May is almost out but my #maychallenge cushion definitely won’t be finished. My initial Fair Isle design has now been ditched; I decided, having knitted about 10cm of the full-size piece, that on a large scale I really didn’t like the effect – it was far too busy. From a distance the colours simply merged into one, despite my efforts to maximise the contrast between them within the palette I’d chosen. I do have a plan for the pattern – something on a smaller scale – but for the cushion I had to go back to the drawing board. And the result has meant a move over to the dark side – intarsia!
Using larger blocks of colour has created the much more painterly effect I was looking for, doing justice to the beautiful shades of Rowan Felted Tweed, but yes it is fiddly. I’m using nine colours at once and my method of controlling each bobbin is with clothes pegs – not ideal but it stops the yarn unravelling. The main issue is that I can only knit at the table! But I’m happy with how it’s going – at long last! Starting from scratch is a pain but I’m a firm believer in following your gut instinct: if you know something’s flawed or not working then no matter how much time has been invested, don’t be afraid to move on – just chalk it up to ‘development’!
Being unable to knit in front of the TV has been a drawback this week because unusually I’ve been watching quite a lot: the reason – It’s Springwatch! This venerable British institution has returned to our screens. Whilst we normally tune in anyway, this series holds a special significance because on Tuesday we were lucky enough to visit Minsmere and see behind the scenes as guests of one of the presenters, Martin Hughes-Games. We had a brilliant day, the highlights of which were visiting the hut and sitting on the very sofas normally occupied by Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan, and seeing inside mission control where they monitor the cameras 24/7. Plus Katie managed to photograph the ultra-rare bittern – Martin was very impressed!