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Did you know this blog has been going for four years?!? That’s a lot of yarn, knitting, spinning and nonsense. I have been wondering whether or not to continue, I mean why on earth do I do it? Some of you lovely readers have been with me since the beginning (for which you really should be awarded some kind of endurance prize) and others might dip in and out occasionally. Altogether there are, on average, 16,000 of you a year (well not so many the first couple of years but now that seems to be my stable readership). Thank you, having just gone to find that out, I’m pretty astounded to be honest.
But back to my wondering about blogging and life and the universe in general. Well, just the former really. I started a video blog for a couple of weeks, however I have decided not to continue, for several reasons. Firstly, it’s more work over an intense period. I thought talking to camera would be easier than actual writing, energy wise, but as it happens, this is less tiring. Then there’s the exposing factor. I mean you get to see me with all my stutters, pauses and sniffs (I discovered I do that a lot!) whereas there’s a chance to edit this (I know you can edit videos but I have no idea how to and no inclination to find out). So I think the blog is the way forward for now.

Right, now we’ve sorted out that dilemma, let’s return to a little yarny chat.

I have two main wips on the needles and one finished object. Joji Locatelli released a new pattern not so long ago (have you noticed she’s one of the pattern monsters? She releases tons of them, I have no idea how she manages it) called ‘I see Spring‘, which is a plainish boxy-style sweater with just a little lace detail at the front neckline. Having some Eden Cottage Titus burning a hole in my stash I thought it would be perfect; I was right! It’s a lovely pattern with some interesting short row shaping and I’m really pleased. I know I’m pleased as I didn’t take it off for about a week after finishing it.


My only misgivings are that I made the sleeves slightly too long, although I quite like that as it makes little ‘hand hugs’, and that the Titus, probably due to the silk content, is very unforgiving. You can see every tiny inconsistency and hiding balls changes is difficult so I think in future I’m going to save it for shawl knitting. I like the boxy shape and the dropped shoulders, especially as it means you don’t have much knitting to do on the sleeves, plus the colour is very wearable. I’m a bit slow to the party as it’s only just dawning on me that I need to knit in colours I actually wear as opposed to any random pretty skein colour.

So I had my usual couple of days of moping about with finished object trauma then started this

which is on its way to being Tegna from Caitlin Hunter (aka Boylandknitworks). After the lace border, it’s a tedious hike through stocking stitch tundra but at least this one has short sleeves (there’s a tiny voice inside reminding me I hate short sleeved tops, but my other ‘this time it’ll be different’ voice is happily drowning that out).

And to see me through the boredom, I’ve started a shawl from Curious Handmade, I’ll tell you more about it next time but here’s a wee photo to keep you going.

Woo hoo

Well hey, I was going to write this post after I finished these socks (Fyberspates ‘Vivacious’ and a pattern called ‘Nutkin’, free on Ravelry


but well, you know me by now. 

And this just happened


‘This’ being the Marled Magic MKAL, a mystery knit along hosted by Westknits.

It’s so much fun, I’ve not been this excited by a project for, ooooh, at least a week. No seriously, it’s fun.

I’d originally decided against it as, from the teasers, it appears to involve large amounts of seed stitch. Meh. 

But I’ve recently been trying to address my weird purl technique; I don’t think anyone purls the same way and it’s just plain weird. I’m a continental knitter, so I hold my yarn in the left hand and I could never get the hang of using it to purl, it just doesn’t work for me so I developed this weird thing that I can’t even describe. 

Then I came across a method a while back, had a go and dismissed it as too much faffing, as it involves more movement than my adapted way. I saw a video by chance on Instagram showing the Method (as it is now known here) and it seemed the best way to manage purl where seed stitch or other patterns where you’re swapping between knit and purl stitches. Here’s the YouTube link if you’re interested, hang on, let me find it…

Link!

Anyway, the MKAL, it’s been designed so you can use up odds and ends of sock yarn as well as incorporating texture if you wish. I decided, after seeing some lovely photos by others, including Skein Queen, to use a strand of mohair with a strand of sock yarn which makes it it gorgeously floofy. Although it’s very early days, I’m really pleased with the result.


I have some news other than knitting too. If you are a regular reader then you’ll know I have ME/CFS and the last twelve months have been especially tough.

I’ve been aware of Dr Myhill’s work for a long time, since diagnosis really, but dismissed it, plus following her protocol (paleo or ketogenic diet, lots of supplements, pacing, sleep management) seemed like too much. As someone who’s life has been significantly restricted I didn’t want to restrict it further.

Desperation is a good motivator for change though and I’ve been slowly incorporating her suggestions over the last few weeks. I’m now fully keto, diet-wise, and am taking so many different supplements, most of which I have never heard of before – l carnitine, ubiquinol to name a few. While I am cautiously optimistic, I am overjoyed to have experienced progress. My energy has improved, I don’t take two hours before I can even communicate in the mornings and although I’m still all too capable of forgetting important things, my brain fog has begun to disperse. Like I said, I’m cautious; I’ve experienced improvements before, like when I did the Lightning Process training but I can’t help but feel over the moon about it. Whoot!

I strongly recommend her book about treating ME; she doesn’t promote anything not backed up by research nor anything other than an improvement in symptoms but being able to cook a little and be able to sit comfortably is such joy.

I found my fade


I’ve been putting this post off because I have no lovely, artfully arranged and lit photos to accompany it. However, my body has conspired against me and I’ve been too ill to take any except for one above which is a pre-blocked snap.

Anyway, I decided to go for it nevertheless and will attempt to use words to describe the deliciousness that is my ‘Find Your Fade‘ shawl, an achingly hot right now pattern on Ravelry.

I think knitters love it so much because it uses seven+ skeins of hand dyed sock yarn that encourage you to play with colour and use your individuality to create your very own version. The pattern is essentially very simple; an elongated triangle shaped shawl with sections of garter and easy (think k2tog and yo repeated) lace. The fun bit comes with the ‘colour melting’ where you blend one skein with the next to fade from one colour another. It works with solid, semi-solid and speckled yarn equally well as well as a blend of all three. 

I chose some gorgeous yarn from Skein Queen and used my first single ply yarn (I know, right?). I’ve avoided it as I was worried it wouldn’t hold up but actually it’s perfect for a shawl. 


There’s also a skein from Clover Cottage Yarns, a smooshy yellow and grey, and I ended up swapping the one on the far left for one from Burrow and Soar as I fancied a variegated yarn instead of the original semi-solid. 

I’m over the moon with it, it’s huge. Like 3m long huge and perfect for winding around my neck to keep me snuggly in bed.

Which is good as I’m spending quite a lot of time there right now. I’m not great symptom-wise right now and have had periods where Mr Weaving Heart has had to cut up my food and stuff. Not great but it will pass and having a fabulous new shawl makes everything better.

I’m on a shawl splurge and have immediately cast on another one, this time the glorious Eyeball Shawl from Stephen West. Now I’ve been a little reluctant to leap into his patterns as neons aren’t really my thing but they are ingenious and I’m now a convert to speckled yarn, if not the eye aching colours associated with his creations.


It’s a super clever construction and apart from the central puckering which, ahem, reminds me of something I’d rather not say here, is going very well.

Anyway, that’s enough for now and I’ll show off some proper pics of my FYF shawl very soon…

One year of hexipuffs 

I have made a decision. And a commitment. It’s that serious. 

Well in actual fact it’s really not but I just didn’t know how else to start this post. I discovered the wonderful Beekeeper’s Quilt a while ago; it’s a knitted blanket made from lots of tiny stuffed hexagons called hexipuffs and offers a great opportunity to use up all those odds and ends of sock yarn. 

I even got as a far as purchasing the pattern. However, this was during my sock hiatus, and after reading through the pattern, which involves DPNs and knitting in the round with tiny things, I decided I had neither the time nor patience for it.

About a month ago, I rediscovered the joy of sock knitting (I was inspired by a couple of friends and the gorgeous opportunities offered by speckled yarn) and have been acquiring a small pile of left over yarn.

(Quick update as I really should have blogged about these earlier but here are my recent socks:

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In the way that several little incidences collide and create a new incidence, I also had a bad day. I’m very fortunate as I don’t have these very often and I also have a great DH who is great at listening but on this particular one I felt very pointless due to be unable to work or do anything much other than sit or lie about. Then I came across this blog post, 1 Year of Stitches, that made me realise that I can manage little things each day that add up into something that is greater than the sum of it’s parts. I loved the idea of the embroidery especially as my Nan was an amazing embroiderer, but sewing really isn’t my thing which is when I remembered the Beekeeper’s Quilt.

It presents the ideal way for me to make one little hexipuff (although I’m determined to call them hufflepuffs) each day with the aim of having 365 of the critters by next Christmas.

They’re charming little things, so cute and it’s wonderful to revisit old yarns that I’d forgotten. I found a stash of yarn, leftover from socks, that I’d kept with no idea whether or not it would ever be used that’s just perfect.


I have been posting each day’s creation on Instagram, more as a way of keeping a record for myself, but if you’d like to give me a few ❤’s along the way that would be lovely.

Closing one door and peeking through another

The response I had from the last post has been wonderfully overwhelming, you are so supportive and encouraging – thank you all very much. It was most unexpected and humbling.
I am looking forward to my last full week at work (wow! That was awfully quick) and have started to say goodbye to some of my clients. I will miss working with people in this way, it has been a real joy to witness lives transform and I am always in awe of the courage that some folks possess.
Having said that, it is the end of a challenging week and a good reminder of why I am leaving. I am tired of being paid to be nice to people I don’t like and enacting policies I don’t agree with, which how an old colleague of mine described it once.
The weaving shed is making progress; after Mr Weaving Heart worked very hard at digging a hole and then filling said hole, albeit with something different, the concrete went down. I was so excited about this, who knew a bit of concrete could be so happy-dance-inspiring (I confess there was more than one of these!).
I think it’s because it made it more real, plus there is the practical side of getting that part finished before the weather changes.

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I’ve started to wind a warp for a semi-custom, it feels like quite a while since I wove a straight forward baby wrap and I’m really enjoying it (happily, as I will be doing a whole lot more of this hopefully!!).

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I’ve also been spinning quite a lot. I’ve discovered I really enjoy spinning hand carded batts (two great shops to have look at on Etsy are Oliver Twist and Yummy Yarns). I’ve bought some with lots of sparkle and it feels like playing. The fibre is usually mixed with bits of slubby silk waste, hand dyed wool with something like tencel thrown in for good measure and is difficult to spin in a truly smooth way, but this isn’t the point really, it’s about spinning a completely unique yarn and perfect for some Saori weaving.
I’m in the middle of plying a freebie batt from Oliver Twist and am itching to weave it up now but don’t have a free loom.

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It would be perfect for the Rigid Heddle but I’ve had a project on there from before the grand children came to stay, a pooled warp which I’m just not feeling and because it’s been on there for so long, the weft threads have distorted and it looks very uninspiring. I’m tempted to cut it off but the dilemma is that the warp is some rather lovely hand dyed sock yarn and it would be such a waste. I’m sure I could do something with it…hmmm?

It’s been a while…

There has been rather a lot of water (rain especially) under the bridge since last we met. I have been on quite a journey in several senses of the word.
Firstly let’s just catch up with my last finished project which is the scarf I showed you on the loom. It is all done and dusted (well not really the latter) and I am vaguely pleased with it. I think the lesson has been that, as with knitting, to follow my inner weaver and pay no heed to stash reduction. It never works. Well, depending on how you define that; I see all yarny adventures as joyful meanderings and that means I need to knit/crochet/weave what I want to, not what I feel I should just because the yarn is sitting on my shelf looking down at me in an accusatory manner saying ‘I’ve been here a while, you ought to use me, you’re a bad owner if you don’t use me NOW, especially before you knit/crochet/weave that project that whispers to your fingers, Heaven forbid you enjoy knitting/crocheting/weaving’ etc etc, I think you get the drift.
Anyway, I digress, this project was definitely a guilt soother. I didn’t really want to weave it, in fact what I really wanted to weave was some more tea towels but the voice telling me to use up some yarn won over.

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I’ve also realised I’m not that keen on overshot as it’s too fussy and ornate for me. I like clean simple lines and this is most definitely not that.
Moving on, we have been to London this week which is a very long way from Caithness both in distance but also in atmosphere. Where Caithness is quiet and laid back, London is fast and noisy; where Caithness is clean and open, in London I don’t think I would know which season it is apart from the difference in temperature; where…you get the drift.
As some readers may already know, I have M.E. The general consensus about M.E. tends towards learning to live within your limits by using pacing and resting appropriately. There are no treatments as such; the NICE guidelines suggest CBT (a talking therapy) and, controversially, something called Graded Exercise Therapy which, in my opinion, recommends the one thing that people with M.E don’t need to do. There are also various treatments or strategies that some people who have recovered from M.E. recommend such as a paleo diet, Mickel Therapy or supplements. Another of these is the Lightning Process, for various reasons I decided this was the one I was going to try.
It’s early days but so far I’m feeling fantastic. We explored lots of London which included a trip to Loop in Islington. Look at all of this wonderful wool!

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Some of it leapt into my bag…leapt I tell you…including this rather fabulous Crazy Zauberball

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As well as some Misti Alpaca sock and some Wollemeise sock yarn, seeing that it is the year of the hand knitted sock in my world. All lovely lovely stuff, I had a very happy time.

Weaving woolly wonderfulness

There has been lots of weaving afoot since we last spoke. Some of you on twitter (and even in real life, heavens!) will have already seen said projects but I’m so pleased that I want to share them here too.
I came across some stunning scarves a newby weaver had made, on Ravelry. The draft was designed by a woman selling them via her Esty shop (link here) and as I’m also a newby weaver I thought it would be good to work through a weaving pattern with someone holding my hand, so to speak. The pattern, called Maltese Cross, uses bamboo yarn for the warp and tabby weft, and Mini Mochi sock yarn for the pattern weft. The sock yarn is self-striping which makes the fabric look shimmery and the bamboo, which I’ve not worked with before, is incredibly soft.
As with my previous attempt at overshot, I still need to learn to beat harder, but overall I’m very happy.

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My rigid heddle loom arrived too! It’s a 16″ Ashford – in the UK we are fairly limited in respect to loom manufacturers. I managed to put it together all by myself, although Mr Knittingkitten would have been horrified if he’d seen how I actually did it (much swearing and hammering was involved).

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It’s perfect for propping on my knees and the coffee table in front of the TV so now I can weave all the time!.
We will draw a veil over the first time I warped it where I managed to put it on the wrong way around…
It took ages to work out how to get the warp yarn’s colours to ‘pool’, something I was aiming for so as to weave some faux ikat (see previous post, sorry, I can remember which one) and because I’d had to wind the warp from the front beam onto the back one, the tension was shocking. However, the completed scarf looks ok. The warp is my hand dyed Aran weight yarn (in Highland Hillside) and the weft is some undyed shetland 3ply.

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