I think it would be interesting to see how January fared on the knitting front. It certainly saw an upturn in both productivity and interest in my knitting, and you can see above that something has actually made its way off my needles and jumped Cleopatra-style into a nice bath. I haven’t been knitting much of an evening lately so most of my progress has been made at the weekends.

The semi-submerged object is the gift-knit for my sister and I’ve worked on this monogamously. The project has had its ups and downs or, rather, its do and undo moments, but I’ve felt confident about it all along. Perhaps the hardest bits were the neck and armhole edgings which I tried to fudge in various different ways before swallowing my pride and doing pretty much what is written in the pattern. Completing this knit and having it done more than a month ahead of the gift-date feels so good.

As soon as the garment knitting was finished I had the yarn ready in my sock-knitting bag for a quick palate-cleansing bit of footwear. It’s Regia’s Arne and Carlos yarn in the Nusfjord colour (03881) from their Lofoten series. The bright marine blue softened with shades of lilac to rose and some neutral greys is spot-on for me and I can see these being well-used in the years to come. I’ve returned to the good old 2 x 2 rib for the cuffs because it’s so good. I’m contemplating moss stitch for the heel flap.

Making knitwear is the face of the coin, the part us knitting bloggers like to focus upon. The obverse, though, that of wearing our knits, is often ignored which made me keen to do a round-up of my most worn garments this past month. My feet have been happily rotating through all eleven pairs of socks currently in my collection. This number is slightly lower than the optimum for my regular winter use which is one reason for wanting to quickly zip through the Lofoten socks. The thicker socks (the Frankensocks, Rise of the Jellyfish, and Speckled Eggs) tend to be worn at weekends with my Doctor Marten shoes which can comfortably accommodate them, then the thinner socks get worn on workdays with smarter shoes.

Moving on to larger items, I’ve worn my pink Coconut Ice sweater a lot, particularly paired with a lovely tea-rose skirt. I wore it occasionally on work-at-home days but it’s one I’m trying to keep for “me” time. I like to separate the clothes I wear for work from those I wear in my own time, even if they are essentially very similar indeed. The Helsinki Sweater is one that has become a work staple through the colder months. It even garnered some praise from one of the lovely ladies at work, someone I’ve been communicating with and been in meetings with a lot over the past six months but only met in person this week. Another work go-to is my gold Cable-front Cardigan which I particularly like to wear with a long brown and black floral shirt over grey trousers. Now I’m heading into the office more frequently, I’ve also started to wear my Heather Slope Rib jumper and the pale blue Lace Panel jumper. There is only one other item which I need to be happy with my winter work knits and that is my lovely grey Burr cardigan. The one which I washed incorrectly and shrunk. I still wear it a bit around the house, but it’s just not as comfortable as it used to be so plans are afoot to knit a replacement ready for next winter. We’ve had several frosty mornings recently which have seen me make good use of my Helsinki Hat and Mama Weer All Crazee Cowl. Sometimes I don’t wear my cowl around my neck and shoulders; instead I drape it over my legs as I sit on the bus because, really, with all the windows open to combat Covid the bus gets cold.

On the home front, as well as the Coconut Ice sweater, I’ve worn my big cosy Radioactive Red sweater the most. Occasionally it will be too warm for these big knits and I’ve trotted out my burgundy v-neck on a couple of occasions. That’s another jumper I particularly like as I find the ribbed panels at the sides and set into the sleeves give it an extremely good fit without the body-con worries of a completely ribbed top.

I would say that on the whole I’m happy with my hand-knit collection at the moment, but I can see gaps which I want to fill. As well as that Burr replacement and the sleeveless jerkin I’m planning, I might fancy making a real statement piece later on in the year. Perhaps another stab at Norah Gaughan’s Gullveig sweater which drove me barmy last time I tried but might be easier if I chose a nicer yarn. I’d quite like it in a nice deep shade rather than the duck-egg blue I originally experimented with. Or I could try one of the aspirational pieces in the Irish Knitting book Bergere de France released many moons ago. Food for thought.