summer holidays…

..and I’ve been up in the Highlands – my idea of minimising the driving I usually have to do for our holidays. In recent years this has been in the region of a six-hour drive, after we’ve already driven the six hours down to my dad’s house in the Midlands and stopped over the night, to either Dorset, Cornwall or North Wales. It turned out that getting to our first destination on the northwest coast (and on the newly-created North Coast 500 route) would’ve involved almost a six hour drive from here, so I treated us (or at the very least, me) to an overnight stay in Inverness, which was, handily, slightly over halfway to our destination. It really was my treat, because I picked the Black Isle Bar & Rooms as our stopover – in part because it supplied precisely what we needed, ie reasonably priced no-frills accommodation, but also because it’s owned by my favourite brewery. All of which meant I could have a few drinks of my favourite beer – cask conditioned – along with some excellent pizza before retiring for the night (a rare thing indeed for me, as we seldom eat out anyway, and I’m always the designated driver). I’d heartily recommend it, a great night, congenial atmosphere, and cheery staff, and though we took the kids upstairs about 9pm (and after that took turns to visit the ‘secret’ beer garden and keep my dad company!), I’d say it was one of the most family friendly places I’ve been in for a long while.

So, on we went to the west coast, eventually arriving at Clashnessie, in Assynt, which doesn’t look that remote on the map, really, but really kind of is, due to the number of single-track roads and wiggly ins-and-outs that the coastline takes between each village and hamlet. I’m sure there are many many more remote places in the world (and the broadband speeds were no worse than our own at home!) but for the UK, and for me and my family, it’s plenty remote enough. We spent a glorious week mostly visiting quiet beaches and going for walks, which all sounds quite relaxing, but with three kids is always a bit of an Expotition. Ooh, and my dad and I crept off earlyish one morning and did a spot of fishing from the rocks beside the bay, and we had pollack for dinner – not quite the hordes of mackerel we landed in Dorset the year before, but tasty nonetheless. We might’ve got more, but the rocks were really snaggy and we only had two sets of feathers so had to go home after about half an hour as we had no hooks left to catch anything with.

On the whole we were so lucky with the weather, only being rained off on one day (not a bad average for Scotland, over two whole weeks!), which we decided to spend cosied up in ‘our’ roomy cottage, for the most part. The rain eased off at about half three, so I decided to take the opportunity to pop out and leave the kids behind with my husband, and visit a local indie dyer whose sign I’d spotted at the end of a track in the next village, Clachtoll – Ripples Crafts.

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The owner, Helen, was lovely, and happily treated me to a peep inside the dye shed, and I came away with two lovely skeins of laceweight, and one of sock yarn.

Obviously as yet I’ve no idea how it knits up but the laceweight feels beautifully next-to-skin-soft (I notice from the website that the dark – yes, Tardis-like – blue isn’t listed, so I’m pleased I spotted that one!) and the sock yarn feels soft but sturdy. I’m already thinking about using the lace yarn to design a small shawl or scarf inspired by my week in Assynt, much as Helen takes her own inspiration for her colourways from the landscape around her. Both colourways have a subtle semi-solid thing going on, they really are lovely.

In the background of the photo above is the yarn I found in the second week of our holiday, spent on the slightly less-remote but just as windswept and interesting east coast, more specifically, in Easter Ross. I’d come across the shop before while trying to find chenille for a Season 17 Doctor Who scarf (they do a rust, albeit in a lighter weight than I was after), but had forgotten that it was in the same area until I googled for local yarn shops, and up they popped. Kingcraig Fabrics have a small shop in Dornoch – a little town which I’d never visited before but is shortbread-tin-pretty, and unsurprisingly visited by the coachload (we missed our chance to sample the local hotel’s renowned Whisky Bar) – as well as a larger one in Brora, further north, where they’re based. It’s a great shop, full of all kinds of beautiful woollen products, and a small selection of great, and very reasonably priced yarn. It’s a shame we never made it up as far as Brora, as apparently they have more yarn there, both cakes and cones (and I’d have liked to have made it up to see the Grey Cairns of Camster too) but after almost two weeks of tootling about I think the family had had enough of any car journeys that took longer than 30 minutes or so, and they were a good hour or so away, at least, so that was that.

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The dark brown cakes are a 3ply merino cashmere blend, speckled with a rainbow of colours, and they’re going to be a probably-hooded massive cardi for me eventually, I’m thinking. They came without any kind of yardage, and the (very friendly) lady in the shop couldn’t help, but I think from looking at their ebay shop that they’re something like 700m, if the other similar stock they have is anything to go by. At £3 a cake, I couldn’t help but buy half a dozen just to make sure I’d have enough, at that yardage I’m sure I’ll be fine!

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The red cakes are a merino 2ply, and again, judging by the yardage on the ebay store probably in the region of 900m a cake. And they were also only £3, so I bought three of those. I’m really not sure what I’m going to do with them just now but in both cases a good swatching is definitely in order before I start anything major. I might well use the red to design another Pictish stone inspired shawl, along the same lines as my Nigg and Aberlady designs. We stayed close to Nigg that week, in nearby Balintore, which lies between two more of the standing stones along that little stretch of coast, at Shandwick and Hilton of Cadboll. There’s lots of interesting information, and more stone fragments, at the Tarbat Discovery Centre in Portmahomack, which goes some way to describing the people responsible for their creation, and explaining the reason for them – though as with anything Pictish, I think much of it is educated guesswork. It’s well worth a visit if you’re in the area, we spent a good hour inside the old church it’s housed in finding out about the relatively recent excavations made there.

In other news, needs must etc, and I’m looking into starting up an etsy shop – to begin with I’m going to likely be stocking it with finished knitted items but may eventually add handspun yarn too. Watch this space…

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Er… happy new year?

Oops. So much for improvement, I make it just over seven months since that last post. I’ve done a fair bit of knitting that has left the roost without nary a photo, so I won’t bother going on about that too much (christmas-gift-socks for family, mostly), though some of the christmas knitting was one of the aforementioned promised stockings for the kids – the youngest has his, now, so that leaves just one left to do, and then they’ve all got one.

(It’s another HoHoHo, with a couple of extra made up bits according to what they wanted on there.)

I’ve made a bit more progress with the Genesis jumper – basically, I’ve reached the point where I now have two sleeves, and need to think about when to stop working the body separately, join them on, and then do some maths to work out how I’m going to contiguise them (I suspect that’s not a word, but hey) so they look right. I don’t want to go for raglan or yoke at this point – I’ve still got a good few rows of the stranded pattern to go, so the latter won’t really work, and while I’m not going for full-on cosplayer accuracy, the original jumper wasn’t raglan, more likely a cap sleeve. I suppose I ought to go for that, but my previous attempts with them have made me think twice… the contiguous top-down sleeves I did for the last sweater were pretty good, so basically all I have to do is convert the instructions for the aran sweater I knit to a dk number of stitches, and then follow them backwards…

….which is why it’s not been worked on for a few months, yes. Instead, there was a fair bit of nice mindless tv knitting in the form of that Fourth Doctor scarf, though that too has now ground to a halt due to the rather approximate nature of the pattern meaning that I ran out of my olive coloured yarn with about seven rows of the last olive block to go – annoying, and I doubt very much I’ll be able to get the same batch number, but I don’t suppose it’ll matter unless they’re wildly different, as each stripe is a good few colours apart. The last time I took a photo, it looked somewhat like this –

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That was in February, hence the snow – it’s about a foot longer now, and I think (once I get a bit more olive yarn) I’ve got about 140 rows to go before I’m ‘done’ – once I’ve finished I’ve got to take the first grey panel out and graft it back together. Now, had I been paying attention, I’d have most likely left it out completely, as the pattern specifies, but as it was I knit straight through and so now I’m faced with either making a season 12 scarf, which I may or may not have enough yarn for, or doing a hatchet job and actually ending up with a more authentic version, as the missing panel on the original scarf was indeed removed (after it was damaged), and the two bits of scarf sewn back together. There are various tutorials out there on how to make the repair as close to the original as possible (some of the repairs the scarf received over the years were made by non-knitters), but as I’d like it to be fairly durable I might do a proper grafting job on it. Oh, and then there’s the tassels, of course.

I did undertake a third DW flavoured project, which I’d initially intended to be a christmas present for the other half but which fell victim (as so often happens) to basic overconfidence in the speed at which I can actually get things done by yours truly, and so he was handed several balls of wool on christmas day instead, with the promise that they would turn into socks reasonably soon.

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Police Box Sox, by Audry Nicklin aka BearEars – this was the first one (unwashed and unblocked), and he now has two, you’ll be happy to hear.  I made a point of buying enough yarn to make at least one other pair (for myself), and thankfully, the pattern is great – well written and fun to do, especially once you’ve invested in tiny enough circulars and made your peace with working with ‘proper’ sock yarn, not something I’ve previously been keen on. I used Drops Fabel, and their Blue is a really good Tardis blue (you may notice if you’re clicking on that link around about now that Wool Warehouse have a stonking sale on at the moment, you can thank me for that later, and no, I’m not getting any commission, sadly).

The other thing I’ve been knitting is socks for my grandmother, who was 100 last month and who, sadly, in this last year has been suffering more and more with dementia. So, having discovered that they’re a thing, I’ve also knit her a ‘twiddle mitt’ (various patterns out there on the internet) –

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I’ve still to attach a couple of pieces of ribbon, and finish another pair of socks, and then I can send them to her. She does get agitated and pick at things when she’s not having a good day, so hopefully this will be helpful. The socks I gave her for christmas have certainly gone down well, she’s been having trouble with her feet swelling on the days when she’s been sat for long periods, and her slippers don’t fit well, and as you might imagine her circulation isn’t what it used to be so she does get cold feet.

Lastly, this week I dusted off my Louët. It’s been at least five years since I did any serious spinning, if not longer (I’m estimating based on the fact that my youngest turned five this week, and I’ve done zero spinning since he arrived), so I thought I’d have a go at a reasonably thick yarn, for quicker results, and managed to turn out this –

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It’s been that long that I can’t be sure if this is BFL or Shetland (the bag it was in said BFL, but I suspect it’s been reused). It’s 112g, 121 yards, and roughly 7wpi – which ravelry tells me is a bulky yarn. I spun my singles not really having a clue what they’d make when they came out the other side (I think I was expecting more like dk/aran, that’s how rusty I am) and there’s a fair few sections of thick and thin going on. But, given that it’s been so long, and when I got up on the morning I did  the second single I discovered I’d come down with a stonking cold, I don’t think it’s too shoddy. I’ve not spun it with anything particularly in mind, and I’m not sure whether to leave it natural or go for it and launch myself back into dyeing, too, but I think I might make it into a nice squooshy scarf of pair of fingerless mittens, either way. I’m going to spend the rest of the day browsing ravelry patterns and forums, and drinking tea (if the kids let me), and hopefully I’ll be back here with the results before 2018.

 

Genesis of the Jumpers…

Well, a six month gap between posts is, I suppose, some kind of improvement in my current posting habits – I do have much easier access to a ‘proper’ computer now, which obviously helps. And I have an FO, and a couple of new WIPs, also helpful if I don’t want to just waffle on about nothing in particular.

The FO in question is the Drops Wonder Wave cardi, which turned out rather well, eventually –

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It was a relaxing, enjoyable and easy knit for the most part, aside from a few mistakes caused by not paying attention (I was lulled into a false sense of security by feather and fan). There was a mishap on its second wash with some superconcentrated laundry gel, leaving it with a small patch at the front which, in certain lights, I can tell has changed shade very slightly from the rest of the fabric (the lighting in this photo makes it look like the whole garment is two tone – it’s just the effect of sunlight, it’s not actually that/those colours). Everyone else says it’s fine/not even noticeable, but I’m still annoyed – particularly as I’d made sure the stuff had gone in the washer drawer, as the gel bottle instructed, rather than sticking it into one of those washballs as usual and putting it in the drum. Anyway, no use worrying about it now  (and it might not actually be so much of an issue from now on, as we’re now the proud owners of a brand new and shiny machine which should in theory be much, much better than the old one, and which apparently premixes the detergent).

Wavy cardi out of the way, I’ve started work on my mysterious Who jumper, hence the peculiar blog post title – it’s my attempt at recreating the jumper Sarah Jane Smith wears for much of Genesis of the Daleks (and the previous serial, The Sontaran Experiment, which I suppose might also lend itself well as a title, but GotD won because it has daleks, and Davros, but more to the point, it has Nyder). The geometric design on it is, I think, really lovely. It even reminds me slightly of a cover illustration for The Hobbit that I remember from years ago, as a bonus. Transcribing the motif itself proved not too tricky, though I have found that as I decided to knit in the round, the fact that the design only appears at the front of the jumper has meant lots and lots of ends at either side of it. I was finding it hard to tell how well I’d tensioned my stranding, so after finishing the bottom motif, I sat and did a bit of weaving in. (I knitted in the tail ends of them, so it only meant one side of it to weave in, but it still took a while. I’m kind of glad I didn’t leave it until I’d finished, and intend to do the same after the top motif, so that when I reach the neckline, job done.)

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This photo was taken just before I did all the weaving – I’ve since knit a few more inches of the plain stockinette, and think I’ve probably got enough length in it now to begin the top motif, which I think should probably start an inch or two below the underarm. I haven’t started the second bout of stranding yet, but I’ve made a start on the first sleeve in the meantime, at least until I feel like something a bit less stockinettey.

This, I think, is where it’ll get properly tricky. I’ve only ever knit one contiguous sleeve jumper, and that was top down (and in aran yarn rather than DK), so that could prove ‘interesting’.

In the background, you can see most of the colourway of my other current Who knit, another nice knit-knit-knit piece in the form of a long, long overdue long, long scarf, because I decided it really was about time I made a Fourth Doctor scarf. It’s season 13 (because that season is husband’s favourite, and y’know, the one with Seeds of Doom in it), and while on that photo I’ve knit about twenty rows, thanks to being fairly poorly recently and not being up to much other than sitting about I’m currently about two hundred rows in. Now, my childhood favourite (in that it contains most of the episodes I remembered, and all of my favourite companions – yes, including Adric) is season 18, and so personally, I’d love a season 18 scarf. It also happens to be a beautiful colour, and chenille, however… according to the doctorwhoscarf.com site, appropriate yarn is notoriously difficult to source. Now, I won’t say that I’m 100% happy with the colours I managed to get for the s13 I’m knitting, but they’re pretty good – however, getting to that point did take some time, and I battled constantly with going batty over it for most if not all of that time. So that news is less than ideal, shall we say?

Whilst perusing the s18 page I also discovered a facebook group that is, I think, likely to become yet another place for me to spend an hour or two when I should probably be doing something less frivolous. Hopefully I’ll be updating here soon with a much longer scarf picture – I’ve realised that if I take photos while I’m knitting I’m more inclined to finish my blog posts before they become hopelessly out of date. I’ve got Big Plans for Christmas Knitting in my head too (well, maybe medium sized plans, but still), we’ll see how that goes. I’m hoping that writing it out loud, as it were, might give me more of an incentive to actually produce something, though I’m probably not going to be too specific, as aside from the stockings I mentioned in my last post, some of the may end up as gifts – this might work against the bucking-up-your-ideas plan, mind you…

A quick update

A two and a nearly-half year hiatus later, and would you believe I finally have some knitting to talk about?!

I did complete the cardigan I was knitting almost a million years ago for my younger daughter Heidi, eventually… but she declared it too itchy to wear (it was RYC Cashsoft something or other, I think the angora or something tickled her). Her best friend, however, thought it was great, and so we gave the cardi to her. I’ll have to chase her up for a picture of the finished article though, as I neglected to take one before handing it over – you’ll just have to take my word for it that it’s done!

Heidi was a little sad that she’d relinquished the special cardi that I’d made just for her, so to cheer her up I suggested she pick out a pattern from ravelry that she liked, and advised her to maybe pick something in cotton, which would (hopefully) not tickle her quite so much. She opted for a little short sleeved bolero-type jacket, with a feather and fan lace pattern – DROPS Design Wonder Wave.

It’s going reasonably well, I found the specific yarn at Wool Warehouse for a fabulous price, though she went for pink (not a surprise) rather than lilac. A nice easy knit so far, one row of patterning, two rows of knitting, one row of purling – good tv knitting.

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At the same time, I ordered yarn for my next Me project, which involves stranded knitting and Doctor Who, and which I’ve charted for but I’m not going to say any more than that just now. I need to work out whether or not the joy of topdown sweater construction involving contiguous sleeves (which is a new discovery for me, and which I can only describe as a revelation) outweighs the fact that any stranded work done using this method will involve the stitches appearing to be UPSIDE DOWN (twitch).

Which rather neatly brings me to my recent FO the jumper I blogged waaaaay back here. After sewing it together I wasn’t happy. The underarms bugged me. It wasn’t quite right. And so I undid it, with the intention of reknitting bits to see if I could fix it, but the reality was that it stayed in a bag for slightly over five years, niggling me every time I rummaged through my stash that such a beautiful yarn was, frankly, languishing and neglected, and needed revisiting. Aware that I wasn’t even sure that I had enough yarn (particularly after looking at various patterns on ravelry for aran weight jumpers and seeing the yardages given), eventually I decided on a top down sweater pattern thinking that hey, if it was coming up short at least I could crop the sleeves a little, and maybe even reduce the body length… The pattern was for worsted rather than aran weight, and I was lazy and didn’t swatch, so yes, I was lucky but it’s turned out really well, I think.

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In fact, I’d say I’m really very pleased with it.

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See?

It was an easy, quick knit, overall – once I’d got the previous jumper unravelled, I basically sat and knit half a dozen rows in the evenings, as and when. Took two months from start to finish, just about, including weaving in ends, blocking, and finding buttons and stuff.

Only a couple of other FOs to report in all this time – a pair of socks in Dundee United colours that I don’t believe I took a photo of before posting them away for Christmas, a GIANT christmas stocking that was my first effort, started partly as an attempt at a spot of stashbusting, and then this one, which came out much better –

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and then I ran out of time to knit one for each of the other two kids. I’m hoping that between-now-and-Christmas is plenty of time for that, though it has to be said that my track record isn’t 100% so far as getting knitting for the kids done is concerned. The rather splendid pattern I used is called HoHoHo with some obvious tweaks to the charts. A surprisingly easy knit, although the deer chart did require more concentration than I normally have available while watching telly, though much of that got done during a rewatch of Kolchak, which is quality comfort viewing so that was okay.

I suspect that once I’ve finished the bolero for Heidi I’ll have a request from my youngest, who hasn’t had anything knit for him for so long he doesn’t remember it (er, the jacket and booties from here – that sock still looks the same, by the way…). And there’s a kilo of yarn that I bought an age ago that I intend to Deal With (that is, knit into a hoodie, probably striped, which means buying some new, plain, contrast yarn). And there’s also a cotton number I want to try out, plus the laceweight I spun way back in the mists of time… if I haven’t started those christmas stockings by September, somebody give me a nudge, eh?

For anyone who remembers it, the old blog has had a facelift, yes. I’ve used the previous theme, ChaoticSoul, since starting this blog and I felt like it was finally time for a change. I still don’t think I’ve time to tackle building things from scratch, so I had a quick glance at wordpress’ latest themes, and quite liked the look and feel of this one. It still feels as usable as the old one, there’s not too much busy stuff going on, and best of all, it’s called Lovecraft, presumably named after the fabulous author who died 79 years and one day ago, good old H.P. himself. Rather apt, don’t you think?

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I wonder what this button does…?

Wow. My blogging has become so infrequent, it seems that every time I log in now wordpress has rejigged its innards and I have to spend a good five minutes peering at stuff to find out how to post.

I gave up trying to find batteries for my camera earlier (despite the fact that I bought a dozen AA rechargeables last christmas, to combat the shortage – but that’s what I get for having a camera that takes the same batteries as Wii remotes), and so the photos for this post have been taken using eldest daughter’s newest shiny acquisition (an Asus HD 7 tablet).

I’m posting mostly to make a mini-queue for seasonal knitting/crafty stuff – there’s a few non-knitting items on there which means I can’t use ravelry for my list, but there’s also the fact that my ravelry queue will just eat up the things I put in it and I might as well not bother. It’s a little out of hand over there.

And no, this isn’t a little early for making a list of christmas crafts. Aside from the fact that it’s a season I particularly like to savour, I need to get a headstart – I do draw the line at September, right enough, but October is definitely *not* early.P_20131004_141619

All this was brought on by a spot of stash-sorting that went on last month. I dug out the terribly-hibernated jumper that I started for my younger daughter far too long ago, and started what I hope will soon be finishing it off – one sleeve was already complete, I’ve completed the second, and then added an extra inch or so to the first (because despite the fact that she’s not a huge kid, she’s certainly grown a little in the last couple of years). Casting off this sleeve is imminent – I’d hoped to get it done last night, but all the kids have come down with superlurgy so that didn’t happen. Then it needs a collar (or hood) and zip (or toggles’n’loops).

(This picture is much bigger if you care to click on it – I’m playing with the wordpress image hosting thing at the moment rather than uploading to flickr as I usually do, and it appears to make a dinky pic by default. I like the text wrapping that’s going on though.)

Whilst digging out this long-ago promised jumper, I also came across the bag of yarn that I spun, and we dyed, and is also destined to become a long-ago promised jumper. The yardage was close to being too little even way back then, so I’m almost certainly going to have to either spin more yarn, buy in some yarn as close to this as I can, or attempt to persuade her she’d rather have a jumper with either no, short, or three-quarter-length sleeves.

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And in the foreground… a big lump of leftover acrylic yarn from the molecules I knitted, that I hadn’t a clue what to do with until last month when I stumbled across them and they yelled ‘CHRISTMAS!’ at me (as you might expect from startlingly bright acrylic).

I haven’t knitted anything along the lines of baubles or stockings before (which is what I’m thinking I’ll have a go at, just now)… hopefully I won’t feel like I’ve wasted my time using this rather than yer actual genuine wool, but we’ll see…. I should probably start with some of those tiny baubles first, just in case.

Ta-da.. my handy list of links so far –

  • Baubles, as linked from this rather beautiful blog in a guest post from another Heidi, author of another fab blog (which I can tell I’m also going to spending some time wandering through, now I’ve come across it, even though I can’t read very much of it…)
  • Ice lanterns, from the same blog, this time a guest post from another blog I’m going to have to look at over a coffee soon…

To be frank, the entire Scandinavian Days of Christmas series is something I’m going to keep in mind – these three particularly caught my eye, but the knitted houses and little nisse folk are cute too.. I might get Heidi to see if there’s anything she fancies having a go at. It’s been a few years since we tried making a gingerbread house, and it was from a kit – I’ve never attempted homemade.

Finally – for now – a couple of ravelry stockings –

That’s it for the time being – I’m filing this and future posts under the category ‘christmas crafts’ so they should (theoretically) be nice and easy to find.

In other news, I’m spending the weekend finally building the shed I’ve been trying to get sorted for over a year now, and Saturday also sees the start of my level 2 maths course – have to find something to do to break up the days spent knitting, foraging for evergreens and cooking spicy biscuits with the kids, I suppose…

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So much for resolutions! It turns out that the best thing for regular blogging is having something to post about. Which I now do – despite being mad busy with regular-life-stuff, plus trying to sort us out with a ‘new’ (ie, different) car, and currently not even being at home, I’ve been trying out a nifty knitting gadget courtesy of Goddess Jewels

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June doesn’t knit, and asked if anyone who did could help out with some pics of her beaded row counter/abacus in action. I thought it looked intriguing and offered my services, so I’ve been taking it out for a bit of a spin –

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It’s simple enough to use, and works as described here. This is me knitting to the end of row 9 –

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– and switching up the marker for row 10 –

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And this is what row 11 looks like, with the first of the teeny tens beads past the stopper beads –

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I’ve never had a row counter before (previously keeping track of rows has involved peering at my knitting and checking and rechecking my counting), and I’m getting along with this one just fine. It sits happily on the loop of my circs between rows, mostly sat in my lap so I don’t even know it’s there. It’s light and well put together – no gaps between the rings to catch on anything – and I expect to find it very handy indeed on my next lace project in the hopefully not too distant future.
Thanks June!

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I’ve come to the conclusion that my old blogging habits are thoroughly incompatible with my current lifestyle, and I need to create new ones. So – short and sweet if necessary is the order of the day, with photos where possible. It seems I’d lost the purpose of the blog in the first place – as a journal, mostly of my knitting but including other things occasionally. I did try separating off the gardening posts to a separate blog, but the result of *that* seems to have been that gardening posts ceased altogether.

My camera’s charging, which means I can’t take a pic of what I’m currently knitting – two baby cardigans for my niece and nephew (twins!!) – or a progress shot of the cardigan which I’m still knitting for Heidi (though in fairness, that’s more an embarrassing-lack-of-progress shot – thankfully I knit it with plenty of growing room so it’ll still fit, though I need to lengthen a sleeve). Once a week, however short, is my new plan for the blog – so pics will appear then!

I’ve now got 13 months of BSc study under my belt, well into the first bit of level 2 material at this point and facing my first exam for about 16 years, scheduled for the second week of June. And while it took longer than planned to buy and move into our new house (due to the increasingly nervous disposition of bankers) we’ve now been here for almost eight months.

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(Heidi says hi.)

Still a fair bit of work to do getting organised, but we’ve a wall full of bookcases and LP/media shelving (a wall of awesome, as my friend Tracy dubbed it) going up hopefully this weekend, so that should make a huge difference to the number of boxes and piles of stuff I’m currently sharing my life with.

The biggest change, of course, is the little bundle of joy that is my new baby son, soon to be ten months old.