A Small Matter of Casting On #knitting


Oh dear, I might have gone a little nuts. Even Cat is face-palming at the horror. I have now accidentally cast on all my spare row counters (even I am not sure how many I have) and I also broke the rules and solved the problem of running out of knit pro 3mm tips by buying more. Basically a large casting off bomb went off last week and I am still dazed and confused as to what happened.


It all started off innocently enough. Knit-knit-knitting at my log cabin blanket. Cro-cro-crocheting at my big red granny. And generally picking at other projects. Then I started strolling though some yarn books and accidentally started another Calmer cardi (to join the purple and green one). Lovely shade of pale teal and will look lovely with a wavy border, reliable yarn and the self-designed pattern for the body already a proven success (it will even be made with the same needles). Logically it does make sense to make a start on an autumn weight cardi now so that it is going to be ready in time. So far, so reasonable.


The pair of socks was also an accident, I wanted a simple pattern but also some lace, and I have been meaning to use the yarn for a while. Just ignore the other four pairs shall we. Between them they cover plain, lace, colour work and simple rib. The moody grey/teal is nice with the mock cables though!


As previously mentioned I have been chain knitting shawls recently and looking through my brand new Sock yarn Shawls II book it would have been rude not to try one. The first book has already proven to be a firm favourite and I will admit to a loud squeak when I spotted number two in the Amazon pre-order list of temptations. The second book builds on the first and has a good mix of classic triangle shawls and long and skinny sideways ones. It has also included larger two skein shawls (some in contrasting colours, some in the same), which are based on 70g balls.


The yarn doesn’t photo well, but it is basically a pale mushroom grey with a sparkle thread running through it. And it will look awesome next to my big white dress (dum dum di dum), or alternatively on exotic location for the honeymoon. The yarn was bought from Olympia a few years ago (it was apparently dyed to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee) and I have been saving it for something worthy. And people, this pattern is gorgeous! Luckily I have 150g of it, so I should be able to make one long enough to wear as a proper shawl (opposed to the triangle forward style) and I might dip into my bead collection when I cast off to give it a bit of extra bling.


I also accidentally cast on this blue shawl (I was comparing book 1 and 2 and fell in love with it) which basically means I am now making both cover photo shawls. I absolutely love this Tardis blue yarn (and had to put my foot down when Mr LouBug tried to claim it for socks). I need to come up with a suitable Dr Who name for it, (perhaps River’s Song, or Timey Wimey). I regret nothing on this one and I am impatiently getting to the lace section, to the point where I will start it 12 rows early (to allow an extra repeat). Wearing my Blue Yonder shawl, I have found that the large triangle does make it bunch up a bit under the chin, lace tends to sit better (as seen on my Purple Happenstance) so there are practical as well as impatient reasons behind this.

Blimey, I had better get knitting.





It’s My Birthday & I’ll Knit If I Want To!


Yes, it’s my birthday coming up – 25 again (kind of…). Luckily I have a sister who has a hawk eye and noted in her brain the things I saw in the knit shop when we were both together last, but was too tight to buy for myself. Here they are, wrapped up for my birthday, hurray! Well, not exactly wrapped up…hastily unwrapped before the Big Day.

I have deemed the etiquette to be that it is better form to open the presented gift in front of the giver, rather than wait. This is a rather handy piece of (made-up) etiquette, as I happen to be a very impatient person.

My last foray into Lumio light reflecting yarn was back in the new year, and resulted in a hat with a mutant bobble. It was so large my poor child had a job keeping his head upright.


I have plans to make one of my trusted snoods out of this new Lumio, perhaps one with a cable. And what better way to create this new delight, but on my brand new Knit Pros! These Knit Pros appear to be the gateway to the world of expensive knitting paraphernalia. I can stop any time, of course.


Next on the hit list is this:


From the look of it, I think it would be best knitted into a woolly hat. It appears to be a magical mystery tour of black knitting, then bright pink. I just have to close my eyes and knit away and see what comes out at the end.

None of these are lovely light-weight summer knits, but although they don’t challenge my poor brain, at least they don’t send me into a rage. Surely this is the what knitting should be…especially at my age!


A Small Issue Of Casting On


As I mentioned, I have had a small series of “making” explosions recently. Firstly yarn. Even I will admit that my recent level of yarn purchasing has tipped from reasonable to rebellious. I love, love, love all of it (and it is all beautiful and I will use it…eventually).The guilt is setting in and I think I had better buy sensible things (like work clothes and underwear) for a bit and knit down the stash.


BOOM! Next explosion was in bag making. I bought some lovely fat quarters on holiday and from Ally Pally, but didn’t really do much with it. Happily they are now fulfilling their craft destiny and keeping my projects looking lovely! Unfortunately, as soon as I have a new bag I immediately want to use it. I would like to say that I simply re-homed an existing project, but we would both know I would be lying.


Then there was the great stitch marker conversion plan. I have recently fallen in love with the 12mm jump rings you can get at John Lewis. These humble little unbroken rings of metal magically make my stitch markers look a billion times more professional (with the added bonus that they don’t snag). Over a decade of knitting I have accumulated quite a range of stitch markers (I am always on the lookout for little bead charms that I can use). They even have their own special box. Different sets have their own little zip lock bags. I tend to deploy them to match the bag and project. Yes, I know, but it could be worse (I could collect creepy china cats) and now they are gradually getting a makeover. The added bonus of the jump rings is that I can slip a chain into them and they make rather cute pendants.


All of this has danced around the edge of my small issue with casting on. The Yarn Harlot refers to it as “startyitis” but for me it is more of an explosion. All seems normal and then I look away for five minutes and BOOM suddenly there are several new projects on the go. A lady would not fully admit to the extent of the problem (but I am now out of row counters and anything above 40cm knit pro cables). All I will admit to is that I now have two cardigans, one jumper, two blankets and many socks, scarves and socks.

The real question is, will I actually resist simply buying more counters and cables…..









Problems with Deadline Knitting


Ok, so I might be nearly finished on the Christmas knits, but I have now started to drift off task.  I feel like the kid at the back of the classroom who is quietly doodling despite knowing that there will be a test at the end.

There is something about knitting to a deadline that sucks the joy out of the whole thing (which is reasons 1 to 1000 why I could never knit for a living).  A large part of this is that it removes the ability to knit to match your mood and flit between things on whim, and that is a big part of my evening project choosing routine.

Let’s face it, some evenings I have been known to knit one or two rows on five different projects trying to find one to settle on (but hey, every row counts!).


In my defence, I have been working really hard on knitting for others.  And there is only so much knitting you can do for others before your own, neglected, projects start to call you (oh so softly, oh so pathetically) from the pile.  That scarf, that sock, that arm-less jumper, all wonderful projects and all pushed to the back for Operation Christmas.  And of course my heart mittens.


My excuse for finishing off my own heart mittens ahead of the deadline knitting is that I needed the needles.  Please ignore the other sets I have that would do as well. It is my Knit-Pro Novas I want to use (as they are really good for tight mitten knitting) and in fairness I am concerned that in order to knit wind-proof mittens I will have to knit like iron (which – in theory- could endanger my bamboo needles).


The yarn is the DK “Skein With No Name” I bought from the bargain bin in Mandy’s wool (in the West Country). It was a £1 each for 3 25g skeins and well worth the fibre gamble as it is a lovely bright blue.  I have no idea what it is but it feels like a coarse hand spun and should wear well for frosty morning break duties.


I have double lengthen the cuff (so it can be turned over for extra draft prevention).  The colour-work is the left over alpaca from the gorgeous chain mittens (the hearts used a surprisingly small amount, watch this space for the green to creep into more mittens!) and I love the colour contrast it has produced.  Annoyingly, I botched the first finger decreases and had to re-do them but I figured that it will spend longer bugging me than it will take to fix.

So now they are done, time to stagger over the deadline finish line.


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