Catching up

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So let’s get the formalities out of the way – sorry. I have been away from this little blog for a while. Not a huge ‘I’m giving up’ amount of time, but much longer than I would have liked. The absolute ‘LAW’ of blogging is to be consistent. Blog monthly – weekly – daily if you must, but at the same time, on the same day and with regularity. Yeah… well that ship has sailed. However with all the mea culpa done and dusted – here I am.

Honestly, any absence from this little space is mostly due to busyness in other areas. Work has been…let’s say…busy. Christmas is always a time where preparations and family are a priority. But in the background I have been writing and designing my next book. I am very excited about it and I apologise in advance that I cannot do any show and tell.

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With any large design project there has to be trial and error, mostly error. Some ripping back, starting again. Some walking away from a pile of abandoned yarn. The first few designs flew off hook, my theory was to design the ‘easy’ projects to get my eye in. But like an errant student the later pieces got harder and harder. Any exponent of modern ‘to-do’ list philosophy will tell you to tick of the most difficult projects first and then the rest of your list will become a dream. All well and good – hurrah for you and all that but that’s not how it works is it? Why then would we have so many books on time-keeping and to-do lists?

So like a very pedestrian and cosy suspense movie the clock clicked towards the deadline. Luckily I got all my homework in on time. There are very few people I can celebrate that milestone with. No ‘whoop whoop’ on social media here. My yarn blogging pals are happy to accept a random picture. They are very patient.

I do wonder about what our son will say in years to come…’It was rare to see my mother without yarn and hook in her hand and I do remember that most of my childhood she would thrust a cactus/rabbit/campervan in my face and say…’Look! What do you think? Do you love it?’….it was best to say ‘Yes its wonderful!’ – in the hope she would stop obscuring the telly’. Poor lad.

Almost immediately after finishing the book project list I had an urge to make a auricula. I can’t say why. I love their graphic look and I have a few plants potted up in our garden. It was a bit of design whimsy that just had to be pursued. Then back to the commissions – a rather gorgeous soft blanket which is now being blocked before the final finishing.

But when all the designing and pattern writing is completed – what then? Well I usually have some guilty WIP’s (works in progress). First a glorious fairisle cardigan in 2ply jumper weight – and then another cardigan in a soft aran. Both are for me – one dominates in its pink tones and another in light blue. These are both colours I enjoy wearing in my silver years.

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I have fallen out with both these projects – we are not speaking to each other. Lets talk about the light blue aran first – the top of the sleeves have short row shaping. Using a the German method. If you are a knitter you might know what I am talking about – this is not a natural technique for me and I need to do more research to embed the process in my head. If you NOT a knitter reading this and you are thinking – wow that sounds complex… I’ll skip over that….YES YOU ARE CORRECT! AND YES… THAT’S WHY THE CARDIGAN IS ABANDONED.

We are still not speaking.

I have however picked the first project back up. This is a fairisle project using the glorious Wiola design by Kristin Wiola Odegard. It is so so pretty, but taxing for me. The knitting is pleasurable, but you need to keep you eye on the ball.

The main body flew off the needle. It is knitted in the round and will be steeked to create the cardigan. I began the sleeves, but combining the increases with the pattern really was a little challenging – plus I really do need a smaller circular needle – say 25mm. Annoyingly I packed this project for our half-term get-away and the lack of a good circular needle has made the progress frustrating.

We are friends again and my head is in the game. I determined that this garment will be completed for next autumn. Forward planning if ever there was.

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I have also been designing a new toy project. If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I have been playing around with a doll design. At this stage we are in the prototype phase. I am trying out limb length, yarn weight and colour range.

My thinking so far is that this will be a downloadable pattern for the basic doll with one outfit – but then I would add clothes and accessories. If you would like to get involved and suggest items I should add, please do. The comments are always welcome.

So there you go – a few knitting projects and a crochet experiment. Now were are my circular needles…. and shhhh…I’m counting.

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