I couldn’t resist these beauties from Prick Your Finger.
Apparently Rachel’s Mum (Rachel owns Prick Your Finger) sews them onto the cards and comes up with the lovely little ‘stories’ to go with them. Now, I suppose I should make an effort to knit something to put them on in order to justify my button collecting.
News for March 2012
I couldn’t resist these beauties from Prick Your Finger.
Here is the unfinished, unwashed cardi of the previous post. I am quite pleased. It took less than 2 balls of yarn, and looks really rather nice.
Other news today – it may be Spring in this corner of Hackney. Here is our ornamental cherry tree, planted by the council a couple of years ago in the pavement outside the house as part of their 2,012 trees for 2012 campaign. Blues skies, blossom and people jetting off on adventures.
Remember the Craft Cotton and the before and after swatch? Well, this is it a step further on. I saw this little beauty on somebody-or-others Pinterest board and thought ‘how nice for WSN’. Obviously, being the fiddler I am it was not enough to follow the notes on the Ravelry page (it’s not really a pattern, more notes and for a baby size as opposed to a toddler size), plus one of my pet hates about many top-down cardis / jumpers is that they have no neck shaping. I know they drape a bit but I really don’t like a lot of the very square / rectangular necks you end up with like here. So, here we go with the same cardi but with short-row shaping to make the neck a ‘proper’ shape. Also I didn’t like the use of ‘kfb’ increases on the raglans, so here we have garter st raglan ‘seams’ and M1 incs either side of them.
So far, it seems to be working, although it’s been a bit of a faff – mainly because I abandoned the ‘w&t’ short-row technique I know in favour of this one that Rox demonstrates on Ravelry. It think it’s German short rows. For me this gives a much better look to the turning points, indeed an almost invisible one which I never quite managed with w&t. I am very impressed with this.
Non-knitting news – I have discovered what has been digging violently in the pot of mint growing on the roof garden. I feared a squirrel, which would have meant that virtually everything I try and grow up there would become squirrel fodder, but no! The hole-producing creature is none other than Iman’s greatest adversary:
Mr. Blackbird. Presumably taking mint-perfumed dust baths because Iman won’t let him have proper baths downstairs. Hmmm.
The Gentle Author…
Ha! Not me. I am far from gentle. I speak of The Gentle Author of Spitalfields Life fame.
Now I have been reading Spitalfields Life since 2009. Perhaps not quite since the very first post, but not far off. We’ve been visiting Spitalfields market since 1996, when it looked very different (and was far preferable, in my opinion) to the flashy place it is today with various chain restaurants and shops. The very first weekend we moved to London we walked down Fournier Street and have been hooked ever since, in part because the magnificence of Nicholas Hawksmoor’s Christ Church Spitalfields is situated on the western end of the street and I have been slightly obssessed with that since reading Hawksmoor, oooh, 25 years ago or so (I chose that link as it is the cover of the book I have).
Until Friday night, however, I had never ventured into Christ Church Spitalfields despite my interest. But when The Gentle Author issued an invite to all blog readers to attend the launch party of his book there, I decided that this was my chance. As we walked along the side of the market towards Christ Church, the bells began to peal and that made the night truly magical. We stood on the steps waiting to get in, chatting to other readers, marvelling at the Pearly Kings and Queens, spotting people recognisable from their portraits on Spitalfields Life (Boudica, Paul Gardner) with the bells ringing out in the cold air. The the door opened and the crown surged in, gathering (in our case) beer from Truman’s Brewery and Eccles Cakes from the St. John as well as a copy of the book. Now, how could that be bettered? Only, perhaps, by you all gentle (and-not-so-gentle) readers popping over to Spitalfields Life and reading all about the night here. I love living in the East End because it truly is a community – certain people have claimed that living in our street is like living on the EastEnders set as it is often impossible to leave the house without stopping for a chat with somebody. People have the impression that Londoners are unfriendly or rude, well, we might be if you stop dead at the top of escalators blocking everyone else’s route when trying to find your bearings in the Underground or if you don’t stand on the right on said escalators so others can walk past you up or down them. But if you live here it’s another story…
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.