Liz Corke Knit Design

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April 16, 2012

I’ve been making loads of progress this week and I’m really happy with how everything is going. Yesterday I had the perfect afternoon, curled up in my chair, listening to music, reading and knitting away. I read about half my book and finished it – which means I get to buy a new book too! Altogether it was a perfect Sunday afternoon.

First up the Garter Ruffles Shawl is finished! I love this shawl. It’s a good length to wear either as a shawl or a scarf, and it’s warm, silky and squooshy, plus I love the colour. The crochet chain along the back did wonders to help the ruffles stand out, although the picture isn’t great and really doesn’t help you see them. It’s a really good easy pattern too.

Next up is the Rocketship Shawl. I am completely in love with this again! I’m on the short rows and it’s going perfectly. It’s easy and uncomplicated and I can read while I knit. I’ve put markers in where I do the wrap and turn so it’s super easy to remember when I’m turning. I knit the short row before + 4 more stitches each turn so I think I have 12 more short rows, then 2 more rows across everything and I’m done/ I’m really hoping to get this one finished and blocked by the weekend, since we’re seeing my parents then, and I like showing my mum what I’ve made!

Out of it’s long hibernation, my Happy Lavender scarf has woken up! I still really like this scarf, but it has to fit into a special place in my rotation. It isn’t a complicated pattern at all but I do need to count to four a lot, and if I’m not paying attention I have a tendancy to just knit straight over the yarn overs, so this is going to be easy TV watching knitting and definately not reading knitting! Everything from the last dark green stripe up is new, so I’ve done a good few inches.

I haven’t really done enough on my Tubey since Wednesday to be worth posting about. It’s still only a little longer than last week. I’ll get more done on it tomorrow hopefully during our D&D night, if I can finish the Rocketship Shawl tonight/tomorrow. I’ve wound the first of my gift yarns into a ball and it’s ready for me to cast on a Mezquita Shawl very soon.

My Year of Projects Lists

To Do/In Progress


Hairpin Lace Blanket – In Progress
Rocketship Shawl – In Progress
Tubey – In Progress
Pin Cushion – In Progress
Happy Lavender Scarf – In Progress
Usoa Shawl – Drops Fabel
Momijigari
Mezquita Shawl – Got Yarn
2 x HPKCHC Homework
Face Cloths – Drops Paris
Calorimetry – Have yarn
Needle Book – Trying out entrelac (leftovers of blanket yarn)
Scissor Case

Finished Things

Tote Bag – Finished
Windschief Hat – Finished
Snowbaby Hat – Finished
Skaði Fingerless Gloves – Finished
Lacey Crochet Scarf – Finished
Iris Crocheted Shawl – Finished
Shawl Collared Cowl – Finished
Urban Shells – Finished
Elise Shawl – Finished
Betula  Ring – Finished
Magrathea – Finished
Knit Bunnies x 7 – Finished
Realistic Octopus – Finished
Henslowe – Finished
HPKCHC March – Finished
Garter Ruffles Scarf – Finished

April 13, 2012

At last I finally have knitted FO! It seems forever since I finished something I was knitting so I’m glad to get something off the needles at last. It’s also motivated me a bit to work on my Rocketship shawl and after finishing my Garter Ruffles scarf I managed four rows on it and I’m finished the annoying lace section!

I’m really happy with how this has come out. You can’t see the ruffles very well in the photos – the light wasn’t co-operating with us this morning. I haven’t measured it, but it’s as long as my arms stretch and a comfortable length for a scarf or a wrap. The silk/alpaca feels fantastically soft and really warm. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Andes and from the three skiens I had, I only have 2g left! I had just enough yarn to let me decrease down to the 14 stitches I needed and bind off. Before I started the shawl I had put 5g aside for the crochet chain which was just as well.

I did put in the crochet chain at the back, although I forgot to take a photo of it. It really helps to give the ruffles a bit more stability. I did it once with a 5 mm hook which gave me gorgeous ruffles but was too tight for the scarf and didn’t let it sit nicely so I pulled it out and did it again with a 7 mm hook which was perfect. I think this shawl will be perfect for spring and I’m going to love wearing it.

April 11, 2012

It’s Wednesday and I’ve been working hard over the last week. It seems to be spring again this week, and I really hope the weather holds for a while this time. I’m still reading Elantris this week. I’m really enjoying how it’s going so far. I’m reaching a point when everything is getting quite tense and soon something will happen to trigger a big upheaval. It’s quite exciting and I need to find some more reading time this week! I would have got further through the book, but I got distracted during the Kindle sale and got myself a couple of Medieval murder stories whick I really enjoyed!

The Rocketship shawl is still coming along. I’ve only done a couple of rows since Monday’s post so I’ve done a close up photo of the pattern instead. Two more rows and the lace will be done, and another few rows after that there’ll be no more purling needed and everything should speed up nicely. I’m looking forward to getting on to the short rows and getting back to nice squishy garter stitch again – purling 318 stitches takes forever!

The Garter Ruffles Scarf is nearly done. I feel like I made a lot of progress with this one last night. I have 25 more repeats to do before I’m ready to bind off. The pattern for this one is really easy. Too easy to really be interesting but the yarn more than makes up for it. The silk and alpaca is just so soft and smooth that it’s fantastic to work with. After the bind off, I’m doing a crochet chain along the edge of the ruffle to help give it some structure since the silk drapes too well. I don’t think I’m going to block this one out like I would with lace. I might just soak it and lay it flat to dry to even out the garter stitch a little.

The jumper sleeve has been growing and I’m pretty happy with how it’s doing, but I haven’t had too much time on it this week. I’ve finally got a photo that looks pretty true to the colour. In most photos it seems to want to come out radioactive, but the sun was shining nicely this morning and I got a decent photo. I’m trying to be good just now, and resist casting on anything new until both the Garter Ruffles Scarf and the Rocketship shawl are done, and Tubey will become my easy knitting project I think. The only complicated bit coming up is picking up stitches after I’ve finished the back.

Check out Tami’s and Ginny’s for more WIP Wednesdays and Yarn Alongs.

April 9, 2012

Easter is almost over now, but while most people are relaxing on their bank holiday, I back at work again. Bank holidays don’t happen in our office! I hope everyone had a good Easter, we went down to my parents yesterday and had a good time, and saw my baby (aged 21) brother too. I also got quite a lot of knitting done so all in all it was a good day.

I’ve been busily working away at three things this week and I feel like I’ve got much more done this time. First up is the Rocketship Shawl. I’ve been doing about two rows a day this week and I’m finally past all the bobbles. I really hated doing them! The last four rows are pretty plain and shoud be fairly easy going and then I’ll be on to doing the short rows and that should be much easier and more fun. Once I’ve worked out how the short rows work that is. There’s a formula to repeat for each row, adding more stitches each time to make the curved shape so I’m just going to wait and work it out when I get there and I can see what I’m really doing.

Next up is the Garter Ruffles Scarf. This one is coming along nicely and I’m really happy with it. I’m just about to add another ball of yarn so I’m now two thirds of the way through. I just have one ball of yarn to go, then because the silk and alpaca is so drapey I’m going to do a crochet chain along the edge of the ruffles to give them a little more support and help them stand out.

Last up is my jumper. I ripped out the sleeve I had done and now I’m making the sleeve up in 3×1 rib. I’m a lot happier with how it’s going now. The fabric feels left stiff and softer and I love the stretch in it. I just need a few more inches before I start adding in stripes of the cream and black. I haven’t decided how I’m going to do that yet. I think I’ll just work it out as I go! I also haven’t decided how I’m going to finish off the sleeves. Right now I’m thinking of making them three quarter length, and finishing with a couple of inches of 2×2 rib. I really like working on this one. It doesn’t really take any concentration and I can read while I do it. As long as I can keep on at a good speed, I might have a new jumper by next winter!

My Year of Projects Lists

To Do/In Progress


Garter Ruffles Scarf – In Progress
Hairpin Lace Blanket – In Progress
Rocketship Shawl – In Progress
Tubey – In Progress
Pin Cushion – In Progress
Blisco – Freedom Sincere
Usoa Shawl – Drops Fabel
Momijigari
Mezquita Shawl – Got Yarn
2 x HPKCHC Homework
Face Cloths – Drops Paris
Calorimetry – Have yarn
Needle Book – Trying out entrelac (leftovers of blanket yarn)
Scissor Case

Finished Things

Tote Bag – Finished
Windschief Hat – Finished
Snowbaby Hat – Finished
Skaði Fingerless Gloves – Finished
Lacey Crochet Scarf – Finished
Iris Crocheted Shawl – Finished
Shawl Collared Cowl – Finished
Urban Shells – Finished
Elise Shawl – Finished
Betula  Ring – Finished
Magrathea – Finished
Knit Bunnies x 7 – Finished
Realistic Octopus – Finished
Henslowe – Finished
HPKCHC March – Finished

April 4, 2012

I have been busy this week and I’m pretty pleased with everything I’ve managed to get done. The weather was really strange yesterday – within ten minutes we’d go from gorgeous sunshine to strong winds and snow and then back to sunshine and it was bitterly cold. It seems to be much more normal for the time of year today though. It’s sunny and about as warm as it can be with the wind coming straight off the North Sea at the start of April.

First up is the Rocketship Shawl. I alternately love and hate this shawl! The yarn is fantastic though. It’s Fybrespate’s Scrumptious 4 ply which is somewhere between a sport and fingering weight, a 50/50 merino/silk blend, and the colour is fantastic but really hard to photograph well. The colourway is teal, and the colour shifts from dark blue to a blue-green. Currently I’m having issues with the knit to purl texture changes, and I’m really not enjoying doing the bobbles because they slow me down. I did come up with a solution to my knit/purl changes that I talked about yesterday and I only have two more rows with bobbles and the second row has half the bobbles the other row have, so I shall persevere. I did give this one a mini timeout yesterday though because I was feeling cross!

The Garter Ruffles Shawl is going on perfectly. I love this scarf a lot. We had our D&D night with my husbands friends last night and it’s the perfect project for something like that as the pattern is so simple and I can pick it up and put it down really easily at any point when it’s my turn. The yarn is so soft too, it just feels fantastic. I also reached the halfway point last night and started the decreases. I’m pretty excited about this one. Every fourth row it will get shorter and faster now. I probably won’t work on this one this week until next Tuesday, although I think I’ll take it to my parents on Sunday on the off chance that I have time to work on something – plus I like to show my mum what I’m working on!

Tubey has been restarted. I ripped everything out on Monday and decided to start again. I wasn’t really sure about the sleeves before, but now I have a plan that I’m happy with. The pattern has sleeves that are just plain tubes that flare out at the end. While I like the look of bell sleeves, I really don’t like wearing them. They just aren’t comfortable to me, so I’ve changed the sleeves to 3×1 ribbing to match the body and I’ll put some decreases in later to keep them tight. I’m also considering just making 3/4 length sleeves but I’ll worry about that when I get there. I’m leaving the bit across the back between the sleeves as plain stockinette.

I’ve just started a new book on my Kindle. I’m only 5 chapters in so far, but I’m enjoying it. I have to say that I really like it when Kindle books get the same cover as the real books, it just seems nicer! I’m reading Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. So far I’m really enjoying the book. We’ve met the three main characters and already I have a really good feel for them. Raoden was the prince of Arelon, but he’s been affected by the Shaod which has turned him in to an Elantrian. Elantrians used to be like gods, with magic and immortallity but now it is a curse and a kind of living death – injuries don’t feel and the pain is everlasting, so he is locked away in Elantris and forgotten by his people. Sarene is a princess of Teon. She was engaged to Raoden and has arrived in Arelon to discover she is his widow. She seems to have been trained as a diplomat but her new father, the King on her first meeting tells her to “go knit or whatever it is that women do”. I have a feeling she will have quite an impact on the court and I’m pretty sure some how she will find out what has happened to Raoden and between them they will try to find a cure. Hrathen is a high priest from Fjorden sent to convert the country of Arelon to his religion and take it over. I’m about to start his second chapter so I haven’t seen as much of him yet as I have of the other two. It’s going to be interesting to see how the story develops.

Don’t forget to check out Tami’s and Ginny’s and see what everyone else is upto this week!

March 28, 2012

I’m a bit behind this week because we were away on holiday, so this is a bumper post for Year of Projects, WIP Wednesday and Yarn Along! We had a great time over the weekend, although it was really busy, and we spent a lot of time travelling around to see people. I did manage to get some knitting done in the car on a couple of days though and got quite a lot done on Monday when we finally had a relaxing day! I’ve also been reading a fair bit, and I got side tracked into reading Spindle’s End. I’ll need to go back to Murder at Mansfield Park soon, but I wanted some easy reading for the car when it was too dark to knit.

So I’m going to start with Tubey. I haven’t really done very much to this at all this week. It’s been way too hot to think about knitting sweaters! But I’ve also been considering changing to 5mm needles. I’m not sure if the fabric feels too thick or not. So my plan is to find my 4.5mm needle swatch, make up a 5mm needle swatch, possibly both in the round, rather than flat swatches, and wash them, then make a decision. If it stays this hot though, I might swap to working on Blisco, since I’ll be making that in DK cotton, rather than Aran acrylic. Only problem is both sets of my 5mm needles have the next two projects on them!

Next up is the Garter Ruffles Scarf, this one has been on the go for ages. This is a great pattern for knitting while talking! There’s nothing too complicated at all and all I need to keep track of is where to put the short rows and the kfb. I did make one mistake and put the short rows at the wrong side! I didn’t notice for quite a while and I really don’t want to rip back. It’s not too noticeable so I’m not going to take it out. I love the yarn, it’s so soft. I’m just over a third of the way through so far, so I need to keep working on it when I need some downtime.

Last up is the Rocketship Shawl. It was supposed to be the Usoa Shawl next but Tubey is on my 4.5mm needles! I changed what I was doing with this yarn. The yarn was originally going to be a Clematis Shawl but I wasn’t sure I wanted something so big, and starting at the bottom and going up to so many stitches was a bit off putting. So I started this one. I really love how it’s turning out so far. I started with 319 stitches so each row is pretty long, but I’m already nearly halfway through the lace pattern and then I’ll be on to short rows to shape the body of the shawl. I knitted most of this one on the seven hour drive back up from Manchester yesterday.

Spindle’s End is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. It’s set in the same world (as far as I can tell) as Pegasus and Beauty which I also read recently and Deerskin which is another book I have by the same author, Robin McKinley. The stories are all set in different kingdoms. The land where this one is set is saturated in magic, and the fairies are normal people who have some control over it, although they tend to be female. There are also magicians in the kingdom who study and try to force control over the magic and tend to be male. I’ve so far got to the point when Rosie is 20 years old, and the curse is due to kill her on her 21st birthday. She still doesn’t know she is the princess and I’m only halfway through the book, so I’m quite excited to see what’s coming next!

Here’s the up to date list:

My Year of Projects Lists

To Do/In Progress


Slate Scarf – In progress
Garter Ruffles Scarf – In Progress
Hairpin Lace Blanket – In Progress
Rocketship Shawl – In Progress
Tubey – In Progress
Pin Cushion – In Progress
Blisco – Freedom Sincere
Usoa Shawl – Drops Fabel
Momijigari
Mezquita Shawl
3 x HPKCHC Homework
Face Clothes – Drops Paris
Calorimetry – Have yarn
Needle Book – Trying out entrelac (leftovers of blanket yarn)
Scissor Case

Finished Things

Tote Bag – Finished
Windschief Hat – Finished
Snowbaby Hat – Finished
Skaði Fingerless Gloves – Finished
Lacey Crochet Scarf – Finished
Iris Crocheted Shawl – Finished
Shawl Collared Cowl – Finished
Urban Shells – Finished
Elise Shawl – Finished
Betula  Ring – Finished
Magrathea – Finished
Knit Bunnies x 7 – Finished
Realistic Octopus – Finished
Henslowe – Finished

March 5, 2012

Time seems to be flying by this year! We’re already in March and there’s only four months of the Year of Projects left. I’m looking forward to continuing next year though! I joined a new group on Ravelry in the last week too – 12 shawls in 2012, which does pretty much what it says – the aim is to complete 12 shawls this year. I’ve already finished one, Magrathea, and posted it to the group and Henslowe is well on the way too. I have more shawls in my list, but I’ll probably rearrange my list a bit too.

And speaking of Henslowe, I’ve done a lot of work on this one this week! The garter stitch body is done, I learnt to do the suspended bind off which wasn’t too complicated and was quite neat although I did drop my stitches a few times. Picking up the stitches round the side went really smoothly, and I’ve completed two repeats of the Roman Stripe pattern with no problems.

I’m being super careful with my yarn overs on this shawl, I don’t want to have to rip back like I did on Magrathea! I’m stopping every half row when I’m doing yarn overs to make sure I have all the yarn over’s in – at least that way I’ll only need to rip back half a row if I miss one, not two rows when I realise my count has gone wrong. I really like how it’s looking so far. I think I should have plenty of yarn to do all four of the Roman Stripes – some people have cut it down to three to make sure they had enough yarn, but from my maths and looking round the helpful projects, I think I’ll be fine.

The only other thing I’ve been working on just now is my silk Garter Ruffles Scarf. I haven’t done every much on it, as Henslowe is exciting and taking up a lot of my time. This scarf is perfect for when I’m feeling  a little tired though, since there’s nothing complicated in it – just an increase and a short row to keep it interesting. I’m nearly a third of the way through it so far. Once I’ve finished Henslowe, I might try to resist the urge to cast on something new and get this one finished, I could really do with having one of my sets of 5mm needles free again – they seem to be the ones I want for everything!

The Revised List
Scarves and Shawls

Amigurumi

Other Things

February 29, 2012

Wednesday has come quickly this week. I have a four day week this week, so this is only my second day of work. I did do a Year of Projects update yesterday, but I’ve managed to get quite a bit done on two of my projects so I have something for you to see. On Tuesdays we’re playing D&D with some of my husband’s friends over skype – so this works out to around four hours of knitting time with small interruptions when it’s my turn!

I didn’t do anything on my Slate Scarf last night, but you can see what I got done while I was away on yesterday’s YoP post here. Henslowe is getting along at a good rate, and I’ve got quite a few more rows done. The lighting in the photo is dodgy, sorry, but you can see where I’ve got 34 loops down the side. I’m on 42 loops on that side now, and I hope to have the body of the shawl done by the weekend. At the moment I think it looks a little small, but I’m sure once the border is on and I block it it’ll probably stretch out quite a bit. At the moment I’d guess it’s about shoulder width on me – although I don’t have it here so I can’t test.

The Garter Ruffles Scarf grew quite a lot last night. I’m using a locking stitch marker now, and you can see I’ve put it over the last increase stitch. It’s making my life much easier since I can easily see where I did my last increase, I’m not loosing track of whether I should be doing one or not. There’s just a hint of ruffling in it just now. I think it’s because it’s gorgeously drapy silk that the ruffles aren’t showing so well, but the pattern suggests doing a crochet chain along the edge of the short rows to tighten things up if the ruffles don’t show well, and I think that shuold solve any problems with it. I’ve put aside about 6g of yarn for the crochet chain later – the pattern reccommended 5g, but I like to be on the safe side. I love working on this scarf – the silk feels heavenly when it’s sliding through my fingers!

Don’t forget to check out Tami’s to see everyone else’s WIP!

February 28, 2012

I’ve got horribly behind with my blogs and blogging again! While I was in London I had data turned off on my phone to save the battery, and now I have 245 blogs to read! I was so busy getting packed on Wednesday night too, so I didn’t have time to write my FO Friday post in advance either. But London was fantastic, although really hot! I spent most of my time going around in just a tank top and carrying Magrathea around with me. Magrathea was perfect. Nice and warm if we were walking in the shadows a lot. My feet have just about recovered now from all the walking we did! The shows were fantastic, all of them, although especially Les Mis which I’ve been dying to see for years, and The Mousetrap was a lot of fun. I did better than my friends and managed to guess one character’s secret, although none of us guessed the murderer!

I managed to get some knitting done on the way down on the train – and I wasn’t the only one knitting either. On the way back though the train was really busy and it was a bit aof a squeeze so I didn’t try. I got a good bit done on the Slate Scarf. This pattern is great for easy knitting without too much concentration, although I’m finding the yarn a little bit splittty which is annoying. My new needles did arrive in time, so I restarted this one on Wednesday before I packed it, and I like it better now, 5.5mm was just a bit too loose.

The Garter Ruffles Scarf actually defeated me! You do an increase every second row, and I could never remember which row I was on, which was pretty awkward! I’m going to be using a removeable marker now so I can put it over the increase stitch and hopefully remember where I’ve got too. I like this pattern, and the yarn, being a silk/alpaca blend, feels fantastic! I’m enjoying working on this one so I’m hoping to get a lot more done soon. The silk does seem quite loose though, so I think I’m definitely going to have to use a crochet chain when I’m finished to help the ruffles stand out nicely, but I like the way the chain looks anyway.

I should really have written this post yesterday, but here’s the reason I didn’t. I was having too much fun knitting Henslowe! I’m up to 40 loops on on side now which is about 79 or 80 rows. When I get to 50 rows, I’ll count the other side. I need 52 loops on each side so I can pick up 104 loops to start the border. I discovered this weekend that one of my friends knits! Although she mostly sticks to stockinette stitch scarves, I showed her the other things I had with me, like my cowl and my phone sock, and showed her Ravelry so hopefully she’ll get hooked *laughs*. She’s put me under strict instructions to have Henslowe ready for the next time I see her, which should be the end of March, so I need to get on with this one.

That’s about it for my progress this week, so here’s my list again:

The Revised List

Scarves and Shawls

Amigurumi

Other Things

February 20, 2012

Another week has been and gone already, and I imagine this week will pass even faster for me! I have three days at work, then a four day trip to London, which I’ve already mentioned quite a few times, and I’m really excited about! We’re going to see a few shows – Les Misérables on Thursday which I’ve wanted to see ever since I learnt to play the music on the piano about ten (or more!) years ago, Friday is Blood Brothers, and Saturday is Mousetrap – Agatha Christies play. I’m not sure what else we’re going to do, there’ll be two of us on Thursday and Friday, and on Saturday another friend is joining us. The two girls I’m going with were my bridesmaids, and we don’t see each other too much these days, since I’m in Aberdeen and they are near Leeds, so I’m really excited about the trip.

I’m taking the train down and back which is a 7 hour trip each way, so I’ve cast on a couple of projects, and I’ll be getting a new book and an audiobook for the trip. And that brings me to what I’ve been knitting this week! First up is my finshed Magrathea. I really love this shawl! It’s so warm with the wool cotton mix and the yarn is so soft. It feels fantastic. The pattern was good and easy to follow, although I did occasionally have problems with missing yarn overs. Blocking didn’t go 100% as I intended. Most of it went well, but the second half of the border hasn’t held the points I tried to put in, so I think I’ll try reblocking the border tonight, and hopefully it’ll come out nicely second time. I’m planning to take Magrathea down to London with me, so I want to give it plenty of time to dry out before I go.

I’ve also been working away at Henslowe. I have ripped everything out once, because I realised I’d missed a yarn over back at the start. The yarn over’s are really important as you pick them up to make the border, so making sure I don’t miss any is important, and I’d hate to get to the end of the body, then realise the second row had a missing loop! The yarn is gorgeous. I love the way the colours are working up together, and with no pooling too. It feels really nice – soft but springy, although I imagine blocking will rduce the springyness a little.

I also cast on a couple of new projects, and come to the realisation I really need a second pair of 5mm needle tips! The first is the garter ruffles scarf. I’m making this one with Debbie Bliss Andes, which was the second yarn gift from my husband for Christmas! It feels gorgeous and I’m really looking forward to wearing this one. The pattern is pretty simple, it has a short repeat with short rows and an increase, so it should be perfect for the train. I wanted to make sure I was happy with the projects I’m taking with me, so I cast them on early. The second is a scarf with Patons Smoothie DK. I had planned to do Branching Out with this yarn, but I was having trouble getting the cast on right. It needs to be loose because you increase quite a lot of stitches at the start of the lace repeat, before decreasing again, but I kept casting on too tight and it wouldn’t stretch nicely. So instead I’m making Cream of Spinich. I really like this pattern. it’s got a nice simple repeat, and I love the texture of the passed over stitches. No photos of this one I’m afraid, I started it after I’d done the photo’s of the others.

Last but definitely not least is my crochet hairpin lace blanket. I finished another strip on Friday and got it all joined up. I like how it’s going so far, but I’m about to have my first real colour change. I think the colours will look ok together but only time will tell. The next colour is Sunshine. I’ve decided the blanket will probably find a home on our sofa, but I’m still going to make it big enough for a double bed, because that will give me more options later on – I wouldn’t want to end up wishing I’d made it bigger a year or two down the line!

The Revised List

Scarves and Shawls

Amigurumi

Other Things