Sniffles, Sums and Stitches

It’s going to be a shortish post this week as the mental fugginess (yes, I meant ‘fugginess’ – fug, fuggy and fugginess are some of my choicest onomatopoeic words to describe colds and their symptoms.  I promise it’s not a typo!) accompanying my current head cold is threatening to take me over.  The chill in the air – not to mention the wet weather – speaks of the impending vernal equinox…which also means that the busiest time of year in my industry beckons and I need to finish getting things in order!  Apart from a trusty bowl of chicken soup, my all-time favourite cold remedy is the juice of a whole lemon (with bits), lots of good quality honey topped with hot water and a massive glug (1.5-2 cm depth in a mug) of Wray and Nephew.  I hope it’s obvious that this will be a bedtime drink…!

On a more sober note, but no less fun, the season’s teaching kicks off on Monday at Sew Over It, when I will be teaching the Intro to Knitting course for four weeks.  I am really looking forward to it – having more teaching work was one of my goals, and so far, so good.  I will post more about teaching, how I feel about it and how much I love it at a later date, when things really get moving.  My classes at Fringe, Muswell Hill begin in early October.    Right now there is so much to look forward to: the annual Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace is in October, and next month I also hope to have my small collection ready for the world.  Here is a photograph of some weird-looking pieces of knitting for my almost-last design:

FunnyLookingSwatchesI have spent much of the past week with my calculator and reacquainting myself with trigonometry.  I have had absolutely nothing to do with it since GCSE maths, and two days ago I found myself extremely grateful that 1) I passed, and 2) I remembered trigonometry well enough to get the job done!  I’m finding that knitwear design throws up some interesting instances of applied mathematics.  So far the most frequently used branch of maths has been common factors and multiples for pattern repeats, but trigonometry was a new and unexpected addition to the fold.  Amazing how these things come in handy years later!

Yesterday I bought the last of the yarn for this design and head cold permitting, I can start knitting the first version – I am going to spoil people for choice! – in the next few days.  I am very happy with it so far and will share the story of how I came to design it.  The genesis of this idea involves a chance encounter with a kind stranger in Peter Jones; the love and cosiness comes from two very special people and the memory of a favourite childhood toy.  The connection between them all is a part of the world renowned for its association with knitting traditions.

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