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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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!