I've been knitting a lot recently, or at least spent a lot of my free time knitting whilst catching up with a daunting backlog of podcasts. It's a welcome escape from outside events - Knitting leaves me just enough head space to listen to a civilised conversation about books and reading whilst I diligently count stitches and try not to go wrong, it's calming (until I realise I haven't been diligent enough) which is good.
My latest project has been a cowl for a mum, I have a little bit of an obsession with cowls, and working out exactly what the perfect one for my needs might be. This one might just be that cowl. It needs to provide a reasonable amount of warmth, not be to loose, and not be so bulky as to get in the way of mounting a shotgun into my shoulder when I go clay shooting. That's not something you want to get wrong a badly mounted gun recoiling into your collarbone is uncomfortable.
I like cowls because they don't fall off, don't trail into things, and easily fit in a pocket when you're not wearing them. This one is knitted in a traditional lace pattern called print of the wave, in the round on 3.5 mm needles, and used 3 balls of Jamieson and Smith's heritage yarn in natural fawn (which is a shade my mother particularly likes). It's a 17 stitch repeat, that I repeated 9 times (I hope that makes sense). It's not a difficult lace to knit, but it's a little bit more complicated than anything I've done before, and calls for a bit more concentration. Stitch markers were very helpful.
I followed the instructions from Elizabeth Lovick's The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting, she's admirably clear with written as well as charted directions, so it's the perfect book for any Shetland lace beginner.