The Heart of Love

Calon Cariad is Welsh for ‘the heart of love’.

This Friday is the Show & Tell Zoom for our Calon Cariad Knit-along! It seems to have come around really quickly, even though I moved this final event back a week. There are prizes for contributions on social media and anyone who has completed their shawl gets the chance of winning a fabulous book of shawls; Nordic Shawls by Karen Skriver Lauger. If you click on the photo, you get taken to yesterday’s social media post which has more info.

Yesterday, for the first time in I don’t know how long, I went to a friend’s house for lunch. It seems like such a small thing but, apart from eating at my Mum’s house and my in-laws’, I don’t think I’ve had a meal at someone else’s house since the start of the pandemic. It was lovely! Homemade carrot and spinach soup with sourdough bread and a homemade vegan pear and date crumble.

Another thing that happened yesterday was that I took delivery of a VERY large Kaffe Fassett blanket that needed to have the centre seamed with the four pieces of the border. This was not knitted by me, but by a lovely chap whose hand-knitted, but *literally* moth-eaten, jumpers I rescued a few years ago. I’ve already seamed the four edge pieces together and now just need to insert the middle. That’s about six metres of mattress stitch, possibly more. We couldn’t lay it out flat on my lounge floor as it is just too big, so I may end up spreading it on the bed to line up the edges and secure them with lockable stitch markers before bundling it back up again and just having the area I’m working on over my knees. I’ll get a photograph of it somehow once it’s all sewn together and share it with you all as long as Chris (the knitter and owner of the blanket) doesn’t mind.

There has been some progress on my Gridlock Mitts by Karen Butler. I’ve nearly finished the second one!! Some knitting was done at the dentist last Friday and some this morning. I got a temporary filling at the dentist – my first instinct had been correct and pretty much the entire filling had come out. That led to discovery of another tooth with fractures through it and X-rays which showed a few other things. So, a permanent filling and fixing of the fractures is scheduled for the next available appointment – in May! This seems to be a recurrent theme at present – one thing gets investigated and something else gets picked up along the way. Hurrah for the NHS!

Spring is definitely making its presence felt this week – the bumble bees are giant and the spring flowers are really getting going. I’m even typing this outside in the garden. We planted some red cowslips last year that I’d completely forgotten about until this week when I saw them in flower again. Aren’t they fab?

Do you remember the colour repeats I was trying out with coloured pencils in my journal last week? I thought I had chosen exactly the right one, but 32 rows in I had to admit that it just wasn’t working for me. That meant pulling out (frogging) 24 rows and picking the stitches back up, then returning to my original plan, which (guess what?) actually works. That doesn’t sound too bad does it? 24 rows. Now, think about the fact that each of those rows has 673 stitches in it. Can you see why I stayed in denial for so long, before I admitted I wasn’t happy with how the design was looking?

The rows are very long, but there are several good reasons for that. This is a design that has a lot of stitches in one pattern repeat and it creates a zig-zag effect, so those stitches take up far less width than they would on a straight row. Also, being a zig-zag means that you need fewer rows overall to get the height of the finished item AND by working the pattern along the long edge there are fewer colour changes and therefore fewer ends to weave in. So, whilst it might seem like a silly number of stitches, it will be worth it. And I’ve already re-worked four of the rows I had to rip out. It will be a while until I can share this design with you, but I do love it. Which is why I had to get the colour order/depth exactly right.

Sitting here on the patio I’m looking at the veg patch and thinking it really needs hoeing. That will be one of tomorrow’s jobs I think, as I can’t actually plant the veg seed until the forget-me-nots have made room!

Take care, get out in the sunshine if you can and keep knitting. K x

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