Friday, February 29, 2008

Ooh La La, Dude!

Last month after finishing my Clapotis, I decided I needed a matching hat. And what's more French than a beret, right?

The pattern is Tweed Beret by Kristen Tendyke, and was in the Winter '06 Interweave Knits.

See the Golden Gate Bridge in the background?It's made with the same Malabrigo Worsted as my clapotis. I got a lot of compliments at Stitches about my clapotis, which was very pleasing :-)
Here's another picture of the hat flat, where you can see the little i-cordy doodad on the top.

Speaking of Malabrigo. I was also honoured with a skein of the Malabrigo sock yarn at Stitches last weekend. I guess you could call this my Friday Yarn Pron :-)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The million dollar seam.....

Well, maybe not a million, but I paid a pretty penny for a "Design your own Socks" class at Stitches West last weekend.

It was a great class to really bed in the knowledge of traditional sock construction, but I was particularly excited about two things I learned in class. The first was a new magic cast on that is seamless and allows immediate knitting in the round. VERY exciting.

The second was a demonstration of Kitchener Stitch, which I've always been terrified of - I tried it once and it wasn't pretty. So a wonderful lady sitting next to me drew me a diagram/chart of the instructions which really made the penny drop. It goes a little like this......

top needle: 4. knit on 3. purl off

bottom needle: 2. purl on 1. knit off

The numbers relate to order of the steps. on and off are how these stitches should remain (on the needle, or off). Knit and purl, I think we all know :-)

So, I knit on my Linnea top all the Stitches weekend and have now completed one armhole and can now proudly show my grafted stitches at the top. Yay, me, yay, kitchener!!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Baby Surprise......

No, I'm not pregnant. But Teddy's teacher is. Ms Mary will be having a baby, of unknown sex, in July. I have had a hankering for some Elizabeth Zimmermann knitting for some time now, so have decided to start out with a Baby Surprise Jacket.

I'm using up some ancient wool, gifted to me last year, in a practice jacket. The wool is really rough, but I'll soak it when the garment's finished to see if it softens up enough for baby's skin.

For Ms Mary's baby, I will buy some neutral coloured yarn, maybe bamboo, while I'm at Stitches West this weekend.

And here are some update photos of the Linea top. I'm hoping to get it finished in the next few days. I love the leafy lacy pattern, but the bamboo is SOoooo stretchy and soft. I hope it looks good on, and not like a limp dishrag :-) Right now, it could go either way......

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I'm it.....and so is my wife

Irishgirlie tagged me with this and I like the self-examination of it all (and I'm on my own in peace & quiet with housework to avoid).

4 jobs I've held:
Accountant - that's my profession and I worked at about a million different companies in the UK doing this job. My absolute favourite job was with Madame Tussauds though. The management team did an amazing job when I worked there. Of course, that, my perfect job was when I got pregnant and left to take on my next job.....
Mother - I've said it before and I'll say it again....the hardest job in the world. Everyone go call your mother and thank her (well, most of you, anyway :-) )
Bookseller - my current part-time job at B&N. Love it.
Santa's Helper - yes, one year when I was still at school, I helped Santa give out presents to his small visitors. What a joke. That's when I learned that children are actually afraid of Santa.

4 movies I watch over and over again:
Love Actually - a great Christmas movie and a great London movie when I'm feeling homesick.
Shallow Hal - love Jack Black, love Gwyneth Paltrow, love George Castanza - it even has Tony Robbins in it. And it was filmed in one of my favourite US cities - Charlotte, NC.
Sideways - a movie about wine, what's not to love? Oh, and it's funny as hell too.
Cars the Movie - obviously I watch this because my boys love it, but it really is a cute movie too :-)

4 places I've been:
Instanbul, Turkey - a beautiful skyline and wonderful people. It's like walking into the past.
Paris, France - like, a million times. It's old hat and not romantic. Although it is quite beautiful. I'm excited to take my boys and share the history with them.
New York City - I want to live there, but only if I have LOTS of money. My favourite city (after London, that is).
Athens, Greece - I went there for a weekend once, but was too sick to enjoy it fully. I need to go back.

4 places I've lived:
South Shields, Tyne & Wear, England - where I grew up.
Watford and Welwyn, Herts - the best suburban homes I had.
London, England - best city in the world and home of my heart.
Fort Myers, FL - too hot, get me out of here.

4 tv shows I watch:
The Office
Law & Order
Seinfeld (we watch repeats all the time - I didn't catch it first time round).

4 people who email me regularly:
Book Club

4 favorite foods:
I know that's 5, but I couldn't take brocolli out, could I?!

4 places I'd rather be:
Skiing in Austria with Hubbs
With my Taid in Wales
Having dinner with Gordon Ramsey - after he cooks it of course.
Learning to sail a boat in the Carribean

4 things I'm looking forward to:
Going to Stitches West with Irishgirlie in a couple of weeks - can't wait.
Going on holiday to NYC/Long Island this summer with the boys.
My oldest, starting Kindergarten in the fall
My youngest, potty-trained.

4 people to tag:
Well, if 4 people read this, consider yourself tagged :-)

Thursday, February 7, 2008


She's been 6 months in the making. She was supposed to be a Christmas gift (it was so difficult choosing a different gift for her!) But finally, here she is..... Grow-with-me by Laura Brown, from's Summer 07 issue.I've used Rowan's denim a few times before and really like it. The fabric turns out quite thick and fluffy - very comfortable. My only concern with this item is whether the bib will be wide enough. I'm thinking she can probably wear it straight away with a long-sleeve tee under it.
The smocking was a cinche, so to speak :-)

And the i-cord ties make it even cuter.

I made it in the darker denim - a bit more practical for a 2yo than the ecru ;-)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I cast this on at the weekend. Then I swatched it. Then I frogged and cast it on again. I think there's a lesson in there somewhere.....

The pattern is a pretty top which, in this Florida heat, I will probably get a lot of wear out of.I'm making it with Rowan's Bamboo Soft, which I have 10 balls of in my stash. Hope it's enough. The top of the pattern also calls for Elann Esprit, held together with the Bamboo. I guess if I have to get more bamboo, the dyelot difference may be a little less noticeable, with another yarn mixed in.
Here's a close up of the stitches. They bamboo yarn is very splitty indeed - it's almost like working with 8 teeny yarns held together, and not very well at that. It is very light though.

Edited to Add: the pattern is called Linea, by Kirsten Kapur and can be found at her site

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


I am destashing some yarns which I may not get round to knitting. They are listed on my Ravelry page. Guess what my ravelry name is? You got it - discoknits.

Any knitter reading this who's not on Ravelry yet (and I guess there are still some of us - there are over 7,000 still in the queue today), go sign up now. It's a great reference site, even if you don't decide to download your whole knitting life into it.

And why am I destashing, you ask? Well, I have some projects in mind to buy yarn for at Stitches West when I visit later this month. Including:
Provincial Waistcoat from IWK Winter 06 for my Mom (shh, don't tell)
A stole/wrap for Tommy's cousin, getting married in the summer (pattern to be determined)

OK, that's not a HUGE list, but it does require cash to pay for it. I have a bundle of cash sitting in my closet - it's just in the form of yarn.

On a side note, I added the link to the booties I made in the previous post - too cute and really fast to knit.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Family, friends and......knitting

Our family suffered another loss last week, as Tommy's Uncle Gene passed. Great Gene, as we called him, was Grandfather to our new baby Ethan. It has been a difficult time for the whole family.

The gatherings of families at the two funerals I've attended in the last couple of weeks has meant I have met relatives I didn't even know existed. Both my Nan and Great Gene had brothers I hadn't met before. Also, family member gathered for the first time in a long time. Too long, in the case of my family.

I am reminded at these times of how precious my own little family unit is and how much I should appreciate them. This week has seen my two boys becoming great friends. They have played together like never before - it is such a joy to see them enjoy each other's company :-)

Here are a couple of pics from this past week. They are dressed in their Diego t-shirts from the show we went to see last year. Teddy got himself dressed in his, then of course, Matt wanted to dress in his too. When he came out to the living room, they stood in front of the TV with arms around each other. I couldn't resist this photo opportunity.

Then they sat down to watch the rest of the show on the couch together. Another not-to-be-missed shot.
Last weekend saw the sad passing of a highly regarded knittyboarder, Momma-monkey. This brings to my mind my appreciation of my cyber-friends too.
Last year, I had the happy fortune to meet my good knitty buddy, Carrieknits on the Knittyboard. I think we can say we are firm friends now. I hope so anyway - I'm going to visit her at the end of the month so we can go to Stitches West together - my first knitting event and I can't wait :-)
Last week, Carrie sent me such a sweet parcel, just because. She included a skein of yarn for something for me, a couple of recommended reads and some other goodies. She also included a partial skein for me to knit something for Baby Ethan.
Here's what I chose to knit. The cutest booties ever - Christine's Baby Booties. These colours are so perfect for babies, so gentle, and the yarn is yummy soft.
A close up of the toe part, made using short rows. I get them now!!!

I just read Bezzie's latest post. I can't comment on her blog, so I'm going to post this message of support here. I am so sorry to hear about your latest trial. My heart hurts for you and your family. Please keep up your own amazing work with your KAYE. I will sponsor a month of yarn (your choice) and postage - I'd like to bet you get a flood of offers just like this one :-) You are a truly special individual and I love your blog not just for your knitting, but for your whole life in writing. You are in my prayers.