Monday, December 07, 2009

Busy-busy-busy as a bee

stripes close up

This jumper took me just under four months to make. Seeing as I'm used to chugging one out in a matter of weeks, this seemed like an age. Cycling-to-work really has cut down my knitting time. Also, it was 4ply, on 2.5mms (2mm for the ribbing), so I guess it was always going to take a while.

It's a product of my stash (which itself is best understood as a product of John Lewis sales). I had a bag of not-quite-a-jumper-worth of yellow 4ply tweed, as well as few balls of brown 4ply left over from this top. Put them together and you get a sweater which stripes pleasingly like a bee. Despite the tiny gauge, it was a very simple project - a basic top-down raglan, done seamlessly in the round. As you can see from the third photos in this post, I didn't bother with any jog-less join (I can do a jog-less join, it just seemed like too much effort).

The stripes are perhaps a little too short, and I definitely made the neck too high/ small - makes me feel slightly as if I'm wearing an optical illusion. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. I really like the triangle shapes it makes around the armpits. Plus, small vertical stripes can be surprisingly flattering. Details on ravelry.

right side bee

It's a Monday, which is always busy for me, but today I've been busier than usual. My MSc students have an essay due (cue: last minute queries about citations, phonecalls asking for extensions...), plus the undergrads have an essay back and I'm running an event this evening which has suddenly become really popular.

But, I've made time for a lunch break when I can make up a pot of tea, switch off work email and write up this post. It's important to take a moment to pause amongst all our business, sit and think about something other than our everyday routine. Today more than ever, perhaps (I mean the Copenhagen conference, if you don't want to bother following the link).

On that ecological note, and considering the bee-like stripes of this jumper, I should probably make some reference to the plight of the honeybee. Bee colonies are collapsing across the world. This is serious. According to this book, bees pollinate 70% of our food. To repeat one of those lines credited to Albert Einstein, if bees disappeared: "No more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man." Scary stuff. If you're interested there's a nice gallery of photos on the subject from the Guardian here and a nice blogpost from BBC's Newsnight here.

wrong side bee

Right, busy-busy-busy. I'm off to give a lecture on the cultural legacy of mad cow disease. Then it's the exciting seminar this evening - Mike Hulme, Professor for Climate Change at the University of East Anglia (the place with *that* scandal about the emails...). He's written some provocative pieces in the last week (e.g. this, see also interesting discussion here). Our audience will be a mix of science media people and climate scientists. Should be interesting.

face on bee

15 comments:

Julie said...

So cute!! The raglan shaping in the stripes does make for some very nice lines, and I don't blame you for having a stash built on John Lewis- whenever I'm in the UK, I'm hopeless in there. I buy yarn with no project in mind, and then scramble to figure out what to do with it. I love the deep ribbing on the hem, it's very flattering!!

Andrea said...

I love your sweater! It's just perfect, you should be proud :)

Katie said...

That is rather lovely!

Knit - R - Done said...

That is heartbreakingly cute. You should be so proud!

weeseaweed said...

loved this post! and how apt to tie the bee-stripe jumper into CCD and climate change. very zeitgeist, too.

i would love to be at tonight's talk, but i'm just going to have to blog about the wave instead...

jane said...

Great jumper! It fits you perfectly and I don't listen to anybody who says that stripes are unflattering, I wear them all the time and they make me happy!
I really like bees - I had a very interesting chat about the rapidly disappearing bees with a bee keeper at one of the Slow Food Markets at the Southbank centre. Amongst other things I discovered that there is actually a hive on top of the Royal Festival Hall! It produces very little honey though (just because there aren't many bees), but I thought it was rather fun nonetheless.
Both lecture and seminar sound very interesting - hope it all went well!

alittlebitofscrap said...

I love the long ribbing at the cuffs and the hem. Very pretty :)

Erin said...

Ah! I love it! Love the color and the fit and the stripes and the underarms (is that weird?) Seriously...LOVE.

Susan Flockhart said...

Hooray, it's fab. I really like the wide bands of yellow on the cuffs and ribbing.

BreeAsInTheTown said...

I love this! I think I may have to copy this!

The A.D.D. Knitter said...

So flattering on you, Alice. Yes, I am quite upset over the plight of the bee & wish we knew more about it.

katieea said...

What a gorgeous colour combination, and I love the skinny look! As an enthusiastic knitter myself I wondered if any of your blog followers might be interested in a workshop coming up in May of next year in ravishing S W France with Claire Montgomerie. Take a look at www.lessoeursanglaises.com and follow textile workshops.

ponyknit said...

Beautiful! Love it! I bet the seminar was great, I wish I could have gone!

stringsofpurls said...

Very pretty sweater!

Daisy said...

Looks fantastic. I love the raglan shaping with the stripes.