Sigh. I was away for a week at a conference in a very old cute medieval town, so I was very busy and had no time to knit, except on the train. Instead of working on my two ufos, I instead cast on for a new project that should use up a decent chunk of the stash, and I got a fair amount done on the train, partially because of severe delays (German trains run on time? Hah!) but not as much done if I had been knitting at home every evening. And it's top secret, so I won't mention it again, except to maybe complain about a particular technique or yarn/needle related problem. This yarn had been hanging like a boat anchor around my neck (as my husband would say), and I'm so gad to have finally envisioned the *right* project for it, seeing as I couldn't get gauge for the intended project, and the recipient wasn't very enthusiastic (yes, it was for the husband, before we got married). So instead I will show some pictures of interesting stone and metal work that I found, some of which may be charted and knitted up into cables as part of the celtic knot project.
I found this in the catacombs of the BIG OLD cathedral. Yup, genuine celtic knots. The region was first settled by Celts, then the Romans came, and apparently the cathedral was built over an old roman site which was most likely celtic befor the the Romans booted them out. Nobody I was with noticed these, because they were at the top of two pillars which were otherwise unremarkable. The circle with lines crossing through motif (at the very top of the pillar) is definitely knittable, I'll just have to check that Lavold hasn't already done it.
This was some grillwork around the back of the same cathedral, and it looks contemporary to my intrained eye, but it's still very pretty. While the little swirls may not be knittable as a texture pattern, I think I may be able to do something with the intertwined hearts background.
This guy isin't knittable at all, but I like him anyways. I found him on the roof of a very old monastery (Roman, or built on a previously Roman site), and the tour book says the drew their inspiration for the statues on the front gate from "earlier Northern traditions" whatever that means. I think he's grinning like a cheshire cat, kind of like the way I was when I discovered the Easter Market when I got home this weekend. The Easter Market is pretty much the same as the Christmas Markey, yarn booth and all. So I'm using my 'get out of jail free' card. Now Thrace thinks I already used it buying two balls of Soft Merino to swatch the Celtic Knot patterns, but I disagree. The Celtic Knot Project is a gift that gives twice, first to all of you who choose to download and use these patterns. Cream wool shows texture patterns the best, and no one will use it if the swatches look crappy. Second, the swatches will all be sewn together when there are enough of them, and given to a friend for a very special occasion, so it really is a gift that gives twice, and I read the rules, gift knitting is okay to buy new yarn for.
The Christmas Market/Easter Market wool vendor has natural undyed merino at an absolutely fantastic price, and I was pricing out natural wool at various UK and American sources, this stuff is a fantastic deal. And it supports local yarn producers. So less guilt. I got one hank already to swatch, so there!