Archive for October, 2011

October 25, 2011

The best thing ever

Penguins in sweaters, courtesy of Cute Overload.







Obviously a tragedy about the oil spill and all, but they do say every cloud has a cute lining.


October 25, 2011

Many mittens

Deadlines just don’t work for me.

I started a lovely pair of fingerless gloves recently. On reflection, ‘started’ is not the right word. I have a whole prototype glove and pattern ready for test knitting. Nor is ‘recently’. I started these in May. But then I got this idea about doing some colourwork mitten – my favourite ‘how about now?’ mittens are looking a bit threadbare and the thumbs are falling apart.¬† Learn from my mistakes, kids – reinforce your thumbs and for the love of all that is sacred, save some of the leftover yarn for repairs!

So the new colourwork mittens have this lovely two colour stitch pattern I designed ages and ages ago, which I’ve been wanting to use for the longest time. It’s based on Islamic tilework, which is remarkably hard to emulate in knitting. You’ve got to keep the delicacy and the contrast between sweeping curves and sharp edges, and all using little ‘v’ shapes made of wool. Anyway, I tried, and they are looking quite good, but it’s tiny wool and tiny needles and colourwork and all of a sudden it’s October and we have cold weather in London, and cold weather in London means cold hands while cycling – and I (used to – more on that in a minute) commute by bike every day.

So project number three came about. A simple set of mittens for cycling. Nothing fancy. Double knitting wool, 4.5mm needles, no colour changes. Started last week, 75% finished already. The only reason I haven’t got them done already is a little quirk of the design that I think is really exciting, so I can’t wait to launch the pattern. But the thing that was driving me on to finish them all last week was the threat of cold hands while cycling, and suddenly I don’t have that motivation (read on to find out why!)

Yesterday, I was cycling to Stitch and Bitch on the other side of London. I had to help a friend with a knitted dog with a backwards face – so you see, it was important I get there. I was almost at my destination and minding my own business at some traffic lights on Trafalgar Square, when I was knocked off my bike by an ambulance. You often see them taking calculated risks to get around traffic – this one drove out of the entrance into Whitehall and cut across the lights – but I guess there were so many people milling around that they just didn’t see me. So the next thing I know I’m under an ambulance and people are staring at me and there are flashing lights.

I’m not badly hurt. I had my helmet on and I was stationary, and the ambulance man just scooped me off the floor and threw my bike in the back of his ambulance and drove off to a quieter street where they could check I was OK (and do the paperwork!). I’m a bit stiff and sore but no serious damage. They even tried to get my bike working again, but sadly the back wheel is buckled so it might be a while before it’s moving again.

So I won’t be cycling for a while, and I don’t really need practical cycling mittens for a while either. But I’ll keep knitting, and maybe when they’re ready someone else will have better cycling luck than I do with them…!