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Happy 2015

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A happy new year, my friends! May 2015 be a good one.

Yesterday we celebrated Three King’s Day. The Christmas decorations came down and the tree was moved to the garden, where it will be planted. I have been enjoying these last, slow days of the holiday season with daily fires in the fire place, the last of the baked goods and some relaxing, not to say boring, knitting. The sweater is to be a gift for my brother who requested the plainest of sweaters. No cables, no stripes, no colourwork. Just row after row of plain stocking stitch.

One of my new year’s resolutions is to visit this space more often and bring some regularity to my blogging. And to use my camera more often.

Thank you for visiting me here and for all of your kind words. I wish you and your families happiness,  good health and time to dream in 2015.

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Instant Knitting Gratification

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I ordered this lovely green 2 Ply Jumper Weight from Jamieson & Smith with no particular project in mind. But as soon as Andrea Rangel’s Maurits was released, a few days after its arrival, I knew instantly what I would be using the yarn for. Ten minutes later, I was casting on.

This is such a pleasurable knit and it is gratifying to watch the colourwork grow. If you haven’t tried stranded knitting before, this would be the perfect project to get started with. As it is basically a long tube, without any shaping whatsoever, it allows you to concentrate wholly on the colourwork. When the desired length is obtained, both ends are grafted together. Et voilà.

The only modification I made was to invert the colours and make the green the dominant colour. On 3.5 mm needles, my gauge is slightly smaller than the pattern suggests, but the cowl should still end up wide enough to be cosy and snug.

Andrea’s design is part of the Brooklyn Tweed Woolpeople 8 collection and as always, there are many lovely designs to choose from. I have been looking for a winter cardigan to knit for myself. Preferably an A-line, to be worn over dresses. I am torn between Cedarwood (by Alicia Plummer) and Keel (Bristol Ivy). Yarn has been ordered for the first one, but I know myself well enough to know that I will more than probably end up knitting both of them.

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A Featherweight Cardigan for Autumn

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This is the Featherweight Cardigan I knit earlier for my middle sister. The pictures were taken a few days back, before November turned dark and wet. The Featherweight Cardigan, which I’ve had on my radar ever since coming across this lovely version, is a design by the talented Hannah Fettig. With over 6,800 projects cast-on, it is one of the most popular cardigans on Ravelry. And with good reason. The design is timeless, the knit relaxing – knitted with 3.5 mm needles, this project made for many an hour of happy, relaxed knitting. The pattern can easily be adapted to suit the wearer or the season. Even more so as it is now also available in Amy Herzog’s CustomFit version, which came out when I was already working on mine. Will have to try it out another time.

I lengthened the sleeves by a few inches and replaced the ribbed collar by an old-shale motif (with multiples of 20) . The collar I knit separately and I attached it using a three needle bind-off.

The yarn is Rowan Fine Tweed, which is light and warm, the colour Askrigg, a lovely deep midnight blue with specks of green and red. I’m quite partial to tweed at the moment. I will also be using a tweed yarn for my next cardigan which I will be knitting for myself. Enfin! But more on that later.

Hope you all have a very good weekend!

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Weekend Reading | Wait for Me!

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I’m reading Deborah Mitford’s memoir Wait for Me!. Together with her eldest sister, the writer Nancy Mitford, she’s my favourite of the Mitford siblings. I’ve had the book for a while but somehow never had gotten around to reading it. And what a joyful read it is! Like her sisters, Deborah is a natural writer and a charming raconteur. Her memoir chronicles her remarkable life: her excentric but happy childhood, her mariage to Andrew Cavendish and their life at Chatsworth. There are warm portraits of her sisters and parents, and she certainly has the knack for telling a good anecdote.

On the knitting front, I’m on a bit of a roll. I’m knitting another one of these, in the process of finishing a Featherweight Cardigan – which you can catch a glimpse of in the pictures above – and, I’ve started on the second of another pair of Ecclefechan Mitts. But more on these later! Anyway, enough reading and knitting to keep me happy and entertained this weekend.

Wish you all a very good weekend!

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Birthday Tinder

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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.

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Dreaming of Shetland

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DSC01798DSC01732DSC01808I would love to travel to Shetland for Woolweek but as things stand have to console myself knitting a Shwook hat.

The Shwook hat is a design by the amazing Hazel Tindall, patron of this year’s Woolweek, and a free pattern on Ravelry. Hazel is an expert on fair isle knitting, as well as the world’s fastest knitter, with 255 stitches in 3 minutes. Click here to see her in action. She has recently made a dvd on fair isle knitting which is to be released soon.

Apart from being a fun knit, the Shwook hat is a great project to use up spare quantities of yarn left from other projects. I used Jamieson & Smith 2ply Jumper Weight left over from the colourwork in (not yet finished) Ursula cardigan and my Sixareen capelet. It was such a pleasurable knit that I immediately cast on another one. There is a Shwook KAL on Ravelry sponsored by Jamieson & Smith. Check it out.

Scotland has been very much on my mind over the past few days, so I thought I’d thought I’d finish this post with this lovely traditional Scottish tune. Enjoy and have a good week!

 

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La Vie en Rose

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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.