Today I have knitting-in-action shots and a magazine review.

But first, I have this:

Now, it’s likely that your reaction will be one of the following:

  1. Ohh, I’ve got that book!
  2. Ohh, I want that book!
  3. Whatever?
  4. Oh no! And I was just beginning to like her as well.

I’ve read all the previous books and like them for what they are (alleged re-makes of homages to Lord of the Rings in a 21st century stylee).

Now for the gooood stuff!

In chronological order: knitting by a Welsh waterfall.

[please note the hat, gloves, raincoat and slightly crazed expression on my face. This is because it was 12 degrees C. I’ve no idea what that is in F, but it should not be that cold in July! Also note that there is no actual knitting in my hands. I forgot. Is this the first incidence of air knitting?]

Knitting on a mountain.

I’m squinting because, although it was hazy, the sun was still shining through. The more astute will notice that I’m wearing Klaralund! Good all season jumper she’s turning out to be.

Knitting on a beach.

This was exactly a week after the waterfall picture and the maximum temperature was 40 degrees C!!!!! So, I didn’t do any actual knitting on the beach because it was too hot! I don’t get Britain’s weather. I really don’t! Face concealed to protect the guilty (Hi Mum!).

Knitting magazine August 2005 review:

  • Beach babe: crochet bikini. Why? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; no, no, NO!
  • Friendship: a crocheted, beaded bracelet. Actually quite nice and something I’d consider making because I have loads of little beads and charms lying around.
  • Octopus: “fun” fur boa. Oh. My. God.
  • Ship’s Mice: knitted mice. Cute and simple for kids or cats, but you can get a very similar pattern online, and for free (yes, I know that not everyone is connected yet!).
  • Beachcomber: a crocheted poncho. A crocheted poncho – fine. Crocheted flowers – fine. Both together? I don’t even think any one in the 1970’s would have worn this one.
  • Sea Breeze: classic raglan t-shirt with 3 narrow stripes. Really nice and simple T, but could have been better by working it in the round (top down or bottom up). Seaming tiny raglans ain’t fun.
  • Iris: two-colour knitted bag. I’m still undecided about knitted bags – evil or lovely? This one is nice enough and the flower embellishment could be used on it’s own.
  • Coral: sleeveless keyhole top. Cropped (again) and two clashing colours. Everything seems fine until you get to the neckline: the keyhole detail is created by taking a nice v-neck T and adding the ribbing from a crew-neck jumper to it. The model looks scared!
  • Pina colada: cap-sleeved t-shirt. A nice top given an interesting twist: the bottom welt is knit side-to-side and the top is knit in the round by picking up from the edge. One of the best pieces in this issue. NOTE: there is a really good associated article detailing technique to do with seamless knitting. Worth the price of the magazine if you don’t have other resources.
  • Sand Boy: stripy beach set for toddler. Nice t-shirt but white knitted summer shorts for a male toddler? I don’t think so!
  • Tailored Seed-stitch top: an old Vogue pattern. Strangely, the 1930’s version looks better than the 80’s Vogue photo. Nice, tailored garment. But then again, it is Vogue!
  • True Blue: chevron crocheted sleeveless top. Cropped (again, again) but otherwise a really nice top. Not being a crocheter as such, I can’t really pass much more judgment.

Plus: A couple of articles/reviews/love-ins, the best of which is part 2 of a Seamless knitting course and “Knitting with handspun yarns” which is quite apposite for me.

Now for the knitting I did:

Lotus Blossom:

Sockapal2za socks:

I don’t shrug.

This is what happens when you listen radio commentary of England beating Australia in the cricket!

So, all in all a good holiday; lots of knitting got done, as did lots of OU work (I finished a book on modelling epidemics in three days – it was supposed to take me a week!).

From here-on-in the knitting progress will be getting slower as my work-load increases, but after the middle of October (end of exam season) things will pick-up.

Be good to yourselves, and each other! TTFN.

The Joy of Sox

The Joy of Sox

or “How the west was won”. Or is that something else?

Anyway, I’ve discovered that I’m not entirely rubbish at knitting socks! Yay for me! More on that later; a magazine review, a toy and finally some Martha progress.

First of all, you may have noticed that my knit project tracker images have changed a little (see the sidebar to the right). Thanks to Celia Ng’s significant other, Chris, I can now choose my own colours! Props due to Chris! (did I just say that?). If you’d like the code for your own blog, please, please, please, save the images to your own server. I suspect that someone(s) have been hotlinking some of my images and it pushed me over my bandwidth limit for two days. Five more days like that in June and I get kicked for a week 😦 – so please, please, please don’t be a bandwidth thief! Public service broadcast now finished.

UK Knitting magazine: a review. Having taken a leaf from Queer Joe’s ample book, here comes a personalised and opinionated review of the July 2005 issue. Remember, feel free to disagree with me at any/all point(s).

Fuchsia – a cropped l/s bolero made slightly worse by the addition of bobbles all over the place.
Point Edge Wrap (book extract) – garter stitch shawl – nice and simple but with some lace interest – quite good.
Poncho power – a crocheted poncho for kids – would you like to try and get jam and mud out of those tassels?
Heat Wave – cross-back halter top with lace bodice – really nice and simple, elegant knitwear
Accessories – to be fair, some of them look like hairballs. I think they are supposed to be flowers!
Hippy – a fair isle cropped tank top with a frill – – I’m just stunned into silence really.
Papaya – cropped peplum cardigan with a curved hem and ruffle – would probably look great on a 12 year old for Ballet class.
Blue Haze – a cotton aran-weight fair isle s/s top – I really like this and could actually consider making it.
Vanilla Pod – Irish moss stitch and cable baby jumper – really nice, good, baby wear.
Anarchy – I think it’s supposed to be a scarf but it looks like several dead caterpillars sewn together.
Sky – v-neck tank top with lace bottom edging – again, I could see myself making this, but they spoilt the look with a knitted bow – why?
Ultraviolet – crocheted evening bag – simple, I would make it.
Ballet Class (book extract) – really lovely girl’s ballet wrap cardigan. Now why can’t they do that for use grown up girls?

Overall – could do better. I’m glad I cancelled my subscription now. It’s a shame, because I was one of the first to subscribe right from Issue 1. There seems to have been some kind of editorial change ever since they went monthly. I just don’t seem to like the styles anymore.

Now, on to the knitting.

The Lotus shawl is going slowly (but that’s because I’m increasing four stitches every 2 rows)

I’ve done the decreases on the back of Martha

And I made this in three days!

As for the socks, imagine two rounds of 2/2 ribbing in dark blue sock wool. Imagine two socks on two circular needles, knitted from the top down. Now imagine me taking a photo of it!

A plethora of reviews

A plethora of reviews

Firstly, a disclaimer: what follows are my own personal opinions and by no means is a slight on the designers/publications involved. I am highly opinionated. This is the end of the warning!

“Knitting” magazine (March 2005): disappointing. Poor colour choice and slightly ill-fitting garments abound. However, the worst offender is this:

Lurid green – fine. Multicoloured bobbles – fine. Fringing – fine. A lurid green cardigan with multicoloured bobbles and fringing – NO! In order to protect the model’s shame, I’ve done a Crimewatch-style fuzzout of her face.

Vogue Knitting: Winter 2005 – Overall quite good. The bags section (including a knitted “thing” to go over the back wheels of a bicycle – why?) is not to my liking. However, the “West Coast Winter” is just my kind of this. The two pieces I really like are these:

I can see the first one working well in Rowan Wool Cotton or possible All Seasons Cotton.

I also love these funky socks:

Rowan Magazine 37: the 1970s on acid. A few hidden gems, but this, I like:

And finally … a review of the first yarn I’ve ever spun.

Luckily, the huge uneveness of the yarn doesn’t show through in this photo. Nowadays it’s called “slubby” and “designer”. I call it inept spinning! Let’s just say: “could do better”, but not bad for a first fifth effort.