped stitches and made sure the bound-off edge couldn’t undo itself further, using yarn and a cable needle as my anchors. Then I let the rest of the shawl dry. Fortunately it was a dry day and the shawl was blocked within a couple of hours. I then unpicked the bound-off edge to the tail, picked up all the loose stitches, picked up the dropped stitches and re-bound-off.


And, ta-da! A shawl! Way more trauma than a shawl usually causes, but a lovely new piece nonetheless and just in time for gallivanting about the city!