Monthly Archives: October 2009

Colin the camel

For a bit of variety in the toy knitting stakes I decided to have a go at knitting a camel. This is out of my own head and I’m not sure whether it has been entirely successful. It does look a bit like a dinosaur minus tail. I have been dragging him around and doing an informal poll entitled “What animal is this?”, and so far the results have been recognition as a camel (if not a very good one), and only Sarah said dinosaur.


I quite like him anyway, although I don’t think I will be repeating the experiment. He is interesting but not very cute (never mind, it happens to the best of us).

Sock Innovation

A couple of weeks ago I bought Sock Innovation: Knitting Techniques and Patterns for One-of-a Kind Socks by Cookie A and have just finished reading it.

The book is split into two parts, the first containing information on different cuff, toe and heel options, how to convert stitch patterns from stitch dictionaries so that they can be worked in the round, and how to adapt and place them to make successful socks. The second contains a selection of sock patterns.

I really like the way Cookie’s brain works. I find her explanations sensible and logical and I like her approach to design: a combination of form and function. I have already ear-marked a few of the sock patterns for knitting soon, and will definitely be using the first part of the book even more.

Opal elephant

It seems that loads of my friends are starting families at the moment so I am knitting away like a mad thing on little goodies for the new arrivals.

This elephant is from Ysolda’s Elijah pattern.


I used Opal 6ply yarn and 3mm needles. I really like the way he has come out, very cute. He has already gone to Melissa and Dave, the parents-to-be. The actual recepient is due to make his/her arrival at the end of October.

IKnit Weekender

Friday 11th and Saturday 12th September were the dates for this years IKnit show in London. This is the first time it has been spread across two days, and I went on both.

On Friday morning I went to the Twined Knitting class held by the Dutch Knitters, Carla and Hilly. They were fabulous and I had a great time. Here we all are working hard:


They also very kindly brought lots of samples of several different examples of twined knitting, here are just a few of them:


A really interesting technique and one I am looking forward to exploring more.

During the workshop we were working on a pattern for a little pouch, which cleverly incorporated the major techniques of twined knitting. I finished mine on the train on Saturday morning so was able to show them how it had come out.


My cast on was a bit tight, but I think I have got the idea now. This is just the right size for my iPod too, which is very convenient 🙂

On Saturday lunch time I went to a talk by the always excellent Joyce Meader on military knitting from the Crimea to the present day. She was hilarious and informative as always, and brought an incredible amount of stuff with her for us to look at. The only thing which I thought was a shame with this talk was that as the timing clashed with both the morning workshops and the afternoon ones so there weren’t that many people who came to hear it.

As seems to be inevitable with these events I didn’t escape without a few purchases. First, a lovely skein of Fyberspates Sheila’s sock in colour Jewels, 100% superwash merino, 100g, 365m.


Next some laceweight in the brightest green you have ever met. This is Tosh Lace from Madeline Tosh, colour Seaglass, 868m per skein (I bought 2), 100% superwash merino.


Then two balls of Crystal Palace Mini Mochi, 80% merino, 20% nylon, in colour 108 from Gill at the Woolly Workshop. This is very soft.


And the last yarn I bought was a ball of crazy zauberball by Schoppel Wolle in Tropical Fish (I do think the German frische Fische sounds better) from Bev at Knitting4Fun.


I did buy some fibre too from John Arbon. This bag contains, 400g of 100% white fine alpaca, 22 – 26 micron, 400g of 100% champagne fine alpaca, 22 – 26 micron, 400g of a blend of 70% champagne alpaca, and 30% white merino, 22 – 26 micron, and finally a little paper bag with 100g of undyed tussah silk top.


And lastly I bought a fun card from Tilly Flop. I’m not going to put a picture up because I am thinking of giving it to Mummy for her next birthday and she does read the blog from time to time.

There were a good range of stands, and nice wide aisles between them. From a customer perspective it was very nice that it wasn’t as busy as some of the bigger shows, since it meant you could easily get in and see all the lovely things to buy, without having to elbow a couple of dozen people out of the way first. There seemed to be better seating than last year so I could actually sit down to eat my lunch this time which was nice.

Although all the stuff is of course very nice, the best bit of the two days was the people. It was lovely to meet up with so many knitting people, both those I already knew and people who were new to me. I had a wonderful time and am looking forward to next year! I had better get knitting with some of the stuff!

Lana Grossa socks

I am on a bit of a roll with actually finishing things which have been on the needles for yonks. I started these socks back in February so I would have something on double pointed needles to take to Unravel in case anyone wanted to see the technique demonstrated. As it was there were several people there demonstrating double pointed needles so instead I worked on my Kool Aid socks which were on one long circular.


The yarn is Lana Grossa Meilenweit 100 Colortweed and the colour is 1004 (a very nice number, although I do find colour names easier to remember than colour numbers), and I used 2.5mm needles. The pattern is my usual one, this time with garter stitch short row heels.


Handspun leaves waistcoat

One of my contributions to the Show and Tell at this years patchwork knitting workshop was the start of this waistcoat.


The grand plan is to make something using some of my first few bits of spinning. To give it a moderately coherent look I am going to stick to natural shades of brown and black, and some reds which I have dyed.

The modules are reversible ribbed leaf shapes which I first saw at a workshop with Horst Schulz three or four years ago. I don’t think it is in any of his books, and the notes I have taken are a bit on the sketchy side! The safety pin stuck in the brown alpaca leaf is to remind me which is the right side. Although the pattern is reversible, I wanted to be consistent with always starting a new leaf on the same side, and it was getting a bit time consuming to have to work it out each time. The waistcoat has actually looked the same since the workshop while I spin a bit more yarn to add to it. I thought I had loads of yarn when I started, but once I collected it together it wasn’t quite as much, or as much variety as I had first thought! I have just finished some black shetland and some dark brown alpaca which will go into it too. I am trying to make it a random collection of colours, not in any particular pattern, but I’m not terribly good at random.

Luckily this pattern is quite forgiving of my rather inconsistent handspun, some of them are quite a bit thicker than others, and the brown alpaca with the safety pin is very dense! I am going to try and spread out my earlier yarns among my later ones so the finished article isn’t too lopsided.

Kool Aid socks

I think these could qualify for the most-knitted-socks prize. I have been knitting them for about a year, and I think I knitted the first one four times in all, mostly due to my stupidity. The first time they were looking ok but I thought the fabric a little floppy so I thought I would try smaller needles. I went down two needle sizes and the second incarnation was like an inflexible little board. I then started off again for the third version with the needle size between that used for the first and second version, it was all going well until I realised part way down the leg that I had totally mis-counted the number of stitches to cast on – no wonder they looked big! The fourth version was (luckily) the last, although there were a few moments of un-knitting while I worked on the toes.

The yarn is superwash Bluefaced leicester 4ply weight, from, dyed with Kool Aid, and the needles I ended up using were 2.25mm.

I experimented with a few different things on these socks (one of the reasons they took a while). I started off with a version of the tubular cast on, adapted for use with a different number of knit to purl stitches, since I like to work a k3, p2 rib on the cuff of my socks.


I am really pleased with how this has come out and will definitely be using it again.

I tried out the Sherman heel, this uses a slightly different way of working the short rows. The heel unfortunately doesn’t fit my foot model very well but this does fit my feet ok.


This came out ok, but wasn’t as neat as I was hoping. I really like the garter stitch short row heel but haven’t yet found a stocking stitch version which I like quite as much.

I also had a go at making left and right foot socks.


The jury is still out on whether this is worth the effort. My feet are quite asymmetrical and the left and right foot socks certainly feel comfy so far. I shall wear them a few more times and then pass judgement!