Ok, you are going to get angry at me now…

I have more things for the list :/ I want to knit Analise from Rowan 38. Looks horrid in the photo, because of that stupid eco warrior thing going on, but when you look at the shape of the sweater, it is actually rather lovely. Simply shaped and simple knitting. And I have 10 balls of coffee/choccy brown wool cotton that I got from Coldspring for a tenner.
And I have 10 balls of Jaeger Mohair Art in an oaty creamy colour that would work for the mohair wrap in FCEK from fall last year (I think).
Ermmmm. Also I have fallen in love with a sweater. Hanne Falkanberg’s Diva pattern. You buy it as a kit, but right now I luckily have no cash to buy it, and the wrong body shape for it (big boobs with a big folded over collar over them? Nooooooo, not right now ta). But I love her, and all her Diva-ishness.
Ok, now I have to go knit a sock. Just the foot to go on the 2nd Jaywalker. Which means only about 3 inches till I do the toe decreases.

A question

Ok, I was brave. I’ve finished knitting Angelica, and she is currently drying on an ironing board next to the radiator, on top of an old towel, with her sleeves and hips folded over so that they don’t hang down and stretch. I sloshed her a little in some wool and silk washing liquid, rinsed her, wrung her out in a towel, and have laid her out a little stretched out in the hope that this will make her fit correctly without making her stretch a lot overall (so that she doesn’t sag while I wear her). Ooooooh I hope this works ok. The sleeves aren’t that great, but I reckon the blocking process complete with a long sleeve black t-shirt will fix that. I’ve also washed the Polar Lace Leaf pullover for the first time today, and am now covered in hairs from it. When it has dried I will shave it and try wearing it again to see how much it pills after washing. Luckily, I did the silk before the Polar. Otherwise Angelica would suddenly grow a green beard.
Anyway, the question is, what to knit next? I have quite a few projects on the go, but most of them quite small or quick. Only Clapotis will be a long time coming. The others, if I get my arse into gear, can be made within a couple of days knitting. So I’m thinking, what garment should I have a go at next? I want it to be practical, and use stash I already have, as the stash is in dire need of reduction. And I don’t want it to be too complicated right now – I have to be able to put it down easily so that I can go from studying to knitting to studying without losing my place or getting stressed about stuff.
I’m not popular or clever enough to do a poll on here, so I’m very happy to sit back and see if anyone posts any comments. Here is a list of things I’d like to make. Feel free to suggest something else as long as I may have the stash for it!
1) Lace Leaf Pullover in Knitpicks Sierra. I want to make this because the Polar was so pilly, so that I have a sweater I can wear to work or to the pub without covering everything in green hair. I know the pattern and its quirks now, and it is pretty quick to knit, and there is enough winter for me to have it worth knitting in such a warm yarn.
2) Hourglass sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. I have the yarn from frogging the evil ribbed cardi, and need to find something to use it up, and this seems like a good idea. Stocking stitch in the round, so lots of brainless knitting when I’ve been using my few brain cells to write the dissertation. Practical design too, as it is simple, and if it fits ok will be ok for work and for dossing about in. And I’ve been lusting after making it for a while – long before I got the book.
3) Angelica mark 2. You already know I had a problem with getting enough yarn to knit this pattern. I’ve made it, love it, and even tho the first one is far from dry, I’m contemplating making this one straightaway as it is quick, simple, and the yarn is sitting on the armchair arm and I keep staring at it lustily. Kerrie went to a lot of effort to dye this yarn for me, and I think I owe it to her to knit it soon.
4) Union Market Sweater from Interweave Knits in Alpaca Select. I bought the yarn just for this pattern, and I have no idea how hard it will be, but it is beautiful, and will take a long time because of the tiny needles and yarn.
5) Sirdar Ballet Wrap cardi. I have some DB Baby Cashmerino on a cone, in a light green, so definitely a spring to summer colour. I’ve wanted to make a ballet wrap cardi since I started knitting again, and the pattern is your standard Sirdar/basic format – no knitting in the round, a little bit of moss stitch ribbing, and extremely practical (it is even the length to cover flabby tum bits till they flatten out a bit).
I think that’s it for now. Socks, scarves etc will always be on the needles so that I have a choice when I decide to knit. I like to have small things as well as garments on the go, but what garment to make? Incidentally, most of my stash is in two big plastic trunks, but some of the stash is sitting in carrier bags behind the sofa for want of anywhere else to live (including the Sierra and cashmerino aran). That might skew the results a bit, but I’m looking more at gratification than using whichever yarn.
Hmmmm, wonder if anyone will reply, and what they will pick?
Oh, and one day I will get the stash page up, and some updated links. But both are going to be a looooong list, so for now I just can’t be arsed 😉

Lovely new things

Thanks again for the comments and support – you really are very nice people. After a rough day or two, I find myself uplifted, thanks to my wonderful friends, and one or two goodies that have come my way.
The most appropriate for here is this.

This is the beautiful yarn Kerrie at Hipknits dyed for me. I’m hoping the pic will go some way to showing how deep the colour is – a gorgeous berry violet and blue, with very subtle colour changes. I love this yarn. Kerrie is so cool.
Also, this weekend will see an Angelica photo from the blue version. I took it to work today, and worked the sleeves to match – short with one row of purl after two decrease rows from the pattern. I have to sew up, weave in and embellish the neckline. And maybe do some blocking, but I don’t know yet. Anyway, it will be done and soon.
But first I have to do some other things. Lots of photos pending this weekend!

There and back again

Ugh. Got back from the trip to my mum’s today. The day itself went better than expected, largely due to the presence of lots of people where we wanted to leave flowers. Coming back here has been horrendous. I’ve been trying to be strong for mum. Now I feel tired, and awful – worse than I did when I found out what happened. The taps are running, and won’t stop.
So to try and curb it for now, I have to talk about other things. I am skint at the mo – too many things to pay for and I am going to be good and commit to paying as much as I can off so that I can carry on as normal. Anyway, the point of that is that we went wandering around various places while I was visiting, one of them being Beverly. We went to Tesco of all places, and I bought a pair of Cherokee lineny trousers for £4.00 and a Florence + Fred skirt for £3.00 in the sale. We went to Debenhams in Scarborough, and I bought an Antoni and alison t-shirt for a fiver in the sale. They have the cutest t-shirts at the mo, but full price, so I’ll have to keep an eye open for them next time they do a sale (and a lovely skirt in the sale, but I can’t afford it this month and it is only 8 quid off, so maybe it will be cheaper then)… Then today, before I caught the train back, we were browsing in Primark, and I found a green handbag (one of those wide thin ones with big buckled pockets on the outside) stuffed behind a pillar against a wall with no price. After waiting at the tills for a bit, the assistant came back and charged me £3.00. I spent fifteen quid, and essentially have enough clothes for two days. Hoorah for the dregs of the sales.
I took some knitting with me, but didn’t get much done thanks to the cat, but I’ve got most of the leg of Jaywalker sock 2 done, and took my spare Polar with me to see if I could make the reversable capelet from Craftster. I’ve almost done with the increases, and it is rather sweet, but I don’t know how it will look – I’ll probably do long sleeves, but I don’t know what kind of body to do yet. I have a cropped wrap cardi that I bought for the trip to the US, that seems to suit me, so I could increase to make a wrap, which would be easy enough, and pin it together. Or I could knit it to make a normal length cardi, but just have a button at the top. Or I could just leave it as the design was intended. I dunno.
Anyway, Who Do You Think You Are is on in a mo, with Stephen Fry, who is one of the loveliest men on earth, so I need to pick clothes out for work and settle with wine to watch it.
Au revoir for now.


I just wanted to say thank you to you all. I wrote because I needed to vent, and no one who reads the blog had any obligation to respond or comment at all. That you all have is just wonderful, and moves me deeply. I really appreciate every word you’ve said and I can’t really express it very well. This is all you need to know – thank you very very much for taking the time and the effort to say something. You are lovely lovely people.
Anyway, I’m starting to cope much better with it, although it tears me apart when I hear my mum on the phone. She’s going to pick me up on Sunday, and I’ll stay over till Wednesday. I don’t have much leave left (our leave year runs from April to March), so I can’t go as long as I’d like in case she needs me again in future – strange how 4 days seems to be a long time away from home, but a barely a blip in terms of time with her. We’ll have our own little memorial during that time, and frankly the sooner the better. I’ve made a purchase of M&S choccy liquor today – like Baileys Irish Cream (in fact it has irish cream in it), but chocolate flavoured, and you can drink it hot or cold. After a day by the sea, we may want warming up, and what could be a nicer way to get a little comfort than a finger of warmed chocolate irish cream. Except drinking it with a bar of cherry or butterscotch Green and Black’s chocolate grated on top, with lots of squares on the side to eat. I feel better just thinking of it.
In knitting news, I finished my Jaywalker last night, after knitting while waiting for the bus home from my late shift at work, knitting on the bus, and knitting when I got home. Knitting while waiting for the bus kept me surprisingly warm, and the sight of lots of pointy wooden sticks in the middle of town puts of most drunks. Sadly I can’t get away with knitting on the evening slot at work, but I suspect that wouldn’t do much for my work image, both in terms of doing something I shouldn’t at work, and in terms of being a librarian who knits, but is under 30. Shame I can’t say under 25 anymore. 25 sounds so cool. A nearly 30 unmarried librarian who knits, I’m afraid is most definitely not cool in this neck of the woods. Although it clearly is getting cooler by the second: there is a stand in the foyer outside our doors for the student union’s ‘Give it a go’ project, where you go along without joining a club to see if you like it. Knitting is one of the options, you have to book to go, they are doing it once every 3-4 weeks till the end of March, and I just think that is fab. Finally things are moving here! Anyway, I don’t have a pic yet, as it is too dark (I don’t see light during the day unless I go out for lunch), so maybe I’ll have good progress on the other sock by the time I get a camera to see the colours properly etc, as I cast on for the 2nd as soon as I finished the first. I love it. It fits really nicely. However, it only took about 35g of the 50g hank, so I’m going to have a good 30g left at the end. Enough for some trainer socks maybe?
I’ve had an email from Kerrie too saying that the silk she dyed for me is nearly dry, and if it is ready, I may end up coming back from my mum’s to a package… She likes it, and I’m feeling quite excited at the thought of it – she said she hopes I like it, and I have every confidence in her capabilities as a dyer, so I’m sure I will love it, in the kind of way that makes you wish you could marry yarn. I’ll post pics when it arrives. Yum.


Ok, this is one of many attempts to try and type up what has happened. I’ve got to try and keep the feelings of my family close to me on this one, and try and vent and help myself without hurting anyone else. I feel strange typing this stuff up, but I kind of feel the need to do it. It isn’t like me to be so open about my life, but, I’ve seen it happen many times on blogs, and the writers always seem to come out of it all much better for doing so. I really hope I don’t hurt anybody by blogging this. I may think it through after posting and maybe delete this after a short time. I dunno – I seem to have spent quite a while over this. We’ll see. But someone please say if they think I’m stepping over the line with this post.
Essentially, my mum phoned on Thursday last week to say her partner of about 13 years had died of lung cancer (not from smoking – his job involved working with quite toxic chemicals and other irritants to the lung, and he came from an era which didn’t recommend masks and that kind of thing). Mum lives on the coast, and was over here for Christmas and New Year. He died on Christmas Eve, and his sons from a previous relationship had tried to contact her, but hadn’t managed to get through. They’d used different numbers, none of which she knew, so she didn’t make the connection. She isn’t a direct relative, so the hospital didn’t contact her (and don’t give information freely), and she only found out the beginning of last week, when she phoned to try and find out if he was there when she hadn’t heard from him. Because she found out so late, she missed the funeral.
The whole things sucks. I feel so much anger, along with the grief (I didn’t know him well, but I’m obviously upset for my mum, and it is natural to feel this way after he’d been around so long) that his family didn’t make more of an effort, but then we don’t know what they did. We don’t know what happened, and we may never know. We’ll have our own little ceremony for him, in our own way, from what he said he wanted.
And for the sake of knitting, I haven’t done much, but the first jaywalker is nearly done. They might end up being symbolic now though. I may have to gift them, but that might help me too – something good to come out of this dark time, that makes me realise there are other people out there. Some charity knitting would be good too (I have some Oxfam patterns made by Rowan, and apparently Women’s Weekly has some extra ones for different charities in the new one out tomorrow), to help me purge myself a bit, while helping out others.
Ugh. I hope I’ve not done wrong by posting this – it feels strange being so personal. But even where I work, all you have to do is think something and everyone knows what you thought. I probably will delete this sometime though.

Quick one

Just a message to my secret pal that if you have already read my questionnaire, then please note that I’ve edited it slightly to include some extra magazine information and fave yarn stuff.
The bad news the other day was really bad, but I’m not ready to talk yet. Maybe I’ll post in a day or two – I’m calmer now then I was yesterday, but only if I keep busy.

Secret Pal 7 Questionnaire

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand?
Not too much of a snob. The more I knit, the more I prefer to use something with a natural fibre content, although it depends on the yarn. As long as it knits up soft I don’t mind 🙂
2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I’ve just started learning to spin (I’m on my second hank of yarn and am hoping this one will actually be properly usable!), and I have done a little crochet, but it isn’t really my thing.
3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I bought a beautiful felted needle case from the Harrogate show at the end of November, but still need something to hold my fatter needles as they are literally lying around the house right now…
4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I think I’m past beginner now, as I’ve tried a few different techniques, so I’d consider myself intermediate. I can’t design myself, but if I spot an error in a pattern, I’m more willing to try and fix it myself before I ask around now.
5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I do. Email me to ask how to find it 🙂
6. What’s your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Vanilla, coffee, honey – the kind of warm, slightly sweet scents that make you think of cosy nights indoord during winter 🙂
7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I do, but I’m trying to lose weight, so perhaps that isn’t such a good idea… 😉 But on the other hand! I am a big fan of high quality dark chocolates. Please note that I don’t eat wheat as it gives me belly ache, so anything biscuity/cookie-ish is out of the question 🙁
8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve just started spinning. I also sew, mostly accessories because of my poor skills, but one day I’ll get good enough to make clothes! And I read lots. Books are good.
9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
This is always a tough one as I have pretty broad tastes. My favourite bands are Stereolab, Elbow and The Pixies, but to be honest I listen to all kinds of genres – bluenote jazz, classical, and I do like a little bit of pop as long as it isn’t Britney type pop 😉
10. What’s your favorite color? Or–do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can’t stand?
I tend to go for quite neutral colours, but when it comes to stuff like socks and scarves I go a little brighter. The silk cami is my first garment in bright colours, but I have news on that one later anyway (and it aint good…). Greens are my fave for knitting bigger items, but I also like muted tones of purple and soft greys. Black, I’m afraid to say, is a staple in my wardrobe. Outside of knitting/clothes, I allow myself a bit more colour, but still seem to stick with the same kinds of colours. Aubergine, dark blue, almond white. I suppose it is cos I’m pale skinned (brown hair, blue eyes) that I end up going with cooler colours.
11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with my partner of 10 years, no kids. No pets, but I’m hoping to change that in the next few months and add a kitty cat to the family.
12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I believe that ponchos are the source of all evil in the world. However, scarves, hats and mittens are all ace.
13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
I love Rowan yarns, Colinette one zero and point five, and Debbie Bliss stuff. I also rather like Alpaca Select, as it is very reasonably priced for alpaca, and goes a long way. Fyberspates is fab too. And Hipknits stuff.
14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I would prefer not to receive ‘fashion’ or novelty yarns, like ladder yarns, super furry/eyelash yarns (although I have been known to use lighter ones with another yarn, but I really can’t use them on their own). And anything really scratchy, naturally. Also, angora makes me wheezy and sneezy, as does anything else really sheddy.
15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
I’m trying to be good, but at the mo I have a severe case of my eyes being bigger than my knitting capacity. Right now I have a real desire to make something practical that I can wear easily (like hourglass, or accessories). And I seem to have a thing for silk. Mmmmm.
16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I love to knit anything really! I don’t think I’ve completed enough to lean towards one thing, as it depends on my taste and budget what I lean towards, but I do like to see things a little different. Things I like in free patterns seem to suddenly start appearing in the shops not too long after. Anyway, I like the staple things such as scarves and socks, cardis and sweaters. But I’d rather they have something to define them a little, like the yarn used (such as in Angelica and hourglass), or a little extra something in design (Lace leaf’s lace pattern and construction). I’m sorry – this is a bit vague!
17. What are you knitting right now?
I have on the needles:
Clapotis in Karaoke
Jaywalkers in Fyberspates sock yarn
Angelica in Hipknits silk
a Noro scarf in 2 different colourways striped up together
and a scarf in Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk (left over from the club gift) (Liesel off the top of my head)
18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Of course! Any time spent on something for me is appreciated.
19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
Depends what I’m knitting. I like not having to seam, but I also like the feel of bamboo needles in my hands (I have a set of Denise needles, so don’t often buy circs in other materials as I don’t need to so much).
20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Oops, kind of answered that above. I’m happy for any material, but I prefer bamboo and wooden needles. They aren’t always practical though for the project I need or for my pocket, so I use whatever kind necessary.
21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I have my mum’s old winder, but no swift. The chair back currently acts as a very bad swift…
22. How did you learn to knit?
When I was little, to make blankets full of holes (which I thought were purls) for my Sindy horse and My Little Pony stuff (ahhhh, Stardancer, how I loved you). I came back to it just over a year ago now, and don’t think I’ll look back again. Thank goodness my mum doesn’t machine knit snoods and jumpers with rows of cricketers on in lemon and white (for my uncle) anymore…
23. How old is your oldest UFO?
I’m doing better at this now – I tend to frog if I don’t touch it for too long (if I haven’t worked on it for that long, I clearly don’t need or want it very much). Currently I have Blackberry from Knitty (by xtreme Jen) sitting on the needles (so it hasn’t been waiting THAT long), because I’m not convinced I’ll look right in it, and kept making mistakes on the second sleeve. I’ll have another look when I’ve finished knitting some other stuff and have put some needles away.
24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
I love Miffy and Hello Kitty, plus the Simpsons and Futurama, Family guy etc. Cats are my big love.
25. What is your favorite holiday?
Well, I haven’t really travelled much, but a piece of my heart remains in Prague. Another piece is waiting to discover Japan. Any place with culture and history, but a sense of modern lifestyle and, strangely, somewhere I’d like to live.
26. Is there anything that you collect?
Does yarn count? Or books? Or dvds? My partner seems to collect computers. I don’t have the space to collect anything else…
27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I don’t have any subs – I can’t sub to US magazines as I don’t have a credit card, and the UK mags are far too unreliable in content to bother with it. This month’s Knitting mag is absolutely appalling (the man’s jumper is like some kind of 80s nightmare). Yet I still buy it in the hope it will get better. Fool. I subscribe to Rowan and Debbie Bliss clubs though…
28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?
For brit patterns, I love Amelia Raitte’s Jemima. I’m also intrigued by Glampyre’s Orangina and Tubular Camisole, but I’m not sure how I’d look in them.
29. Are there any new techniques you’d like to learn?
I want to get better at spinning, and learn how to dye as well. I’d also love to learn enough to design what I want, but armhole and neck shaping and decreases for arms throw me off at the moment. It can’t be too long from here?
30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I’m a UK size 4 – I’ll work out the size later.
31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
25th of May. Not during this SP.
Sorry if it seems rushed now. Had some bad news just before I finished. Gotta go now.

A little whimsey

Just a quick post today. The sock is coming along slowly now, but only because I’ve been doing other things, like going to work, being sleepy, and a little studying. I am still in love with it though. And I’m feeling all giddy because I got details of the person I’m spoiling for SP7. Yay! I’m sooo looking forward to treating them. And I plan to make some things for them too, which gives me an excuse to craft. I’m not quite ready to post my answers to the questionnaire yet tho. I had to work an evening yesterday, so chose to sleep in a little rather than do anything with my time (I still haven’t got the hang of working again yet), so I figure I’ll have it ready by the end of the week.
In other news, I accidentally got more yarn today, but it was stuff I’d forgotten about. Goodies from the states, from my work colleague’s sister 😀 Hoorah! 10 hanks of KnitPicks Sierra in Leaf to make a new, hopefully fully functional version of Lace Leaf. It isn’t as soft as I expected, but it certainly isn’t nasty, and should soften with knitting and washing to a lovely state. It is kind of a muted jade green, with a little jade taken out of it, if that makes sense. Naturally, I can’t have this sitting around for too long cluttering the house, and I want the sweater to where while it is still cold as this yarn seems to be more wintery, so I better start knitting it up… 😉

Mmmmmmmm, socks.

Here, as promised is a progress shot of something I was knitting while I visited my mum. I decided not to knit anymore on Angelica until Kerrie had sent me some more of the silk (we aren’t quite sure yet whether it is the right kind she’s found, so it might be best to wait to check before I knit the last of the yarn up), so I started some Jaywalkers on the train. And I didn’t use the lovely new Lorna’s Laces yarn, although I did wind one of the hanks and take it with me. I used that luscious foxglove colourway in the Fyberspates sock yarn I bought far too long ago. This yarn is just lovely to work with. If you can get hold of Fyberspates stuff, then do. I know I haven’t finished knitting this, and I currently have no idea what kind of wear I’ll get out of it, but the colourways are beautiful, varying from really vivid and bright to soft subtle variations. There are a few different colourways I’d love to buy from Get Knitted but I have to restrain myself for the sake of my pocket and my stash (if it was just the stash, I might have been a bit naughty, but post christmas funds are always rubbish).
Anyway, here is the current progress of the Foxglove Jaywalker in all it’s socky fabulousness.

I am so loving this pattern so far. I know most people on the web already have experienced the joy of the Jaywalker, but I don’t think it does any harm to add to the news. It is a fab pattern – one of those that keep you interested enough to keep going, but doesn’t give you so much to do that you give up in frustration or just get fed up of having to check the instructions. Of my limited sock knitting experience, I’ve found that I get a little bored of the pattern on the leg of the sock, before I’ve even really got going properly, but this is the first pattern that has kept me going. Or maybe it was the yarn. Or both together. Anyway, I’m very happy with this, it fits so far, and so I’m looking forward to finishing and even starting the next sock. A good thing as I have piles of sock yarn to use. Remember the Coldspring purchase of 400g of sock yarn in dark colours, with just splashes of bright bits? It was dirt cheap, but will make surplus of 6 pairs of socks I think… Much of it will have to be Jaywalkers, with a few other simple patterns thrown in I think. But Jays seem to be the quickest for me too. And the easiest to pick up for a few rows and put down again (pretty important given what I should be doing instead of knitting and typing up stuff on my blog. I promise I won’t mention that again for at least, ooooooh, one post…)
Mmmmm, socks…