Saturday, March 26, 2011


Sometimes in the wonderful world that is Ravelry, a few random clicks will lead you to something special, something that youjusthavetoknit - right now.

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Eiki is a new pattern by Janel Laidman, with all proceeds until the end of April being donated to relief efforts in Japan - how could I resist? Eiki in Japanese means strength, willpower and energy - things they will certainly need at this heartbreaking time.

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I cast on for this project the night before we left on our little trip away, knowing that I had to have around 200 stitches before the lace part, and the soothing garter stitch seemed perfect for some relaxed holiday knitting. I had 3 skeins of Merino Mania by Fibre Alive (which is the handdyed yarn that James of Joy of Yarn dyes and sells from his sock wool boutique) to choose from and finally decided on the Berrylicious colourway that my Mum bought me for Christmas.
The colours are a beautiful blend of grape, lavender and deep pinks.

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Unfortunately in my haste I didnt check yardage and only later realized I would be about 80yards short - so in the end I decided to simply remove one repeat from each side - my Eiki being slightly smaller than the pattern. You will need about 430g of fingering to make a full size Eiki. I had about 14g left over which probably wouldn't have been enough for 2 extra charts plus the extra section of garter to get to the right stitch count. In any event, the size of my Eiki is certainly no smaller than the Ishbel and Multnomah shawls I have made in the past. Mods on my project page.

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My experience with knitting from charts is limited, so I was quite worried when, after already purchasing and downloading the pdf, I realized all of the lace was charted. And not only that but you work from 4 charts across the row. You have to repeat chart2 to give you the triangle parts up the side (I removed one repeat on each side) so there is a lot of swapping between charts and trying to keep track of which way you are reading across. I'm very proud of how well I coped though, and I think knitting this quite quickly was a good plan as it kept me motivated.

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I did run into difficulties near the end and messaged the designer after going crosseyed trying to work out what was going wrong. Within 24 hours the errors on the chart had been corrected and a new pdf with updated charts had been loaded on Ravelry - wonderfully quick response from Janel. Although some concentration is required, it is also quite a fun knit and it's interesting to see the triangle lace parts emerge as you knit.

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Once again this yarn knit into wonderfully smooshy and soft garter stitch. I used a blue colour for the Multnomah shawl I made late last year, the colours seem to suit the garter stitch so well. It's a dream to wind up from the skein, nice and tightly plied which makes the lace stitches stand out well and I have nothing but praise for the dye job.

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Knitting this lead me to the 11 shawls in 2011 you guessed it. New challenge for me for the year. 2 down already - and Eiki and a Hitchhiker (it counts on yardage and because it can be draped over the shoulders). At the moment some external goals seem to be helpful for keeping me focused on positive things and keeping me engaged and busy.

I'm busy queuing shawl patterns - if you have a favourite I'd love to know, leave me a comment :)


  1. That is gorgeous! Absolutely beautiful. Both the yarn, and the pattern.

    I've got several shawls in my queue, but I've never knit anything beyond a basic prayer shawl. I can imagine how the external goals help you, though *hugs* Good luck!

  2. it's gorgeous! First time I've seen this - i heard of it but hadn't looked it up. I'm off to buy it. Thanks for the inspiration! Hope you're going ok.

  3. Love the colour. So glad your daughter is safe, it is such a worrying time. x

  4. Oh, it's so lovely! I am 5 rows away from finishing mine, I am so looking forward to blocking it, I hope it's as nice as yours!