I swear I don't know who's moving these days along. Before we know where we are, there will be carol singers at the front door and no tree up yet, nor greenery draped around. To say nothing of new Midwinter yarns created, skeined up and on eBay. Get going Celtic Memory, 'tis that time of year!
But I have been busy. Truly I have. First of all, there is that little matter of Starmore and the Red Sweater KAL. That has been sorted. Mostly by banishing the witch - no, sorry, I can't find a cross-out on my text indicator, that should have read lady - Starmore until I can cope with her better. In her place has come a perfectly charming Fenno-Scandian called Lavold with a perfectly beautiful Celtic Vest. This I am knitting in a triple-skeined poppy-red lambswool (spun in Scotland but don't hold your breath, Starmore, and hold off on the writs, I doubt very much if this is one of yours), and so far I am amazed to say it is progressing beautifully.
Nope, I took this picture, not DH. Yes, I know you can tell. You probably can't even see the cute little cables up either side of the back slit, nor the gradual widening out into the first of many Lavold motifs. But I'm loving the Lavold and it's so good tempered after OTHERS I COULD MENTION that this I believe, hope and pray, will be a happy relationship. More on it as we progress.
Then there's the Charcoal Crop Cardi to Celtic Memory's Own Design. That is going well too. A trip to a very damp frogpond (it seems to have been raining and blowing a gale here since forever), when it was discovered that 40 sts was far too wide for a sleeve. (Don't you just love it when 40 sts is too wide? Isn't it the height of luxury to go back to just 30 sts and work 12 rows of garter stitch, followed by - oh, I don't know, about 20 rows of pattern? Ah the heady delights of ultra-chunky yarn! Here's the resized sleeve so far.
All right, I know you can't see anything here either. DH was busy, OK? Take my word for it, there are 12 rows of garter stitch (why is it called garter stitch anyway?), followed by about eight rows so far of st st with a central panel of twist stitches to give it a bit of character. If I don't finish this cardi soon, the crop style will be out of fashion.
THEN there is the Travelling Cables KAL. Now sit up and take notice you lot. I want a WHOLE LOT MORE OF YOU out there and joining in on the Travelling Cables KAL. You can find the link on my sidebar, but you can just as easily look it up for yourselves. For heaven's sake, this is the most beautiful pattern you've ever seen or are likely to see this side of Tibb's Eve. Just look at it! Pure Karabella, every inch of it.
Lene , wouldn't your daughter look stunning in that jacket? She certainly would. Just ask her. Karen, this is the most restrained, English-style design I have ever seen. GO for it! Angie just show it to Holly. Just SHOW it to her, that's all. And the rest of you, go right over there to the Travelling Cables KAL and join up THIS INSTANT. I expect to see a whole lot of you telling me you've done so by TOMORROW MORNING, OK?
(Oh it's just that I hate to knit a new pattern alone...)
And the reason I have this pattern at all is because the adorable the wonderful Angeluna SENT it to me. It was there in my letterbox tonight when I crawled in, fierce of temper and ready to kill the first dog that crossed my path. A lovely envelope from Texas with the Travelling Cables pattern there and all willing to be used. Angeluna, you are the best. The best.
(To digress. I have actually been in to Schoolhouse Products or School Yarns or whatever they call themselves, the Karabella folk, in Manhattan, down on Broadway. It's upstairs, through a complicated system of doors and lifts, and it's quite small and crowded but utterly amazing in the way of yarns. All the Karabella range and all their stunning patterns. Plus cones of one-offs from Italy, France, anywhere. Not particularly cheap, but quite an experience. I'd go back. And one of my favourite hotels in the world, the Herald Square, is right round the corner.)
I have to admit something. This superb design deserved to be made in nothing less than the famed, the legendary silk/cashmere twine-thing. Yes, the yarn that is of unimpeachable pedigree but which has, on first washing, the scent of the midden. It's fine after that first washing, but at the instant of getting that pattern into my hot greedy little hands the only washed silk/cashmere I had to hand was the big ball already in use on the Irish Hiking Scarf KAL. (The first one to suggest I have joined too many KALs had better keep an ear open for noises in the night. We Celts can move further and faster than you imagine!)
Well what do you think I did. Out the window went scarf, in vague direction of frog pond (hadn't got very far with it actually, but please don't tell anyone over on the Irish Hiking Scarf KAL, OK?) In came the Travelling Cables pattern. Haven't got very far yet, but hey, it's early days.
By tomorrow I confidently expect to be halfway up the back. That's if life doesn't get in the way.
And the Blackberry Pie socks (yarn courtesy of the adorable Ms Knitingale ) are at last on their way again, after a pause. I'd been having some difficulty with these, mainly because I'd decided that little cables would be nice running down the leg. The 2.5mm rosewoods were just too fine, made too harsh a texture on the soft hand-dyed yarn. I decided to switch to some nice 3mm Brittany birches for the main part of the sock and bingo, things went better at once.
(Really must get DH to come and take the next lot of pictures. You can't even see the cunning little cables on this, but believe me, they're there.)
So did I just callously abandon the Irish Hiking Scarf and all the centuries of heritage for which it stands, you cry? No I didn't. It gave me the excuse (and in fact I'd been lying awake in bed last night, listening to the wind roaring over the hillsides and thinking about this yarn) to skein up some utterly divine cashwool in a lovely shade of purple lavender.
Cashwool is actually a supersoft merino which they've invented in Italy. It's not cashmere but by heaven it feels like it. Smooth, silky, ultra-soft. Beautiful. I have a big cone of it (yes, I'll be listing it on eBay again soon, under the Celtic Memory label, just as soon as I've got the Midwinter design out of the way), and I'd been casting round for something really nice to make with it. The scarf was the obvious choice.
Muffy sat at my feet in quiet concentration while I was winding up a quadruple-strength skein of this (it's very fine). I could tell that she was weighing the relative qualities of cashmere and cashwool in her mind. Yes, I have now shut the door firmly 'twixt Peke and yarn. But no, I haven't cast on for it yet. Can't remember the pattern. Can't remember if that matters or not. Maybe I'll make it in a Viking/Irish design. Now that would make the monks of old turn in their graves if anything would. Make a scarf that blends the culture of the invader and the invaded? Yo!