Monday, June 27, 2005

No news is good news?

Well, when it comes to knitting it's also quite boring news. ;)

I've been panicking about presentations all day so no knitting was achieved, which was a real shame, because I've felt like picking up my needles all day.

At least yesterday evening the boyfriend and I finally made it to the ballroom dance course that we've been meaning to attend in preparation for our wedding. It was great fun and we are definitely going back!

However, the lack of any knitting means that I have nothing to report. Other than...

Yesterday, while I was looking at ebay, I couldn't resist and I ordered some very cheap 100% wool yarn in grey and in black and some cotton yarn in a bright pink - all from ebay. All that yarn will probably arrive while I'm away, which means that the boyfriend gets to see that I have no self-control whatsoever...

And also, my knitting machine, birthday present by the almost-hubbie, arrived a few days ago, but I haven't had time to upload any pictures OR try it out. I still haven't tried knitting with it, but there are pictures now, so this is it.

I think it looks a bit scary...

Maybe next week I will have some time to make friends with it but at the moment I have no idea whatsoever how to use it!

Nevermind, I'm excited about it anyway. :)

Any other news?

Not really, other than that I'm going to be away for the rest of the week so there will be no more update until next Monday (I'm back late on Sunday). Should get some knitting done on all those train journeys though!!

Take care all of you, have fun knitting, and I'll post some pictures of the knitting I got done during the week when I get back.

Sunday, June 26, 2005


Now, it's 11.14pm and I'm still working. In fact, I'm not planning to stop working for a good few hours yet, because I have an entire paper that needs to be finished by tomorrow morning. Can you imagine how thrilled I am about this?

Anyway, since I said so earlier I thought I'd post how far I've got with the sock. Today at lunchtime I took half an hour off and I actually managed to do the short-row shaping of the heel. I only made one small mistake, but it doesn't show too much...

Not an amazing photograph, I know, but it's late... ;-) At least you can see the beautiful heel!!

Nothing much to report...

I managed to knit another few rows of The Sock last night while we were watching my newest DVD purchase - Firefly! I'd seen the series before and I LOVE it, but D needed a bit of converting. I think he is getting into it, though, as it was his idea to watch an episode yesterday evening!

Anyway, The Sock. I have finished the foot, more or less, and am now on the short-row shaping of the heel. I'm so curious how it's going to look! There will be pictures later. :)

The rain we had in the last two days has done wonders for my garden. It was all getting a bit dry and although I tried watering all the young vegetable plants I know that everything has suffered a bit. I'm amazed to find myself saying this, as I ALWAYS complain about how much it rains here, but two days of rain was just what the garden needed. Also, it means that my water butts will be full again.

Oh, and something else yarn-related. I have all but ordered some silk yarn from Hip Knits for my Clapotis. It's on their website and it's a very (!) colourful yarn called 'Giggle', which I think describes the colour combination rather well. Of course now I'm fretting that it might be too colourful for me. You see, I'm not really a colour kind of person. I love my black, and browns, and greys and I can maybe do with some darker shades of red. It's only relatively recently that I've started to like colour and have realised that it's quite fun to wear light or vibrant shades. Although I now love pink for example, I have always stayed clear of yellow, though... Now, there seems to me quite a bit of yellow in this yarn, which makes me vaguely twitchy, but on the other hand, I saw it and it made me smile, and surely you can't ask much more than that from a yarn? It is the right choice, right? RIGHT?!?

Right, and now back to work. ;-)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Hourglass sweater

Well, I've ordered the yarn for the Hourglass.

After much considering and calculating and obsessing over different kinds of yarn and their attributes I finally settled on texere's Kelso Wool Tweed in 'berry'. Not the softest of yarns (although they describe it as soft), but I hope that washing will do wonders. ;) In the end it was a decision based on price and this yarn is cheap (£2.90 for 100g - 185 yds) and I like the colour. I need to save some money, in particular as I have indeed decided to start the Clapotis in a different yarn and am getting more and more convinced that what I want is Lorna's Laces. I might not be able to eat in a month...

Anyway, other than that, not much to report.

Knitted another few rows on The Sock, so the foot is half done now. There should be more pictures soon.

Off to do some work now - yes, I will spend this entire weekend working. At least the weather is not good anymore, so I don't feel too bad being stuck inside.

Wish you all a nice weekend anyway! :)

Friday, June 24, 2005

I'm officially insane

I have joined the Hourglass Knit-a-long (see button on the right).

I can't just finish what I am doing and then think about the next thing. Nooooo, that would be boring and organised! Instead, I have to have several projects going at the same time, and constantly think about more things to add to my collection of unfinished knits. Francoise over at Knitwise was talking about this very thing today. I think it might be a common affliction amongst knitters...

But at least my swatch for the French Market Bag felted in the end. It just needed a little longer, poor thing. ;-)

Which of course means that now there is nothing in my way of starting the bag. Yet another project...

I'm officially insane.

Felting and Clapotis musings

Well, I've recovered from my state of shock over finishing the Ballet T yesterday morning and I'm back to my normal self. I even managed to wear the t-shirt yesterday, despite the stifling heat (which taught me that despite Rowan calling this yarn 'all seasons', it isn't really meant to be worn when it's something like 30 degrees...). Of course today it's much cooler and raining too, so it would be a much better day to wear it. But then, I might still do that!

Yesterday evening I managed to knit another few rows of The Sock, but no more pictures yet.

This morning, I finally threw the little swatch that I made with some blue 100% wool Hermit yarn in the washing machine. I bought the yarn off ebay a while ago and I'm hoping to use the yarn for a French Market Bag (knitty), but so far it's being obstinate and refuses to felt. I've run one 30 minute cycle on 90 degrees and have just thrown it in again for another 30 minutes. We'll see...

While I'm waiting for that to happen I am sitting here, drinking my third cup of tea this morning and, instead of contemplating starting today's work, I'm musing over my half-finished Clapotis.

Truth is, I haven't liked the yarn I've used for a while now. Or rather, I like the yarn - quite a lot, actually - but I don't like it on the Clapotis. The colourway of the Noro Silk Garden is too drab, too dark and muddy in colour, and also too stripy. Now I am contemplating frogging the whole thing (and my heart aches just thinking about all the hours of work that went into it), and using the yarn for a cardigan. I saw some lovely cardigans in the Noro Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Pattern Book. I particularly like Karsro and Marielund, which, as far as I can see, would both be possible with the 500g (10 balls) of Silk Garden that I have.

But this still means frogging my Clapotis... My heart bleeds and I suspect my fingers would too if I decided to go ahead. I've found the yarn quite rough to work with and dropping the stitches was quite difficult because the yarn felted together really easily and the strands didn't want to let go of each other. But what is there to do? I am more and more convinced that I wouldn't wear the Clapotis much as it is and I still have quite a long way to go to finish it so it does not seem worth it.

Also, then I would be free to start Clapotis over in a different yarn, one that is softer and has smaller stripes. Maybe I should go with the recommended Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb after all - I LOVE the look of that yarn but have never seen it up close because it is so expensive.

Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Finished Ballet T-Shirt


You know I received the All Seasons Cotton for my Teva Durham Ballet T-Shirt yesterday but couldn't post any pictures of the yarn because I didn't have time to upload them? Well, here is the yarn after all:

Well, yesterday afternoon I decided that I needed a break and cast on for the ballet t-shirt. I got gauge instantly, which was a relief because I hate this part and have been known to be rather lazy about it.

Round and round I knit and before I knew it I had a half-finished t-shirt. So quick!

At that point I decided that I should better take a picture to make sure I had proof that this hadn't been started ages ago:

That was last night.

This morning I finished the last few rows. I even added the optional 6 rows because I thought it was too short. Then I weaved in the ends and put it on. It fits like a glove!

Pictures to proove it:

Front / side view.

The back of the t-shirt.

Close-up of back.

I still can't believe that:
1) I got gauge instantly.
2) I started and finished a project in aprox. 4 hours.
3) I have managed to knit something that just fits!

The whole t-shirt was knitted on size 10 circulars, with just under 4 balls of Rowan All Seasons Cotton in 'Dusky' (which, sadly, I believe is discontinued), double-stranded.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

And another place...

Another place that sells Kool Aid in the UK and is a bit cheaper than Cybercandy:! 045p a packet is still not totally cheap but it's getting there! :)

Kool Aid

Whooooohoooo! I've just ordered Kool Aid! Thanks to the help of the Woollywarbler I've been able to order it from a shop in the UK that she has discovered. It's called Cybercandy and is situated in London.

This means that I will finally be able to try dying my own yarn!!

Also, and totally unrelated, since I'm posting anyway I might as well post the newest picture of The Sock after all...

No comment. ;)


My new favourite pasttime, otherwise known as The Sock, is progressing nicely. No picture this morning because I have no time to upload them - otherwise there would be a weird picture of the toe of the sock on my foot, which, I assure you, was very uncomfortable and awkward as I was straining to balance on the edge of my chair, holding my leg up, and trying to take a picture at the same time. But really, although there is progress, there isn't that much to see. I'm knitting the long tube for my foot, so it's just knitting round and round and round. Watching the stripes appear is still fun, though. :)

I also have a new dream project. It's the Spring Fling Tank from the Blue Blog. Why do I always do this? I have enough projects on the go as it is (Clapotis, Cozy, The Sock) and yesterday afternoon my All Seasons Cotton arrived for the Ballet Top, so I will be able to start on that (pictures of the yarn later or tomorrow). Also, the yarn recommended for the Spring Fling is GGH Esprit, which is only available from the US (I found it on The Knitting Zone).

I shall NOT buy more yarn, I shall NOT BUY MORE YARN!

I'm hopeless...

And to make matters worse, after seeing a lovely sweater yesterday in The Naive Knitting Blog I now want to make a sweater.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Froth Scarf Kit mystery solved

I emailed the nice people at Rowan about the free gift pattern and the strange requirements of 2x 50g Kidsilk Haze when the yarn comes in balls of 25g and I got a reply today. The 50g is a misprint and should read 25g so the kit is in fact complete.

Yay! Kidsilk haze here I come! :) I can't stop petting this yarn, it's just so deliciously soft...

In other news, my sock is coming along nicely, even though I managed to knit in the wrong direction this morning and had to unravel about 30 stitches. (This is what happens when I knit before I've had my 3rd cup of tea - lesson learnt! ;-) ). Still, I can tell that it's going to take a while to complete, which is no surprise since it's knitted on 2.5 needles.

Sock update

Just look at how that sock is coming along!! Look at that toe!

Short-row shaping wasn't too bad - there is a little hole on the other side - cleverly disguised in the picture ;-) - but it's only the one and I'm going to just stitch it up at the end...

I'm really enjoying the sock-knitting so far.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Gardener's World, baskets, and socks!

It's almost 9am and I'm ready to start working, so I thought I'd post the pictures from yesterday first.

Gardener's World:
Not much to say, really, apart from that we had a fabulous day. I bought a 'perpetual spinach' and a tomato plant because the heirloom tomatoes that I planted earlier this spring must have been stunted by the cold spell we had in April - they are so small it's pathetic. They will probably still live, but at this rate I'll have my first ripe tomatoes in November!

Another thing I bought was a HUGE basket. It's an old rice basket and I'm using it for my stash!!

New basket with (some of) my stash. Yay! for stash storage! :)

I also picked up a good idea for container planting from one of the show gardens: use old car tyres! Here is a pic:

I wouldn't necessarily paint them all in different colours, but with something growing over the edges they could make very useful and sturdy permanent planters!

And last but not least, the very beginnings of my sock:

I started it last night while we were watching Firefly, and I'm using Wendy's toe-up sock pattern ( It's too early to say how it is going, but I love the daintiness of it all! :)

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Tired but happy...

Went to Gardener's World at the NEC today and came back not long ago. Wonderful day, even if it was sooooo hot - even for me, and I thrive in summer! I'm sure it was over 30 degrees C.

I have photos, but for now I'm too tired and I'm ready to settle downstairs on the sofa with my partner to watch some tv and to start my first ever sock! :)

Photos will be up tomorrow morning, though, before I will start my working week (and what a week it will be - so much work! But I'm not thinking about this now, really I'm not! *tries to convince herself*) .

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Ballet Top or Socks?

Won't have much time to knit today because we are having a BBQ. I think this is the first time I've managed to plan anything in the garden here in the UK and have it turn out a warm and sunny day. Yay! :)

Yesterday evening I tried to get gauge for Teva Durham's Ballet Top with Rowan Summer Tweed. Hopeless! Of course the pattern calls for worsted yarn, double-stranded and Summer Tweed is DK, so I shouldn't be surprised. I've also ordered Rowan All Seasons Cotton for this pattern so maybe I should do a different tank with the Summer Tweed and just wait for the other yarn...

Here is a picture of the summer tweed:

Another thing I noticed about the Summer Tweed, though, is that it stinks! I asked about this in the LJ Knitting community and apparently it's a common problem with this type of yarn because of the silk content. I don't know what is done to the silk to make it smell this bad but it's really difficult to work with the yarn for a prolonged period of time because of it. Maybe I will have to wash the yarn after all.

And another thing - my Regia Sock yarn arrived yesterday!! Again, Kipper is proud to be the model in the picture, while he is playing with the yarn.

Regia sock yarn

Ballet tank or socks? Hmmm, maybe it's time to try socks - I've never made a sock before!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Guess what arrived this morning? My free gift from Rowan International! It's 2 balls of Kidsilk Haze and I'm already in love... Here you can see my cat Kipper, posing with the pretty yarn! ;)

Clapotis - in progress

After finishing Unbiased a few days ago I went back to my half-finished Clapotis yesterday.

I'm using Noro Silk Garden in a shade that I bought off Ebay a while ago. Now that it's warm outside (finally), the colours look rather drab and boring, but I'm hoping that come autumn I will feel differently...

It's a fun project to work on anyway. I'm at my 9th repeat of the middle part of the pattern, so I have dropped 9 stitches yet. I always imagined that dropping stitches was easily done, and when it happens by accident it certainly is. Doing it on purpose, though, is rather fiddly, and the Silk Garden is quite a 'clingy' yarn, which means that the stitch needs to be helped along at almost every row! Something to remember for a project that doesn't require dropped stitches! ;)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Texere Catalogue

My texere catalogue arrived this morning. It's not so much a catalogue but a folder full of yarn samples of, so it seems, every single yarn texere offer. It's great! Finally I'm able to see the colours and textures accurately and don't have to guess the yarn thickness for the thinner types of yarn anymore!

Of course I now want to order all sorts of yarn...

Machine Knitting

I am now the proud owner of..... a knitting machine! It's a Brother KH891, obviously used, but apparently in immaculate condition.

This was D's gift to me for my 30th birthday. I actually had to order it myself, because he was not sure what to get, but that did not take away the excitement! I also went ahead and bought quite a bit of yarn for the machine on ebay so I can try it once it arrives.

I don't think that this will change my love for handknitting, but I have a few ideas for patterns that would be incredibly boring to do when handknit, so I hope to learn how to do them with the machine.

I managed to find quite a bit of machine-knitting yarn when I searched through ebay. This is what I bought:

red 100% wool machine knitting yarn. The colour is actually quite accurate.

Rust-coloured yarn off ebay. 1,5kg

And finally, a whole job-lot of bits and pieces:

Can't wait to get started!!!

New England Yarn Shops

Just for my own reference - a list of New England yarn shops that I collected from recommendations in the Live Journal community 'knitting'. After all, I can't go on honeymoon to New England without visiting a few local yarn shops now, can I? Can't wait to see and buy all those yarns that are so difficult and expensive to get hold of in the UK...

Boston area & Massachusetts

Woolcott and Company in Cambridge- Harvard T stop on the red line if by T

Windsor Button. Downtown area (close to Park Street stop on the green, Downtown Crossing on the red, etc.), one stop for everything related to knitting including red heart and lion all the way to debbie bliss, noro and rowan, plus millions of buttons, ribbons, zippers, and books and patterns

A Good Yarn. 4 Station St, Brookline Village MA 02447. Tel: 617-731-4900. (Off the Brookline Village stop on the Green D line)

Circle's Knitting Salon off the Green Street T stop on the orange line

Yarnwinder in Boston

Newbury Yarns on Newbury between Dartmouth and Exeter streets. One block parallel to Boylston.

Putting on the Knitz. 1282 Washington St, West Newton MA 02465-2001, Tel: 617-969-8070

Fiber Loft in Harvard. right in the center of town. they have a sale room upstairs

Knitting Room, Arlington Center, Arlington. Small, eclectic selection catering mostly to newer knitters (Bus from Alewife or Harvard Square T stops)

Knittin Kitten, Cambridge near Belmont line - mostly for machine knitters

Mind's Eye Yarns, Porter Square, Cambridge, a little ways from the Red Line T Porter Square stop (driving and public transportation directions on the site). Great hand-dyed and hand-spun yarns.

Wild & Woolly in Lexington Center, Lexington, MA (7A Meriam St, Lexington MA 02420, Tel: 781-861-7717). Right on Lexington Green. Area's best selection. Bus from Alewife T

Sit n Knit in Melrose; MA (near Boston)

In Stitches in Weston; MA

Yarn Over in Marblehead, MA

World in Stitches in Littleton, MA. 256 Great Road, Unit 16, Littleton, MA 01460, (978) 486-8330

The Woolpack, which is also on Rte 119 in Littleton, on the opposite side of Rte 495 from World In Stitches.

And for some ice cream close by: Kimball Farm (just up Rte 110, which crosses 119 and parallels 495)

Dees in Walpole MA

Fabric Place (fabric/craft chain), which has a few locations in MA: Framingham (take the Worcester Commuter Rail to the Framingham exit; store can be seen from the north side of the train - less than a block from the station), Woburn (in the Woburn Mall, off of I-95/Rt. 128), and Randolph. There is also one in Warwick, RI, just south of Providence.

Webs in Northampton (Western/Central Massachusetts). 75 Service Center Road, Northampton, MA, (413) 584-2225

Big yarn shop (name unknown) in Great Barrington, MA (in the berkshires)

Hub Mills Store, 122 Western Ave., Lowell, MA 01851, (978) 937-0320

List of yarn stores in MA here: and a blog with more info about knitting in MA here.

New Hampshire

The Elegant Ewe. Concord, I-93, exit 14, follow signs to Main Street. It's on the south end of Main Street, across from the Capitol Theater.

Needle Arts in Concord.

Farmer’s Market in Concord, next to the State House – occasionally has a yarn vendor who spins and dyes her own.

The Fiber Studio in Henniker is just up the road from Concord, I-89 to US 9; they have a sign by the road. the place is huge and also sells spinning supplies and has a lot of local yarns.

The Knitting Knook. Keene area. Good selection of wool and wool blends, sock yarn and novelty yarn as well as some local yarns. (And if you're in the area, make sure to eat at 176 Main, or have breakfast at The Stage.)

Patternworks now has its retail store open in the Lakes Region

Spinning Yarns in Dover, on the seacoast. Small, but with a good selection, run by a husband/wife team.

Ewe'll love it, Nashua, NH, on Main Street. 2 floors of yarn-y goodness.

Charlotte's Web in Exeter. (137 Epping Rd, Exeter, NH 03833, 888-244-6460). Apparently there is another one in Portsmouth.

The Yarn Shoppe, Norton (south from Boston, off 495 exit 10)

Yarnwinder, Bedford, NH

The Covered Bridge Yarn Shop, 131 Rte. 101-A, Amherst Plazza #9, Amherst, NH 03031, 603-889-2179. Yarn, patterns, classes.


Hither & Yarn, 835 New Harwinton Road, Torrington, CT

The Wool Connection, Old Avon Village North, Avon, CT

Yarns Down Under, Deep River, CT

Rhode Island:

Yarns at Lace Wings, Pawtucket RI. Great shop, friendly people.


Green Mountain Spinnery, Putney, right over the New Hampshire border. Exit 4 off of 91 in Putney, VT.

Yarn shop lists for Vermont: (list of all knitting supply stores in VT) (also has lists for other states)


Pine Tree Yarns in Damariscotta (about 30 minutes north/east of Bath)

Knit Wit in Portland, Maine (about 2 hours north of Boston). At 247 Congress St in downtown Portland.

Halcyon Yarn in Bath, Maine (about 2.5-3 hours north of Boston). 12 School Street, Bath, ME 04530, 1-800-341-0282

Willow's End in Boothbay Harbor

Unique One, Camden

Stitchery Square, Camden

Grace Robinson & Co in Freeport, about 2 miles from LL Bean going back toward NH on Route 1. Good sized store with a great selection.

Central Yarn in Portland, right up the street from Knit Wit
Eagle's Nest Yarns, 14 Old Route 1 Waldoboro ME 04572-6264. Road right before Moody's Diner when heading north. It's on the left. It's a tiny shop in a lady's house with a great selection. Website:

Quiltessentials, 1146 Minot Ave. Auburn, ME 04210 207-784-4486

Ardith Keef in Scarborough has a nice selection of yarn at great prices. Website:

The Custom Shop in Kennebunk. Website:

The Stitching Mantis, 535 Shore Road Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107 (207) 767 5076

The Ducks, Pemaquid Pt. Rd. New Harbor, ME, Tiny shop, so not a great selection, but the proprietor is very nice.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Rowan Linen Drape

I ordered 5 balls of Rowan Linen Drape for the sole reason that it's discontinued and I happened upon some reduced left-overs... It's a very rich, dark red, which was almost the only colour with more than 1 or 2 balls left.

Now, what to make with it... Honeymoon Cami maybe?

The result - Unbiased from knitty.

The pattern, as it is, produces a very very shallow bag. This was impossible for me because I tend to carry half my life around in my bag. There is a pattern for a deeper bag on the designer's website, but I only discovered this after I'd finished the bag, so what I ended up doing was to stitch the middle of the bag up about 2" on both sides. Because the sari silk makes such a scrappy fabric this isn't visible at all and voila! A deeper and much more usable bag! :)

Sari Silk from Hip Knits. Isn't it pretty?

What I made with it is in the next post.

Knitty's X-Back

The x-back (from the summer issue of I finished this a while ago but thought I might as well post it.

It knitted up fine but ended up far far too big. I tried to rescue it by stitching up the sides but I think more drastic measures might be required (like sewing up the sides). I still like the pattern, though, although I would modify it to give the body some shaping... And no, the back doesnt't really look as bumpy as the picture makes you believe!
Well, so I have a new blog and it's my birthday! 30 today, but we are not talking about that. ;)

As it looks as if this obsession is here to stay, I reckon it was about time I found a place that I use more exclusively for my knitting adventures... My LJ seems to be the wrong place for this, in particular as I don't have that many knitters on my flist. I'm looking forward to posting about knitting without feeling that I'm boring most of the people who read my journal!!