Why take a break from Alice Starmore's glorious Donegal, you may wonder. Doesn't is sound like taking a break from a great book to read something else instead? Well, as far as I can remember I had been knitting quite a lot of stranded colourwork for a while and decided to save this treat on purpose until I really really really felt like knitting this particular design. Silly perhaps, but somehow I felt it deserved my longing for it and enjoying it fully instead of dreaming of cables, brioche or other techniques while knitting.
Then all of a sudden in December I found myself in the right mood. Donegal was what I wanted to knit and nothing else. For quite some time I had mostly been knitting single-colour (often natural wool) things - which I also enjoy - so I was yearning for bright colours and bold patterns. Imagine the luxury of not even having to cast on but simply get knitting! I did worry some nasty creatures might have feasted on it while I was neglecting it, but fortunately not. (Come to think of it, my fear of sp-d-rs was reduced rather dramatically after it dawned on me they might actually eat enemies like moths and therefore be friends rather than foes. No, hardly friends - but I'll admit they're not the real foes. And they can't help the way they look and move.)
If you're into lace, there's a lovely design called "Wavy leaves and butterflies" by Athanasia Andritsou, and she has published it for free on Ravelry. For this shawl I used 125 grams of Cascade Forest Hills and 3½ mm needles.
Last, here are two of the books I've added to my collection the past couple of months: Knitting Fresh Brioche by Nancy Marchant and Lekker Warm!/So Warm! (in Dutch and English) by Carla Meijsen. Needless to say, I recommend both books: Marchan't book is a truly inspiring brioche treasure, and Meijsen's is not only a comprehensive introduction to twined knitting but also an impressive collection of patterns for different levels.
Actually, I was lucky enough to meet Carla Meijsen recently. Where? In a yarn store, of course.