Summer Rain

A blue knitted lace swatch pinned out on a purple foam mat.

The past couple of days have been something else weather-wise and I’ve been hunkered down in the house with the curtains and windows closed. I did walk to the new bakers on Monday morning. I was out of the house for 15 minutes around 9am. By late Monday afternoon, my forearm was hot and red – I could hardly believe I’d been sunburnt at that time in the morning in such a short space of time, but I had!

The wind starting getting up yesterday afternoon, but it was still around 34 Celsius outside and 27 in the house. This morning was a different matter though. There was a lively breeze still and the air was cool and more breathable than it has been for days. And then – it rained! Good steady rain that lasted for over an hour. It might even help our courgettes grow.

All of this is a long way of saying, ‘this week’s blog post is a day late because it was too hot yesterday to think/write’. If you follow me on social media you will have seen my little post giving a heads up on it, along with the rescued roses. The roses were gifted to my lovely wife, but with the heat they had all drooped within less than 24 hours. Mum’s wonderful suggestion was to cut the stems off and float them in a bowl of water. It works beautifully.

Lots of woolly things have been coming to fruition this week (as well as the gooseberries being harvested and the red and blackcurrants being ready to be harvested).

My new online course, Introduction to Lace Knitting, is now live on Craftucation! The course is £40, for which you get lifetime access to the four hours of course videos, downloadable materials, including a pdf of the full video transcripts with still photos and access to the student forums (where you can ask questions of me and other students). There’s lots more information on the course when you click on the link or the image above.

I have finished and cast off the second RiverKnits shawl, the one using the rainbow minis of Nene 4-ply. This yarn is gorgeous; it’s 100% Bluefaced Leicester Wool, the colours are mesmerising and it blocks like a dream! The pattern is all typed up and has gone to the tech editor. So, there should be two new designs coming out in September with RiverKnits yarns! RiverKnits will have a 6-month exclusivity period on them, so you’ll be able to buy the pattern (or kit!) directly from them only to start with. After this initial period I’ll be selling the pattern as well.

I’ve also finished knitting and typing up the pattern that will be launched at the Pop-Up Wool Show in Port Sunlight on August 20th.

It’s an advent calendar of 24 mini socks (12 pairs) made with WYS ColourLab DK, using a mix of their solid and Zandra Rhodes shades and the pattern also includes a bonus Day 25 larger sock pattern – if you’re feeling particularly generous to the recipient! It would also be a great stash busting pattern.

I will have kits in two different colourways as well as the pattern on its own. The mini socks are big enough to hold all sorts of little treats – even those small little skeins of yarn that many dyers or yarn shops create now!

Why sell an advent calendar pattern in August? Well, with 24 little socks to knit before Dec 1st, I need to allow knitters plenty of time to create the calendar so it can be filled! There are 14 weeks between August 20th and December 1st, so you could knit one or two socks per week and you’ll be on schedule. (I knitted six on Monday…!)

There are many ends now to weave in and hanging loops to sew on, but I held off from doing that until they were all complete so I knew how much yarn the pattern needed. Once I’ve got all the ends woven in, the loops attached and the socks hanging on their ribbon, I’ll show you the finished article again in all its glory.

I definitely couldn’t have concentrated long enough yesterday to tell you about all of these things coherently! I hope the weather is bearable where you are. Take care and stay hydrated. K x

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