Sunday, March 30, 2008


do you ever have one of those weeks where you just don't know if you're coming or going? i've been working away on the march sweater, & have made it halfway up the second sleeve (although since march ends tomorrow, i'm thinking that the sweater still won't be finished in time). & in between, i've been messing about with a skein of socks that rock lightweight, which just won't do what i want it to.
first, i tried some monkey socks, but the yarn was pooling, and didn't look quite right with the pattern. not to mention that somehow, the socks were ending up over 2 inches wider than the other monkey socks i've knitted, even though a previous pair was from the same type of yarn on the same needles. so i ripped those out.

picot monkeys

then, i started another pair of socks, this time in a basic 3x2 rib. they were going to be arch shaped socks, but the leg still wasn't looking quite right, so they've been ripped out as well.

i can't quite figure out what to do with this yarn; i love the colourway, but i can't quite get it to look how i want it to. it could be the stitch count - the monkey socks are a 64-stitch leg & the arch shaped socks have 65 stitches, so maybe a smaller stitch count would break up the pooling a little bit more. maybe another basic toe-up sock is the answer; at least, that's what i'll try next! & we'll just have to see how it goes...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

four kilos

a great weight, it feels, has been lifted...

yarn order 2
yarn order 1yarn order 3

a weight of roughly four kilos, that is! the yarn orders that have been taking over my life for the past few weeks are done, and away in the post, heading for a couple of fabulous online shops - great british yarns & purlescence, to be precise.
no rest for the wicked, though - there's still a pile of yarn to be dyed for K1, not to mention an online shop that - well, isn't quite a shop yet, so it needs some work.... better get back to it!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

not looking good

one of the problems with setting ourselves lofty goals is that we sometimes fail to achieve them. & although this may be premature - there are, after all still, eleven days to go - it's not looking good.

march sweater

i'm talking, of course, about my sweater-a-month challenge - march's sweater (above) is still little more than a wide belt, with less than two weeks left in the month. i'm about 10 inches into the body of the sweater (worked seamlessly in the round a la elizabeth zimmermann's wonderful recipes), which is plain stockinette apart from a central "jacob's ladder" cable panel up the front. i'm using rowan felted tweed & 3.75mm needles, which in retrospect was always going to be a challenge to complete on time (with over 200 stitches per round, and eight rounds adding up to only an inch of length, there's a lot of knitting in this one!). & with the rest of the body, two sleeves, and a yoke still to do, i may not be finished on time.
i could blame a few different things for this - my choice of yarn, or needle size, or the fact that i'm knitting it for the RSA (who likes loose sweaters with long bodies and who has arms like an orangutan). i could blame it on the fact that i've been ill for the past week & a half, or the several different yarn orders i've had on the go (working full-time sure sucks up your knitting time, eh?). but i'd rather not start blame-throwing.
at the moment, i'm lucky enough to have a relatively goal-free life. my lovely, lovely part-time job has none of the deadlines, projects, or annoying co-workers i've had in previous jobs (office work, meh). my small business is pretty much arranged by me to fit around all the other things i want to do. & any challenges that i take on are ones that i've set for myself - but when i set myself challenges, they tend to be huge, near-unachievable, and yet i find it inconceivable that i would ever fail. & i'm sure that i'm not the only one who is harder on themselves than on anyone else - "failures" that we can excuse in other people seem that much bigger when we see them in ourselves.
& in part, that's one of the reasons that i set myself the sweater-a-month challenge. i didn't honestly think that i would be able to knit twelve sweaters this year (although who knows how the rest of the months will pan out!). & although i'm still keeping it in mind as a goal (& an achievable goal, at that), a certain amount of "failure" might be good for me - i'm doing my best to not freak out about not finishing things "on time", and am focusing on the beauty of the details...

march sweater detail
(see how the ribbing flows into the cables? love it.)

Monday, March 17, 2008


tools to aid recuperation from a chest infection
(click through to the flickr photo page to read the picture notes)

thank you for all your wishes for recovery - i'm starting to feel better & will be back to normal(ish) quite soon!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

even more pathetic

well, the battle for "who feels the worst" is ongoing, and despite the best efforts of the cat in the foot splint, i'm edging ever closer to a win. the "just a cold" that i had in my last blog post transformed suddenly into a truly hideous chest infection, necessitating a friday night trip to the emergency on-call doctor, and numerous prescriptions for large doses of inhalers, steroids, and antibiotics - a great start to the weekend! i'm starting to feel a tiny bit better now, but the simple act of breathing is still occupying most of my energy & attention, so nothing much else is getting done around here. the spinning & dyeing has come to an abrupt halt (which is stressing me out just a little bit, as i'm working to an order deadline of, oh, the end of next week!), and there hasn't been much sweater-knitting either.
but despite all the things that weren't getting done, i decided that i needed (nay, deserved!) a little pick-me-up...

picot monkeys

and in the world of knitting, that means casting on for something new - yet another pair of monkey socks for me, with the so-cute picot edging modification that's been popping up all over the place, knitted this time in Socks that Rock lightweight from the BMFA mill-end sale (i think the colourway is "socktopus", but as it's a mill-end skein i'm not 100% sure about that). i have't knitted with StR for a few months, and had forgotten how gorgeous it is to work with - so soft & squashy! so even though progress is slow (the massive doses of inhalers i'm taking have the unfortunate side effect of making my hands shake - not great for knitting!), i'm enjoying every little stitch (when i'm not busy coughing, that is).

Thursday, March 13, 2008

poor wee souls

do you ever have one of those weeks where every little thing just seems to go wrong? well, it's definitely been like that here. the car had its wing mirror broken off by mindless, vandalising idiots at the start of the week, which cost a fair bit of money (that i don't really have to spare) to fix. the RSA is feeling rundown & ill, and i've suddenly become loaded with the cold (and boy, do i miss breathing through my nose). since i'm asthmatic, any cold that i get heads quite quickly to my chest, so in addition to feeling like my head might explode, i'm also short of breath & wheezy - which will set me back in my training, as i'm not really able to run until my breathing improves (& which is really annoying, as i was doing quite well - i ran for five minutes straight the other day!). and to top it all off, i'm on a pretty strict schedule of working flat-out to fill a couple of big yarn orders, so i can't even huddle up on the couch under a duvet & wait for it to pass.
but even with all of that, it could definitely be worse. since all of us here have been feeling so pathetic at the moment, there's been a bit of a "who feels the worst" competition (which is not to be taken lightly - it's a serious battle of wills, as whoever loses has to then spend what's left of the week looking after the winner!). and as of yesterday, there was a clear frontrunner...

one of our wee cats, who dislocated two toes (ouch) in an altercation with her brother, & who now has a truly gargantuan splint on her wee foot. and from what she's been telling us, she's definitely the most pathetic of us all right now.
so, there's nothing else to do but soldier on with our week - after an embarassingly large helping of cheese on toast (it's "feed a cold", right?) i might even feel ready to tackle some more work. and the cat? she's bravely struggling on with her normal routine as well (naps, followed by dinner, then a long evening of naps) - she's definitely an inspiration to the rest of us poor wee souls.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


in the true spirit of my "accidents happen" contest, i accidentally forgot that i was supposed to draw a winner last week!! whoops.
but, better late than never - i was laughing pretty hard at some of the stories, but decided not to play favourites, and pick a winner the old-fashioned way (bits of paper in a hat). and the winner of the lovely hank of socks that rock is...

victoria, with her tale of nearly being bowled over while running by an over-enthusiastic dog (which is, i have to say, one of my big fears with this new running malarkey - i usually take the pup with me, and although he's normally pretty well-behaved, he has his silly moments, and i can just picture myself turning up at casualty with a broken something after having been tripped by my own dog whille running). so, victoria, send me an email at oldmaidenaunt AT hotmail DOT co DOT uk and let me know where to send the yarn!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

buttoned up

tangled yoke button detail

it's way too gray here for a proper photoshoot today, so you'll just have to take my word for it - the tangled yoke, she is finished!! i wove the very last end in on friday afternoon, and washed & blocked it friday night - just in time for my "sweater-a-month" deadline. yes, i had to wait for it to dry before i could sew on the buttons (which i did today), but as far as i'm concerned, i still finished it on time!

tangled yoke front cable detail

i'll try my best (weather permitting) to get some good pictures of it this week - the cables & the colour only show up well in natural light, and there's been a distinct lack of that this weekend. but for now, it's onward into march, and the next sweater....