Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Scarf with Striped Border

Pattern: Scarf with the striped border from Weldon's, Volume 5, 1890
From: Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby (page 80)
Yarn: Hipknits cashmere fingering weight
- pressie from the sticky lovely Super Monkey, thanks!
Used: About 400m (40g)
Needles: 4.5mm
Mods: none

This is probably one of the simplest lace patterns in the whole of the Victorian Lace Today book but I think it's very pretty, and the simplicity makes it more wearable for everyday than most of the designs... although maybe not actually today, given that it is the hottest day of the year so far. I'm sure that 28 degrees would not be considered very hot at all just about anywhere else in the world, but here in north west England we are definitely not used to it. But I am not complaining, oh no, not me. It's a fine excuse for eating icecream, buying new sandals and speculating on when it might rain again.

I really don't know what I want to make next. I have been thinking about making a felted bag for my Mum, as she really admired the Booga Bag that I made a while back, and there are a lot of cute looking bag patterns about. I am tempted by Nicky Epstein's Floral Felted Bag but the lining instructions are scary. There is also nice Drops pattern with a sort of filigree crochet flap thing going on that I quite like the look of too. I shall have to have a think.

Monday, June 29, 2009


This is making me very happy indeed. It has a very simple pattern and a really neat way of joining the border sections. Hopefully will be done in less than a week, which I think could be a record.

Scarf with the striped border from Weldon's, Volume 5, 1890
from Victorian Lace Today

PS. I might have done something stupid. I have agreed to run next year's Race For Life in York with my sister-in-law and niece. Ha!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Corset Pullover

So, to prove that I am not a complete wastrel, I have returned as promised with my finished Corset Pullover. Despite it not being the black that I really wanted to make this in, I am very pleased with it indeed. I think it may be the first to-be-worn-by-me garment that I've ever knitted that has actually fitted me properly without needing to be vigorously blocked or stretched about. I decided to keep the arm cinch straps as I like the D-ring details and sewed them into position with a single strand of the cotton yarn, as despite my best efforts with the iron and spray starch (a new and exciting introduction into the Sheep Happens Laundry Room) they kept curling up.

I have been very impressed with the Paton's Washed Haze yarn, it is lovely to knit with, feels soft and appears to be tough as old boots. All good. If they do this in black, I would most definitely buy more to make my next Corset Pullover in.

Corset Pullover on

We are still going out walking a fair bit (armed with obligatory hayfever tablets, insect repellant and a goodly amount of balsam tissues) and I have decided to try and make a note of some of the interesting nature around me. Like pretty flowers. I shall be attempting to post photos and identify things, using my not-very-handy-weighs-a-tonne book of the countryside. If you see that I have got something very obviously very wrong, it doesn't really matter but you can feel free to leave a comment letting me know if you want :)

Yellow Flag (iris) growing in (disused) Hollinwood Branch Canal

Friday, June 19, 2009

How do?

*blows dust off blog and settles down to type*


I've been planning this post for a long time. I was going to post when I finished my next knitted project, so that I had something intricate and amazing to show for my time and have lots of other excuses prepared, but quite frankly I don't.

I finished (sort of) making something!

Pattern: Corset Pullover by Robin Melanson.
Yarn: Patons Washed Haze Cotton DK (January sale bargain from Kemps at 49p per ball)
Shade: Sand
Size made: 35 1/4"
Amount used: about 10 x 50g balls (I think)
Needles: 5mm straight, dpn and circs.

Made the length longer in the lower body, working an extra 1" before starting the shaping and decreasing every 6th row rather than 3rd.

However, before it is really finished I'll need to undo the seam at the tops of the shoulders and shorten the neck probably about about half an inch front and back to the shoulder shaping as it looks a bit baggy around the top. I will do this at the weekend, block it and then take a photo of it being worn as it's quite fitted and looks better on than laid out flat.

I also have to decide whether to keep the cinch straps around the arms, as I think they might be a bit too much??

And lastly, before I go - with a promise to return soon, maybe even with some more knitting! - here are some pictures of yummy yarn and cute lambs.

Posh Yarn June sock club yarn, Daisy

Lambs in May at Floors Castle in Kelso

Monday, March 02, 2009


Fingerless gloves
from Knitting New Mittens and Gloves by Robin Melanson
Yarn: UK Alpaca Superfine DK in Rose Pink
Used less than 50g
Needles: 4mm circs

Traditional gloves
Yarn: UK Alpaca Superfine DK in Black
Used about 80g
Needles: 3.25mm circs

Mods: none

Very nice, warm double layered gloves. I might make another pair of the fingerless mits, I'd probably make them in the smaller size as they are a little too big to wear on their own.

PS. Thanks for the birthday wishes!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Another year older

Ooh look at that... yet again, considerable time has passed between my posts. I have been thinking about blogging for a couple of weeks now and each time I think of something I should mention, I promptly forget about it. I doubt I am the world's worst blogger as there seem to be millions of single post blogs that start off so hopefully with an introduction and statement of the high aims that person has for their blog and then complete silence ever since... so that award is out of the question, but I must be up for a almost-near-death-blog award. Maybe I shouldn't draw attention to it – there might be some kind of blog police or RSPCB that will come and get me.

So, moving on...There has been snow. You might have noticed.

This was taken last Saturday, almost a week after we'd had any significant snowfall.
The drifts are still over a metre high up on the tops.

The back garden got a decent covering - about 6" or so

There has been a birthday (I've had enough of them now that I'm starting to lose track of how old I am) and I got some very nice presents, which included the Vogue Stitchionary books and some very lovely Manos de Uruguay Silk Blend yarn.

We went to Warwick Castle for the day and had fun exploring the battlements and towers. As it is February they weren't doing much outside (how I always longed to have a summer birthday like my sister, whose birthday is in July and got parties in the garden and presents of roller boots and bikes – whereas by birthday was usually spent indoors and involved board games) but they did put a very entertaining falconry display on. Maybe it's wrong to be amused by a man in not very warm looking green leggings looking half frozen in a blizzard while trying to stop an eagle from clawing his finger off. There was birthday scone with jam and butter and clotted cream and we bought some mediaeval toys and soon will be having a great trebuchet vs ballista face off! When the weather is nice enough to play in the garden, as battles are not permitted in the living room apparently.

In other knitterly news, I bought 12 x 50g balls of Patons cotton for less than £10 delivered, which is planned to become a Corset Pullover. I had really wanted to make this in black, having seen a beautiful finished one on Ravelry, but now I might make two!

And the first of my Posh Yarn sock club yarn has arrived and is utterly gorgeous.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Raglan Jumper

Pattern: V Necked School Jumper by Rita Gulliver
Yarn: Jaeger Matchmaker DK
Needles: 3,25mm and 4mm
Mods: None

The yarn for this jumper was given to our knitting group by a local teacher who had to clear out a cupboard in the art department at her school and wondered if we could make use of it or it was all going in a skip. There were bags and bags of stuff, some of it not useable but a few real gems. There was 350g of this Jaeger Matchmaker yarn which, after I had washed, dried and rewound it, was as good as new.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Finishing up

Thank you for the nice comments on my last post about my shrug - it was a real relief to get something wearable after all. I always have niggly doubts about projects while I'm knitting them, as generally it will be the first time that I am using a pattern and even though I can measure pieces against myself you never really know how garments are going to fit until you finally try them on.

There has been a big change in the weather, the frosts and chill have been replaced by wet and windy weather, so today has been spent cosily indoors - drinking tea, sewing up the school jumper for Feed the Children that I've been working on and listening to Victorian murder stories.

I don't know of many people that like sewing up as much as I do, most knitters of my aquaintance seem to detest it, but I like the process of turning those separate, unidentifiable pieces of knitting into a finished thing. The raglan sleeves on this pattern provided nice neat edges to follow. Hopefully I'll get the collar knitted on and the last seam sewn up this evening.

Raglan seam

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Pattern: Shrug by Debbie Bliss (free pattern from Prima)
Yarn: Bargain merino DK
Needles: 3,75mm
Mods: Made arms slightly longer

About a week before my Mum's 60th birthday last year, I decided to make a shrug to go with the dress that I'd bought to wear to her party. About a month after the party, at which everyone had a thoroughly good time, I finished knitting the shrug. Having sewn up and tried it on, I have to admit to being a bit disappointed with the results and it ended up languishing at the bottom of my work basket waiting to be blocked. The languishing period seemed to correspond with my lack of enthusiasm for both blogging and knitting. I don't know that I'd blame the shrug, but it certainly didn't help.

A couple of days ago, I decided to rescue the shrug from it's baskety confinement and do something with it. Thankfully, a bit of blocking seems to have done the trick. The front is still quite stretchy and looks better held together so I added some hooks and eyes (that belonged to my Grandma, from a pack bought lordknowswhen for the princely sum of 7p) to create a join as inconspicuous as possible.

It turns out that I actually quite like it afterall :)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Year of the sock

While browsing my favourite knitting shops for sale bargains to spend my Christmas money on, I happened to notice that the lovely Dee is running a Sock Club for 2009 and, although not strictly in the sales (although there are savings, so that's alright) and maybe costing a leeetle more than Santa brought me (although I am worth it, so that's alright too) this seemed to fit in perfectly with my knitting plans for 2009 - i.e. having shipments of yummy yarn sent to me without me having to lift a finger so that I can make lots of lovely socks. So I've joined! Hurrah!

Saturday, January 03, 2009


The last couple of new years I have compiled lists of all the books that I have read during that year and what I thought of them. This year though, there doesn't seem to be much point. I have been reading The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox for what seems like forever and the only book I remember having really enjoyed this year was Matter by Iain M. Banks. Oh yes, I have just been reminded that I liked Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman as well. But I sure that is it.

So, in the absence of current reads to list, I am doing the Big Read meme doodah that others have been doing and hopefully it will inspire me to actually read something in 2009.


1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Underline those you intend to read.
3) Italicise the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them.

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6. The Bible (I did start reading this in French at school, but didn't get much beyond Genesis)
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye – J D Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34. Emma – Jane Austen
35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52. Dune – Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
73.The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses – James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal – Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession – AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens (I only like the Muppet version)
82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

My total is 44. A couple of things spring to mind about this list. Firstly that most of the ones I've read seem to be from the childrens' section, which I think says a lot about me. Also, that there aren't many entries that I can honestly say I loved. I've never heard of some of them, but there are a fair few that I do want to read - and even have sitting on my book shelves waiting patiently for the day I get around to them.

Lastly, I actually did something knitting related today. I knitted half a sleeve on the jumper and then blocked my shrug, which I'm hoping will be nice to wear to work as the temperature in our office can be a little erratic.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Cold sheep

Between Christmas and New Year we decided to go to the Lake District for a couple of days, as although the weather has been wintry it has also been dry and clear of late, perfect for walking in the hills and we have never been ones to be put off by a bit of cold. Camping in winter is the best thing, if you have the right gear. The campsite was relatively busy for the middle of winter but it was still quiet on a night and there was a real spirit of adventure about the place, particularly in the morning after it had got down to -9°C during the night.

After a coffee and hot breakfast, we set off to High Raise (762m) returning via Seargent Man and Stickle Tarn.

It was a beautiful morning - the temperature didn't get above about minus 2 all day, and I discovered at lunchtime that the lettuce in my sandwiches had frozen.

As we got to the top of High Raise, the clouds started to set in and they stayed for the rest of the day, which was a shame but made for some good navigation practise over the tops. On the way down, we saw this handsome chap who posed for a photo.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Well hello... if anyone bothers reading here any more, I'd like to wish you a Happy New Year and hope that you had a nice, peaceful Christmas.

I have been meaning to blog for a while, but after a break it feels like I should have something really momentous to show for my time away, and quite frankly, I don't. I started knitting a shrug, finished knitting the shrug, sewed up the shrug, tried on the shrug and then left the shrug in my work basket to await some blocking, and forgot about it. I then started knitting a jumper for charity, which is such a simple pattern and should really have been finished long before now but somehow Christmas and holidays and stuff has slowed progress to decidedly slow speed, but hopefully I'll have something to show for it very soon.

Very kind friends sent me some very nice knitterly things for Christmas, piccie below, and I have £25 to spend on wool from my Mum, so I'm off to hit the sales!