Saturday, 16 November 2013


I am knitting for Christmas.

I have done the usual thing of queuing up enough projects to keep me going for about six months, then planning to make them all in four weeks.  During that time, I also plan to make soaps, Christmas cards, biscuits, two Christmas cakes, an advent calendar, labels for all the knitting, and a patchwork quilt.

I also plan to keep my job, move house and sleep.

I am, as always, insane.

I convinced myself it could be done by casting on five projects at once, ordering 9 balls of yarn, catching a cold and screwing up the gauge on one of the projects.  When in doubt, apparently the best thing to do is be outrageously optimistic.  So far, I am not panicking, and am taking a lot of comfort out of looking at the bin full of projects that just need sewing together or having the ends woven in.  I am pretending I haven't packed up most of my sewing stuff and that I can totally get to the sewing machine around all the boxes of stuff.  I am watching the craft channel 24/7 in the hope that I'll absorb some of the craftiness and magically do even more than is humanly possible.

This should be fun.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


I am pleased to report that I finished the lace scarf with minimal personal injury and am now back to regularly scheduled programming of socks and baby knits. Sock Two of my current set was going remarkably well until just now, when I realised I had somehow carried on with the heel colour right around the pick up for instep and was going to have to rip it out. I believe I have mentioned before how much I detest frogging. The act of unravelling work just makes me crazy. So now I am sat in a waiting room with two options: frog, or sit and glare and hope it frogs itself. So far option 2 is not producing the desired result. And the idea of not only frogging but doing it publically, admitting to the world that I made a ghastly error, is more than I can take right now! BFF frogs stuff all the time. She frogs stuff at the drop of a hat if she's not sure she likes it. I will madly press on with a doomed project whilst she, meanwhile, has cheerfully taken her work to bits and started something else. I wish I could be that sort of knitter but alas, I am not. As a result, I find myself where I am right now - the worst kind of knitter imaginable: one without a spare project, in a waiting room. Oh dear, oh dear.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

The Finish Line

I finished my Ravellenic Games project with an hour and fifty minutes to spare. I feel vaguely bereft not being on deadline - a feeling I should probably enjoy whilst it lasts, because I have to finish some more baby stuff by Friday! It's funny that knitting is the only area of my life where the pressure of deadlines actually helps. At work, when studying, anything else in fact, I am always ahead of the pack, finished a week early for fear of having a crisis and running out of time. But with knitting I always find myself furiously developing a wrist injury an hour before the thing needs handing over. Perhaps it means I put less pressure on myself to be on time when knitting is involved? Or maybe I am just overly ambitious and unrealistic about my knitting goals. Either way, I always see the finish line way too early, and it seems that in this occasion the finish line was lacy and made of mohair.

Sunday, 5 August 2012


The knitting holiday is off to a flying start, with about five iches of the lace mohair scarf done and one finished sock sitting proudly in front of me. The scarf kept me sane on the six hour train journey, during which time I put up with a variety of crazies who were causing havoc all over the place. Thank god for knitting! NOT thank god for mohair though, which sheds more than I ever thought possible. By the end of the journey I looked like I had been attacked by a moulting yeti. Fail. On the other hand, I looked up mohair on wikipedia to find out more about it, and concluded that angora goats are pretty damn cool. After a terrible night of nightmares, I got up about half an hour ago and came to sit in the conservatory and bind off the sock. Am I the only person who loves Kitchener stitch? People seem to be forever baffled and enraged by it, but I find it wonderfully soothing. I also get a huge amount of joy from watching the toe close up before my eyes like some sort of witchcraft. It's nothing sort of amazing! On the agenda for today, then: cast on sock 2, ready for mindless stocking stitch in front of the telly later, a few more inches of the scarf and maybe finish one of the baby boots that I have been avoiding on account of the fact that I don't understand the pattern. Oh, and at some point the bff is going to teach me granny squares, which I am mega excited about, despite the fact that trying to do crochet always ends in my throwing the work, hook and all, across the room and wailing in rage. Crochet just makes too much use of the third dimension for my liking. Knitting is much flatter!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Plenty of time

This weekend marks the beginning of Knitting Holiday 2.0! I am beside myself with glee. I have yet to even start my Ravellenic Games project, and also have socks, a vest and two shawls to be working on. The train journey is five hours long. I CAN HARDLY WAIT!

Saturday, 21 July 2012


I love knitting socks. I think they may be the ultimate knitting project. They're portable.  They are a combination of mindless, happy stocking stitch for hangovers and lunch hours, and short rows which require a bit more concentration.  They are the perfect canvas for self-striping yarns and plain, luxurious ones.  Getting my point? Socks are my knitting crack and I always have one on the needles. 

However, and I cannot stress this enough: I HATE the beginning of socks.  Let's summarise what happens when I cast on a fingering-weight sock on my 2.5mm bamboo DPNs:

 1.  The stitches barely fit onto the one needle and fall off
 2. I can't count the stitches because they're too small
 3. The stitches fall off either end of the needles when I try to join the round
4. The inevitable twisted joins
5. The first inch is always like fighting with an octopus.  A very sharp octopus.

In short, I suck at starting socks.  I procrastinate (see: startitis, this blog post), I throw the thing across the room and I generally get really, really annoyed.

And yet, I continue casting the damn things on compulsively, one after another.  I must really, really love socks.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Overly Ambitious

I'm back!  I apologise, dear blog, for staying away for so long.  Following the exam win (I passed; I gained letters after my name; I am extremely relieved) I suffered the biggest comedown in the history of stress.  I tried to knit but everything went wrong; my brain was just refusing to function!  Luckily I seem to be over the worst of it, and am now knitting away like mad again.

I've realised there are few weeks left until Christmas.  This is Bad News; there is no way on EARTH I will finish all these items in time.  Why did I write such a long list when I knew I wouldn't have time to do it all?  How on earth could I imagine I'd be able to achieve all of this?  Am I insane?  Does everyone do this?  I need to learn to knit more quickly.  Otherwise I am going to have to go to the shops and BUY PRESENTS FOR PEOPLE.  And oh, I can't even vocalise how much I Do Not Want to do this.  And my credit card doesn't want it too.  And all the yarn on my shelf is begging to be made into gifts!  And there are so many infinite possibilities for presents!  MUST KNIT MORE PRESENTS!

The Knitting Holiday, by the way, is fast approaching (we leave Friday morning).  I am beside myself with glee.  Five hours on the train, followed by an entire long weekend of cooking and eating, knitting, watching TV and sitting around in our pyjamas.  Then five more hours on the train back to London.  And apparently there are several craft shops nearby - and the woman who lives across the road spins her own wool!  IT'S GOING TO BE PARADISE.  I've tried to compose a list of projects to take with me and realised I have, as always, succumbed to the Overly Ambitious Knitter symdrome.  To that end, I have convinced myself that in 3 days I will finish a pair of socks, 3 mug warmers and 2 pairs of mittens (1 pair of which involves fairisle, which I think we all agree I suck at).  I KNOW the chance of this happening is smaller than the likelihood that I'll wake up green, but I still can't bear to pack any less - just in case.  Because what if I finish the socks before the end of the train journey, and the mug warmers by Sunday morning, and didn't bring the mittens with me?!  I could obviously finish the easy pair by Monday, and then I'd have no knitting for the 5 hour train journey back.  AND THAT WOULD BE THE ULTIMATE HORROR.

So even though I know that in reality I will make a mistake, spend an hour ripping it out, lose all faith and refuse to knit again until Sunday afternoon, and come home with one and a half socks, I am trying to work out how to fit 9 balls of wool and 4 sets of needles into my suitcase, and wondering if I need just one more project.  Just in case.  'Cuz, you know, I could still hit my Christmas target.  And then I won't have to battle the crowds.  And maybe I'll even have time to knit something for myself.  I've seen a really lovely lace shawl pattern that should only take a few weeks...