Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Get Us Up To Date Post

So, I'm up to date with my blogs! And with this one I'm going to be 'over' - you don't know what kind of a sense of achievement that gives me. Ahhhhhh. Last week it felt like I tied up a few ends and now I'm feeling dead positive. I feel like I can begin some new projects - and not of the knitting/crochet variety (though of course I won't let that not happen...). Today I'm going to do one of my 'get-us-up-to-date' posts and then I might have a couple of days off blogging... for all of our sakes. ;)

So, in the end last week I finished three pairs of socks! THREE! These ones:

In the Rainbow Fluro sock. These ones:

In the Leaf Neon Fluro Sock. And these ones:

In the West Yorkshire Spinners Aran that I bought in York. Boyf has been wearing these like he has no other socks (possibly because I keep throwing out all of his socks with holes in, and cutting them up so he can't fish them out. Did I tell you how much he likes me being a harridan?).

I didn't mean for last week to be the week of socks but apparently it was. I had big plans to finish this pair off too:

But as you can see by my face - that didn't happen. I got sidetracked and there's only one and, since this morning, a cast on for another. Can you see the little tiny stripe near the toe? That's because I'd forgotten that I've knitted my mum basically the same socks a year or so ago so I didn't want them to get mixed up if they go in the wash together. Clever ey? I put them down a month or so ago after I'd done most of the foot of the first sock, and then when I decided to knit something else and I needed those needles, so I took them out without securing the stitches thinking that I'd just rip the sock out and reuse the yarn because I wasn't that enamoured but I didn't end up ripping them. So this morning I was able to reget the needles in but I did a few rows to reorient myself and work out how many stitches should be on each needle but it means that the feet are about an inch too long for me - perhaps Boyf wants them? Hmmmm. Anyway, it's the Cygnet Truly Wool Rich 4ply in Pine and they're going to be lovely. I will finish them after I've finished this!!!!!

GAH!!!!!!!!!!! Is that not the most BEAUTIFUL THING you've ever seeeeeeeen!?!? It's a Sophia Loren Pullover from Knitty. Sometimes I'm just blown away by how brilliant that site is - lately I feel like I'm falling in love all over again. Have you seen the newest issue? Anyway, it's in the Cottonsoft in Oyster, Coral and Cherry and it's knitting up like butter. Like butter. :) Now, the Oyster's a little too much like beige for my liking (Elizabeth listen up!) but because it's with the other two I can stand it - there were other options though, like these two with the cream or the Jade and Navy with the Silver. Somehow though, I plumped for the beige and it just so happens to be THE ONLY BLOODY COLOUR WE ONLY HAD ONE OF! UGH! So, I went and bought some on Sunday but it hasn't turned up yet. I've done the body up to the armholes and one of the sleeves for about four inches but I've got, I would estimate, about 15g left of the Oyster left and I'm deffo going to run out and the yarn isn't here and ugh ugh ugh, that's why I've restarted the Pine socks - at least that's something to knit and I feel like I'm being useful because they've been on the needles (after a fashion) for a looooong time. Finishitis - you're still here! Kinda... 

Another project I've been working on is this: 

It's a little fairisle yoke cardi for a customer - I talked about it here a bit. I love fairisle! I don't even mind it when it goes wrong, I just kinda work out where it's wrong and increase or decrease in the appropriate places (using ssk's or k2tog's depending on which stitch I need to show) and carry on with my life. Sooooo not an OCD knitter. And I did that with this one, then when I tried to purl back it all went wrong again so I had the brilliant idea of doing it in the roundddddd! Then of course, all of your stitches are facing so it's much easier to see where things are going wrong and to put things right, I also think it's easier to keep tension. So I finished the last 15 or so rows in the round on Saturday in the shop whilst chatting to customers. Put it down for a minute and then my heart sank. It's a bloody cardigan. Of course, if it were for me, I would have steeked the hell out of that but it's not so I couldn't. So yesterday, I got up extra specially early and whilst watching Lorraine and Jezza I ripped and reknitted and actually the pattern works. Me and the customer were convinced that it didn't but it does when you take time to look where the decreases are supposed to be. It does work. And I'm pleased with it. 

On a related note, it's in the Poundland acrylic because she wasn't sure if she could do it and didn't want to spend hundreds if she didn't have to. THAT STUFF IS BLOODY HORRENDOUS! Of course I would say that. But it is! I admit, the colours are nice - that green is to die for actually - and I love the way that she's put them together, dead unusual and they 'work', yes? But it feels like it's dirty. Actually dirty, all the way through knitting I was thinking 'I wanna block this, I wanna know what it's like once it's been washed and sewn and pressed' but I didn't have enough time and it's not what the customer asked. On a separate mission yesterday I popped into Poundland and had a look at the range... hmmm. Now, it's on 3 for 2 which means that you pay £2 for 150g. So, it's slightly cheaper than our Pricewise DK which is £1.85 for 100g. But they also don't put on their labels what yardage it is and I suspect that the yardage is pretty bad - otherwise, why on earth wouldn't they put it on? Like when they do toothpaste and you think you're getting a bargain but they've actually negotiated smaller tube sizes. Anyway, I'll stop bitching about their yarns now. I've got better things to talk about. 

Like the Fairisle Course in a couple of weeks!!! We're making this: 

So if the fairisle bug has bitten you after my two projects - get on it! Book here.  It's genuinely dead easy and I am going to LOVE teaching this course so I'll be at my articulate best, I promise lots of ranting! :)


My new saddact trolley! And I don't care what anybody thinks - least of all my sister who is h.o.r.r.i.f.i.e.d. Ha. I got it from a closing down shop and it was cheap but I'm totes not surprised he is closing down because when I was trying to get it off the rack he came huffing and puffing behind me saying there were some to take out the front but they all had price labels on and this was the last one on the rack so I was doing him a favour. Horrid horrid man. I'm glad I rescued me trolley from him. We're going to get along fine. I've got lots of parcels to fill it up with already but I have noticed that the bus drivers keep lowering the bus for me - veritably part of the old granny crew now! :)

**OOOOOOOOOF - GUESS WHAT JUST TURNED UP! Only my bloody Oyster yarn! ARGH! Now I can put the sock away and just knit my jumper. WHAT A DAY!**

My plan for the rest of the day is just knitting. I know this sounds like cheating but I have missed knitting club for six weeks running because I was doing a 'financial fast' for the first three weeks and then I've just been knackered. I think it's because Tuesday is my start of the week so I always begin stuff then and I'm excited but by the end of the day I've tired myself out. So all I've done today is this and serving customers and once this is done I'll answer the e-mails and then I'm knitting and in that way I will get to knit club. I think it's important for me to attend because these are my people and it's good to know what's happening with knitters other than the ones that come into my shop - obvs, most of them buy from me every now and again and some almost exclusively but there are 'Rowan Knitters' there too so it's kinda like the other end of the scale - know what I mean? So now I can knit on my jumper at knit club. After I've done my bits.
I also wanted to mention before I head off, that there are still spaces on the Yarndale trip. In fact, off the top of my head, there are 19 of you booked which means that it's still not definitely on (even though it kinda is... as if I'd miss that!). Please book if you want to come and also spread the word even if you don't. Click here for the page or give us a ring or pop in.

And that's it - I think we're up to date. See you in a few days (unless I have something mega to say). 

Love love love love Eleanor. xxx

Saturday, 22 March 2014

An Overload.

(Written to be released yesterday so just bear with...)

Of talented customers! BLIMEY! I've been a bit lacking in sharing photos of stuff that people have done recently, and after my Ode to Jazz yesterday, I thought I'd better do one biiiiiiiig post to get back up to date. Enjoy. :)

Singing Bird Artist. Proud of what she's done. Obviously. haha. She'd tried to pick a ball off the shelf and it all came crumbling down around her. It happens a lot here and it's the only time that things really get tidied and sorted (if I have enough time... otherwise they just get shoved back on) so I really don't mind. I just love her little face on this photo. :)

Onto something a bit more productive hey?

Lindsey! From the bank! It's not a bank! I don't care! She came on one of the learn to crochet courses, promptly turned into a master of crochet doing all sorts of intricate things and I virtually had to bully her into finishing this for her mother (for Christmas? For her birthday?) even though it's booooring because it's back to basics. I think the colours really work though and by all accounts her mother loved it. :)

Cathy. Dear old Cathy. She's a regular in the shop so many of you will have met her, she jumps around a lot and she's got a warped sense of humour (in the best kind of a way). She came to us when we'd only just opened, really struggling with her knitting and it's been lovely seeing her progress. Doing this in the Patons' Diploma Gold from one of the Knit Now's took some persuading but I think it's charming. Don't you?

Here's Priscilla in her beautiful Riot DK cardigan. The pattern was written for the Shades DK which we discontinued a little while ago but she's changed some of the details around - like the ribbing on the placket? That was originally garter stitch. I think it adds a kind of military feel which is still around as a trend. I love how she's made it fit her perfectly too!

It wouldn't be a blog post without Verity would it!? This is the Postman Pat jumper that I took off her hands when we were making the bouquets. She couldn't be bothered to sew it up and I offered (because I was drunk...) but then I kinda lost it and then there wouldn't have been enough time for her to do the other bits so I did the neckband and the embroidery (the glasses and Jess's eyes and some other bits). It didn't take long in the end and Alf is MEGA pleased with it. Dead good. Although, on one side she forgot to do any armhole shaping - that too some thinking about. Bloody Vezza.

Dare I say this might be my favourite thing on here!? It's a handbag by Iris and it is STUNNING! She came to show me, unfortunately, on a Monday so the table was still out from a lesson and stuff was everywhere. Bum. So I didn't get a good photo of the rest of it but oh well because this is definitely the best bit! It's the crocodile stitch (or dragon stitch depending on where you come across it) and it was Iris's first time doing it. She's a fabulous crocheter anyway but it's definitely a challenge of a stitch this one. I love how she's used the Flash DK and sometimes the scales are half one colour and half another - so cute! The handle, and some other bits are done in black Pricewise DK and the lining is a printed cotton in the most perfectly matching fabric you ever did see. She looks a treat with it!

I'm sneaking this one in here because it's gone down a storm in the shop. It's not interesting enough, I don't think, to have a blog all of it's own. It's by meeeee! And it's for the shop. It's part of my new year's resolution to do a knitting and crocheted 'thing' in every yarn in the shop (that's kind of stalled to get me back on track with Amy's Cardigan which is pretty much finished btw) but I will get there - I have until the end of the year, ey? Anyway, it's a jacket from the King Cole Baby Crochet book - I can't get these on the internet because I don't have any good quality photos of the projects inside, maybe people will buy just from the cover but I'd feel bad. It's in the Pricewise DK and the buttons I bought from York on my Valentine's weekend. In retrospect I could have gone a size or two bigger for those but it will most likely never be worn anyway and I had no idea because when I bought them I had just about done a chain and a row on the back so I did my best. Lovely pattern, lovely yarn. :)

This is the lovely Hilary (mates with Priscilla from above - love word of mouth!) in her King Cole Riot Chunky Jacket (pattern: 3370 - doesn't it look so much better in Hilary's colourway??). I adore how neat Hilary is, I couldn't do it. She's matched up the fronts and the sleeves perfectly and somehow the button bands match even though she didn't try, she's just magically neat! Lovely fit, lovely colour on her, very pleased. In fact, I was walking down the road with my head down the other day when I noticed a flash of colour, had a quick glance, thought to myself 'phwoar what a cardi' and then realised it was Hilary and her Riot Chunky. :)

AMY! AMY BLOODY BLACKWELL! She's only gone and made a bloody Beatnik hasn't she!? In yarn from another shop (boo hiss!) but I was so tickled by the fact that she was wearing it as I was finishing the last bits of Amy's cardi that I made her pose. Look at her lovely smile and look at the fact that there are two Beatniks that belong to two different Amys on the camera at the same time. Magic.

This is a snap from my Learn to Knit lesson last week. It was a seriously good lesson! Seriously! I say this every time but these lot were mega knitters after only about an hour. You know I can't remember names, but the leftie in the corner who was sure she couldn't do it - she could! (Not so much the threading a needle though but we can't be great at everything hey... ;) ). And the bloke, Philip? Phillip? Phil? I could be completely wrong - sorry! He's not only a knitter, flower arranger, hair dresser and an electrical engineer (love those electrical engineers), he also fixed my kettle! Kinda... He worked out it must have been the switch rather than anything electric and ever since I've been able to make it boil just by flicking it on and off a few million times. Today though, I walked about three miles to buy a new one and it's shiny, sleek and silver so that fits in with the rest of the shop (or not...). Anyway, he's wearing the bling and holding the special electrical screwdriver that Boyf left in my bag... So enjoyed this lesson and so looking forward to this Sunday.

This is Annette in her lovely Bamboo Cotton Cardigan. She made this on the Sweater Club workshops and it was a true labour of love but I think we can agree that it looks fab - yes? I love this colour on her and I have a sneaky suspicion that she might have one of the few colourings that look good in that shade. Apart from kids obviously, they look good (or equally kiddy should I say, not a big fan) in every colour but for me, I'd deffo have to mix it with something and then you'd lose the pure simplicity of the colourway. It's a bit Farrow and Ball if you know what I mean? Love how she's matched it with the scarf too! 

And the mavelous Davina - another big friend of the shop! :) She deserves extra special mention because she's now finished a crochet t-shirt (which is amazing btw, check the ravelry) but to say thanks for the help I've given her she bought me a BIG BOTTLE OF RED WINE! On a day that I really needed it! This is an old pattern of ours knitted in the Patons Diploma Gold DK and it took a lot of wool and even more willpower to get through it. At fist cables are all like 'yeah, fun, not just knitting, not just ribbing, bit exciting, looks amazing, dead easy, yeeeeeah' and then cables are more like 'oh. my. god. could. you. be. any. more. boring? Please just knit yourself, like now'. Know what I mean? Davina persevered and this was the result and I love her and her little face! :)

This one deserves and extra special mention AND a huge photo because OMG! LOOK AT IT! I can't remember this lady's name (and I feel bad but I warn everybody that this is going to happen so tough) but she is a.m.a.z.i.n.g. Amazing. Look! And I lost half the photos because I'm a tit so there's even more goodness to this cowl than there is on these photos! Essentially, she bought a load of Cygnet Chunky and made a My Favourite Things Cowl. There's loads of stuff in there, wabbits, London, snow, music, and the world! I wish I'd not lost the rest of the photos because there is so much more. Isn't it beautiful??! Isn't it exactly the right size for her?! What about the colours?! Is everybody else as excited as I am!? I LOVE IT!

I'm mega excited to share these with you too. As far as I know, it's the first FO with the Truly Hooked - Two Of A Kind yarn (just spoke to Vezza this morning, there's going to be more!!!). Jennifer got one of each of the colourways (after some messing about at our end - hopefully sorted now!) and this is what she created! WOWOWOWOWOW! Doesn't it look stunning! And I love the contrast between the before and after blocking photos - really shows what it does don't you think? And it's interesting, to me anyway, and you know I'm weird, how it affects the colours - they're just a little less vivid in the blocking photo - yes? It could be to do with the photos to be fair but I think it's because the stitches are much less smooshed. 

And here's the shawl in action - love her hair. Love how she's put it with something so plain - to let the yarn shine. If you're in any doubt, Jennifer is a seriously nice person who didn't tell me off when she should have done so I love her. :) :) :) 

And finally, I'd get a right telling off if I didn't include these. They're Cazza's (my sister...) dishclarts and aren't they lovely!? As far as I can tell they're in the Bamboo Cotton (mostly maybe anyway) and I do genuinely love how she's put colours together, dead interesting. Not entirely sure you could claim that they were 'designed' though Cazza - they are just kinda squares with stripes on. Anyway, really enjoy useful knitting - it must be a family thing. :)

And that's your lot. It's not all of my talented customers (obvs, you are reading this) but it's everything that's on my phone and now they're on here I've deleted them off there and my phone actually feels lighter. It takes less time to find photos of Boyf and the cat to cheer me up anyway... Haha.

Love Eleanor. xxx

Friday, 21 March 2014

Soft as a Baby's Bum

I'd already written a blog for today because I am smashing these blogs out and it's nice to be a few infront but lovely King Cole sent a big order and it had in it some new colours so bugger the old blog for a lark, I'm going to tell you about the new colours and my plans for a new project AND an invitation for a knit/crochet along! YEAAAAHAHAHAHA!

So, Cottonsoft. Yeah? Have you tried it? And if not, why not? It's a funny old thing this yarn because there are two incredible aspects to it. And I genuinely mean incredible.

Firstly, the colours. Now I don't think that King Cole have done a good range. What they've given us is is twenty colours that are all individual stunning but don't seem to span a range that looks good on the shelf and therefore it's often overlooked in favour of the Bamboo. What they really need is a YELLOW! What they need in every range is a good yellow. You know I love mustard (and mustard loves me, mwahaha) but what I want, and what I know you lot want, is a good sunshine yellow. Imagine me, in a summer top, knitted or crocheted in sunshine yellow cotton. Mmmmmm. I know you're feeling that. But, we work with what we've got ey? And the new colours certainly un-baby the range a bit. Have a look:

 That's the Coral : Cloud : Sage : Rose Petal : Khaki.

They're still from a soft palette I know, but they're a bit different.  (The Khaki's not very khaki, it's much more golden). I have somebody in mind that will LOVE the Coral and she's already worked with the Cottonsoft but she's been in this week so I might not see her for a while. 

Now, the second thing that makes this yarn incredible is she sheer softness. It is impossible for me to explain that - especially as my vocabulary ranges from beauts to brill and not much in between. It can't be described over the internet. It's actually the softest yarn that I've ever had in my hands and I've fondled a lot of yarn. What I suggest is, next time you're in, even if you're coming for something else, the first thing you should say is 'I want a smoosh of that there Cottonsoft' and then you can just go about your business fondling the ball and somehow it'll work it's way into your subconscious until the next time you're in and you buy a sweater's worth.

To take advantage of the softness and kinda of comfy-old-sweater quality of this yarn my favourite combo of pattern as yarn would be King Cole 2999.

Doesn't that look like a lovely sweater to wear - dead easy for when you're rambling about on a weekend? Or just to pop on when you're at a garden party in the summer. Or around the house cooking Sunday dinner. Just slouchy, easy. Ahhhh. I have great visions for me and this sweater but the new colours have deffo put a spanner in the works - before, this was definitely going to be in the Saxe and now the Coral is calling my name. 

Which leads me to the knit/crochet along that Jemma Weston is organising. Have you ever heard of a mood scarf? The idea is that you pick three colours - one for happy, one for sad and one for in the middle and then you work one or two rows every day over a year in the colour that represents your feelings that day. Read more about it here because Jem's a bit more eloquent than me... Clicky here. Do you get the idea?

So, I kinda thought about it then thought... nah... I already have too much on, but really, do I? One row a day is barely anything. And then lovely Rebecka came in to choose her yarn, she went for the Patons 100% Cotton 4ply in Fuchsia, Black and Limestone.

I can't remember which one is sad, happy or middle though. Sorry Rebecka! She's going to crochet hers and she had the cute idea of doing taller stitches like trebles when she feels the big emotions and smaller like doubles when she feels less so. I think that's a lovely idea - and one that I'm going to kind of steal...

So, I was so taken with her choices, and the Cottonsoft was all over the floor because that had been a major consideration that I couldn't ignore the urge anymore. I AM KNITTING/CROCHETING A MOOD SCARF!

Here are my colours:

That's: Cherry : Silver : Jade : Coral : Wine

You know me - I get angry and excited much more than I am middling and for me they're very different emotions to sad and happy so I hated to push them into the same bracket. Also, I like my colours - well that's an understatement... So I've chosen five - always contrary. :)

I'm also not making a scarf - I reckon I'll get more use out of a shawl. So I'm going to begin with like seven stitches, or whatever (it's been a long time since I've worked a shawl in knitting like that) and do the yo increases along the spine and at each end. I'm also, taking a leaf out of Rebecka's book and doing different stitches for different days. I have all sorts of ideas - like slip stitches for the day when I'm in a rush, yo's when it's warm and sunny, cables when it's been a hard, involved day. I'm going to see how it goes as it goes. which means I might not be able to look back and know what I meant, if you know what I mean, like the other girls that are following hard and fast rules but it does mean that I'll have something that means something to me and looks as eclectic as I like to think that I look. Does that make sense?

So that's that. Are you going to do it? You're very welcome and you don't have to do it in Cottonsoft but I really think you should... :)

It starts on the 30th of March and then you do it for as long as you want, but I reckon I'm going to do a whole year and I'll be updating you as I go.

Love Eleanor. xxxx

Thursday, 20 March 2014


Can you remember Jazz?

Remember her now? :)

That's her modelling her new Owls Jumper by Kate Davies in the Cygnet Grousemoor Chunky in the Mole colourway. I wanted to talk to you about it because I'm dead bloody proud of her.

Jazz is an overthinker. A serious overthinker when it comes to knitting. I tell her this all the time. She'll take months, sometimes years, to start a project. She trawls through Rav for comments on patterns and yarn reviews, she'll buy a skein, bring it back, buy another, knit a swatch, buy another, start the garment, stop the garment, buy more wool, take it back and so on and so on. I tell her this all the time. The stuff that she ends up with is beautiful but I'm sure it causes too much heartache. And I want to talk about this Owls Jumper because she didn't do it! She saw the yarn, bought the yarn, knitted the jumper and now she's wearing it. All in a matter of two months or so. To say I'm shocked is an understatement!

And look how lovely it is! How well it fits! How perfect the colour is! And how it's making her dance with joy! A LOT of twerking happened in the shop yesterday. :)

It's a lovely jumper in and of itself. Jazz reckons the pattern veers towards entirely too stark instructions to over explaining within a sentence or two but the amount of people that have made it pays testament to the lovely design and fit and as she left yesterday she told me she loved it despite herself.

She made a few changes - added about four inches before starting the waist shaping:

And what lovely waist shaping it is! Because she liked it so much she put the shaping for the sleeves on the outside but I didn't get a photo of that because I'm a tit...

If she were making it again, she reckons she'd make it top down because she feels more in control that way.

Have a little look closer at the owl cable:

Look how pretty they are! Such a good cable and it pops up all over the place! Just look at all of the Owl cables around ravelry - click here.

I'm pretty sure that she should put a little set of buttons on just one of the owls - like a deep, matt bronze? Just to confirm to the world that these are indeed owls. But Jazz and her husband aren't convinced I don't think (Jazz was talking about how long it takes her to find buttons... ONLY IF YOU'RE OVERTHINKING IT JAZZ!).

And that's it. I guess I'm kinda showing off about how brill my customers are but mostly how pleased I am that Jazz has got something finished. :) She'll love me for this.

Love Eleanor. xxx

Wednesday, 19 March 2014


On my finishitis stint. So yesterday I was alllll about my socks, yeah? Here they are glooooowing in the street last night:

And  I love them so much I washed them last night so that I could wear them again today:

And I was so darn pleased that I restarted this wip from a few months ago:

Even knowing that they would never fit me, or possibly any other human being... So be it. They're a shop sample. I finished them last night, sewed the ends in and everything and they're blocking (kinda) as we speak. 

Well, they are less blocking and more drying from the washing that they had because look at the top of the right one: 

Bloody coffee stain! How does that happen?!!?!? And I guess it's been in since the beginning, or at least a while, because it was there when I picked it up again yesterday morning and I haven't touched these socks since I went to Melton Mowbray and that was in early January... Anyway, it matters not because I've found a new product! And it's all due to a lovely new customer of mine, Helen. She's getting right back into knitting and she's made a few baby/toddler bits, a bag, and, and this is the pertinent bit, she's made most of a fairisle yoke adult sweater for a friend. The fairisle bit was giving her some jip, I helped where I could but it just wasn't working and she facebooked in a terrible tizz asking if I could finish it for her. I said yes. It's only about 15 rows, I don't make a habit of it, so don't get any ideas... ;) I haven't started it yet but I may get down to it today, or perhaps tomorrow. We'll see. Aaaaaaaanyway, in payment for that (or really, rather as a gift) she's given me some Doctor Bronner's Magic 18 in 1 Uses soap (I have no idea if that's the real name... but that's what's on the bottle... roughly...). You can buy it at the Little London Herbal Store which Helen owns.

Now, I've already got a tiny little bottle of the stuff, Jazz gave it to me after we were talking about how she uses it to wash her hair. I used it to wash my hair and nuh-uh, I don't have enough oils or something. It was a bit of a nightmare, though I read that I should use it with their conditioner so I might try it again. I've been using my little bottle for all sorts of cleaning type stuff though - the bathroom, the windows, my nails after gardening - that kind of stuff and in a pinch I've used it as shower gel - seriously, this stuff really does have 18 uses in one. But, I was running low on hair conditioner last night which is what I usually wash/block knitting with so I gave the big new shiny bottle a go and it works! A teeny, tiny squirt and you're done - loads of bubbles. The coffee stain came out without *any* scrubbing, I didn't even touch it! Blocking happened - the ladders on my socks are reforming into more a acceptable pattern and I'm happy. And it's cheaper than Soak or Eucalan (I can't give you the price though because I got it as a gift because I'm bloody brill!).


With that pair finished, I decided to get back to the socks that I was supposed to be knitting Boyf. They are on my to-do list they're just a bit further down than I've got to so I'm kinda cheating but kinda not. Anyway, I think what stopped me stopped me from finishing the first one earlier was that I wasn't sure what to do about the top of the sock. The whole thing's in two by two rib but I kinda had it in my head that I might do something different - like a one by one rib. And then I couldn't work out which cast off I wanted to use and that all depended anyway on what I was doing for the ribbing. This morning I thought, bugger this for a lark, and finished the damn sock. I used a k2tog cast off which I've never seen used before but I'm sure I've not made it up... the p2tog cast off (sometimes called the lace cast off I think) is used in a lot of shawls but I didn't want that ridge-y bit (which is what stopped me using EZ's sewn bind off) so I went with the k2tog cast off and I am happy. The edge looks a little frilly:

But once it's stretched out, as it will be on his legs, there's no frill. And really, what man doesn't want a little frill anyway?

So I started the second sock on the bus, carried on knitting through the super busy morning we had and then by the time the shop had died down enough for me to have a coffee and my lunch (two or so???) I only had a few metres to go before the end of the ball, so I finished what I had, took some photos and came on here. Obviously, I stop blogging when customers are in so it's not that straight forward. Haha. Anyway, this is where I am:

And that's where I'll have to stay because I've run out of yarn on the first ball and I've no idea where the second it. Blurgh. It'll turn up. And it might just mean that I finally sew in the ends and sew up Amy Singer's cardi... Maybe... I kinda just want to knit socks.

And talking of Boyf - he's decided to make me a scarf for his 'crochet thing' and I'm dead excited! I put together some lovely colours - kinda autumnal(ish) and he asks for more colours today. What colours would you like Boyf? Red, white and black. What a colourscheme... But I've kinda been told to be more grateful and encouraging on the facebook page and I am! I promise! And I'll provide the yarn in the colours that he wants but I do also find that he respond well to me being my natural self - which is a moaning,whining harridan most of the time. Seriously. He loves it.
Right, I'm ghosting. I'm gonna get some more coffee and write a blog to post tomorrow and then, along with the one that I've already written to put up whenever I just can't deal with life, I'm only one post away from making this whole eight blogs a month thing up to date! If I have the inspiration I'm a gonna keep going though because if and when we get a heatwave I'm going to need to just sit still in a dark corner and I plan on going on holiday at some point and honestly, sometimes I just feel like being quiet. Imagine! So I'm going to get some blog posts 'in stock' as it were.

Love Eleanor. xxx

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A Sock Story.

It all began last Friday night. I think we'd had a stressful day - either too busy or too quiet, I can't remember. I'd done a lot of knitting on Amy Singer's cardi and wasn't ready yet to go back to my cardigan yet, and I knew that the wedding was happening and I needed some easy knitting but I wanted to feel inspired. Know what I mean?

So I began - the socks:

 In the Regia Fluormania Sock. AHHHHHH! And just about a row after that - I got bored.

Socks aren't a 'project' project are they? Unless they're like this beaut:

That's the Hannah Sock by Patti Waters and if you click on that rav link (or any of her other designs) it'll take you through to the pattern and if you click to buy and then the paypal link this pattern and all of her other ones will jump in your library for FREEEEE (until the 21st of March)! To celebrate her wedding! What a woman. She's not said this, but I am, designers give things away for free so that people will knit the stuff and put up reviews and versions on Ravelry. Have you ever seen something you think you like on there but you're not sure and only one person's made it? Well, you and your project that you've put on rav could be the difference between somebody umming and ahhing and actually buying the pattern and that's why she's giving it away. I'm sure she's lovely too and wants you to have something nice to knit but I feel like we need to give back - yes? :)

And back to MY sock. The most important sock. Obvs. 

So it's not a 'project' project is it? They're things that come with you on the go, in the queue, on the bus, whilst talking to customers, at weddings, at the pub, watching tv. Know what I mean? But, I'm kinda like that with all of my knitting so I need a bit more (but not much...) to keep me interested. Also, I am TERRIBLY lazy and I often need a 'goal' to work to otherwise the second sock will be a cm or two shorter that the first one. A pattern, or a pattern repeat, is perfect for that because whilst I'm happy to have one stocking stitch leg shorter than the other, I am not. happy. to have one pattern repeat less.

I had a quick think and this idea has been floating around in my head for a while. I'm going to explain it to you, it's not a pattern but please feel free to ask if you don't get it, I am beyond happy with the idea.
  • So, you start with all stocking stitch and the idea is that you end with all 2 by 2 rib by the time the heel comes. 
  • I had 68 stitches divided over four needles (and a spare) so 17 stitches on each needle. 
  •  I knitted to two stitches before the end of the first needle, purled one and knitted one. Then on the second needle I knitted one, then purled one then knitted all the way round. This way I had the middle knitted rib and the start of the surrounding purl ribs. 
  • Work a row knitting the knits and purling the purls. 
  • Next row, I knitted to one stitch before the purl, purled two, knitted two, purled two and then knitted all the way around. Now I had the middle knitted rib and the two purl ribs on each side. 
  • Work one row knitting the knits and purling the purls. 
  • Then I worked four rows knitting the knits and purling the purls. I did this because in my head, I was 'introducing' the new knitted ribs at either side of the purl rib, yeah? So one stitch gets 'changed' (it doesn't because it's already knitted) and then there's a rest row where you knit the knits and purl the purls and then the next stitch gets changed (it doesn't because blah blah) and then you have a rest row. 
  • The next row I worked to three stitches before the first purl, purled one, knitted two, purled two, k2, p2, k2 and purled one, then I knitted around. Then a rest row. 
  • Then I knitted to one stitch before the purl, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, knit all the way around. Rest row. 
  •  And so on. Does that make sense????? I'm going to try doing a quick excel sheet for you - let's see what I can come up with. 

Does that make any more sense? The light greys are the knits, the dark greys are the purls and the pink bit is where you change.

Anyway, if you get that, follow me, there's more...

I decided on my first one to make the 'point' at the back of the heel, so as soon as all of the stitches were incorporated into the two by two rib, I started working back and forth over the appropriate half of the stitches, then I turned the heel, picked up stitches where I needed to and did my instep decreasing all like normal. When I'd turned for my heel I worked the bottom half of the stitches in stocking stitch because I can only imagine that walking on rib would be a nightmare but I kept the rib going for the top half of the stitches.

Then I got bored.

So I started doing the opposite of what I'd done on the leg portion and gradually turned all of the rib stitches back into stocking stitch, starting from the outside so it ended up in a point. By the time I'd finished this I only had about 10 rows of stocking stitch to go before shaping for the toe and I did that by decreasing at four different points until there were eight stitches left altogether and then gathering them up like the top of a hat (I started that at the wedding and I didn't have a sewing up needle for kitchener stitch so I played it safe and it makes a nice and easy, if slightly pointy, toe).

I LOOOOOOOOOOVED how the first sock turned out so I set out to do the same thing again.

Then I got bored.

But not too much. I decided to make the point lie at the front of the sock this time and instead of eating all of the ribbing on the foot from the outside in, I ate them from the inside out which left me with a different kind of point.

Can you see? It's incredibly hard to photograph this yarn. The only bad thing about it. The. Only.

DOES ANY OF THIS MAKE SENSE?! (I've all of a sudden come over all tired and words aren't coming to me but I deffo want to finish this blog because I want to make my eight blog posts a month thing happen!).

And, just in case you're wondering (and I would be), I'm going to be self-deprecating now:

LOOK AT THAT BUGGERING BIG LADDER! Ugh. Now, everybody gets ladders when working in the round, I don't care what they say. Everybody gets ladders to a greater or lesser extent. Mine usually aren't that bad but they're definitely there and, on the whole, they disappear after three or four washes and they don't do anything terrible to the structural integrity of the sock (have I actually just said that?!) so whatevs. But seriously - look at that whopper! I am SO embarrassed. Haha. I *think* it's because this is my first serious knitting in a long time (evidence: see the blog for the entire last two years, it's actually been Crochet Nottingham for a loooong time) and I ended up with two little holes in my finger because I lost my protective pads that I spent so long earning. Bum. I had to wear plasters for three solid days just to knit. Oh woe is me.

I looked like a scratty two year old for the entire end of last week... And  I couldn't hold my needles right, hence the massive ladders which are much less massive on the second sock, by which time I was back knitting normally - thank the lord!

So, now these are finished and I've been wearing them all day:

I've started back on the ones that I started before Christmas because I want the half ball left from those to combine with the half ball left from the others to make a whole 'nother pair of neon socks!!!!!

And I'm really not far off finishing. But these pose their own little problems because I decided to use the most ridiculously small needles - like 1.75mm/2mm rather than 2.5mm/2.75mm because that's all I had to hand as I was rushing out the door to travel down to meet Boyf's family and I realised that I'd got the yarn but not the needles. Ugh. For some reason I decided not to up the stitches though, just used my average 64/68ish combo and hope for the best. Hmm. They do not fit me. But they will fit somebody oooooor I could maybe use them as a shop sample. Slightly problem with that is that because the needles were so small I broke a few of them and had just enough for a set of three plus an extra left but then this morning, when I was searching for the project I couldn't find the spare one anywhere so I thought bugger it, found two 2.5mms and hoped for the best. The foot on the second sock is very much bigger than the foot on the first sock and ugh, people will think I can't knit.

To be fair, anybody reading this blog recently would be within their rights to think that I can't knit. I'm going to blame the hiatus. And the plasters. Yeah, it's deffo those things.

Right, I'm off. I need a nap. I'll have to settle for coffee and some walnuts.

Love Eleanor. xxx

Monday, 17 March 2014

On Getting Knitting Wrong - Part Two

And this time it's for a world famous super star knitter. Ugh.

So I talked about Amy Singer's cardigan t'other day and how I got it wrong. This time it's nothing major and it hasn't caused me problems that require any thought, just perhaps, sheepish admittance to Amy that I cannot read a pattern...

See this photo here?

Taken from the (fantabulous) Beatnik pattern on Knitty. 

Look at the sleeves. Looks a bit like moss stitch doesn't it? Kinda? Except not quite because on moss stitch the stitches change every row, so where you'd normally purl you do a knit and vice versa. Oh no. This is a special version of moss stitch where you do two rows essentially in a one by one rib and then you swap it over and do two rows in a one by one rib but the other way. Make sense? I'm sure there's a word for it but I can't keep up with Irish moss stitch, double moss stitch, seed stitch, rice stitch - too many words and too many variations and too many combinations of stitches and opinions about names. Ugh. Knitting can be so fraught sometimes... 

So, anyway, I kinda looked at the picture, but obviously not enough, and then I looked at the pattern and it said:

"Moss Stitch"

and I didn't bother to read that rest that said:

(Worked over an even number of sts; odd-numbered rows are RS rows):
Rows 1-2: [K1, p1] to end.
Rows 3-4: [P1, k1] to end.
Repeat Rows 1-4 for Moss Stitch."

Because I know what I'm doing and I don't need somebody to tell me how to moss stitch.  


 My jumper looks like this:

So young. So full of hope. :)

You can't tell but the sides and the sleeves are all proper moss stitch - i.e. it changes every row. And by gum I didn't know that was wrong until a couple of months ago (even seeing PLENTY of Beatniks in the shop and at knitting club...) when Elaine's Mum came in (she's knitting Elaine a jumper. Elaine's a capable knitter. I'm stealing Elaine's Mum. Fact.) and pointed it out to me. By this time I'd already started Amy's cardigan and I'd done enough that I really didn't want to start again. So I checked with Amy and she said it'd be fine but I have no doubt that at some point Amy will see Norah Gaughan and I've just got to hope that Amy will save my face and not wear the cardigan in front of her. 

Anyway, here are some of the bits: 

And you can see that this is really and truly moss stitch. Deffo. But Amy doesn't mind and I want it done. I did say that the sleeve would get done on Friday night but then I got struck down by a horrendous and horrific case of startitis... here's the offending sock at a wedding... 

It's the Regia Fluro in Rainbow, just casually hanging around, having a drink, bit of boogying. LOTS of side-eye-ing for the knitting that night. Apparently, amongst the gazillion guests, there were no knitters and no friends/relatives/acquaintances of knitters. Is it really that odd to take your knitting to a wedding? It wasn't through the service and it accessorised my dress beautifully AND I DIDN'T BLOODY KNOW ANYBODY! Am I just supposed to sit there staring into space?

Anyway, I'm sure Amy understands. And there'll be a blog about the sock soon because I'm so nearly finished (well over half way on the second sock) and I've come up with literally the BEST DESIGN EVER! And I'd like to talk to you about it, even if I don't think I can be bothered to write a proper pattern.   

Right I'm off, 

Love Eleanor. xxxx