Saturday, January 31, 2009


I have a new toy!

Have you seen one of these before? It is a Donmar “Weave-it”, circa 1940/50-something, purchased on Ebay after I saw what Sock Pron was doing with hers!

There is something of a Weave-It subculture in the States – not quite on the scale of sock-knitting, but it appears to be growing. (Yes of course there is a Ravelry group!) Each square takes only a few yards of yarn and very little time. Regular users reckon on 15 minutes a square, but my first one took me a lot longer – probably 45 minutes – as I fumbled about, stabbing myself on the pins! But that’s a lot less than the 4 hours it takes me to knit a barn-raising square and I am sure I just need some practice. My daughter has had a go too and was really excited when she managed to weave a square of fabric all by herself!

The thrifty ladies of the 1930’s onwards used these for coats, blankets, bags, babywear – there are pdf booklets of the original designs free to download at Eloomanation (the place to go for all things Weave-it!). Beyond the basic plain woven square, there are countless textures and patterns to explore. You may have guessed I am obsessing about the herringbone potential!

Single-strand sock yarn creates a very open weave, but doubled it produces a useable fabric. My first square is Elle Wool Boutique variegated merino leftover from FL’s Centuria hat. I can see myself making an entire blanket’s worth of squares from this and felting it – mmm!

That long loop at the top is a mistake - in my defence this was my first square!

As Sock Pron points out, this is a great way to “control” mad hand-painted yarns. All the colours are there, but there is no pooling or flashing. The only drawbacks I can see are the fact that you have to look at what you are doing all the time (no reading with the other eye!) and the fiddley sewing-together technique. So I don’t see this replacing knitting in my life. But it is certainly going to have its place – sofa blanket here I come!

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Knitter - Issue 2

Hot on the heels of Issue 1, my subscriber copy of Issue 2 of “The Knitter” arrived yesterday.

My heart sank when I saw the cover – pastelle cotton horror! Very “Rowan-exhibition-monster”! Deeply “Stepford wife”! But I am so glad I subscribed because instead of turning my nose up at the cover in the newsagents and walking on, it was here in my house and I felt obliged to give it a chance.

And thank goodness I did, because I LOVE the Mason Dixon Liberty blanket!

And I am NUTS about this Rosie Posie tea cosy! (ETA: you can find this pattern free on Ravelry!)

There is an inspirational quality to the 1940’s style sweater (if it wasn’t so pink!) and the Martin Storey fair-isle-yoke number – reminiscent of the Shetland wool ones my mother knitted in the 1960’s. There is a sock pattern using Fyberspates merino/bamboo which I might consider knitting, since I have the yarn already.

But I really don’t like the fake shearling gilet – each of those three words makes me shudder! And there is rather a lot of acrylic lurking in these pages, which is a shame. But hey, that’s the knitter’s choice: substitutes are always possible.

Elsewhere in the magazine, I am once again intrigued by the yarn- and book- reviews. Lots of things I hadn’t come across in my web-scouring. The Mason-Dixon book “Knitting Outside the Lines” has crept onto my Wish List after seeing The Blanket and the text-embroidered frock-coat. Not that I would ever make a pleated frock coat, but the embroidery idea is FAB! And a whole book of crazy tea-cosies? Nah – I wouldn’t buy it, but I would certainly look for it at the library.

The other Very Good Thing in this issue is a pair of tutorials: one for two-handed fair-isle, and the other for steeking. I forgot to mention in my review of Issue 1 that there is a tutorial for the elusive Turkish cast-on – brilliant! That’s three things I don’t know how to do, and now I have illustrated guides to hand.

On balance, I am impressed!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

"The Knitter" magazine, Issue 1

There seems to be a bloggy silence around the first issue of “The Knitter” magazine. Why are we all so shy about reviewing it, I wonder?

I had to order my copy by mail order as I don’t have access to a major newsagent. I have heard they sell it in Sainsbury’s but I don’t have one of those nearby either!

It describes itself as a coffee-table glossy for experienced UK knitters, which is pretty accurate. My initial impression is of Quality, which is not to be sneezed at. It is a “proper” magazine, without smelling pistakes or grammatical disaster-areas – thank goodness! (Naming no names.) It is quite pricey – but no more so than the US-based mags, and there is the advantage that the suggested yarns are easily-obtainable.

Controversially, I enjoyed the fact that the majority of the patterns were extracted from recent books – none of which I own. It is a good way to get a feel for these more weighty publications before taking a chance on buying the whole thing. At first I questioned the inclusion of a Patons “off the shelf” toddler slipover pattern, balanced by a Sirdar woman’s pattern – was this a tokenistic inclusion of the old skool UK yarn manufacturers? But then I realised that both patterns are eminently knittable – that plenty of knitters like me might actually be looking for an argyle slipover pattern for a 2-year old (ignoring the hideous colours of the swatches!) and that the eco-wool jumper wasn’t actually that bad. I might even knit the Teva Durham jacket, and I waved the Nevis man’s jacket at FL only half-jokingly (“It looks really good with a kilt!”).

The original patterns are… OK. I found Di Gilpin’s Abstract Sweater to be less adventurous than it set itself up to be – compared to a Norah Gaughan pattern for example. The cable-knitted cushions and bags are lovely but as FL pointed out, who wants a lumpy cushion? And I know I wouldn’t use a knitted handbag. But I could imagine using the cable designs as inspiration for other projects.

There is definitely an inspirational / aspirational element to this magazine. The yarn reviews included several brands / qualities which were new to me, sending me to Ravelry to explore the possibilities.

In a non-knitting “lifestyle” aside, I bought the Motown 50 Year Celebration CD they mentioned, that very day! (Woo hoo! It’s great! I spent the whole weekend singing and dancing along!)

The editor clearly has a mature attitude towards the internet. (If I read one more patronising “article” about “knitting on the net” as if it was something newsworthy, I will go pop!) “The Knitter” target audience is clearly made up of blog-literate, Knitty-knitting people – what a relief!

So yes, I am definitely looking forward to the next issue, which is devoted to “Colour” and includes a blanket from the Mason-Dixon girls. It would be fantastic if it evolved into a UK-centric print-version of the Twist Collective Magazine, but hey, we can’t have everything!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Brought to you by the letter P!

Over on Roo’s blog, I saw the alphabet challenge: you are allocated a random letter of the alphabet and have to think of ten things you love beginning with that letter. I was fascinated by Roo’s answers and asked to join in. She gave me the letter P!

Parachute games - I first encountered these as a drama student (oh yes, really!) but perhaps they are best suited to the under 5-s. Everyone stands in a circle holding the edge of a rainbow coloured parachute and gently billow it up and down. All sorts of possibilities ensue: try running underneath from one side to the other without it blowing away; have a “shark” sneaking around underneath pulling people’s toes; or simply create a tent over everyone and sing a song. It's all about co-operation. Blissful!

Penguins - Pingu? Happy Feet? Penguins make me smile! I used to have Pingu throwing snowballs as my screensaver at work until I was told it was "illegally installed software". Pshaw!

Polar bears - Another cold-climate creature which fascinates me. It's all about the shape of them, the way they move. I once attended an illustration workshop where we had to sketch polar bears while watching a film of them. Really hard! They move a lot faster than you might imagine!

Peace - Oh blah blah blah - do I think I am Miss World or something?! But yeah, I love peace.

Plum jam - My grandmother made this every year. It tasted like autumn sunshine. To be eaten with:

Pancakes - The Scottish kind, aka “drop scones”- fresh from the griddle. Haven’t had these for years! They make me think of Ironing Day and sitting on the draining board while my mother worked her way through piles of tea towels and pillowcases. She ironed her tea towels?!

Pomegranates - ( still thinking of food!) Those beautiful ruby jewels packed full of iron! The look of them, the taste of them. I love the Moro recipe of duck with pomegranate – you are meant to use pomegranate molasses but I just use the broken up fruit. When I was a child, my mother told me to eat the fruit off the seeds one by one with a pin and spit out the pip. A quarter lasted me for hours!

Patchwork - Faded well-loved quilts full of history. I had a major patchworking phase in the 1990’s and still haven’t finished the queen-size bedcover I began while pregnant with my daughter. She is 12 ½ now. I must dig it out one day finish it?

Palaeography - I love examining old manuscripts, trying to decipher the handwriting and make sense of the words.

Pages - the clean white crispness of a brand new notebook - is there anything better?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Loppem beginnings

I have made a start on Loppem. It isn't very photogenic at the moment!

I remember now why I knit socks - these rows of stocking stitch go on forever! I am using Cascade 220 for the first time ever, mainly because this was exactly the colour I wanted. It is absolutely fit for purpose, but I am missing the softness of Malabrigo or Coldharbour organic dk.

I had knitted almost 6 inches before I found a second set of errata which over-wrote the first - noooooooo! It isn't the end of the world: it just means my cable has a sort of 3-d-ish-ness which it shouldn't have at the bottom of each oval. I have decided to call it "acorn-like" and keep it. I have knitted almost 9 inches now and I am NOT ripping it back for the sake of an unusual cable feature!
It isn't exciting me. I am knitting this for something to wear over my new shirts to work, end of story.

Meanwhile I am hatching plans for O W L S and Sylvi and itching to get back to my Court Line socks. Ah socks, socks, how I love thee!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Potential warmth

On Saturday, FL and I got up early and drove to a wood-burning stove supplier to talk through the options. We had several surprises - the price (ouch!) and the waiting list for installation (April at the earliest!) were the downers... but on the good side, we are getting a fire with OWLS embossed on the side :D

The picture even looks a lot like our fireplace! We have to get the bricked-up bit removed and the chimney re-lined and a new hearth, and it will involve two days of uproar...but I guess that's what happens if you want to improve your home!
I am excited!
So it was only a partial dampener when we got up this morning to find that our bedroom chimney was dripping water and there was a pond in the middle of the bedroom floor...
I think it must be jealous of its sibling.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Incoming stash

I am not going to make excuses. I wanted it ... and I bought it.

Silkwood Hedgerow - a dk-weight yarn which is dyed using "a secret plant recipe". I am going to use this for Goldengrove.

And two from Fyberspates. Lime and Violet bamboo / merino mix. I was seduced by the colours and of course it reminded me how much I enjoy listening to the Lime and Violet podcast when my office-mates both go to lunch at the same time - a too-rare occurrence!

Last, but not least, Fyberspates "Sparkle sock" in Blackberry - this is very pretty indeed! I am going to make fingerless gloves for my daughter's birthday - sssh! Secret!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

We are very lucky

Just to say - thank you to everyone who has commented or even thought about commenting on this week's health-related posts. Your supportive words are very much appreciated.

FL is doing fine - and we are determined to make the most of that. He has a great quality of life at the moment: very little pain and the strength and energy to golf at least 5 times a week = amazing! So many other "myeloma bloggers" are embroiled in complicated healthcare insurance traumas and the tricky business of making ends meet with a breadwinner "down" - we just don't have these problems. We are very lucky!

So if you catch me getting a bit maudlin, you have my permission to slap me round the head with a wet fish (preferably line-caught in a local river, in the interests of the environment.)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Aunty's Strudel

I finished my Aunt’s hat on Tuesday evening. The knitting was done and dusted on Monday, but I had a real struggle undoing the provisional cast-on and ended up with 8 stitches missing but no sign of a ladder! This was disappointing because I thought I had “cracked” the provisional cast-on. After three hours of cursing, I managed to cobble something together with a darning needle, something approximating a Kitchener which grafted the edges together – but it isn’t perfect. Sigh. Ain’t that just the way when you are making something for another knitter?

Stats: Strudel by Woolly Wormhead from the book “Going Straight”. Size large, but I knitted only 9 slices instead of 10 on 3.75mm straight needles (Pony Pearls). The yarn is delicious! 100g of Coldharbour Mill organically-produced, water-mill spun pure wool dk. It is softer than Malabrigo. Honest! I got mine here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

House and Home

No sewing to show you. Instead I spent the weekend cleaning, tidying and baking (bread and banana bread), walking the dog and then sitting down to think. I am not as bothered by that change of plan as might be expected!

While we were away at New Year, I read “No Room for Secrets”, a sort-of autobiography by Joanna Lumley. The concept of the book is that she leads the reader on a guided tour of her present house and talks about her possessions / choices of d├ęcor and what they say about her life, past and present. And it struck me that I would be hard-pressed to carry out a similar exercise, because unlike Joanna’s, my house is not yet my home.

When FL and I moved in together, we wanted clear floors, clean walls, open spaces: a fresh start. But now I think the time has come to bring ourselves into our home. A psychologist would have a field day. We have clearly been afraid of revealing our true selves to each other. FL filled the two spare rooms with overflowing piles of books / papers / maps. And I kept my books in their boxes, while gradually accumulating yarn and fabric next to them, under the bed.

If you came into my front room today, you would see a huge heap of newspapers, dirty plates and used tissues on the sofa on FL’s side of the room… and a constipated little knot of knitting on mine. My daughter has a pile of books on the windowsill, where nobody can see them. The two sofas are arranged against the walls, with the table and dining chairs in the middle. To watch tv, you have to play chess with the dining chairs and anything on the surface of the table. Until we bought and framed a copy of the 1865 map of the area (just before Christmas), there were no pictures. There are no bookshelves. No CDs. No “ornaments”. The storage space underneath the tv contains a plastic ice cream tub full of chisels, screwdrivers, balls of string and batteries. It is a cold place, in every sense of the word!

Last night, we were watching a documentary about John Mortimer, and as the camera panned through his house I was struck by how much personality each room expressed: books, family photographs, artefacts from his travels. Everything said something about the people who lived there. And I felt a real sense of longing.

I need to devote some time and energy to our home. There will be shelves for our joint book collections. I will frame our wedding photograph and put it on display. I will make cushions and throws for the sofas. Have a wood-burning stove installed. And rearrange the furniture so that it is less like the visitors’ room in an old folks’ home. Because this is where we live together.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Knitting - with pictures

Daylight at last!

Here is the Strudel hat in progress for my aunt. I am on slice 6 of 9 so ought to finish this early in the week.

And front and back views of the Court Line sock. I tried hard to show the texture of the back but it definitely hidden by the variations in the colour of the yarn (Malabrigo, Persia).

Friday, January 16, 2009

On the Casting Couch

Sorry - it's too dark for pictures! Hopefully I can catch some daylight over the weekend...

On the needles:

Court Line for FL
In Malabrigo sock, colour “Persia”, 2.5mm dpns.
Beautiful colour, and I love the front-of foot design. However, the textured rib is not showing up well in this dark and mottled environment. I would recommend a lighter colourway if you are thinking of knitting these socks.

Strudel for Aunty J.
In Coldharbour Mill waterwheel-spun organically farmed pure merino, undyed. Supreme ethical credentials and the softest yarn ever! Seriously – my daughter agrees it beats Malabrigo! (You can get it here!)

On the brain:

Goldengrove socks from “Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn”. I bought some last-chance Hedgerow yarn in a searing orangey-yellow. I hadn’t realised this was a double-knitting weight, so I will have to do some adjustments to the pattern, but I am looking forward to knitting some thicker “farm” socks for myself. I wish the “secret” dye recipe wasn’t such a secret – just the name of the plant would do me! I am guessing Weld… but it might be Turmeric!

And in sewing news:

I am going to make a pair of trousers this weekend!
(If I blog it, I have to do it, right?!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


In the mad rush to finish my Christmas knitting, I almost overlooked my cousin’s teenaged daughter, C. But how could I forget the girl “with a passion for hats”? I was going to knock out a pair of last-minute wristwarmers, but then I came upon the Cherry Strudel I knitted but never actually wore – perfect! So it was wrapped and despatched and I relaxed.

When I got back from Beauly, I rang my mother, whose first words were: “What was this hat like that you knit for C.?” My mother’s sister, C’s grandmother, had apparently rung my mother to sing the praises of Strudel, and to ask if I would knit one for her! Now, C. is 16… but Aunty J. is 86! Talk about cross-generational appeal! So I have sent off some wool samples to my aged Aunt and await her decision on colour.

Meanwhile, in a whirl of Wormhead-fever, I cast on for Windward from the same Woolly Wormhead book,“Going Straight”. This was one of the patterns which convinced me to buy the book. I immediately imagined wearing it on a breezy beach. A little bit rasta-girl, with all my hair stuffed inside and a batik top? So apologies for the parka-styling... it is January after all!

With a Scottish summer in mind, I chose this Sublime Yarns Soya Cotton DK. It is 50/50 soya/cotton and has a lovely cool “handle”. Unlike pure cotton, it is fairly lightweight and drapes well – good for the slouchy shape of this hat. My only worry is that this yarn has very little “memory” and it may stretch and fall off after one wearing. My back-up plan is to stitch a band of narrow elastic under one of the stocking-stitch “stripes” near the front as a sort of “hat-bra”.

I discovered that this hat needs to be worn fairly far forward on the head, using the lace band as a "fringe". After a comment from FL which included the word "dowdy" (what a cheek! I was flabbergasted!), I decided to sew three toning seed beads to the point of each picot, to help weight them down and for a touch of bling. I really wanted to add a few tiny shells here and there, in homage to dreadlocked style… but I couldn't find the bag of shells, so beads it is! Never under-estimate how long it takes to sew three seed beads on each picot point - I was definitely frazzled by the time I finished!
FL suggested threading coral ribbon through the lacey front section. I can see what he is getting at - but it would be a bit too "blowsy country milkmaid" for me. The picot edge is quite girly enough, thanks!

Stats: Windward by Woolly Wormhead. 100g of Sublime Yarns Soya Cotton on 3.75mm needles in Indigo colourway. I made the Large size to allow for my long hair, but only did 8 repeats of the "slice" instead of 9, as I didn't need the extra circumference.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Knitting Socks With Handpainted Yarn

It didn't take me long to crack and press "buy it now" on this book: Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn. The clincher was the review at Green Apples' blog. See what I mean?

Anyway, the book arrived on Friday, so I was able to settle down with a coffee on Saturday morning before the kids got up, to indulge myself in socky-goodness!

My first impression was coloured by the yarns chosen for each project, and I found myself dismissing some designs just because the yarns were not to my taste. I gave myself a swift rap on the knuckles ("you are buying the house and not the wallpaper...") and tried again, a packet of sticky page-markers in my hand. Result? Several "must-knits"!

(I have given Ravelry links to the titles.)

Herringbone Rib: the reason I bought the book! It was previewed in Interweave Knits, Winter 2008 so you might already have this pattern. I am irresistably drawn to herringbone textures, and have been searching for a sock version - this is it! I am going to use Hazel Knits in Cami Chic.

Goldengrove: this was a surprising find in a book dedicated to handpaints, because it seems best-suited to a solid or semi-solid yarn, but these can of course be hand-dyed too. I am obsessing about a plant-dyed yarn for these. If you were lucky enough to grab a skein from
Siri's October dye-session, you are all set for this pattern. Maybe I will buy some Hedgerow yarn? (Quick - looks like it is being discontinued!)

Staccato Socks: The Chevron Scarf in sock-form! This one is ideal for using up half-skeins and oddments. High up on my to-do list!

Longbourn Socks: I am surprised to find myself liking this girly confection. I saw this version and was hooked. I am thinking sugar pink and pistachio green!

Other patterns worth a mention are Chevvy (= Crosswalker!) and Escher (= Undulating Rib!), both of which I liked in their previous incarnations. I am less sure about the direction-changing designs Spread Spectrum and Colour Collision - can I be bothered with the technical challenge to create such busy socks? But I will probably succumb at some point, just for the hell of it!

Conclusion: Hours of fun! I know I am going to use the "yarn analysis" section to diagnose the types of hand-paints in my stash and avoid messy pooling by choosing the right stitch count / pattern combination. And the sheer variety of patterns could keep me going all year without buying another book... if only Cookie A and Wendy J. were not both publishing sock books in the coming few months! Buy it now!!

Friday, January 09, 2009

The First Week Back

It’s Friday and I appear to have survived my first week back at work. I’ve brought you up to date with my holiday activities and received some lovely comments. A special mention to Andre for saying that FL was so good-looking in that photo, he “made Sean Connery seem like a troll in comparison”!?! He (FL, not Sean) is still chuckling at that one! It is a bigger joke when you know how FL speaks... yeah, he DOES sound a lot like the man himself!

Image credit: found via Google - if this is your cartoon, thank you for letting me borrow it!

So – the sleeveless woollie? Well, there seems to be general agreement that Loppem, the Back to School Vest and Maude are the front-runners. I already have the yarn for Loppem, which I could use to knit the B2SV… but the more I think about it, the more I realise I fancy a more tweedy yarn for that design, one of the Cascade Heathers perhaps? So Loppem is back in pole position. I also have the yarn for Maude, so really the only decision left is which one to knit first. Casting on soon - wait and see!

Socks? Have you seen the new Loumms pattern Court Line? Emma designed it for her father’s 60th birthday, and it has all the characteristics of a good man-sock: not too plain, not too fancy, somewhat ribby, somewhat geometric. I will be casting on soon in Malabrigo Persia! I still need to finish my second December sock, Mulled Wine, but I am feeling relaxed about this.

This week I have been working on another hat – Windward, again by Woolly Wormhead. FO to follow!

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, January 08, 2009


FL wanted a hat that would keep his ears warm on the golf course.

Knowing his interest in all things Roman, I jokingly suggested Centuria by Woolly Wormhead. He took me up on this suggestion with alarming enthusiasm, despite my warnings that he would look… insane in it.

It was a quick knit, once I got into the swing of the “wrap and turns”. I stupidly misread the instructions and only did one repeat of the main section between the first ear flap and the second, instead of two. This was easily “fixed” by doing two repeats after the second ear flap, so effectively knitting the hat back to front. The straight edge of the flap is meant to be in front of the ear and not behind it… but it looks fine with the curved side at the front, in my opinion!

I tried it on him while he was asleep in his chair on Monday night and he looked like a weird bearded baby (sorry FL!). But his suggested modification may have cured that: he wanted a band of knitting under his chin, fixed by a button on each ear flap, to stop it falling off when he bends to pick up a golf ball. I decided to add brass buttons to make it appear more grown-up, and play up the "Legionnaire Look".

The facts: Centuria by Woolly Wormhead from the book “Going Straight”, size Large. A couple of yards over 50g of Elle Wool Boutique variegated merino, colour “Bonfire”, on 3.75mm needles. I added a chinstrap tube of garter stitch, which I felted lightly, for added stability. I threaded buttonhole elastic through this, handstitching it in place at both ends. This is then fastened to a small plain button inside each earflap. To avoid stretching the knitted fabric too much, I sewed a small square of bias binding under the button, and used an ornamental brassy button (plastic, so not too heavy) on the outside for balance and decoration. Incredibly soft, light and warm, this wool felts beautifully so I had better make sure it doesn’t sneak its way into the wash!

Verdict? Dressing-up-box madness! He loves it!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Barn raising squares

So there we were in the frozen wilderness, tucked up under the blankets with a pile of books: trashy novels, self-help books, Scottish history books, and a stack of maps of the Highlands, all found on the cottage's shelves. I had finished my first Mulled Wine sock and needed something easy to knit while I read with the other eye.
TV? Forget it - it was over in the beach hut and neither of us was going to brave the cold unless there was a pheasant in the oven to make it worthwhile!
So I made a start on my first Barn Raising Squares. Perfect comfort knitting! I started off at 4 hours a square, but I am getting faster!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The sleeveless woollie dilemma

The January sales have arrived at exactly the right time (well it IS January, stupid!)… no, no, I mean the right time for me with my new "clothing allowance" from FL!

Yesterday I bought three smart shirts to wear to work for the usual price of one (at Boden). This was astonishing even in the sale – I think the company must be struggling. These aren't the actual colours I chose - they won't let me copy their pictures - tsk!

So as the fresh cotton crispness wings its way to me (and I remember that I will now have to take up ironing – damn!) it seems like a good time to cast on for some sort of warm slipover-ish item (or two!) because realistically spring is still a long way off.

The candidates:

Loppem in a sizzling purplish blue Cascade 220.

Anais in soft green dk from Handpainted Yarns.

Maude in a variegated purple fingering-weight from Carpedyem.

I have the yarns and I have the patterns, so there is no reason to delay, other than the usual “fear of the blank page” feeling which strikes me at the start of a new project.
Not wanting to “spoil” my yarn by knitting the wrong size / choosing the wrong colour. Wondering if the shape will work over a buttoned shirt – hmm… that’s a real consideration.

Back to Ravelry, and the Back To School Vest is waving at me – I can get the book at the library.
And then I remembered the Shetland Shawl Turned Vest from Lace Style – ooh!

Now I am totally confused!
Which one would you knit?

Monday, January 05, 2009

First Mulled Wine sock

Apologies for the expanse of leg - FL insisted the sock was nothing without context! But I am not sure you can see the cranberries unless you click to make it bigger...

A fun pattern that kept me on my toes - no chance of knitting it while under the influence of said wine, mulled or otherwise. I must get on with the second one, though these are a bit short for this weather. I plan to wear them in spring with my clogs to show off the heel pattern, which is a delicate lace.
I like the toe shaping, which is a variation of the star toe.
Another success from the Loumms Year of Socks!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy New Year!

FL and I were in the Highlands to celebrate our first wedding anniversary (!) and New Year.

We stayed in a quirky cottage near Beauly, where the kitchen was in a separate "beach hut" across the lawn from the rest of the house. On New Year's Eve it was minus seven Celsius at midday, dropping to minus twelve degrees at midnight! It was shockingly cold. We had been looking forward to snuggling up in front of a log fire but when we got there, it had been banned by Health and Safety!?! So we cranked up the central heating (sadly the same kind we have at home!) and piled on the blankets instead. Only Roobeedoo could pick a Highland Cottage for December with insufficient heating!

I knitted a lot (more of that another day). FL went golfing on a frosted golf course - the only player they had seen for days! And we walked in the amazing winter landscapes.