Happy New Year! May 2019 be a wonderful, healthy and prosperous one for you. I’ve just returned to London from two restful and quiet weeks in the Tyrolean Alps, with lots of sleep, reading, catching up with old friends – and also some knitting.

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Pattern: Chocolate Stout by Thea Colman
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted [colour: Denim Blue] and Isager Silk Mohair [colour: 23897 Forest Heather]
Needles: 5.5mm
Buttons: Olive Wood Buttons via Loop
[More project details on Ravelry]

As you may notice from the image above (sorry for the bad quality, I only had my phone on me over Christmas), both pattern and colour choice do not fit my usual “simple shape and miles of stockinette” behaviour. This is because I made this cardigan not for myself, but for my mum who turned eighty last August, and requested a cozy garment to wear around the house in the cold winter months –  a huge responsibility coming from a former master knitter who unfortunately had to stop knitting some years ago, as it causes her too much back pain (she’s still an avid embroiderer, though!).

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My mum has a very different fashion style from mine, and in her choices, is often inspired by the traditional Tyrolean folklore costumes she grew up with. This provided me with a welcome opportunity to experiment with a pattern I probably would not chose for myself: lots of braids and a very classic silhouette, of course in a nice heathery forest green! My mum likes the result – the only modification she asked for was to omit the shawl collar, which she deemed as “too much”. Instead, I worked a simple button band with 4 short rows around the neck to make the cardigan sit nicely across the shoulders. I also had to use 5.5mm instead of 4.5mm needles to hit gauge. A very clearly written pattern and a good and sturdy yarn for every day use – I hope my mum will get a lot of use out of this.

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Pattern: No Frills Sweater by Petite Knit
Yarn: Isager Higland Wool [colour: Denim Blue] and Isager Silk Mohair [colour: 44]
Needles: 3mm and 4mm
[More project details on Ravelry]

Winter is looming, which means that it is time for my annual check-in here, to report that I’ve been able to knit myself a lovely little new sweater in time to protect me against the upcoming November storms. Nothing much to report here: I went for the usual simple shape and stockinette stitch combination, knitted up with a pairing of the most luxurious and soft yarns imaginable. And – no surprise here – it is a winner!

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In other news since I last wrote here in April 2017 (!): 2018 saw me on the move again, this time from Glasgow back to London, for a job offer at my favourite museum. I’m very happy with this decision, although I miss Scotland, its landscape and the friends I made there, and although the PhD project had, once again, to be put on the back burner (don’t ask …). But I will get there, in due course. For now, I am enjoying being back in the Big Smoke, and having this amazing view when writing at my little desk in North London:

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