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!

Baby Shower

August 27, 2014

This coming weekend, I will attend my first real American baby shower. [L], one of my PhD colleagues, is expecting a baby girl in September, and one of her friends is hosting an evening which, according to the invite, will be full of cocktails, games, gifts and other unspecified entertainment. Where I come from, the whole baby-gifting usually happens after the tiny human has been safely delivered into the world, so this should be fun also from a cultural and anthropological point of view. In any case, the occasion gave me the perfect excuse to finally lay my hands on this particular pattern I have been eager to knit for quite a while now:

Pattern: Immie Tee by Carrie Bostick Hoge
Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan Sock [colour: Frost]
Needles: 3.25mm
[More project details on Ravelry]

It’s one of those patterns that look extremely complicated and difficult, but which, actually, are really easy to knit and produce a great end result. I am particularly happy with how the cool greenish pastel colour contrasts with the lacy front panel [it works even better than I thought].

London is really cold and rainy at the moment, which makes for the perfect knitting weather. I have already a new project on the needles, about which I will tell you more soon. But now back to some art historical writing…