I am back. I am more tired than I can remember in my whole life - although I seem to recall having said that a number of times recently - and I have had an incredible time.
The journey to Holmfirth is a long one from this part of the country. We left very early to drive into Bristol, which takes about an hour, and I caught a train up to London. Very surprisingly - this was early on a Sunday morning - the train was very soon packed out. Then I went across London on the tube and had a long wait at King's Cross for the train to take me up north - this one was also packed out. I really wasn't expecting this at all. However I settled in with my iPod (hooray!) and my knitting, and the time passed quickly.
Then, at the other end, a drive through some really lovely countryside, and arrival at the Mill.
And there, in a lovely big airy room filled with light and colour - wooden floors, stone walls, tall windows, yarn and garments all around the walls - that is where I've spent the last two and a half days.
What did we do? A lot. My head is buzzing with ideas and information, all so useful and inspirational.
I met a lot of other DC's as well, of course, and I found myself looking at what everyone was wearing and trying to identify the pattern. Many, many ideas there, too. Things that particularly caught my eye were a recoloured Dodge and also a Lacy Raglan Pullover in progress (from All Seasons at the Mill, I can't find a picture right this minute) being worked in random stripes, and there will be more along those lines later, as I have some ideas of my own. I do like my neutrals, but right now I feel a call towards more colour - actually wearing it, I mean.
There were a lot of famous faces around, of course - famous to Rowan followers, that is. And everyone is just so nice!
The high point, naturally, was seeing what is coming for the new season. And on that point, I am not going to say a word, except that I was completely blown away, as we all were. You are going to like it, and that could possibly be the understatement of the year. Or maybe of the decade.
By the end of Tuesday, I was even more exhausted than when I arrived, which I wouldn't have believed was possible.
And now we are off on the narrowboat for a week, and I am going to try to wind down a bit. I am going to enjoy the fresh air, and hopefully the sun will shine. I am taking a stack of knitting, as I have far too much on the needles at the moment and I want to do some finishing off. Pia needs to be off the needles, as does the Cobblestone Pullover in All Season's Cotton.... and I may start Bark. I may even finish the Key West pullover - one of Martin Storey's patterns for Jaeger, in the long-discontinued Jaeger Celeste.
I will just show you the pullover which I finished seaming on Sunday morning, on the train.
So, this is the Grandad Top from Studio 5, worked in the colour illustrated in the pattern, Wool Cotton shade 900 Antique. I made the largest size, and it took 12 balls of yarn, exactly as the pattern says. I didn't change anything at all.
A really nice pattern, this. Easy to wear, comfortable, and flattering. There is a bit of rowing out visible there on the back, and I'm not proud of that - I was hurrying and obviously didn't take enough care. And it does need blocking properly. But overall, I'm very pleased with this.
I particularly love the neck detail. Also, those buttonholes were worked using Montse Stanley's buttonhole cast-on. This is the first opportunity that I've had to use it, since I discovered it - cunningly hidden away in her Knitter's Handbook, described as The Standard Buttonhole instead of The Best Buttonhole In The Whole World Ever. And yes, it is that good. I shall have to do a little how-to at some point.
Also, I have realised that I never did post a picture of the Kaffe Fassett Earth Stripe socks. So here they are.
My usual pattern, to fit my husband. He's pleased with them, which its what it's all about.
My knitting over the last few days has been Cookie, from Rowan Classic's Summer Delights book. I'm working this in the Silk Cotton for which the pattern is written, and I'm using shade 682, Fudge. Here it is looking very beige. At the moment I am approaching the armhole shaping on the back.
The fabric here is lovely. The whole garment is worked in 1x1 ribbing, and the Silk Cotton is just wonderful to work with. It has a subtle sheen to it, and the most gorgeous drape.
I'm looking forward to getting this one finished and wearing it. The only thing I am changing is that I am not planning buttons on this one, I shall just fasten it with a pin, I think.
And now, we are off. Back in a week!