Yellow Roses

Do you like my roses and carnations? They were a gift from my lovely wife to celebrate the launch of “Of Night and Light” in Knit Now last week. After all the excitement of the magazine release last Thursday, I have been getting on with some new projects and returning to some not so new ones.

My advent sweater is dry so now I have the ends to weave in – approximately 50 of them! I might take a similar approach to the one I used to use for writing school reports; decide when I want it finished by, work out how many I need to do each day and get that day’s ‘portion’ done in the morning while the light is good in the front room. If I take next Wednesday as my deadline, then if I do about 7 each day it will be ready – that doesn’t sound half so intimidating as 50!

When I finished spinning my Merino d’Arles, dyed by Anne Murray, back in March, I knew what pattern I wanted to use it for. My Fiery Dragon Skin Cowl seemed ideal for the colours of the yarn and the fact it is very textural meant that irregularities in the yarn wouldn’t matter so much. It’s coming along really well and I am so pleased with the effect. It’s slightly thicker than the yarn I designed the pattern for originally (Painted Desert by Knitting Fever), but that’s ok. It’ll be a little warmer. This is the first time I’ve used my hand-spun yarn for a knitting project, as opposed to a swatch and it’s so satisfying.

A textural knitted cowl in progress lies on a wooden desk against a closed laptop. It is in shades of blue, green and grey-gold with a tucked slip stitch pattern. The yarn is hand-spun.

Another new project is the embroidery of Mum’s photo – I’ve actually started it! It doesn’t look like much yet and it will take a good while before the picture takes shape, but it has at least begun. The embroidery hoop is helping enormously as is the re-printed chart. The first one had 70 x 100 squares per page (4 pages) and it was just too small to keep track of with 40+ different symbols. Now the chart has 50 x 75 squares per page (9 pages) and I can actually see the symbols without them swimming about. Thumb for scale!

Cream linen fabric with red running stitches to mark the centre lines is held in a wooden embroidery hoop. There is a sprinkling of tiny dark green, brown and grey stitches on the fabric. A thumb is placed on the fabric to highlight how small the stitches are in comparison.

There are a LOT of colours involved too. I love the fact that I can use this box mum finished making recently (after starting it well over 10 years ago) to store them in:

An open dark blue fabric covered box is shown from above with a lot of skeins of embroidery thread propped inside. They are in shades of green, brown, grey and neutrals. The box is octagonal in shape and is leaning against a laptop.

The sweater design I’ve been working on for a while now has completed Back and Front sections, all written up. The sleeves have been charted with all the shaping and I’ve started writing them up. I redid the front of the round neckline with my coloured pens and graph paper and now I’m really happy with how the nine different sizes relate to each other as well as all having a pleasing curve. The really tricky part was working out the most logical way to write it out – that was yesterday’s task and fortunately was a success!

Glancing out of the window I see it is raining. Again. I’m so glad I had a walk before lunch, but it does put me off doing much in the veg patch today. Maybe it’ll be dry again later in the week. One of our tomatoes has ripened – I can see it from here! So, it was worth tying them up to get some sunlight. I think I should probably get them in soon and finish ripening them on the window sill.

Audrey2 (my sourdough starter) is getting all grown up now. I’ve made three good loaves with her (after one dodgy one and some flat-as-pancake rolls) and she’s doubling in size and then some when fed. Not wishing to be caught out with fruit flies again like I was with Audrey I have dried some starter and the shards are now safely in a jam jar should they ever be needed. When I read about drying out sourdough starter and seeing that it would take 2-3 days I thought it must be a typo since any starter left on a spoon or spatula goes rock solid so quickly, but no. It really took 3 days. Hurrah for a silicone rolling mat and pop up food cover that could be moved around as necessary.

Do you remember I said I was going to plan a new workshop last week? Well, it’s done! Great project, loads of skills and if I can complete it in one hour (taking my time and not rushing), then knitters taking the workshop will be able to complete it in two and a half. More details coming soon. It’s also given me a really rather fab idea for a kit to launch next year…!

That’s all from me for today. Stay safe and do what makes you happy, Kx

P.S. Keep your fingers crossed for me on Friday – that’s when I find out about the latest design I submitted!

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