27 Feb 2018

In an icy quiet

Snow is a bit of a novelty for those of us who live in more Southerly climes. So it was with a child-like wonder that we woke to ice and snow coating every branch and twig this morning. The garden seemed full of ice sculptures and the gentle quiet of the snow still falling felt magical.

And unbidden, a poem came into my mind that I had learnt at junior school in the UK, "Snow" by Walter de la Mare:

No breath of wind, no gleam of sun – 
Still the white snow whirls softly down.

Twig and bough and blade and thorn
All in an icy quiet, forlorn.

Whispering, rustling, through the air
On sill and stone roof — everywhere,

It heaps its powdery crystal flakes,
Of every tree a mountain makes;

‘Til pale and faint at shut of day
Stoops from the West one wint’ry ray,

And, feathered in fire where ghosts the moon,
A robin shrills his lonely tune; 

And from her dark-gnarled Yew-tree lair
Flits she who had been in hiding there.

Happy Winter Knitting!


Last Blogpost: Snow gently falling

Many thanks to my DH, Tim, for his photos which so beautifully captured the day. If you would like to see more of his photos please visit his Instagram page.

. 27/7/18 W

22 Feb 2018

Snow gently falling

I am sitting in front of a cosy fire right now while the snow is gently falling outside. I have a cup of tea on the table next to me along with a rather fine gluten-free cookie and my knitting basket is close at hand, so I am contented for the next little while. 

However, since I have only just come in from 4 hours spent chipping ice off the driveway I am not sure if I am going to manage much knitting anytime soon. I should perhaps have been sensible and stopped about two hours ago!

I was nice and warm though, working steadily and wrapped up against the elements. That's the beauty of being a knitter: that you usually have the perfect item to help you keep warm, no matter what the elements throw at you. I find I don't usually even need a jacket once I have donned my favourite gardening sweater and woolly hat.

However, one item I don't have right now and could do with is some fingerless mitts. I realised this the other day when Anna sent me some photos of her latest knitting pattern, the Frost Fighters - Headband and Mittens. These look perfect for this time of year, when the temperatures can change from balmy to f-f-freezing overnight.

Fingerless mitts are so useful when you are cycling or texting, as the main part of your hands are kept warm but without restricting your movements. They are also great when you are working outside, such as on a market stall. A friend of mine always says it helps her rheumatic thumb keep warm if she wears fingerless mitts, too.

Anna has used a reversible cable stitch from our book, Reversible Knitting Stitches. This is the Ribbed Cable pattern, which is a wonderfully graphic stitch. On one side, single rib columns meet and divide giving a dynamic look, while the other face has soft flowing cables of stitches twisting together with a lovely padded texture.

The Frost Fighters mitts can use either side as the one on show, giving two quite different looks. 

The set includes both the mitts and a headband so you can keep your ears warm at the same time. For more details about the Frost Fighters set, please click here.

And now it's time for that cup of tea and for me to finish off the scarf I was talking about in my last blogpost.

Until next time — Keep warm!


Last Blogpost: Projects rediscovered
Next Up: In an icy quiet

Website: www.wyndlestrawdesigns.com

Our Book: Reversible Knitting Stitches

. 27/7/18 W

15 Feb 2018

Projects rediscovered

I recently took part in an archeological dig! However, before you get too excited, I should perhaps explain that I didn’t have to travel far to get there and the findings won’t make very interesting reading in any history book. Still, it felt very much as though I was digging through history as I unearthed old knitting projects waiting in my “To Do” basket in my studio! 

I have to admit I had been largely unaware of quite how many items had been going in there, never to reappear until now. Then a few weeks ago I was trying to find a bag I had been working on and realised that it must be in the middle of this overflowing basket.

I sat on the floor next to this collection and looked at the first item. It was a very pretty lace scarf and was already finished. All that was required was for me to sew in the ends! I had set it aside some weeks ago because I finished it at night-time and I wanted some daylight to work on it...

Then under that was the bag I had been looking for and a second one that just needs some material for a lining. Then below those: oh gosh, a cardigan from last Spring waiting for a buttonband. 

The list grew longer as I set more items on the floor around me. As I unearthed first one and then another, I realised how little work was needed to finish each of them, but which to do first? I sat looking at all the items for a moment, not able to choose which to do and about to put everything back in the basket again.

Then I remembered that famous quotation: "A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step." So if I finished the first item, that would be one less item waiting to be done. I replaced everything back in the order I had removed them except for that first item, the lacy scarf. 

Half an hour later I had not only finished all the ends but had cast on for another one in a second colour! I had so enjoyed knitting the first one and I had a very pretty grey yarn that I thought would look great in the same design. Spring is coming soon and a couple of lightweight scarves will be most welcome.

The scarf is the Grayswood Scarf and you can read more about it here. It is worked in a beautiful yarn, Willow and Lark Nest, which has a lovely combination of merino with cashmere. 

The stitch pattern is the Diagonal Openwork pattern from the lace chapter in our Reversible Knitting Stitches book and is one I have been meaning to use for ages. It’s quite mesmerising to knit and works up quickly. Hopefully by the time I write the next blogpost I’ll have the second scarf finished too!

Until next time,

Happy (productive) knitting!


Last Blogpost: Climbing new heights

. 23/12/18 W


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