Hi friends, and happy Thursday!
First, I wanted a say a big thank you to everyone whose read and commented on posts so far this summer. I’ve been rubbish at replying to comments (I think I’m just about caught up now), but I do read and appreciate each one. With the pressure of finishing, together with lots of good busy-ness, my time in this space has suffered. I’m looking forward to a quiet fall, when I’ll have time to catch up on all the lovely blog posts I’ve missed, and we can chat lots about woolly sweaters and autumnal things.
While blogging has suffered, I most definitely have been knitting … furiously, I might say! I’m still rotating between maybe a half dozen projects, and I’ve also been prioritizing getting out of the house for meetups with knitting friends whenever I can! It probably sounds a bit silly, but knitting’s been such a balm during the stress of these final months of dissertating (as has support from Mr. N, my wonderful family, and lovely friends).
Right, so with that business out of the way, how about a bit of project chat?
Knit British has been hosting a wonderful Natures Shades-along, a makealong that is right up my alley. There were two options: you could either knit something with two or more natural colors of yarn or make a project that used a bit of color, but in a way that offset some natural shades of wool. For both, you were meant to use British or local-to-you wool. There’s some really gorgeous inspiration over on Instagram under the hashtag #naturesshadesalong!
As anyone who has read my blog will know, I’m a sucker for natural neutrals. When the makealong was announced, I immediately thought about the kit I had gotten at EYF Meet the Shepherd(ess) from Black Isle Yarn for the Shivelight Cowl by Claire Ward.
Even with the million other projects I’ve been knitting, this flew off the needles. I knit the pattern completely as written. I love the yarn. It’s Gotland with a touch of Shetland, and I think it’s semi-worsted spun. It has a smooth, dry, almost paper-y feel in hand that was really pleasant, and not nearly as much sheen as other Gotland I’ve worked with (which I think is from it being semi-worsted, rather than completely worsted spun, or from the touch of Shetland wool, or both things working together … regardless, for me, less sheen was a plus!)
I also loved the natural shades of the kit. I love how they were with the almost pixelated pattern, fading in and out of one another, and I love the bold contrast at the cowl’s center of the natural black and white. I think I probably messed up a bit on color dominance in some of my stranding, not paying attention to when a single shade should have swapped from background to dominant color. But I don’t mind. I’m wonderfully happy with the result, and looking forward to wearing it this fall! I’m just about due a new winter coat, and I’m going to pick one that’ll set off this cowl (that’s a totally reasonable way to pick a new coat, right?)
I’d had some plans of August being a Big Finishing Month. I was even set to do a post all about it. I thought it’d be sort of fun (???) to try to finish as many projects as I could while I also finished my dissertation. But then lots of new patterns I wanted to knit came out, and I realized that maybe manufacturing pressure and deadlines for my knitting while I was also trying to meet the biggest deadline so far of my professional life was maybe not a recipe for success.
So instead I listened to my heart (cue Roxette) and cast on for another Nature’s Shades project. I fell for the striped version of Kate Davies new St. Catherines pattern the moment I saw it. As luck would have it, Kate of Northern Yarn had just given me an advance skein of her new Poll Dorset 4-ply (thank you so much Kate!) Together with my Northern Yarn Zwartbles 4-ply, I think this is going to make a delectable open cardigan for fall:
If you’d like a bit more long-winded wool chat from me, I also recently completed a Woolly Mucker review of some really lovely Shropshire Ply wool. My review along with my two fellow woolly muckers is over in this post on Knit British. Spoiler alert: I think the yarn is pretty fab!
Finally, if you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that this week I shared that earlier this summer, Mr. N and I tied the knot in a little ceremony up in the Lake District. For regular readers, you might remember some of the snippets about wedding planning here … we’d originally planned to get married this September, but for a whole heap of reasons decided to postpone until April 2019. This spring though, we started questioning whether a big wedding was what made the most sense for us. After some long talks and with the support of our families, we decided to have a small wedding with just the two of us and celebrate with friends and family during the coming year. It was a magical day, and we’re both so happy to, after over six years together, be married and starting a new chapter together! For now, I won’t say too much more as I’m conscious of the fact that I shared quite a bit on Instagram and if you follow me there, you might be completely tired of hearing about it — maybe I’ll do a longer post about it another time! But if you’d like to read more about the day and spy some sheep and handknits, there are a few posts over in my Instagram grid, along with lots of pictures, taken by the amazing Lucy (her Instagram feed is gorgeous, and she’s posted a few of the wedding pictures this week too!)
Hope you’re having a great week!