Thursday, 5 July 2018

Once Upon a Sock: July

So yes, I've been away.  I went to Woollinn, create a video blog for it, then spent over a month trying to edit it.  (I've still not finished). 

Last weekend we came back from Germany.  (I'll write about that separately).  I had a mad panic beforehand about taking only one knitting project with me.  In the end, I didn't finish the socks I'd taken with me, let alone did anything with the yarn I took for the second-project-shawl.  Oh well. 

The sock had a mistake in it (I knitted when I should have purled - or the other way round), so I had to tink back several rows.  It wasn't my top priority on holiday! The mistake is now rectified, and this is the current state of progress:

Socks - vanilla socks
Yarn - Something by Opal
These were the ones I was working in a couple of months ago.  I was going to do an orange heel, but instead I did a Fish Lips Kiss Heel.  I love the fish lips kiss heel to knit, but find that the short row heel doesn't work for my feet so well, so I've done ribs on the top to make it easier to put on.
To make the socks look right from the front, I just re-attached the colour at the right stage of the rainbow:

The sock heel
The bit where the yarn is re-joined, looks slightly odd from the front - but actually fine from the side.  I'm sure it'll all look better when it's washed, blocked and worn. 

I wanted to do more of this this week, but I've been hit with a cold and flu - so it's been going more slowly than I would like, as I don't want to make another mistake.  They're going to be ankle socks, partly because it won't fit if the legs are too long, and partly because I need the needles free for a new pair to be cast-on in time for me flying to the USA on Tuesday. 

There's a group of us, who blog about socks on the first Thursday of the month.  I think I'm just going to make it....  Links to Paula's blog is here who has the full explanation - and the link-up page is here

Sunday, 20 May 2018

"We've got a dangly thing"

Apparently the workshop I'm doing next weekend was fantastic.  I hope it is.  Was.

There was slight consternation online this week, after Simply Knitting claimed to already have been to Woolinn Dublin, ten days before the rest of us.  I haven't yet prepped for my class (Introduction to Hat Design with Woolly Wormhead).  I just need to knit a swatch of the yarn I'm using to design my hat.  I've just been stash diving, and can't find the yarn I was looking for - but have found five other yarns which I could use.  The deciding factor will be which fabric I want to feel against my skin. 

This weekend we've also booked our summer holidays; a week or so in Germany.  It's the first time since 2015 that Mr Knitty and I have had a summer holiday, together, in summer.  It's quite exciting.

We have a light in our bedroom.  For years, we thought it didn't work.  Apparently it did work, there just wasn't a light pull to make it work.  Rather than go to the hardware store, I thought I'd get creative with a scrap of string and some beads.

I tried French knitting; it didn't work.  Twice.  I tried knitting some i-cord, with beads on the working yarn between rows.  In my head, all the beads would line up and look amazing.  In reality, it didn't work.

In the end, I just knitted a string i-cord, with (possibly too small) 3.5mm needles, and then threaded the beads on afterwards.  All this was done whilst Mr Knitty was out of the house, just to see how long it took for him to notice.

I didn't quite realise how much this looked like a female hygiene product

His first words on walking into the bedroom? "We've got a dangly thing"

And he was right.

The light pull in situ

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Once Upon a Sock - May 2018

Today was mostly about this:

Today was a local election; we had the option of three red, one blue and a yellow (of which we could vote for a maximum of three).  Mr Knitty and I went and made our crosses in the respective boxes this morning, before he went to work.  This afternoon, somebody from the red party came buzzing at the door, interrupting my afternoon nap.  I told her that I'd already voted; she asked how.  It was only as I was closing the door that I thought to reply: 'with a pencil'. 

The blanket is going well.  I absolutely love it as a project.  There's no point it being a memory blanket, if the only memories I have in it, are of the minis I've bought.  However, these arrived this week, and are worth a mention.  There are a couple of other minis that I want from them; the leftovers may well end up as a pair of socks.

From top to bottom:
Calico Cat
Industrial Accident
Crocus patch
All from the amazing Mothy and the Squid

On to the socks.....

These are the current pair, knit with Regia Pairfect

The yarn is designed to be knit from the cuff down.  However, I prefer knitting from the toe up.  Looking at all the projects on Ravelry with the same yarn - they all look the same.  I like the fact that mine are (almost) completely different.  I'm using Sockmatician's toe-ups and when it comes to turning the heel, I want to do it in orange, because different. 

The wonderful thing about the Once Upon a Sock project, is the number of people who have joined in.  Instead of linking all the blogs here as I did last month, if you go to this link you'll see all the sock knitting projects from our group. 

See you next month for more of the same! 

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Where's Your Brain At?

In the most recent episode of Tea and Possibilities recent Tea and Possibilities podcast, Nikki talks about not completing a project, because that's not really where her brain's at.   At the moment, my brain's at my blanket.  I thought there was going to be a fight between me and the hot weather as to who lasted out the longest - but actually the weather only popped its head in for a couple of days. 

Last Saturday, I went on a group cycle ride of 11.5 miles, and really felt it when I came back!  I spent the afternoon crashed out on the sofa, with the blanket (as it currently stands), keeping my legs warm.  There was another one today, but it's a longer ride for the last weekend of the month.  I've decided against, as I need my energy for this evening. 

I've had to get over my aversion to the colour pink.  In fairness, it's not the colour that's the problem - it's the way it's always used to girl-ify everything.  You like fishing?  Have a grey fishing rod.  You're a woman who likes fishing?  Have a pink fishing rod.  You need a pen; here's a blue one.  You're a woman who needs a pen - here, have a special pink one.  The list is endless, but the worst I saw was the pink 'Big Red Bus Shape Sorter' from Early Learning Centre.  Because, of course we female Londoners have a completely different colour transport system to our male counterparts.

Anyway, I digress.....

The blanket as it stands has quite a lot of green and purple, and a pretty decent amount of blues.  To try and break it up a bit, I bought a whole load of My First Regia sock yarns in shades and patterns of pink.

The thing I love doing, is mixing and matching scraps of yarn - so a light pink ball and a dark pink ball will give me three squares; one plain in each shade of pink, and one square of pink stripes.  Factor in the patterned yarns and other scraps I had, and I had around balls for around seventeen squares, all stored in bags for each quarter, to try and make sure there's an even spread of colours.

Yarn received as a swap 

Then I received the swap to the yarns I sent off last weekend - and hey presto, another twenty or so balls are now ready to be knitted up. 

..... So, guess what I've been doing this last week? 

The blanket, as of 27th April 2018

Sunday, 22 April 2018


Not long ago, Mr Knitty bought me a small pair of electronic scales for weighing yarn.  In its helpful way, Amazon also let us know what other people had bought alongside the scales, which raises questions what they were weighing with their scales....

Last weekend he saw me weighing up yarn to send off as part of a minis swap, to which his comment was: 

I knew it.  I knew it would just be a matter of time before you started dealing. 

Thursday, 12 April 2018

TBT: Snow

Now we've got a bit of spring in the air (at least in theory) it's easy to forget the Beast from the East which hit us in February. 

At the end of February, we went to the theatre to see This is Going to Hurt - from the book of the same name, by Adam Kay.  It's a (mostly) hysterical memoir about the life of a junior doctor.  It was pretty cold and windy, and the trains were not running as they should have been.  Nevertheless, we persisted and it was well worth it.  Despite having read the book, I was still laughing until I couldn't breathe!

On the way there, I wore my Hitchhiker scarf, finally with all the ends woven in.  I started it in 2016 and may, or may not have completed it in the same year.  I wanted something bright to contrast with the cold and snow.

Waiting for the train

It was at that point, that I realised that I hadn't taken blog photos of the Hitchhiker.  So, the following day, I dragged Mr Knitty out into the snow for a photo shoot: 

Pattern - Hitchhiker by Martina Behm

Yarn- Zauberball by Schoppel, colourway Tropical Fish

It's only on writing this, that I realise I've managed to pair up a German yarn, with a German designed pattern.  

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Once Upon a Sock - April

These are my March socks.  I know I should have caught up with the seasons and cast on the April socks, but I don't currently have any spare needles.  (Unless you count the wooden ones, which I don't - because I can't take them in my work bag, for fear of breakage).  My plan of knitting lots whilst not working in January, may have worked for a bit - but I am now officially behind on my box o' socks for 2018. 

Yarn - Opal, My Sock Design
To keep with the rainbow stripes pattern, I'm going to do a short row heel (not sure if I want to do another Fishlips Kiss Heel, try a Yo Yo heel or something else.  I'll let you know after the weekend.  From the previous short row heel I've done, I found it quite tight to put on.  I've put the ribs in to try and make it easier to put on.

I've also got at least one pair of socks from last year which need finishing, and three pairs which need the ends weaving in.  

So, if I state it loud and clear here - then it has to happen, right?  Between now and the end of the weekend, I'm going to turn the heel on these, turn the heel on my outstanding Hermione's and weave in the ends of my socks from last year.  I should probably weave in the ends from my January socks too, or else I'm going to be in this same pickle in twelve months' time. 

I've also got a couple of ideas for sock designs; I'm just not sure if I'm brave enough to start swatching... 

Joining in with: 

The most exciting thing about this post is the massive numbers of people who have joined in the Once Upon a Sock crew.  Having previously been called 'a bit weird' for noticing the socks that people were wearing (I don't know why I talked to him again, either) - it's so nice to have found my tribe.  Happy Sock-ing, ladies! 

Saturday, 24 March 2018

My bookshelf....

The original knitting bookshelf

When I first started knitting, I had a few books - which then grew to a few more.  This became a shelf, above, which then outgrew itself.

So, I moved everything on to a bookshelf in the spare room.  However, because there was space on the shelf - I felt the need to fill it.  There was the reduced shelf in the shop when I went to see my sister, there was the shop that closed down, there was the book on my wish list being sold at a vastly reduced price (£15 down to £3), there were Christmas presents......

Books bought in Ledbury - all on the reduced shelf of the bookshop
I made a list of all the books I bought in 2017 - and there were around 26; certainly more than one a month.  That doesn't include supplements sent with magazines.

The bookshelf, as it may have looked at the end of last year

So, this year - I set myself a challenge to curb my book buying habits, which I've totally fallen apart at, before realising how ridiculous I was being.  I've already mentioned the book Icelandic Handknits, bought when I went to Unravel.  It may be years before I knit any of the patterns in the book, but I've had great joy in reading about the history of handknitting in Iceland, and I know it's there when I want to go back to it.  The same is true of Victorian Lace Today  It may well be some time before I knit any of the projects in it, but I'm looking forward to reading about the history of Victorian lace knitting, and expanding my knitting knowledge. 

This morning, I piled up all the books I've bought so far this year - and they nearly reached my knee.  That's nearly-a-knee's worth of patterns, and history and techniques and gorgeous photos.  That's nearly-a-knee's worth of other people's ideas and solutions, which could easily give me inspiration for mine.  

The bookshelf as it is today

Yes, I have knitting books on my Kindle too - but I'm old fashioned enough to want the paper and glue version to hold on to, and flick through.  At least three of these books have been signed, so not only am I collecting a knitting library, I've got a personal record of creative people that I admire.  Oh, and if you've ever tried reading a cable chart from a Kindle, you may also understand the love of paper! 

Cable Chart from The Knitters Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmerman

When I was a teenage, my mother forbade me having a clothing allowance, as I'd spend it all on books.  I think this is highly influential in my avoidance of clothes shopping as an adult, and possibly why these four arrived this morning.....

Books bought from Brityarn - before it all closes down

So, what's in your knitting library ? 

Friday, 16 March 2018


My late grandmother, at her 90th birthday party
Whilst my grandmother was alive, she knitted me a scarf of scraps of yarn - all long and multicoloured, with tassels at the end.  At the time, I didn't realise what happens with garter stitch when you change colours (ie, you can see where the change happens) and I got rid of it.  I cannot tell you how much I now regret that decision.  (I'd also love to be able to get my hands on the pattern for the sweaters she knit us as kids).

In my time off, I've started knitting a memories blanket/sock yarn scrap blanket.  After doing some swatching, I decided that 50 was too few stitches for each square; 60 was too many.  As a kid, I remember my grandmother drilling into us that 7 x 8 = 56, after she had problems remembering it when she was a kid.  It's about one of the only multiplications I can easily remember, so of course it had to be the number of stitches I cast on for each square!

27th February 2018
I've been ripping along with it, and really happy at how it's going - until today, when I realised just how little I've actually completed, percentage wise.  The whole thing is due to be 280 squares in total; I've done less than a quarter of it so far.  I've also decided that I want each square to be different - although repetition of the same yarn is allowed.

2nd March 2018

There are some minis I have which are too similar to the squares which have already been knitted, so they're wrapped up, waiting to be used in a different part of the blanket.  I have enough full balls of sock yarn to carry me through the next three or four years, the scraps of which will be used in the blanket.  Until I have knitted some more socks, or bought some more minis, I feel that I've slowed down somewhat.  

9th March 2018

I did email somebody via Ravelry to see if she wanted to swap skeins (she didn't, as she has enough) and one of my friends is going to pass on any scraps of sock yarn she has left over, and occasionally lots come up on ebay, so there are ways to get the blanket finished, it's just likely to take longer than I was expecting.  Until then I'm going to carry on being as imaginative as I can in creating as many different mini skeins as possible, with the yarn I currently have. 

Oh, and the leftovers of the leftovers?  They're going to become another randomly striped scarf. 

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Once Upon a Sock - March 2018

This morning started like this: 

West Yorkshire Spinners signature 4 ply in colourway 'Bubblegum' from the sweet shop range

Actually, I lie.  The morning started with Mr Knitty asking if I was awake, then doing the 'pinch and a punch' thing that always happens on the first of the month.  The day improved with tea and knitting.  You will notice that this isn't a sock.  They are one of a pair of baby boots, which I'm knitting, so that I can find out how much yarn it weighs.  

I've started a sock yarn/scrap yarn blanket.  It's been on the radar for a while, but I didn't have enough spare yarn to start anything worthwhile.  Now I've got lots of scraps, I'm 13 squares into a 280 square project.  I'm finding it real fun to work out where the squares should go, so there's not too much of one colour at a time, or that all dark colours are kept together.  Add to that the mixture of plain squares, mottled squares and striped squares, and it's a lovely project to keep me occupied.  I'm even weaving my ends in as I go! 

The current socks are going to end up as a short pair, as I've not got that much yarn left.  They accompanied me to the theatre last night (for the journey there and back, not for the show itself) and are probably feeling a bit neglected. 

Red toes = West Yorkshire Spinners signature 4 ply in colourway Cayenne Pepper from the spice rack range
Foot = Regia 4 ply Brazil in colourway 5478

Since I knit my socks concurrently, I have lots of pairs of balls which may be useful for making baby boots.  However, I need to make one boot to find out how much yarn each boot takes, to make sure that I have enough yarn left for the boots and to use for squares for the blanket - hence the knitting in bed this morning.  It seems a pretty easy pattern to follow - but it does have the increases on the purl rows, which is unusual.  Yesterday, Mr Knitty was trying to nudge up to me on the increase rows; today he was helping untangle a massive yarn barf, leaving me to increase without distraction. 

Two other things happened today - Isla from Brit Yarn announced that she was closing her business and the Sock Yarn Shop sent me their March newsletter.  Not that I've been making online purchases from either website - oh no.  Nor have I been working out what colours are missing in my scrap blanket and buying new sock yarn accordingly.  That's not the kind of thing I'd do at all! 

There will be more sock knitting between now and 3rd April, and hopefully I'll remember to join in once upon a sock again!  I'm going to set a reminder, just in case. 

Joining in with: 

Kat at Felinity Knits
Steph at My Making Do Adventure
Kathy B at Compassionknit
Stephanie at Stefanie Crafts with Wool Paper Fabric
Katherine at Fiber and Sustenance
Paula at Spin a Yarn

Tuesday, 27 February 2018


My welly boot print.

There's been a bit of snow in the UK this week, which means that people have slightly lost their minds.  It happens every year.  Somehow we don't seem to be a country that's prepared for snow - even though it arrives most years. 

Our gate 

After a couple of days of icing-sugar type dandruff - today it actually settled.  (As far as I'm aware, it's still there now; it's too  dark to go and check).  I went into the garden to take some photos, just because I could.

Trains have been slightly disrupted.  At least one train company stopped trains early last night, in expectation of snow - which then didn't materialise.  I believe they apologised to commuters today. 


The one thing about snow, is the way it deadened all the sounds around.  Our garden is only small, and surrounded by other gardens - but it was so quiet this afternoon. 

And the sky was so blue......

Leaves coming through the snow is the best definition of optimism I can think of

Possibly daffodils

The overgrown ivy 

Mr Knitty set off early this morning in a taxi, expecting to have problems.  He didn't.  There were extra people on the rota as 'snow cover' - but everybody who was expected, turned up. 

Our little toolshed.  All the picture needs is a robin! 

Mr Knitty and I are off to the theatre tomorrow.  The last time I went to this particular theatre was in the middle of summer - and it was sweltering.  I'm not sure if I'll need extra layers tomorrow - or if we're going to have problems with the buses. 

The one thing I do know - it's times like this, that I'm glad to be a knitter! 

Once Upon a Sock: July

So yes, I've been away.  I went to  Woollinn , create a video blog for it, then spent over a month trying to edit it.  (I've still ...