Hoxne is the second pattern to be released from the Doggerland: Knits from a Lost Landscape collection. The shawl is named after a small village in Suffolk. Hoxne was inhabited as early as 320,000 years ago but the site shows signs of continual flint tool production through the ages. Flint is one of the key materials of North European prehistory - and I knew I wanted to design a shawl evocative of flint tools.
I know flint very well.
My childhood landscape was shaped by the ice age: softly rolling hills and a large moraine we called Tornved Bjerg (literally: Tornved Mountain).
Local farmers cursed the vanished glaciers for leaving so much debris behind as they worked the stone-filled fields, but I loved running across the newly tilled land and finding pieces of flint. I held the small stones in my hands as though they were gold nuggets. They were warm from the sun, yet cool to the touch. They were soft to hold, yet had sharp edges. I didn't realise until much later in my life that I had probably been picking up worked pieces of flint in a landscape full of prehistoric archaeology.
Hoxne reminds me of being that child - so inquisitive and seeing something special in everyday things. I hope I haven't lost either quality.
The shawl is knitted in Snældan 1ply - I keep referring to this yarn as Karie's Favourite Lace Yarn and that still holds true (I should write a Desert Island Yarns entry at some point). It is soft, holds so much character and it blocks out beautifully. Snældan is still spun in the way that it was spun in the 1940s and I love how it feels alive in your hands. Some yarns are processed beyond recognition but Snældan 1ply retains this magical feeling of authenticity and landscape which is so central to what I'm trying to do with Doggerland.
The Island Wool Company will be featuring Hoxne on their website - keep a look out and do browse that Snældan section. I continue to be thankful that Fiona & Daniel have chosen to make my beloved Faroese yarns available for UK knitters. It makes my life a lot easier!
Tomorrow I will be heading to Woolfest with my Glasgow knitting group. If you see me, do say hello!