Archive for the ‘journalling’ Category


Organizational Skills

January 27, 2010

There is some benefit to not being able to move about much. I’ve managed to hurt the remaining good ankle as well so have been doing some valiant hobbling. Yes, I am really that much of a klutz. Anyway, It’s forcing me to sit still and knit or write.

In the last day or so, I’ve got my belt bag is knit up and just needs sewing together and the buttons sewing on, my toe socks are already for the toe socks to go on them, if I don’t decide to just use the normal toe I use for socks as the actually getting the damn things to fit my feet properly is going to involve more thinking than I can really muster at the moment, one of my stories might actually have reached a point of moving forward…I’ve not so much had writers block as plot block. I couldn’t work out how to move it forwards.

I’ve been sorting out my yarn for my blanket project and put together a sort of work basket so I have my colours to hand:


Its got all the colours I’m using:

Purple, Gemini, Raspberry, Highland Burn, Blue Mix, Orange Mix, Hazel, Vivid Blue, Pale Pink, Airforce Blue, Magenta, Plum, Grey, Chalk Blue, Twist, Dark Purple. There is also another pale blue I’m using, but I seem to have mislaid the skein for now. There is a couple of colours I don’t have that I’d like to use, but I haven’t managed to get hold of them yet. There is a shade called Garnet, and another called Damson, I’d like to use: and the black that I want to crochet round the edges of the hexagons with.

Yes, I need to finish learning to crochet first, I know, but I’ve read about making a decorative ridge along your joins by making a single crochet through a loop on each motif on the right side of the motif (wrong sides held together).I’ve got time to learn though. Its going to be a few months till I have enough hexagons done, and then I will be able to fit them all together into my blanket.

My hexagon obsession is again being fueled by seeing and hearing about a book that is coming out in April:


Its going to be pricey; its preordering at £19 – but I am so utterly in love with the socks on the cover I’m going to have to save for it. They are so unbelievably beautiful.

I’m also preparing a new journal as the old one is nearly full. It involves things like writing my favourite quotes and poems into it like Jenny Joseph’s Warning as well as a copy of the hexagon pattern – always useful as I’ve often got my journal with me, as it lives near me all the time.

Moleskine’s have a segment at the front where you write a reward for returning it if it ever goes astray.

Last time, I offered cookies, but this year, well I’m not sure what to put.

Hugs – No. I might have to hug someone weird.

Yarn – Only currency amongst yarnies?

Cookies – more likely to appeal to a wider audience?

Chocolate – It depends; are we talking a small bar, or a box?

Money – so passe.

Choices, choices.


Things I’m working on.

November 18, 2009

Before I launch into the promised update on the things I’ve been working on I just wanted to say that my blood tests are all clear, which means I am a step closer to getting my M.E. diagnosis moved from provisional to official.

Anyway, onto the knitting 😉

I’ve made an executive decision that, in light of my current health problems I need to limit the number of projects I’m working on at any one time.

I’ve worked it out to 4.

  • 1 ongoing project – my hexagon blanket
  • 1 large project – like bloomers, a jumper/sweater etc.
  • 1 sock project – self explanatory really.
  • 1 portable project – hats, mitts, scarves etc.

Tsuki has kindly offered to teach me some crochet stitches so I may be adding a crochet project to the list.

Hexagon Blanket
I’m up to 60 hexagons now, which is a respectable amount but not enough. I have lots to go, obviously. This blanket is going to be big and snuggly so I need to make more, but I like marking off these milestones of 10 hexagons.

I tried pinning a few of them out the other day and it gives you a bit of an idea how they will look when blocked. The photo is a bit odd as they are pinned to a cushion, but I wanted to see how they looked.

I’ve decided how I am going to join them all. I want to crochet around the edges of them all with black country style DK and then crochet them together. I found a really useful tutorial.

Yes, I’m crazy and this is most definitely a labour of love but I can see it in my mind and it will be finished eventually 🙂

This yarn is gorgeous. Seriously.
The legs are complete and I’ve joined for the body, and am working the decrease rows for the waist section. Its a slow knit due to how many stitches are needed to go round my enormous behind, but when they are done they are gonna be beautiful.

Although the legs and body are almost done, I think the ruffle and lace are going to take just as long as the legs and body.

Swap parcel
I joined a Journal swap on Ravelry a month or so back. It was my first swap on there, so I wasn’t sure what to expect but  I got paired with a very cool lady in the wonderfully named Berryville, Virginia, USA. My swap partner Bette really spoilt me rotten. She runs a really cool yarn company called Beyond Basic Knits.

In my parcel, carefully wrapped in that wine coloured tissue paper,  there was:  2 notebooks one of which is made from something called sweet-paper that’s made from leftovers from sugar processing, some green tea (hidden), some Chai tea, and some Christmas tea (yum!), a pink pen, a smiley card (not in the photo), a book called Creative Journal Writing which I’ve hardly been able to put down and the most gorgeous purple sock weight yarn.

The yarn is the most AMAZING purple. Its sitting there, in its twist, whispering sweet nothings to me, just wanting to be made into something.

Trouble is, I can’t decide. I want more mitts and a hat and a cowl, and there might be just enough there…or socks obviously..but what kind? Toe socks because I want to make some and it would make Thene squee?…Plain to show off the gorgeous yarn?….ankle socks?… Its just going to wait till I can decide!Damn my indecisiveness!

If you want to see what I sent her she’s posted a photo over at her blog here.


I’ve finished my Industrial Rose Socklets and will photo them when I’m not wearing them. They are so comfy! I may use the design again when I can work out the loose stitch issue when changing from purl to knit.

And I’m still working on my toe up socks. Actually I need to put some needle time in on those. and photograph them.

Other Stuff

Now, in the kitchen I have bulgar wheat, pomegranate seeds, and a butternut squash and am going to try and make that lovely salad I mentioned the other day. Then its time for another nap.

So, what do you think of what I’ve been making?




October 9, 2009


I journal. I try to do so everyday. In fact I keep two!

I kept a diary as a teenager until the awful day my mother read it; I’ve still not entirely forgiven her nearly 15 years later.

I started again in mid 2007 and wrote it till the end of that year. I meant to start a new one on the first of the year 2008, but that was when the illness that sparked my anxiety and depression off again struck and it took till early August of this year for me to feel up to it again.

I find it soothing, and a place where I can work out things that truely bother me, or just mark the passing of my day. I record ideas and progress of projects and record information.

I use large hardback moleskine lined notebooks mostly and a particular type of ballpoint pen – a Staedtler stick 430M. I also have a Parker fountain pen as well which makes my handwriting looked lovely and I may start to use that more. I didn’t have a fountain pen for a long while when I moved to York as it was sacrificed to the moving gods – they always take/break something during your move.

I use pictures and momentos in my journal; pictures that I’ve seen and find inspiring, tickets from journeys, pictures of things I want to make or have made, and photos and postcards I really like.

I take my journal to most places, it lives in one of my two bags. As you saw in one of my recent posts I’ve even made a knitted envelope for it.

In my second journal I make short records of each day – somewhat like a book of days. For this I use an extra large soft cover academic 18 month diary. This one stays at home.

I’ve recently joined a Journal Swap on Ravelry and am really looking forward to it, I’ve got a really nice swap partner called KnittinDiva.

She’s from the US and seems really cool. I’m having fun thinking up things for her package.

So, do you journal?

(Picture found on web.)


October Autumnal Musings….

October 6, 2009

As happened last year I am currently musing on all things Autumnal.

As I mentioned last time around, I am somewhat biased towards this time of year. Its the season I was born into and therefore my first experiences of the world were tinged with autumnal tones, and the need to be warm and comfortable. The newspapers reported that due to a dry year we are having an earlier autumn, but I can’t say I noticed it coming any quicker but I welcome it either way.

Its the season when the light is beautiful; tinting things golden and making them shine, where the cold in the air is just enough to make you rush back inside for a scarf and gloves, even though the sun is streaming down. Squashes, pumpkins and the autumns crops of  winter vegetables are starting to appear at the greengrocers and the leaves on the trees are starting to change. The few trees that go red are starting to do so, and the local shops have started putting thier halloween displays out.

Some people see Autumn as a melancholy time, as people become more introspective and withdrawn than during the sociable summer months, but I find that time of self reflection and preparing for winter an important part of the year. Its a time for celebrations; My birthday and those of my parents are all in Autumn; in fact they are in concecutive months!

Harvest Festival was one of the few school activities I really got involved with at primary school – I missed a lot of school – but we would do the only majorly charitable act of the year that we were expected to take part in. It was the only cross cultural event everyone at my school could take part in. I went to a very mutlitcultural school. Everyone in the school would bring in a piece of fruit or a vegetable and a tin of food. These were then put into tissue paper decorated shoeboxes, wrapped in coloured cellophane, tied up with ribbons and then they were distributed at several of the local Elderly Care Homes. It saddens me that I don’t have that small contact with my community any more…but alas I am not the church going type and even then,  in this politically correct world, I’m not sure anyone does anything like that anymore.


Tea is high in my thoughts, as is hot chocolate and I dream of having a woodburning stove to settle down in front of in the evening as the nights start to draw in. My major project this autumn/winter is my hexagon blanket and I plan to be snuggling under it by spring. My inner seasonal clock is already aware that cold weather is on its way and it has me thinking of porridge and mulled apple juice, of homemade gingerbread and of warm stews with thick chunks of homemade bread with butter on it, of scented candles smelling of cinnamon, of pumpkin lanterns, and of chai tea and gingerbread flavoured coffee.

The thoughts of curling up with  cushions and blankets is also present in my mind as is the fact I need a new hotwater bottle, and probably some more flannel pyjamas this winter.

Wouldn’t Autumn be a pretty name for someone?

I’ll leave you with Evaleen Stein’s lovely autumnal poem; November Morning.

A tingling, misty marvel
Blew hither in the night,
And now the little peach-trees
Are clasped in frozen light.

Upon the apple-branches
An icy film is caught,
With trailing threads of gossamer
In pearly patterns wrought.

The autumn sun, in wonder,
Is gayly peering through
This silver-tissued network
Across the frosty blue.

The weather-vane is fire-tipped,
The honeysuckle shows
A dazzling icy splendor,
And crystal is the rose.

Around the eaves are fringes
Of icicles that seem
To mock the summer rainbows
With many-colored gleam.

Along the walk, the pebbles
Are each a precious stone;
The grass is tasseled hoarfrost,
The clover jewel-sown.

Such sparkle, sparkle, sparkle
Fills all the frosty air,
Oh, can it be that darkness
Is ever anywhere!


Wispy knitting central

September 22, 2009

Don’t worry I haven’t transformed into a mist even though I  would if mists didn’t get colds. I am literally FULL of cold and it isn’t pleasant.

I’m talking about Works In Slow Progress. I’ve been so busy recently and had had a slight bout of startitis that means I now have several things on the needles….

This is rather an essay length post so you may want to get a cup of tea and a biscuit…ready?

  • Hexagon Blanket.

I started this project well over a year ago ( A year ago in July) and am currently up to 44 hexagons.  Don’t they look so pretty lined up all in a row?


This is my main knitting project this winter. This is a picture  of the hexagon template sheet I’m using to keep track of them – as you can see, I have quite a way to go.


To surmise whats happened since I started this project:

  • I started planning to make this entirely in one brand of yarn, Sirdar Country Style DK.
  • I stalled for a while and  changed my mind due to finding out my favourite colours had been discontinued trying to use other yarns
  • I tried using other yarns but then realised I would only get the same gauge using the same yarn so changed my mind back again and started collecting yarn in earnest.

I love the flecked colours of Country Style DK and really enjoy how it knits up.

Many thanks to Knitty, Vintage and Rosy who put the For the Love of Hexagons pattern on her blog for me to find when I was frantically searching for a KNITTED hexagon rather than a crocheted one. Seriously, until I found Norah Gaughan’s Knitting Nature, this was the only knitted hexagon pattern I’d found.

  • I have 3 pairs of socks on the needles, but they will be covered in a seperate post for tis nearly Socktoberfest time 🙂
  • Unmentionables – This is my HUGE project at the moment – another garment!


Knitty’s picture not mine. Thier copyright etc.

I first saw the unmentionable pattern from Knitty last year.
Who wouldn’t fall in love with knitted bloomers?
I’ve wanted to make them ever since, as always I’ve can’t buy the right kind of yarn at prices I could afford – it does need to be some kind of cotton blend.

As usual my ambitions outweighed my wallet, but I got a great amount of yarn for my birthday and so have started work on these. The yarn is a 50% cotton/45% rayon and 5% silk mix called Rowan Luxury Cotton DK. It’s deliciously soft.The colourway is called Bloom and is a greyish purpley lilac, with a strand of slightly deeper mauvey lilac twisted though it.


I’ve used a knitted provisional cast on as I have enough problems crocheting without trying to crochet  166 stitches onto a circular needle.

On saturday I knit about 13 rows, realised the cast on had been hopelessly twisted, frogged it all and re cast on again and knitted till I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. Between Sunday and Monday evening I have knitted 30 rows overall (4inches of fabric) and used one 50g ball.

Only downside? They are those arty type balls that look great but as they are loosely wound centre pull balls they collapse in on themselves in a particularly unhelpful way.

I do actually have a couple of finished objects to show you!

I made some Knitfits.

  • Knitfits

These are drawstring bag with a i cord handle with a knitted strap in the middle which rests on your wrist. The idea is it means you can carry your small knitting project while keeping your hands free. I like the idea of this and have knitted a couple:

One in some multicoloured yarn and one in black.


DSCF3623They are a hand free yarn caddy so you have your hands free while you knit, and walk, etc…fun idea and I needed some WIP bags. To stop needles etc sticking through they are lined with the lids from blank CD/DVD spindles. I need to trim the catch spines from the edge though.


Hows that for upcycling!?

  • I also made a pouch/envelope for my journal:


Simple pattern made up as I was going along as there was nothing out there suitable.  Garter stitch,reverse stockinette turning rows, and a pointed flap. Side seams bound using a 3 needle bind off. Very simple and just what I need. Fits my journal, a pen and a couple of pieces of folded paper if i’ve made notes I want to journal about later.

I think thats all the knitting I have to show you at the moment and I will blog in a couple of days time with the sewing projects I’m working on.

It’s good to be back to doing this. Will keep you posted on progress on these WISPs.


Autumn Days

October 16, 2008

Its a glorious day today! Now, I might be slightly biased towards Autumn as a season as its the one I was born into and therefore is associated with learning, birthdays and warm colours to me.

The light today is beautiful; tinting things golden and making them shine. I had a baked potato for my lunch which is always warming and comforting, with a good strong cup of Yorkshire tea. The Greengrocers across the road has pumpkins outside and its making them glow, and the Butchers is advertising that they have partridge and pheasants in stock and will be taking xmas orders in November. The wind is up and is tousling the leaves on the trees and whistling around the eaves of the houses and for the first time in several days I feel really alive.

The last few days involved a lot of soul searching and heavy thinking as well as being curled up on the sofa with a heat pad feeling sorry for myself and listening to Cast On while my man watched football and working on my Socktoberfest socks.

I’ve decided I need to organise my knitting; well, I need to organise my life, but I thought I’d start with my knitting!

I borrowed a ball winder off a lovely woman at my knitting group a couple of weeks ago and and have been busy winding and cataloguing my yarn stash.I love the way it makes the lines on yarn on the ball fall into that lovely interwoven pattern and I’ve wound three balls of yarn I’ll never actually use just so I can put them in a lovely wooden bowl, when I find one 🙂

I’ve learnt I have no green yarn at all…this is only slightly worrying and I have no where near enough purple yarn for someone who adores the colour purple. I have however decided that I need to only buy yarn because I need it for a particular project from now on. Now as is usual with these things I am giving myself a sock yarn allowance of a ball a month.

I’ve been working out a knitting journal because i’ve decided I need to actually start to keeping a proper record of my projects so have been completly geeky and worked out what info I want records off and things. I just need to find myself a folder thinking A5 so it fits into my bag.

Project updates – Lets see….

Socktoberfest: I started the Picot Eyelet socks I mentioned a couple of posts ago.

I cast on with the Yarn D’Amour Freya – Hedgerow and knitted most of the first sock before I realised I had a serious ladder issue, and so had to frog my first and second attempt.

I snapped the beautiful, soft and gorgeous to work with yarn serveral times during frogging purely though my own fault and thefore decided to use it for a different project and try these socks in a different yarn. I pulled out this autumn coloured skein of Trekking XXL and cast on with it.

So far, the first one is complete, as you can see, and the yarn stripes up beautifully. THe picot edging and eyelets are done on the second sock. I’ve also finally worked out how to make them fit properly on both foot and ankle. I work the ankle on 3mm and the heel and foot on 2.5mm. I have skinny feet and not so skinny ankles. I need more sock needles! My clover bamboos are bending!

I’ve decided its time to get over my fear and actually start knitting an actual garment and I’ve fallen in love with two patterns!

The first is Neaty from Rowan 42, and I love love love it. Unfortunatly though, the rowan wool(Cocoon – bulky) for it is rather out of my price range so I’m currently researching possible substitutes and it may be a while till I can afford enough yarn for it but I am determined to make it. Am thinking Plum and Pewter sort of colours.

The second, and the the one I’m likely to cast on soon is the Pimlico Shrug from Knit 2 Together. I really love the shape and the style and I have enough Heather Blue DK to make it as well, so no expense required!

I find it oddly telling that I am obsessing over socks and jumpers and fingerless mitts at the moment, as I get the feeling my inner seasonal clock is telling me the cold weather is coming this way.

I’m off to study the Pimlico pattern and do a spot of housework before I settle down to work on a sock or cast on the Pimlico.



The urge to be old-fashioned.

August 9, 2008

It may not be incredibly evident on this blog so far, but I have an immense love of Victoriana and Victorian Clothing.

Some months ago, while visiting my friend Sue who shares this passion for the pretty clothes, at her lovely house in Cornwall, we were rifling through her books and I came across a Trousseau list in Fashions of The Gilded Age – Volume 2 and sat diligently scribbling it down into my notebook:

“Of dresses there are required morning dresses, walking suits, carriage dresses, evening dresses, one traveling dress, one waterproof suit, one very handsome suit to return calls. These dresses may be multiplied in number according to needs and means.

There are certain requisite articles that must be supplied in a certain number, and of a certain similarity in general character and make. They may be set down as follows:

  • Four pairs of corsets, on pair white embroidered, two plain white, and one coloured, the latter to be used in traveling.
  • Twelve chemises, six elaborately trimmed and six plainly made.
  • Six corset covers, three finely finished.
  • Six trimmed skirts and six plain ones.
  • Six flannel skirts, three of them handsomely embroidered.
  • Two Balmoral skirts, one handsome and the other plain.
  • Six fine and six plain nightdresses
  • Four white dressing sacques, two of them flannel.
  • Two looser wrappers of chintz or cashmere.
  • Six sets of linen collars and cuffs for morning wear.
  • Six sets of lace or embroidered collars and cuffs.
  • One dozen plain handkerchiefs, one dozen fine handkerchiefs, and six embroidered or lace trimmed handkerchiefs.
  • One dozen pair of fine thread hose, one dozen of heavy cotton, and on dozen of fine merino.
  • Walking boots, gaiters and slippers of various styles.
  • Two pairs of white kind gloves, two of light and two of dark tints, with others of thread and cloth.”

(Taken from Ladies and Gentlemens Etiquette, 1877)”

The concept of a Trousseau has always intrigued me as has the idea of hope chests and dowry boxes. The thought of making your Trousseau and storing them in a special box appeals to me for some reason. (

Now, before people start getting the wrong idea  I am neither engaged or planning a wedding, but I have been thinking about making some of the items off the list. Not all of them, odviously, as unfortunatly I can’t dress in Victorian clothing everyday – its not particularly practical for doing the hoovering in, for example but perfect for sitting and knitting or sewing in for example, and generally feeling pretty! And who doesn’t want to feel pretty and feminine?

I’m working on a pared down version of the list and will keep you updated as this sewing project progresses.

I’m off to count the pennies in the piggy bank for fabric!