Archives

FO: Tiny Tank Top

FO: Tiny Tank Top

It has long been an amusement to my husband that I just adore a tank top (or Sweater Vest if you are from the US or various other places that we in the UK seem to have cross-terminology with). I love to wear them myself […]

FO: Giantmonk’s Tank-oo Too Top

FO: Giantmonk’s Tank-oo Too Top

Many readers of my old blog will no doubt remember co-star, wonderful model and sometimes knitter, Giantmonk, my partner in craft and giver of all the cuddles in the world, absorber of sadness. When I moved last year he was one of the things that […]

Giantmonk’s Tank-oo Top

Giantmonk’s Tank-oo Top

Giantmonk’s new fair-isle tanktop slid off of the needles yesterday. His new (very fashionable) tanktop was a quick and easy knit, though as I had never knit such a thing, nor had I ever seen instructions for a tank top, it was very much and exercise in improvisation. It was soon quite obvious that Giantmnonk is not made to, shall we say, ‘standard’ proportions. Narrow, far back shoulders and a rather rotund cuddly tum, this tank top is tailored to fit. It is haute couture.

At 130 stitches around, Giantmonk’s tanktop ended up a perfect fit, with a very wide v-neck and small arm-holes positioned far back, where a Giantmonk’s shoulders tend to be, Giantmonk says that his new pullover is ‘very comfy and warm’.

Pyjama Days

Pyjama Days

We don’t just have pyjama days anymore. My little boy in particular, likes to have whole pyjama weeks since we started lockdown. Pyjamas are the most comfortable clothes that we own, and right now comfort is very much sought after. Because of this we have […]

Talking About Texture: I’ve Been Playing With Arnall-Culliford Knitwear’s Latest Yarn

Talking About Texture: I’ve Been Playing With Arnall-Culliford Knitwear’s Latest Yarn

I’ve just heard, by way of newsletter heralding good news, that the latest line of yarn from Arnall-Culliford Knitwear has been released for sale, and I’m excited because it’s really, really good. I have been lucky enough to have an early play with Something To […]

Recovery Spin

Recovery Spin

Get straight back on the bike you fall off of; get straight back on the wheel when the yarn doesn’t work. I quickly came to terms with the fact that I made an ugly yarn, and in retrospect have decided that it is not that ugly. As a few people suggested, I can cut the white and white-mix portions out and knit from the remaining yarn, and I have learned a decent amount about what I like in terms of colour. I think the last skein threw me a bit as I love rainbows and could have made something a lot nicer from my fibre. I shall work a bit more and see if I can pick up the same or a similar set of fibre in the future, and have a better go at it. But before any of that I decided I needed to jump back on the spinning wheel and have a recovery spin. Something that would bring my confidence back up again. I decided on the same format for the spin, a simple 3-ply: this time in in colours that I couldn’t really mess up too much.

This is spun Pembroke by Hilltop Cloud, a blend of 50% Merino, 25% Shetland, 12.5% Mulberry Silk and 12.5% Baby Alpaca. It was a simple pleasure to spin as the fibres all draft easily and smoothly without feeling like they are running away from you. I spun this with ‘help’ from my two year old, who helped pull the fibre away and helped me to pedal my feet, whilst reminding me ‘up, down. up, down’, pushing my feet with his warm and squishy hands. Despite having this expert help, the yarn turned out quite even throughout the three bobbins of singles and plied yarn. I haven’t given the finished skein a wash yet, but it all seems quite balanced so far, and I’ll see what a gentle soak does to the finished spin.

I feel really positive after making this yarn. It gave me both a quick and very simple finished product that I can use, but also a few hours at the wheel doing something relatively mindless. Recently, another bout of acute illness on top of my chronic illness has brought me quite low, and the meditative action of letting my hands take over where my mind does not want to put in as much effort as might cause stress or mistake has been very therapeutic. I have four knitting projects on the needles at the moment (a large blanket I’m designing, another design I am working on that incorporates both colourwork and cables, the trilobite tank top, and a 4-ply jumper). Each of these is a joy to work on in its own right, but sometimes I just need something for my hands to do whilst I tidy up the library of thoughts in my mind, sorting all of those volumes of ideas and emotions back onto their shelves ready to access when I need to. Producing something complete and useable, whilst allowing myself to spin my ‘natural’ singles weight was very liberating and has put me back in the right place to a bit more concentrated knitting over the coming days.