Yes, yes, I know, possibly the worst pun we’ve come up with so far! I’m sure we can do worse though, give us chance.
So, for those of you that weren’t punks in 1979 (or indeed like me, came late to punk) London Cowling owes much as a name to The Clash, although we’re not sure if the surviving members would wear one. Should anybody reading this know any of The Clash then please ask them if they’d wear a toasty cowl and if they would we’d be more than happy to pop over (if they’re still London-based, or close, LA might be beyond us) to take them a cowl each and take photos of them, dribble, witter inanely and be ridiculously shy in their prescence. But I digress. Here it is:
Even though we’ve only photographed it on the lovely Cara, it has been worn and fondled by real, blokish blokes who cycle who claim it is ‘perfect’ for cycling in. Sadly said cyclists have not been around during decent daylight hours to photograph them as proof, but give us chance.
London Cowling is knitted in John Arbon’s Knit By Numbers. It is amazing stuff that we cannot recommend enough and that we’ve used for The Titfer, the Simmonds Scarf, and two other designs still to come, a colour-blocked cardi for a chap in very manly colours and a sparkly cable sweater for women. It comes in 79 colours, so there should be a colour for everyone to wear their London Cowling in, plus this design only takes a single hank so at a RRP of £8.95 that’s a very reasonable price for a present. It should be knittable before Christmas as it’s on 6mm needles, but if you’re really pushed for time you could just buy the yarn and the pattern, print the pattern out and wrap them up with an IOU for the knitting (I may have done this before, hence my knowledge).
Just in case you are a. very young, b. have lived under a stone for a couple of decades or c. are not British and so might not know about The Clash, here is London Calling in all its greatness (and it is a truly great song).
Don’t they look smart?* They could have done with something warming around their necks whilst filming in all that rain on the river. More details and pattern links for London Cowling here.
*Yes, we know the popular image of Punk was ripped scruffy stuff and bin liner dresses etc. etc. blah blah but being well dressed never did anyone any harm. Quite a few Punks were very natty dressers indeed…
Way back in the dawn of time – well, it was about September 2008 if you’re after accuracy – Juliet rang me up to say she was going to be the editor of a new knitting magazine and would I do a couple of patterns for her? She wanted two cabled bags, a big one and a more handbag sized one. They were in the very first issue of The Knitter and Ms. Juliet liked the little one so much she asked if she could keep it. So, as the original sample was AWOL, I knitted another. This is partly why it has taken so long to get this onto the blog, although it has lain around for (ahem) several months waiting for me to sew the lining into it. It might also have lain around a few / several weeks whilst waiting for me to sew the handles and button on as well before waiting for the lining. ‘Nuff said.
On the recommendation of a pal I wandered down to Prick Your Finger to have a look at their carpet yarn. Now, as you may expect, something designed for making carpets is not soft and squooshy but it is remarkably hardwearing and robust which, frankly, is what you need for a knitted bag. AND the colours are named after musicians or songs so what further incentive did I need? Sadly they didn’t have any stock of Purple Reign as that would have been my first choice, the Small Purple One being a particular fave but they did have Dusty Pink. I am not generally a pink fan, but this is a lovely vintage-y, fleshy, soft pink (‘knicker pink’ it’s known as in the fashion world) and it’s named after a goddess of a woman who sang some truly brilliant songs so that was that decision made.
Like the Cabled Shoulder bag The Springfield starts off with a Turkish cast on and is worked seamlessly from there. The side edges of the bag have a different pattern to the front and back:
The original yarn was a bit chunkier than this, but I think the aran weight works better. The carpet yarn works brilliantly, and this bag only took about 170g of it – so less than 2 cakes. You could easily just keep knitting for as much yarn as you’ve got and then felt slightly if you didn’t want to line it. I did line this one as I found some lovely fabric at Raystitch (where they also have lovely tea and cake, as Jen will confirm):
It seems I chose one called Charlevoix Cherry. So, if you want to knit a Springfield Bag, pop over here to get the pattern. And now I leave you with the goddess Dusty. If her voice on this doesn’t make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up then I think there’s something wrong with you, so there.
You have 6Music to blame for this entirely because they played it just now and set me off on a nostalgia trip. When this was in the charts I used to go horse riding every weekend with a slightly older pal, Ann – she was, I thought, astoundingly cool, beautiful and she had a red Suzuki Jeep(!) and I wanted to be her. She was so cool that I would do anything she told me to, regardless of whether I was scared stiff or not because I didn’t want her to think I wasn’t as cool and brave as she was (I must add here that she never asked me to do anything she wouldn’t have done, but that was quite a wide category). Everytime this came on the radio we would sing along (very, very badly) and when it got to the French bit Ann would say ‘this is French you know, Bod, you do French don’t you?’. Every single time. Every. Single. Time.
I cannot hear this song without thinking of her.
These days we are still pals but sadly live on opposite sides of the planet so the chances for silliness are limited.
I couldn’t find a ‘live’ video of Sunday Girl with the French bits in, so just so that you don’t miss out on Debbie Harry’s luminous beauty, here it is again:
We went to see Debbie Harry and Blondie at the Indigo a couple of years ago – they were brilliant, and she was as gorgeous as ever. Can only hope I’m that good at that age!
After last winter when London seemed to be overwhelmed with days of rain, I despaired of decent footwear for such weather. I know there has been a huge trend to wear Hunter wellies around town, but I just couldn’t bring myself to, despite owning a pair (strictly for country / horsey wear). But then, in NY in April, I spotted the perfect compromise: Hunter Thurloes.
So, I came home and ordered a pair. They were cheaper here, hurrah! They arrived. It hasn’t really rained horribly since when I’ve needed to go out, damn and blast. They have sat, mainly unworn, waiting for Weather. Here they are, waiting sadly by the front door for Weather:
Today I have been told it is going to snow towards the end of the week! Hurrah! I can (hopefully) wear my Thurloes. Must find nice socks now. And because we’ve not had a musical interlude here for a while, and every time I’ve looked at my Thurloes I’ve thought ‘New Boots and Panties’, which for the unitiated of you is the name of a Ian Dury and the Blockheads LP, here is a track from NBaP. Do not listen to it if you are sensitive about Anglo-Saxon language and profanity. Really, just don’t. I won’t be held responsible for anything.
‘A lawless brat from a council flat’ – could almost have been me… (council house, though, in my case).
For no better reason than it has cheered me up amazingly today looking at youtube vids of Jarvis, I give you:
Oh. It seems that it’s too violent and scary and evil for YouTube to contemplate letting people watch all the way through. So much for freedom of speech. (And yet it wants me to find out all about ‘coloured hair damage’ as seen by Dove toiletries? Now that is offensive). This is possibly my favourite Pulp track ever… I may have to get a shiny black shirt to wear.
Carrying on with the doppelganger theme (OK, so I know it was a tripleganger really above) – check this out. A doppelganger and truly smart lyrics to go with. I heart Merle.
… of circs. I hate them, even for piddling things like neckbands:
I know people love them. I know people who knit all the time on them. Just not me. I like to have a nice long needle so that I can brace the right hand one against my body whilst knitting. Anything else is just uncomfortable. And as for knitting neckbands and having the whole jumper in your lap and having to keep turning it round, ugh. Ugh. I know because I had to do that last night and it irritated me a lot. So, share my pain here.
I only put that pic in because I like the bleary, watercolour, out-of-focus stripes of the Charleston Bolster in the background. The colour is more like this:
“What? Are you talking about me? I’m not blue. Although I don’t know what mizu is.”
No, Ev, the cushion.
Actually until I got that photo of Madame on top of the cushion I was going to introduce it all with New Order and Blue Monday, but Ev won the day. Oh, wotthehellarchi, have New Order as well (on Top of the Pops, obviously):
Not their greatest performance ever, but TOTP was something special. Enough rambling! Mizu is knitted in that most fabulous of fabulous yarns, Rowan (or Elann) Denim, and also requires a bit of DIY fun with some bleach to get the wavy colour in the lighter triangles (although you could chicken out and do it in a ready space-dyed yarn along with a solid in a similar colour). The point about the denim, though, as opposed to any other yarn is that it is so tough as a yarn it’s really going to stand up to being on the floor and abused a bit, and the more wear it gets the better it’ll look. Even the sort of wear a not-so-small rabbit can produce. There was lots of jumping on and off of the cushion in the name of being difficult, and attempted poking of nose into camera lens:
Next up – a fully-loaded-with-pics tutorial as to how to bleach the denim. Just in case you need convincing.
A bit of pop for you today, new(ish) London band The Vaccines, this is my current earworm thanks to Radio 6Music. I do like a pop star in eyeliner. I used to be a Radio 4 girl, but ended up shouting at Woman’s Hour and You and Yours way too much, so decamped to Radio 6Music which is a grown-up version of Radio 1 I like to think. But not too grown up.
Knitting content a bit thin on the ground as busy finishing off lots of projects (some for The Knitter, some for RTW clients as A/W ’2011 selling shows about to be upon us) but none of them bloggable at this moment. Soon. Very soon.