Another week of lockdown here, the second week for the UK and the fourth for me. Getting used to working from home, although I still feel like my safe space has been invaded somewhat. The world outside my window has been providing some distraction, I live close to a city police station on a fairly busy street (still). The cherry blossom outside my house briefly gloried, and then the winds have been making confetti along the street, puddling around the parked cars.
Drama too, heralded by blue lights; fire engines and smoke, a fight and arrests in the street, and sadly, a fatal road collision. These are things I normally see on the telly, not in real life. It adds to the surreal feeling of the lockdown. Being in the house is over familiar, and the world outside is dangerous. Police helicopters buzz overhead, checking people are mostly staying inside. Watching it all from my ivory tower (OK, a 2nd floor flat), everything at a distance. Government mandated exercise, and applause. Rationing of some groceries. Trying to get hold of seeds, and flour. I can see police tape and flashing lights again; and wondering whether we are being kept safe, or slipping into dystopia. It's weird.
But, spring is coming. Skies are occasionally untouched blue, and the seagulls are thinking about nesting. I hope they won't do it on my roof again this year, as they rendered it a no go zone for a while last year. Umbrellas up against the dive bombing while I watered plants! Spring is coming, plants have survived a winter of neglect, and are unfurling leaves, sending up shoots. Hope.
#12 - Isolation shawl (knitting)
The test knit is 99% complete! It just needs blocking and the ends sewing in (this usually takes me a couple of weeks to get around to, depending on how piled up my kitchen table is! It was a fun knit, the main body is squishy DK garter stitch, with loopy rows, and the border mixes lace motifs with loopy rows, all in a sock yarn held with mohair. I've never actually knitted with mohair before, but I love the effect - I used a Rowan Kidsilk Haze in a lovely turquoise colour, and it really finishes off the project beautifully.
Charlie has now released this as a free pattern on Ravelry (link here), and I definitely recommend having a go!
#14 - Wine in the Garden shawl (knitting)
I have been fascinated by the Gardens of Giverny shawl for some time, I love the flowing lines and curves created by the lace "pockets" in a garter stitch background. It's one of those patterns which makes the most of variegated yarns, and the finished article looks considerably more complex than it is - definitely my sort of project. I paired up a couple of my favourite yarns - after a LOT of yarn shuffling! The winning combination is an unnamed colourway in greens and fuschia by Albanach Artisan Yarns that was inspired by the Aurora Borealis, and "My Heart Bleeds Wine" by River Knits. It's such a rich glowing combination and I'm loving the pattern so far!