I posted on Instagram about the #FallShawlKAL2017 a while back. It’s going on until the middle of October. There are weekly themes and prizes! Now that I’m back from family vacation I thought I’d tell you a little more and tempt you with pictures.

There are 7 indie designers participating, and each of us has chosen 5 eligible patterns. You can see the full list of 35 shawl patterns over in the Ravelry group. Here are my top picks:

Fairy Wings from Ruth Brasch

Fairy Wings by Ruth Brasch

dekke by talitha kuomi

dekke by talitha kuomi

Aveza by Emily Ross

Aveza by Emily Ross


Sparkling Rain by Christelle Nihoul

Sparkling Rain Shawl by Christelle Nihoul

Birdsfoot Fern by Laura Patterson

Birdsfoot Fern by Laura Patterson

Solar Flare from Lindsay Lewchuck

Solar Flare Circular Shawl by Lindsay Lewchuk

Remember that the #FallShawlKAL2017 runs on Instagram until Oct. 15th, and there are weekly prizes. Head on over & check out what’s happened so far. There is a different theme for each week:


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Last day of the Echinacea KAL: another prize!

Remember earlier in the week I showed you the fabulous one-of-a-kind Echinacea bag that my friend Beatrice made? Well she’s done it again. This time she spotted some echinacea fabric and she’s sewn it up into a sturdy bag with some denim left over from a skirt. It has an interior pocket in the Echinacea fabric and two metal D-rings for yarn guides.

Echinacea bag by Beatrice Janky

It’s deceptively large. For scale, I borrowed my friend Nicole’s mostly-full wound ball of Wollmeise Lace (300g, 1575m):

Echinacea bag with a skein of Wollmeise LaceWhat does this mean to you? It means there’s another fabulous prize, and your best chance at it is to win the Yellow Jersey. If you’ve finished up your project take the prettiest picture you can and make sure you add it to your post in the Finished Object thread for the KAL. If you’re not participating in the KAL just make sure you’re a member of my Ravelry group or on my mailing list, and you’ve still got a shot depending on the prizes that people earlier in the list choose.

In the mean time I’ve managed to finish up my own new Echinacea shawl. I decided to try out the rectangular shape with just one repeat of each chart. I used Vale Lace and started out with Morel, then Arabesque, and finally Barberry for the flowers. I can’t wait to unpin this and get some good pictures!

Rectangular Echinacea by Natalie Servant

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Echinacea KAL: 1 week to go!

With one week remaining in the Tour de France (and so also one week remaining my Echinacea Shawl KAL), I’ve got some wonderful news. Beatrice, a fantastically talented friend of mine, had an idea and she had to act on it. She’s made an Echinacea project bag as a prize for my KAL!

It’s a beautiful one-of-a-kind wedge bag (about 11″ x 8″) with a hand-painted echinacea flower. The bag is embellished with embroidery and scattered with little individually-applied Swarovski crystals. On the inside there are two yarn guides with snaps, making it a great project bag for colour work.

Echinacea Bag by Beatrice Janky

Beatrice is amazing!

So now this new prize is added to the pile of yarn as well as any of my patterns or ebooks. You’ll be spoiled for choice if you enter!

So far we’ve had a few folks finish including Heather, who used a variety of lace weight yarns based on the colours in both the French and American flags:

Heather's Echinacea Shawl


Peigi made a stunning gray version from local-to-us Red Sock Blue Sock yarn:

Peigi's Echinacea ShawlThere’s still time to start, even if you don’t finish. As usual I’ve got prize categories that include people who finish as well as those that don’t finish, and even those who cheer from the sidelines. All the details (and prize threads) are in my Ravelry Group. Join us!

Tune in next week & I’ll let you know who won and showcase some more finished shawls!


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Tour de France KAL: prize details

Yesterday I covered some details on the Echinacea shawl, the subject of the KAL as well as the prize categories. Today, I wanted to show the yarny goodness that you can win.

Prize details:

As well as the yarny prizes below winners can choose any Natalie Servant Designs pattern or e-book, if they like.
Alegria by Manos del Uruguay in Atlantico
75% merino/25% nylon, 445 yds in 100g
Alegria Atlantico

Alegria by Manos del Uruguay in Mallard
75% merino/25% nylon, 445 yds in 100g

Arietta by Sweet Paprika in Rumplestiltskin
50% silk/50% merino, 1110 yds in 100g


Please Stand By Yarns PSA in Gabrielle (Xena – Warrior Princess)

100% superwash merino, 400 yds in 100g


Please Stand By Yarns PSA in Xena (Xena – Warrior Princess)
100% superwash merino, 400 yds in 100g


Posh Yarn Amelie Cobweb in I Belong to Yesterday
50% suri alpaca, 30% merino, 20% silk, 1300 yds in 100g

Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Warm Maize
100% superwash merino, 395 yds in 100g

Ecobutterfly Organics Pakucho Qoperfina Lace in Natural & Deep Golden Brown
3% copper, 97% cotton, 500 yds in 50g

Posh Yarn Olivia Lace in What’s New Pussycat?
100% mulberry silk, 820 yds in 100g

Tanis Fiber Arts Silver Label in Cobalt
100% mulberry silk, 550 yds in 100g

Posh Yarn Olivia Sock in Such Sweet Thunder
100% mulberry silk, 460 yds in 100g

Hopefully there’s something in the group that appeals to you!

Tour de France KAL prizes 2017

See you in my Ravelry Group on Saturday, when the Tour de France kicks off. Show us what you’re knitting with and let us know which version you’ll be knitting!

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Tour de France KAL: Echinacea details

July 1 is less than a week away. That’s when the Tour de France starts, and with it my annual KAL. This year’s shawl is Echinacea. It’s time for a few pictures and more details about the pattern.

Echinacea by Natalie Servant

The blue sample is a medium sized 3 section version in heavy lace weight (~600yd/100g). I used Valley Yarns 2/10 Merino/Tencel Colrain Lace.

Echinacea by Natalie Servant

The purple & pink sample is a small sized 2 section version in fingering weight (~400yd/100g). I used almost a full skein of Madelinetosh Eyre Light in Flashdance, and about half a skein of Persian Rose.

What will you need?

Echinacea - yarn guidelines

Here are some simple outlines show you the basic shapes of the 2, 3, and 4 section shawls. Each section is a truncated triangle and each shawl is worked from the top down:

Echinacea - 2 sections



So that’s the shape side of things. Next up is size. The shawl begins with 1) a stockinette section punctuated by lace, followed by 2) a lace section with diamonds.

For the small size, each chart is worked once.

For the medium size, section 2’s repeat is worked twice.

For the large size, both section 1 and section 2’s repeats are worked twice.

Finally, there’s yarn choice. I’ve done the estimation for 3 different weights of yarn. I’ve also listed approximate stitch counts of each size, so if you do the swatch that’s part of the pattern right now, you’ll have an even better idea of how much of *your* yarn it’ll take.

TdF KAL Prizes

The Tour de France KAL will be run in my Ravelry group, and as usual there are prizes for everyone: participants, finishers, people who have issues, and people who don’t have time to participate but want to hang out. Prizes will be chosen in the following order, and I’ll post tomorrow with the full list of prizes.

Prize Selection Order:

1. Maillot Jaune: Yellow Jersey – Finished object from this thread with the most (love).
2. Maillot Vert: Green Jersey – random draw from first 5 finishers in this thread.
3. Maillot à Pois Rouges – Polka Dot Jersey: The mountain prize will go to the person whose tale of woe in this thread has the most (love).
4. Maillot Blanc – White Jersey: This prize for rookies will be drawn from among the list of finishers who tag their project with the “white-jersey”. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you belong in this category.
5. Finishers: A draw will be done among all finishers who haven’t already won a prize. Just post your FO in this thread.
6. Lanterne Rouge: Started but didn’t finish? You’ll be eligible for a draw for this prize, provided you’ve got a picture of your progress on your project page.
7. Past Glory: You wanted to do one of my previous TdF KAL patterns instead? Go ahead. Post your finished object in this thread to be eligible.
8. Red Devil (Spectators): We don’t all have the time and space to compete in the Tour. Follow along and cheer on the competitors. Random draw from among members of my Ravelry group and my mailing list. The inspiration comes from Didi Senft, a notorious spectator, bike-builder, and cycling fanatic. Here’s a great short video of Didi.

So now that the shawl design is a little clearer, what tempts you? I love the contrast of the border on my 2 section sample, but I love the drape of the 3 section sample. Perhaps I need to knit another!

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Tour de France KAL 2017: Echinacea and prizes

July is less than 2 weeks away, and I’m afraid I’ve been running a little later than usual on my annual Tour de France Knit Along (TdFKAL) preparation, but I’m close! The pattern has been edited. Two samples have been knit. Proper pictures are happening on Tuesday. Here’s a little preview of Echinacea:

Echinacea by Natalie Servant

It’s the floral border that gives the shawl its name. It reminds me of the drooping shape of Echinacea flowers.

Echinacea border

This sample is the medium 3-section version knit in Colrain Lace from Valley Yarns – a heavy laceweight yarn, around 600 yds/100g. Echinacea can be knit in 2, 3 or 4 sections and in small, medium, or large sizes.

The pattern is available for pre-purchase now ($5 USD until the end of the TdF, then $7). Right now it only includes swatching information as well as yardage estimates. This should give you plenty of time to prepare for the Tour de France KAL if you want to swatch and get a good estimate of yarn usage. Consider it your training. The full pattern will go up on July 1st! The KAL is run out of my Ravelry group, so head on over there for prize info, rules, chat & more.

Echinacea is inspired by Chantilly Lace. The characteristics of Chantilly Lace that I felt were important to include are:

  • a hexagonal lace background with more solid designs in the mesh
  • an undulating border with a special design
  • an eyelash edging

As always, I’ve been through the stash and come up with some delightful prizes for participants and spectators of this KAL:

Tour de France KAL prizes 2017

I’ll explain the prize categories & detail the yarny goodness of these prizes later on this week, but it’s too pretty not to show you now!

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Brooklyn Tweed’s Wool People 11 came out today, and I’ve got a cowl/stole pattern included: Prism.

I’ve been working on reversible lace patterns for a few years, exploring different ideas. I love making something that you can’t put on the wrong way. When the call for designs came out for Brooklyn Tweed’s Wool People 11, it looked like it was right up my alley:

  • laceweight wool yarn
  • simple or complex designs
  • traditional lace motifs not required
  • plenty of geometrical inspiration photos

I dropped what I was working on and came up with a swatch. Then I looked at it critically and realized it wasn’t right: close, but not quite right. I futzed around on the computer, changing my chart. I made multiple options and solicited opinions from all of my family members. What ended up coming off the needles was much better than the first attempt:

Prism swatch

Confession: I unraveled the top edge of this swatch and I’m still working on my own Prism. I do have a gold yarn obsession!

What this swatch turned into was a long stole using 3 skeins of Vale in Hammock:

Prism by Natalie Servant for Wool People 11, photo by Jared Flood / Brooklyn Tweed

(photo (c) Jared Flood / Brooklyn Tweed)

The cowl version used 2 skeins of Vale in Sashiko and is seamed in a garter stitch section:

Prism by Natalie Servant for Wool People 11, photo by Jared Flood / Brooklyn Tweed

(photo (c) Jared Flood / Brooklyn Tweed)

This is just one of the 12 beautiful designs in Wool People 11. There are some gorgeous sweaters and tempting accessories. I’m delighted to be a part of it. What are you tempted to knit?

Keep an eye on the Brooklyn Tweed social media feeds & Ravelry group for more details, but they’re planning a Vale KAL during July. I’m also running my annual Tour de France KAL in July. There’s also a wide-open TdF KAL on Ravelry. Oh, and there’s a Canadian KAL running until September if you want to knit something that qualifies for lots of KALs!

My medium-sized 3-sectioned Tour de France shawl sample in a slightly heavier yarn is just off the needles, but I’ll be doing major math this week to figure out how much yarn you might need. If you’re thinking of getting Vale from Brooklyn Tweed or from a local stockist and you’re worried about getting the yarn in time, get in touch and I’ll try to help you figure out yarn requirements. Stay tuned in the next week or so for previews!

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Doors Open Ottawa 2017

This past weekend I went out to a couple of the Doors Open Ottawa venues with my daughter and got my architectural fix.

First off we went to St. Matthew’s Church in the Glebe. This church has been on my list in the past, and finally I took the opportunity to go. It was designed by Cecil Burgess and built in the late 1920s. Since Burgess tended to include Art Deco details in his buildings, I was intrigued.

Here’s the view as we approached from the back:

St. Matthew's, Ottawa

I think it does have a bit of an Art Deco feel:

St. Matthew's, Ottawa

My favourite detail was a grille:


Our next stop was Lemieux Island to visit the water treatment plant. I visited this building a few years ago, but I love the details so much I went back for another view. The brickwork is fantastic:


Lemieux Island

Lemieux IslandThe metalwork above the doorway is gorgeous:Doorway detailOh look! Another grille! Yes, I’ve got a grille problem.Grille - Lemieux IslandI also love this chandelier:Chandelier - Lemieux Island


Finally, my daughter decided that we needed to go to the beach on the way home.

Britannia Beach

Just choosing a couple of buildings to visit was the right way to go this year. We’ll have to go back to the beach when the weather warms up a little.





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Daisies – what my friends did with them

When I was knitting my Daisy Hat and Daisy Mittens I had quite a few people volunteer to test knit for me. It’s always fun for me to see what other people do with the pattern, and with this one I find that the colour possibilities intriguing!

I started out with typical daisies for my mittens:

Daisy Mittens by Natalie Servant

Then when it came to the hat, I had this lovely golden yarn & the flowers are more like black-eyed Susans.

Daisy Hat by Natalie Servant

Francine wanted to make mittens, and hers are poppy mittens:


Nicole’s making red-on-red mittens:


Michelle did not like the idea of duplicate stitching the flower middles, so she went with beads:

Michelle's Daisy Hat

Michelle's Hat - beads

Anja made a reversible double knit hat with colour-changing yarn:

Double Knit Daisy Hat Double Knit Daisy Hat

Karin made a hat with vibrant colours that I wouldn’t have thought of putting together, but it works wonderfully. I guess that’s not a real surprise when you look at the Pretty String she’s been making!

Karin's Daisy Hat

There are other daisy variations on the go. On my end watching them get completed is like planting seeds without knowing what they are and waiting to see what grows!

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Hockey knitting

My husband and I have long been Ottawa Senators fans. Sometimes we’ve had full season ticket, sometimes we’ve had smaller packages of games, and sometimes we haven’t gone much (especially as the kids have been getting older). I’m not even sure that I’ve been to more than one game this season.

One thing that is constant about hockey is that if I’m at home watching the game, I’m knitting. At the moment with the Stanley Cup playoffs going on and the Sens still in the mix it’s been so tense that at times I’ve had to stop knitting and basically hold my breath for the last few minutes of the game.

In Round 1, I was knitting my Daisy Hat. It was just the thing that I happened to be working on at the time. It wasn’t too bad as hockey knitting. I could look up & down as needed, pausing occasionally.

Daisy Hat by Natalie Servant

In Round 2, I was knitting a Herbert Niebling doily. This was certainly not ideal hockey knitting, but I’d started it at one of my son’s swimming lessons and I wanted to finish it up. It was a learning exercise and I’ve long wanted to knit one of his patterns. It was fun and my new crochet skills paid off for the finishing:

Herbert Niebling doily

During Round 2 there were some tweets and some reaction to a woman knitting during the Pittsburgh Penguins games – at times right behind the bench. You could see from the video that @PensKnittngLady chooses her knitting more carefully than I do. She was cranking away on the knitting and keeping her eyes glued to the game. Now in Round 3, my beloved Senators are facing her Penguins, and once again I’m finding it hard to just sit in my seat.

Yesterday I came up with a plan for a small project that would use some lovely stash yarn. I’m finally breaking into my Kate Davies Designs Buachaille yarn for a pair of Gimmers. This fabulous sheepy pattern is just one of the 7 variations in Ann Kingstone’s lovely Tup Knits. If you aren’t already aware of Ann Kingstone’s work, go and have a look. I’ve been a fan for quite some time and William is one of my absolute favourites.

I wound the yarn by hand during the game, then ran all over the house in a break looking for the right dpns to get started. I tried a couple of sizes to get the gauge on the colourwork right:

Swatch for Gimmers by Ann Kingstone

I promptly ripped it all out to do the *real* knitting. I got the ribbing done during last night’s game and started that colourwork. If I am lucky enough to get seats to a playoff game I’ll have to leave this project at home in favour of some stockinette or garter stitch. For at home, this project is perfect to work on. The series is tied at 2 games each, so I’ve got at least 3 more games to knit through.

I’ve had to pack my Gimmers away in a beautiful project bag for hockey knitting only so that I knit on what I *should* be doing. I’m working on a series of swatches that will lead to my 8th annual Tour de France KAL. My inspiration this year is Chantilly Lace, and right now I’m working on getting the shawl border to look more like the picture in my head. I look forward to sharing sneak peaks of that in June!

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