Well hello there little knitting blog. A little dusty in the corners, and could perhaps do with a repaint and a spruce up, but you’re looking surprisingly fresh considering I’ve neglected you for six years*. Six years! Blogging stopped due to life getting busy, while knitting continued but at a slower pace. And, I suppose, Ravelry happened and fulfilled that need for cataloguing projects and yarns and the like. Ravelry has probably revolutionised the online knitting world, and it is marvellous and irreplaceable, but it’s not the same as blogging. Not quite. Lots else has changed online in six years: blogging is the norm rather than something unusual and there are umpteen social media channels through which you can feast on yarn and knit-related goodness (once you’ve waded through the endless dross). Also right now I’m typing this on an iPad connected to the Internet via being tethered to my smartphone’s wifi hotspot. I doubt I would have understood a word of that sentence in 2010 (and the concept, once someone had explained it to me, would have blown my mind!).
Outside the Internet (imagine) in those six years I’ve got a cat, got married, bought and sold a flat, moved into a house we adore which is a permanent work-in-progress, changed jobs twice, yada yada yada… the usual kind of life things that happen over six years. Our last house move though, in May 2015, is significant to this blog because when we were searching for somewhere (and we did a LOT of searching) my husband G found a likely looking property (spoiler: we didn’t buy it but we did buy the one over the road instead) in a new neck of the woods that we’d not considered before. When I was stalking the neighbourhood on Google street view I found something and had to stop and double check I was actually awake. Who’d have thought it. A yarn shop. At the end of the road.
Now, I’m not saying that’s the only reason we moved here. But I can’t help wondering if a little bit of fate was involved. Certainly that yarn shop has been nothing but a joy since we moved in (for me – G is pleased enough on my behalf and doesn’t even grumble every time I come home with something new, but I don’t know if he’s joyous about it) and has provided me with local friends, access to patterns and events and yarns I didn’t even know existed, and a reinvigorated deep love of knitting. Plus autumn has arrived which means it’s classic knitting season and I am resisting the urge to cast on for All The Things. As a result I have SO MANY knitting-related thoughts inside me and stories to share that starting up this blog again felt like the only logical solution. I suspect I am down to a readership of, well, possibly zero, and we’ll see if life interferes with blogging again, but right now I’m just mad-keen to dive in once more.
Where to start? Well! A good question indeed. Latest projects? FOs? (Is it cheating to show some finished things from the last few years?) Yarn events? My experience of the Great London Yarn Crawl? Hopefully all of these things and more over the next few weeks and months. Right now, here are a few patterns which has recently caught my eye and made it into my Ravelry queue. Not a coincidence that these all have a certain autumnal or wintery hue.
1. Inglis mitts, by Ysolda Teague.
© Ysolda Teague
I can’t *wait* to knit these. I’ve bought the pattern already and am pretty sure I’m going to use a bright vibrant purple-blue skein of John Arbon’s Knit by Numbers DK that I bought at this year’s Fibre East (it’s a little heavier than the yarn called for, but I’ve seen someone else’s on Rav and it looks great). These mitts are right up my street: cables, cosiness, elbow-length, fingers free for whatever’s needed but with a cuff to flip up if it gets just too cold. Ysolda has been one of my favourite designers since I first started knitting (my Vivian hoody is still a winter favourite, and the various Elijahs I’ve knit never fail to make me smile ridiculously).
2. Owl Obsession blanket, by Marken of the Hat and I.
© The Hat & I
Look at this though. LOOK AT IT. This is ludicrously cute. Oh yes, one of the many new things I’ve done as a result of my local yarn shop is to learn to crochet properly. Not sure if this blanket’s a step too far for a crochet newbie, but it is a stunner. One day, *eyes longingly*.
3. Petit Four Pullover, by Heather Zopetti.
© Interweave Press
Now, I’m not going to lie, I’ve had a stab at starting this once before. But the yarns I chose weren’t working out right for the pattern and I couldn’t make that lovely lace blend section look decent at all. It’s remained on the back burner though, waiting for the perfect combination. I still love the fold-down collar, front and back.
4. Sabbatical, by Connie Chang Chinchio.
© Megan Jones
I recently scored a whole bag of classic RYC 4-ply in a dusky rose pink (thank you, LYS) which immediately said Autumn cardigan to me. Specifically a long cardigan rather than a waist-length one. Something swingy, which doesn’t rely on buttons. Something pretty, and interesting. So I went back to my Ravelry queue and re-found this beautiful lace cardigan from Twist 2009. The pattern calls for sport weight yarn but I’m definitely going to give it a swatch and see how it goes. Isn’t it beautiful?
I could go on for ages, but enough for now. Next post: my current WIP, which features interlocking cables, flat knitted pieces (for the first time in an age, for me) and the serendipitous marriage of the perfect yarn and a ten-year-old pattern love affair.
sends blog post out into the ether, keeps fingers crossed
* Update: if you’re reading this on my WordPress site, then you’ll see I’ve actually gone full demolition and rebuild rather than a spruce up for my old Blogger site. Sorry Blogger, but you kept crashing when I tried to upgrade my template…