This gorgeous young man, our son Will,  is about to begin a new era of his life. Having completed his ‘A’ levels in spectacular fashion, he leaves us this week to start his university studies.

He is sporting a sweater that I made for him last Christmas, one that is based on an original from a very different era.

This portrait of Edward, Duke of Windsor was painted in 1925. When Will asked me to make him a Fair Isle tank top I used this painting, in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, as the inspiration for Will’s version. You can see more details of the sweater on Ravelry.

Of course, starting new eras necessarily involves ending old ones. Our beautiful baby boy, with the broadest grin and the loudest laugh, has left his childhood behind and grown into an amazing, talented, considerate, handsome, witty and and endlessly interesting young man. I am bursting with pride as I watch him make this this transition and cannot wait to cheer him on as he embraces life as an adult.

But some things never change. Will, this is for you:

“So they went off together. But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”

AA Milne, The House at Pooh Corner

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leaf and nupp shawl

Pattern: Leaf and Nupp shawl, from Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush. I chose this pattern because the leaves in the lace pattern also reminded me of bluebells – a nice combination with the yarn, I thought.

Yarn: Posh Yarn Eva 2 ply cashmere/silk. This is the Bluebell colourway from Posh’s cashmere club. The colour is hard to capture, especially in the full sun in which these photos were taken. But it is a beautiful, utterly bluebell-y blue, with subtle tinges of lavender.

Needles: 3.25 mm

Notes: I spent this weekend at the wonderful Knitnation organised by the awesome Alice and CookieA. I’ll post more on that later, especially with details of my highly uncharacteristic stash acquisition (Wollmeise anyone??). But I also spent a day doing a workshop on Estonian lace making with Nancy Bush. I met some lovely people, and it was incredibly interesting hearing about this region’s history of making lace for the last couple of hundred years.

One of the things that I learned was that the nupps, that you can see in the photo above, work best in white yarn, because apparently light reflects differently on white than on any other colour. Which explains why they are not that prominent in my or other coloured versions, and made me think I’d like to try another nupp-based shawl in a natural coloured Shetland laceweight yarn.

I also wish I’d made the shawl larger, as it is really more of a large scarf size. Nancy Bush had a sample that she had knitted of the same pattern, in a pure Shetland wool, and it was much larger than my version. I hadn’t thought about it before, but once I saw the two together it was obvious that the silk content in my shawl made the yarn much less stretchier, and therefore block much smaller, than the pure wool shawl. Yet another reason to try a Shetland shawl!

And finally, just because a girl  in a sports car (yes, I am still harping on about our recent trip to France!) really ought to wear a headscarf, here’s one of me posing like mad…

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featherweight cardigan

Pattern: Featherweight cardigan (rav link), by Hannah Fetig

Yarn: Malabrigo lace, in the colour Natural 63

Needles: 4mm, and 3mm for the ribbing.

I chose to do 1×1 ribbing for the bottom edge of the cardigan, finished off with my favourite tubular cast-off. I worked the front edge and sleeves in stocking stitch with a rolled edge.

As this is for me to wear during the summer, I didn’t mind that the edges rolled back quite a bit, and I like the way the rolled edge looks at the neckline.

Notes: I was happily knitting away on this cardigan when I read Bell’s cautionary tale about laceweight cardigans. She, and many commenters, talked about the problems they had with some laceweight yarns felting and just not being sturdy to last. I looked more closely at my knitting and realised that the yarn was indeed starting to felt a little, even before I had finished working on it.

This is most noticable on the sleeves, where I picked up the stitches that had been knit earlier. Blocking the cardigan helped, as it made the newer stitches also felt slightly, but you can still see a ridge where the two meet:

I am happy with how this cardigan turned out but, given that it started to felt before I even finished it, I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out not to have a particularly long shelf-life. On the plus side, it only took me four weeks to knit, so I guess I’ll just enjoy it while I can!

Photos taken here:

To celebrate our anniversary last week we spent a wonderful long weekend staying in a fairytale chateaux near Bordeaux. I couldn’t resist slipping a couple of photos into this post – if you’d like to see some more, the Flickr set is here. Not bad eh?

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posh ruby

After what was probably for me an unprecedented 2-month knitting hiatus, I finally caught the bug again. Instrumental in this was the fact that I had signed up for Dee at Posh Yarn’s Cashmere Club last December, which means that every couple of months some delicious hand-dyed cashmere gets dropped through my letterbox. (The fact that I paid for it last year also makes me feel rather like this is free yarn – irrational, I know, but hey, if it makes me happy…)

I started this scarf at the beginning of April, just as we were about to go on holiday to Morocco for a week. I thought that the beautiful, tulip-inspired colours would match that landscape well, and I was right.

It was perfect for getting me back into knitting – a quick, easy knit with many dropped row stitches that meant the scarf grew incredibly quickly, and a nice bit of lace at each end. I am somewhat ambivalent about variegated yarn in general, but I am really happy with how this stitch pattern worked with, rather than against, the yarn.

Although I love the result, these are not really my colours, so this scarf is destined to become a gift for a deserving friend (hope she’s not reading as I haven’t given it to her yet!)

Here are the details:

Pattern: Victorian Ruby (Ravelry link) by Jane Sowerby, from Victorian Lace Today

Yarn: Posh Yarn Eva 4 ply silk/cashmere, in the colourway Tulip Time

Needles: 4.5mm

Ravelled: here

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Guess what? I’ve been knitting again… And my camera is working again… And I’ve decided enough is enough on the neglecting my blog front… And I’ve missed checking in on all my bloggy friends…

So, details to follow on these projects very soon. But for now, here’s just a little teaser…..

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