Monthly Archives: April 2014

Progress …


Here’s a quick snapshot of progress on my latest design – a quick burst of lunchtime knitting during the work day. I’ve just finished the body, so I’ll be able to get cracking on the edging on tonight’s train journey home.


It’s shaping up very nicely!


Rewind …


So in my last blog post I wrote about casting on for another shawl – I’d already swatched it and had decided on an easier way of constructing it.  Or so I thought!  I played around with it, and I didn’t like it – it didn’t work how I wanted to.  So I ripped, and started again.  I knit the whole of the body and sat and looked at it for ages … and ages … and ages.  Nope, too small.  So I ripped and started again after a lot of thought about how many stitches I needed for the edging and how I was going to get the sums right, with more increases in each row, and that was much better.  I knit the whole of the body again (I’d had to change the look of it to get the maths right, but still).  Then I started the edging, and I realised I’d forgotten that I needed multiples of my stitch count, plus one stitch for the edging to sit right.  Gggrrr.  So tonight I’ve ripped it out and restarted yet again … but on the plus side, I’ve been able to change the look of it back to how I’d envisaged it originally.  I’m still not convinced about the stitch count for the edging though …

Anyway, when I’ve finally stopped ripping and restarting, it promises to be a really pretty shawl, very elegant and understated.  I’m knitting my sample in DK-weight yarn, but I’m hoping to write the final pattern in a variety of sizes to take advantage of several different weights of yarn – I’m thinking definitely laceweight and fingering plus the DK at the very least.  I’m not sure that it would work so well in aran/worsted weight, but I’ll definitely be swatching at that weight to see what happens.  Construction-wise, the body is knit first, and then the edging is knit on afterwards to the live stitches, but overall the pattern is very simple.  I like clean and simple lines, and that will hopefully come across in my designs. 

Also as I mentioned last time, Phyllis has now been test knit, and tech edited.  I’m pondering running a KAL at some point in the near future – all opinions about this are welcomed!  Unfortunately, I’ve only got as far as pondering, as life has been even more hectic than usual recently.  Work has been completely relentless, the phone has rung off the hook all day every day, and there have been challenges galore to deal with.  Oh, and I’ve been covering for one of my staff and my manager for the last week, which hasn’t helped my productivity (despite working extra hours last week).  I could’ve done with going to work on Friday (Good Friday here in the UK is a bank holiday so no work!), and just spending a few hours trying to clear some of my typing backlog, but I decided that catching up on a bit of sleep was probably a bit more important.  It’s hard to be productive during the working day when exhaustion wants to be your best friend.

Things have been hectic at home too.  M has come to live with us now (hooray!!!), and we’re still in that getting used to the changes phase – for me that means a 20 mile round trip to pick him up from work each night (he’s learning to drive) and to take him on the days when he doesn’t start until after I get home, getting into the habit of cooking a proper dinner so that there’s some for him when he comes home (instead of my usual ‘can’t be bothered, let’s just have omelette or beans on toast’); and more bloody ironing!  But I am definitely not complaining, even though I am going to have to bite the bullet and have a major declutter (yes, another one) over the next few weeks in order to make some more room for his meagre possessions (well, compared to all the crap I have, anyway …) 

See … this is why I am definitely not complaining at having to make any adjustments whatsoever to my routines and life … he’s just handed me my iPad, and shown me that he’s just sourced me a copy of the full instruction manual for a new program that I need to learn to use (without being asked).  It would no doubt have taken me forever to track a copy down, but he has this knack for producing the goods in double quick time.  AND he’s sent me the link to a billion and one webcasts showing how to use the program.  AND made me about 100 cups of coffee today.  Me?  Spoilt?  Yep!

Right, time for a few more rows of shawl-incarnation-no7634 before bed … back in a few days (hopefully) with a sneaky peek for you!



I’m Sorry, I’ll Say That Again …


Do you ever get the feeling that you just spend far too much of your time knitting, thinking about knitting, or browsing the internet for knitterly goodness?  I’m sure it can’t be just me.

Earlier this week, after swatching the night before, dreaming about swatching all night and spending my journey to work mentally dissecting and reknitting my swatch, I found myself entering some data onto a spreadsheet for my manager, in relation to an exercise we’ve been doing whereby we’ve been doublechecking that patients who came to a preoperative assessment clinic did indeed get put on the waiting list and had their surgery.  I was updating the list I had with an outcome.  I got to the bottom of my list and scanned quickly upwards again to check that I’d entered something for each patient.

Oops …

Patient decreased?

I just knit a patient!

Unfortunately it was a patient who is no longer with us.  And yes, it could be considered slightly disrespectful, albeit totally unintentionally (and anyone who knows me personally will know that I have this whole huge thing going on about respecting other people), but it did make me giggle and it goes to show where my mind has been lately, doesn’t it!

Remember I mentioned a swatch that might be a scarf, or maybe a cowl but couldn’t make it’s mind up?  It decided it wanted to be a shawl, finally, in a totally different stitch pattern than it started off in.  My rather large swatch is currently relaxing on my blocking mat in my nice warm dining room, in preparation for a few photographs tomorrow.  Unfortunately I won’t be sharing it just yet, as I have decided to submit it to a popular knitting publication for consideration.  Well, you’ve got to speculate to accumulate, right?  I don’t for one minute have any expectation that it will be accepted for publication, but I’ll submit it anyway because I’ve always been one to aim high.

In the meantime, I’ve got an exciting test knit to crack on with for the lovely Madeleine at Yarn-Madness, and so I’m off to House of Fraser this weekend to see if they’ve got any aran weight bargains in their end of line box – I do have a particular yarn in mind that I know they had last time I was in there … but that was a good six weeks ago, so I’m hoping they’ve got some left still.  This test knit is going to be my ‘at home’ project.  I’m hopefully casting on another shawl design tomorrow that I swatched a couple of weeks ago, that I can have as my at work ‘go away, it’s my lunchbreak, can’t you see I’m knitting?’ project.  I was all set to go with the pattern I’d envisaged and swatched (and more or less written in its entirety), but in the last couple of weeks it’s hit me that there is an easier and potentially better way to get the look I’m after, so I’m just going to cast on and go for it (with my notebook at the ready to note down every detail as I knit it so that I can rewrite the pattern).  The beauty of this one is that it could potentially be knit in any weight yarn – though I think I’m going to stash bust and make a DK prototype, and then hopefully get it test knit in other weights.

Talking of test knits, I decided to have my Phyllis Shawlette test knit.  Yep, that’s right, after I’d released it.  What can I say … I’m contrary.  I’ve had three lovely Ravellers test knitting for me over the last couple of weeks, one of whom posted a picture earlier today – she knit hers in a beautiful variegated brown/rust/red colourway, and it looks fantastic.  When the others are finished and pictures posted I’ll be asking them for permission to link their projects here or post their photos.  I cannot tell you what a thrill it was today to see a photo of something someone made from a pattern that I wrote – I felt very designery, I can tell you.  I’ve also managed to find myself a tech editor, and the pattern for Phyllis will be going off to be tech edited next week.

I do love having a purpose in life, don’t you?!