It has rolled around again rather quickly, hasn’t it? While the saint’s name has been retained, the day of Saint Valentinus has strayed rather a lot from its Roman origins, which were all to do with martyrdom, with no romantic overtones at all.
Valentine Day’s modern-day romantic roots can be traced back to the poet Geoffrey Chaucer in the fourteenth century, who wrote a poem to honour the engagement of King Richard of England to Anne of Bohemia. Over time, public and written declarations of love became more commonplace, taking off during the Victorian era, when Valentine cards of intricate and elaborate designs were exchanged (pictured above).
The Valentine sent by Bathsheba Everdene to Wiliam Boldwood in Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) set off a chain of unforseen events.
If you haven’t started planning and want to surprise your beloved, BFF, family and friends with something beyond cards, chocolates, roses, bubbles and baubles, here are some ideas Karen has sourced that may amuse, gladden and brighten someone’s day.
Knit Your Love is an asymmetrical triangle of garter stitch, embellished with a line of knitted hearts. This would be a wonderful gift, and knit in Shibui Staccato – a merino and silk blend, as our sample instore is – makes the finished shawlette that bit more special.
Teresa Fox’s Little Hearts can be used to embellish cards, strung into a mobile or garland, used as a keyring or given as little tokens. Your imagination’s the limit!
For crochet lovers, try this simple three-round heart pattern from Happy Berry that can be made into a bunting. Needless to say, these micro projects are ideal for stash-busting.
Pickles have a pattern for a simple colourwork beanie that is worth stash-diving to make. (Patterns for the mittens and scarf can also be found at that link.)
The character of this cowl really changes with the colourway, and it makes a memorable accessory that will keep you or the recipient warm for many a winter’s day.
If you’re looking for mittens, these Fair Isle beauties by Mary Jane Mucklestone are ideal as a last-minute gift for your BFFs.
If you want a heart with a bit more muscle and oomph, here’s one Amy made for her husband. Doesn’t it just say ‘my heart beats true’?
This Sunday, wave goodbye to the Chinese year of the sheep and say hello to the monkey, whose year begins on Monday 8 February. Gong xi to you and yours if you’re celebrating!