Sunday, 5 December 2010

An Arbitrary Après-Après-Summer Sale

23:59 CET

There's nothing more depressing than seeing a children's playground, yesterday a source of deep, snowy, giggly fun, turned today, thanks to Mother Nature's need to put on some flannel underwear and warm things up a little, into a slushy, grey and soggy snowman's  graveyard.   

So to add a little cheer to an otherwise mucky, grey and generally dispiriting day, I've decided to have a wee sale of my patterns...  So from, oh, round about now, until sometime just after Christmas...  let's say the 28th for arbitrary's sake, [ed: now until the 31st of December]you can buy one pattern out of the Honey Socktails, Pom Stars, Strawberry Mojitos and Irish Ales and get a different pattern half price!

ONLY $5.25 $7.00 for TWO WHOLE PATTERNS!

All you need to do is click on this LINK and it'll take you through to my Ravelry designer's page with further links to each pattern.  Then you simply choose 2 different patterns to put in the basket and Ravelry, in its infinite hand-basket wisdom, will automatically award you with this marvellous deal!

There are, of course these other patterns which are already available for FREE, too.  (You lucky people!!!)  Gin and Tonics, Twist of Citrus and the Traffic Islands...

You'd better take advantage soon, before this Scots lass remembers that her race is allegedly not endowed with arms long enough for their pockets...  ;-)

Thursday, 2 December 2010

A Verdant Triptych

An integral part of my knitting addiction two years ago was the repeated making-up of this lovely Cabled Glovelets pattern by Meg White in as many different yarns as my budget would allow.  A pretty simple fingerless mitt pattern, it gives enough lee-way to add your own special touches.  For this version, mine was adding the pearly beads to the inside of the cable crosses - nice and elegant against the marvellously chunky green Iceland Madil Yarns.

verdant cosy smooshiness

Having fallen rather hard for said deliciously soft yarn, I was thankful that there was still enough left to make something else with it...  But what?  There wasn't, sadly, enough for a nice, long scarf, or I'd have made it up in a heart-beat, but there was enough for a complementing hat.  And thus the Verdant Cap was born.  Well, really it was more cobbled together from a couple of disparate patterns that would, I assured myself, fit my circumferencely-well-endowed noggin.  So really, it was brought to life, Frankenstein-wise, from bits of other hats.  A Franken-Hat, if you will.  With pearls.  And scars.  It was, after all, my first ever attempt at a hat.

verdant cranium cosiness with added mwah ahahahaaaaaah

And so, like all good stories, there was a happy ending.  Until 2 years later, when a fair maiden (no guffawing at the back, thank you) stumbled across the remnants of greeny goodness after emptying her sock wool stash all over the floor.  Yes, I know: sock wool doesn't count as stash, so really it's an oxymoron. And no, I don't know why a ball of 10-ply thick goodness was in with the 4-ply sock skeiny loveliness, either.  Yet there it was, looking for all intents and purposes like it was there just waiting to be discovered and made into something WONDERFUL.  

But this was where the trouble started, you see.  There was only 100 metres or so left of the ball.  After starting with a total of THREE BALLS OF SMOOSHY GORGEOUSNESS (MWAH HAH HAH HAAAAAAAAAAH)  What?  I'm channelling my inner Count...  I had just under a ball left and not a lot of options.  

Uncle Ravelry came to the rescue, with, not so much a pattern, but an idea... Necklets!  Neck-Warmers!  Cowlettes!  Hoodettes!  Neck-Cosies!  

Taking the cable pattern from the Cabled Glovelets; casting-on around 100 sts and knitting in the round; adding a few more k2,p2 ribs here and there to match the hat; and adding a liberal dash of pearly whiteness.

Et voilà!  The Verdant Necklet was born.  

verdant necky warmthness
And boy, is it warm!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Hi Honey...

... I'm home!

honey socktails by yours truly (hot toddy version)
I know, I know - honey isn't the first ingredient that springs to mind when you're mixing cocktails of an evening, but you'd be surprised at its versatility: if you mix vodka, simple honey syrup, cranberry juice, a splash of lemon juice and a cherry garnish, for example, then you've got a Honeybee Cosmo!  Or perhaps some white rum, honey and cream for a Bee's Kiss...  Fancy something non-alcoholic? You can make a Great Grapes by combining grape juice, honey, lemon juice and soda water.  Going back to the booze, we can't forget the quintessential Winter comforter - the Hot Toddy: whisky, hot water, honey and lemon - simple but effective!

But come, young grasshopper, the journey towards Honey Socktail enlightenment begins at the honeybee toe:

toe of honeybee-ness
...through a honeycomb foot:

comb of footiness... wait...
... past a leg-full of honey-making bees:

honey-made leg-fullingness  of... no... 
... to the honey cuff, ready for full apian* appreciation!

cuff of completion
Final understanding is attained via an afterthought heel. And as I don't have any alveolar** appellations left for that, here's where the hosiery badinage ends!

Try not to look so happy.

afterthought heeliness
Or you can just click on this link and buy the pattern for yourselves.  5 steps to Socktual Enlightenment for only $3.50, £2.20, €2.60...***

Seriously!  Click here!

Or click HERE for the Ravelry pattern page

hot toddy socks
gjestal silja sock yarn
hand-dyed with beetroot by
great grapes socks
frog hair fibres
superwash merino
in amethyst

Many thanks to my Intrepid Test-knitters™ dizzybea, dyddgu, zaftigwendy, zuzusunshine, knitaddicted, TeleonicaRobsMom and LtdEdition for their invaluable help with this pattern.

* apian - pertaining to bees
** alveolar - of, or like a honeycomb
*** it's interesting to see how the rates of exchange have fluctuated over the last few pattern posts! 

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Let's Twist Again...

...just like we did last Summer...

twist of curaçao and twist of grenadine

Introducing A Twist of Citrus Socks - homage in sock form to the unsung star of the cocktail firmament: – the twist (or slice) of citrus!  You’d like a slice of lemon in your G&T? Or would you prefer a garnish of orange in your Blue Lagoon?  No, I know – you’d really like a twist of lime in your mint Mojito! 

peasant heel ftw

This is an easy-to-memorise, slightly cabled, slightly scalloped sock, knit from the toe up, with a peasant heel and a ribbed cuff.  Or, if you like, a bit of feather and fan with a twist!  And it's FREE! (Here's the link to the Ravelry page, for further info!)

The Twist of Grenadine Socks, on the left, above, was knit using Noro Kureyon Sock in colourway 240, and the Twist of Curaçao Socks used Knit Picks Felici in Marine Life.  The pattern works really well with self-striping yarn, slow colour-change yarn like the Noro, and solid and semi-solid.  Variegated yarn turns out like this:

... which could be worse, I know, (hey, nice toe!) but if I'm going to spend time, even if it's only seconds every 8 rounds, on making a cool cable, then I'd rather like to see the thing!  Still, the King Cole ZigZag in Aqua is rather a nice yarn to work with, so it was interesting to see what happened with it.  Not the happiest of marriage between pattern and yarn, 'tis true, but it's not enough to sue for socktual divorce, either.  And because they're such a quick knit, I have no compunction in finishing the pair and wearing them with pride, anyway!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Fontly Fantastic

Pom Star Socks.  You gotta love the way that almost any font make the 'm' of the 'Pom' look like an 'r' and an 'n'.  Why yes, this is entirely the reasoning behind choosing the name - how did you guess?!
pom star socks by redscot
complete with gratuitous pomegranate shot
So here it is: the latest in my collection of alcohol-beveragely-themed socks for your delectation!  Pom(egranate) Star Socks!  Have you ever tried a Pom Star cocktail?  All you need is a glass full of ice and some gin, and top it up with equal parts of pomegranate and passion fruit juice!  Almost as delicious as the socks themselves!
lightweight superwash merino wool sock yarn by fearless fibers
in the wrath colourway

Cuff down, cabled (some of which can be done without the cable needle), heel-flapped and just waiting to go to a good home!
(go on - you know you want to!
only $3.50, or £2.25, or €2.50...)

This large size was knit with fingering weight yarn and size 2.75mm (or US 2) dpns, but, as always, it's just as simple to use 2 circs, or magic loop.  

I work out the sizing, not, as some folks do, by measuring the foot, but by measuring the ankle circumference.  I've tried on so many socks that would be perfect if not for the sadness of never getting the thing past my heel and ankle! For me, the large is roughly a circumference of 9"/10".  A heel flap usually gives enough ease, though, so there's not much to worry about here!So, there you have it - one new sock pattern.

I'm liking this theme - it gives great scope for testing... in more ways than one!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Socks And Socks And More Socks, Oh MY!

Soon, my pretties, soon you shall be let loose amongst the world of mortal knitters...  (And immortal - I wouldn't want to be accused of prejudice against the non-breathing classes.  I'm sure vampires and zombies get cold feet, too.)

red and yellow and pink and gre... oops
4 patterns are up and running, or nearly so...  2 patterns are currently being attacked by my Intrepid Test-Knitters™, a third is thisclose to being ready for testing and the 4th is on the needles, currently wrestling with stitch counts, cable cross-overs and whether or not it'll stay cuff down...

3 latest patterns, 5 socks, above: King Cole ZigZag in Aqua; Fearless Fibers Lightweight Superwash Merino in Wrath; Knit Picks Felici in Marine Life; Noro Kureyon Sock in 240; and Frog Hair Fibers Superwash Merino in Amethyst

new pattern 1, new pattern 2, new pattern 1,
new pattern 3, irish ale, traffic island and  gin and tonic socks
Yeah, okay, a fifth is already on the needles, and sixth and seventh are currently being worked out on paper, and an eighth is an ever-brightening gleam in its mummy's eye...  Or is that just new-age vampirism rearing its sparkly head?

Soon, my pretties, soooooon...

Saturday, 18 September 2010


... or Actual Knitting Content!! I know!  ACTUAL knitting content.  I guess I should have put a warning in the title for those not au fait with knitting acronyms. WARNING: ACTUAL KNITTING CONTENT FOLLOWS.  PLEASE TO BE SITTING DOWN.

A dear friend here in Holland gave birth 3 weeks early to a very beautiful wee boy.  3 weeks early.  Very inconsiderate considering I was staying in the Vale of Procrastination at the time.  I'm sure there's a lesson to be learned here, and I'll consider thinking about it tomorrow.

Of course, mad pattern searching ensued (yes, I had even left choosing a pattern until the last moment) and I arrived at the darling little Baby Eyelet Cardi by Linda from Clicketyclick, and the wee Eva's Hat by Barb Kopacek.  (The one thing I had chosen beforehand, though, was the yarn: Mama Llama's Perfect Sock in the 'Roya'l colourway.  More sport-weight than fingering, it was just right for the job in hand.)

The cardi was chosen primarily because it's seamless, as seams are not my friend: knit on circular needles from the top yoke down, then leaving the sleeve holes on spare needles to be picked-up after the rest of the cardi is done, it's finished in a day or two.  (Yes, I know it could have been completed in a day, but what's a girl to do when NCIS, Cold Case and The Big Bang Theory come a-calling?)  The picot edging is a pretty detail, and there's no extra hassle with button holes, as the eyelet holes in the design do the job very handily!  Huzzah for designers who consider the laziness of potential knittees!

The hat is supposed to have a matching(ish) picot edge, but I didn't get it to work all the way around, but that was down to my own hemming skills, not the pattern.  Why yes, I did take a picture of the side that does work!  How did you guess?  On the whole, though, this is a darling wee thing, a very quick knit indeed (a matter of a couple of hours) and definitely full of squeeeeeee.  Baby garments are just so CUTE!

And because I don't think I can shock you any more, here's something else that shall soon be a-driving on the test circuit:

Well, I'm not going to give it all away now, am I?

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Now, Where Was I...?: Dutch Things

the hague, 1600

In with the new, out with the old...  erm... well, no.  In with the old and out with the...  No.  Ach. See, the trouble with moving back to a place where you've lived previously is that you presume you already know about the area and the art, architecture, and other pretties that you're moving back to. Then you realise you the extent of your knowledge is based on either 12 year old memories of your very first visit, or blurred remembrances of places seen whilst whilst singing on tour.

Memory 1: Grote, of Sint JacobsKerk in Den Haag.  Dubbed 'The Place With The Longest Curtains In The World', The Great, or Saint James' Church was a highlight of my first visit to The Hague in 1998.  It seems it was only open a few days of the year, but we found it on one of those rare days.  I didn't remember anything of the interior except for a pair of the longest white curtains I had ever seen in my life, separating the choir from the rest of the church! Going back with my LS last month, I was pleasantly surprised - yes, the long curtains were there, now changed to a fetching mustard yellow colour, but there was so. much. more!

Well, yes, for me that did mostly mean mmmm-scrummy stained glass, but I have to say it was a beautiful space and very peaceful.

Of course, there are many more things to see in The Hague, and no doubt I shall be showing them to you in the future, but I had to include the visit to one of my favourite Dutch towns here: Delft.

delft, 1580

Memory 2: The Great Delft Tea-Shop Hunt.  Rumour has it that there's an absolutely amazing tea-shop in Delft that serves the most delicious scones with cream and jam that you've EVER tasted.  Yes, in Delft.  And on my numerous visits to this beautiful town, I have never found it.  I've found numerous shops selling antique Delft tiles and Delftware, even more numerous tourist shops selling modern (and somewhat tacky) 'Delft' ware, some lovely little cafés and restaurants, and several beautiful churches, but no sign of the Tea-Shop From Heaven.  But hey, the churches aren't really a booby prize!
oude kerk, delft
The Old Church of Delft is a charming, charming building, dating from the 13th century.  The most charming of its charming aspects has to be the leaning clock tower, which was begun in 1325.

And the stained glass wasn't bad, either!

Sister church to the Oude Kerk, is the Nieuwe Kerk.

Set at one end of the market square, and begun in the late 14th century, it's really only new in relation to the other church, though!  This is the church that's related mostly to the House of Orange, the reigning royal house of the Netherlands, and inside can be found the recently restored, and rather austere, tomb of Prince William of Orange (d. 1584).

And of course, there is a multitude of stained glass on offer, too...

I'm also a fan of antique maps.  Can you tell?!

Mair Bloag Weejits

Footerin' Aboot

Footerin' Aboot
Heh! I'm so funny!

  © Blogger template 'Tranquility' by 2008

Back to TOP