Monday, December 08, 2008

Cable Coat - Update

My beautiful coat has a new home!! It was too big for me and has gone to someone who can do it justice. I learned quite a lot during it's construction which will be put to good use on the next one - yes, you heard right, the next one. This was always a prototype for 3 coats I want to knit myself. Magpie Aran is a brilliant yarn, and to take the words out of Karin's mouth I don't know why Rowan discontinued it.

In answer to Sue's question, the final coat is heavy to hold but not heavy to wear. Does that make sense? The next coat will be the same pattern but with modifications and I will use the stated yarn this time - Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran - yummy!! I just hope it will be as warm as the Magpie Aran.

I won't be starting this until after Christmas. I have to finish off the Mystery Blanket, the Picnic Blanket and the Print O' the Waves shawl before I think about anything major - that's not to say I won't be starting anything at all..........

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Cabled Coat

I have been working on this woolly mammoth solidly for the past 3 weeks. So determined was I to finish it, and finished it is!!

Pattern Details

Pattern Name: Cabled Coat
Pattern Source: Special family knits
Designer: Debbie Bliss
Yarn used: Rowan Magpie Aran
Needles: 4.., 4.5mm and 5mm - all circular
Size: Largest
Started: 8/10/08
Finished: 5/12/08

Comments: I've wanted to knit this for a long time. Fantastic knit. Thoroughly enjoyed it. The yarn combined with the cables was a bit heavy going at times, but well worth the effort. I didn't make any serious modifications. Size wise I knit the largest size and it is a teeny bit big. Length wise I followed the shortest size. I did not pick up stitches in 2 stages for the button borders as indicated. I picked them up all at once. I don't mind that the picked up stitches for the collar were done on the wrong side.

All sewn up

So many ends to sew in!!

The collar took forever 200 sts and all cabled

But it was worth it

So I guess it's back to the grind stone to the UFO's I left by the wayside to finish this..........

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oh boy

I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since my last post. Time is whizzing by, and I have nothing to show for it. I have nothing to show because I've been concentrating on one project. Concentrating so much that it has put me off doing anything else!! The culprit is the the Cabled coat. I thought I would be disciplined because this is a fairly large project. I didn't want to become derailed by other projects. I've completed the 2 fronts and am about half way up the back. Maybe I should have started with the back. It's the largest piece and it's daunting and it's HEAVY and now it's laughing at me. I'm hoping now I've blogged about it, I'll shame myself into finishing the back at least. I'm hoping once that's done it will give me the psychological boost I need to finish the rest.

Over the next 2 weeks I've got to finish this and the silk cardigan I started for my mum, many, many moons ago. got to got to got to.............

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The kindness of friends and strangers

Every so often my guardian angel lets me know they are still there and that I am right to continue to have faith in my fellow human being. I mentioned very briefly that I attended the Iknit day in central London last month. What I didn't mention was me admiring the cardigan worn by one of the women helping out on the day. The cardigan was worn by Esther who promised to email the pattern to me. I have to admit that I thought that would be the end of it. How many times have a heard "Give me your email address and I'll email you the details" and never heard a thing. Shamefully, I assumed this was the case. Imagine my surprise, a couple of days later, when I received an email. Esther was not able to email the pattern but promised to post it to me. The pattern arrived 2 days later. Thank you Esther of Iknit.

Last week at Ally Pally (it seems so long ago), in my usual zeal, I accosted a woman wearing a beautiful green vintage cardigan. I think on this occasion she agreed to post it to me out of sheer fright at this crazy lady smiling like a Cheshire cat about to get the cream!! Again, the cynic in me decided that was the end of that and nothing would come of it. Today I received a vintage pattern and lovely note in the post. Not only did she send the pattern I'd been admiring, she also sent the entire leaflet giving me an additional 3 patterns - how fab is that? Thank you Sue Hall.

Last and by no means least, my friend Karin , whilst on vacation during the summer brought back these for me:

Karin knows I love Norah Gaughan patterns and the yarn is in my colours!

Added to that, yesterday she bailed me out of deep deep doggy doos. I grandly started the cable coat in the knowledge that I had 2 packs of Rowan Magpie aran in stash - and this yarn (very wrongly in my view) was discontinued a long time ago. Of course I forgot I'd used some of it for college projects, hadn't done the maths regarding yardage and then, very worryingly, found one wound ball almost decimated by an insect (I'm not going to mention the 'm' word!!). Since I've already completed one front and am halfway up the second front, you can understand how desperate I felt that it would all come to nothing. Karin came to the rescue with a full pack in the same colour and dye lot.

Truly, my faith has been restored and I am in awe of the kindness to be found in the sister (and brother) hood of knitting. These acts of kindness may seem like little things, but at the end of the day, these lovely people put themselves out for me and I am very grateful to you.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Don't you just love that word? This is not a random thought. I bought some Fiddlesticks Zephyr Wool silk lace weight yarn from Stash yarns a long while ago. It's been saved for a special occasion. Such an occasion has presented itself and I have cast on for the Print 'O the Waves shawl. I have a lover hate relationship with shawls and stoles. Love the look and feel of them but hate getting started on them. I tend to cast on then leave the work for months.

I started this shawl in August and left it in the corner. Now time is running out, I must finish it - as you can see, I've done lots and lots in 2 months......

To mix things up a bit I've started this cabled coat. I started on one of the fronts first to familiarise myself with the pattern. It is not that hard, but there is a long way to go.

This photo better represents the colour of the yarn

Sunday, October 12, 2008

And so to bed

It's a long good night for the allotment. It's been dug over and now it's time to leave it to rest for winter. I've decided not to put any winter vegetation in and just cover it with manure ready for the spring.

Well that's the plan, only no one told the weather fairies that it's supposed to be Autumn! There is sunshine everywhere - and its lovely.We spent Saturday wheel barrowing and shovelling manure and compost. Young man was in his element, with wood, nails and a hammer, building raised beds ready to fill with compost for next year. The only thing that does not hurt today after all the exertion is my fingertips - all the better to knit with, you might say!!

Monday, October 06, 2008


The Estes Vest and my nearly new hair do

(actually I'm due another hair cut, it's getting too long now)

Estes Vest

Name: Estes Vest

Source: Interweave Knits Fall 2008

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK in Teal Blue

Needles: 6mm and 5mm

Started: 4/9/08

Finished: 6/10/08

For: Me

Comments: A little modification on this one. I added length before I started the waist shaping. I inserted a zip instead of toggles or buttons. I also lengthened the collar to stand around my neck instead of end at the nape of my neck. I knit the piping around the armholes, but used garter stitch as a front and bottom border. And as Karin pointed out, I used a contrast yarn for the pocket linings ( I was worried I would run out of yarn - I didn't in the end, but it makes for a nice touch). Apart form that, a lovely pattern full of cables and more cables. I used the yarn double through out.

Friday, October 03, 2008


I'm dying to start something new - not sure what, but I have a few UFO's that need some attention. Need some will power....... The Estes Vest is so close to being finished. I bought a zip a few days ago and it's languishing in a corner on top of the Estes Vest!!

Finishing off the piping around armhole edge

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Nearly there

I've been working on 2 projects over the past couple of weeks, the Estes Vest from the latest Interweave Knits and the Mystery Blanket. Both of them are almost complete. There is one more installment left to arrive on the Mystery blanket at the beginning of October. I have 2 more squares to knit from the September package. That will leave 4 squares and the border to complete in October. I became a little complacent knitting the blanket and made a huge mistake which took a bit of concentration to put right. When it's all finished I will post the final pictures.
The Estes Vest has been a joy to knit. It's all texture, all cable - but not complex. I'm almost finished, the vest is waiting for a collar and zip, which will have to wait until I finish the September Mystery blanket squares.

This has been an excellent stash buster. I knit the vest using double stranded yarn. The vest will get a lot of use now that the rugby season has started.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Harvest for the world

My allotment

I wasn't meant to be growing very much this season. All I wanted to do was just clear the area , mark it out and give the soil a good turn over. I learned:

  • you don't 'just' do anything in an allotment
  • mother nature has a mind of her own
  • when it rains it always pours
  • kissing butt is a good thing
  • family and friends are worth their weight in gold
  • I love worms
  • my fellow brothers (and sisters) in arms have invaluable knowledge that will take me years to gather
  • foxes definitely eat veg - my veg!
  • investing in a good fork, spade and hoe is key to a half way decent plot
  • good wellies (I'm saving up for a pair of Hunters, I'm told they are the bees knees) and thick thick socks will save my bacon
  • your neighbours crap filled skip is actually a treasure trove in disguise
  • if you dig up the bramble - they will grow back!!

  • giving is far better than receiving

This year I have been blessed with a bumper crop of all sorts of veg. Some of which I'm sure I didn't plant. Much of which was given to me in seed or plant form by fellow plotters taking pity on me. For the most part, what I was doing was slightly out of sync (digging at the wrong time of year, and even planting out late for example), but I was gently encouraged (and laughed at heartily) to keep going. I have been rescued on a few occasions when I got stuck in the mud, much to the amusement of others!

So far, visitors to my humble abode have been sent home with a little bit more than they bargained for - a few beetroot here and a bag of potatoes there. The young man is trying to get everyone to take all the cabbage since he hates the stuff.

There were many times when I wanted to give up, the battle for the plot between me and the brambles seemingly a very one sided thing. However, mother nature, friends and sheer bloody mindedness has seen me through my first season - and funnily enough, I'm going to do it all over again next year - minus the mini forest though.

I'm not going to be a hypocrite and say I've loved every minute of it - but I'm loving it now, when I see what's come out of the soil and that's what counts. I've no doubt a few months from now, I'll be muttering under my breadth, tripping over my own wellies and cursing the fact that the toilets are way way down the other end of the allotments, but hey, now I know it really will be worth it in the end.

My plot and some of the goodies it gave me

Did you notice - no onions - the battle recommences!!

My plot in the beginning ...........

Did someone say knitting........

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


A winter (or in my case, Summer) warmer: Mossy

I took this away with me to show my sister how the yarn knit up and ended up finishing it. I'd managed about 10 rows before, so that will tell you how much knitting I got through due to bad weather.

Pattern details:

Name: Moss Stitch jacket

Pattern Source: Cashmere Collection by Debbie Bliss

Yarn used: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Super Chunky

Needles: 7mm and 7.5mm

Size: Smallest

Started: July 2008

Finished: 23 Aug 2008

Comments - besides running out of yarn (my fault), the pattern is very straight forward. I didn't find any errors. The end result is a real slouch on the sofa warmer. I was worried that the jacket would drop and stretch with wear - it hasn't so far.

On a personal note, I killed the Afro!!

Saturday, September 06, 2008


I've been busy!! I finished Nevis today, seconds before being whisked off to this. I'm sure there will be lots of other bloggers writing about this so I won't. Suffice to say the Harlot had me in stitches - get it - and I'm soaking my feet as I blog.


Pattern details:

Pattern name: Nevis
Pattern Source: Rowan 42
Yarn used: Rowan Tapestry
Needle size 3.25 mm and 4mm
Size: Smallest
Started: Nov 2007
Finished : Sept 2008

Comments: Straight forward pattern. No errors which was refreshing! The yarn is extremely splitty which is a problem when knitting a cable pattern. The only problem I had with the pattern was the lack of a set up row for the cable pattern. Cabling on row 1 is not the easiest thing to do. The colourway of the yarn is stunning, sadly, I have not been able to capture this.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

St Brigid

She's finally done:

Pattern details:
Pattern: St Brigid
Pattern Source: Aran Knitting by Alice Starmore
Yarn: Jamiesons Soft Shetland
Needles: 4.5mm
Started: May 2007
Finished: August 2008
Comments: Love it. Fabulous pattern. I'm definitely a chart girl. My neck line is possibly a bit loose, but I like it as it is. I will knit another Starmore pattern.

The other advantage to visiting your sister - she can model your finished objects!!!
My camera work does not do this beauty justice. I will however be spending the rest of my life picking out the remnants of heather (well I'm hoping it's heather) from the sweater. Not from the wonderful scenery - that's how it came. I'm still puzzled how yarn comes with all the vegetation given all the processing it goes through..
No rest for the wicked, the UFO pile is overflowing.