Spitsbergen

If you’ve been a regular here for the past few years, dear reader, you might recall that in addition to knitting I’m also obsessed with Arctic exploration in the 19th century, particularly the lost Franklin expedition. Though I won’t be lucky enough to see the newly-opened exhibit at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, I did have the good fortune to spend some weeks in the Netherlands — and the Rijksmuseum, though you may not know it, houses a collection of knitted woollen caps worn by Dutch whalers during their sojourns on Spitsbergen in the 17th century.

(Yes, yes, I also perambulated the Eregalerij (Gallery of Honour). But did you really want to see another out-of-focus iPhone pic of The Nightwatch or View of Delft? I thought not! So I’ve spared you!)

Anyway, now it’s August, and that means it’s time for winter knitting. I do feel it as a designer: there’s a sudden lack of any ability to think of lace. Instead, it’s time to bust out Elsebeth Lavold’s Viking Patterns for Knitting and start thinking about Knoll’s latest top-down sweater à la Barbara Walker…

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Eastfold summer

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Another sweater!

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. This yarn spent about 3 years in the stash — it’s Silk me Lace by Greta and the Fibers, handdyed in Barcelona. As it languished unknitted, I really came to dislike the colour, but as I worked it up, the tonal variations and effect of the silk won me over again.

The border contains some true lace, about which I was very nervous (not ever having knitted true lace back and forth) but stitchmarkers made it easy and quick. The edging…well, luckily that ordeal lasted only 3 days.

 

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This is totally a sweater

Whenever I knit in public, people often ask me if I’m knitting a sweater. Yes. Well. Here is my new “sweater.”

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Sheep

I took Tott to town today and at the bookstore we discovered “The Sheep that Jumped over the Fence.”

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In other news, the stash is being knit down, new patterns are being dreamed up, a novel is being written, and many other things besides are happening in the passive voice.

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Pentecost

Norway’s mostly renowned, I think, for its fjords and mountains, but I’m determined to share the charms of the Eastfold with anyone who will spare a glance!

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Izzy wizzy, let’s get busy

Did you know that there’s a secret manuscript of the Odyssey wherein Circe enchants her wine with the following spell? Izzy wizzy, let’s get busy. Make this wine sweet and fizzy! Most of the past 3 weeks have been spent adapting the aforementioned Homeric epic to Knoll and Tott’s tastes — hence the detailed descriptions of the comestible aspects; spells similar to Strega Nona‘s; and multiple digressions that begin “in the olden days in Greece…”

Anyway, unlike Penelope, I don’t slave away all day at my loom, viz. knitting needles, only to unravel my work after everyone else has gone to bed. And here’s what I have to show for my diligence:

Westfold Wheat! This rectangular shawl in the Estonian style calls for 800 m of laceweight yarn and works up very quickly once you get past the nupp border. I knitted the orange version for Mum while she and Dad were here for a 3-week visit — it busted more stash (in this case, Slink by Easyknits in the colourway Marmalade), which left me feeling more productive than usual, as if knitting from the stash is somehow of great worth from a moral perspective. (It is, as I can personally attest, naturally of great worth from the financial perspective of an unemployed person.)

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Then some finished objects that had been malingering as they waited for better photographs — a new Troldhaugen in Blacker BFL Lace (I will spare you the rhapsodizing about this yarn); St Martin, finished some years ago and tossed in the freezer to avoid both moths and blocking till now, in handspun merino/silk; and a simple garter stitch shawl in handspun Shetland, which everyone but me thinks is itchy, thereby ensuring that it won’t be poached.

And just as I thought that I’d cast on a fresh new project, I discovered some half-finished socks and shawls without edgings in my WIP bin. Hmph!

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