The year so far
My family hasn’t had the best start to the year and to be honest, I’m still trying to find my sea legs. My aunt died earlier in February and she will be hugely missed by so many people. She was a remarkable person in so many ways.
But I won’t dwell on that. I’m hugely grateful for all the support and wishes from people through the last few weeks.
If I didn’t already believe in the therapeutic value of knitting and making things, I certainly have lived it this last while. I just finished a beautiful shawl called Laylow by Shannon Cook and when I was feeling blue, it was so wonderful to pick it up and lose myself in a few rows. Usually, one of the biggest things that I love about knitting and making things is the sense of community… sitting with others and sipping tea while everyone works on their projects, but lately I’ve been valuing the solitariness of sitting on my own with no pressure to be social and just being able to knit quietly and remember my aunt.
Laylow is a really well written pattern and I love the dropped stitch pattern which is so simple, yet effective. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a beginner shawl pattern that has enough going on to keep you engaged, but simple enough that you don’t have to concentrate too hard.
I’m now happily going back to my Ramona cardigan which has also been a lovely, straight forward pattern. My loose intention for the year was to try new things, and for this one I took apart a sweater I had made with Cascade Eco + that I never wore… and after a good bath with some yummy SOAK and reskeining, it’s ready to be reinvented as a Ramona. I’ve never ripped out a finished sweater before and I was a bit skeptical about what kind of shape the yarn was going to be in, but it’s been a real joy to knit so far. The yarn is lovely and soft and springy. By the time I finish I’m sure it will be too heavy to wear, but that’s ok.
Here are a few random links that have caught my eye lately:
I’ve never tried cake made in the microwave in a coffee mug, and this recipe might be worth giving a go… although it might be the kind of thing best not knowing about!
Smitten Kitchen is my favourite food blog of all time, and lately Deb Perlman has been hitting it out of the park with her recipe highlights. I made these Everyday Meatballs the other night, adding a glug of red wine and some lemon zest to the sauce and they were delish. I also made these vegetable fritters which were outstanding. Yum.
I love this collection of hats from Ginger Twist in Scotland… and I love that she’s named them all after different kinds of tea!
I watched the most amazing doc series on Netflix called Cooked based on the book by Michael Pollan. I can’t adequately describe how wonderful it is. I’ve long been a fan of Pollan and his books, but this was the first time I’d ever seen him on camera and he is the perfect anchor for the series. The series is divided into 4 films, each focused on one of the 4 elements Earth, Air, Fire and Water and each film is the vision of a different director. The production value is remarkable and I was sucked right in. I can’t recommend this enough to anyone who cares about food and cooking and how we’re living our lives.
My brain isn’t really into reading at the moment, but I’m slowly working my way through the first of the Elena Ferrante Neopolitan novels, “My Brilliant Friend”. I have to admit it’s taken about 70 pages for me to get into the groove, but I’m now really enjoying the growing relationship between the two main characters. The writer has a fresh style and tone that makes the story whip along.
Well that’s it for now. Take care everyone, and remember to take time to reach out to your loved ones, near and far, if you haven’t in awhile.