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This story begins at the center of the world. Literally: I’m on the Equator and it’s cold. It’s cold because Quito – Ecuador’s capital – is the second highest city in the world. Of course, I didn’t pack for this.

And so it was that I entered an indigenous shop selling the softest, loveliest retro patterned jumpers made from alpaca wool.

I fell in love with about five of them, only none of them came in my size, most reached my knees. My husband tried on one glorious old-man jumper. I thought three things: 1. It matched his traveller hair and stubble to give him a rustic look as though he belonged in a wilderness somewhere herding lama. 2. It was very well made. 3. How much time would I need to leave it before getting my mits on it? We also bought a huge alpaca blanket which wraps around my shoulders on cold evenings and is destined for a lifetime of accompanying Netflix nights once its travels are done.

I’d never paid much attention to knitwear before. That was until I travelled through a hot part of the world at the same time as I started following etikparis.com on Instagram. Now I’m a complete knitwear-perve.

I occasionally find myself romanticizing the 2017 winter work days I’ll spend encased in simple, stylish sweaters like this one, this one, oh and this one too. Or the Sunday roasts I’ll attend in this one or this one. Or the walks along the canal I’ll enjoy with this one and/ or this one snugly peeping out from beneath my coat. Of course, that’s ridiculous, I’m returning from travels with a large dent in my savings – the challenge will be having to choose just one! (or two).

In the meantime, let’s all feign naivety when my husband asks where his new old-man jumper has gone!

Written by Bethan Ashmead

Read more of Bethan's musings at Notes From Long Runs

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