There's nothing like a weekend away to put the spark back into an ailing relationship. I'm talking of course about myself and the Print O' the Wave stolewhich has been more or less languishing in a plastic bag amongst the UFOs since mid-March. I was reminded of its existence a fortnight ago when I "borrowed" the rosewood circular needle that was holding its stitches to knit the top-down baby raglan. Things were looking pretty grim for the POTW at that point and I even considered ripping back and knitting another Kiri after the fabulous debut of my first one at the Summer Ball last weekend (where it more than held its own against a fabulous Lady Eleanor's stole knitted from Rowan Tapestry - mmm I want one of those!). However, I held my hand. I had knitted more repeats of the POTW and it was looking better than I had remembered. The wave pattern of POTW holds up really well against even strongly variegated yarns and it was looking pretty good.
The final factor was the secret life of stitches feature on last week's Cast-On - frankly I was guilt-tripped into giving this poor abandoned UFO some one-on-one attention and showing it a good time. After all, if I took no other knitting I would have to concentrate on it. The weekend started well with an early dinner at a fancy(-ish) restaurant before I went to catch an evening train which I figured would give me a good 4 hours of knitting time. Turns out we got a bit more than that as I ended up arriving in Manchester Piccadilly (via Worcester, Birmingham and Crewe) at 1.20am rather than the scheduled 10pm the previous evening. Still, lots of knitting time and the POTW got some admiring attention from the nice people who befriended me at Worcester and who travelled with me for the rest of our journey.
On Saturday the POTW got a trip out to south Yorkshire. Mum and I had a great walk around Gargrave during which I spotted four curlews (a first for me and pretty exciting) and gathered some wool (more on the wool gathering in a later post). After the walk we ended up in the fabulous White Cottage Tea Room - I couldn't find a link but it's easy enough to find if you're in Gargrave and it's so well worth a visit - (not a cafe, a tea room!) for a shared blue Wensleydale and apple chutney toastie and the most wonderful chocolate fudge cake.
Next we went onto Skipton where I managed to buy two great skirts (the irony being that we had chosen a day out in Yorkshire over the Trafford Centre because I really didn't need to buy any clothes), one an absolute bargain. I also got some great sheep's wool fat soap from the National Trust shop with the cutest packaging which is going to be a pressie for someone so no photo at the moment.
Anyway, the POTW has absolutely blossomed under all this attention, more than doubling in size and it's looking great.
I finished the first half after 21 repeats and left its two ends (I cast-on provisionally rather than invisibly) on two lengths of yarn whilst I used the waste yarn from cast-on edge of the first half for the second half too. I really didn't think I'd get this far so I was lacking crochet hook as well as waste yarn, however, I've discovered that it's pretty easy to work the crochet cast on straight onto the needle using a second needle (or the other end of your circular) and your fingers.