The Surrey trees tell me that it is November already, and I realise with amazement that it has been more than a year now since I last visited here, since I last posted a project, and since, in fact, I last allowed myself the time to idle away knitting. But this time, I had [maybe] a good reason:

A year ago, my PhD project was – more or less – abruptly interrupted by an amazing job opportunity at my favourite London museum ever. Privileged as I am, I have spent the last twelve months or so learning about medieval textiles and their history, about needles other than knitting needles, stitching fantastic stories in velvet and gold. I have learnt how to adapt to the challenge of working day to day outside my native language, I have met amazing new people from all over the world, and I have travelled to places I have not been before.

But while I really, really enjoy every bit of this adventure, it also means that the writing up of my dissertation now eats up a lot of my free time, in the mornings and evenings that otherwise, would have been devoted to knitting, reading, writing and other endeavours of the creative mind. I am not complaining at all, don’t get me wrong, but I have to admit that these days, I sometimes miss the balance.

So thank God that over the last months, some of my closest friends and colleagues have embarked on exciting adventures of their own. These have helped me to find my way back to the meditative powers of yarn and needles:

Pattern: Meredith Baby Cardigan by Ruth Maddock
Yarn: Quince & Co Chickadee [colour: Birds Egg]
Needles: 3.25mm
Buttons: Textile Garden
[More project details on Ravelry]

Here in London, my friend [g] gave birth to a lovely little baby girl, for whom I thought this pattern would be the perfect fit. [g] loves playful clothes with feminine details, so I suspected she might like the lovely lace detail around the yoke [which for me, on the other hand, was great fun to knit]. Instead of the pattern’s three buttons, I opted for seven, as I think it is a good option to be able to close the cardigan top to bottom.

Meanwhile, little boy [e] was born in Vienna, and since his mum has a fondness for donkeys of all shapes and sizes, I struck gold when discovering these amazing buttons:

Pattern: Little Coffee Bean Cardigan by Elizabeth Smith
Yarn: Mirasol Yarn Llama Una [colour: 8212]
Needles: 5mm
Buttons: Textile Garden
[More project details on Ravelry]

The goal was to knit a subtle background for the little donkeys. This clean-shaped cardigan does the job, I think. That the yarn is gorgeous fluffy llama-stuff, is a great bonus!

So, back to (slightly) more knitting it is. A winter baby is on its way, and there is something for me on the needles as well. Here’s to autumn and tiny humans for restoring life balance!

Over the last months, I have spent quite some time on the peaceful island which is the garden of my South London home, trying to squeeze yet another PhD chapter out of my confused and tired brain. Writing was [and is] particularly difficult this time, which I guess has to do with the fact that the project is slowly coming to an end, and I will have to think about how to wrap up things shortly, which has always been a difficult and challenging task for me.

Thankfully, this summer we have been blessed with a lot of sunshine and warm weather which allowed for nice and relaxing weekend outings to distract me from worrying to much. I still enjoy exploring the city immensely (and regret that I do not document my adventures here as regularly as I want to).

However, since I am a country girl at heart and need my regular dose of mountains, two weeks ago, [c] and I set out for a short break at my mum’s in the Tyrolean Alps. Despite a lot of rain, we managed to do some hiking without getting soaked, and we even got rewarded with some particularly nice and dramatic valley views.

And of course we also managed to dwell within the odd old wall, and to stick our noses into a monastery or castle or two.

After such a wonderful break it does not feel too bad to be back in London, and to pick up writing once again. And knitting, for that matter. But before I share my current explorations on that front with you, here’s a project I already finished back in March, but never got around to posting it here:

Pattern: Geometry | Hypotenuse by Olga Buraya-Kefelian
Yarn: Wollmeise Pure 100% Merino Superwash [colour: Versuchskaninchen]
Needles: 4.5mm
[More project details on Ravelry]

Happy knitting, writing […insert activity you are currently engaged in…] everyone!