Inky Goings On.

FO Ho Ho
21 December, 2008, 12:07 am
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Finished: Last Minute Christmas stocking by Ysolda.

Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in “Sealing Wax” and some leftover Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk (yum.)

I knit at a slightly tighter gauge, so it could hold slightly heavier items. This is for the boy, hence the initial.

The i-cord bind off is genius, and I think I’m fully converted to Japanese short rows. Guess who stupidly forgot to reposition the startingmarker, messing the colourwork up?

Yup, me. Merry Xmas everyone!


Festively Hued.
16 December, 2008, 6:48 pm
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I love winter – nothing makes me happier than buttoning up my winter coat, digging out my gloves and matching hats to outfits. Cardigans, frocks and hats pretty much form my “uniform” and winter is my seasonal enabler. One thing I will never get used to, however, is the lack of sunlight. Most days here are grey, grey, grey and I’ve found myself tetchy and lacklustre now that I start writing/reading before sunrise and continue until well after sunset.

I am very thankful for fairy lights and a ridiculous USB lava lamp I found in Poundland. I am also thankful for Ysolda’s lovely patterns, which have distracted me from two secret and stockinette heavy jumpers I have been knitting. Namely, Gretel:

And the “Last Minute Stockings”, a project which has helped spending bugger all on Christmas a little jollier – the manfriend and I are filling a stocking each with little bits and bobs. His is well underway, but I’ve yet to start mine.

I’ve got some time though, since I’m working from 22nd-29th, which means “Christmas” will happen at New Year. I’m too keen on getting money to care about working until midnight every day, since I received a letter today. Now if only Gordon Brown would stop lowering interest rates, I might actually get more than a few pennies interest. Pfft.

4 November, 2008, 10:55 pm
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I knit a mannequin cover!

Or, a air of fingerless gloves. So after all that talk of cutting down on starting new projects, I started another. Luckily, it took less than two days – I whipped out my darning needle in the library and ignored the disgruntled glances shot my way, then scuttled off to a lecture on Little Women. On emerging bleary-eyed into the real world post-lecture, I was more than a little surprised to see the entire campus covered in snow.

These babies were just what I needed to keep my paws warm all day, and stop my hands freezing on the rather tumultuous cycle home. They’re starting to pill a little, but I do use them on my bike a lot.

Pattern Specs: Dashing from Knitty

Yarn: Manos Silk Blend (half of a 300yd hank)

Needles: 4.00mm Bamboo DPNs (size small, knit at a smaller gauge to fit)

I like them, they’re super cosy and keep me warm whilst satisying my fidgety, impatient attitude – I can never whip gloves off fast enough.

And now I’m going to settle down on the sofa til 6am, continuing to fidget until it looks pretty safe and growing green with jealousy as my friend in Chicago keeps me updated on how wonderful it is over there. I love a good election, and hopefully this one will be. Fingers crossed!

I Dropped My Brain
25 October, 2008, 6:17 pm
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Or rather, I dropped the ball at blogging. Rest assured, though I may have been quiet, I have not been idle. My attention span has been rather lacking of late, and I’ve been unable to resist the urge to start new projects left right and centre. I’ve also been fumbling around with my boyfriend’s posh new camera, trying in vain to take delicious photos of knits and either getting my nose stuck in a book until the sun sets, or getting impatient and settling for a less than perfect one. So, I present you (half of) my parade of WIPS:

First up, a Clapotis. No. I don’t really care that everyone else in the world has already knit one, I just want a scarf that can also keep my shoulders warm indoors.

This has been stuffed in a bag, stalled since I stole the needles for the February Lady Sweater, then lost my needle gauge. I’m too much of a miser to buy a new one.

Transition Mitten in two lovely shades of Colinette Jitterbug. I’ve actually finished one hand now, and seriouly need to get my arse in gear and start on the second. I’m a sucked for two tone colourwork, as also evidenced by this:

The amazing Selbu Modern pattern. I started so well on this, then noticed a mistake a few rows below my needles, and am torn between carrying on, and assuming people won’t notice, and performing the painful rip back to make sure it’s perfect. Meh, I haven’t been able to decide for days, so that’s also festering.

And now, I want to knit this:

From in some Mirasol Miski I’ve been squirelling away. Tempting. Must… finish… things…

2 October, 2008, 4:10 pm
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As a result of a hankering to get my messy shelves off the front page, and a little prompting, I blog! Not one but two finished objects. First up, the February Lady Sweater, a cardigan I began in earnest in early July at the beginning of summer. Two long train journeys, and I’d finished the body. A bout of the common cold, and I finished the arms. Then it took me two months to block it. I just fell out of love with it, the lumpy misshapen lace seeming far from Pam’s lovely design. Blocking rescued it a little and assuaged my fears that I’d made the cardigan too short: Noro Cash Iroha has a tremendous propensity for growth. I may knit a mitten and see if it can cover my house after a short dip in the sink. Eventually I added buttons, sewed in the ends and popped it on. Hmmm. I didn’t love it. And the reason I didn’t love it is my own fault.

It makes me look like a tree trunk. And really I should have considered that an A-line cardigan would do precisely this when I knitted it. It looks a little better when I’m not slouching and wearing unfitted dresses, but still, I’m not planning on wearing this anywhere other than around the house, or in the library.

Pattern: February Lady Sweater

Yarn: Noro Cash Iroha, 7 skeins.

Mods: skipped buttonholes, and added snaps under the buttons. Stockinette cuffs, turned with a picot edging, on account of rowing out when attempting garter stitch in the round.

So I’m a little grumpy about this, but am taking it as a lesson. Bust darts are my friends, and swingy cardigans are not. Looking at the photo above, I’m also not convinced I knit the right size: I could fit my clunking great Shakespeare anthology under my armpit, with room for a couple of actors in the arms. Verdict: Blah.

After this little letdown, I snagged some Noro Iro in a Get Knitted sale and cast on for a scarf, since I always seem to be making them, but for other people. Or, they get stolen, like my last Noro scarf.

It’s a bit long. I chose the Scrunchable Scarf pattern, since I wanted some texture, but hoped not to distract from the subtle colour changes. Really, this was just a midnless project I worked on when I came home from work too tired to do anything except follow a simple pattern and gawp at the telly.

It’s tremendously warm, at any rate, and aside from Isadora Duncan fears when cycling to uni every day, it brightens up my black coat a treat. Now to get my numerous WIPs and pattern designs finished!

Messy Tuesday
12 August, 2008, 8:30 pm
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I’ve been really buoyed by this aspect of blogging for a while, since I find incessant shows of how pretty one’s home is cloying, and the fact that if I spent more time making my “presentable” I’d have little time for crafting, and no time for blogging. So here’s my inaugural post:

Living Room Bookcase

Living Room Bookcase

After working a 70 hour week and finding myself with four days off, I decided I should spend my time spending hours wondering what to have for tea, binge-watching 30 Rock, knitting and reading. This bookcase is a magnet for all things commonly used, important and that I shouldn’t put on the floor, but can’t be arsed to put away. Wool, novels, receipts and bank statements, all squirrelled away between seldomly consulted telephone directories and yoga manuals. Somehow, an eyeshadow, a tie, a Four Tet cd and a pile of daily multivitamins I’ve remembered about twice this year, have also wormed their way into this haphazard excuse for an organisational piece of furniture.



Part of the reason this particular bookcase, rather than the seven others, has attracted so much flotsam is due to its location. It’s on the way to the door, so every day the boyfriend empties and fills his pockets before realising he’ll miss the train unless he runs, and it’s next to “My Chair”, in which I collapse every day after either work, or the library, and pretty much refuse to move unless I run out of wool or coffee.

You can just see the February Lady Sweater sneaking into that last picture: I’m just about halfway through the second arm, and it’s dragging now since I have the patience of a goldfish. My mind’s wandering to future knits, dreaming up the perfect yarn for these knits, and then since I have a bit of spare cash because I’m working stupid hours currently, buying it and cursing the fact that my stash is growing. Since I’m pissed off that I’ve completely filled a suitcase, I’ve a plan. A contest! I love contests on other people’s blogs, then feel either shy, or embarrassed by them and never enter. So stuff it, I’ll have my own instead. To enter, just peruse my embarrassing bookshelf and guess as many titles as you can. I’ll pick three winners, and give them a choice of some yarn in my stash that I haven’t earmarked, so you can enhance your stash, whilst assuaging my guilt. Either leave your guess in the comments, or chuck me an email at msdawnfoster(at) Here’s the link to my Flickr, where you can view the photos at a far larger scale: Ready, set, go!

5 August, 2008, 6:50 pm
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I have a love hate relationship with Topshop: I love the fact that their sizes are one of the few on the high street that properly fit me, I love the abundance of flat shoes in a size 8 that always end up in the sale. I hate their badly made basics, some of their more ridiculous ranges and the fact that they never seem to make anything exciting, knitwear-wise. But I think they may have redeemed themselves slightly on the last point, with this:

It’s ridiculous and I love it. I’m a big fan of obnoxious colourwork, and this has the advantage of looking vaguely tame from a distance. My first thought was “My God, I want it. Could I make it?” And this seemed reasonable enough. Naturally, it would take months on end if I ever did finish it, but I could better the fibre content (50% cotton, 50% acrylic) and recalculate the sleeve-body join, so I didn’t end up with four one-eyed skulls and a wonky bomb or two. But it seemed a reasonable enough endeavour. Until I thought about how soul-destroying those months of calculation, knitting and frogging would be. About how, by the time I finished, if I ever did, I’d either be completely sick of it, or forced to accept that my perpetually flaky fashion tastes had changed, and that I’d no longer be comfortable wearing it. So I begrudgingly admitted to myself that this was one of those items that would be more sensible to buy, rather than make. And I can gasp in horror in twenty years time, when I look back at pictures of me modelling it, and scream “what was I THINKING!?” Which I think is always a good sign.

Instead, I’ll knit Ysolda’s gorgeous Little Birds. I love the double breasted waistband, but am tempted to alternate colours of birds. Because in my book, garish is good.