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Cache coeur

With family and friends living far away, I often have to time my knitting to coincide with someone’s trip abroad, weeks or months before the garment is needed. This little woollen wrap is intended for a baby due at Christmastime, but it was finished in a hurry so that her dad could take it back to Chile with him this week.

I love this pattern! The design is so simple and practical – no sleeves or neckholes that make dressing a wriggling baby difficult. Instead it is a no-seam, flat shape that wraps around and buttons at the back for instant warmth. It’s a doddle to make and provides a perfect canvass for interesting stitch patterns and yarns. I’ll definitely add this to my repertoire of quick baby knits.

Cache coeur

Pattern: Cache Coeur for Baby by Patricia Arrotin, in The Wheel (Issue 19, 2007).

Yarn: Jaeger Matchmaker Merino DK (discontinued) colour 622 – a dark raspberry. I used approximately 80grams. I’m not sure how I feel about this yarn. It’s soft and warm, and ideally suited to a textured baby wrap. But it split and unravelled several times under the points of my needles, and the colour bled through several rinses when I washed it. I think it will provide warmth and colour – so the process was worth it.

Needles & notions: 3.25mm Inox circular. Two flower-shaped mother-of-pearl buttons.

Mods: Used slightly thicker yarn for a garment to fit a 3-month-old baby.

(Ravelry Link)

Romney Ewes

I have barely picked up a pair of needles since my last post. The summer has oozed past in a fog of work and tension. There hasn’t even been much sunshine to encourage the heart. Still, Autumn heralds the return of my knitting enthusiasm, and I already have a couple of small things on the needles.

In the meantime, some barely related sheepishness…

A week ago I went up to London to witness a peculiar event. To wit: a group of guild members and other Freemen of the City exercising their ancient right to “herd sheep over London Bridge without need or cause of having to pay a toll or fine.” This privilege dates back to the thirteenth century, and gave freemen the opportunity to trade in the city’s markets without having to pay extortionate bridge tolls. Needless to say, the right is seldom exercised now – there being no livestock markets in the Square Mile these days – but this opportunity to try out the privilege drew many of the lucky few who are eligible (my dad among them).

Crossing

The sheep who had been volunteered for duty were a flock of fifteen Romney ewes. They were impeccably groomed and very well behaved – their owner had trained them for the occasion by marching them alongside busy roads and clashing bin lids together. Reports suggest their fleece was very soft, and I have ambitious plans to procure some from next year’s shearing to make some ‘Freeman’ socks for the parent.

The event was patronised by the Lord Mayor of London (whose charity benefited from sponsorship), and where the Lord Mayor goes, his bodyguard goes too. These members of the Company of Pikemen and Musketeers were dressed in their heavy uniform (including helmet), and carried pikes and muskets while marching back and forth across London Bridge for four hours under bright sun. Their elaborate appearance and behaviour drew some bemused stares from tourists and some smiles from depressed City bankers.

Company of Pikemen and Musketeers

They weren’t the only people to get dressed up. Here are some lady shepherdesses, and a different kind of pastor.

Bo PeepAnother kind of shepherd

We had a great day – finished off with some lunch from Borough Market and a quick visit to All the Fun of the Fair (my idea of sheepish fun).

Cache coeur in progress

Now I can get back to my new-found enthusiasm for knitting: starting with a quick baby wrap that will need to be sent on to South America in the next week.

I hope to have this finished in the next couple of days, after which I’ll try to tackle the queue of recipients in need of winter wear.