Saturday, 10 September 2011


She was in last minute essay land, that's where.
In the many moons since last I updated, I have had a panicky time filled with essays, exams and being acutely alone, far from London. I have been making some delightfully complicated socks in order to give my brain a holiday. Progress is slow but here they are thus far-
And a little over-exposed detail for you. Please try to notice how they look like cabled hearts with lacey middles.

The pattern came free with Knitting Magazine which is THE BEST KNITTER'S MAGAZINE EVER. It has barely any stupid baby patterns, the bare minimum amount of crochet and some exciting free gifts! So much love for Knitting Magazine.
I also perfected my skull fairisle, and have vague aspirations of making a wee pillow, with pirate material!
I recently went to Birmingham's patchwork show with my work. Patchworking is yet to posess me, so I just wandered around the stalls looking for wool. I found some!
From top to bottom, you are looking at dark grey pure alpaca wool, Noro sock wool in wool and acrylic, blue faced sheep (?) sock wool and white pure alpaca wool. Blue face sheep socks are my next project, I am trawling Ravelry for plans and schemes.
As can only be expected, I have approximately one bajillion projects on the go at the moment. My biggest, yet easiest one is my cape.

It's from a Knitting magazine pattern, and is made in Tivoli Ocean. The pattern called for four ply but I just said, fuck that shit, I'm using aran. This has not been a mistake. However, this wool is now discontinued and I need another 5 balls so I think I will need to beg the internet for help. It's going to be HELLA WARM.
Finally, I have been working towards getting a dog with my family! Obviously, we need one that can live with cats and the current favourite is Phyllis (my name for her) who comes from a rescue shelter. She is part bulldog, part Staffordshire Terrier, and she looks like this!
And she is cute like this!
She's so well trained and friendly, I love her...but there is lots of paperwork to fill out before we get her. But hopefully, soon she will be blogging with me!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Tidy Pirates

I don't want to sound like I'm boasting, but I love my new job. I get to chillax with old ladies all day, drink tea and fondle wool. Sometimes more old ladies come in and talk about their dogs. They give me homework, like making advent calendars, and allow me to take dressmaking courses for free. The only way it could be better would be if I had more hours (or more pay). *Sigh*
I still have a lot of free time and I have used it to tidy up my wool stash-
-and to design and start knitting a wee pirate flag.

The trick is to print a squashed down picture onto squared paper!
I have also been walking the three miles into town a few times per week. I have seen such wonders as this moth that looks more like a goth butterfly than should be allowed-

And the world's most amusing drawing of a horse
It was giving out apples.
Other activities that have prevented me from posting include knitting a cape with Tivoli Ocean silky wool, making gourmet salads and going to weddings. None of these are really excuses but it's so easy to sit in front of the TV knitting. Alas. One of my cats seems to be eating the other one, as one is getting fatter and fatter and the other thinner and thinner, despite their identical diets. They have a feud with a large black cat that has appeared recently and a blackbird/thrush type thing that sits on the fence and PEEP-PEEPS aggressively at them. It's so annoying I have been known to tell it to shut up, and throw things at it. I like birds, but this one is the bird equivalent of a screaming toddler being ignored by its mother. SHUT UP BIRD.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

U Jelly?

So, I have just come back from my first day at my new a haberdasher. I sell material, wool and associated paraphernalia and get 10% off.
It's super fun.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Who knew doing nothing was so time consuming?

Since I wrote last, I have been to Cambridge to see a friend (what an awful town it is! It's so small and full of bicycles!), got a job at a haberdashers (they do knitting stuff as well!), become obsessed with shawls-more on that soon, baked more bread and developed a crush on Finn from Adventure Time. I know he's a child but he's also not real so I think it's ok.
Skelly tried an avant garde method of sitting on a chair.

How did I get such a cool cat? I'll never know. I walked into town while it was sunny because I can't afford the bus, what with my old landlord having ALL my money, then £1000 of the bank's money, but I saw a ladybird larva that cheered me up.

It looks like a sweet! But it isn't, it's a baby ladybird.
As I mentioned earlier, I have gone shawl mad. I knitted two in three days before I realised that my lack of a lace pattern was making them look pretty samey. This one is grey angora-

It would look great beaded but the wool is too weak to take it, so I may embroider the beads on. This one is made from Sirdar Click and is waiting to be blocked-
It's very warm! Being back in my parent's house, my stash is all in one place and is being supplemented often by my grandma (her latest gift was about 150g of baby alpaca). I can't fit any of it in my room so it is in my absent sister's room, spreading like a virus
I don't know where else to put it, since I'm in the box room and it would get damp in the garage. Maybe if I could move into my sister's room, seeing as she has moved in with her boyfriend, but no, she needs that room to store books she doesn't read and other stuff she doesn't want. *sigh*
My next stash-busting project is a gift for each of my friend's 3 sons. They're 14, 5 and 6 months so I will get to make a challenging range of gifts. As soon as I have my money back from the landlord I'm buying some cashmerino to make a skully cardigan for a friend/customer (is there any other kind of friend?).
I will try to update more often, but only if I've done something worth telling you about.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Creating a tiny world to keep me company

With only the cats and occasionally my Grandma on the phone to talk to, I'm slowly going mad. I have lost the art of saying sentences out loud and am having two lunches instead of dinner. I decided to make myself some friends, because the cats are always asleep and thus no company at all. Here is a pretty slug, who will soon be moving to a new home-
And here is a tiny girl who lives on a clock with meerkats-

My clothes are against me, and have all become unbearably itchy. David Bowie has invaded my dreams and it won't stop raining.
I have taught myself how to make shawls and am currently churning out a multicoloured orangey purple one. I was originally following a pattern but it is rapidly becoming something a little more free-styley.
See you all soon, unless I go madder.

Friday, 10 June 2011

I have a shop!

Go visit it at!
There's not very much up yet but that is because I have exhausted myself filling out all the forms necessary to open the shop and relevant PayPal account. Phewph. So, all my items will be creeping up there and a few patterns too. I'll get someone to make it look fancy.
The only thing about online businesses and blogs is that the only way you can be successful is not by being witty, or talented, or working hard. The way you are successful is by schmoozing and socialising, on forums and on other people's blogs. I am DREADFUL at this. I just can't find anything important to add to what has been said, although I am working hard at it.
Hopefully, once I have my business cards printed I can just give them to people instead of talking.
I'm very excited.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

What a looooong week

I would apologise for my absence and tell you how dreadful it's been, but no one would want to read that and it would do me no good so here, instead, are a few good bits-
I had a trip into Camden with my boyfriend to get a hair cut

I went to a ball wearing my Mum's spangly jacket (Photo by John Coram Ross)
I made some more socks (look carefully, you may spot a heart pattern)

I made some walnut bread with my sister. I asked her to sprinkle some flour on the top before it went in the oven, she poured in flour to fill the tin. Such a derp. But it was tasty tasty.

And finally, I made a stegosaurus jacket with a delightful moss stitch border (it keeps right angles so sharp!). It has a short back but very long arms because I modelled it on the aforementioned sister, who is 5 foot 9. It is for sale!
Now I'm settled back at home I'll be updating regularly again, baking more bread and treating you to a video of my cat snoring as soon as I can make one of good enough quality.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Exams are finished!

I thought I would go mad with excitement at the idea of free time but all I have done so far is loaf about and fail to get anything done. I have a couple of FOs and a WIP to show though...
Firstly, the interesting hood! A little unseasonal, but still pretty cool
The idea is that you'd wear it with the bottom tucked under a coat. Then, a green meshed scarf:

As you can see on the right hand side, there are a couple of mistakes but I'm thinking I'll block it and offload it on a family member! Finally, my current work in progress is a lacy wide scarf made with the awful angora wool. I had forgotten how awful this wool is. It's incredibly prone to snapping and sheds fluff like a lunatic. It's just a shame it knits up so nicely...

So evil...
I'm leaving my house at the end of this week and returning to my parents for an unknown length of time...I plan to set up my shop and get ahead on my knitting, as well as making business cards and attending a few jumble sales. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my life in the general long-term, but apparently my sister is very good at acting, especially as a prostitute. I'm glad she's sorted.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Nails and Fails

So, I am having a particularly unpleasant exam season.
But enough on that! Look at my nails!
Snazzy, no?
I was worried that, due to my pretty nails and knitting skills, you might all think I was artistically skilled. I don't want to lead you on, so here are some pictures from my design notebook. These are my best sketches, and I usually work from the picture writing the pattern as I go.
This is a cape. It's going to be one of my first projects for the summer. It's black and will be knitted up on 8-10 mm needles in doubled up DK black wool. I'll then get a test knitter and put up the pattern in my shop!

This is a Carmen Miranda/Bjork inspired headband festooned with multicoloured pom-poms. See how happy my model is to wear it! It has a pencil cross on it because I made it, although the one I made had fewer pom-poms. Feel free to try this design yourself!

This is what I'm currently knitting. The idea is you wear the hood as a sort of bonnet/cowl and you keep your hair dry without ruining your haircut unduly. I don't know if anyone would actually want to wear it...I have a friend in mind who I think would love it, but his style is unique, ie super-gay. Please note also the prophetic statement regarding meerkats, and another smiling model. No high fashion grumpy pouts here! I'll possibly be putting up this pattern too, interest dependent, but I think that the wool I'm using to make it is the real reason it's coming out so nicely. This is what test-knitters are for, I suppose.
If anyone wants to volunteer for test knitting, leave me a comment. All of you, try not to be jealous of how blessed I am with good looks, charm and artistic ability. I'm sure there are lots of things that you can do that I can't. If we were all the same, then everyone would be wearing knitted hoods.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Presents for people and presents for my tummy

My parents are having their silver wedding anniversary soon, and my present to them is going to be handmade socks! My mum is getting something like these from my friend Megan's blog, and my Dad was originally going to get these socks, which are the ones the Joker wears in the latest Batman film.
However, as much as my Dad enjoyed Batman, I don't think he paid attention to the socks so instead he'll get red socks with sheep on (he's Welsh).
The other present I finished was the starfish with a collar and tie.

I'm not sure quite how 'on the mark' he is. He's very cuddly though.
The last few days have also been characterised by delicious treat foods. This morning I had breakfast in bed with golden syrup pancakes!

Notice how I have three different things to drink. I am a hydration fiend! I am also a DIY candy from Japan fiend. This series of photos shows me making candy crepes.

I am immune to the sugar in these somehow. You can buy your own from Cybercandy, look for 'Popin Cookin.' My boyfriend always buys me these to cheer me up or apologise for being such a good looking idiot.
I have also been thinking further about starting my online shop and even starting a real business. I would sell made items and knitting patterns, as well as group and individual lessons. What from my blog would you want to buy? What that is not from my blog would you like to see? Market research, starting small!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Why you should Google before you work

So, this girl I knew from school contacted me through Facebook with a grainy picture of some amateur looking gloves, asking 'Can you make these? They're like Harley Quinn's!'
I did make them, in 2 days, despite the fact I knew Harley Quinn's costume is red and black and the gloves in the picture were red and blue. I then googled 'Harley Quinn gloves' for some help in placing the final touches, only to discover these are professionally made gloves that are in fact red and black, it was just the picture making them look the wrong colour.
So now I have some gloves that are the wrong colour, and if I make them in the right colour, I can't sell them. So, either of us Googling 'Harley Quinn gloves' 3 days ago would have been smarter. Never mind. Here they are, modelled by me and my excitingly long talons.
I was so disheartened by the whole affair I barely had any inspiration or inclination to knit anything new. My stash of wool is running a bit low and I don't want to knit anyone else's patterns because they hinder my ability to sell. I decided to experiment with making a little hood/bonnet with some black and white variegated yarn but the wide rows mean that progress is sloooooow. As soon as I have the time and money, I am bally well knitting myself a 1920s jumper, all in monochrome with no waist. I am so repulsed by primary colours at the moment, I can't even stand to knit toys.
Such a grumpy day.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Looking Sharp in Socks with Sandals!

The frilly socks are finished! Here they are protecting my feet from being torn to shreds by my pretty sandals.
They have cheered me up a little, since exams have just started and everything is dreadful. I also designed a pattern for the gorgeous soft wool my sister bought me for my birthday. Using drop stitch and 15mm needles, I conjured up a shrug in an evening and wore it out the next day.

So snuggly! I've been commissioned to make some Harley Quinn-esque gloves so I toddled down the the wool shop. On my way I saw this dog-

closely followed by this cat-

and this parrot-

All of these animals ignored me, especially the cat.
My knitting friend came over and allowed me to indulge in showing off how great I am at knitting (what's the point of trying to impress non-knitters? They think a scarf and a jumper are equally difficult). We discovered-I knit horrendously tightly, and always through the back loop, which is wrong-that I could make a knitting and cooking show called 'Why does my scarf smell of garlic?'-and that toe-up socks are the only way to make socks, especially if, like me, you never use patterns.
I am a little tempted by some of these patterns though. I'm so in love with the 20s at the moment!
Other relevant news is that Tabio's blogging event is tomorrow, and I'm invited! They're launching a new product and are holding a party in return for my loyalty. They already have my loyalty-they do things with socks that will make you drool. In a good way. That's such a weird sentence...but you'll understand after I post all the pictures.
I'm really wanting to knit myself a jumper at the moment but the combination of exams, commissions and having to move house at the end of the month despite the fact I have no new house arrangements are all conspiring to stop me from spending that much time on myself. Besides, it's not really jumper weather...
Oh, and a lady at work said I had 'beautiful, glowing skin' so I've been smug about that ALL WEEK.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Make up and socks!

I went to a careers dinner held by my college last night. I had some delicious ham terrine and some technically OK but nevertheless boring paella/tortilla. While at this dinner, I received advice on working in journalism and advertising and was encouraged to become an entrepreneur vis-a-vis knitting. I also had some advice from a professional blogger (in that he was a professional, and he also blogged), who recommended that a really good blog should have a very narrow focus-a knitting blog, for example, should be exclusively about knitting. I had previously thought the thing to do was have more diversity in order to attract more people. Hm.
Disregarding his advice completely, allow me to tell you about the new eyeshadow I bought. It's by 'Make Up Academy,' is sold in Superdrug for an introductory price of £1, and is so purple.
The picture doesn't do it justice, it's very intense and it's iridescent too! I have come into a little money lately and I'm blowing it all on makeup.
There is knitting news too! After a whole day practising knitting lace in the round I found the perfect pattern (yo twice, sl1-k2tog-psso) and am slowly making myself some summery socks to protect my feet from flesh hungry sandals. Here they are thus far-
The lace looks like rows of little shells! I was having such issues with lace that looked as 'holey' knitted round as it did flat, but I finally triumphed. They're only going to be little ankle socks so they shouldn't take long. I might put ribbons through them!
The knitted chain is on 10 links now, but I got a bit sick of knitting tubes, hence the socks are giving me a little break.
The hot weather finally broke and it rained today. My cactus is having a little holiday on the outer window ledge and my umbrella is having a whale of a time knocking things off shelves when I go shopping.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Bells and Smells

Whilst out in Kensington today, I saw Tank Girl on the floor!
She was outside an art shop. My boyfriend (shadow on the right) was proud to have spotted her first.
I burned my thumb on the grill yesterday making cheese on toast (with guacamole!) and the skin has gone all scaly. I also started househunting yesterday and am going to look at a place in Ruislip tomorrow. It's further out of London than I ideally want but it is slap-bang next to a massive HobbyCraft. Shop shop shopping!
Knitting project wise, I have been a little lazy of late. I am currently making a knitted chain necklace, but I thought I would jazz it up a bit by making it more multisensory-stuffing it with bells and lavender, for example (hence bells and smells!). No pictures yet as I'm only on link 2...
Slightly more brain time has also been devoted to the idea of combining my knitting with hats. Imagine...the Loch Ness Monster...on your head. Yeah.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Socks, My Face and Other Lovely Things

My socks were finished! I wore them to work and got jolly hot feet. They coordinated so well with my ruby slippers.
I also bought myself some new lipstick. I thought I'd go for something extra vampy, and chose Revlon's Va Va Violet.

It's essentially black/purple (blurple). I put some on for a trip to Tesco. It was sunny. See if you would have picked the same sunglasses as me-

I chose purple and orange, to bring out the purple in the lipstick!

Wooo, bugface! I love sunglasses. The bigger and more bizarre, the better. I also love lipstick, more on that later.
It's been superhot lately, and I don't deal well with heat. Probably because I always dress like a Dementor. The royal wedding is in 2 days and I'm getting pretty excited. My boyfriend and I are having some sort of champagne picnic with friends and I'm starting to prepare food now because I'm working tomorrow and all the shops will be shut Friday. I've got some avocados to make a guacamole salad, lentils, couscous, fancy ham and I'm going to make brownies too. I was going to make salsa but all the shops in town were sold out of cherry tomatoes. Weird. They are delicious but ONLY when cut in half or smaller. Whole cherry tomatoes are horrible, eyeball-like bags of exploding vileness. Cut up tomatoes are sweet, crunchy nuggets of goodness.
Oh, one last thing. I knitted a cuddly starfish for my friend! She's going back to Australia so I decided to knit her up a little toy.

The little cord you can see is going to have a number of little tags with English words on like 'arse' and 'duvet.' The best Australian phrase she has taught me is 'sookie lala' which means 'crybaby.' So exciting!
Any suggestions for other English words that an Australian would find amusing are very welcome!