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I am made for autumn. Summer and I have a fickle relationship, but everything about autumn is perfect to me. Wooly jumpers, scarves, thin first, then thick, socks. The low slanting light, the crisp mornings, the chill in my fingers, those last warm sunny days before the rain and the wind. The moody hues and subdued palette punctuated every now and again by a brilliant orange, scarlet or copper goodbye.

-Alys Fowler-

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Last Days of Summer

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We have really been enjoying these last few days of summer. There has been a special birthday to celebrate, friends visiting and of course plenty of knitting. I’m having great fun making a Shetland lace shawl, Dianna Stevens’ Rose Garden which I purchased at Jamieson’s, together with 6 skeins of their lovely, lovely Ultra yarn in Frosted Grape. This shawl is knitted circularly, from the centre out and is based on Elizabeth Zimmerman’s classic pi shawl. Knitting this kind of lace is intensely satisfying and somehow makes my knitter’s brain very happy. And the shawl will be perfect for when the mornings and nights get colder. Which will be very soon now.

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Looking Forward To

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Life in Squares, starting next Monday on BBC2. A portrait of the Bloomsbury set, done from the perspective of Vanessa Bell and her luminous relation with her sister, Virginia Woolf. I’ll be watching, as much for the set design, which is said to be lavish, as for the story. You can listen to Priya Parmar, author of Vanessa and her Sister, reviewing the series on Front Row here.

Meanwhile, I wish you a weekend full of joy and sunshine! Here rain is predicted, so there will be plenty of knitting.

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The Long Overdue Cardigan

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I’ve taken advantage of the drop in temperatures to start the cardigan I promised my brother for his birthday. Last December. There have been a few false starts and changes of hart, pattern and yarn. But this one feels like it will be the one. Bespoken is a modern classic: a tad more fitted than your average grandad cardigan. The design is by Cassandra Dominick who also writes the knitthehellout blog.

The yarn is L’Echappée Laine’s worsted Shetland. It is lovely, though just a wee bit scratchy. I can only hope it’ll soften once the cardigan has been wet blocked with some Eucalan. It comes in too many gorgeous colours for me not to want to use it again for myself.

Have a wonderful weekend. x

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Rose is a rose is a rose

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With temperatures sizzling – with 36°C we had the hottest 1 July since 1901 – I will have to wait a wee while before I can wear my Rosage.

This is quite possibly my favourite shawl. Ever. Everything about it is perfect: the crescent shape, the rose lace border. A joy to knit. And that yarn! Beautifully blooming shetland from L’Echappée Laine in the most lushious of greens. Can you tell I am happy with it?

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. Stay cool.

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Knitting Update

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There has been preciously little blogging, but all the more knitting. First, I made a Laylow shawl for my sister, to take on her holiday to the Wachau in Austria. Not that she will have much use for it. No chilly winds to ward off, it’s about 30°C over there now. Lucky girl. The Laylow is a design by Shannon Cook and an easy and rewarding knit. Fast too, literally flew of my needles. If you’re looking for a project to knit on holiday, this would be a very good one.

Next is the Liv Light. Another cardigan, I know. But I’m so, so thrilled with this one. It is simply the perfect spring/summer cardigan. The fit is great, the lines are clean and flowing and it’s extremely wearable, as are all Carrie Bostick Hoge’s designs. From time to time, I will let myself be tempted by something more complicated, busier and then end up either frogging it, or not wearing it and giving it away. This one I know will be worn and loved.

I’m also participating in my first ever KAL, organised by Nadia Cretin-Léchenne. She recently released her Rosage pattern, created in collaboration with L’Echappée Laine who make the most gorgeous Shetland yarns. A combination I simply could not resist. Shetland wool is possibly my favourite yarn, light and warm and blooming. I have already ordered some 4 ply Shetland for a looooooong overdue sweater for my brother. I promised to knit him one for his last birthday and will have to hurry to get it finished before his next one.

Happy knitting, everyone!