The new Louisa Harding Akiko yarn has just arrived and I just had to write and tell you about it! Akiko is a gorgeous Aran weight yarn, a blend of 70% Merino and 30% Baby Alpaca, it has a lovely loose twist and a subtle marl. The colour palate is divine and I just want to knit them all!
Akiko is a very similar yarn to Thistle which was discontinued in 2012 and will knit to the same tension therefore making it suitable to knit all those lovely designs from the book Little Cake! For those of you who don’t have a copy of the now out of print Little Cake, don’t worry, Louisa has taken care of it and produced a booklet called Daisy Lea which has the best of the designs from Little Cake.
Akiko also has it’s own new pattern booklet, named after the yarn and so also called Akiko. The designs are stunning, some are very much the trademark Louisa Harding lace work borders but there are a few that move away from this and I really do quite like them!
And now you are smitten by the designs, have a look at these gorgeous colours!
This beautiful wingspan shawl is called Lakedale Shawl by Stephen West, available in Malabrigo Book 3. There is an errata on the pattern which I wasn’t aware of until completing and uploading to Ravelry but I worked it out that the pattern must have been wrong
It’s not the largest of shawls but could be knitted slightly larger, I do have about 10g of the main colour left and 60g of the contrast so enough to grow the main body slightly and make a longer frill.
Knitted in Malabrigo Sock , the perfect yarn for this kind of project. When knitting with the yarn it feels very springy and soft, it floats through the needles with grace. The initial impression of your work is that the finish is far to springy but blocking ‘completely’ transforms the work, the springing of the rib pattern in the shawl gives way to a fabulous open stitch giving a gorgous transparency.
The edging of the shawl is done in a contrasting colour, I used Stonechat for the body of the shawl and Light of Love as the contrast, I spent much time deliberating the contrast colour but I’m happy with my choice now it’s finished. The edging is pretty simple, the contrast yarn is worked in stripes and the main yarn is worked as a slip stitch so it lies across the contrast….so effective. The edging is increased quite rapidly giving a serious amount of stitches for the last few rows….but it’s worth it! 🙂
At £13 a skein and using 2 colours you may be considering a cheaper yarn alternative, seriously, I wouldn’t recommend it. Malabrigo Sock is 100% Superwash Merino, it is unbelievably soft and as there is no strengthener, the term ‘Sock’ is slightly misplaced as I wouldn’t knit socks in it without knitting in a strengthener (which I do stock…they’re just not on the website yet!). The properties of the yarn make for easy blocking….I did mine with a steam iron! Knowing how well it blocks, I can imagine that I would get an even better result from wet blocking with lace wires and a blocking mat but the iron was out and I was feeling impatient!!
All in all, I love this project, I will be doing it again…next time in Eggplant with Ravelry Red to contrast I think!….I just need some cooler weather now to wear it!
I just have to share this little beauty with you, not one of mine I hate to admit but I wish it was and I am definitely going to have to make it!…. this one has been knitted by my dear friend Vicki. The design is Pear Drop by Ysolda Teague, it’s in the the Saturday Treats booklet, which I have priced at £9.00 or as a single download from the Ysolda website for £3.75. It has been designed for knitting with the Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace but Vicki loved the colours in this particular yarn as it reminded her of Fruit Salads……not the healthy kind I may add but the little penny chews you could buy (and maybe still can) that are very mouth watering and coloured, well, just like this yarn!! The yarn is a Knitting Goddess Sock yarn, 75% Merino 25% Nylon and is named ‘Summer Sun’. I think Vicki’s association with Fruit Salads would have made a good name for it!
I do have a good selection of Knitting Goddess yarns in stock, some fabulous shades, the colours mixes are really exclusive. (You can just about make some of them out in the basket that the shawl is draped over) I’ve not got the Knitting Goddess yarn on the website yet, another on the to do list but Knitting Goddess does have her own website. Other alternatives that would work well in this shawlette are Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock or Lorna’s Laces Solemate – the ‘Outlast’ component in Solemate is a fibre developed by NASA for use in space suits and has exceptional temperature regulating properties but added to that, it gives an amazing drape and subtle sheen which will work well on any shawl or shawlette. There’s also Malabrigo Sock which is 100% merino, a deliciously soft yarn which blocks beautifully as I found with my Ishbel. Or of course a lace weight yarn as this is what the pattern is designed for. I have enquired about stocking the range of Fyberspates Scrumtious colours by Ysolda so I’ll have ‘the yarns for the patterns’ in Saturday Treats, I’m just waiting to hear from them that they have them all in stock so fingers crossed! The yarns used in the book are the Scrumptious Sock yarn in a deep blue called Dandelion and Burdoch and a pale green called Flying Saucer, in the book the blue is used on a hat and the green is used in a gorgeous pair of fingerless wrist warmers which I have to have and they ‘must’ be in this colour! Also, used is the lace weight in the Pear Drop Shawlette in a deep purple called Wine Gum and there’s a kind of cowl in a terracotta lace weight called ‘Treacle Toffee’. The other 2 yarns used are Aran weight, a gorgeous little scarf in the duck egg blue called Sugar Mouse and a lovely red used in a hat called Empire Biscuit. I think I’ll probably end up making them all!!
I’ve also got Malabrigo Lace on order which is due next week, as deliciously soft as it’s neighbour Malabrigo Sock, six shades on order, these will work well on Pear Drop as they will behave very similar to the Malabrigo Sock when it comes to blocking.
And finally, there is of course the beautiful Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace, priced at just £5.00 for a 50g ball, 100% deliciously soft merino in some fabulous solid shades……(I can see Pear Drop in the Charcoal). Rialto Lace makes a very reasonably priced alternative, the yardage on all laceweights is over 1000m per 100g, the shawlette in Saturday Treats only needs 25g for the smaller size and 50g for the larger size so one for you and one for a Christmas present or just one large one for a fiver!!
I have so many projects on the go that I must make an impression on before I can even allow myself to consider starting Pear Drop or anything else from Saturday Treats for that matter so it’s time for me to crack on now!!
I have so much to think about……what will I make Pear Drop from?!
I have now got most of the shades in stock of the Louisa Harding Grace Hand-Beaded, several shades of Grace and Grace Hand-Dyed and also the pattern support in Three Graces and Fade to Grey.
Grace is a luxurious blend of Silk and Merino Wool and the Hand Beaded version is just beautiful. Hand-Beaded can be used to knit a complete garment or to just add a luxurious edge to something!
The pattern support in Three Graces and Fade to Grey range from small 1 ball projects to garment, there are some of the most delightful hat and fingerless mitten patterns I have ever seen!