Monthly Archives

February 2008


Buttons, buttons and more buttons


On Tuesday night I had the perfect time being talked out of small star shaped buttons, little fish, little ladybirds etc for my oh so stylish Tangled Yoke. Clearly my subconscious was yearning for some sort of regression to the halcyon days of star shaped buttons but common sense/the girls stepped in and I choose these:

February 177

Pretty little mother of pearl squares – they don’t detract from the yoke and they do shimmer and pick up the flecks of white in the tweedy yarn.
February 182

They are also all sewn on now. I consider this to be a great achievement for a bear of very little brain.
February 185
I know that for this week at least I am a bear of very little brain because it is only now (Thursday lunchtime) that I realise why small square mother of pearl buttons are familiar – I have seven of them on the front of my work cardigan. The cardigan I was wearing on Tuesday while I chose the buttons – D’oh.

And falling neatly in line with the in for a penny in for a pound theory:

February 188

I sewed on my coat button. I would like to you think that this was an entirely voluntary action motivated by the desire not to appear as if my sartorial reference point was a third world refuge but in truth I got an e-mail. Actually I got it twice. Once in each mail box:

“Have you sewn the button back onto your coat? Loved the tangle. Mum”


Early Morning Light


One of the things that really defines the end of winter is that week when suddenly it’s properly light in the morning when we get up. Last week we were still on pre-dawn glow; this morning there was sunshine (yes I do have to get up that early!).

The plus of early morning sunshine is of course the prospect of sneaking in a few daylight pictures before the commute calls:
February 175
this disadvantage is that you are far too asleep to notice that the front of your cardigan is curling inelegantly inwards until you load the pictures onto the computer several house later and actually take a look! Less tangled yoke, more like tangled brain!
February 176
Anyway, the long and the short of the story is that my Tangled Yoke is nearly finished – all I need now are nine little buttons and a bit of sewing on time (we will not speculate on how long that might be given that I popped a coat button on 2nd Feb and it’s still sat in my stitch marker pot waiting to be sewn back on – sorry Mum)

I think I recovered from overtaxing my brain with the cable pattern, and certainly by Saturday I was in a good mood with the cardigan, I even stayed up late to finish the neckband on Saturday night working on the idea that I could knit the button bands, go to town to choose the buttons and have time to start some new train knitting on Sunday.

Three guesses what I did on Sunday morning? Actually you don’t need three – you know the tale is going to involve frogging at some point, this has always been a two steps forward one step back kind of project – I tried the cardigan on on Sunday morning and the front button band pretty much hit me in the chin, even with the short rows in the back.

I ripped back until about an inch above the cable pattern and then did some hefty short rows; over the next ten rows I came in 31 sts on each side and then did the back neck shaping as written in the pattern. I’m really glad I did because it fits so much better now.

I will choose my buttons tomorrow and at some point we can have a little photo shoot and I will post proper FO pictures. For now here’s another bit of the cabling:
February 165

This is probably the truest colour – it’s Rowan Felted Tweed in Herb
I’ve spent the evening playing with a little train knitting – any guesses what colour it is?


Sunglasses advisible


I’m certain various health authorities would recommend that you do not look directly at the photos in this post, please try to find one of those eclipse viewers from the late nineties – it’s probably crumpled at the back of the kitchen drawer. Alternatively, you will be safe if you view through your car sunroof. Consider yourself warned.

Mandy advised me to try something soft, colourful and soothing as a remedy for the aptly named tangled yoke – and I always follow advice which implores me to knit more!

The last time I showed you H’s sock it was Saturday and I had a little foot, about the size of my hand. It is possible that I have been knitting like a mad thing instead of taking progress pictures for they now (and yes there is a they) look like this:
February 151

Two finished Mardi Gras socks and I can say with some certainty (and a hint of singed retina) that these will see off all winter blues! H loves them.
February 158

After this I have no fear of ever knitting a pair of socks that he will deem “too bright for boys” – he choose the yarn and couldn’t be happier with the result. I know this because after the photo shoot when I looked for the socks to pop in his sock drawer I found that they were here:

Keeping someone’s feet warm under the end of the quilt and I don’t think they are coming out for a while!

The yarn is Colinette Jitterbug Mardi Gras (with a smigin of STR Dragons Dance to give me enough yarn to complete the bind off!) and the socks were knit toe up starting with 12 sts on each of two needles, increasing to a total of 68. I did 65 rounds of the foot and then a short row heel over 40sts working to a minimum of 10 unwrapped stitches in the middle. The leg has 46 rounds in stst and then 9 rounds of 2×2 rib and a sewn bind off.
February 155
As I said, I have no leftovers, this pair of socks for a UK size 10/11 foot is all you will get out of a skein of Jitterbug.

I hope you all feel considerably more cheerful looking at them – such is the power of these socks that they actually sparked a conversation on the Tube today (we’re English, such things do not usually happen). As I zipped round and round the leg of the second sock I completely failed to notice a couple of builders watching me from where they stood nearby until I wrapped it all up just before my stop; “Don’t stop”, said a voice, “you’re making my journey go so much quicker – it’s very soothing watching you”. I grinned and they asked if I was making a scarf (seriously – it looked pretty much like a sock at this point!) so I explained and we talked about how long it would take to make the pair. One guy remarked that it would be quicker to go to Primark and buy a pair and his mate replied in shock “you can’t say that – look at it!”.

You can’t get colours like this at Primark and I think somewhere in London there is a builder with a burgeoning inner knitter – keep your eyes peeled for balls of yarn dangling off construction sites!


To and fro and for again


This evening I was going to be terribly organised – I was going to blog, with pictures, and show you how the yoke of my tangled yoke was coming along; by the lack of pictures you should correctly ascertain that all has not gone to plan.

I have spent the evening in pretty much the same spot of the knitting:

take 1: re-knit the row I knit wrongly last night and pulled out before I went to bed

take 2: start the next cable row and realise (about 50 sts in) that you missed out one of the increases on the previous row. Tink back, carefully uncabling all those lovely crossed stitches.

take 3: correctly put in the increase and knit to the end of the row. Start the next row and about 50sts in realise that your stitch count is still wrong and you had therefore made equally opposite mistakes on take 2.

take 4: count, count, count again; count every section between every stitch marker. Eventually accept that somehow despite the stitch count being perfect on the previous row, one stitch is missing.

take 5: create an extra stitch to fix the stitch count (shh)

take 6: knit almost to the end of the row. Realise that something went rather wrong shortly after the middle of the row as I now have far too many stitches (and no, nothing to do with that little extra one).

take 7: frown, eat consoling cherry fromage frais, break own personal rule of not leaving work untinked if it needs it and sculk off to the internet to share my woes with the people who (along with my husband) will truly appreciate the pain.

take 8: note to self that attention span whilst well developed is not everlasting – perhaps complicated cable charts that have used every stitch marker I own (including the ones I don’t like and a paperclip) might not be the thing to knit after a long day at work.

H’s socks are looking good though – I’ve got to the heel flap and I’ll try to post pictures soon!


Mapping your toes?


H’s Mardi Gras socks continue to astonish me. I have now knit almost one sock and the toe and a bit of the second and they both have these wonderful pooling stripes. What is particularly impressive is that they swirl in opposite directions. Don’t ask me how – the knitter, the stitch count and the needles have all remained the same and I refuse to believe that I knit that differently when it’s ridiculously cold and my fingers are all pink and white.

The swirls are starting to look like one of those multicoloured weather maps – pink and bright green for the big rain storms and red and blue for the warm and cool fronts perhaps?

I would share pictures but it’s late and dark so for now you’ll just have to use your imagination!

I’ve also started the cabled yoke on my Tangled Yoke – it was going pretty well until I realised that I should have been increasing all the way across the last purl row and I need to tink back – being the woman that I am I’m hiding on the internet instead but I have to go and face the music now!