Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life



I don’t always smile in delight when I have finished a project.  Biophilia is one that has me positively beaming in delight!

IMG_1673 (800x567).jpgMary-Anne Mace well deserves the title of The Lace Eater!  Thank you, Mary-Anne, for a truly inspired design that reflects the sea so well.

The next time we go to the beach, I will take Biophilia and do a proper photo shoot, but for now, I share these images.

If you are interested in the technical details, I used Knitsch 100% merino Sock in Rocky Shore, with the last three or four rows in Fly My Pretties, about 180gm/600m in total (Rocky Shore would equate to three full skeins, with about half a skein in Fly My Pretties).

The two colourways worked together so perfectly – I’m fairly sure the base colour for Fly My Pretties is the same as Rocky Shore.  I used some dark brown beads with a purply undertone (like seaweed) to give contrast but also harmonise with the overall colour design.

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The colours were like the sea to photograph.  In some lights, it’s a beautiful, rich colour like you see in the above photo, and in other lights, it’s more muted like the photos in the collage.  I quite like that.

The darker edging is to help with the watery effect.  I hope it conveys the sense that the shawl has been dipped in water.  The beads being the glistening drops of water.  I probably should have used a lighter colour bead to convey light reflecting off the water, but oh well, I still think this looks OK.

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This shawl would have to be one of the most technically challenging things I have ever knit.  As if lace wasn’t enough, Mary-Anne has added cables, nupps and beads into the mix!  I do not like nupps.  In the end, after struggling heroically with two rows of 7 stitch nupps, I reduced the size to 5 stitches, which was much more manageable and meant less dropped stitches. There is not a huge difference in effect, and it meant a much happier me!

The pattern is very well written, and very easy to follow.  It’s just that for this shawl to look good, it requires a level of precision of execution that had my brain cells almost popping!  I’ll definitely knit another Lace Eater design the next time I need a brain workout!  I’m sure experienced knitters of lace will be giggling at this.  I obviously need to knit more complex lace projects this year.

I haven’t blocked the shawl exactly the same as Mary-Anne’s original.  I didn’t go back and look at the pattern photo again when I was pinning out, but I think it still looks okay.

Thank you again, Mary-Anne, for this amazing contribution to Sustain the Sea.

Author: kiwiyarns

Welcome to my blog where I talk about knitting in New Zealand and the beautiful yarns you can find here.

35 thoughts on “Biophilia

  1. Wow! That is stunning! I’ve looked at videos on Nubbs and I don’t think I would like them either 🙂 However, they do make a beautiful effect. The yarn is absolutely gorgeous and I really like your beads. Great job!

  2. Stunning…..that’s an understatement! Will have to look up Lace Eater…for grins don’t you know!

  3. How gorgeous. I’ll have to look up what nupps are before attempting the same! A beautiful piece of work.

  4. Your shawl is beautiful. I understand your nupp difficulties. It is an amazing combination of techniques which you have obviously mastered very well. I am knitting Lace Eater’s Sentinel at the moment, so the nupps on that are a practise for the Biophilia KAL which is starting very soon and I will be joining in. I like your idea of dropping from 7 to 5 stitches per nupp I might try it on this one.

    • I had to go and have a look at Sentinel. It is gorgeous, just like all Mary-Anne’s patterns! You won’t have any difficulty with nupps once you’re done with that pattern though!

  5. It’s stunning, simply perfect! I actually have some rocky shore – now I know how fantastic it looks, especially with Fly My Pretties. I think it looks like laceweight with that tight twist. You’ve done a fantastic job – and don’t worry about 5 versus 7 St nupps – I would just experiment with the particular yarn to decide how many loops.
    A question, did you alternate skeins every 2nd row? Or not worry about pooling.

    • Thank you! I’m very honoured that you like it. 🙂 In terms of the yarn question – the skein I purchased was a double skein – one of Tash’s last dye lots before she went on sabbatical. I just knit it as one ball and didn’t bother with any alternating. The dye job (as you can see) was nice and even, so I didn’t need to worry about pooling.

  6. Wow! Stunningly gorgeous!!

  7. It us magnificent. I have never considered a shawl before now but,,,, I don’t even know what nupps are so suspect I may find them tricky. Still tempted though – maybe when I retire 🙂

    • Shawls are actually very easy to knit. If you haven’t done one before, I’d start with one of the basic shawls, but you’ll be doing the lace before you know it! I replied re the nupps to Vicky above. Essentially, they are stitches made all in one stitch and then knitted together all in one – you can see them above the beads in the edging of the shawl.

  8. Very nice! I have this in my queue and have yarn and beads, what am I waiting for?
    Good job on the nups. They definitely do take getting used to.

  9. This is so pretty, I love your yarn choices and the subtle colour change at the bottom. It’s a beautiful design 🙂

  10. This is fantastically beautiful! What a great project…in the words of Jasmine from the Knitmore Girls, “Your Magnum Opus”

    • It is a wonderful feeling to finish a challenging knit. This won’t be my only “Magnum Opus” though. There are many more lovely, complex patterns I have plans to knit!

  11. That did turn out beautifully watery. Love it!

  12. Can someone advise Sylvia and me what nupps are please?! Knitters really do have their own coded language!

  13. Wow – there aren’t even words to say how beautiful that is. You should be totally proud of yourself. Stunning work.

  14. Ooh, I’m so impressed!

  15. Loved this when I saw it on Instagram 🙂

  16. Beautiful shawl! I love the darker color on the edges and the beads. I’m starting my first shawl/scarf with a much simpler pattern than yours. You’re very inspiring!