A loyal friend commented that he thought I must have got cramp in my hand not to have blogged for such a long time – well, the volume of knitting may well have needed some kneading of the fingers now and again when I was so hard at it!! 🙂
So, let us rewind back to spring… I had made Mael a couple of cardigans, one tiny one and another that seemed enormous once he was born! That was him just today in the larger one, covered in rainbows, from my crystal lamp in the sunshine! This was a pattern from the popular Swiss magazine Schweizer Landliebe made up in merino, but I’ve already forgotten the brand, oops. There’s a cap to go with it, but he wasn’t too keen on modelling for the moment…! The little wrap-around pattern is a real charmer, made up in MadelineTosh Sock’s “Home” colourway and comes from a book out last winter, called Mama-Baby-Strickbuch by Gabriele Widmer-Hanke with lots of supercute patterns in lovely yarns.
In April, another of Ysolda Teague’s “Ishbel” shawls in Malabrigo Sock, I think colourway “Solis”, went to my neighbour for her 60th birthday – I felt a bit guilty that she was so impressed, as the pattern is a great one for a first lace shawl, not difficult at all! The next project was one I have been wearing a LOT since I made it and I am still very much enamoured of it – the adult version of Alana Dakos’ (NeverNotKnitting) Wee Wildflower design. You may remember Mireille getting a small version in purply-greys a while back… Mine is sans pockets but I just love that scalloped edging! This is in MadelineTosh DK, colourway “Filigree” (I think!). Imagine 3 little yellow buttons at the top – I haven’t got a pic with those! My next adventure was an interesting one – I saw a batch of Swiss wool for sale on an internet auction, very close to home. Ten large skeins of plain, natural cream-coloured and quite coarse yarn, worsted weight, which are like string to knit, very hard on the hands, and I have to keep picking bits of straw out of it… I enquired about it’s provenance and my suspicions were confirmed, as it seems it was (expertly and evenly) handspun by an elderly farmer’s wife from local sheep, which are farmed for both their meat and their wool, usually used for more robust purposes like mattress filling rather than knitting wool. Seems ideal for a weatherproof sailing guernsey, but apart from this swatch, I only have half a sweater to show for my pains so far. I’m still conjuring up the will to finish, and only because of the wool being “special”! I will then defy any rain or wind to get through once it’s “bloomed”!
While I was in England for Granny’s 99th birthday in May, I needed a project and Kirsten Kapur’s “Cladonia” seemed to fit the bill, knitted up in beautifully soft and drapy Drops Alpaca. I left it for the model! Another little “Citron” (by Hilary Smith Callis, free pattern at Knitty, Winter 2009), in Malabrigo Lace, colourway Pollen) also fell off the needles at the beginning of June, a slight respite from the second “Henni” that is still ongoing (Christina Körber-Reith) in orange Drops Alpaca and too much plain stocking stitch…! While in Paris, I found the gorgeous little wool shop Lil Weasel (should you be in the beautiful empire (1825) ‘passage du grand cerf’, 12 metre high glass roof, do go…!) and came away with loot… sorry, this was not intended as a shopping post!That blue at the top is Lil Weasel’s own brand merino and became this, again for Mael (he’s doing well this year!)… Oops, well, I don’t seem to have a good photo of this in its finished state, though rest assured it was completed and has been worn! The really special thing about this is that my middle daughter actually knit the front panel, the first knitting she’s done since primary school and a perfect job, too – and how can I not feel triumphant that I now have 2 out of 3 daughters with the knitting bug?! Look, proof… ❤On hearing that a new baby is imminent in the neighbourhood (not family, this time!) I couldn’t resist rustling up a little something for the infant-in-waiting and went back to a well-loved pattern, the Baby Tea Leaves, a MadelineTosh pattern by Melissa LeBarre, turning into a sleeveless garment for speed’s sake, and made up in a merino I bought locally in Brittany, by Spanish brand Katia – and with the leftovers, there was plenty for another Marin, more of Ysolda Teague’s clever construction in an elegant double-sided shawlette Apart from the afore-mentioned works-in-progress (WIPs), there is a special occasion men’s sweater in the works, involving cables, about half done and going swimmingly (that would be the Cozy Shawl-Collared Aran Pullover by Janet Szabo) and then I picked up something I’d begun earlier and finished that – it still needs a bath but I’m rather pleased with its simplicity (Ramona cardigan by Elizabeth Smith, in Malabrigo Worsted, colourway “Blue Surf”), plus it’s supersoft and cuddly! The only problem with hand-dyed yarns is that even within a dye lot there can be variation, so you can see where the yoke transitions to the body/sleeves in this, but it’s subtle and doesn’t worry me, since it’s not uneven.The other project keeping me busy/sane/calm/productive was the Feather and Fan Short Scarf by Kelly Faller – mine is not so short, about 6′ long and made of a random, unlabelled ball of 50% merino/50% silk in a rich turquoise, from the Schoppel stall at the Creativa craft exhibition at the beginning of October – it has a beautiful sheen and is lusciously squishy, but needs blocking
Phew!! Add at least half a dozen pairs of “incidental” socks to that lot and you can see, I’ve been busy! I was going to talk about some books and stuff, too, but I think that will have to wait…