Category Archives: pictures

Key Cover

Key Cover
Originally uploaded by jwordsmith.

Ha! I love having a useful hobby.

The handle came off my car key. It’s one of those big black keys with electronics in it and a key part that whips out like a switchblade. It also had a handle on one end that let me attach it to my key ring.

Then there was an incident with a small boy and my keychain hooked to my belt loops and…now the key has no handle.

I’ve been carrying it loose for a couple of weeks and it was driving me insane (always having to search every pocket of every garment, never knowing where it was when I was out…).

Surely, I thought, knitting could solve my dilemma.

So I picked up my #1 Addi circular needles and some lovely fine merino I’ve had since I came down with my latest bout of knitting (four years ago) and cast on eight stitches. Then I turned them around and picked up eight more from the bottom.

I knitted a couple of rounds of 2×2 rib, then decided it was going to be too small. Did I frog? I did not.

I added a couple of stitches in the purls at the each row (I was working with the magic loop method) and kept knitting.

When my key fitted inside with a bit spare to suck in the top, I cast off all but two stitches, made a little i-cord loop, knitted that back into the neck of the thing and tucked in my ends.

I’m pretty proud of myself.

I went to the grocery store tonight and was able to find my key, point it at the car to lock and unlock it and know that my key was hanging from my keyring where it was supposed to be.

I have to take it out to drive the car, of course, but that’s OK. I know where it is when I’m driving!

I reckon if the ribbing gets slack I’ll thread some elastic through the neck and still be able to use it.

Big lace shawls are lovely, but this? This was quick, utilitarian, and very, very satisfying.

And hopefully will stop me locking the 1 yr old in the car again. (A-hem.)

Lorna's Laces Super Sock – Flame

I came home on a wet and dreary end-of-fall day to find a little package of loveliness waiting for me.

Lorna's Laces Super Sock - Flame

It’s one of those moments when I want to drop everything (including two incredibly cute boys) and cast on. Then I remembered that once I had wound the Black Watch version of this I was vaguely disappointed, because I had enjoyed looking at the hank so much. So I’m leaving these ones on display for a while.

But I also really enjoy wearing my Black Watch socks, so I now have an incentive to finish the little boy socks I’m working on now.

And yes, I have found )now that I’ve discovered them) that I do need to have a sock on the go, for those times when I can snatch a minute or two of knitting-as-therapy (it slows my breathing and untangles my shoulder muscles) but can’t do more than a very simple stitch. Cables and sweater-decreases are projects for a comfy armchair and a well-worn episode of Star Trek. Socks are for tossing into a bag, clipping to my belt-loops and working on while I trail around the garden and house after two sometimes-friendly-sometimes-fratricidal little boys.

Lorna's Laces Flame

Trekking Cable Socks

Trekking Cable Socks
Originally uploaded by jwordsmith.

I must write up the pattern for these since they are the first socks I’ve made that I am unreservedly pleased with. They fit great (I like a short sock); I’ve finally learned what “pick up and knit” really means, which makes a huge difference to the quality of my work; and I even took time to fix mistakes.

(Look Ma, our little knitter’s growing up… )

I wasn’t keen on these flap heelps when seen in pictures (and in my first, fudged attempts at socks in chunky yarn) but in a real sock yarn the make for an incredibly comfortable and well-fitting sock.

And the colours and feel of Trekking XXL, don’t get me started. It is taking all my reserve not to order more right now. All hail the Yarn Harlot for showing the way.



I'm Dead

Death arrived in the mail today, from Wyoming , not the West Country as I had expected (I had read the sidebars of Yarn-Monkey’s site incorrectly).

The socks are lovely, made of Plymouth Colorspun DK (75% Acrylic, 25% Wool), which means they’ll probably last longer than the ones I made. They fit perfectly and are in a colourway I’d wear any day of the week. (To be honest I’d have worn even the most horrible of colours anyway, simply because they were my Socks of Doom and would make me smile).

The blow was further softened by a handful of Ghirardelli Caramel Chocolate Squares and a lovely postcard of a landmark near her home, the Devil’s Tower.

Sock Wars Killer Postcard

Cable Scarf

Cable Scarf
Originally uploaded by jwordsmith.

This is the yarn from Shady Side Farm Studio, wot I bought last month at the Knit and Crochet Show.

There are many other things I should be knitting right now, but I needed to play with this. It is delicious. And, much as I like the pattern (from Pieknits) I think I need it to be wider. Might have to frog. But then again, that just means I’ll get to knit this lovely yarn again.

Oh, and by the way, that is a really really big ball of yarn, not an incredibly tiny scarf.

Cyberman Knit

Cyberman Knit
Originally uploaded by jwordsmith.

For those non-Brits out there, this is one of the arch-baddies from Dr Wh, a recently-revived series from the BBC.

I started out to see if I could design a decent Jack Sparrow pirate but suddenly realised the face shape would lend itself very nicely to a the Cyberman.

I have an urge to design lots of cool boy clothes, since most knitting books (and clothes shops) are full of girl:boy clothes in the ratio 4:1 or thereabouts. And the boy stuff mostly consists of sporty-themed clothes or machine-themed clothes. My boys DO like their monster trucks but I want something a little different.

The Cyberman is part one of my plan.

I now have Berroco Metallic FX and Berroco Bling coming from Webs to see what I can do with that (for those not in the know, a Cyberman should be silver).

Knit And Crochet Show

Originally uploaded by jwordsmith.

Lovely Husband (LH) set me free this morning to take a swing through the Knit And Crochet Show at Valley Forge. I didn’t sign up for any of the classes and, frankly, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had been to the Computer Show and Sale here and it was grim. And smelly. I was expecting better of the Knit and Crochet Show. I was not disappointed.

Last year I heard the owner of my Walking-Distance Yarn Store (WDYS) telling a customer that ye-as, she’d been but really she hadn’t seen anything new and, blah blah, generally sounding unimpressed. So really, I wasn’t expecting much.

But when I tell you that my usual haunts for yarn are the WDYS, which has lots of utilitarian yarns and a few scrumptious things that, in that context look like forbidden treasures; the local general craft store (acrylics and fuzzy yarns, ahoy); and very occasional trips to a better Local(ish) Yarn Store, you might get some idea of how unprepared I was.

Acres of gorgeous, touchable wool and wool blends; polished wood needles; hand-dyed yarns that smell a lot more amazing in real life than they look on the Internet; gorgeous examples of knitted garments (which look SO much nicer in 3-D than online)…

I was very restrained and only bought two 250 yds skiens of a natural wool/alpaca blend, after talking to the woman whose farm it came from, and one ball of Trekking sock yarn. I justified both purchases by noting that I couldn’t get either of these things from yarn stores nearby and the wool/alpaca I would never have fallen in love with, without touching.

I also bought a pattern for an amazing cabled coat with a box-pleat in the back (which you can see in the top left of the picture). One day it will be mine…But not until I’ve made some more practice sweaters. And raised the kids.

I also got some nifty tools for pinning your seams together while you sew up. Since I am way too lazy to fart about with pins while sewing up, I usually end up with badly sewn-up garments. These are kind of like hair clip (claws). I’ll post pictures or a link when I get a chance.

I also spoke to the daughter of the designer of Knit Stix, which have rulers printed right onto them so that you are never without your ruler. Brilliant!

There’s more, much more, but I’m trading on the good will of LH pretty heavily at the moment, so I’m going back to mommyhood now. More knitstuff later.