For Pauline


Last week our friend Pauline died. Our thoughts are with her family, who have been through so much during her illness.

She was a warm and generous person with time for people. We shared the enjoyment in making knitting, collecting wool and sharing a hobby with others. While the shop has been open she has been a rock, encouraging me, listening to my struggles with commerce and buoying me up when things went wrong. I enjoyed her company. I wish I could have protected her from the cancer that ended her life too soon. I would have liked to get on and do all the things we had talked about doing  – visiting the lavender fields and that infamous trip to Shetland in a minibus with all the other ‘mad knitters of Lampeter’.  Every time I pick up needles and start a lace pattern I’ll remember her in my stitches. Life is short and sometimes cruel but the memories you leave with others say most about who you are. Many people will miss you Pauline, you are one of life’s lovely ladies.

Snow Cowl

I have a cowl which gets comments every time I wear it, in this weather it is really toasty so I wear it a lot. It is made from a pattern Ombre Cowl Purl Solo on Ravelry. My copy was free and involved slip stitch rib and three weights of yarn held together at different points in the knitting. It is made with laceweight little grey sheep Gotland, fine dk BFL and DK UK Alpaca. The laceweight goes through all the knitting and adds the flecks of colour.The pattern involved changing weights of yarn and needles size to get the ombre effect.

Purl Solo sell kits for their patterns and lots of lovely US yarns difficult to source in the UK.  I couldn’t find the original so revisited the pattern and discovered they are on to version 3 of the cowl. This time using cashmere dk (50g), merino 4ply (100g) and a kid mohair and silk (25g). Ohhhh yummy.

What have we in the shop to give the same effect???? It’s a good exercise for the shop and we do have a gap or too. Shopping list time. I can’t find small amount of lace yarns other than Air and Kidsilk. Finding cashmere from the UK is tricky Johnsons of Elgin do, do a DK. The merino 4ply ….well all the artisan dyers do one from time to time. In the shop an equivalent DK, 4ply and lace. Would be UK Alpaca, Signature Sock and Wendy Air. The mohair next to your face might be a bit itchy so suggest go with Exquisite merino lace instead. I am waiting for John Arbon the revamp their Alpaca Sock yarn for a better 4ply alternative. Colour combos are also a bit limited so fair but that shopping list is getting longer….

I rummaged through my stash for some purples to make another one for me and came up with some alpaca silk from Border Mill  (find them here) . Some left over Gotland lace from Little Grey Sheep (find them here) and a skein of BFL from Triskelion (find them here). So with nothing else to do on a non snow, snow day here goes….