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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-


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.


Spring Knitting




Spring has definitely arrived. The streets are billowing with cherry blossom and the garden is returning to life. Everything looks new and fresh. The young leaves are the lightest, brightest shades of lime green and chartreuse. The sun is shining and all is well with the world. The sunshine has done wonders for my energy levels. I can almost feel myself waking up, just like the leaves and the flowers. The other day I saw this Robin Williams quote on Pinterest: “Spring is nature’s way of saying: let’s party!” It summons exactly how I feel about this season. There is no place I’d rather be in the springtime then right here.

I am also knitting with a renewed energy and have no less than three sweaters on my needles:

  • Hélène: a lovely and airy design by Veronik Avery, which I have all but finished. The only things left to do are seaming the front and the back piece together and then finishing the neckband. I may well have to block it ‘à mort’ as I fear it has turned out a wee bit shorter than I hoped for. We’ll see.
  • Wolf River: not exactly a spring sweater, but I couldn’t help myself, had to cast it on.
  • Liv Light: as soon as I saw NapaGal’s version, I knew I’d better frog my Keel and cast-on this lovely spring cardigan. The design is straightforward and the lines are clean. It is flying off my needles and I’m really happy with how it’s shaping up.

For all three sweaters I am using yarn that I had in my stash or recovered from another project, so I’m feeling quite virtuous.

I wish you all a very happy weekend, hopefully with some sunshine to enjoy! Me, I’m going back to the garden and my knitting.


Birthday Tinder


DSC01815DSC01795DSC01812DSC01814DSC01779DSC01764DSC01761DSC01759The birthday girl came over this weekend to pick up her Tinder cardigan. I’m so happy that she loves her present. With its classic fit, knuckle-length sleeves and stand-up collar, it is pretty much the ideal autumn cardigan.

I love Brooklyn Tweed designs, contemporary classics with a twist. Their patterns are well written, with clear instructions and great attention to detail. Including for the finishing and the sewing of the garment, which I truly enjoyed as everything came just beautifully together.

I may very soon be knitting another one, for my mum. Being the only knitter in the family does keep me rather busy. We all learned to knit as young children, but I seem to be the only one to have stuck with it. Time to encourage them to pick up the needles again, me think.

The weather was lovely, so we had champagne in the garden, followed by a poulet au vinaigre prepared by my other sister. My favourite kind of food, simple but absolutely delicious.

The garden is beautiful this time of year, with autumn  just around the corner. The leaves are starting to turn and the light is wonderfully golden. Blessed days.


La Vie en Rose



Autumn is announcing itself earlier than expected, or wanted, this year. There’s a chilliness in the air that I would eagerly welcome early October, but not now. Now I feel cheated out of summer. We may still get a few hours of sunshine here and there, but there’s also far too much rain, even for this wet country.

So, I’m not as displeased with my choice of yarn for my Banana Leaf Shawl as I originally was. The Drops Kid-Silk is squishy and soft, feather light yet warm. But it was the colour that clinched the deal when I was browsing for yarn for this project. I fell head over heels for this lovely shade of pink with its hue of lilac. A colour that brings to mind cottage roses and hydrangeas of which we still have plenty in the garden.

With 155 projects and counting, the Banana Leaf Shawl, a design by Yuki Ueda, is proving popular on Ravelry. Quite a few other knitters seem to have gone for pink. The knit itself is relaxing and mindless, but with enough of a rhythm to keep it entertaining. And judging by the weather forecast, I’ll be able to wear it as soon as it comes of the needles.

Have a good week! Hope it is drier in your part of the world.



The Ursula Cardigan

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Things are getting back to normal here. The quotes from the roofers are in and have been sent to the insurers. Fingers crossed for a speedy and positive response. Miss Lilly has gotten used to the billowing sheets of plastic covering big parts of the roof. When the wind comes up, it feels, and sounds, as if the whole house will sail away.

The garden has been restored to some sense of order and tranquility. I have been spending quite a few hours there these past few days, happily knitting away at my Ursula Cardigan. Not exactly the most seasonal of projects, but such a pleasurable one. I’ve had my eye on this design for some time, especially after seeing this beauty as well as this one which inspired my colour choice and made me go for a dark background. I’m knitting my cardigan in the Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Jumper Weight the pattern calls for, and boy, do they have colours to choose from. I finally decided on a dark navy (36) for the main colour and a gorgeous green (FC24), a pale grey (27) and a natural off-white (202) for the motive. Colours I’m perfectly happy with, but as it is near impossible to judge a colour on a computer screen,  I went ahead and also ordered their colour charts.

The Ursula cardigan is another pattern from Kate Davies’ book  Colours of Shetland. It’s easy to follow and the floral motive, inspired by writer and naturalist Ursula Venables,  is easy to remember. In a way it is easier than my fair isle vest as fewer colours are used. I’m nearly done with the body and getting ready to cut the steeks, using the excellent tutorial Kate Davies has on her website, and then start on the sleeves. The project bag is also from Kate Davies’ web shop and features a series of her jumper designs, including the Ursula cardigan, drawn by the artist Felicity Ford.

I am currently seriously enamoured with all things Shetland – and all knitting stranded – and enjoying this project so much that I’m hoping one of my sisters or my mother will ask me to knit one for them. If not, I’ll simply have to knit another one for myself  in lighter tones.



Some Good and Some Bad News



First, the good news: I finished my fair isle vest! Apart from whipstitching down the steek edges that is. I feel quite heroic having finished my first steeked garment. True, with some help and encouragement from the talented Mary Jane Mucklestone who’s Craftsy class THE FAIR ISLE VEST: Stranded and Steeked I took and which I, as I mentionnend earlier, highly recommend to those of you who are as daunted by the idea of steeking as I was.

I stuck with Mary Jane’s colour scheme and recommended yarn. Why want to change something that is just right? The colours are gorgeous and the Jamieson Double Knitting wool a pleasure to knit with. Wet-blocked, the vest bloomed beautifully.

And last but not least, the vest fits. If it hadn’t I would probably have framed it, so pleased am I with it.  My row gauge was way off but that was easily remediated by the extra repeat of the second OXO motive. That should teach me to swatch.

As to the bad news, and it is bad: Sunday night, a thunder and hail storm of biblical proportions passed over our region, leaving devastation and despair in its wake. We have suffered quite some damage, the worst being to our roof which has been badly hit and looks as if it has been under heavy artillery fire. The garden is a sorry sight, the lawn covered ankle deep in broken branches and leaves. I’m not posting any pictures; they are too depressing. Luckily all the trees are all still standing. And off course this had to happen a week when I am on my own, Finagle’s law, right. So I’ve spent the last few days trying to sort things out, on the phone with the insurers and the roofer. Not obvious as hundreds of houses have suffered a similar faith. Two things have kept me calm: music (a healthy dose of Mozart) and knitting. I felt too agitated to read, but knitting a few rows when I had the opportunity did help to remain zen. As well as remembering that all things material can either be fixed or replaced. Even if it may take some effort.