Knitting: FOs, feelings, future plans…

I have an instinct at the moment to completely swathe myself from head to toe in handknits like Bjork in the video for cocoon or Tita in the film Like Water for Chocolate.

Yesterday, walking to knitting at the Royal Oak Pub along the Banbury road, I found an exciting side-street. The road is called North Parade and is one of those joyous hidden pockets one often finds when on foot in Oxford.

There is a lovely craft shop in the road selling many handfelted items, some nice button jewelry and amazing raku-fired sheep made by the talented Richard Ballantyne. The raku fired sheep are delightful and it is worth seeking out the shop just to see them. Some have little ceramic birds atop their crackled, off-white fleeces. The grubby, elemental residues of a raku-firing are perfectly suited somehow to depicting sheep.

I also found a shop selling what looked like very old mothballs and another shop selling Mrs Darlington’s orange curd.

Who cannot be slightly sad that Gimbles now appears to be closed?

At the end of this little treasure trove of sights and merchandise, I found a creperie with mirrored windows, where I was able to get the desired FO shots of my latest knitting projects.

Headigan #1, reblocked and better fitting for it, plus a large pair of Ysolda’s Garter Stitch Mitts done in the lovely yarn that Stav bought back from Vancouver for me and some oddments left over from the green Headigan.I like the way those green bands on the back of the hand are sort of like mitten go-faster stripes.

I love all the green, blue and brown going on in this look. As you can see, my repaired tunic is getting plenty of wear as is the by now extremely scruffy-looking Hourglass Sweater.

It is so sooooooooooooooooft. I do love to wear it; it is like wearing a kiss.

And Headigan #2 is now also completed.

We must take a moment to appreciate the costly and beautiful Glass Pingle Buttons on Headigan #2. I absolutely love The Glass Pingle and have desired so own some of her specially created buttons ever since seeing them in Prick Your Finger. Fleur Oakes describes her wares as Handmadedashery and I love the fact that her covered and embroidered buttons, pin-cones, measuring tapes and other assorted notions serve dual purposes as both art objects and functioning things. Her buttons come beautifully packaged with brown index cards that have been screenprinted with a spooky eye-logo and a vaguely blackbeared-esque typeface. These are the buttons of vagabonds, pirates, Victoriana fetishists and lovers of gothic romance. They suggest the lure of rich pasts, long histories, and they invest such things as pins and buttons with an almost alchemical glamour. I love these buttons.

The ones I chose are made from seamed stockings, apart from the one that features a button within a button. I wonder who has danced in these stockings (I am assured that the square patch on one of them was a cuban heel) and where she is now. I like wearing them atop the murky Headigan; they make me feel mysterious, piratical, dark.

So there are some FOs and some feelings. What is left for my knitting is a lot of future projects. I have The Bug. Every time I put my knitting down I feel as if I am wasting my life. Thus as soon as I completed my garter-stitch mitts, I cast this on. Well, I cast it on loads of times and then got the hang of it, and then knit it to here.

It is going to be a kercheif like in this pattern and for some reason, I found it absolutely impossible to cast on. I ripped out the cast on and the start of the project about 3 times before finally getting into a rhythm with it. I don’t think the pattern is badly written or anything, but sometimes my brain just works in a way that is incompatible with the workings of a pattern-writer’s brain, and I just can’t compute the instructions.

In the end, it was this incoherent-to-anyone-but-me little diagram that sorted everything out for me; I switched the placement of the stitch-markers and I changed the increase from a YO to something else… the MK1 that Emmylou showed me while we were invigilating Love is Awesome, in fact, and hey presto, the thing is coming on in leaps and bounds. It is debbie bliss pure silk striped with Oxford Kitchen Yarns Sock Yarn in biscuit. I adore the way these look and feel together… I just hope it doesn’t get too warm to wear it once it’s finished.

I think I am the only person in England right now who doesn’t want it to get warmer.

I could just start knitting cotton projects?

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