Saturday, 7 December 2013

It's the most ridiculous time of the year...

Upon reflection, December is possibly the silliest time of year to begin a blog. It's certainly not that I'm not crafting - there's as much of that going on as time and work allow - but that most of the things I'm crafting are gifts and so I'm loath to release them to the internet before they're received by the lucky souls who will be unwrapping them come the solstice.

On the other hand, for a knitter, this is a lovely time of year. For this knitter, anyway. The arrival of late autumn and then the delights of winter heralds the digging out of all of the beautiful handknits which are put away during the warmer months. I can't be the only knitter with a handmade hat for every year I've been knitting, and even I concede that my gloves-and-mittens collection is frankly rather silly, and that's after giving away most of my less worn handknit accessories to friends and loved ones.

So I've mountains of hats and enough gloves and mittens that I could probably wear a different pair every day of the week, and many, many shawls. However, as seems to be often the case, there are a select few that are worn most often, either because they're newer, they coordinate well, or they suit my purposes well.

The Baskerville Hat
This year, my hat of choice is the Baskerville hat (Ravelry link), designed by Karina Westermann and knit in Old Maiden Aunt blue-faced leicester in Something Herbal. I love this hat. It's such a delightfully versatile shape, and can be perched on the head elegantly or (more often the case for me) pulled down over the ears to keep as much warmth in as possible. The colour is beautiful and subtle and it coordinates beautifully with my purple coat. I have the yarn and intentions to knit a cowl and mittens to go with it, but haven't yet managed to find the time. This is the newest thing I've knit for myself, and was completed in October, so it's still quite new.

The scarf I wear most is actually a shawl I knit over a year ago. Also knit from Old Maiden Aunt yarn (you will notice a pattern emerging here), this shawl is 50% silk and 50% wool, making it shiny, soft and very warm. To add to the luxurious feeling, it's also peppered with silvery beads, several hundred of them, making it sparkle and shine. I really enjoy wearing a triangular shawl instead of a scarf, because the point of the triangle tucks so nicely into the open point at the collar of a buttoned coat. This shawl also squishes down very easily and thus goes just about everywhere with me, squashed into my bag. I can't count the number of people who have temporarily borrowed it in the cold office. The pattern is called Sunshine and Pinwheels, and I added the beads because I find it almost impossible to follow a pattern all the way through without changing at least something.

I have a pair of gloves which match the above shawl perfectly, being made from the remnants of the yarn and the same beads, and during November I wore them a lot. The silk keeps them really warm and they fit so nicely, I keep them in my bag all the time. However, gloves are not quite so warm as mittens, and they've taken a bit of a back seat in the last week or two. The pattern is called Eisblume, which means Frost Flowers. Isn't that pretty? By now you will have noticed a certain colour theme to my winter accessories. Purple is my favourite colour, and this definitely shows in my day-to-day existence.

Now that it's that much colder, mittens are far warmer than gloves, and - remember what I said above about finding it hard to follow patterns exactly? - my favourite mittens are a pair of adapted Endpapers. I changed the pattern to be pointy mittens, following the diagonal lines of the motif, and they're delightfully warm. These were knit over 2 years ago, and I never got around to taking pretty pictures of them (the best picture I had was on top of a television - why, Lilly?) so I've photographed them in their two-year-old state. I think they're holding up pretty well.

I do own knitted things that aren't purple, I promise! It's just that they aren't getting quite so much wear right now. Some things are just made for occasional wear; others may be put away for a period of months or years before coming back into the limelight. I hope they all go somewhere they'll be eventually loved, though.

1 comment:

  1. All of those are beautiful, but I especially like the shawl and gloves with the beads. SPARKLIES!!