The weather this weekend has been unusually idyllic for most of the UK, so I'm writing this whilst looking out of the window much in the manner of a dog who thinks it's long past time to go for a walk. But I'm already a bit sunburned around the neck and have work tomorrow so it's time to come in and be sensible.
My reading plans for the weekend didn't get as far as I'd hoped, mostly because it was much better to chat to my mother in the sun, and make a fuss of her dog. Both of those things are knitting friendly though, and so I've made good progress on a pair of mitts from last years Wool Week annual.
I've never really got to grips with ravelry, I've used it to look for patterns and ideas, and bought a couple of things through it, but that's as far as it goes. I know it would probably be useful but it's such a huge community that it feels a bit overwhelming - although it's reassuring to know it's there if I get in a mess with something.
One thing I really do love though are the Shetland Wool Week annuals (the last couple of editions are still available through the Wool Week shop Here). They're a nice combination of patterns, most of which lean towards the solidly traditional (and correspondingly timeless) and essays on various aspects of Shetland life. Earlier annuals have focused more on the knitwear industry, but the 2018 issue looks further, going back to explore the history of the women who followed the herring fleet as gutters, and forwards to the Perrie Makkers - the children who will keep this rich tradition alive and evolving.
There are a lot of gloves and mitts in the 2018 edition, along with a hat by a designer I particularly
like, Wilma Malcolmson. Her colours are always amazing, and she makes her hats a little larger than anyone else seems to. That makes them a better fit on me than most I've found so I'm very pleased to have the pattern for one.
The other thing I like about these patterns is that there's something for everyone from absolute beginners up. When I first saw one of these I was right at the beginning of learning to knit, and more interested in the history than what I might make. That's slowly changing, but either way they're one of the best investments in my knitting library.