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w.i.p. Seamless Hybrid

If you only had six weeks to knit a complicated lace project with frothy thread and countless tiny beads; and if there were a million other crucial things you had to complete before leaving the country for your wedding; and if your financial situation was dire – wouldn’t the obvious course of action be to…. pick up an unfinished heap of knitting abandoned a year ago, and knit and knit in a frenzy of denial?!

This is R.’s Seamless Hybrid, in Rowanspun DK in ‘Punch’. Started last autumn and disowned after I realised that the maths might be off. Picked up again yesterday after I finally accepted that I didn’t have anything to give to R. as a second-wedding present.

Currently about 75% done.


Ready?When my husband and I caved to familial pressure and agreed to undergo a second, (this time religious) marriage ceremony, I decided to at least avoid the worst of the associated symbolisms and traditions. I wanted, for example, a simple and elegant dress as far from white as was possible, to be worn with a hand-knitted shawl in a glorious, jewelled green silk. Not so much to ask, I hear you say? Well, insidious and persistent comments have finally diverted me from this ideal, so that (under my mother’s watchful eye) I caved and bought an ‘oyster’ coloured dress, which clashes horribly with my beloved green shawl. So, Mountain Peaks has been set aside for now, to be finished and worn at some future anniversary.

But since the dress (mother approved, mind) has been deemed too ‘immodest’ for church, I’ve been given the added task of finding something to cover my shoulders. (My mother’s suggestion doesn’t bear thinking about!).

So, enter Cobweb from Rowan 40. If you ignore the hungry vampire who models this shrug, and imagine it in Kidsilk Haze instead, with small pearly seed beads – doesn’t this look appropriately virginal? Never mind the fact that it will probably be stifling in 30°C heat and 80% humidity, and that I will already be dissolving under the intense glare of judgemental Hispanic matrons – I think I’ll enjoy the dark origins of this pattern!

In any case, don’t you find that in situations you have no control over, wearing a personal item hand-knitted by you with much effort and care gives you confidence and cool? I very much hope so…

Oh, and by the way, I have six weeks to knit this!

Age Concern


Innocent are collecting miniature woolly hats to adorn their smoothie bottles. For every be-hatted smoothie they sell, they’ll donate 50p to Age Concern. Last year they raised £115,000 (that’s 230,000 hats!) This year their target is £200,000. I made a few little hats to join the pile!

If you want to contribute you can see their basic pattern here – but you could elaborate to your heart’s content. Send your finished hats to Innocent before 22nd October.


Tomorrow we’re driving to my parents’s house to celebrate my sister’s birthday. To bulk up what I thought was a meagre birthday hoard, I crocheted her this silk bookmark.

  • Pattern: Fan Bookmark by Crochetroo.
  • Yarn: Hipknits Laceweight silk. (Custom dyed for me months ago, but not yet used).
  • Hook: 2mm.

I’ll post on the rest of the stash and the party when we come back!


ETA: After all that secrecy and suspense, did I remember to take pictures of my sister’s birthday bash? You know I didn’t. Instead I clucked around cluelessly while she opened her presents. For the record , I made her a drop-stitch scarf in Collinette ‘Giotto’, and gave her a Madeleine baking tray to go with the baking book my mother bought for her. A good, if unrecorded, time was had by all!

I’ve been a bit distracted for the past couple of weeks. I feel like I’m ticking along from one appointment to another without time to stop and breathe.

Last weekend we travelled up to Ceredigion to spend some time with my cousin. We had a peaceful and relaxing break with wonderful food and some fantastic company.

Russ & Friends

The colours of the west are so lush – I took lots of very bad pictures, and a couple of not-too-bad ones.


Pond Life

free-cover-patterns_24.jpgVogue Knitting has always posed a bit of an identity crisis for me. It epitomises the style and fine design that characterises modern knitting for me – elaborate, impractical, chic.

But it lacks the homely usefulness of traditional knitting – it doesn’t really satisfy the desire to clothe one’s family in warmth and comfort. As a consequence I rarely buy VK, and instead read it furtively in bookshops, and quietly lust after its more extravagant designs.

So I was very happy to see that the magazine is making available for download its 25th Anniversary cover designs for free!


The garments range from an oversize cabled pullover to a vintage-style cape, and are designed for a range of (mostly luxury) yarns. The most impractical (and therefore the one I’m drawn to first!) is Shirley Paden’s 60’s inspired colourwork dress (above). I doubt anyone but the model on the cover could carry it off, though!

Kaffe Fassett’s flower cardigan (right), in Kidsilk Night and Kidsilk Haze is stunning, and perhaps actually flattering to a greater range of body shapes and sizes! The cost of the yarn (and the effort of knitting Fair Isle with KSH!) make it prohibitive at the moment, but it is certainly tempting.

A beautiful collection of couture designs!