Monthly Archives: November 2016

#fail

I’m pretty sure I’ve used this title for another post but there’s been quite a lot of this going on here today there’s no other word for it really. 

I’m still deciding on whether or not today is going to happen yet but I have a sneaking suspicion it’s not really up to me.

Firstly, I had an amazing weekend away last week, catching up with some knitterly friends. I realised when I was thinking about blogging that I completely missed the one essential blogger opportunity to show you what everyone was working on and sharing some of their amazing fibre and yarns.  So I won’t go on about except to say it cost a couple of  bed days but it was well worth it.

I’ve been knitting a Shusui Shrug for what feels like forever. There have been many mistakes and much sweary frogging but I finally got to bind off the main body last night. It has a contrasting I-cord bind off and I used some handspun merino/bamboo. It has not turned out how I expected, my handspun isn’t nearly as stretchy and floofy as the main yarns so it’s a bit stiff at the edge. I’m hoping blocking will sort this out, lots of hoping. 


I’m unhapppy with the length too but just couldn’t bare adjusting the pattern and knitting 500+ stitches per row for any longer.


So just the sleeves to do. Just, ha! In brioche, using magic loop. Yeah. 

I’ve battled on but I’m defeated right now, so the whole thing is going onto the WIP pile for  a while. I’m feeling very frustrated with the whole thing, I have that unhappy knitter thing of constantly wondering why on earth I chose such an unflattering pattern for my body shape. It looked so cool in the pattern photos but a complete disaster on me. I have to tell you that if it looked like it does on Davina (my manikin) I’d be happy but it really doesn’t and I just can’t bare to show you the photos where I’m modelling it.


I’ve even, gasp, considered frogging the whole thing. Well the yarn was super expensive and one of my friends mentioned the Boxy sweater last weekend and it would be much more my kind of thing, despite the acres and acres of stocking stitch required.

So to console myself I decided to ball up a skein of sock yarn and make some socks. I bought this gorgeous skein of merino and glitter from The Captain and Lovely and haven’t really been able to take my eyes off it. 

Hmm, until it decided to play yarn spider that is. You know, where you put it onto your swift and start winding it onto the ball winder and somehow it goes from a neat skein into a tangle of wool, glitter and dust bunnies (maybe the last part is just me). 


So here is where I’ve ended up. Consoling myself with a cuppa and a blog blurt. Thank you for being there, I know you feel my pain.

Taking time out

On the spur of the moment kinda thing I decided I wanted to make a crocheted shawl immediately. My morning view has changed from the Caithness landscape and sea to this, give or take the odd husband:


So instead of watching birds and clouds, I’m now gazing upon lots of yarn. It’s all handspun, except a couple of skeins, and I usually have no inclination to use any of it. It’s not a waste as I enjoy just, well, looking at it. 

There’s a skein of handspun that’s been looking back at me for a wee while, one I spun during the Tour de Fleece from some beautiful hand dyed yak/silk by Greenwood Fiberworks that was already balled

in its pre-balled state


Being a blend of yak and silk I suspect it will have little memory so a shawl will be the perfect use for it. So I lept up on my proverbial pattern horse, aka Ravelry, and came upon the  Virus Shawl, a free pattern. ‘Perfect!’ I exclaimed (not out loud obviously, that would indicate I am slightly odd which of course I’m not), and set to with hook and yarn in hand.

Hmm, it’s a charted pattern, ‘not a problem’ I thought. Yeah, have you tried crochet from a chart? It. Makes. No. Sense. 

I went and read other crocheters project notes, to find identification. There was none. None! What is wrong with me?! Which didn’t help, I was no further forward. Being a stubborn so and so, I googled it and came across written instructions (here) by a very helpful person who clearly anticipated my stupidness. Phew, so crocheting ensued.

After a few repeats, it’s easy to get the hang of it and being crochet it grows quickly.

This is after a day, and this is a couple of days later 


So all very satisfying. Until now. I found a mistake. A Big Mistake that needs capitals, coffee and hugs. It was obvious and a whole two repeats back. The only thing for it was to frog it and being yak, it’s quite sticky yarn so we had a big fight.

I’m pleased to say I won but it was close at times. We’re now having some space. I’m not able to bring myself to look at it yet and it may get finished next year rather than this weekend. Sigh. That is all.
Oh except to mention that there’s a wonderful movement going on in Instagram right now with the hashtag #knitterspayitforward where knitters are donating patterns, finished objects and yarn as a way of spreading love and cohesion. Go take a look, it will fill your heart with joy and hope. That really is all, thanks for reading.

New toys

It’s my favourite time of year, the nights have drawn in and it’s chilly outside, the perfect season for knitting and spinning. Only this year I’m not that much. 

In my usual tradition of being late to the party I’ve discovered Adult Colouring books. Up until now I have to admit being a little snobby about these, I mean it’s hardly creative is it? 

Well that’s where I was wrong, just take a look in Pinterest or on Instagram and you’ll find hundreds of stunning hand coloured pictures that prove me very wrong indeed.

As there are an awful lot of blogs specifically on colouring I’m not going to say very much about it other than it’s great for me as it requires very little energy, less than spinning for example, but still let’s me play with colour. I have started a pencil collection in a way very similar to my fibre collection and I have discovered some of the most beautiful printed books I have seen for a long time. As the quality of paper is important you can find them printed on thick creamy paper, bound with proper thread in hardback. I can’t remember the last time I bought a hardback book before now, it might have been the last Harry Potter!

Below is a picture from one called ‘Floribunda’ by Leila Duly and it’s gorgeous.


And yes I’m aware of all the stuff around infantilisation but who cares? Not me anyhow. Unfortunately there does appear to be a plethora of colouring books that contain images I’m not especially comfortable about, like mandalas and dream catchers. The colouring world is yet to catch up with the concept of cultural appropriation so I’m just trying to avoid that and focus on flowers and fairies.

Health wise I’ve been fairly good, for the very first time I’ve managed to create a semblance of balance in my life so have avoided the boom and bust cycle. Until today anyway, sigh. We had a couple of hours out on Monday, just for lunch and a wander around a couple of shops however the energy gods were clearly displeased by this as I’ve spent most of today asleep or just lying on the sofa, no knitting, spinning, colouring or anything really. So I just have to pay them my dues and enjoy being able to do this with no pressure to weave or do anything really. Without wanting to sound Pollyanna-ish I’m extremely blessed.