Monday, September 28, 2009


I’ve been squished. In fact, I feel like I’ve been run over. I just want to lie in a bed somewhere very quietly and hear the distant noises of birdsong and people clunking in the kitchen. The lurgy has not quite gone away, I have an eye infection which is truly delightful, and I went to see a new physio this morning who was excellent but my body is in a bit of shock from being cracked from head to foot (literally). She did say that it would take 72 hours to feel back to normal, plus this rheumy eye is making the world a little fuzzy and drunken looking, so on the whole I’m feeling a little under par. Roll on hols this weekend! Plus I’m feeling a little glum because the physio drew a picture of all that is wrong of my back and apparently from the rear I look like Quasimodo.

The Man did another triathlon at the weekend. I’m sure it’s all very noble and athletic but frankly you can keep swimming in a muddy lake at 9am on a crispy cold autumn morning. It wasn’t nearly as slick an operation as the London one but I think everyone enjoyed themselves (apart from those cyclists who didn’t know the sharp bends on the route and ended up stuck in the hedges or spreading themselves along the tarmac). I am no longer enthused to do one myself. Perhaps I should start a new event of walking, riding and tea drinking. Where is the appeal of voluntarily freezing yourself in skanky water, getting onto a bike while still dripping wet, cycling yourself into the ground and then going for a run?! Why?

Surprise knitting is coming along well. Preparations from the Whisper Cardi are experiencing a slightly more stuttering start. I decided to be a good girl and swatch, but have discovered that for some bizarre reason the Malabrigo lace is actually quite hard for me to knit with. Stitches get caught up and muddled and (gah) dropped. Is this what happens with laceweight on aran needles? I suppose the swatch is therefore good practise for learning how to handle the yarn before I end up with massive ladders on the main piece. I feel like a novice again. As Ted says, how discombobulating. It’s knit group tomorrow so I can see if anyone else gets the same problems, and I’ve also been instructed to bring the last two sock club skeins in for consideration. Mitts off my Wollmeise!

Also, this weekend, I learned what a modesty bone is. It’s kinda like a funny bone but different. I hope I never stop learning things, it’s what makes life so interesting.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Socks and Crocks

Gah, I’m two parcels behind on my sock club knitting and have completely lost my sock mojo, and the next parcel is imminent. It can’t be two months since the last one, it just cayn’t!

I’ve been off work with the lurgy for two days. Being at home during the day during the week is a revelation. I suppose it’s helped that the weather has been beautiful, but there’s a very laid back industrious atmosphere in town, it’s surprisingly quiet, everyone seems to have their head down (apart from the Chavs and the slightly smug smiling mothers on maternity leave). There’s even less traffic noise outside our window. Yesterday my back was starting to twinge from too much lying on the settee so I called Clare and we went for a (very slow) walk around the Common. There was still a heavy dew in the shade and the drops tickled and cooled my bare sandalled toes.

I’m trying to plan knitting for hols. There’s the surprise knitting which has a deadline but it’s quite a way off, there’s the Whisper Cardigan which I’ve wound the yarn for (Malabrigo lace, wow it’s so soft! And so fine! I’m going to break it! And it will take years to knit up! Gah!), or some of the aforementioned sock kits. One set of dpns has gone walkabout and even my lurgified tidyings and sortings have not unearthed them. I think the clothesmoths have eaten them or taken them away to decorate their palace (they were the Knitpicks jazzy coloured ones). Bloomin clothesmoths.

One thing Clare and I were talking about was all those food blogs. My question is, does all the amazing looking food actually get eaten? Some bloggers have large families so I can believe at a push that all the cake and pies and tarts and brownies and casseroles and pot roasts get eaten, but some just have a partner in the house. Is the partner 30 stone? Do they donate stuff to charity bake sales? Or does a bit get eaten and the rest thrown away? If you have a food related blog, let me know!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Featuring FOs....

During the recent radio silence (apols) I have discovered a few things:

1. I am a sad commuter who has their own sad commuting games. Mine is trying to get through the station barriers without breaking stride. This involves being able to post your season ticket into the slot at speed without missing, and trusting that the rollers inside will redeliver said ticket into my fingers fast enough so it can be extracted so the barriers open without me crashing into them. Usually I slow down a bit, but the intention is always there to stride through. I really do need to get a life. *;)

2. I hate knitting bobbles. Lace is good, bobbles are excruciating.

3. If I somehow manage to chip a golf ball onto the green and it goes in the hole, I do a little dance. It won’t happen again for another decade though.

So, some catch-up pics.

Escaping from a conference in Cambridge, here is the inside of King’s College chapel (where they have the carols at Christmas). Henry VIII gave them the big oak screens to hide the organ, and there are his initials and Anne Boleyn’s carved into it so it’s dateable to within a few years. How weird, when you know what happened to her, to see her initials there and think that at the time they were oblivious to how it would all turn out.

There's a new clock at Corpus Christi with the Chronophage eating up time at the top. It's the world's largest grasshopper escapement, apparently, and it walks along, driven by the pendulum, moving the disc of the clock around. Sometimes it blinks with golden eyelids. Definitely something to check out!

Here is also the Mathematical Bridge. The myth is that is was built by some dons or something as a bet without using any bolts but only held together with Physics, and then some naughty undergrads came along thinking they could take it apart and put it back together, but then couldn’t work out how it went so they had to resort to bolting it. Apparently that’s all rubbish but I like the story!

We went to a wedding in Paris, as an old school friend was marrying a Frenchman. You have to get married twice, once in the town hall and once in a church. Well, you don’t need to do the church bit of you’re not religious. The church service was done in two languages so at some points the English guests were singing in French and the French people were singing in English. Cool!

And I have finished two jumpers. I know, it’s amazing.

Firstly it’s the Third Time Lucky Debbie Bliss detailed yoke jumper from her Summer 2009 magazine, done in Twilley’s Gorgeous which is 95% bamboo. This is the one that taught me that I hate bobbles. But! I also taught myself how to do mattress stitch on the seams so all was not lost.

Good job I ripped it out twice at the beginning because if I had carried on with the medium size it would have been vast. This is the small size and it’s still plenty big enough. Any why on earth isn’t this written top down and in the round? I did the body and the sleeves in the round anyway. Having done Baby Cables, I am a total convert to doing it that way. You can try on as you go! Genius!

Second is another Debbie Bliss from the same magazine, in Rowan wool/cotton blend DK. I’ve adapted this to make it sleeveless, and I think it works quite well. I keep wanting to put my hands in non-existant pockets in it though, maybe because I have another gilet with pockets. It would bulk it up too much I think. Will just have to make do with jeans.

This could maybe do with some shaping through the body, and a double ended zip. For the sleeves edging I just knitted 5st of garter stitch and then sewed that on to sort of match the front.

It should be an easy throw-on for the spring or the autumn.

The Man has also finally succumbed to being a Knitter’s Partner-Photographer too, sweetie that he is. I think, having made me pick him up at midnight from a boys’ night out on Saturday, and then sit in front of two (or was it three? I tried to blank it out) successive football matches yesterday afternoon while I finished these projects, he felt that he couldn’t really say no when I dragged him to the park to take these pics for me. I told him he was in good company (lots of other bloggers get their husbands to do the photo shoots for them), but I don’t think it helped. ;) Previous knitting pics have been taken by my photographer friend who understands the need to take LOADS so that at least one will not make me look like a gurning horse with three double chins and a beergut.

Only two weeks until holiday! Yay!

And a special pre-festive something for you all:

Fornicating reindeer here on Ravelry.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


I've been knitting these projects for so long it was starting to feel like they'd never end, but apparently some evil fairy wasn't coming along in the night unpicking everything I'd done every day. Here is the Debbie Bliss detailed yoke jumper with the sleeves attached, so now I can actually knit the yoke. I have to say the instruction 'join raglan sleeves' took me about 20 mins to work out, because it doesn't immediately say that not all edges will be joined leaving you with just live stitches, instead there will be an edge from the sleeve and an edge from the jumper that will be left with the cast on edge ready for picking up stitches from on the next round. Thanks for that. Perhaps a diagram next time?

On the plus side I decided to do it properly and looked up how to do mattress stitch and *that* was worth while - look how smart my seams look!

I can't believe I haven't done mattress stitch before!
Other project (also Debbie Bliss) has got this far:

My camera hates the colour, it's actually a lot darker and auberginey. It was looking very skinny but now it's nearly together I think it's going to be plenty big enough. The Ravelry comments from people about the blue jumper were that it comes up really big, and I did have to rip out the first start and do the smallest size, which I think is still going to have 'plenty of positive ease'. This purple pattern actually has sleeves but I'm going to finish it sleeveless as a gilet, so just do an inch or so cuff around the armholes.

*******SPOILER ALERT********

I have to say the latest Socktopus sock club parcel was brilliant. I am almost scared to type what was in it in case some rampant knitter starts hurling abuse and comes and burgles me, but it contained Wollmeise. Yes, that's right. The yarn that sells for £100 on ebay.

Cute little project / bits bag from ZigZag Stitches, and row counter from Atomic Knitting (there are instructions somewhere online for how it works, because it just looks like a load of stitchmarkers strung together at the moment), and great looking pattern.

Cute inside of the bag!
One more drool shot of the yarn. Don't you just love that rusty ruby red? I might just knit short socks so there's enough left for an Ishbel or something...