So here in Blighty the nights are drawing in, in fact 20:00 hrs last night found himself watering the plants by torchlight. Helpfully assisted by the Lily hound.
Now I don’t imagine I’m in the minority here in liking sweater weather, woodland / coastal walks and a roaring fire. Quite aside from the knitty element my autoimmune conditions do not like the heat and really make their displeasure known. I am therefore delighted to have finished my autumn version of Ghosthorses which I used Spincycle’s dyed in the wool in Stay Out of the Forest. I love everything about this.
I’ve also almost finished my first memory piece which is Andrea Mowry’s Rose Cardigan. I’ve knitted this in memory of my close friend Jacqui who died in December. She loved roses so it seemed a fitting piece. Throughout the project I remembered the fun and not so fun times we had shared in over thirty years of friendship. She and her husband John were like honorary siblings and I do miss them ( John died suddenly a few months before Jacqui). Regular readers will know this is how Lily came to live with us and now happily rules the Magpie roost. I used yarn from the lovely Bernie Bear ( A Bear in Sheeps Clothing ). The colours used made up the Cognac colourway. I’ve just finished the edging so need to attach and then give it a final block.
Now as usual I’ve far far to many things on the go, let alone those projects I’m waiting to start on. The three that I’m hoping to finish over the next few weeks are The Nili Sweater by Xtinawithwolves. This is knitted in Germantown from Kelbourne Woolens. A totally new yarn for me and a departure from my usual UK fine yarns as it is a US worsted. I’m very impressed so far. I’m only a few rows in but you can see the design developing.
My second project is for Mr Magpie. He said he would like a fine knit merino, not a fussy design to replace a rather lovely one than has a few pesky moth nips now. The So Basic Sweater from Max the Knitter fits the brief perfectly. I’m using a really nice 4 ply from Fyberspates in Bronze and Silver. It must be love as the blooming thing is on 3.5mm pins.
Lastly in this current phase are the Lucky Sunflower Mitts from Charlotte Stone ( Stoneknits). These are great trans – seasonal mitts for autumn and I’m using stash yarn from John Arbon for the mc and contrast in the form of Mad Tosh’s Unicorn Tails.
I do hope you and yours continue to be well in these ever stranger times.
Now as some of you know around the time of my last bout of surgery the collective opinion from my various medical teams ( the majority of whom were also work colleagues & friends so pulled no punches) was that I needed to give up work for good to maximise my health situation. It wasn’t easy but I did so and have now formally retired from the NHS after thirty five years, some fourteen years early.
I am the eternal optimist but was very concerned about filling my time and using my brain. Surgery, finishing work and going straight into Shielded status for Covid has been surreal to say the least. I don’t quite know what I’ve been doing with the time (although I’ve embraced the advice for an afternoon rest and 14:00 finds me and the Lily hound on the sofa, with a blanket and audiobook. These ninety year olds who go off climbing mountains would do well to take a leaf out of my book)!
Now when I say I don’t know what I’ve been doing a glance into the spare room suggests I’ve spent most of this time buying yarn. I shall show you as I start projects or you may think I have a problem 🙈
Now projects. The giant charity blanket was finished and the lovely lady who won the bidding for it was delighted (see title pic for the finished beast). I have to confess I was quite nervous until I heard from her. She also wanted a special date on it but being herringbone it was impossible to incorporate so we decided on a separate knitted panel appliquéd on.
Last time we spoke I was about to cast on the Ingalls Sweater by Caitlin Hunter (Boyland Knitworks) in some fine dk from John Arbon Textiles. Not only did I cast it on I also finished it and adore the slouchy design with it’s dipped back hem.
I still have too many WIP’s and still can’t manage more than around three hours yarny stuff a day but never mind. It is making me think more about each cast on. One such project is one of my memory pieces. Having lost so many friends and family in a short space of time I decided to knit things that would remind me of them individually (as well as the planned Harlequin Blanket that I don’t yet have the dexterity for).
The first of these is the Rose cardigan from Andrea Mowry which will remind me of my friend Jacqui who died in December (Lily’s original owner). This is a lovely cardigan in a fade reminiscent of a rose blooms. Jackie adored her roses so this seemed fitting. It is in a pallet called Cognac dyed in Ireland by the lovely Bernie (Bear In Sheeps Clothing) and I bought it from Tribe Yarns in Richmond (Milli always has a fab selection of goodies so well worth a virtual or when able a physical visit).
Now the gorgeous skein of Quivet I showed you earlier. This was a total indulgence I admit as a form of celebration treat. Regular readers may remember in the past I’ve chatted about a young company called KnitIQ who I first encountered after purchasing some of their brilliant blocking mats. Anyway they dropped me a line asking if I would like to write for their blog occassionally. After establishing it actually was me they had meant to email I jumped at the chance so if you pop across to their site at any time you may come across a post by yours truly. My first one is on their now, all about washing your wool. 🐏 https://knitiq.com/blogs/articles/how-to-wash-wool (In the interest of transparency they do pay me for articles but there are no affiliated links). I just added this in cos I’m a little bit proud 🦚 that they liked my writing and that is why I treated myself to the Quivet so that I remember that lovely things can happen when you least expect them too.
Stay safe everyone and here is to more settled times.
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