We Are Family

The past few days have seen my lovely wife and I take a road trip to Kent. Although it had been 8 months since I had seen my mum, it was 9 months for her and 17 since I’d been there! It was glorious weather and we made the most of it, taking a walk to the sea front. Fortunately my sister-in-law (the tall one!) knows the town so well she was able to help us avoid the crowds for most of our walk.

Packing to go away as a knitter has two elements. First of all there are the things that everyone needs to take; clothes, toiletries etc. Then there is the matter of which knitting projects to take. Always in the plural as you want to have choice. I took five. And yes, I did work on all of them!

First of all there was the Nordic Tea Cosy by Zoe Carter (@pinsandneedlesuk). The pattern was part of the Nordic themed Knit-Tea Retreat that I attended via the wonders of the internet in February. I had done quite a bit of this already, so it didn’t take long to finish and steek. Now it just needs to be blocked. The Cartref Yarn is so good – I’d never used it before and I did treat myself to a couple of other colours so there is more to come with this yarn. I love how at this angle the pattern looks a little like a grumpy alien!

A stranded tea-cosy in teal, dark blue and natural cream is held up with my thumb emerging from the stetted hole for the teapot handle. The angle of the Nordic stranded knitting pattern gives the impression of a grumpy face.

Then there was the obligatory sock knitting – excellent for car journeys as, with a ‘vanilla’ sock like this one, after the ribbing you get a big chunk where you are just knitting every round with nothing more taxing to pay attention to than keeping track of how many rounds you’ve done. This was another yarn I bought during the Knit-Tea Retreat – RiverKnits Nene 4-ply in “Starry Night” and the yarn is really living up to its name. I didn’t get a whole lot done of this sock as this is for said lovely wife and she does prefer her socks knit to a tight gauge. These are on 2mm needles. The section you can see here contains more than 4000 stitches!

The beginnings of a multi-coloured plain knit sock with a deep ribbed cuff in blues, silvers and flecks of yellow lies next to the hand wound ball of yarn. They lie on top of a garter stitch shawl and its lace edging. There are 20 rounds of ribbing and 30 rounds of plain knitting, with 80 stitches on the 2mm needles.

I did a couple more ‘hexiflats’ using up old ends of 4-ply. I think the blue is CoopKnits Socks Yeah! and the green is Alice Starmore‘s Hebridean 2-ply.

Two hexiflats lie on a garter stitch shawl. The left one is dark green with pink yarn finishing the last few rounds and it is overlapped by a blue one on the right. Circular sock needles are lying on the blue 'hexiflat'.

The border for my new shawl design in Llama Lace from Knitting Fever is coming on well and the corner has been rounded which is always a good point to get to. The first seven repeats have stayed flat since being blocked (and rolled up and rammed in a project bag), so I have high expectations for how the whole shawl will look once completed.

A copper garter stitch shawl is laid out on a pale carpet. The silver-blue deep lace edging is half completed. Other knitting projects sit on the garter stitch.

The final project I was working on I can’t show you as it is the next MKAL with Yarn O’clock. Believe me, though, it uses some truly great yarn and will be lots of fun to knit.

A tiny bit of pale multi-coloured knitting peeps out of a denim project bag.

My family (both my mum and my family-by-marriage) really support my knitting and I value the fact they don’t mind me knitting away while I’m with them. I’m lucky that they understand knitters can hold conversations and be just as much a part of what’s going on even when we have needles in our hands.

It’s been so good to reconnect with people recently. The English ‘Rule of 6’ for being indoors was a particular bonus as that hasn’t come into force yet in Wales.

Now that we are back home we’ve started tackling the garden in earnest and have begun the annual battle with the ground elder. I’m hoping the weather holds so we can get our garden looking as neat as my in-laws’.

What are you up to this week? Whatever it is, stay safe and keep knitting or doing whatever makes you happy. Kx

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