Wednesday, 10 July 2013

My Blue Period

Picasso's blue period spanned three years of his works from 1901 - 1904 where he was hugely depressed and painted mainly in blues. In contrast I am not at all depressed, it's actually sunny in London, but I do happen to be knitting exclusively in blues at the moment. Yes, what you've just witnessed here is a very tenuous link between one of the greatest painters of our time and me based on the use of the word 'blue' only.

First I made some blue Kanoko pants, which is the secret baby knit I mentioned in my last post. It's the third time I've made these little baby trousers and the second time I've made them in the dreamy Mirasol Hacho. I love how it's quite sturdy and makes the stitches defined without being harsh to the touch.  I modified the pattern to eliminate the moss and garter stitch patterning, finished with a simple garter stitch hem and used elastic in the waistband again instead of ties. They're very cute and I can't wait to hand them over to the recipient!

A few days ago I started on a new project in the blue Rowan All Seasons Cotton. I bought it for a bargainous price from Liberty on a naughty lunch break and have four balls which will be enough to make the Baby Sophisticate cardigan by Linden Down. It's a free pattern and although there are warnings on Ravelry, that it comes up on the small side, I'm going to give it a shot in the larger size option anyway. He's 7 months now, I'm hoping to be finished in a couple of weeks - it's going to fit, right?

Finally I've made a good start on a new project for myself from the latest Pom Pom Magazine. A friend and I are a bit obsessed with this independent gem of a mag, but this is the first thing I'm going to be making out of it. I bought the yarn at Knit With Attitude last month and it's a brand I haven't used before called Du Store Alpakka Mirasol. However, I really must recommend it for it's soft as a kitten stroke-able qualities. I can hardly knit with it without wanting to rub it on my face for a bit.

The construction of the cardigan is quite different from anything I've made before. The back is in two pieces knit from the sleeve cuffs in towards the centre back. It took me a while to figure out exactly what I was knitting when I started out, but it's fun to be knitting something with an interesting construction as well as some lace for a bit of a challenge. It is of course blue.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Our Neighbour

Our next door neighbour died a few weeks ago. She lived in the bottom flat with the garden next to ours. We would often see her pottering about in the garden, filling the bird feeder and putting her washing out to dry. Although almost completely deaf I always said "hello" when I saw her and would attempted to have a conversation with her. One day I found out that she was a knitter and although the conversation flew off on a tangent quickly I think she understood that I knit too. 

When she died her Son in Law, who always had a chat with us when cutting the grass, told us the news. We passed on our condolences. She was a lovely lady, who was devoted to the church, helped at play groups, coffee mornings for new Mums and probably a lot of other things I never found out about. 

Then this weekend her Son in Law popped a bag of yarn and accessories over the fence and told me that she would want her knitting bits to go to a good home. I was so excited to open up the bag and as I went through it I felt a mix of emotions for the nice lady these things belonged to. It made me smile to read through her hand written pattern notes.

It made me smile to read her hand written pattern notes. Pulling out the button box was very exciting as you know I can't resist buttons. The little tin in the picture above was another exciting item. It makes me wonder where it came from, what it was originally used for and why she owned it. The same went for the box of cotton reels below, which was so pretty. Did the cotton reels come in this box or where they collated into it over time? 

All of the yarn was acrylic, which I will most likely pass on or donate to charity, but I felt particularly sad when I pulled out a half knitted square, with a small stack of identical squares underneath it. She was obviously making them for someone, perhaps it was for a charity, or even for herself. I think I will finish the square for her and send them to one of the many charities that collects them. I'm hoping that's what she would have wanted.