crafting · Knitting

Colour work and me – On the Fence Socks

I started making the socks quite long time ago now I think it might have been last year (or maybe even the year before) when Ciasbod podcast was doing her free sock year long knit long using free sock patterns and this was the first pair. The pattern is called On the Fence by Anna Lange and it is available on Ravelry.

I thought I’d give them a go because I’ve never made colour work socks before, to be honest it has never really appealed, it just seems too fiddly and I was a bit intimidated. But then again as the knitalong name says – they’re a free sock pattern so I thought why not dip my toe in (excuse the lame pun there) and have a go.

I cast on using yarn I had in stash, the navy was a full ball that I picked up in the Rag Market market in Birmingham quite a long time ago and pink was left over West Yorkshire Spinners’ Florist range from my Hermione socks. Basically what I’m saying here is I didn’t invest heavily.

I don’t really enjoy using charts so I have found that part a bit difficult and on the first sock I made a few mistakes but only I know about them and really who is going to look at my socks that closely? So it doesn’t really matter if there are some wobbles.

Turns out colour work’s not so bad after all. I’m not saying I’m going to rush do it again, it wasn’t bad but I didn’t love it. The placement of the colour work is a bit lost on me because that’s never going to be on show up there near the cuff and I moved up by about 10 to 15 rows the colourwork band that is supposed to join up with the contrast toe so I could have it peeking out of where the gap starts of my maryjane shoes. They do look a bit odd seeing them like this, I know.

I’m on the foot of the second sock now so not doing too badly with second sock syndrome, even though these have been on my needles for over a year, that’s no big deal for me. I’m not really a monogamous knitter so projects can hang around with me for a very, very long time and that that never really bothers me. Let’s see – perhaps I will make more colourwork socks in the future perhaps I won’t but at least I’m not intimidated by them now.


Planning ahead

Me and The Mister are hoping to move house in the not too distant future. We’ve lived in our lovely flat for about 10 years now and have been really happy here but we’ve been daydreaming about living closer to the coast for a few years now and, fingers crossed, it looks like we might be able to do it. We’re not going to be actually on the coast because that would make his commute to work a bit too long but we’ll be close enough.

We haven’t put the flat on the market yet, but its on our minds all the time so we’re often talking about things we will do ahead of getting the estate agents round. Top of the list was a fresh coat of paint which The Mister has done by himself (I’m worse than useless at decorating) and it’s made a lot of difference. I’m gradually having a good clear out of clothes, shoes and all sorts of bits and bobs. Today I have made a start tidying up my yarn stash which is enormous and I make no apology for that. Every time a customer requested a custom colour of snood I bought a cone of that colour and now I have every colour imaginable but the cones take up a lot of room.

So I’ve bought a set of these fabulous metal cases from Amazon. They are gorgeous. They’re a lovely soft grey with shiny metal clasps and because they’re metal they’ll be moth proof so I can store natural fibres in them pretty confidently too.

I think this is going to take a decent amount of time to do but I’ve made a start by winding my black cotton and black acrylic because they’re my most popular snood colours.

Here’s some cakes of black cotton, that reel was SO heavy so winding the yarn into cakes means they’ll be much easier to carry around with me to make snoods on the go. I’m enjoying winding the yarn so much that I think I will buy more of these cases and then I’ll be able to get rid of the wicker cabinet that my acrylic yarn currently lives in.

This is a small part of my snood yarn collection. The yarn winder is only a cheapy but it does the job and its a really satisfying thing to do. It does take time though and I can only really do this at the weekend because I commute to London for work so I get home too late to do this in the evening really. Which brings me to the other forward planning reason for doing this.

When we move I will leave my job in London and look for an office job locally, possibly a part time job but certainly something that means I don’t have to commute for three and a half hours a day. I’m also going to have a home studio in the garden, you know the sort of thing, basically a fancy shed with good lighting that I can store my stash in and use for my embroidery workshop. These trunks will be brilliant for that and it means in a way I’ve already started packing. They look so much smarter than that wicker unit that I’ve secretly always hated.

Its such a rainy day here that the light is a bit off and the trunks look quite blue-grey in the photo but they’re not, they’re that perfect grey that looks so calm and classic. I’m so in love with them. I want to paint my nails that colour too.

I tell you the other thing that’s going to happen after we move, I’ll be able to have a cat and I cannot wait. I’m spending all my lunch breaks looking at houses and rescue cats.

crafting · Knitting

Today I’m making…. Toe-up socks

I think I started knitting these toe-up socks earlier this year, the yarn is a mega cheapy from Tiger and to be honest the colour is lovely but lets just say I expect they will be hard wearing fellers and leave it at that.  The colour is lovely, a raspberry toed purple but I wouldn’t buy this yarn again.

Other projects distracted me for a while when the pattern asked for a 2.5mm short circular needle and I took an age to get around to buying one.  Mind you I don’t think it’s entirely necessary to use a circular I reckon I could have carried on with my carbon dpns quite happily though the circular does mean you can try them on as you go so that’s a bonus but I prefer the dpn’s.



I’ve never got on with the magic loop method either, I find it a bit of a faff so I think for me socks and circs don’t go.

So here we are working the heel and the finish line in sight so to speak.  If only I liked this yarn more, I’d feel more motivated to crack on with them.

I’m not that motivated to finish this book either, it looked good from the blurb on the back, its a collection of articles published by a writer who died young when he was swept out to sea whilst torturing fish.  Anyway turns out he was massively into dance culture and football which to me just means YOB. I’ve set myself a low target of reading 26 books this year and I’m already one book behind schedule and this bloke isn’t helping. Dunno about Bliss to be Alive, more like bliss to get to the end. Still it was a freebie from my days working at DK so can’t complain too much.

Why don’t I just rip these socks and make some with the huge stash of beautiful handspun hand dyed yarn I’ve bought from I Knit London and just squirreled away? I think there must be something wrong with me sometimes but then again these were supposed to be just a trial pair to see if I got on with a toe-up sock and I can take the fancy stuff with me to Westcliffe when I go back for a week at the end of July.

Oh didn’t I mention that before? I’ve only booked myself in for a whole week at the Westcliffe Knitting Hotel in Blackpool the last week of July.  Can’t bloody wait.



crafting · Knitting · vintage

Today I’m making… 1970’s beret

I fancied making a new beret but wanted something that looks more like a classic beret than the 1960’s version I usually make. I knew I had a few beret patterns in my huge vintage pattern archive but I’m not really in the mood to take on fairisle or cable. I’m in a plain as possible mood so when I came across this 1970s pattern I knew it was ‘the one’.

Its double-knit which is unusual for me, I’m a 4-ply knitter.

img_0319-1I’d like to make the whole set really but I’ve done a bit of a work in progress audit this afternoon and the result is that I have tons of work showing very little progress.  I don’t know. I have this lovely variegated sparkly green, brown and cream yarn to use on something and I’ve cast on with it but the more I look at it the more I want to make the whole set in one colour.

I’m off to Blackpool at the start of February for a weekend of knitting, theatre and opera and did want to make myself a jumper but I’ve realised I don’t have enough of the yarn I was intending to use for that but it would be enough to do this.  Maybe I’ll take the jumper pattern with me and buy some yarn while I’m there….

But I’m wandering off topic, I’m making this beret in this yarn and yes I am going to make the most enormous pom-pom I can to go on top.