Like awesome! Wow! 5 picks 29.5.2016

For no particular reason other than it's fun, I have in mind a new blog feature: 5 things that are not about me – 5 things I've enjoyed or found interesting each week. They won't always involve yarn. Shall we?

1. I was bowled over by this amazing lace pattern, designed by Naomi Parkhurst for the blog tour for Karie Westermann's This Thing of Paper. It's pretty much my ideal openwork – simple, organic, unexpected. Turns out Naomi has a whole system for encoding messages or concepts in knitting (in this case, the word "folio"), and has shared some wonderful stitches designed this way (and others) on her fantastic website. (She has a Patreon for developing new stitches, btw, which is clearly the best possible kind of Patreon.) And she told me on Twitter that designers are welcome to use her stitches. So, you know, totally my new favourite person. 

The Folio stitch, © Naomi Parkhurst

The Folio stitch, © Naomi Parkhurst

2. Just a perfect shawl, perfectly named: Kieran Foley's Iridescent Crescent has me itching to play with my scraps.

Iridescent Crescent, © Kieran Foley

Iridescent Crescent, © Kieran Foley

3. Sheep. I mean, Sheep! Another perfectly named design, with an obligatory exclamation point. There's a launch discount until 2 June – and yes, I so did fall for it, even though I hate knitting toys. (I am obviously a total sucker for what is essentially knitting cubed. Wool x sheep x jumper patterning! Sheep in wool's clothing! I think I could resist any of these individually, but all together like that? SOLD SO FAST.)

SHEEP! © Susan B Anderson

SHEEP! © Susan B Anderson

4. I'm not the biggest sharer of animal videos but really: baby rhino playing at being a baby lamb? Yes. 

5. Ok, so this one – an e-book on recycling yarns from old (thrifted) sweaters – is a bit of a cheat. First, it was released more than a week ago, and second, I edited it. But I'm sneaking it in here anyway because (a) this is my brand-new feature, I make the rules, and (b) it's pretty great. Lee has pulled together all the information you didn't even know you needed on how to unravel commercial sweaters, how to handle the yarn thus rescued, how to use it, and if you're that way inclined, how to spin it into something newly fabulous. It's smart, accessible, very well presented with beautiful photographs, and the associated patterns are brilliant. (I made sure to buy them for myself – there are at least three things I'd love to make, and since they're written for any gauge of yarn, chances are I'll make them more than once.) It's well worth checking out.

Happy Sunday, everyone!