Friday, June 29, 2007


I'm going to Woolfest. I fully intend to buy everything. If you see a drunk badger wandering round Cumbria, then it will be me. Feel free to say hello, I promise not to bite and give you TB.

And to those who asked, yes I was hit by the floods, and no, no permanent or particuarly nasty damage was done. The fleece in the cellar is definitely deaded, but the spinning wheel and all the yarn live upstairs, so all the important things are ok.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A finished sidewinder

I finished my sidewinder!

I love the yarn. Despite my usual abhorrence of yellow, I actually like this sock. The toe looks a tad wonky in the above photo (and is in real life, actually), but that's nothing to do with the pattern, just me.

This is the sock showing off it's vertical stripe goodness.

And this is me putting the sock on and it getting stuck.

Arse. I want to make it clear that I did get gauge, I did measure my foot, I did check Nona's size chart. What I didn't do was count on my abnormally high insteps causing this problem. The toe fits perfectly (and it just looks a bit wonky because when I realised it didn't fit I just whipstitched it closed, rather than grafting it properly), and a bit of measuring of the finished sock and measuring of me reveal that it is perfectly sized for absolutely every part of my foot, and leg apart from the damned instep.

The good thing is that I genuinely enjoyed knitting the pattern, and I now I know how the whole thing fits together I shall definitely knit it again and make the necessary modifications for my freak feet. Whether I cast on right now for the new sidewinder or wait a few weeks/ months/ years is still to be decided, but there will be sidewinders in my future.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Things I have learnt today

  1. When you are driving in the fast lane at 30mph at 8:30 in the morning and refuse to get out of my way, I will overtake on the inside. Flashing your lights at me and shaking your head does not make me feel remorse, only greater rage.
  2. Pork pie is the food of Jebus. Pork, jelly and pastry all combined in one easy to eat package. Mmmmmm.
  3. The sidewinder toe looks weird. Really, really freakishly weird. Still, I have faith. For now at least.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The socks and the goodies

First up, the progress shot of the sidewinder socks. The yarn is Hundertwasser in yellows - a most unusual colour for me, but I thought as it was just for socks I'd try and introduce the tiniest bit of yellow into my life.

So far everything seems to be going well with the socks, I just haven't had too much time to knit on them, hence the piddlingly little bit of sock you see there.

Now for the goodies! A few days ago, Clarabelle posted about why many young people don't want to knit. She invited comments on it, and so I weighed in with my thoughts. Apparently she liked what my brain churned out and so she sent me something yummy. Check this out!

This is two balls of Angel Yarns sock yarn, in chocolate plum. This is a very unusual colour with a lot of depth to it, and as soon as I saw it I immediately thought of socks for my Dad. He's a very fussy fella, but I just knew that this would be a perfect yarn for Dad socks. I'm thinking I'll probably go for a pattern with a fair bit of stretch to it, maybe some kind of waffle stitch. It's hard to tell from my crappy photography, but the yarn has flecks of purple in it, making it look almost tweedy and giving it real depth of colour.

And this is 3 skeins of kid mohair from the Natural Dye Studio, in the most beautiful dusky lavender shade. It's more like Colinette's Parisienne than Rowan's KSH (which is a good thing in my opinion), and I have a total of 600 yards. I have not the slightest clue what to make with this yet, so all suggestions welcome.

Clarabelle, thankyou so much - this was an amazingly generous thing to do, and you've really made my week :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Falling in love

Sometimes you can fall in love in an instant - the moment your eyes meet you just know that this is the man (or woman or badger or hoob or whatever floats your boat) that you will love and cherish for the rest of your life. Sometimes the love isn't there straight away and it grows slowly over time until it blossoms into full adoration. When I first saw Nona's sidewinders I felt nubbin. I admit there was appreciation for her skill in creating such a pattern, but the socks themselves barely scored a flicker on the badger loveometer. Now though, the adoration has begun. It was initially just a bit of admiration, but the more I see the socks the more I feel myself wanting to surrender to them. I can fight the passion no more, and the swatching will begin tonight. Sidewinders, I think I love you.

Monday, June 11, 2007


This post will most likely interest very few people and may confuse some. If that's the case, I apologise, the normal shit will be here tomorrow. This, however, is something that needs saying.

There are many knitters out there in the internet community, and it is inevitable that not everyone will get on. It is also inevitable that there will be squabbles, petty little arguments and differences of opinions. All this is the way of the world and I'm sure we all accept it as such. What is not acceptable is that an individual is jumped on for expressing their opinion. It is not acceptable to call people disgraceful and offensive names behind their backs where they will never see it. It is not acceptable to publicly try and humiliate others. It is not acceptable to threaten others and attempt to intimidate them.

I sincerely hope that nobody reading this has the least clue what I am talking about. If you do understand because you have suffered this type of attack recently then you have my support and my sympathy. If you know that this is the kind of behaviour that you have been engaging in then I hope you take a long hard look at yourself and seriously debate why you bother to engage with the knitting community if that is how you wish to treat others within it.

This is my blog and I will always state my honest opinions on it. These will never be personal unsubstantiated attacks and all readers are welcome to leave comments, no matter if they disagree with me. I will not, however, be cowed into only posting nicey nicey crap as I do believe that it is important to be able to post freely and without fear of the knitting mafia.

Rant over.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The full spec

Full apologies for not blogging properly about the wheel and for leaving it so long between posts, but I have been playing with it most nights and have been a bit busy with other stuff too. The wheel is a Kromski Sonata, bought from Wingham Woolwork. The service from Wingham was fantastic, and they couldn't have been more helpful. The wheel had actually just been returned by another customer who had complained that it was 'very damaged'. Turned out that the only damage was a slight nick out of one of the treadles which didn't concern me. Because of this I got 10% off the price, which made me an even happier badger.

I spent last Sunday night having a play with the wheel, and I spun up around 100g of Jacobs wool and then made a vague attempt at plying. I wasn't attempting to produce any actual yarn, merely trying to get to understand exactly how the wheel worked. I was quite surprised to find that I'd actually produced something that looked vaguely like yarn.

Most surprising was that it turned out balanced - a spinner, Caroline, from my knitting group was very kind about it and declared it very good for a first go, so I'm quite chuffed.

Now, Monica is a not so happy experience. The alarm bells were making a little jangling noise when I first glanced at the pattern, but I ignored them. Foolish badger. If you read the pattern you'll see that the edging is just 3 rows of garter stitch. That's never enough to really stop stocking stitch from rolling, and despite knowing this I still only did 3 rows. The frill as well isn't that well designed either, it's far too bulky under the arms and, like the bottom of the tank, it only has 3 rows of garter stitch to prevent rolling. I'm also unhappy with the rigidity of the top, caused by knitting cotton at a fairly dense gauge. Needless to say, this one's going to be frogged.

And in other news, the Pie Princess has finally evacuated the baby pie from her oven, so I'm frantically knitting as much baby stuff as I can before I go over to see them on Thursday :)