For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb
Psalm 139:13

Monday, 20 July 2015

off the hook: doily t-shirt rug



Another side effect of moving home is nesting syndrome. 

The new gaff is a bit of a blank canvas and feels awfully shiny and modern after having spent a couple of years in a crumbly Georgian building (waaaay fancier than it sounds). Consequently, each day I'm battling a compulsion to festoon everything with yarny gubbins. And sometimes I give in. 

When I came across some forgotten cones of super-chunky jersey t-shirt yarn while unpacking, I knew they were destined to be a giant doily rug! Pinterest came up trumps and I settled on this free crochet pattern from the Crochet in Paternoster blog. I was after something really pretty and lacy to balance out the bulk of the yarn and this pattern was perfect. It was really easy to follow, despite being in US terms, because it's in step-by-step form with an image for each round.




This was my first time using jersey yarn and it was a lot easier that I thought it was going to be. I was expecting to really wrestle with it, but it's incredibly stretchy. I used a 12mm crochet hook and just shy of two cones of yarn. It's only 12 rounds, so it's not as big as I would have liked (62cms across), but I am happy with how it looks. Perhaps if I'd had more yarn I'd have adapted the pattern and made it bigger. For now our hallway is suitably spruced and I'm thinking of crocheting some yarn baskets with t-shirt yarn. Can anyone recommend a good pattern? 



Wednesday, 8 July 2015

where books belong



We've just moved home.
We're knee deep in boxes and I'm indulging in the sheer joy (see also: endless frustration) that is finding a place for everything. A couple of days after we moved in, I woke up at 6am (why body, why?) and spent a delirious three hours arranging and re-arranging our little blue bookcase. I gleefully sorted the books by subject matter and theme, then stacked and wedged them onto the shelves, plugging any gaps with Russian dolls. When I'd finished, I settled in the armchair opposite the bookcase and soaked it in. I cannot begin to describe the bizarre sense of satisfaction this activity provided. And of course I was immediately seized with the compulsion to re-read ALL THE BOOKS. To date, aside from the kitchen, that lovingly-arranged bookcase remains the only part of our flat that's actually sorted. It's a happy reminder that everything belongs somewhere, if only we can take the time to figure out exactly where that is. 

It takes a while to get to know a new city, but I feel like perhaps we are well-loved volumes that have finally found their place on the shelf. 


Tuesday, 30 June 2015

if I sits, I knits (and an FO)



I'm guessing you're familiar with this particular kitty meme. In the vein of 'If it fits, I sits', I've adopted a brand new approach to my knitting: if I sits, I knits. It's basically the idea that there are very few places where you can't knit (see Stephen West's #placeswhereyoucanknit hashtag on Twitter or Instagram for inspiration) and that you can be way more productive if you really use every opportunity to knit. Too early to meet a friend? Get your knits out. Queueing in the post office? Knits out. In the last week I've consistently knitted through my commutes and lunch breaks, knitted in the bank, queueing for a spa and at the theatre. Obviously there are some limits. It's pretty difficult to eat and knit at the same time and I draw the line at knitting on the loo (although I have contemplated bath knitting - can it be done? Maybe if I had some sort of floatation device for my WIP?). 

Either way, I've found this really works. With this mindset, I've made loads of progress on my much belated Crafts from the Cwtch Makealong shawl – I hit the 60% mark this week! Wanna see?



And the even better outcome is that I actually finished something! The Honey Honey hat from this post. Yes, it took ages and there was a definite disaster week when I went wrong and thought all was lost, but that scrummy honeycomb texture makes it all worth it. Plus, found the perfect home for that little ginger alpaca pompom from TOFT. Love it. All the details are on Ravelry here







Thursday, 18 June 2015

Worldwide Knitting in Public Day 2015


Saturday was Worldwide Knitting in Public Day and I must admit I have a soft spot for these sort of things. In fact, I started writing this blog (way back in 2009) as a way to chronicle my knitting in public adventures. 

These days, knitting in public is a daily occurrence for me. It's become pretty standard. My commute is a great time to get a few rows or rounds in and accordingly I always have a yarny project with me wherever I go. Train knitting, pub knitting, bank knitting, queueing for anything under the sun knitting - that's my whole deal.  But a special day when yarn crafters all over the globe can unite in a shameless attempt to publicly make the world a little more woolly? I'll be there with bells on.


Bath's Fashion Museum was hosting knitters for the morning to celebrate WWKIPD and to launch the Bath branch of the Knitting and Crochet Guild. I grabbed my WIP (Helen Stewart's Pebble Beach Shawlette in Shilasdair Luxury 4ply) and headed over. 






The museum was appropriately decked out in knitted bunting and inside there were already groups of friendly stitchers getting stuck in. I saw some familiar faces and met some new knitters, too. There were experienced knitters on hand to share purls of wisdom with newbies, lots of info about the Guild and a stack of rather awesome vintage patterns up for grabs from the museum's exhaustive archive. We merrily knitted away in the elegant Card Room until noon. It was the perfect way to spend a rainy Saturday morning. I'll be keeping an eye on the museum's Twitter account to make sure I hear about future knitty events.

How did you celebrate WWKIPD?









Thursday, 4 June 2015

Wedding ring pillow in Simply Crochet

Just popping in to share a quick ta-da moment with you.
I designed this wee wedding ring pillow for the latest issue of Simply Crochet. It's my first ever proper printed project and it's so exciting to see it for reals! Watch this space for more chatter about the design, but for now, here it is!





The pattern is in issue 32, which is out now. Have you seen it? That mermaid and the baby cardi are definitely on my to-make list already.



P.S.  We finally found a new place to live (yay!), but now moving craziness ensues! So if I'm not here, I'll be cleaning, packing, rejoicing about a shiny new space, etc. Catch you soon!


Sunday, 17 May 2015

taking stock: May & Makealong update



Making: Pebble Beach shawlette for the Cftc Makealong. Have had to start over this week as I think I was twisting my purl stitches after the lace rows. Back on track now and at the 10% mark!
Cooking: yummy banana pancakes from this easy recipe.
Drinking: Twinings lemon green tea.
Reading: Captain Corelli's Mandolin (still!)
Wanting: to find the right place to live. Please!
Looking: on Rightmove and Gumtree, all day every day. Ugh. 
Playing: with Annie Sloan chalk paint for the first time. 
Deciding: whether or not I absolutely need to use wax to seal the chalk paint. Any thoughts?
Wishing: I could paint ALL THE THINGS!
Enjoying: having a bit of a clear out.
Waiting: for my breakfast to go down so I can head out for a run.
Liking: that our bathroom geranium is budding again. 
Wondering: if our tiny, weary houseplants need re-potting.
Loving: that Carly Rae Jepson video with actual Tom Hanks. Wut? 
Pondering: approx ten billion haircuts on Pinterest. 
Considering: getting my hair chopped off. It's like wearing a hat and scarf all the time!
Buying: eggs.
Watching: 3rd Rock from the Sun on Netflix. And the latest GoT.
Hoping: for healing.
Marvelling: at the difference sunshine makes to a day. 
Cringing: at my peely shoulders - got stupidly sunburnt last weekend.
Needing: to see for myself whether Poldark really is all that. 
Questioning: injustice. 
Smelling: Nuxe goodies from my in-laws. 
Wearing: my hair in a plait. 
Following: what's happening at Knit Fandango on Instagram. 
Noticing: the days getting longer. 
Knowing: we're leaving this flat in about a month. Eep.
Thinking: about splashing out on a pair of Saltwaters.
Admiring: new mums who are acing motherhood.
Sorting: junk we don't need.
Getting: a bit stressed.
Bookmarking: recipes for a certain husband's birthday cake.
Coveting: other people's fab hair.
Disliking: having to dress for all four seasons at once. 
Opening: waaay more tabs than I need.
Giggling: with Mr P.
Feeling: overwhelmed and a bit worn out.
Snacking: on peanut butter rice cakes.
Hearing: bells and birdsong from the bathroom. Will miss it.

Inspired, as always, by Pip's Taking Stock series.
What are you up to at the moment?




Friday, 8 May 2015

off the hook: the pink granny square blanket

Check it out - in my excitement I got, like, two inches of air!

Phew! This FO has been a long time coming. 
I starting hooking pink granny squares back in December 2013 and have been working towards having enough of them to make a blanket since then (find humble blanket beginnings in this post). It dawned on me that I had a whole heap of pink yarn in my stash, mostly DK, some nice, some not so nice. And I'd never made a blanket before, so why not? Granny squares are such good little portable projects. This must be one of the easiest ways to make a blanket. 


I made the executive decision not to join them as I went. Yes, it sounds foolish, but I wanted to make sure I was happy with the arrangement before I joined them. There was A LOT of arranging and re-arranging. I almost went with ombre at one point, but it didn't work out with the shades I had. 



The ceremonial joining of the squares was an unexpected joy (see elation here). While I categorically hate sewing up and weaving in ends, apparently I love joining with crochet. I used a super-simple dc seam and then worked a granny treble border so the wee blanket could gain a precious further few centimetres. 


And ta da! Here I am many months later at last proudly brandishing a completed crochet blanket. Now there's a first. 



As soon as I'd woven in the last end, we took the blanket on it's inaugural picnic outing. We had hummous, crackers and leftover curry and we ate VERY carefully. Nobody wants rogan josh on their latest FO. 


And now it has made itself quite at home on our sofa. It's not the biggest, prettiest or neatest blanket, but I dearly love this little thing. I think it might be a while before I think about starting another one though! I think I might be a blanket-commitment-phobe.

Are you a blanket lover? Have you had one on the go for ages? 

Apologies about my gut, but this was too ridiculous not to share.
Credit goes to Mr P for continuing to humour my yarny whims.


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