Tuesday, October 30, 2012


The shores of Garter Triangle Island are out of reach as I bob about in the waters of Bird's Eye Lace Lake. They are gentle waters really, a simple two row repeat to make this wide open lace but they are the kind of waters that I like to have a little of my knitting wits about me so that I at least catch when I've missed something or done something unprescribed before I'm working back and discover it on the the next row. Handily I already have the perfect counterpoint piece in my current WIPs. A long, vertically striped garter stitch scarf in various shades of woolly, soft Rowanspun. The perfect piece for my week night evenings when I generally lack much in the way of wits having left them trailing behind me in the day's work. These plumper, snugglier stitches require so much less concentration. They help smooth out the brain waves in an echo of their ripple and get to work on repairing the wits for the next day and for the next voyage out on the Lake.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Guest post

Percival here. Well obviously my name is not really Percival it's Simon but she who sewed me thinks Percival the Polar Bear has a nice ring to it, so you know, I'll go along with it to keep the peace. She has been promising me some friends all week but all I've seen her do is disappear out of the house muttering something about 'work' and when she's here she just plays around with some green string. Not sure how she thinks 'a whole bear troop' is going to get created unless she gets her needle out. She keeps reminiscing about how fun it was creating me. She had a day off this work thing apparently and sat around drinking tea and eating macaroons with another one like her who shares my birthday before heading out for an evening of cocktails. Apparently the lateness of the hour on a school night may be to blame for limited productivity for the rest of this week. Hmmm I think this all may be a ruse, she may be on to my plan for world domination and think she can stop me if she doesn't create me some soldiers friends. La la la. Nothing to see here. I'm just Percival looking cute.

Friday, October 19, 2012

There's always the knitting

The sunshine of Italy is feeling like a long time ago as I sit under murky grey skies this end of the week. The irritations of daily life are doing their best to impinge on my shiny, squam exfoliated outlook. I mean really, even if Squam is a fortnight ago I should still be on new friend high after a super decadent meet up with two very lovely squammers and their very talented friend. We all went for afternoon tea at The Savoy on Monday but even that seems a long time ago. Though - oh my - the lavender eclair - will never be forgotten!
So I have no excuses for feeling a bit flat but luckily when life seems a little humdrum again there's comfort close by with the needles and yarn. This is a Squam inspired comfort. These lacy stitches are the start of an Aestlight which I chose as my class pattern. Gudrun definitely inspired me to stretch out my shawl skills and try some proper laceweight and this interesting, traditional construction. It begins with just one stitch and you increase each row to make this central lace triangle. One day I will leave the safe shores of heavenly, soothing garter stitch and voyage out to pick up the edges to add on a lace panel before knitting on a border to make an edge to this cloud of soft, green joy. Till then I go gently onwards, trying to practice mindfulness with each fine stitch and holding dear memories of an excellent class.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I've been squammed

A week on and the freckles are fading but the effects of my time at SquamItalia! will be with me forever. I have pictures and I have a full heart. I'm not sure I have the words. I keep writing sentences and deleting them. It's so hard to explain exactly what it was like and why it has such an impact. The ingredients meant it was bound to be fabulous: a sunny hillside in Italy with views of the sea one way and the mountains the other, talented teachers and a whole group of powerful, creative women brought there by the vision of one to have fun and learn.

The magic is in how those people come together and in the creation of a space so removed from everyday life that I found I could cast off some of the restrictions I've learned to put on myself when I've come up against challenges and challengers in the past. Thank you so much to everyone I met for making my time unforgettable. When do you ever get the chance to meet so many creative spirits, open and friendly, reaching out and reaching within themselves? Beautiful connections to treasure forever. It wasn't neat and tidy and it won't fit in to any box I try and offer it. It was messy and wild and totally awesome. Perfectly imperfect.

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