Inky Goings On.

5 August, 2008, 6:50 pm
Filed under: knitting | Tags: , , ,

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.


objet fini*
24 June, 2008, 12:28 pm
Filed under: knitting | Tags:

I’m on a bit of a roll in terms of finished objects of late. I cast on for this hat just before my first exam, and promptly forgot about it until a few days ago. It was speedy work, and the lace pattern was really enjoyable. I’m pretty happy with the end result:

Pattern: Bousta Beret by Gudrun Johnston

Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed – Sigh (1 ball)

Needles: 4mm Addi Turbo Circular – 12in.

Mods: Did the whole hat using 4mms to accommodate my enormous head. The ribbing grew quite a bit with blocking, so I’ll probably sewing some elastic in the brim to make it a little less floppy. As you can see it’s very slouchy at present:

I noticed after taking these pictures that I’d accidentally teamed a black and white stripy top with the beret: accidental racial stereotypes ahoy. Good thing I took my onion garland off.

I absolutely adored the felted tweed: I’d bought a single ball to try it out and fell in love. It’s so light and soft, and the tweed flecks really complement the pattern subtly. The pattern is brilliant, and I’d really recommend it. Now I just need to wait patiently for weather in which it’s bearable to wear it.

I’m quite enjoying sticking to one project at a time, the complete opposite of what I usually do. Maybe next time I’ll have this mass of pink finished and modelled!

*Feel free to correct my appalling French.

8 June, 2008, 3:10 pm
Filed under: knitting | Tags:

Yes. I think I might also knit Flintknit’s February Lady Sweater once exams end. Bloody exams. Which leads me to my next bit of blogging procrastination, courtesy of the lovely Philippa, who very kindly sent me some lovely Debbie Bliss Maya this week. Cheered me up a treat.

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?

Christ, I think I was in Primary School then, probably sitting my SATs and looking forward to Comprehensive school. Oddly, I just realised the dress I’m wearing today looks just like the school dress we wore in Summer. Nightmare.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?

Sodding revision: prepare for exam on 17th Century Emblem poems and Restoration Comedy. Finish blocking two birthday presents for friends with looming birthdays. Sew grossgrain ribbon and poppers on one of the presents. Cook cupboard-raiding soup for tea (hopefully this will be more successful than the itme I forgot I needed stock to make soup). Take my vitamins – Calcium, Omega 3, and Evening Primrose Oil. I don’t 100% believe these help, but maybe they’ll work as a placebo. But if I’ve busted them as being a placebo, doesn’t that ensure it won’t work? Pffft.

3) Snacks I enjoy:

I think I like snacks more than proper meals, really. Granny Smith apples, yoghurt coated cranberries, ice lollies, houmous and black olives. If living solely on olives was nutritionally viable, I would probably do so.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Buy a house, and houses for a few friends and members of family. Pay for an MA and PhD and pay off the student loan etc. Give lots of money to Rape Crisis centres, so they could spend time helping people rather than having to constantly fill in pleas for funding and grants. I don’t actually know what I’d do with the money. I’ve spent so long counting pennies and strictly budgeting, I’d probably um and aah over every possible purchase. Or just buy a gigantic bouncy castle and an abundance of stupid things.

5) Places I have lived:

Newport, Wales (urgh), Pangangdaran, Indonesia (Woo!) and Coventry, England (s’alright). I’d really love to live in London. I absolutely love it, all my friends live there, I constantly see jobs I want advertised there, and I bloody love the Tube. Even at rush hour. I was so happy when I got an Oyster Card.

6) Jobs I have had:

River Island shop assistant (I haven’t ventured into a branch since) Lloyds TSB call centre lackey, George at Asda sales assistant (I couldn’t hack it and left after 6 months. They were so vile to me that I didn’t even give notice, just didn’t show up ever again). Constituency assistant – I loved this. Best summer job I’m ever likely to get. Library Digitisation person. Conference assistant and my current job, “Language Centre evening helper” – nobody’s really sure what I’m supposed to do, including the person who hired me. I mostly drink cups of tea, play on Facebook and tell students what rooms their classes are in.

7) Bloggers I am tagging who I will enjoy getting to know better:

I think every blog I read has already done this. If you’re passing, consider yourself tagged.

In other news, I bought a bike to take me to and from Uni, since I often need to get on campus before buses start running, or get mightily pissed off when I’ve missed a bus by seconds and have to stand at the stop for half an hour.

I love the basket and the fact it’s orange. Maybe the tweeness will deter would-be cycle thieves? What I failed to take into account when buying the bike was that i haven’t ridden in over ten years. It’ll be fine… I thought. At least until I went over the handlebars on my first attempt at braking. Luckily I had been cautious and experimented on grass, thus was bruised rather than broken. I think a little more practice may be in order before I brave the long ride to Uni…

Ester – At Last!
18 May, 2008, 5:56 pm
Filed under: Ester, knitting | Tags:

Despite starting Ester on my 21st Birthday, I didn’t manage to finish it for exactly 9 months – once I started on the longer rows, I floundered, knitting two, maybe four rows every other week. The longer it took me, the less I wanted to work on it, assuming that it hadn’t been prominent in my “must knit” pile for a reason. The pattern was extremely clear, the construction interesting, and the cables kept it from being dull. So I blame my lacklustre approach to completing it soley on the fact that I chose a rather boring colour, and the fact that the longer rows made me feel as if progress was extremely slow.

But it’s done! I really like fastening it at the neck, not that it would fasten across the bust anyway. It cam out a little smaller than anticipated, but I much prefer it this way; it makes it look a little less casual

And from the back. The whole project used up 4 balls of Rowan Pure Wool Aran. As a yarn, it wasn’t anything particularly special- it’s soft and has good stitch definition, but spouts a halo once it’s washed.

I seem to have fallen into a rut with colours lately: I’ve never considered Blue a favourite colour of mine, but all bar one of my current projects are blue. Time to bust out the rest of the colourwheel, I think.

17 January, 2008, 8:33 pm
Filed under: Ester, knitting | Tags:

I’m sat in front of Pumping Iron II: The Women vainly trying to absorb some of this intensely dull staged documentary for my Irigaray seminar, whilst the boyfriend is sat in the audience of Question Time watching Jacqui Smith, Liam Fox et al shield whatever inane questions the producers have chosen from those submitted. By day, I’m writing on The Tin Drum, whilst Severn Trent provide an apt, persistent beat with the drilling that regularly cuts off our water supply. I’ve got a pile of Rochester, Tennyson, Barrett Browning and Levi to read, a dissertation proposal to write and a supervisor to hook, and to be honest I haven’t been knitting a lot.

I don’t know about other people, but snatching a few rows here and there just seems to add to the illusion that my projects are taking forever. And whilst I can knit whilst reading fiction or criticism, I can’t when I’m reading poetry or, obviously, writing. So I’m laying the sticks aside for the moment and making a resolution to myself: once reading week is upon me I will commit myself to finishing all WIPs before starting any new projects. First up, Ester, my albatross. I started her on my 21st Birthday and I must, must, must, have her finished before my 22nd. It’s a lovely pattern, but the long rows just kill me.So it’ll be dull around here, but bear with me.

Un Cadeau pour moi.
11 January, 2008, 1:23 pm
Filed under: Beachy Head Shawl, knitting, Swap | Tags: , ,

Look what came through the post today, all the way from America! My Marie Antionette swap package from ssailorss , who has spoilt me terribly. Ironically, I was admiring her Sun Ray Shawl yesterday, especially the unusual colour of the yarn used. What do you know? Now I have my own skein to play with.

I’ve also been on quite a variegated kick at the moment, so this gorgeously soft merino will be absolutely perfect for a My So-Called Scarf.

Mmm, Lush bath bombs: the kind of thing I always look at when I go to get my shampoo, but always think is a bit decadent when you’re trying to save for a Masters. They smell tremendously gorgeous, and thus so does everything else in the package, and one of them even has little rosebuds inside. She also made me a cupcake, which when I pulled it out, boyfriend noted “You’ve wanted to make one of them for ages”. Quite right: it’ll make a great pin cushion.

And as if that wasn’t enough, she also included a book of paper dolls, full of gorgeous outfits. I may frame the dolls, and change their outfits every now and then. PLUS, I was given a set of stitch markers with pink beads on them, and a vial of Black Alchemy Lab perfume in “Harlot” (how deliciously apt). I am well and truly spoilt and will be playing with all of these goodies for a long, long time.

Now that Christmas knitting is over, and I’ve failed to take pictures of the FOs (seriously, I was sewing in the ends of one scarf in bed without my glasses on before boyf took it to his aunt on Boxing Day), I’ve started a wide scarf/stole in a seafoam stitch (taken from my new Vogue stitchionary) to cover my arms in the library when the weather warms slightly. It’s in Handmaiden’s Lady Godiva, bought from Crafty Cottage, a lovely new(ish) shop in Warwick. Even the other half liked it and was enraptured with how the swift worked. Ha.

26 July, 2007, 10:20 am
Filed under: knitting, stories


Carrot Cake courtesy of Delia . Yum.


£2 bird necklace on leather thong from the ever-wonderful Topshop. Yum.


Top-down raglan jumper knitted with £1.49 a ball Sublime Mohair. YUM.


The beginning of my giant Circle of Friends inspired Garter Stitch blanket. Yes, this is also ‘yum’.

What is not ‘yum’ is conjunctivitis and the fact I accidentally stabbed the underside of my wrist whilst washing up. Yuck yuck yuck. Now, I must get some tidying done, and try and restrain myself from eating the entire Carrot Cake. Mmmm.