As I type this, it is snowing outside my window. Very fine snow, twirling almost vertically in the fierce north-easterly wind. Slow to settle as the ground isn't quite frozen enough at the moment, but that will change in the next couple of days; It is still very much winter here.
An odd time then, perhaps, to talk about spring designs and flower motifs. Or maybe perfectly timed - I get impatient for light and colour by about the middle of January, itching to cast off the thick, heavy layers and see something other than brown everywhere. Time to begin planning ahead? I don't know about you, but I'm a reactive, impulsive maker by nature. I feel cold and decide to make mittens, or realise I only have 10 days to knit a birthday gift and then just start.
But that obviously isn't how the fashion industry works, so I finished the samples for spring back in November and right now I'm working on bits and pieces for summer. I find it funny, to be so out of sync with what's going on outside my window, but it's also useful. I'm trying to be more intentional with my making, less impulsive, so that I'll have what I need when I actually want to wear it.
Here it is, then, one for the spring wardrobe: Hanabira.
A cropped cardigan as whimsical as you can imagine. The flower detail in the colourwork bands in particular involved, literally, a flight of fancy; I cast my mind back to the birthdays I spent living in Japan, every year, when the cherry blossoms came out right on cue (or so it felt to me). "Hanabira" is Japanese for "flower petal".
The rest of the cardigan is both easy to make and practical to wear. Top down with simple increases and some quick seaming at the sleeves. If you want a longer length on the hem (as in the top photo) or the sleeves, you just keep going before you get to the colourwork. The button band and collar are worked directly into the selvedge edges (there's a ribbing tutorial to accompany this pattern, in case you get stuck).
The yarn is Ulysse by De Rerum Natura, a non-superwash 100% merino 2-ply (sport) from ethically reared European sheep. It feels properly "sheepy" too - slightly crunchy and much more structured than the heavily processed, slinky superwash merino we seem to have become so used to. I loved working with it and plan to revisit this brand in the future.
Hanabira is one of nine designs in issue 20 of Pom Pom Quarterly. The whole collection, indeed the entire magazine, is utterly delightful and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. I hear copies are almost ready to be shipped and, in the spirit of planning ahead and all that, I intend to cast on a Bombus or a Melli as soon as it lands in my letter box. You can order your own copy on Pom Pom's order page.