The Enchanted Mesa is a knitting pattern by designer Stephen West. And over at the Create With Fibre Community on Facebook, we decided to have an Enchanted Mesa Knitalong after Beata showed us her lovely creation.
It is surprisingly easy to knit, with just enough interesting stuff going on to make it also great fun. The ‘interesting stuff’ in this case is the fact that the shaping is done entirely by knitting short rows, hence the wonky shape. Don’t be fooled by the strange sleeves, it is very comfy to wear too.
This was a stashbusing project. My stash is enchanted too, actually. It is all handspun and mostly bits and bobs. And despite several stashbusting projects, the pile of yarn is not getting any smaller! So far the tally is:
six handwoven cushions
a knitted mini skirt Dinky loom squares that will eventually make a jacket. Total so far about 30 squares
a half finished shawl
It is only one largeish bag of yarn, how can it not be smaller?!
Anyhow, Mesa here are the yarns chosen for the Mesa
A few more were added enroute and black shetland/alpaca, spun and now used in several projects was chosen to separate the colours. But not one single ball of yarn was completely used up in this project. And hardly any in the other projects either. See what I mean, enchanted stash!
The neck and first part of the shoulders are knitted in merino and silk, spun from commercial roving, with the black in between as above. The fun started when I let go of worrying about how the colours would work out. If you have selected them before hand, it just seems to work and I make a lot of things this way.
this is easy to knit in groups or when out and about, as once you get the hang of the short rows you don’t need to think too hard. It went with us on the train to Carlisle at Christmas and I picked this book up in a charity shop. Great holiday! The shiny part is random stuff spun for demo purposes when I taught some of our many courses. That is why I end up with such a random stash. And maybe why quantity doesn’t reduce. Hmmm… The multicoloured stuff is Icelandic roving, spun then dyed. The stuff you get as a ‘wheel’ and are supposed to knit with. Far better if spun first.
you can see how it now goes down one side more than the other. You catch up with the other side later. More leftover yarns from spinning courses and retreats… The black in between worked well to give the colours definition.
It is rather like a shawl jumper combo, this.
This was a quick knit and great fun. It is also comfy and easy to wear. Success!
Right now, weaving is the new black. So many people want to learn. So here is a spot of advice: don’t buy the largest loom you can find, thinking it will ‘do you’ for longer and save you buying another. 90% odds that not only will you have no dining room any longer (unless you have dinner round it) you will also rarely if ever warp it up ready to weave. It is too daunting. And my take on it is this: you can weave pretty much anything on a ‘rigid heddle’ loom.
It will fit in a cupboard. You can sit in a chair and weave with it propped up on a windowsill, they are designed like that, and simply weave panels if you want something wider.
The range of patterns that can be done is awesome. Check out The Weavers Idea book by Jane Patrick. It and other books especially for rigid heddle weaving are what you need. Sarah Howard wrote a lovely book called ‘Wear Your Weaving’ which shows how to create garments using narrow panels.
And if you just want to have a go, you can even weave around a cardboard box. We have a FREE e-course ‘5 days to become a weaver’ which shows you how. Check it out here and get our free e-zine at the same time. Https://createwithfibre.co.uk
Hubby has been making our newest products, the ‘Dinky Loom’ and Midi Loom. They enable you to do the simplest of weaving with tiny scraps of leftover yarn. I am making squares for a woven jacket.
They are so quick to do and portable enough to take anywhere.
Stash busting, de-cluttering and dieting seem to be seasonal phenomena.
Here’s how it goes. Binge eat/buy in December then shed the excess £s/lbs January to March.
In other words, our hard earned cash eventually ends up in the bin or charity shop. Duh. And it is hard to value things you feel guilty about. So the ‘punishment’ is to say ‘I am not buying any more fibre or yarn until I have used this lot up.’
Ditch the guilt though, there is a reason why you have not used it. You don’t like it, don’t know how to use it or are scared you will ‘spoil’ it.
The money is gone and guilt will not bring it back. So just spluge and have fun with it. A freeing experience that will liberate your fibre and yarn work and unstick you. Try these strategies:
Give it to someone who can use it. Then it is no longer wasted.
Use it with gay abandon, randomness and don’t worry what matches. Intersperse with one or more grey tones to bring it all together but don’t bother what clashes it will add interest.
If the colours really don’t go, put it all in a dyepot together. Add some blue, grey or black dye and it will all coodinate beautifully.
Weaving is great for using up yarns fast. Use a grey, brown or black warp to bring the colours together. A fine warp combined with wefts of different colours and textures works well.