Joy in simple things

I finished a new project a few weeks ago, but haven’t been able to show it to you, because I have been very busy (1) working, (2) travelling, and (3) working while travelling. In the month since I last posted (which is the longest break I’ve had in 13 years of blogging!) I’ve been sailing along the lake in Geneva, strolling around medieval French and Swiss villages, overseeing the busy start of a new semester, researching and writing, and teaching MBA workshops in Johannesburg. It’s been hectic. Despite all of that, I managed to finish knitting Dune:

If you recall, in an earlier post I remarked that this was an incredibly boring knit: a tiny bit of shaping at the shoulders and then endless rounds of stockinette at a very small gauge. I am still in that post-covid state, alas, where boring is better where knitting is concerned. And, as you can see, while the knitting itself is boring, the finished project is rather nice:

Dune is designed by eri shimizu; the pattern is called Dune and Foresta, where Dune is the cap-sleeved version and Foresta has long sleeves. This is the second of her patterns which I have knitted; the first was Flores, which I blogged about here. In both of them, I ended up cutting out significant amounts of ease. (If you look at this post, you can see a false start I made with this project, in which the garment would have been voluminous with a capital V; I ripped back and got rid of 4 sets of increases totalling 32 stitches. I think I ended up with a nice amount of ease – it is still roomy enough to feel cool on a hot day, but not so much that I am swimming in it.

While exceedingly simple, the pattern has some nice details, first in the small eyelet increases at the shoulder and the shaping along the clavicle:

It also has a nice line down the back formed by a narrow asymmetrical cable:

The pattern calls for i-cord edging, and after much to-ing and fro-ing, I left it out. I finished both waistband and sleeves with twisted ribbing, and I left a rolled edge at the neck. I find this kind of funny because in general I hate rolled edges. In fact, I once wrote a post called Annoying Things in which I wrote a long list of things which annoyed me. Top of the list? Rolled edges. (I still consider it a very funny post. It is from 2016, so it goes back quite a way, but still resonates. I suppose the fact that I just left a rolled hem on this tee means that even crusty old set-in-their-ways knitters are open to change. Yay me; I am resilient!)

The yarn I used is a 55% linen 45% wool blend called Kalinka 21 from Karen Oberg. I absolutely adore this yarn! I have used it before to knit my wonderful Treit (which you can see here). I will most certainly use it again. The linen and the wool take the dye differently which creates a richness of shade, and of course, the linen gives it great temperature control and drape while the wool helps it bounce back into shape. It has all of the lovely properties of linen tied together with the loveliness of wool and is also dyed by someone who has a similar colour sense to me. What’s not to love? I used less than 3 skeins to make this top.

I’m getting a real kick out of how lush and green our garden is right now. Our neighbours all have yards that are manicured with a ruler for that golf course look, and I believe they are all secretly appalled by our overgrown mess. I love it though, and right now it’s perfect! I had fun taking these photos yesterday and couldn’t resist surreptitiously taking a photo of Doug taking photos of me:

New top, lots of flowers, a peak of sun, a lovely cup of coffee, Doug trying to confiscate my shawl (and looking good in it); could anything make this weekend better? Well, yesterday I received new yarn in the post! And on that teaser, I’ll say good-bye!


I’m really happy to have finished my Treit pullover.

Treit (Ravelry link) is a lovely design by Kate Davies. The original pattern design is cropped and slightly boxy and looks great as a layering piece over a blouse. I choose to knit it with a linen blend, so in my head it took on a summer tee vibe rather than an autumn layer vibe. (Which makes it terribly inconvenient that I have finished it in October instead of May!)

The yarn is a wool and linen blend by Karin Öberg, called Kalinka 21, which I purchased from Ginger Twist Studio. It is 55% linen and 45% wool, sportweight blend that comes in some fantastic, bright shades. (This one is called Lime.) A 100 gram skein has 350 metres; I bought 3 skeins but knitted this tee with only two skeins! That makes this tee a super bargain! And see how beautifully it takes lace:

As with all of Kate’s designs, the pattern is beautifully written and edited with a great eye for the finest detail. The lace pattern is really pretty. It is a super fast knit. It took me exactly 4 weeks to knit this – and then another 4 weeks in which it hung around in a pile somewhere waiting for me to take the half hour necessary to graft the underarm stitches and weave in the ends.

I made the following adjustments:

1. I made it longer. This one measures 13.5 inches from the hem to the underarm, which adds 3 inches to the length.

2. I added waist shaping. I put in three sets of paired decreases and increases to add some shape at the waist.

3. I added fewer decreases at the neckline. The pattern in this size called for 108 stitches for the neck ribbing; I thought that would bring the neckline in too far, so on the last set of decreases, I made fewer of them, bringing the number of stitches down to 120 for the neck ribbing.

4. I knitted it with negative ease. I was a little under gauge, so I knitted the size 41 to get 39 inches at the chest, which gives 3 inches of negative ease.

These adjustments give it a more curvy shape instead of a short and boxy shape.

While waiting for Doug to fiddle with camera settings, I threw on a cowl to keep warm and sat down with my knitting to knock out a row. Doug snapped a shot:

I realised that I was wearing a Kate Davies-designed tee with a Kate Davies-designed cowl (knitted in Kate Davies wool), while knitting another Kate Davies design. Do you sense a theme, here? (I blogged about the lovely cowl here.)

Wishing you a lovely weekend and some peaceful knitting!

Taking Stock

Taking stock of my WIPs (works in progress), that is. Taking stock of my life, or of life on earth, or of the crazy sauce that is politics these days, would take too long. And be rather depressing. Knitting is better.

I only have three projects in progress right now. I was going to say “on the needles” but one of them is in the finishing stage, so already off the needles.


I finished knitting this little lace tee-shirt at least a month ago, I think. It is knitted with a lovely wool and linen blend yarn called Kalinka 21, in a gorgeous, sunny, grassy green.

I have only three things that have still to be done with this one. First, I need to graft the sleeve stitches at the underarms:

Second, I have a few ends to weave in:

And third, it needs a good blocking.

If that is all that remains to be done, why haven’t I done it? First, I hate grafting and insist that it can only be done in full morning light. I have been working on the weekends again, and the weather has been often cloudy and rainy, so there has been no opportunity to take advantage of clear, morning light. Second, I finished knitting it just as the summer ended and the autumn weather set in. What motivation do I have to finish a summery linen tee at the beginning of autumn? I can’t even use the winter holiday in sunny locale excuse, because well…Covid. I’m clearly stuck in England for the foreseeable future. Third, I am lazy. Enough said.


In my last post, I talked about having swatched for a vest for Doug, using the Ursula pattern (Ravelry link) by Kate Davies. This is a women’s cardigan pattern but I am trying to be creative and transform it into a men’s waistcoat. It will be my first steeked garment, so I am imagining all sorts of anxiety to come as I take up the scissors to cut my knitting. But, for now, it is a rather straightforward project. Here is exactly two weeks worth of knitting progress:

Today, I had Doug try it on for the first time, and it fits. Whew! I am terribly slow at stranded knitting, however. At the moment it is taking me 18 minutes per row, which amounts to 3 hours per colour pattern. I am hoping to improve on my speed a bit, but the days of my super fast knitting have gone. This will clearly not be a quick knit. But see how pretty it is?

By the way, Treit is a Kate Davies pattern, too, so I seem to be on a bit of a Kate thing at the moment. I have also joined her latest club so I am currently waking up to a new design by her every Friday morning. Chances are this will result in another Kate project on the needles before long. (Anyone else enjoying the new club?)


Remember this?

It is an ingenious three-dimensional knitting pattern designed by Olga Buraya-Kefelian, which I am knitting in three luscious shades of Northiam by Kettle Yarn Co. This is what it looks like unblocked, but rest assured, when it is blocked it will undergo a transformation and knock your socks off.

I have only knitted about 4inches/10cm since the last time I showed it on the blog, some months ago now, so this is clearly going to be one of those very-long-in-the-making shawl projects which I sometimes undertake. They take forever to knit because I can’t stay monogamous to them, but the end project is worth it (like this or this).

I am looking around for a new project to cast on, so that I have enough variety in my WIPs to keep me interested. What’s next? Well, Doug and I have been walking a lot and it is getting colder outside, so mittens and hats are appealing at the moment. How are your WIPs going? Does this autumn air make you want to cast on? (And for those in the Southern Hemisphere, soak up some sun for me. If I was there with you, I’d be wearing my Treit right now!)