Thursday, August 28

Secrets and surprises

First the surprises:

1. I am running low on sock yarn! All that knitting from stash is finally paying off, and thankfully it's IKnit Day in just over a week, so I'll be able to get my sock yarn stash back up to the appropriate level. Which in general terms, means there is so much that I'm embarrassed to show it all to other people, even knitters!

2. I am starting a new MAJOR project! Which links to another surprise...

3. I have finished the Somewhat Cowl!

So, more details about number 2. I am probably going to make the Central Park Hoodie out of my glorious stash of Coldharbour Mill aran yarn, colourway 'mulberry'. I am currently swatching, and I can tell you, it's great to be knitting with 5mm needles after so long on 3.75mm and lower!!!

The final work to be done on the Somewhat Cowl is to stitch the ribbed collar down; I started it last night but had to go to bed in the end as it got too late. Getting to the end of six and a half inches of ribbing around a low neckline nearly killed me! It was heavy work with the whole of the jumper hanging on the needles, and it was DULL! Especially after doing three inches at the bottom of each sleeve and three inches round the bottom of the jumper! But I did it, and I will be modelling the finished item just as soon as it's ready!

Now for the secrets:

1. I have bought a loom! Well I have put a deposit down on it, I am going to collect it tomorrow from Patricia in Loughborough, whom I met via Ravelry. She is selling the loom for her friend Lily, who has been weaving on it for years but now wants to get rid of it. It is a table loom with four shafts which apparently means it's very flexible in terms of what you can make with it. I'm very excited about it, just hope it will fit in the car! I still haven't quite found the right moment to break the news to the Curse. Do you think I will be able to get away with the 'what, this old thing? I've had it for years!' approach? Hmm, didn't think so. Although we do have some very big cupboards in our house, not sure I could convince him it's been in there since we moved in! So for any of you Blue Flaggers reading this (you know who you are!); no leaks please! There will be some pictures just as soon as I get the little beauty home!

2. I am going on holiday on my own! Well that's not strictly speaking a secret, but I've only just decided on it. A week of cycling in the Brecon Beacons and thereabouts, so look out for torrential rain throughout South Wales in mid September.

That's quite enough bean-spilling for today, I'm off for a nice lie down!

Wednesday, August 27

Better late than never!

Please welcome Linda, who is my third guinea-pig, er I mean grateful recipient, for the Pay it forward exchange. Linda lives in Rotterdam in the Netherlands; from what I can understand from the pictures on her blog she likes to knit toys, dye yarn with Koolaid, and she owns a very jazzy needle case. She's got three kids and a chihuahua, which sounds like a total handful!

I'm looking forward to thinking up a project for her and for my other two PIFers, spinning wheel and needles at the ready!

Wednesday, August 20

Win a ticket to Iknit Day!

If you haven't bought your Iknit Day ticket yet, or if you missed out on getting one of the tickets to see the Yarn Harlot, then hop on over to the Yarn Yard where you have the chance to win one just for answering a few simple questions.

Natalie has come up with the great idea of using the ticket, donated by Iknit London, to publicise the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, of which the Harlot (and also the Knit Nurse!) is a big supporter.

There is something really comforting in the circular nature (circularity?!) of this idea which feels pleasingly complete.

Monday, August 18

Getting ready for autumn

With the nights starting to draw in, and a hint of autumn in the air some mornings, I am longing to say goodbye to this dismal summer and get the socks out again to ward off the chill of winter. Working my way through a few more pairs of socks before I really do have to put away the sandals for the year. Mind you, I can't say they have seen much use - it's been more a case of wearing them in defiance, rather than through a need to keep my feet cool!

Here's the first of a pair in the Regia Kaffe Fassett line, lovely yarn to knit with and a quick sock to finish. I think there's something about the wider-striped yarns, you are concentrating so hard on finishing each stripe and looking ahead to see what colour's coming next that the whole sock goes by in a bit of a flash!

Tuesday, August 12


I LOVE this tea-cosy! Unfortunately I'm going to give it away, but it's to my lovely friend Zaza who braved the rain last weekend in a tent at Cropredy festival with me. Sure, we only lasted a night, but who wants to put themselves through three days of mud and rain like we had last weekend, for the sake of having bought a ticket?!

Anyway, the cosy is an adaptation of the Urchin hat by Ysolda Teague, which is an unbelievably quick knit in chunky wool. I made the 'hat' longer than in the pattern (about 6 stitches more) and I added the massive pom pom on the top. No cosy is complete without a pom pom, in my opinion!

If I did it again, I would make the shaping less pronounced, although it might look better when it's on the large 'brown betty' teapot for which it has been designed.

The yarn is absolutely lovely, it's Elle's Merino Brights, very reasonably priced and I needed just two skeins for this cosy (only a couple of centimetres left over too!).

Tuesday, August 5

There's something you should know about me...


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)

Take the test!

But then what did you expect?!
Despite the fact that I ticked the box about being able to make my own clothes, I think I was let down by the fact that I use profanity, don't put the children to bed personally (since I have none) and wear scruffy clothes around the house.

Thanks to Clare for giving me the opportunity to show myself up!

Friday, August 1

Latest socks (Phew!)

I won't be wearing them for a while since it is rather hot here at the moment, but here are the latest finished socks. Noro sock yarn, made with my basic sock recipe (toe-up, short row heel and toe, sewn cast-off). I like the finished result but was unimpressed by the process. The twisty, rough yarn was not pleasant to knit with.

Having now washed the socks, the yarn has transformed into lovely soft squishyness. In which case I recommend washing this yarn before you knit!

And thanks to Howard and Laura for signing up for pay it forward! If anyone else wants to get FREE, handmade stuff from me, now is your last chance!