Archive for September, 2010

September 28, 2010

Knitting Robot

Isn’t he ace? The robot is a character from a graphic novella my housemate is writing, and he kindly agreed to customise him for me. So cute.

The only thing I can possibly complain about is that Ravelry crops it so you can’t see that he’s knitting his own cable.

You can see more of his work here on facebook.

September 19, 2010

Decisions, decisions…

September 19, 2010



Vallombrosa is a great simple scarf. The ribbed texture makes it feel deceptively thick whilst being reasonably yarn-efficient. This is a great sitting-in-front-of-the-tv knit, because it doesn’t demand a lot of attention and it grows satisfyingly quickly due to the big wool and needles. It’s quite wide so perfect for cold days when you want a scarf that’s big enough to keep your ears warm too.

It has a great structural quality due to the twisted rib stitches, and I love the way they look like a series of little braids running down the length of the scarf.

The beauty of the wool is the transition from shade to shade (the charcoal to cream transition inspired the name Vallombrosa – which means Valley of Shadows) so colour matching the end of each ball of yarn with the beginning of the next is vital to avoid any sharp lines. Be aware that not each ball is made up of one length of yarn and the occasional knot can scupper your otherwise perfect transition.

I didn’t make this scarf very long – under 5ft – so it’s not a hanging to your knees kind of scarf, but I’ve given an idea of how far a ball of yarn goes so you can estimate how much you’d need to do this.  To my mind, it’s about the right length for tucking into a coat, or at this length, you could try joining up the ends to make a twice-round-the-neck cowl.

Here it is in progress, and in action! (Excuse the messy hair, but I needed to show how wide it is because I can’t seem to find my tape measure.)

For day to day wear, I’ve taken to folding it in half lengthways – that way when I speak, it doesn’t come out as a muffled squeak.

Here it is folded, and tucked into my coat. This photo also serves as proof that I do occasionally brush my hair.

Vallombrosa Pattern

Gauge: 40 stitches in ribbed pattern makes a scarf around 9 inches wide. Row gauge is really unimportant for a scarf but see the yarn section for approximate yardage requirements.  

Notions; I set straight 6mm needles (I used an old set of bamboo needles I found lying around) and crochet hook for weaving in ends.

Yarn; Patons Shadow Tweed, 3 x 100g balls in shade “grey, undyed, charcoal”. Each ball of yarn makes just over 30 inches of scarf and is made up of about 130m of yarn. Shadow tweed comes in a whole range of colours.


c/o 40 stitches (this is a ribbed scarf, so you need to use a flexible cast on. I used a long tail cast on).

Then repeat:

Row 1: Sl1, p1, then repeat *k1tbl, p1* until end of row.

Row 2: Sl1, p1tbl, then repeat *k1, p1tbl* until end of row.

When it’s reached the length you want, bind off loosely and weave in ends.

And … that’s the pattern! I didn’t block it because it’s plenty wide enough at the moment  but if you wanted to, a bit of gentle width-ways blocking would really bring out the twisted rib pattern.


September 12, 2010

Thanks, honey.

I was playing about with some blue-green yarn I had lying around today and I decided to give Kristin LeMoin’s beautiful Evergreen a go. I’d completed the swatch above and was feeling decidedly proud of myself, considering my history of chart reading. I handed it to my knit-ambivalent boyfriend to see what he thought.

“It looks a bit like a crotch. Is it a thong?”

I blurted out some hysterical objections along the lines of how-could-you-this-is-the-first-lace-I’ve-made-from-a-chart-that-didn’t-go-wrong-and-now-you’ve-spoiled-it-for-me and he backed down and apologised.

But actually, I can kind of see where he’s coming from.

September 12, 2010


Now to use detective work to try to deduce the correct address for the recipient…

September 11, 2010

Vauxhall Park

Quick update – Vauxhall Park in Salzburg in December 2010!

Keeping in the tradition of naming things after places where I’ve worked on them, here’s my latest project. I actually made this a while ago, but it’s taken me so long to finish another project that I’ve only just written it up.

You can find the link to Vauxhall Park here.

Update: I used 4mm needles for the brim, but I’d really recommend using a smaller size. If in doubt, try on just the brim before you start the main body of the pattern.

It’s perfect to start in the middle of September – if the climate’s like London, it’ll be ready for when the cold really starts to bite.

Ps. The scarf I’m wearing in the photo on the left is a future project inspired by the gorgeous and hugely expensive scarves in the shops at the moment. It’s 4ft and counting. (I hid the knitting needles behind my head to take the photo.)

September 11, 2010

What did you do over the weekend?

It’s the first question you get asked in the office on Monday morning – the obligatory small talk to get the week started.

Well, I spent most of Saturday sticking pins in my living room carpet to the bemusement of long-suffering-boyfriend. And then I watched the Best advert EVER.

September 11, 2010

Coming soon

I really need to get better at finishing things off. This is not an exhaustive list of works in progress! Top Right just needs a name and a proof read of the pattern. Top left – I need to get over second mitten-itis. Bottom left is a secret present for someone and bottom right is a giant scarf that I got hooked on making, and it’s the main reason bottom left isn’t ready yet.

September 8, 2010


1. I am really excited about the knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace, although the last thing I need to do is spend money on more wool.

2. I’m going to make a stew tonight. I’ve been off work for a few days with food poisoning so I want something cooked so thoroughly so there is no possible chance of a repeat offence.

3. I have a whole bunch of stuff I need to stick on ravelry – I’m talking f/o’s almost a year old – and all it took was being bed-ridden for three days to get me to do something about it.

September 8, 2010

Blue Brambles

Update from December 2010: Berry Brambles, the little sister scarf of Blue Brambles, is now available!

In the midst of winter 2009/10, I got a bit obsessed by cowls. Maybe it’s because they’re shorter than scarves, so they take less time to make. I also had a bit of a thing for gigantic knitwear (more on this later) and when I found the pattern for Maximus I couldn’t wait to make it. I’ll upload some photos at some point. I loved it. But my first reaction was now I know how to make a cowl, can I design my own? The answer was Blue brambles.

Blue brambles in progress

This pattern gave me the inestimable joy of seeing the first of my creations actually being made by someone else!