Frog in knots

Knitting, knots and frogging.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Female of the Species... more deadly than the male, especially with PMT and an automatic assault rifle :)

That is me, before you ask. I only mention it because my own mother didn't recognise me.

I did indeed come across some pretty scary folk in my military days and none moreso than my friend Ned. He is one scary MoFo. He used to be an All Arms Marine Commando and passed selection for the SAS before deciding to transfer to the Air Force (better terms and engagement for those with families). He is not the kind of person you want to meet down a dark alley and yet is the nicest and most genuine person I have ever met. He also coached me back to fitness after an injury. There are few incentives to run out there, but a bit of 'gentle encouragement' from a Royal Marine is sure to get you moving.

Once I heard Ned was having a son I knew I had to make him something military related. I have to admit I was almost tempted by this tiny Rambo suit, but went for a Combat Jacket like the one I'm wearing above. It won't be too long before Sol is running round blowing things up as a Mini-Marine complete with All-Arms Commando badge and sergeant stripes .

Although you can't see them, because, well, that's the point of camouflage, there are 4 pockets on the front. I should have chosen better buttons really, but couldn't find enough in the right colour in time.

It's made in Patons Fab which is 100% acrylic and took just under 200g. The pattern is an alteration of this one found in Phildar Baby No.50 which I assume was published some time in the 80s. It's a 20" chest so it should fit him in the autumn.

Be afraid folks, be very afraid.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


There are many different yarns available these days; you get the natural and the man made. It's strange to think that many will knit with angora or mohair without batting an eyelid, but shudder at the thought of knitting with hair from other animals like cat or dog (any pet owner will tell you it's hard to avoid if your beloved fluff ball comes anywhere near you when you knit). The advent of fun fur (I'd like to know what's so 'fun' about it) means that those that like that look can do it without courting the anger of the anti-fur mob, especially when it comes to the more 'exotic' types.

I have just finished this pull through scarf for my friend's mother. She chose the yarn. While I am generally not in the 'fun fur is the devil' camp, I would rather give up knitting than use this again. It was foul to work with. I dropped a stitch in it somewhere and can't find it despite very close inspection. I tried to sew the ends in neatly, but couldn't actually find the stitches to follow. It was a nightmare to use.

Owing to intense speculation and albeit a very suspicious coincidence, I must categorically state that this scarf is not, I repeat not, made from my dog. Scout is very particular about the use of his fur and prefers to scatter it around the house and coat my clothes in it.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Jumpers for Goalposts!

There seemed to be an ongoing theme throughout my childhood; every time I was running out the door to play, my Mother would meet me holding out a sweater. Even in the summer heat, (in Northern England - Ha!) she would be there with something warm to wear. It wasn't just me either. All of my friends had Mothers with the same agenda, only they didn't realise we had a different one...

Jumpers for Goalposts!

Every football loving child needs them and woe betide the first to go home and take one side of the goal, even more so if it was your ball.

Knowing that Sol's Dad (Ned) is an ardent England supporter, it would have been rude not to make Sol an England jumper. If they are anything like our family then you are dressed in your team's kit before you can walk. So Hey Presto!

I offset the St. George's cross to the left to make it a bit more visually interesting. Of course, you good people know me by now, so you know that I couldn't just leave it at that. I embroidered the England badge onto a piece of felt. If you think I swore embroidering elephants onto flying suits, then be in no doubt that the air was blue when making this. Lions and tudor roses are not the easiest things to make and my embroidery is ropey at best. To see the real thing, scroll down in my sidebar and you can see what the badge really should look like.

I was planning to make this for Sol to fit during the World Cup this summer, but decided that a bigger one would make more sense. In the end I went for a 24" chest so he can get a lot more wear out of it. Still, a football shirt is never complete at just that, so I made his name to go on the back...

I used a punch tool to make it (Purrfect Punch in the US - Webster's
Punch in the UK). It's quite time consuming, but makes an interesting texture. The thread can be quite difficult to find these days so I separate DK yarn and use the individual strands. It seems to do the job quite well. I usually don't like to put childrens' names on their clothing, especially in this day and age, but since there is an England footballer called Sol Campbell I decided it was OK. I used his squad number too.

I was really, really pleased with this one, so here's one last look at it. I wrote the pattern myself and will put it up over the next few days. I may even venture into men's sizes for it, but is currently only done for babies and small children.

p.s. I know I said, I'd do a post on design - I haven't forgotten, it's coming. The pattern for D.M.B.L.B.I.T? is also on the way. I just have to write the other sizes first.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Introducing Scarlett

Drumroll please.....................

May I present to you the most beautiful baby girl in the world.

Scarlett is now 9 weeks old and 10 lb something. She's a delightful baby and is all smiles and a pleasure to spend time with. She looks like her Mum, but dresses like her Dad!

Except you wouldn't see him in this little pink and white number...well, maybe not in public ;)

She's in a bolero I knitted last year pre-blog in white acrylic with pink flecks.

I had a lovely time visiting and can't wait to see her again.

Friday, March 17, 2006

A head like a sieve

You'll have to forgive me for not posting in the last week - I forgot! I really do have a head like a sieve and I'm not messing around about it either. Granted most of the holes are self inflicted piercings, but there are a few natural and medically assisted ones there too. In the last week I've had a few more added, just compounding the problem.

I had surgery to have my mole removed earlier in the week. Message to nurse - when you asked me if I wanted to see it, I thought you meant a mirror so I could see the scar. I did not under any circumstances wish to have my own flesh waved at me in a dish.

I also went to the dentist for a simple filling. See, a filling, I was getting a hole fixed! Only he decided it would make more sense to take the tooth out and I had an impromptu wisdom tooth extraction. I don't have an extra hole - I have a crater you could park a moon buggy in. And no, I didn't want to take the tooth home with me, but thanks for asking Mr. Dentist, I was really tempted there for oh.. lets see... about no time at all.

Just to prove what these new holes have done to me - I left my favourite hat on the train.

Needless to say there hasn't been much knitting going on as my poor head has taken a bit of a battering. I have used some of the time to sew together a few items that were in need of finishing. I did get this done for Scarlett, it's just a bigger version of the cardigan I made when she was born in pink boucle.

It's the garter stitch cardigan in 'Simple Knits for Cherished Babies' by Erika Knight. Jenny mentioned that it was the thing that she found most useful, so I thought a bigger one would come in handy. I wish I'd used more interesting yarn though, this was just plain acrylic. Still, it takes so little time to knit one up that I may make another. It's not like there's a shortage of babies around here.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Does My Bum Look Big In This?

It's the question you've all been waiting for. So...does my bum look big in this?
*Grin* I highly suspected it might, so don't feel you have to be kind. It probably isn't the best shape for my body and we've recently discussed this on Knittyboard, but I wanted to make it regardless. It's better than the usual potato sack shapes I tend to knit for myself. It also needs a new name, D.M.B.L.B.I.T? is a bit of a mouthful. Ideas on a postcard to...

I have mixed feelings about it. I tend to dislike things for a bit after I've made them, so this doesn't surprise me. Give me a week and I'll love it. I think you just get sick of looking at things and as I've worked on this exclusively for the past few weeks it's started to get on my nerves. There are a few bits I'd change if I made it again. I'd like to try something different on the curve, there's a small part of it that bunches on the bottom of the curve (it's worked too tight) and I only thought of a better solution after I'd put on the rib and collar. I wasn't undoing that for anything.

The curve in all it's glory (both back and fronts). The big creases are the hip increases, worked similarly to the bust shaping. The smaller ones are where the bunching happened, I worked 3tog to maintain the fully fashioned edge and despite working very loosely it was still too tight. I had planned it with a bit more swing, but found this method a lot easier to work into a semi-circle. Had I not reworked the huge section of the bottom that I took off it would have been 3 inches longer, I definitely did the right thing.

Thanks again to String Bean and Knitpastis for kindly offering to send buttons. I did manage to find the perfect buttons for it after a bit of searching. I initially bought brass ones, but wasn't keen and then found the green ones in the last place I looked.

I will put the pattern up for it in a few weeks, I'll jig it about a bit so it will fit standard sizes.

I'd like to thank you all for your support and encouragement during the olympics and beyond. You'll all been superstars and have kept me going when I wanted to frog the lot and give in. I really do appreciate you taking the time to keep coming back and leaving comments. You guys rock.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

For want of a button

Just a quicky post to officially declare my Olympic cardigan open. It will have to remain open too as I couldn't find any matching buttons for it in town today. I'm heading into the city on Monday so fingers crossed I'll find something. Aside from buttons there are a few stray ends to be sewn in, but the knitting is officially over.

Just so this isn't a photoless post, here is my recent charity shop swag. Since I inadvertently bought sock yarn a few weeks ago and was at a loss what to do with it, I decided I may as well do the obvious and knit socks. I only have the one set of sock needles (which were my Nana's) so I thought I'd better get some in. One of the charity shops in town always has needles in so I went for a shufty and came back with...

11 sets of sock needles (short DPNs)
6 pairs straights
2 circular needles
2 cable needles

for the grand sum of £6.

The sock needles were all bundled into sets, but not all of the same size. Although I had my needle gauge in my bag I couldn't bothered to sort them out so I bought the lot. I do have a few duplicate sets, but they will do as spares if I lose any (which I will). I bought the bakelite straights because I love them, I find wooden and plastic needles in bigger sizes too light, these are nice and sturdy. I got the circs because my Mum likes using them (I hate them with a passion).

A thought to leave you with - 692 sts on 7 DPNs for 14 rounds, not to mention the short rows for the collar. I ought to be a gibbering wreck rocking in the corner, so I'm about to cast on into the sanctury of baby knitting. A little bit of something small will return my sanity before I carry on with my cable cardi.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I've been tagged

and I don't mean electronically. I'm not that much of a delinquent.

Sharon got me. As usual click the photos to see them bigger.

4 jobs or places of work:

  • Market trader - My first job at 15 was selling greetings cards and gifts on the local market.

  • Bar Staff - I've worked in venues from small local pubs to big night clubs and sports stadiums. It paid my way through University and kept me in beer tokens.

  • Outdoor Activity Instructor - I taught kids to do various adventure sports from Archery to Zip Lines. I didn't kill any, but a few cried.

  • Military Aircrew - I spent a few years in the Air Force training to be a Weapons Systems Operator before a back injury cut my career short. It's been left open for me to return, so who knows....
4 movies I'd watch over and over again:

  • Withnail and I - I find this film hilarious, it reminds me of my student days and the grubby house I shared with 6 others.

  • The Importance of Being Earnest - another really funny film and you can't go wrong with a bit of Colin Firth.
  • Pride and Prejudice - The BBC version, not technically a film, but I love it. Don't talk to me about the new film, Jane Austen will be spinning in her grave.

  • Top Gun - It was no accident I joined the Air Force.
4 places where I've lived:

  • Durham - I spent 3 of my 4 University years in the city. Home of Hogwarts and a medieval architectural masterpiece. I spent many hours in the Castle Dungeons (it's a bar now). In the words of Bill Bryson, "If you have never been to Durham, go at once. Take my car, it's wonderful."

  • France - Southern Normandy, I was teaching as part of my Uni course. It's a beautiful place and the people were really friendly and welcoming.

  • Austria - Vorarlberg, I lived in a mountain village and was made an honourary native. Lots of skiing and schnapps.

  • Spain - Costa Brava, I worked as a watersports instuctor, living 2 mins away from a beautiful beach.

4 TV shows I like:

  • Life on Mars - I'm devastated I have to wait a year for the next series. It was marvellous.

  • House - I'm grumpy, he's grumpy, it's a match made in heaven.

  • 24 - I like the pace of it and the idea of it being 'real time'.

  • Judge John Deed - My inner idealist loves the character.
4 Websites I visit every day:

  • Knitty Coffeeshop

  • Bloglines, so I can keep up with you good people and your blogs.

  • KnitNerds, a great new site bringing knitting resources together in one place for easy reference.
4 Places I've been to for holidays:

  • Peru - the best 5 weeks of my life. I've found paradise.

  • Germany - I did an exchange while I was at 6th Form College and had a fab few weeks in Bavaria.

  • French Alps - I went on a kayaking trip for 3 weeks with my University Canoe Club. It's a stunning part of the world.

  • The Lake District - I used to go camping and hill walking with my friends in a very beautiful part of the UK (Cumbria).
4 favourite dishes:

  • My Mum's roast dinners. She does the best roast spuds I've ever tasted.

  • Indian - curry, any kind will do.

  • Chinese - sweet and sour chicken is my favourite

  • Mexican - whether it's chilli or fajitas, it's great.
4 places I'd like to be right now:

  • Peru, I'd go back tomorrow and stay there forever.

  • Flying in a helicopter, because there's nothing like it.

  • Spain, I could do with a bit of sun, sea, sand and sangria.

  • Travelling around the world, it a dream of mine, watch this space.

4 bloggers to answer the questions next:

I know a lot of you have been tagged with this already, but if you haven't yet, consider it done!