There are so many sensible things you could do if you find yourself with a bit of a windfall, thanks to pattern sales of a certain design being lots more than expected. Taking your husband for a pre-Valentine’s, no kids trip to Edinburgh is not necessarily the most sensible, but I’m so glad that was what I chose. We had a precious couple of days of everything from brilliant winter sunshine to snow, eating delicious food uninterrupted and at a leisurely pace, wandering around galleries (including the brilliant Wilhelmina Barns-Graham exhibition at the City Art Centre) and knitting. Of course knitting.
Although it doesn’t really look like it in the picture, this is in fact Woolly Wormhead’s Runway hat from Knit Now Issue 14. I actually started it before Christmas using some stashed Manos del Uraguay Fino, and it was making slow but pretty progress when it got shelved in favour of other things. A snow-laced train journey North and an afternoon lounging in front of ‘Man vs Food’ (I know! But it is weirdly addictive) and I had a hat. I’m a known fan of strong colours, but having somehow packed a wardrobe of monochrome clothes I loved this bright accessory even more, providing as it did a zinging counterpoint to the February grey.
>After all the late night knitting to get ‘Make Do and Mend’ finished and posted to deadline, a huge amount of washing so that for once we didn’t go on holiday with bags full of damp clothes to be dried once we arrive and usual craziness of getting our little family on the road, we had a more-or-less blissful week in Lyme Regis with beloved parents/grandparents and my sister.
The sun shone (mostly), the views were like a children’s story book, much sand was dug, much ice-cream eaten and a good time was had by all.
I did manage to find a fossil on Charmouth beach, a tiny ammonite which I packed somewhere safe that I now can’t recall (no, I haven’t got around to unpacking everything yet!) and as always found that profound sense of peace and happiness that comes from being on the shore. It never ceases to amaze me how nature puts together colours in a way that we can never really reproduce, like these beautifully smooth stones.
However, all those natural colours haven’t completely won me over and my quest for colour continues. I know I should have brought back something local, but a shop called ‘Siciliana’ in Lyme Regis caught my eye- I wonder why?! The owner sources and imports ceramics from a number of family producers in Sicily and his shop is a mouthwatering feast of colour. This little jug and bowl are destined to be a toothbrush holder and soapdish in the colour-saturated bathroom I’m planning. We can’t afford a complete re-do, so I’m thinking that the absence of cool, sophisticated newness is a good excuse for crazy, mismatched loveliness. Just add that project to the endless list…
Long journeys (including the trip back, all seven hours of it, in the cab of the transporter with our car on the back, said car having conked out on day 2, eek!) and leisurely evenings as our salt-crusted children slept off their days of running about on the sand meant that I really got cracking on some knitting. After all the itty-bitty work with DK the other week, it was lovely to get back to Artesano Aran and Manos Del Uraguay Wool Clasica, chunkier needles and quicker growth. I finished the vibrant blue/purple Artesano project and, despite patchy reception for recieving emails on my phone, recieved yet more exciting news about the design. Once again, watch this space. Big Queen Bess, the Manos project, is going really well too. Not only am I onto sleeves, but I’ve tried it on once or twice (and had to be helped out of it by willing, and laughing, volunteers so that I didn’t drop all the stitches from the circular needle that was still in it) and I’m pleased with how it looks. Best of all, given my previous record, I actually think I’ve ordered enough wool to finish the project! I almost don’t dare say it, but I think I’ll be able to finish it without desperate shout outs on Ravelry for the last few metres to finish a sleeve. Wonders will never cease. Hopefully pics will follow soon.