I made my Ma an Ishbel for mother’s day. Now she has it, I can show it to you. I use the word ‘show’ in purely relative terms however. . .


These are poor photos, taken in rather poor light. I do admire the many peeps who take great pictures of themselves. I am not one of them. My method is as follows: focus the camera on a cushion, set the self timer going, dash across the room throwing cushion to the floor, stick self in place of cushion and assume the pose before the shutter clicks. The results are ‘interesting’. In the picture above, only a small area around my right elbow is actually in focus; you can’t really see the shawl, and I look rather peculiar and glum. Not much I can really do about the peculiar, and one can only imagine what my face was doing in this next shot, as my hands appear to have decided to do a little dance:


Shortly afterwards, I gave up and tried to take a picture of the lace in the mirror:


In any case, it felt rather odd taking photos of myself in what was, by that point, someone else’s shawl, so I stopped. It is probably time I bought remote and tripod. Or just took a picture of my fabulous Ma, (who I will be seeing in a couple of weeks – hurrah!).

Ishbel is a lovely pattern. I particularly like the way Ysolda designed it to combine shallow depth with wide wingspan, meaning that it can feasibly be worn as a scarf. The yarn is a gloriously luxuriant handspun suri, from the Port Mor alpacas, and spun by the wonderful Anne Kemp of Tormisdale Croft on Islay. It is amazing stuff. I love the way the slight variations in fleece colour add depth and texture to the shawl, and Anne’s handspun was very satisfying to knit as well as being great to look at. This was the first time I’d worked with suri, handspun or otherwise, and I found the way that it knits up really intriguing: though the finish is slightly fuzzy (and alpaca-y), there is also something in the feel of the fabric as well as the way it drapes, that is very like raw silk. Curious and not unpleasing. Ma likes it anyway.

Here are the specs.
Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda (worked sections A, B, A, C, D, E)
Needles: 4mm addi lace (so pointy! so speedy!)
Yarn: Handspun suri Alpaca, from Tormisdale croft, Isle of Islay. Around 75 grams.
Ravelled here.

22 thoughts on “ishbel

  1. I heard about that pattern on the most recent Stash and Burn! I love your version and the hilarious story about photographing yourself! Personally, I think your photos are lovely….and not at all as out of focus as you say. One of the reasons I love your blog so much is how beautifully you photograph things.


  2. But don’t you find it fascinating to see new aspects of yourself that perhaps others see and you never do? Although having said that, I have had plenty of truly horrific views of myself trying to take pictures of hats in particular!


  3. I love the shawl – and being able to wear it as a scarf – it would look lovely with my ‘good’ winter coat (I’m still removing kidsilk haze fluff from it – won’t wear that scarf with it again!!) I haven’t yet managed a decent picture of myself – and if I get Malcolm to take one, I end up looking as if I’m on day release from some secure unit for mad crafters!!


  4. I like the neutral stoney colours of the photos! I do recommend a tripod….I don’t have the remote though as they don’t seem to make them for my camera annoyingly! ……it helped a lot though when I realized I could change the self timer so that I didn’t have to rush quite so fast to get in shot!


  5. I love this pattern, I really enjoyed making it. And for some reason, your first photo makes me think of one of the 19th c. Dr. Charcot hysteric pictures, it’s the pose!!


  6. Ah, I used to wonder where you found the time to do so much knitting – given your commute, it now makes sense! Love the shawl, have been looking for a pattern to do one for myself, will investigate your friend’s site.


  7. well, i love your pictures. especially the first one reminds me of a old master painting. the muted colors are gorgeous. and i really like your choice of yarn. there you go ;)


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