Ah hello, my Fine Fibrous Friends. It’s good to see you. Yes, you.
A confession: I was worried. My previously unquenchable need to knit and to design went AWOL for a while. Seriously, you could have dumped me beside the most magical motifs that Mother Nature has to offer, and instead of thinking I CAN WORK THE INTRICACIES OF THIS SLIME MOULD INTO THE PATTERN FOR A STRANDED DRESS, I’d have shrugged and taken another sip of green tea… or wine, depending on the time of day.
Also, I’ve been distracted by the demands of our little vegetable garden, because it’s a busy time of year for growers, and my nerd-brain needs to update multiple charts and spreadsheets with every single gram of produce that ripens. I’m not joking: you’re welcome to take as much food as you like from my garden, but heaven help you if you don’t weigh it and record it in the little notebook on the kitchen table first.
But three weeks ago, my creative urge wandered nonchalantly back in as though it’d never been away.* Like an errant cat, it shrugged and demanded sustenance. Who was I to refuse?
And so. Remember the cowl that I designed and made for my wonderful friend-of-nearly-half-a-century, Rebecca? This one:-
I want to release the pattern, but the original used all 21 shades of Stylecraft Highland Heathers DK, which is more of an ask than most yarn-buyers would be prepared to countenance for one cowl. So I decided to produce several colour palettes, each comprising six shades. It rapidly became clear that there’d be a seasonal theme to these palettes, as the first one I created screamed AUTUMN:-
Having set off on a seasonal theme, I next created winter. But before you get any ideas of crisp white snow against a sparkling blue sky, this is a BRITISH winter, so the colours are sludgy and muddy and WHEN-WILL-THIS-SLIGHTLY-CHILLY-SOGGINESS-EVER-END?!
Next up, spring and/or summer.
I knitted the samples pictured above whilst we were away for a week in the north of England. Ah, the traditional British holiday: hiking over moors in near-horizontal rain, eating rain-soaked sandwiches huddled behind a dry stone wall, munching crisps in a pub garden in the rain. You’re getting the theme by now, yes? I mean, a holiday’s got to be enough of an endurance test that you long to return to the toil of normal life, right? That’s the point of holidays, is it not?
It was exactly the sort of experience that I sulked and grumped about as a child/teen, then promptly embraced as soon as I hit adulthood. Ditto eating olives and exploring museums. So now the Stoic Spouse and I are busy raising the next generation of bog-skipping, rain-enduring, mud-sliding contour-junkies – only they don’t know it yet because they’re currently at the THIS IS STUPID AND I WANT TO GO HOME AND PLAY WITH THE KITTENS AND HAVE SCREEN-TIME stage.
Actually the twinnage did enjoy quite a lot of our week away because we played a lot of badminton in the garden of the holiday cottage, and one of the twinnage spotted a very rare beetle, and we spotted lizards and a snake (female adder), and we stayed beside a heritage steam railway, and we pottered in a local stream – all things that the twinnage love.
But both boys found it hard to be away from the cats and were very happy to return home for reunification with the fluffy little terrorists. It’s melting my heart how thoroughly they’ve embraced their servitude to our feline overlords.
So now we’re back home and everyone has screen-time and kittens, and very very soon I’ll publish the pattern for the ‘Rebecca’ cowl, and all will be well in the yarny world.
Also, would you like a 493 gram courgette?
*Actually, I think this had a lot to do with a change of tactic by the acupuncturist I’ve been seeing for over twenty years.