Happy advent!

I can't really say I'm religious, if pushed I'd say more spiritual, but I like nothing better than to celebrate the different times of year and advent for me is about anticipation and mystery - what's in those boxes!  
Out comes the advent calender - I just love filling up the drawers for my grand-daughters, this year they've got tiny chocolate forest animals. It's the start of the festive season, which I always associate with late night knitting by the fire in my pjs  - this year I'm using Big Wool so I get all the projects finished in time. I knit so many swatches for work, that it's hard to find the time for personal knitting, but I love it after midnight when the house is quiet and I can relax and do a few rows.  I'm doing several versions of one design from Sweet Shawlettes, not saying which as the recipiants may read this and I want it to be a surprise.  

Pre-Christmas in York is always special, quite Dickensian in many ways and it's great that the whole city is walkable.  There are dedicated markets like the St Nicholas Fair for seasonal food and gifts as well as the usual market for food, flowers, and general bags, clothes, bric-a-brac etc that happens every day. Everything is festooned in twinkly lights and the atmosphere is magic.  York is almost like a theatre set, with something happening wherever you look, musicians, jugglers, street artists, definitely something about the circus which gets magnified around Christmas.

When I'm stuck writing a pattern I love to wander to give my brain a chance to switch off. Sometimes a quick walk along the river will clear my head, but in the mornings, I love to walk into York before the shoppers arrive, grab a quick cup of coffee, then hopefully by the time I've walked back I'm ready to tackle more number crunching!
Lovely surprise to see another blast from the past on Facebook.  Mary McGurn, owner of the fabulous yarn store Colorful Stitches in Lenox, posted a pic of Choo-Choo, a design from Knits for all Seasons that I sized up from toddler to adult for her.  It gives me a great buzz to see people wearing my sweaters years after they were designed and for Mary to say it's one of her treasures is such a delight.
The jacket was inspired by a visit to the National Railway Museum, which we're lucky enough to have on our doorstep here in York. The  train pattern was informed by Navaho designs from when the railways were forging their way across North America and the train, thought of as some sort of god, appeared in many of their weavings. The colourway is perfect for this time of year so thought I'd share the two versions of the sweater with you.  


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