I try to not read too many blogs as I would never actually do anything otherwise, but one I do look at everyday is Print & Pattern. Yesterday there were some lovely pics of cards from a company called Pennychoo, including one card that I knew I had to have for a pal’s birthday. (I am not saying which one or which pal, obvs.) So, I hot-footed it over to Pennychoo but – sob – couldn’t see the card I wanted for sale on the website. Aaargh!
So, I did the sensible thing (this does not often happen) and emailed Sue at Pennychoo. Got a really, really rapid (and very helpful) response, and all is sorted. I will send an order in today. So if you need cards (and who doesn’t, unless you’re one of those terribly organised smarty pants who makes all their own cards) get yourself over to Pennychoo’s and have a look in the shop. Meanwhile I leave you with a few pics of my fave cards, and dangle in front of you the possibility of a new pattern tomorrow:
OK, I often see posts on Ravelry asking ‘how do I keep track of where I am in my pattern?’. I have (so far) resisted posting ‘it’s magic, gained by selling the soul of a relative / a child to the devil’ although sometimes I am sorely tempted. So this is what I do. Grab paper and pen. If your pattern repeat is, say, 12 rows, write down 1 – 12 several times:
and then cross off rows as you go. If you’re doing the back of a sweater, you can use the same set of 1 – 12s for the front, just cross in the opposite direction or in a different colour (or both, if the pen you were using has mysteriously disappeared bown the back / side of the settee as always seems to happen to me).
This works admirably for counting rows and increases on sleeves, too – just write your ‘incs’ next to the row they should be worked on:
Actually I’ve missed an ‘inc’ off there, it should be next to the first 5. Then your incs would be on the 5th row, and every following 6th row. Or whatever your pattern asks for.
We do like a bargain here at TBk. When I worked at Artwork, we used to buy in a really cheap ecru cotton that we knitted some of the (ecru, obviously) cabled denim sweaters in, so they were like traditional Arans but in cotton and washed the same as the denim versions. It was one of my favourite yarns. Cheap, lovely and soft when it had been washed and with that lovely ability to chuck it in the washing machine and then the tumble dryer, no fuss. But that was years ago. The other day, having a quick look at the Deramores site, I spotted something that looked similar:
This little beauty is James C. Brett Craft Cotton, and is the vast sum of £1.49 for 100g of yarn. It is not the same as the old Artwork stuff, but it is not far off. It is stringy when you knit it and I know this is not what some people want from their knitting but I quite like it. But then I do like knitting with linen and cotton and am a bit string obsessed anyway.
So, this is the before wash shot:
And this is the after – a 60 deg C wash and tumble dried until dry.
It’s really softened up, and whilst it doesn’t look expensive it will make a lovely summer cardi for WSN that nobody has to be too precious about.
This is the point at which I gush over Deramore’s service. I think I ordered this at about 2.45pm on Tuesday and it arrived on Wednesday morning. Not bad, eh?
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!
Possibly the last of the shell-obsessed designs here, but then again there might just be one more a bit later in the year. Renamed ‘Low Tide’ over lunch by the lovely Juliet as opposed to my singularly exciting ‘Shells and Shells’ title, here is a blanket for you.
It has big shells and little shells (hence the ‘shells and shells’ title). Now, I will say immediately that this is not the easiest of knits in the world. There is a fiddly bit in the big shell where you have to knit 15 loops together all in one go, but it is only fiddly, not fiendishly hard especially when you consider that there are only 12 rows in the pattern repeat and you don’t have to think of any shaping, you just get going and knit straight until your blanket is as big as you want it. You can see that 15 stitch bit more clearly here:
As you can also see from that pic it has garter stitch edges, too.
A word about the yarn used – before Christmas when shopping in John Lewis I saw these enormous balls of yarn, which on further inspection turned out to be Carter and Parker Pure Wool Aran in 500g balls for around £15 (slightly cheaper in that link). They had a nice soft grey colour and it seemed physically fairly soft so, Reader, I bought it. Carter and Parker are part of the T B Ramsden / Wendy label and what with all the interest in British wool at the moment I thought it was worth a punt. It’s not the softest wool in the world, but it’s soft enough and it has body. It’s not going to flop out of shape with its own weight, like some squishier yarns would. Do try it. The blanket shown here is pram / baby sized and took just under 1 ball, there are instructions in the pattern to make a double-bed sized blanket too, which will need you to buy 4 balls, but you’d have a bit left over or could just knit until you ran out of yarn. Obviously you could also knit it in any Aran weight yarn. But this one really is quite special for the price.
Pootle over here to buy the pattern and see the low-down-dirty-details of needles and yardage.
She fell in the pond on Sunday, having slipped on the icy edge of said pond on take off and again on landing. Only Pride (and she is a very Proud Rabbit) was hurt, although I have been left in no doubt that I was Wrong and have Offended in hoiking her out of the pond in what (obviously) she decided was an Undignified Manner. Her fur is so thick and in such good condition that she was barely wet (she is nearly waterproof, it seems) and she most definitely was not wet anywhere near her skin. ‘Vaguely Damp’ is the best description. No photo as I was too busy offending her by pulling her out to rush off and get the camera (she is perfectly capable of getting out of the pond herself, I was trying to be helpful and get her out quicker).
…I feel, is Iman’s revenge for me manhandling her in an Undignified Manner. It was the charger for my beloved Zen MP3 player. I discovered it this morning, dismembered in her litter tray. I think it fell off the worktop and she stole it, took it to her litter tray and did the dirty biting deed of chopping it into pieces. And before anybody says that rabbits don’t do that sort of thing, she does. She stole ornaments off the Christmas tree and ran off with them. She steals lots of things and runs off with them. She is not as Refined as she likes to make out… She also objects to birds in the garden. Here she is guarding the bird bath so that the blackbird can’t have his daily bath.
No, it’s OK, we haven’t started speaking in tongues or anything. Those are the names of the other designs in the Fyberspates Baby Book along with Corlyna. (I think Jeni and Jen had had a bit too much wine or another hallucinogenic substance when choosing the names. Or they were throwing alphabet blocks about like Phil and Jill Archer did when their twins were born.)
Anyway, let’s have a quick look at them. Obviously they’re all knitted in Fyberspates Scrumptious, but this first one, Aldara by Judy Furlong, is in the laceweight, whilst I think the others are all in the 4-ply. It’s a rather spiffing christening shawl – not that we personally know anyone who gets babies christened, but it would be a lovely thing for someone who did. So, here is Aldara:
Next up we have Ensar by Melanie Edgar,. Dungarees! Knitted! Cabled!
Finally, we have a couple of designs from the lovely Kyoko at Cotton & Cloud. I know Kyoko is lovely because I’ve met her, albeit briefly. There’s Kaelyn,
which is a hat and cardi combo, and Temari which is a beautiful kimono-type cardi, either named after an ancient Japanese craft (likely) or an anime character in a video game and film, (perhaps not so likely, but I like the idea if it is). I must admit I did first think ‘oh, why have they named the cardi after a type of soy sauce?’, but that’s actually tamari. Ahem. As you were. Here it is:
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).