A hundred hearty hellos to you, my Fine Fibrous Friends.
I’ve chattered here lately about the cardigan design commissioned by Novita yarns. At the risk of triggering yarny catastrophe via sheer hubris, I’m pleased with the result. It’s a combination of stranded colourwork, gentle-shaping-without-messing-up-the-motifs, and four (four! FOUR!) steeks. For those of you who were asking about an English-language version of the pattern, I’ve been told that three months after it’s published in Finnish via Novita’s beautiful magazine, I’ll be able to publish it in English wherever I like. Novita is wonderful, did I mention that? It’s honestly been a joy to work with them and their yarns. 11/5: would recommend.
The Stoic Spouse wants to name this pattern Snail Porridge. Allow me to explain why. When I do something, I tend to do it to an extreme degree. Maybe wise, maybe not, but it works for me and has led to some cool life experiences along the way. The Stoic Spouse is a fan of the chef Heston Blumenthal. For those of you who haven’t encountered him (Heston, I mean, not the Stoic Spouse) he’s known for his pursuit of culinary extremism, even if this involves spending well over eight hours making a simple spaghetti bolognese. Heston’s pursuit of perfection and novelty has lead to such culinary delicacies as snail porridge – hence the Stoic Spouse’s suggestion of name for the pattern. He thinks that my cardigan is the knitting equivalent of snail porridge: extreme, complex, and bonkers. He more-than-sometimes describes me as an extremist. Err… thanks, dear life-partner? Yeah?
Reader, the pattern is NOT called Snail Porridge. Its name is Äkäslompolo, in honour of a village in Finnish Lapland where I’ve spent several holidays staying with my Finnish friend Anne-Mari.
She and I became pen-friends at the age of 13, and 36 years later we’re still friends. We were planning to visit each other in 2020 but… pesky worldwide pandemic. Maybe next year?
My sons would love the wilderness and the herds of reindeer, and rowing down the river by the light of the midnight sun (because there are no roads or paths to Anne-Mari’s woodland cabin). The cardigan has all sorts of outdoorsy motifs between the abstract patterns, because I wanted to make something about looking outwards, always looking and venturing out into the natural world rather than bothering to look inwards. And Äkäslompolo is an inspiring place to do just that.
But I digress from my loose plan for this post. Novita has also commissioned me to design a stranded dress. It’s very different in construction and style from the cardigan. It’s top-down, with a yoke that divides into sleeves and body. All day yesterday I was crunching the numbers. Crunch, crunch, crunch.
The trouble is, we’ve got builders in (to make our non-functioning bathrooms functional and maybe even beautiful), so whilst I’m earnestly counting 92, 96, 100, 104 stitches, they’re in the room immediately above me yelling “23. 47? No, 48.6! FIVE. Fire? NO, FIVE, YOU WOMBLE!” That’s not to criticize the builders because they’re fantastic blokes doing sterling work in the mad circumstances of our old ex-brewery house, BUT WE NEED A ROTA AROUND HERE FOR WHO IS ALLOWED TO SPEAK NUMBERS ALOUD, OK?!
I don’t mind making the chaps a million cups of tea per hour on days when I’m at home. I don’t mind clambering over their electric saw in order to get to the washing machine, I don’t mind the small herd of vans huddled conspirationally in the car park, but PLEASE DON’T SPEAK ANY NUMBERS WHEN I’M COUNTING, OK? (You’re a knitter/crocheter, you can understand this, surely?)