National Novel Writing Month


I don’t know how many of you are familliar with National Novel Writing Month. It is a challenge, to write 50,000 words in 30 days (November). At any rate, I have made the pretty last-minute decision to try it again this year. I skipped it last year due to lack of time. If anyone would like to be writing buddies, my username is C. Melvin.

I have no plot and am starting from behind, heading to bed on day one with a paltry 1253 words. But I shall try, nonetheless. Anyone with me?




, ,

Well, what has been happening this week?

The gloves remain a mystery, but Anne at my LYS assures me that this is unlikely to be moth damage. Apparently moths are messier, and there hasn’t been any further damage anyway. I’ve emailed Rowan to ask about the possibility of a yarn fault.

I have knitted one more row on In Dreams. It took me 3 days. What? I’m busy!

The spinning has passed the 50% mark. Hopefully by Monday I can start plying.

Rogue now has a recognisable tree. No branches yet but the roots are more obviously roots. The side panels are about 2/3 complete, so I should be splitting for the armholes soon.

And finally, this week was the baking of the Christmas cake. I know it’s early but it needs time to mature. Yum yum yum:

Well this won’t keep my hands warm!


Now usually, my weekly update covers my knitting. I have been working on two things this week, my Rogue and a bit of spinning. However, this is not what I want to talk about.

Autumn is most definately here, and since autumn is here, my hands have been getting chilly. So I reached up to the top shelf in my room and got down my fingerless mitts (100% merino, knit last year). These have been in use all through our rainy summer, but the plan was to bring them out of storage permanently for the winter. However, when I put the gloves on, I saw this:


Holes! Three places in the glove where the yarn looks like it has just split. My first thought was to blame some form of bug and turn the whole room upside down in search of the little horrors (don’t forget, my entire stash is in this room!). However, examination of my stash and the other knitted things in this room as revealed no other evidence of chomping. The other glove is immaculate still, and the socks piled up ready for washing in the big basket were likewise fine.

What could have caused this? And how do I fix it? Really, I have no idea, and any suggestions are most welcome. I can’t think what could have caused this damage, let alone three times, and the places where the yarn has broken have not left anything long enough to tie back together or weave in or anything of that sort. So… suggestions?

I have none of this yarn left, and would prefer a less obvious fix-it than darning if there’s another way available. And, less we forget, I have to figure out how to prevent this happening in the future.


Patience is a virtue



Dear readers, you have been so very patient with me. I was shocked to see it has been 2 weeks since my last post! Time flies when you stop paying attention. I do apologise for my absense.

However, it has been a very fruitful absense. First of all, I have finished Rock Island, and I am very pleased with it indeed. It is a lovely roomy shawl – enough to drape over my shirt if it gets a bit chilly, but equally useful as a scarf. Very nice indeed.

The yarn is 100% silk: Lost City Silk in the colourway silver bells. It is a variaged blue/silver and I think it really suits this shawl. The whole thing, despite its size, took only 10 days to knit!



Since finishing the shawl on the 1st of October, I have been focussing on Rogue. If you remember, I was planning a cardiganised Rogue, with Tree of Gondor on the back, in Cascade 220. Well, in the last week or so, I have worked through the hem, which I joined with 3 needle bindoff. I then joined the two front pieces by casting on 8 steek stitches. I left it until after the hem to avoid a very heavy triple layer of hem fabric at the bottom of the cardigan. This way, the hem will be folded at the bottom, and the steek will be sewn down above that.

I have now finished my first ball of yarn, and have made it halfway up the first side chart. You may be able to see the 4 stitches of seed stitch I have bracketing the Tree of Gondor too in this picture; that is to make the transition to reverse stockinette less jarring. I have 4 rows of seed stitch at the bottom, and then the 4 stitch border all the way up. I am quite pleased with it so far.


Modifications so far:
1. Cast on an extra 5 stitches (1 to allow the point stitch on both sides of the collar, and 4 added to the back to balance the button band).
2. Worked hem flat, beginning the seed stitch and chart A immediately after the turning row. This meant that the joining row (row 26) involved cable crossings – neccessary, but not recommended.
3. Cast on an extra 8 stitches at the end of row 27. This is the steek panel. Stitches 1 and 8 are worked in purl stitch to form a turning row.
4. Since this was initially worked flat, the order of charts has changed. I am now working [steek panel, front, chart A, back (incl. Gondor panel), chart A, front].
5. The entire thing, including hem, is worked on US7 needles. Since the hem was joined in this way, it did not need to be knit on the bias.
6. The side panel involves increases. I forgot this, and had 8 stitches remaining to be joined at the end of row 26. I just fudged the decreases – you can’t tell – but anyone else doing this modification should bear in mind that the k2tog between hem and body will need to take into account the extra stitches at the side panel.

Well, that’s all I have for now. Let me know how you’re all doing, whether you’re working on Rogue or on something else. I’d love to hear from you.


Saturday Update


, ,

Well, earlier this week I finished the orange cardigan. After nearly an entire week on the blocking boards it still isn’t dry. I blame the weather. So in lieu of an FO photo, here’s a blocking photo:

In other news, I’ve ripped back Rock Island due to right side/wrong side confusion, and am making good progress with Balrog. More coming soon on those.

Finally, I yesterday submitted my final piece of postgrad work. I’m so relieved it’s over, and am glad to have a few days of knitting and relaxing before I start looking for jobs. Postgrad was exhausting!

Saturday Update



Well, WIP land is moving along.

1. I have finished seaming the Farmer’s Market sweater. Tomorrow: blocking. No idea how long it’ll take to dry, though. The weather is ghastly.

2. Rock Island has gotten off to a lovely start. Even with 71 repeats to deal with, the pattern is short and easy to memorise. This one should be easy (you may recognise this kind of statement as foreshadowing). Here, have a look:

3. Balrog is chugging along at it’s usual sedate pace, but it’s getting done.

4. I have 4 days before my dissertation is due at the printers and it still needs a lot of work. I’ve taken tomorrow off work so I have time to fix the problems. Thank heavens I can read and knit at the same time.

That’s all for WIP Saturday (which will become more regular now that holiday season is done with). What’s everyone else working on?

Rock Island


Today I cast on Rock Island.

Stop frowning at me.

I am upholding my decision not to cast on Rogue until I have completed one of my WIPs. On that note, I am on the final stretch of the Farmer’s Market Cardigan – seaming the left side collar. Nearly there! However, since I am, as ever, signed up for the HPKCHC, I have to cast on something or I’m not allowed to play next term. Or at least the chance I can play drops pretty significantly. I think I drop all the way back down behind the well-played NQFYs, and considering I am currently BA3, that’s a long way to fall.

It occurs to me that some of you might not actually know what I’m blathering on about. The HPKCHC is the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup, which can be found for those who are interested.

Anyway, I have teamed up with Eviebits and an as-yet-unrecruited third member to tame a Runespoor for Care of Magical Creatures class. We’re working on snakey neakwear (yes, I know it sounds strange). Since Rock Island has been in my queue for quite some time, I frogged my majorly unsuccessful Aeolian and cast on with the frogged yarn.

Post-frogging, it’s as lovely as ever. Behold!

Lost City Silk, Silver Bells

100% Silk from Denise at Lost City Knits, colourway Silver Bells. I got this as a prize last year but got so frustrated with the Aeolian charts (a bit beyond me at the time) that I gave up. I can’t wait to get it properly knit up this time. It’s got beautiful sheen and is going to look fabulous. The moment I get a paying job I’m busying more of this, preferably in Wine and Roses (yum).

I’m just 2 repeats into the edging of Rock Island now, but I’m hoping for a quick and addictive knit.

Stay tuned for the finally-completed Farmer’s Market cardigan, coming soon (hopefully by the end of next week) to a blog near you!

A little time out


Hello all,

I have just returned from Tallinn in Estonia. It’s a lovely city. If you ever get the chance to go, I would really recommend it, but be sure to take a raincoat. We had boiling sunshine and heavy rain.

I might have come back with a bit of yarn… Very well priced and lovely and squishy. I am particularly excited about the flax in the bottom of the picture there. A brilliant find! Can’t wait to try spinning it.

In WIP land, the orange sweater still isn’t quite finished. I have the collar still to seam. I’m making a little more progress on Balrog, but I have so little spare time at the moment that I just can’t get much done.

However, my OWL was approved at the HPKCHC, meaning that sometime next week I will be casting on Rogue. I know there was a bit of interest in a knitalong. Who’s with me? Leave a comment, and we can have a bit of fun discussion about yarn, gauge disasters and any modifications you’re planning to make. Here’s mine:

1. Steek and add a double-knit buttonband for a cardigan
2. Add the Angband cables by DragonCrafter
3. Leave out the pockets this time – they made me look oddly shaped on the last version
4. Graft the hood with a 3 needle bindoff rather than kitchener this time. I probably have enough experience now to make the cables meet properly.

End of the week update



Well, it is the end of the week. I realise most people class Sunday as the last day – so do I, really – but since I work Sundays my last day is frequently my busiest. So I’ve reassigned it.

Anyway, since it is the last day of the week, I thought I’d report back on the progress of my WIP-down.

Annis, as you know, is complete.
The Farmer’s Market cardigan has had all ends woven in and pockets seamed. I now need to seam the sleeves and collar. I hope to have the sleeves sewn on by next Saturday and possibly the whole cardigan finished by the end of the month. That would be nice.

I have cast on a new project. I know, I know, I have a million things waiting for attention, and Rogue hovering beside me, but this is a test knit for the very talented Susan Pandorf. Check out her pattern pages; her designs are works of art. I’ve done Evenstar and (almost) In Dreams so far. I have the pattern for Argonath and Rivendell is about half done. This pattern is Balrog and I am pleased to report that it is a quick knit and very easily memorised. I think it might be going even faster if I’d had the right yarn in the stash but all I had was DK. Everything but my lace and sock stash is pretty small. So I’ve had to go down a needle size to get gauge and that’s made my knitting very tight. But that’s to do with my lack of available funds for new yarn (and my desire to stashdown) rather than pattern problems. The pattern, as ever, is a joy to knit.

Why have I never tried mosaic knitting before?

What is everyone else knitting right now? Anyone else trying to vanquish the WIPs? Let me know, and I’ll be back next Saturday, if not before, hopefully with some progress.

Mmmm cake

For those of you who do not know, today was the release date for the A-level results in the UK. Thousands of teenagers across the country entered schools, sixth form colleges and online directories to discover whether they have their coveted place at University (I am making an assumption, of course. Not everyone wishes to go to university but their results day is equally scary). Today, my brother picked up his. And did very well indeed.

In celebration, today I do not bring you knitting, or sewing, or even progress on the still-at-sea dissertation. Today I bring you baking.

This is tri-colour marble cake (chocolate and vanilla, with red colouring), decorated by hand (by me) to represent the 4 A-levels my brother took. Maths, further maths, physics and ICT. He loves it. I’m pretty pleased with it too.

Mmmm cake…