Ilan's arrival has conjoined in the heavens with one or two happenings-upon which have prompted me to take up the knitting needles again.
When I was in New Zealand last year, I bought a card of paua shell buttons. This year I decided to sew them on a cardigan I already had, and I set about this project with enthusiasm. I had sewn on most of said six buttons when it dawned upon my limited awareness that the garment actually had eight button holes. The plastic ones it already had sat with the paua shell rather as a plastic bottle of diet Coke would sit alongside a nice bottle of Margaux. In the fullness of time I got around to looking on the internet for a supplier of two more paua ones. The best bet outside of New Zealand turned out to be Loch Sunart Yarns and Buttons, who can supply all manner of fine fastenings in natural materials, whether you just want to have an odd button sent you in a wee envelope, or adorn a whole troop of pearly kings and queens. Emma at Loch Sunart also and principally supplies the most sumptuous yarns from all kinds of exotic sources, alpaca, kid mohair, baby camel... she spins these herself to order. No, I thought, I don't knit. I am a rubbish knitter; I start things and don't finish them, or I completely mess up things like necks so the whole effort is wasted, knitting patterns are as incomprehensible to me as Linear A, Mandarin Chinese or Pitman shorthand...
However, longish acquaintance with the the handspun, dyed and knitted delights of Stitchwort's blog, then a lovely knitting post over at Frizzylogic (go to her twisted rib category for all her knitting posts), which in turn led me on the mighty wonder which is b r o o k l y n t w e e d, combined to make my resistance crumble. Be it never so humble, I had to give it a go. Furthermore, I may be a rubbish knitter but Tom, true Renaissance man that he is, is, on the quiet, an ace one. He learned it at not only his mother's, but also, I believe, his father's, knee, and his logical, mathematical turn of mind makes easy work of knitting patterns.
Only he won't do it. Too many other projects on the go, he maintains. As I have been living in one of them, in a perpetual state of increasingly comfortable work in progress, for the last ten years, I have to concur. But he will be there to help me if I hit a tricky patch. I browsed around until I found the easiest possible (I hope) straight up and down, garter stitch baby coat, and wonderful Emma not only spun the yarn but even did tension squares and gave me advice about the pattern.
And within what seemed a very short time, a fat, soft hank of the most marvellous silver grey silk/alpaca blend, as well as my two paua buttons, and four more for the coat, arrived in the post. I'm currently still winding it into a ball. As the elven princeling is still quite tiny, I hope to get it done before he's too big for it.