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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