An alpaca and silk “unicorn”with some spring hued pips….

woolly pips of colour

As promised, here are some pictures of the “unicorn” moonraker shawl…I’d actually finished knitting this a couple of weeks ago but we were waiting for some nice weather to go out with the camera…on the whole I’m pretty happy with it, it’s nice and drapey and feels light not too heavy, just the thing for spring really when the temperature can soon cool in the evening.

I used some yarn that I’d bought in the Autumn from my local yarn shop (I loved the colour, a proper egg shell blue) but I don’t think it was such a good choice for this shape of shawl…..I’m not sure if it’s my knitting but both of the Moonraker shawls I’ve had to block quite heavily, and where as the wool yarn shawl was quite happy to put up with a bit of rough treatment and has held it’s post blocking shape perfectly, the alpaca/silk blend seemed a bit more fretful.  I used about a million blocking pins (well 3 packets) and it all looked fine pinned onto the mats, but as soon as the pins were removed the yarn sprung back into itself and left some stretch marks behind.

alpaca and silk moonraker shawl

The bottom edge in this picture shows what I mean…that little up and down pointy edge, it’s not a picot bind off, it’s meant to be a straight line.  It’s not the end of the world I know, but at the same time I know it’s not right and it’s distracting me when I see it…I’m wondering whether I could soak the shawl again and re-block it, and this time thread through some heavy silk thread (used like blocking wires) along the edge and see if that would do the trick….but apart from a wonky rippled edge, that’s my one grumble.

The yarn is very soft and the shawl just falls back off my shoulders, it’s as flopsy as my legs after I’ve had more than a glass of wine.  The row of red and pink “pips” are my favourite…I love how those colours sit so happily together, and when I’ve used up some of the yarn that seems to have bred in my work room, I’d like to try something in those lipstick and face powder shades once I’ve redued my stash some.  (I’ve not been knitting for that long but somehow I seem to have accumulated half a yarn shops worth of brightly hued balls and skeins).

Looking at these two top pictures I did sit a bit open mouthed at how much I look like my younger sister Rachel…where as I’m all dark brown hair (with kempy grey wisps) she’s a fawny blonde with a real peaches and cream complexion but our face shapes are the same, there’s a shared jaw line and mouth…even those straight eyebrows ….we’ve inherited all those from my dad’s mum’s mum…..

unicorn moonraker

Mostly I’ve been influenced in my colour choices for the “pips” by what’s been growing along the verges and in the hedgerows, powdery primrose and pollen yellows, apple blossom soft pinks, new leaf greens….bright red tulips…and then there’s those two  purple rows…in my head they worked really well but after I’d knitted those rows up I had some mis-givings but didn’t listen to my heart and carried on regardless.  I found the aplaca/silk yarn very slippy to catch stitches when I was ripping out and correcting mistakes…the thought of then re-knitting it wasn’t thrilling me so ….I have two purple rows…when the shawl is worn scrunched you don’t notice them so much.

adjusting the shawl not fighting off a bee attack


In case you think I’m shooing away a bee or a wasp…I’m just re-adjusting the shawl but this picture made me laugh so I thought you’d like it too…..

The Moonraker pattern is really easy to follow (and take it from me, if I thought it was hard I’d let you know) I’d certainly recommend it, if you can knit a knit stitch then you can knit a Moonraker.  It’s very soothing to knit as for the most part it’s all worked in garter stitch so I was able to switch off a lot and just relax into the yarn and needles.  And while I did like the yarn, I’ve got a skein and a bit left so will need to use that up for something or other…. I also know I preferred the feel of when I was using sheepy scented yarn, I missed that rustle as the yarn wrapped around my needles and the scent of those natural un-dyed wools.

The shawl was knitted as part of the unkal/kal over at The Caithness Craft Collective Podcast’s Ravelry group….










18 thoughts on “An alpaca and silk “unicorn”with some spring hued pips….

  1. I think both of your Moonrakers are lovely; I bought the pattern after seeing your first one.

    1. Hi Elaine,
      Thank you, that’s great you’ve bought the pattern and I hope you enjoy knitting it. There’s some really stunning ones in the Moonraker projects x

  2. Wow it’s gorgeous Ericka and it looks lovely on you. The colours suit 😃
    I like those pink and red rows too – harmonious hues.
    My own knitting and crochet have taken a back seat and I’m yet to even post a pic – but I shall 😃

    1. Thank you Robyn, thanks nice of you to say so. I do like red and pink together, but then also blue and green…..
      My knitting is going okay but I’ve got bit behind with the housework x

    1. …your dress and cardigan. I am definitely going to have a go at this shawl. In my currently very topsy turvy life, your posts are very comforting, like a cosy warm blanket. Hope that doesn’t sound weird!

      1. Things only stay topsy turvy for a while and then they’ll soon settle back again…glad my blog posts are helping (it was very nice being described as a warm cosy blanket, think Bernard would be of the same opinion)…the dress is the dottie angel pattern, I changed the shoulders and used a casing band at the front rather than darts, fabric was bought cheap in a local fabric shop but when I had to go to hospital last year I discovered it was exactly the same print as on those open backed “modesty” gowns they get you to wear….
        The Moonraker is a really nice and relaxing knit, I also like the look of her Drachenfels.

  3. The Moonraker looks like a wonderful way to use up stash yarn for the pips. I know I will want to do one in the future. I agree that your posts are very “cozy” and I look forward to them. You should be very proud of the shawl as it looks fab!

    1. Thank you Sally, that’s very sweet of you. The pattern really is nice to knit, and is easy enough for bus knitting or just to have in your lap in the garden…the bottom row of purple pips was worked where I had to join two yarns together, it created an interesting shadow effect x

  4. oh, this is very pretty, and you look very pretty wearing it. I actually rather like the rippled edge ! i think you’ve added to it’s good looks.

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