Credit Where It’s Overdue……….

I really cannot take any more credit for our colourways. Yes, it was all me until about four months ago, when the student definitely overtook the student. Partly because of my ongoing health struggles, partly because he enjoys it more than me, and partly because he is just so damn good, Mr P now does all of the dyeing himself. I mix him the base colours, but he combines them.

He has come up with a distinctive new style of dyeing, which you may have noticed, a way of blending a variegated colourway so that it keeps all of the different shades with creating ugly splotches of colour when knitted up. And he’s so clever at putting colours together. I know I’ve said this before, but it stands to be repeated. Because I’m the one who communicates with customers, and because I get to blather on this blog with you all, I’m the obvious one to get the credit for the yarns.

But really, round of applause for the Mr. He’s the unsung hero around here. Just look at some of the beauties he’s created this week:

The shop preview will be up later tomorrow. See you then!

Looking Ahead…….

How good are you at living in the moment? I am completely useless at it, although not for want of trying. I am always looking ahead, sometimes in anticipation, more often in anxiety. I’ve tried – oh how I’ve tried! – to train myself out of it, but it’s an impossibility. It’s woven deep into the Dee fabric.

So, it’s only normal level crazy for me that while I am plunged deep in the middle of two shawls, I am obsessively planning a new project. I won’t let it get past the planning stage until at least one shawl is done though (as long as buying yarn for a project still counts as planning?). While I was persuading Mr P to let me spend a big chunk of money on yarn (‘why can’t you use our yarn?’ he asked. Umm, because the only yarn that would work for this project is cashmere 8ply, and it’s a hip length intarsia cardigan, and that would cost about a gazillion pounds), he suggested that maybe I should finish my current projects before buying yarn for a new one. ‘What do you mean by current projects’ I asked suspiciously. ‘You mean the two shawls?’ No, apparently he meant the three shawls, the two pairs of socks, and the hoodie (and I thought he didn’t pay attention!).

Well after I had finished laughing (you have to laugh, otherwise it’s just cruel), I tried to explain to him why that would never happen. Knitting is an art, I said. You have to go with the flow. Do you think Monet was a one painting kind of guy? I bet not. So, we compromised. I said I would finish one shawl before casting on for the cardigan, he said he would attempt to turn a blind eye to the yarn, knitting books, and half finished projects that are sprouting all over the house like daisies in a summer lawn. You gotta love that man.

So, the project that is taking up 99.9% of my thoughts at the moment. The Renaissance cardigan from Rowan’s A Yorkshire Fable. Looky:

What a beauty. I’ve been craving some colourwork for a while. I’ve done plenty of Fair Isle, but I’ve never tried intarsia. And it’s very Bloomsbury, don’t you think? I’ve bought some Kilcarra Donegal Tweed Aran to do it in (they spin for Debbie Bliss and Tahki), ivory for the background and black tweed for the flowers. Tres chic. But do you know, I’ve Googled, and Googled, but I can’t find one person who has made this cardigan. No mention of it, anywhere!! Very strange.

And no, the irony of the fact that I am obsessing over a long wooly cardigan on Midsummer’s Day, is not lost on me. I’m in a topsy turvy world, don’t you know.

PS. Little yarn update: I have been twisting this week’s yarn into skeins and I can tell you, Mr P has excelled himself this week. I keep squealing like a pre-teen groupie – ‘this one’s my favourite ever……..no, this one is…. no, this one is!’ Sneak peeks tomorrow. Oh boy!

Idiosyncracies……..

Do you know, one of the things that I have been enjoying the most about Frances Partridge’s diaries, are the eccentricities of the characters that people her world. What has happened to eccentricity? What has happened to individualism? Walk around any supermarket now, and look at the women around you. From young girls to grandmothers, everyone dresses alike. Today I went into the shop, and walked behind a trendy woman, with blonde hair cascading down her back, and tight jeans over high stilettos, and the shock it gave me when she turned around and I saw the face of a 60 year old.

Now, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with her dressing like that, or with anyone wanting to look good whatever their age. What I do dislike is conformism. It’s one thing to want to dress a certain way, it’s another to think that you have to. Fashion says wear hipster jeans and babydolls, so women from 10-70 obediently trot out and buy hipster jeans and babydolls. Every shop you go into, in the High Street at least, stocks the same styles and designs. It’s so boring!

And it’s especially sad in Britain, where we always were proud of our eccentricity. When did we become so afraid of standing out as individuals, or of what other people might think of us? What kind of entertainment is it, to have a show where a normal woman stands on the street, with strangers estimating her age based on her appearance, before all kinds of strings are pulled and tricks are played, so that the same woman can be sent out again to achieve guesses of a younger age?

The older I get, the more I embrace the idea of walking to the beat of your own drum. I used to be terribly obsessed by appearance, and fashion conscious, and maybe that’s why I dislike it so much now. I’m hoping one day that I will reach the stage of such supreme disregard for other’s opinions that I will be able to wander through Tesco’s with my trousers tucked into my socks (which is so comforting, and what your not-so-posh Dee wanders around the house in) and battered old slippers. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m working on it.

Viva la eccentricity! Isn’t that one of the perks of getting older? That, and becoming dreadfully opinionated?!!

Shawls, Shawls, Shawls…….

As you know, I’m on a shawl spree here. It started innocently with the Forest Canopy Shawl, and has ended in an orgy of Peace Shawl and Fir Cone Shawl. The Fir Cone is……boring…… but I’m plugging away determinedly, because it will be worth it when finished.

(see the classic egg carton lace effect? impossible to photo, but magical when it comes to blocking.)

And the Peace Shawl is a delight to work on, since the design changes all the time. I’m wandering through the forest at the moment.

I know, cream, a little boring, but I don’t have a cream shawl and it will go with everything which is an important consideration because once it’s finished I never intend to take it off.

Shawls really are the perfect summer knit. How’s yours coming along?