Many apologies for the fuzzy-wuzzy macro, but I am so excited by this sort-of-secret-ish project I had to show you just a little a bit of it. This thing is one of the satisfying fruits of a collaboration with my favourite Scottish dyer, and my favourite Welsh yarn producer. Working on it has lifted my spirits during a week in which they’ve felt rather downcast. Have you ever worked a two-colour braid? They are immensely pleasing and simple to produce. I’ve been reading a lot about Latvian and Estonian textiles recently, and followed up my reading with some happy experiments in casting on and braiding. This braid follows the method described by Lizbeth Upitis in her “Mitten from the District of Latgale.” There is a sort of mystery to working braids — in their early stages they don’t look like anything much at all, but then they literally unravel into a thing of beauty. I love the way that the two working yarns become entwined, and then magically untwist themselves on the final row. This particular method produces a very neat braid with a dense, raised appearance, and is definitely the best technique that I’ve found so far. There are two different “elements” to this collaboration, and I am enjoying them both immensely. Indeed, I can barely contain myself from foolishly raving about them, but I will save that for later, so prepare yourselves. In the meantime, I wonder whether any of you might be interested in test knitting one “element”? If so, please drop me a line at wazzuki AT gmail DOT com. Also, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about shaping and sizing, and would really like to get some feedback on the Manu pattern, before I release it, from anyone who knits sweaters for themselves in the 42 to 50 inch size range. If that’s you, and you fancy test knitting Manu, please do get in touch with me at the same address.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I shall return to the pressing and incredibly tedious business of Getting Well.