Thank you all for your lovely comments on Mousie’s story! I have been knitting along over here since then, but the blogging has been on the back burner as I prepare for an interview. I really dislike interviews. A lot. So let’s take a brain break and talk about something happy: finished objects.
By the time we were bussed up to Scotland, we students were feeling slightly frazzled. We’d been seeing World-Class Cultural Institutions and History-Altering Collections at the rate of 1.5 a day for two weeks, and I for one was getting to the point that I would see something gorgeous, incredible, and important and just go “meh.” So all free time was exquisite. Narrow roads with irregular pavers dark with rain? Gorgeous. Soup in an ordinary cafe? Incredible. Kicking around with the other students? Important.
The afternoon I found k1 in Edinburgh was one of those important afternoons. I was kicking around with my knitting, blogging buddy Courtney and one of the guys on the trip (his name escapes me) when we found k1, quite close to the national library. The guy had no crafty leanings and installed himself on the couch while Courtney and I chatted and inspected yarn. Traveling abroad with a group of students is odd like that: we would find ourselves in these little groups, sometimes bound by friendship, other times by barest affinity, and even the latter was enough to keep us together in the safety of our little clutches.
Outside, it was dark and rainy, and inside the shop all was warm and bright. The selection was compact but exquisite, and I came away with only local yarns. I think it was the memory of that trip, and not wanting to mess it up with a bad knit, that kept me waiting for just the right pattern to come along. Some Twisted Sisters Avarice (baby alpaca, now discontinued–*sniffle*) joined my Scottish yarns in their moth-proof Ziploc baggie, but I still kept waiting.
It was not until this January that I finally made up my mind: Emma Welford’s Wallpaper Cowl from the Holla Knits 2012 Accessories issue. Holla Knits is currently hosting a knitalong–knit any Holla Knits pattern from February to April and get entered in a prize drawing–which definitely helped nudge me along.
The Wallpaper Cowl is an interesting knit: some pretty standard ribbing and Latvian braids frame a fair isle pattern with really, really long floats. After a rough start, my handy dandy laminated chart and I made it to the end in good shape. And while the irregularity of the pattern is bad for rhythm, it’s good for intrigue: wondering what the next round would look like kept me knitting on many a tired night.
I only regret that it is now far too warm for a snuggly cowl, because this project is perfect, exactly what I wanted for my special Scotland yarn. My notes are not extensive, but if you’d like more detail, here is my Wallpaper Cowl project page.
What next? Well, that unremarkable picture of crumply knitting taken after dark in iffy artificial light is my Holla Back tank, a super simple project two years in the making. There is a little over a month left in the Holla Knits Knit Along, and I’m going to try to make that my next FO.