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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Happy New Year!

January 5, 2014

I have just returned to London after my annual Christmas hibernation in the Tyrolean Alps, which this year, was even better than usual: On Christmas Day morning, we woke up to one metre of freshly fallen snow which over night, had covered the mountains, trees, houses and stables in its silent white wintry sheets. The view from my mum’s kitchen window presented itself like this:


The snowploughs were so busy clearing up all the streets and paths leading to the many widespread villages and farms in our valley, that we were literally snowed in for two days. Thankfully, electricity did not fail like in other parts of the region, so we could snuggle up behind the stove and enjoy Christmas like I think it should be: peaceful and quiet.

2013 has been a very challenging year for me. The PhD project has kept me busy far more than was healthy, and I failed at making enough time for other things that are as important to me as work [as much as I love doing research and writing]. Keeping in touch with friends, enjoying nature and walking, as well as indulging in the more creative sides of live certainly fell by the wayside. This snowy Christmas thus was a more than necessary break from the everyday rhythms that determine my London life, and a welcome opportunity to step back, re-think and re-boot. And what better way of doing this than with a pair of needles in your hands?

Pattern: Lightweight Pullover by Hannah Fettig
Yarn: Old Maiden Aunt Alpaca/Silk Sport/DK [colour: dreich]
Needles: 4mm
[More project details on Ravelry]

A wonderful stockinette pattern knit in the round, which allowed for plenty of thinking and daydreaming whilst the needles clacked along happily. The yarn is simply divine, very soft and smooth. Unfortunately, the photographs taken in poor Northern January light, do not do justice to the wonderfully subtly colour hues.

I am not very good at sticking to New Year’s resolutions, so haven’t made any. However, I hope that with this pullover, I have taken a good portion of calm and peace from the mountains to the city, and that it will be a good reminder for balance in 2014!

Happy New Year to you and your families, too! May it be a good one!