It literally has been such a long time – firstly because I am completely rubbish at keeping my own secrets, you know when there is something that you mustn’t say or tell but is brilliant in a “I can’t believe it way” – yes that. And all those things were rolled together so when I was thinking of what to write here I keep thinking of all the things I should not be saying and I got so foggy I couldn’t think of anything else. So there are a few things to say but to make it easier and so it does not run away in one whole stream of babble I shall keep this down to just the one thing for this week. (If you are wondering I am really good at keeping other peoples secrets, just saying)
This secret goes back a while – right around the time of Saunton Sands designing circa March 2013, thinking about colour and the seaside and beautiful yarn I had bought from Elisabeth Beverley the previous April (2012). Driving through Ilfracombe and looking at the houses, painted seaside colours, some fading, others painted with no consideration of the colours around them – it all made me very excited (as I would be) and this idea arrived to make a more complex than usual mitred square blanket for our seaside jaunts, in ice cream colours, that would be a paint by numbers or you paint as you want – like those pattern books that used to be around in the 70′s. I loved seeing one of those in my christmas stocking and loved colouring in the shapes. Those, they would be my dream design tool.
So I made lots of these, in multi colours and kept colouring them in and in. The more I made, the more my mind swirled. The longer time went on, the more I brewed on it until I happened upon a submission notice for the coolest knitting magazine “Pom Pom Quarterly” – and there it said it “think summer, ice cream colours”. So I prepared my submission, sent it off, felt dizzy with nerves, wondered if they would think I was a bit odd (no more than usual probably) and then they said yes. That was exhilarating, terrifying and also the hardest secret to keep. And the blanket had been inspired so much by the beautiful plant dyed yarns of Elisabeth Beverley and I was hoping she would have some available in January, originally like these:
The original colours were:
Lichen, Onion Skins, Noix de Galle, Cochineal and Nettle
The yarn choosing day looked a lot like this:
Elisabeth grows a lot of her own plants and dyes them in small quantities and not all my colours were there but I made beautiful new choices instead that are these:
(From top left, clockwise) walnut, alchemilla mollis, red cabbage, madder.
The yarn is so beautiful to work with and I went up a needle size to a 4.5mm to create a more drapey, lighter fabric and this is what it ended up like, my first version of Seaside Sundae:
The main colour reminded me of those marcantonio ice cream wafers that we used to sell on the ice-cream van and the pink of a delicious strawberry ice cream, the blue and yellow seaside house colours and the way the garter changes directions creates more texture and changes the appearance of triangles to quadrangles. But I could go on forever about the endless possibilities, here’s the same blanket but the other way round:
And here it is, beautifully styled by Pom Pom Magazine and Juju Vail: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/seaside-sundae
I recommend Pom Pom Quarterly for it’s quirky nature and tips on things other than just knitting – you can buy it here
Happy 2nd Birthday Pom Pom.
Thank you Pom Pom girls for making a random long drawn out idea come to life and for making my toes curl with excitement.