There's nothing quite like being by the beach, whether it's Bondi beach in Sydney or Brighton beach in Sussex. We are drawn to the gentle sounds of the lapping waves in the summer and the ferocious storms and crisp electrically-charged air in the winter. Both are exhilarating, recharging, refreshing.
Certainly there's nothing quite so invigorating as trying to walk on the shingle shore of Brighton against a gale force wind and then retreating laughing and salt-encrusted to a local café for a most necessary cup of tea.
But when you live by the sea you get used to that clammy damp that settles as the sun goes down. Even in the height of summer, you find yourself reaching for a warm throw to place over your knees as you watch the lights coming on around the bay or to spread over the bed as an extra layer.
So, continuing my thoughts on Summer and Winter from last time, here are a pair of Anna's knitting patterns for blankets – one which would be perfect for a cool evening at the beach hut, and another for when you are sitting in front of a roaring fire in your winter log cabin.
The first blanket is Anna's brand-new pattern, the Siesta Beach Blanket, named for the world-famous beach, Siesta Key, that we are lucky enough to call our "local" beach in Florida. And yes, that's Siesta Key in the top photo!
The blanket is worked in a soft wool mix yarn and features a riot of colours, with rich blues, oranges and naturals echoing the colours of the sun shades dotting the gulf shore-line.
The blanket uses a reversible stitch, Banded Bamboo, from our book Reversible Knitting Stitches. This is a lovely stitch pattern and resembles the growing pattern on tall stalks of bamboo. The knitted fabric is flexible and warm, just perfect for a summer evening throw.
The second blanket is, in contrast, worked in a single off-white colour. Anna originally designed this for the father of one of her school friends. He was in hospital bravely fighting cancer and said that he found his hospital room rather chilly.
Anna took up her needles, selected some soft, chunky yarn and produced a blanket that kept him warm during the remainder of his stay. The blanket is called the Laurie Blanket in his memory.
It is worked using Sirdar Denim Ultra yarn, a super-chunky cotton/wool mix which gives a lovely weight to the final item and brings out the graphical nature of the reversible stitch pattern, Wide Chevron.
Both blankets are a good size for a handy throw to keep you toasty warm.
The Siesta Beach Blanket is 90cm/36 ins wide and 110cm/44 ins long, while the Laurie Blanket is a little longer and slimmer, 82cm/33 ins wide x 130cm/52 ins long.
Find both these patterns and other Homeware items on Anna's website: www.Kikuknits.com. The patterns are available for instant download so you can started knitting today!
Until next time,
Last blogpost: A new scarf for men – the Cambourne Scarf
Next Up: Stripes for Summer and Winter
My Website: www.wyndlestrawdesigns.com
Anna's website: www.kikuknits.com
Our book: Reversible Knitting Stitches