Socks and Spain

Is it too soon to say that I love Spain? I’ve only been there a total of 2 times, but it already holds a special place in my heart. Here are some typically touristy views of Palma de Mallorca…

My attempts at speaking Catalan were a failure (just as they were in Barcelona 2 years ago) as I don’t think anyone quite expects tourists (especially of the Norwegian variety) to speak Catalan, so once the natives heard my hesitant or should I say cringeworthy efforts they almost always replied in either Spanish or English.

To the inevitable question of ‘why Catalan’ rather than the more useful and usual Spanish: with my knowledge of French and half-remembered bits of university Latin, Catalan is much easier for me than Spanish. Also, how can one not love a language with a preponderance of the letter X — gaudeix, cotxe, això, coneixer…

The holiday afforded me time to finish a pair of socks in West Yorkshire Spinners’ Aire Valley DK! 3 mm needles and 48 stitches — a very quick knit in comparison to my usual socky slog of fingering weight on 2 mm needles.

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Res nova

No, it’s not really a revolution. But I did make some new discoveries on YouTube that have revolutionized my playlists for the past week!

 

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Shades of Grey

Stormy weather…keeps raining all the time!

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The annual post about winter knitting

Here’s the first of the winter knitting: felted lopi slippers.

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They busted some stash that was about 10 years old (or maybe “only” 7) and they fulfil their intended purpose, so I am inclined to like them despite their lack of fashionability. Also, the felting has muffled all my mistakes and crappy crochet technique so despite the fact that I made up the pattern as I went along — though these boots started life as the Minni Slippers, only the toe remained the same.

Anyway, the usual winter knitting is about to begin. I’ve stashed some Easyknits.co.uk Big Boy for both Knoll and Tott, and look forward to the latest top-down concoctions (although having measured Knoll, who is now 9, I did start to wonder at the wisdom of having chosen a fingering weight yarn for his sweater).

In addition I’m also busting through the stash with baby knits! Not for us (thank goodness) but for friends and family, and all those random single skeins are being eaten by Christine’s Baby Booties and Wee Lima sweater and of course my standard “barselsgave” (that’s the Norwegian word for the gift/s that new parents get), EZ’s Tomten.

 

Well, more later…new patterns are coming too!!!

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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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