I have the January blues. Well, not so much blues as I am already tired of January. I am tired of the reinventions, the interventions, and the reiterations. Oh, the cries of Find yourself! Get on top of your stash! Tidy up your house! that I hear echoed all over the place. It is not that I don't want to sort out my life, tidy the stash, make my home lovely and all that - but January is only nine days old and I feel guilty/stressed already. Also, I do not believe in quick solutions and clever quips. I once moved my entire life across the North Sea and I used quick solutions and clever quips to sort out my belongings. I still miss things I let go because I had not touched them for six months at the time. I wonder what is behind our modern day reluctance to have a past - belongings that stretch back further than six months, things that hold memories, and items that carry a significance beyond daily use? I subscribe to the famous William Morris maxim - Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful - I just think we sometimes forget the beauty aspect of our lives.
The Bute cardigan. I love working on this and I am taking my time too. It is a constant joy to knit this - seeing the colours transition, watching the peerie patterns emerge and working with Rowan Felted Tweed (my favourite yarn du jour) and Rowan Colourspun. It is a meditative knit too - the peerie patterns are 4 stitches/5 rows repeats and just as soon as you've started one, you are done and ready to uncover the next colour. Meditative, indeed.
I was never quite sure about the cool pink - Peony - that I chose a contrast colour but I think it blends in well. Would I change the colours? Maybe make the purple - Bilberry - more prominent? I think the colour combination works, actually. It is a radical departure from the original autumnal colourway. It will work beautiful with the greys and purples in my wardrobe. Just two sleeves and a buttonband to go..
I have decided to knit another Felted Tweed fair-isle top after I finish Bute. Fyne is a free pattern from Rowan and there are several gorgeous FOs on Ravelry. Krraver has knitted one using the same colour for the ribbing and the background (I like this idea), onehandknits used a dark background colour (I like this too!) and jediknit has styled it beautifully. I am undecided on the colours - we'll see what remnants I am left with once Bute is finished - but I am definitely leaning towards something green/brownish.
Speaking of browns and greens .. here is a sneak peek at two designs I am working on for the oft-mentioned, still-languishing-in-production Doggerland collection. Sorry about the violet tinge to the photo - that is what you get when you try to take photos on cloudy, foggy January day!
The (ahem) oatmeal yarn is Garthenor Shetland 1ply. It is gorgeous, earthy yarn with a soft handle. The stitch definition is a bit .. rustic .. so it is not a yarn that lends itself well to crisp lace patterns. I would love a whole jumper or cardigan in this yarn - something relatively straightforward which will let the yarn do the talking.
The green shawl had my knitting group giggling. "What? Another one?" they guffawed. Actually I don't really own a green shawl and this one is a sample, anyway. So there. The yarn is Snældan 1-ply in the Turf colourway (also known as "Karie's favourite lace yarn in her fave colour") and I am truly in my happy place when I'm working on this.
Snældan 1-ply comes with quite staggering yardage. When I design I have a rough idea of how many rows I can chart before I run out of yardage and I will work out pattern repeats based upon that (yes, designing is all about number crunching, folks). I thought I'd be about 66% into my yardage at this stage - I've not even hit the 50% mark. In other words, this is going to be a huge shawl. A huge green shawl. Hmm, I might have to nick it off myself.
Confession time. I have been reassessing some WIPs in my vicinity. I think I'll rip out the Acer cardigan. I loved knitting it, but I lost momentum at a crucial point. Some knits you just have to keep plugging away at .. and Acer was one of those for me. Both the pattern and the yarn will be revisited - but not now. I am also tempted to throw out some old FOs - the Dragonfly cardigan, my first February Lady Sweater, and the Sun Ray top. I never wear them, you know.
Good grief, January has gotten hold of me.