Inky Goings On.

A Play
22 July, 2008, 9:35 am
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Me: Look at that – take a photo!

Boy: Ha ha! How odd.

Me: You’re going a bit bald on top, you could wear it on your head.

Boy: NO.

Me: I could knit you a toupée. Bit of fun fur. Nice and subtle.

Boy: Or a Hallowig.

Me: What? How do you know about that?

Boy: I just do.

I think he takes in a bit more than I give him credit for. The question now, is: do I secretly knit him one? Or is it a waste of effort? I tend to try and knit things I think will be used: with the amount of time I invest in these projects, I’d like to get a bit of wear or use out of them. I did, however knit something completely useless for a swap recently:

It’s a Dalmation Mouse from the Royal Tenenbaums. I took inordinate pleasure in knitting something so silly, and also in making up my own pattern. It was also my first attempt at i-cord. Why had I always assumed it was so hard?


Spitting in Public
15 July, 2008, 11:27 am
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After spending upwards of 15 hours on trains this weekend, I have learnt one very important thing: spit-splicing in public looks far weirder than I had previously considered. The part-bemused, part-disgusted looks I drew on the journey to and from Penzance have made me seriously consider learning a travel-friendly joining method. Though in truth, I don’t see how someone shoving two pieces of wool into their mouth is odder than the fact that there was a baby called “Tron” in our carriage. Some people, eh?

Enough of that – have some photos.

Being sequestered in the Midlands for the best part of the year, with no hills and no sea grows rather suffocating at times, especially since I spent the first 18 years of my life surrounded by mountains and valleys. It was wonderful to just be able to walk alongside the sea every morning and evening (and saved having to blow dry my hair). We went walking along the coastal path with its steep stone steps hewn in the hills, which was just challenging enough to feel as though we’d accomplished something. I did feel mightily brave when faced with a rocky path about as wide as one of my feet, with a 40 foot drop into the sea on one side and a gigantic patch of nettles on the other, but somehow managed to run across it to try and avoid freaking out. The sea air was particularly chilly, but luckily I was wearing this:

The fiished tree jacket, whilst a bit baggy for everyday wear, works perfectly as a jumper for walking, fitting over a thinner jumper, and successfully keeping me warm.

Pattern: Tree Jacket by Zephyr Style

Needles: 5mm Knitpicks Options

Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers (4.5 balls)

Mods: I made the arms a little shorter, since I always end up pushing the arms up to my elbows anyway. Also, substituted the garter stitch yoke and arms for stockinette. Shortened the neck too. The pattern was really clear and easy to follow. Thought it was slightly too large around the armpit area though. Wasn’t too sure about it when it was blocking, but it’s very functional.

And now I have started the ubiquitous February Lady Sweater, in Noro Cash Iroha, since I was fed up of waiting for my Dream In Colour yarn to arrive from America. As anticipated, it turned up the day I went on holiday, and according to the post office slip, they had it for a week before alerting me to this fact. Sodding Royal Mail. Here’s a peek at current progress:

It’s more of a royal blue than the photo suggests. Can’t wait to finish it. Would it be so wrong to knit another one in the DIC Classy?

Knitting Machine
7 July, 2008, 7:12 pm
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A combination of an injured foot from Berlin, a cold kindly bestowed upon me by the boyfriend and the torrents of rain beating our roof meant I succeeded in completing two projects this weekend.

That’s a Tree Jacket and Cloud Bolero (now tempted by the updated Liesl). But mostly, I swore to myself I would finish two projects before I cast on for the February Lady Sweater. Yeah, everyone else has already finished. Sod it. It looks so flattering, I might knit eight.

I also received something lovely in the post today. A fabulous ring:

Its from Pookeh and I adore it. The boyfriend absolutely hates it. I fear he may flush it down the loo when I hop in the shower. But for £5.50 you can’t really go wrong, can you?

Right, best dash to watch my friend on University Challenge, else they’ll kill me.

3 July, 2008, 7:42 pm
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I came across this in Wilkinson the other day:

Yes, it’s a cat harness and lead. I snapped it on my camera phone, but everyone I showed it to refused to believe I didn’t find it in a joke shop. Any thoughts on why this would ever be a)neccessary or b) practical?

Yes, I know. I once brought knitting, and now bring cat harnesses. Be patient.

29 June, 2008, 10:09 pm
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Am I the only person to go on holiday and despise every minute? I wish I’d stayed at home.

Hot and Cold
19 June, 2008, 12:13 pm
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I’m sure I’m not the only one who remains cold in the summer:despite the moderate heat, I’m still wrapping up, and dreaming of knit socks to warm my icy feet. I’m never sure why, when I pass several men who’ve given up clothing their torso altogether on the five minute walk to the bus stop. With this in mind, I started looking at hot water bottle covers for a good friend of mine, who rents a room in a gorgeous Victorian house which, whilst beautiful, has high ceilings and single glazing which leads to chilly winters, and indeed, summers. So I whipped up a hot water bottle cover for her:

Pattern: Trebuchet Hot Water Bottle Cozy by Trampled by Geese

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, 2 Balls.

Needles: 4.5mm

Mods: I made the neck shorter, and changed the increases to YOs in order to make eyelets to thread the ribbon through. Got bored of following a pattern about one quarter of the way throught the cable pattern, so just made it up as I went along after a cursory glance at Eunny’s Bayerische sock pattern. Made a flap at the bottom, with a seed stitch border, and sewed on some twill tape and poppers like so:

This was speedy and satisfying to knit: the cables broke up the stockinette, and vice versa. If I knit it again, I’d throw in a few decreases on the flap at the bottom: the seed stitch made it a little wider than the main body, and I think a decrease or two would have tidied it up a little.

See what I mean? The Cashmerino has hardly pilled at all: there was a tiny bit of fluff around the top of the neck, but considering this was mainly a bus knit, so was constantly being dragged out of and shoved into my bag, that’s unsurprising. I’d heard all the horror stories about the yarn, and was surprised at how well it stood up. I have enough to make a jumper, so might swatch and see how that holds up for a few weeks first. I finished this before my exams properly began, and it’s just been sitting around waiting for sewing and finishing. Shameful.

Thanks for the comments on the wrist – it’s much betterm, though I occasionally feel a twinge when I’ve been knitting or typing for too long: a handy reminder not to overdo it!

16 June, 2008, 2:31 pm
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At long last, end of year exams are over. I ended with a relatively nice exam on Literary/Cultural Theory and wrote on Irigaray and Raymond Williams, but it’s still very nice to know that I have no pressing deadlines until November. In the early stages of revision I did succeed in frenetically finishing some knitting, the first to be blocked was this:

A scarf in seafoam stitch started in January, and tossed aside for months. It’s knitted in Lady Godiva (I admit, I was enticed by the name, studying in Coventry) on 5.5mm needles, and took roughly 1.5 skeins. These pictures were taken in my hideously neglected garden, left un-weeded since revision fear took hold a month ago. It’s now literally carpeted with bastard strawberry plants.

If you look closely, you’ll see i was off by a stitch or so every few rows. Of course, nobody ever looks closely when I show them my knits, except me. I obsess over every minor mistake, and this is why I’m never really satisfied with anything I finish. This scarf is going to a dear friend for their birthday, since they’ve been begging me for it since they saw me drag it out of my handbag at a student conference. I don’t think she actually believed I’d give it to her (it looks more complex than it is), so hopefully it’ll be a surprise.

I knit it to my height, 68 inches, then realised afterwards, oops, it’s not for me: it should be 72 inches. Ah well, I’m sure she won’t miss the four inches too much.

I spent the entire revision period dreaming of all that I would knit on finishing these exams, and naturally, as soon as I do finish them, my wrist literally locks and causes me unbelievable agony every time I try to move it. Off to the doctor’s I went. Who knew you could get RSI from writing? It may be a while before my next finished object…