Inky Goings On.

Messy Tuesday
12 August, 2008, 8:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

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
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.

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.

“Don’t Put This On Your Blog”
11 April, 2008, 12:10 pm
Filed under: Le Slouch | Tags: , ,

The first thing out of his mouth when I popped my completed Le Slouch onto his head and took a snap.

Pattern:Le Slouch from Knit and Tonic

Materials: 5mm 16″ Circs and 6mm Knit Picks Options

Materials: 2.5 balls of Mirasol Sulka in Shade 203

This yarn is utterly gorgeous, but shed tremendously before washing, and was really loosely plied. It’s knit at  slightly tighter gauge than the yarn recommends, but this made the fabric firm enough for the pattern, and minimises continuing shedding. Plus, the silk content makes the hat shimmer in the rare Midlands sunshine.

The pattern was well written, easy to follow and so so quick: I finished this on a slow Sunday, but it still wasn’t dry when I came back from a conference on Thursday. Best not drop this in any puddles, then.

Just in time for warmer weather, I’m knitting a wool jumper.

Soon, amorphous blob of wool, you shall be finished and slung into the wardrobe until the weather gets a bit more British.

And a month later…
25 February, 2008, 5:37 pm
Filed under: Droplet Hat, Garter Stitch Scarf | Tags: , ,

I have some FOs!

When I bought my boyfriend a few books and DVDs from Amazon a while back I sneakily added Norah Gaughaun’s “Knitting Nature” to the basket to score free delivery. I absolutely love this book, and it’s good to see through Ravelry that jumpers that look huge in the book are somewhat fitted when placed on normal sized people. So I set to on the Droplet Hat:

Scruffy garden, and a rare shaft of sunlight. A closer look:

The yarn’s Malabrigo Worsted in Sealing Wax, which worked really well in the pattern, and is incredibly soft and warm.

After the Great Scarf-Making gift commission of Christmas I realised I didn’t actually have a scarf for myself, due to losing my Kureyon Striped one. I also didn’t want to spend too much time making one, but knew standing at bus stops with a cold neck wasn’t doing much for my mood. Luckily, I’d participated in a Malabrigo swap, and was sent two skeins of Chunky wool in Intenso, a red shot through with pinks and purples. It knitted up speedily, and once blocked was really long, but sufficiently wide.

Hopefully the neighbours didn’t see me weaving this into their fir in order to get a photo. Next time, my first sock.

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.

Fibre Friday
16 November, 2007, 1:49 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

After successfully defeating the incredible urge to head off to Leamington to buy some Rowan Felted Tweed to make either Blustery or Wool Cotton to make Matilda Jane, I arrived home to find a parcel from GetKnitted on my doormat, with four skeins of Malabrigo Lace in Verde Adriana inside. Yum!

The closest approximation to the colour I could manage, along with the obligatory sweets they send. Originally, I’d ordered some Malabrigo Worsted in Damask Rose, after being inspired by ssailorssBriar Rose, but they’ve had some sourcing problems, so on a whim, I chose this. Now, naturally I have no idea what to do with it. Perhaps a stole for Christmas parties?

Elijah is coming along well, and is so enjoyable to knit: Ysolda’s pattern just walks you through it: it’s fantastically written and constructed. When I’m not tussling with DPNs, I’m knitting the Drops jacket for NaKniSweMo, though whether that will be finished in time is yet to be seen. So far, I’ve only done the back.