“But what do you know?” he asked. “For sure.” He needed something definite.

She closed her eyes, put her head in her hands.

The clock ticked quietly. It was nearly three in the afternoon. Someone was brewing coffee, and the scent filled the room. A shuffling sound as the interviewer shifted in his chair, impatient.

She tried to slow her breathing, gave herself silent commands, “Calm. Remember.”

After a few minutes, she lifted her head, eyes open. They were still there: the police officer, the interviewer, and her brother. He looked exhausted. Up all night, too. Exhausted with her.

“I know what I saw.”

Candle Light Shawl

This is the Candle Light Shawl, pattern written by Lucy Robson. It was one of my very first small shawl projects. I still think it’s pretty. I have such happy memories of the first time I wore it. It was a cold day in very late fall, and I visited a beautiful garden.

I think a lot of knitters go through an intense small shawl phase. It’s very tempting. Many of the shawls take only one skein of yarn, so you can buy some of your very first fancy yarn and learn which ones you like best. You’re learning new techniques, watching lace or interesting textures form in your hands, and it’s done in a relatively short amount of time. I had to stop, I had so many shawls, but now that I’m talking about it, I want to make some more.

How in the world do you wear a shawl in 2020? I’ve always used them as scarves in cold weather, with the point in front and tucked into my coat. I like how there’s volume in the front so I can be extra cozy.

I caught my first whiff of fall outside yesterday, so I’m thinking about these things.

I knitted this shawl in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, the shade is called Dusk. I think this color is discontinued, but there are some current options which are peachy-pinky-beige and would make great substitutes.

Swallowtail Shawl

The Swallowtail Shawl pattern, written by Evelyn A. Clark, has been a favorite of mine to knit. I find it particularly soothing and meditative. The bonus is that it has nupps, which I love everything about: knitting them, looking at them from a distance, inspecting them up close where I can see the subtle variations of color in each component strand of yarn, and feeling the texture when the piece is finished. I’ve made three of these shawls so far, maybe more? I’m not entirely sure, because I give things away.

This is the version I kept. I wanted it to be more cozy and homey, so I knitted the pattern differently in a way I saw some people on Ravelry doing it, with a stockinette top portion, rather than the lace as written. I used a heavier weight of yarn, and didn’t pull the points out when I blocked it, so edges are more rounded, less defined. One of the other versions I made was in a silver-colored pure silk laceweight yarn, with the lacy top as written. That was gorgeous. It’s just a great pattern.

I knitted my shawl in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, one of my very favorite yarns. It’s a fingering-weight hand-dyed merino wool, single-ply, which is always my preference. It only took one skein, and the shade is called Vintage Frame. I think this color is discontinued now, which is a pity. They have so many other colors, though, that it’s almost maddening to try to choose one. I guess that explains all the shawls.

Featherweight Cardigan

I’m still going through my older finished projects and posting photos. This one is the Featherweight Cardigan, pattern written by Hannah Fettig. It’s a classic for a reason.

This cardigan was one of my very first knitted garment projects. I was so excited to be making it, and so nervous about whether it would turn out to be wearable!

It is very wearable. It’s a light but warm wooly layer for transitional weather. I’m thinking of making another, and it’s not often I knit a pattern twice. There are so many great designs, and I feel I could keep trying new patterns infinitely and never make all the everything I’d like to. I think this one is worth it though. It’s versatile and easy to wear.

And, it’s an easy and well-written pattern. I love the concept of knitting a sweater in laceweight yarn for a couple reasons. Firstly, the garment is delicate. Secondly, when you buy laceweight yarn, you get more yardage for your money. It just makes sense. The required gauge for this sweater is not terribly small, which means I only needed one skein of yarn for the whole thing. I got an entire cardigan made of great quality hand-dyed merino wool for a materials cost of $24. I think that’s a great deal! Since the garment is basic and not oversized, I didn’t find it took long to make, even in laceweight.

If you have a look at the finished projects on Ravelry, you’ll see some people have made the sweater in heavier weights of yarn, which I wouldn’t mind trying. Also, it’s so plain and basic it would be fun to add interest to the hem or neckline, as you can see some people have done, and it’s easy to vary the sleeve length or the length of the entire garment.

I knitted my sweater in Madelinetosh Tosh Lace, which has been discontinued. Don’t worry, Prairie is still available, and that’s a beautiful yarn. I always prefer single-ply anyway, which I didn’t learn until I had been knitting for a while. I used the shade Kale, which may also be discontinued. It was this funny-sounding combination of a purple-maroon color and pale green. I don’t think it looks funny, though. I love it, although I can’t seem to get the camera to pick up the color very well.

Water Lily Mitts

Another handmade item I finished a while ago but haven’t posted: my sixth pair of these mitts. I think? I’ve done at least six, that’s for sure.

I really like this pattern. It’s fun and quick and works nicely with various weights of yarn. I’ve done four pairs in sport weight, one in dk, and one in worsted. I gave a few away, and the others are too well-loved to photograph. Already these have been worn quite a bit.

If you’re looking to crochet a gift for someone, these are a good candidate. Need to finish up a partial skein of fancy yarn? Water Lily Mitts.

Here is a link to the pattern: click link.

This pair was done in Malabrigo Rios, shade is Azul Profundo

the reasons we stay up too late

Reading:

Olive Editions (Harper Collins imprint) did this decorative bunch of titles, the price is $10 each, and I spied a Dorothy Sayers mystery which had been on my wish list for a while. It’s fun, but not my favorite Sayers so far. My favorite so far is The Nine Tailors.

Listening:

Oh, this album. It’s old and a bit strange, but it has been a favorite since my friend played it for me almost 25 years ago. It has a quality of feeling like home while feeling not at all like home. It’s great music for walking in cold darkness, there’s the smell of woodsmoke and decaying leaves, and a wind is kicking up. Yes.

Making:

More Ann Wood ships for the holidays. These are fun to make, and very pretty. You should look at her stuff. It’s inspiring. Here are links so you can find out more:

Ann Wood’s website

Template and instructions for boat

Template and instructions for another sort of boat

Link to all the free patterns and templates she has generously shared

A sincere thank you to Ann Wood!