Last weekend I was lucky enough to visit Rosie’s Yarn Cellar, and spend a lovely afternoon with Jen, Jenna, Wendy, Magda, Lisa, and many other knitters. It was so nice to spend a few hours knitting and chatting in exceptionally good company, and when I left, they presented me with some good, strong, black leaf tea (which made me feel very at home as I had been, just that morning, cursing the generic horror of Liptons — whatever it is in those bags (cat fluff? ground-up egg shells? dust balls?) it certainly is not tea!) . . . as well as this marvelous vessel from which to imbibe my favourite beverage:


Hoot hoot! Thankyou, Rosie’s! I wrapped the owl in many layers and you will be glad to hear that he made it safely back across the Atlantic with me. I arrived home to find that a number of Very Exciting things had turned up in the post. First, a package of delight arrived from Hamburg. Lovely Viv (who loves neeps as much as me) made me these beautiful embossed leaves socks.


How fab are they? In the package were a number of other gorgeous treats, including some seeds, which shall produce actual — rather than knitted — leaves on the allotment next year. Viv, you really are a *star* – your socks made me very happy. Thanks so much!

And here we see the contents of another exciting package:


This is Liz‘s beetheid, which she kindly sent on a brief trip North so I could see just how nice it looks at first hand. What I find really interesting (as I always do with colourwork) is how radically colour placement affects tone. The grey background of the ‘neepheid’ and the ‘beetheid’ are exactly the same shade (Jamieson & Smith no.27), but appear totally dissimilar — the purple / gold of the neep colourway, and the burgundy / brown of the beet colourway have brought out completely different qualities in the grey. ( Here are pictures of my original neep, and Viv’s super incarnation, if you, too, are interested to compare.) I love Liz’s beetheid — its so jolly and autumnal. It’s with some regret that I’ll return it in the post tomorrow. . . .


. . .but I’ve been keeping myself occupied, colourwork-wise, swatching like crazy, and repeatedly marveling at the remarkable things that colours do to one another. Here’s one favourite that I recently knitted up.


This is a swatch with a purpose. I made it wide and deep enough to fit my heid; added a knitted-in lining out of some exceptionally soft and cosy angora; and finished the edges with (you guessed it) icord . . .


This cosy, ear-warming headband constitutes item no.1 of my proposed entirely-woollen-winter-walking-outfit. I was looking forward to trying out its unique warming properties upon a windy Scottish hill . . . . But then someone got his hands on it first. . .


This headband is very practical, quick to knit, and clearly appeals to blokes as well. I now need to make myself another, which will prompt me to write up the (very simple) pattern. This will be a FREEBIE, and I’ll post it here later this week

And finally, as so many of you have been asking about The Shoes, I shall oblige you with the details: They are made by Red or Dead and are available here from Schuh. I saw my friend Mel in a pair a few weeks ago, and immediately had to buy some exactly the same as hers. At the top of this post, you can see my giant copy-cat hooves pictured alongside Mel’s neat, wee originals. Both of us agree that these shoes are exceptionally good for walking. They are also the sort of shoes that feel immediately foot-friendly, and require no breaking in. I like mine so much, in fact, I may well have to buy another pair in a different colour.