Friday, April 25, 2008


demi side

I've taken ages to post about this. I finished in March. It's been hard to find a time when me, a charged camera battery, a photographer and light have all be in the same place, but it's also because I haven't entirely decided whether to give it a thumbs up or down.

Its Demi, from Rowan Vintage Style made in Cash Iroha bought half-price in the John Lewis sale. All details in the ravelry page. I'd been wanting to make demi for years. Faced with a sweater's worth of aran weight yarn after the sale, I was desperate to demi-it.

I checked through ravelry for other FOs in the yarn, and again and again the same line came up "Oh, Cash Iroha, how you do grow!" I knew demi shouldn't be loose, so I asked around and was told it didn't grow that much. And I was good. Not only did I swatch properly, but I washed and seriously blocked it before taking stitch and row measurements. I went down several needle sizes and it all seemed to be on track. But, you can guess. It grew.

demi sleeve

The pattern does work as a baggy jumper. The side-shaping and twisted rib keep the looseness of the yarn in check, meaning its still reasonably comfortable and (relatively) flattering. Most people seem to use the hourglass sweater patten with Cash Iroha for the same reason. Still, it's not the image I had of the pattern in my mind. Demi is a tight, fitted and nipped in smart garment, not a big softy-sack. And you have to remember that I've had that image in my head for years.

In conclusion, it's a thumbs up of an FO. But my craving for a demi is not sated. Next autumn I'll make another one in a more conventional yarn. It'll be re-gauged to dk, and as a top-down raglan. Because life's too short for all those back-to-front purls on the WS of the twisted rib, and I think the shoulder button detail will look cute on the raglan angle.

demi done

In the meantime, I'm looking for a stitch pattern with virtually no stretch. Any ideas?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

in need of warmth

Even though it's been bright sunshine all week, the weather still feels like this:

snowy library

(taken weekend before last, when it did actually snow). I seem to feel constantly chilled. And not in the metaphorical, relaxed, way either. It seems plain wrong when it's so sunny, but there is a cruel wind, and it's early enough in the year to still want a bit of cloud cover. I don't think sitting with college's over enthusiastic air-con's all day is exactly helping.

So, in amongst the shivers and sneezes, I've been comforting myself with this:

turkish delight

It'll be socks. It was going to be lovemeknots. Then it was going to be plain stripes. But now it appears to be slipped-stitch colourwork. A proper post will happen at some point when I've thawed enough to think of anything creative. Until then, brrrrr.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Magknits patterns

As some of you might know, Magknits has been taken off-line. Including my Bakerloo and Rosalind patterns. I will try to put them up soon (at least as ravelry downloads), but I am very busy at the moment. I have a day off on Sunday, but its my birthday, so I was planning on doing other things.

So please bear with me. I'm doing this for free. I had no notice of this - the first I heard of it was a blog comment this morning. At which point I checked out the threads on ravelry and well, let's not get pulled into that particular mess. Magknits is gone, we're all sorting replacements, some have time to do it quicker than others. End.

If you want Bakerloo, there's a similar pattern here. If you want Rosalind, the chart's written out in knitting language here. You can cross-reference that with a standard illusion knit pattern (use a search engine). You can still get the patterns, without images, through google's cache or the wayback machine. If you have some kind of crazy knitting emergency where you need the pattern now, email me (address in the knitty patterns) and I'll see what I can do.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

domestic saturday

As a balance to the last two messy tuesdays posts, here is one based on a day of domesticity. Though I dare say you can spot some mess at the back of a few of the shots. The day started with a shower, a bit of a tidy of the kitchen and a check of, followed by a lengthy deconstruction of pantomime cross-dressing over brunch at a local cafe with Marcus. He pottered off to the football, and I picked up some groceries on the way home. I only went in for bread flour, but there was a special offer on frozen raspberries.

making jam

So now we have 9 jars of jam. I do like raspberry jam. While doing the washing up, I found an Agatha Christie on the BBC7 iplayer. I not only know whodunit, but could virtually recite the script verbatim, but Miss Marple is one of my favourite guilty pleasures. This one even starts with a knitting; a dropped stitch and skein of blue wool to be exact. So, during the rest of the radio play there was a bit of knitting from me. Socks, using 'magic-magic loop' of two-on-one-needle, I'm making the pattern up as I go.

socks wip

Then some baking. Kirsty and I, in a moment of whimsy earlier in the week resolved to make a cake in celebration of the return of Dr Who, challenging ourselves to include ingredients starting with the letters d, r, w, h and o. So, a carrot cake with dates, raisins, wholemeal flour, honey and the juice of an orange. We baked it in a loaf tin and covered it in blue icing, full results here. We made up a couple of mini-muffins with the leftover mix, TARDIS door-knobs?

leftover cakes

After that little excursion into geekery (unusual for either of us), we completed the day in relative elegance with some pre-dinner cocktails. Because one should always keep a bottle of cava and some cassies on hand. Take that Nigella.

Tomorrow, I work. Marking exams.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Ravelry didn't kill the knitblog. If anything, it's inspired more people to set them up. I do think, however, there's been a dearth of work in progress posts since the advent of ravelry. If you know your current new cast-on will make it through friend's activity pages, why blog-up their blogroll too? But there is a place for moments taken to sum up works on the needles; time out to consider the process. It being a messy tuesday I thought I spend some time, on my blog, pausing to consider a few incompletes in my life.

stole twist

Above is a stole I've just started. Muir, to be precise, and in the yarn the pattern calls for, artfibers Tsuki. It's so rare I ever follow yarn specifications, it came as a bit of a surprise to me to realise I'd inadvertently done what I was told. I think it's going to bit a WIP for a while. I have to look at it when I knit, so not great for knit groups, knitting while chatting at home, or knitting in front of the television. It is small, and I had planned it for bus-knitting, but the yarn's so slippery it's hard to knit on a moving vehicle.

Next, is my Demi, in Cash Iroha bought in the John Lewis post-Christmas sale. It's knitted. It's even seamed, and this shot was taken while it was drying after having been washed and blocked. It is however, still without buttons. I had just over a ball left over of the yarn, so I've cast on for a beret. Neither this, or the jumper itself is especially seasonal. I started this back in January, thinking there'd be plenty of time to wear it this year, but things kept getting in the way. I thought it'd still get a wearing after the snow over Easter (in London, yes, the first snow of the year, a week before we swap from GMT to British Summer Time). But its been raging sunshine the last few days. And not the crisp cold kind of sunny either.

jumper lying flat in blocking

Finally, it's my biggest WIP of all, the thesis. Please note the 'horrible' in the document title isn't a comment on the work, as much as a reflection of the case study. As I seem to be saying to people daily at the moment, it's ok, it's getting there. It's getting there slowly, but it is going to be 90,000 words (plus or minus 10,000 words or so), good-quality words at that, so you shouldn't expect speed. And it is getting there.

wip - my thesis