Monday, 20 July 2009


Knitting a swatch in a new stitch pattern reminds me of singing the chant to a psalm through to numbers in rehearsal. I realise that this analogy relies on knowledge of two separate and fairly arcane pursuits - knitting and Anglican choral music - but I know of at least two people who read this who share that knowledge, so I'm going to carry right on.

In both activities one is feeling one's way, stumbling across obstacles scattered across a smaller area in the hope of preventing their reappearance later in the larger piece. If the chant/stitch pattern is a fairly simple one (as the 4-row lace pattern in Annette, shown above, is) it can be memorised by the end of the practice run, leaving the mind free either to wander elsewhere, to dwell on perfecting tweaks, or to revel in a mysterious meditative state. If it is complicated, this preparation reveals it as such, and encourages alertness during the main event.

I think I'm going to leave my metaphor now, before it becomes absurd. Maybe I'm missing singing a little bit...

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Puns Means Prizes!

When the new Summer Knitty came out, I immediately fell in love with Annette, a cute short-sleeved lacy cardigan. My ardour was magnified when I realised that the title was a pun! The stitch pattern is fish-net lace... Annette... a net!

As anyone who has met me can attest, I am something of a pun geek. When I commented on this particular piece of wordsmithery in a Ravelry discussion board, I wasn't expecting anything more than the customary groans that puns tend to elicit. Imagine my surprise, then, when the designer of the top replied not only congratulating me as the first person to spot the play on words, but also offering to send me the yarn to make an Annette of my own as a reward!

The designer is Helene Rush, and the yarn she sent me is Babyboo, a supersoft bamboo/nylon blend from her own yarn company, Knit One, Crochet Too. I was so very delighted to receive this yarn, not least because I have never encountered it in Britain.

My exciting squishy package arrived the day before I set off for Spain. The yarn is wondrously soft, and surprisingly resilient - I machine-washed my swatch to no ill effect; its glorious pink reminds me of a 1950s lipstick. It is also, coincidentally, the perfect thing to be knitting in the baking heat of the Spanish summer, and I have been happily dragging it round everywhere with me.

I would like to thank Helene once again for her generous gift, and for giving me the opportunity to try out her lovely yarn under such exciting circumstances!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Good Karma

A speedy post from Spain! I have just finished the Karma tank top from Wendy Bernard's Custom Knits book, knit in Be Sweet Bamboo yarn.

We took a few photos of it in the walled city of Avila outside Madrid, and I got a little bit burnt, so the ghostly outline of this top is currently etched into my skin.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

The Bee's Knees

This is just a quick post about some rather rad socks I've been working on.

They are (or rather, it is, for the sock is still singular) the most excellent Hungry Bees Socks, in some similarly excellent Old Maiden Aunt Merino/Bamboo in the colourway 'Whisky Galore!'. My Fairy Vomit Jaywalkers are still malingering on in the background, but I was really craving some grown-up yarn and this soft and subtle stuff satisfies this need perfectly. I love the pattern a lot - the different sections are amusingly titled and beautifully laid out - and I especially enjoyed the random placement of bees on the lower part of the leg: 'I feel a bee here!' 

The original honeycomb cuff was adorable, but not elastic enough to fit over my heel, so I substituted a slightly frivolous combination of double moss stitch and a picot frill.

These socks truly are the bee's knees - I can't wait to have a pair!

Before I scoot off to pack, here is a sneak peek of something else I have on the needles.


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