Today, despite being desperate to be out and about in my favourite sort of crisp, bright winter weather I am huddled up sniffling and snuffling, shivering one minute and hot and bothered the next. Neither use nor ornament as my mum would have said. Mind you, life doesn't seem too bad when you are nursing a mug of hot fruit punch and wrapped up in one of your favourite pieces of knitting.
I made this blanket at least six years ago after my very first trip to Australia. I wanted to bring back something special that would remind me of the place and the wonderful journey that I had been on. My friend took me to a fabulous independent yarn seller called the Jolly Jumbuk where I bought several hanks of the most beautiful aran weight natural light brown yarn. When I got home I thought about what I should make with it, deciding against a jumper as I wanted something that I could have around the house to remind me of my visit so I decided on this shawl design by Alice Starmore. I had the kit but hadn't made it up yet so thought I would use this yarn instead. I loved knitting the complex cable motifs which gave a real balance between simple, rhythmic knitting and parts which required more concentration. This was before the days when I knew about circular needles and spit splicing so I worked away on long metal needles and wove in ends as best I knew how.
The fabric produced is dense and lustrous. Now I'm a spinner and am interested in such things I wish I had found out what the fibre is as I don't think it's merino. Also, if I knew what I know now I might have gone up a needle size to create a more fluid fabric but when I'm feeling sorry for myself I can wrap up in it and think about the warmth that it reminds me of and that it gives me now. It makes me think of the journeys I have been on both as a traveller and as a knitter.
Still, being under temporary house arrest does mean that I have been able to catch up on my knitting and of course a poorly girl is allowed to indulge herself with new and interesting projects isn't she? The first is a long glove from Veronik Avery's Knitting Classic Style. I have been a member of the Rockin' Sock Club this year and to my shame have only been moved to knit one pair of socks of the six kits I was sent. It's lovely yarn but somehow the patterns didn't quite appeal. This yarn is called Lenore from their Raven series which are all deep, deep colours based on the shades of a raven's wing. I decided that this yarn would look great as a pair of really gothic opera gloves and so far they are knitting up quite well. Ask me again now I am about to tackle the fingers... Think I'll go for a lie down...
I've also got another couple of projects on the go which are at the swatch stage. The above is Yarn Yard merino in Horseshoe Lace from Barbara Walker, which I am pleased with so far - it has a very architectural feel to it which contrasts well with the softness of the yarn.
I'll step away from the keyboard now - wouldn't want you catching anything.