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Knowing When To Unravel

Knowing When To Unravel

When July worked her way around I was waiting, needles poised, to cast on the latest project from A Year Of Techniques. I’d brought Talmadge to a sprint finish (though to this date it is still awaiting a pair of buttons) and was ready for […]

Father's Day Gift Photo frame papercut

A Gift For Dad (Tutorial): Multi-Aperture Photo Frame Papercut

As Father’s Day approached last month I found myself getting quite nervous as to what Darwin and I should give to the most perfect and loving daddy in the world. Not only was the task of giving something adequately meaningful huge within itself, but boy […]

A Knitting Sprint Finish: Crossing The Line With The Talmadge Cloche

A Knitting Sprint Finish: Crossing The Line With The Talmadge Cloche

Another project from A Year Of Techniques has freed itself from its needle-y bonds and plopped itself down into a bubbly bath. A relaxing end to an emotional knit that, at one point, I did not think would ever get finished. I am relieved to have cast off after a night of literal blood, sweat and tears.

You will observe Exhibit A, up top, the expertly bandaged middle finger of my left hand after I deftly sliced the top of my finger off in an attempt to make finishing the hat that bit more challenging. It turns out that my knitting style does not utilise this particular digit too frequently, however it provides the buffer and counterbalance to all the finely tuned action above it and, unfortunately, rests against the base of my thumb in exactly the place that my newly acquired injury lay.

Saturday afternoon had been going well. I’d been shopping and had purchased some exciting things for a new adventure: swimming costumes for myself and my little boy. The last time I went swimming I was about 11 years old, and my toddler had never been, so my husband Russell and I decided that we’d try something new on Sunday morning, and were full of preparations yesterday. And that’s what caused this whole sorry mess. Being a female of the species I felt the stupid societal pressure to ensure that every square inch was fuzz-free, lest strangers might point at me like I were an actual yeti descending down the ladder into the shallow end. About ¾ of the way into this de-fuzzing venture I had a sickening slip of the hand whilst rounding the angle of my knee and actually heard the… You know what? You honestly don’t need to know the details. The next sounds were a few faint whimpers and then my husband’s name called at 130 decibels, (which I’ve just Googled in order to find a jet plane take-off equivalent noise level). There was blood (a lot) there were tears (so many tears) there was probably sweat, but honestly the blood and tears were the overriding focus. After what seemed like hours of sitting in a rapidly cooling bath trying to stem the blood, Russell helped me out and bandaged me up.

A few hours later my finger was bruised and still very, very sore, but I was actually able to knit. I wasn’t comfortable, but it wasn’t unbearable, either. And I only went and knit the entire brim.

I decided to go with a stitch pattern slightly different from the pattern’s called-for Moss Stitch. So as to give a similar overall look I instead used the gently textural broken rib/garter pattern that I used in my Dextrous Mitts pattern, letting the slightly less distinct underside of the stitch come to the fore on the turned up brim.

The finished hat it still blocking, and I hope that it will fit. I think a couple of the finished examples I have seen have come up a little short for my preferred fit and brim-line, so I added twelve rows to the body pattern before changing the final four pattern rows to complete the pattern, and I think that extra bit of length will help the hat sit in a more comfortable shape on my giant head.

So, despite my damaged digit the hat is complete and after a few days rest it should be fighting fit to cast on for the next project. And, very importantly, our family day at the swimming baths was magical.

Super Mario cross stitch by Russell

Guest Post: Stitch Envy

Guest post by Russell Codd Have you ever had knitting envy? I don’t mean that you look at someone’s finished object and wish that you could knit as well as that, or had the ability to design that pattern. I don’t mean that you wish […]

Hats In June: Hot Weather Knitting Woes

Hats In June: Hot Weather Knitting Woes

My knitting motivation has been a bit thin on the ground these past two weeks. Some warmer-than-usual June weather in the UK turned my greenhouse of a living room into a suburban sauna and brought my hat progress to a crashing halt. Though Talmadge is […]


My Open Window

Like A Coddfish To Water – From Strength To Strength

Like A Coddfish To Water – From Strength To Strength

For a while now my husband has been making noises to the effect that he would like to take Darwin swimming. The mere thought of it filled me with dread. I cannot swim, and for so very many reasons the idea of going to the pool was just horrifying to me, and deep inside I was worried about the experience for me, my little boy, and (if it was an upsetting experience) my husband. Russell said I could just rest at home, or come along and watch, but oh look at brave ol’ me, in my newly purchased swimsuit, in the water, smiling.

And I was actually smiling, and not just for the camera, because I had the strength to be brave.

I decided to put all my fears (from the water itself to getting my lily-white dimpled backside out in public) aside for the sake of my family. In wanting to be there to help my son be strong and brave and have fun, it forced me to be strong and brave, and oh my goodness did we have fun.

It turns out that my little boy is a Codd by name and nature. He absolutely adored being in the water, and he was so very bold.

On the very first visit we let go of him in the water and let him float a short while. The second time we visited we stood back and let him freely explore the water, which is 4ft deep at even the shallowest end, and he worked out for himself the best way to turn and move in his new environment. Our third visit allowed him the confidence for him to lay on his front and, with his floats, swim. Head up and travelling with body horizontal in the water. He is learning for himself how to best move in the water. He is doing widths of the pool!

Our fourth visit was yesterday, and I had the confidence now to take him to the pool alone, whilst my husband was away on his brother’s pre-wedding stag weekend. Darwin is yet more confident in the water, loves being splashed when other kids jump in, and his is the main source of laughter that rings around the pool. He taught himself to sit in the water in a pike position and then lay out onto his back and barrel roll back around to his front position. As his little nose pokes under the water there have been split second moments of surprise, but he has learned to modify his roll to stop this and has been doing it over and over to test himself.

I’m so, so very proud of him. I’m also proud of myself for being brave enough to give him the space to be brave whilst he is within the safety of our family love.

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