My North Ronaldsay Arrow Shawl

Goodmorning, I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend. Yesterday I took myself off in my car to Haxby which is a village north of York city in search of real bread so very little knitting took place. I did, however, finally decide which Hap I was going to knit for the Knit British Hapalong that’s hap-pening (gotta love a pun eh?) on Ravelry right now. Anyway, I shall post properly about that next week. This week I want to post about my Arrow shawl because I never posted about it as a FO and whenever I wear it I get lots of lovely comments about it.


I knit the arrow out of two skeins of North Ronalsay 2ply that I got from Baaramewe years ago. Knitting this was an absolute joy because the yarn was so beautiful to knit with and the different options to decide how your shawl will turn out. I loved how it took the whole idea of knitting something personally unique one step further without having to actually do maths yourself. Totally brilliant! Ysolda has been one of my favourite designers since I joined Ravelry and this has to be my favourite of all her patterns so far.

My final choices for the clues were 1B, 2A, 3B, 3A, 3A, 3A, 4B, 5A. This enabled me to use up all of the two skeins that I bought and gave me a lovely big shawl to keep my neck and shoulders warm. I actually needed to spin some North Ronalsay roving to complete the last 6 rows because I ran out and the yarn was out of stock.


North Ronaldsay yarn has a lovely rustic look to it as you would expect from a primative Breed of sheep that live on the coast of North Ronaldsay eating seaweed for most of the year. There are fine black hairs that run through the yarn that almost look like guard hair but they aren’t stiff or scratchy or noticeable on the skin at all. It’s lovely and soft and light and snuggly with lovely stitch definition. Seriously, if you get the chance to buy some of this, don’t pass it up.



Despite being worn almost continuosly since I knit it, it still looks good as new, no pilling or other signs of wear. I know it’s a shawl and not a garment but it really has been worn and worn. I will definitely be buying more North Ronaldsay yarn in the future, maybe for a Hap shawl in all the various natural shades. Mmm, Hap shawls…

Wensleydale and Ripley

I have been very hard at play this week.

Here’s the blocked Ripley, a quick and easy knit out of leftovers from my Tea Leaves cardigan, and I still have leftovers from the leftovers.  This comes from being a cautious yarn purchaser and always purchasing an extra just in case skein.  I really liked creating the ripple, ingenious and fun.

Here’s a picture of me looking like a complete twerp wearing a wooly hat in 40 degrees. Oh it burns, it burns!

Ahhhh, here’s a lovely indoor picture of newly made Wensleydale yarn. It’s about 125metres or so and 11wpi depending on where you take it from. I tried really hard with this to produce a more consistent and balanced yarn.  It’s not quite there yet.  I started spinning quite fine singles, by that I mean very fine which while it looked pretty it was not what the yarn wanted to be so I ended up spinning thicker.  Spinning thicker does not come easily to me though. Also, I’m still having difficulty getting enough spin as the spindle fills and becomes heavier which causes me to drop the drop spindles frequently.   Practice makes perfect though, and I will continue to practice but I can’t decide which tops to spin next.  Which one? Which do you think I should knit?

While I decide I will continue to knit red scroll lace scarf, which I’m liking very much.

ttfn Melanie x

Special delivery

The postie came yesterday, hurrah hurrah!   I know several knitters doing the postbox hover at the moment, the anguish and anticipation is horrendous and I hope they are all very soon to be united with their purchases.  This is my last purchase of 2010 and it’s a good one, I’m  so excited to show you my new acquisition and I wish you could squish it too because it’s full of woolly goodness.

It’s North Ronaldsay fingering weight wool in light grey undyed and for those who might not know, the sheep on the Orkney island of North Ronaldsay live most of the year on the beach and have adapted to be able to digest the seaweed.  The yarn is entirely produced and handspun on the island and therefore quite rare and special.  As a new spinner, I love that it is handspun as it shows me what I’m aiming for with my own spinning.  Ah, to be able to spin so beautifully, hopefully with more practice I might one day.  I bought it with Jared Flood’s pattern Celes, in mind it’s a gorgeous lace scarf/stole and I think they would marry very well.

I also got Verity Britton’s Yorkshire Rose kit, because, as you know I couldn’t possibly resist a knitted Yorkshire rose.  The little box contains a pearl button and the brooch pin.


Melanie x