November 9, 2013

Saturday Socks

Filed under:Finished Objects,Knitting,Socks — Aileen @ 08:00

It has been a long time since I shared any knitting here but that’s not to say I haven’t been doing any. The truth is that even though I still knit every single day, a lot of it is pretty perfunctory stuff. And I suppose one must face the fact that, after many years of sweater knitting, you don’t need that many jumpers. I wear handknits constantly (particularly Salina, my red hoodie, my Graystone sweater…) but haven’t felt a particular need for anything new now in a while. I cast on for a Larch cardigan last weekend in a teal merino. At the moment it’s just a big square but I’m hoping to get to the armholes over the next few days. It is perfect tv knitting.

Otherwise, I’ve been knitting socks. Lots of socks.

For these I used Katia ‘Darling’ from This is Knit (see here). I bought two balls but only used maybe a third of the second one. Obviously there was a bit of wastage (sort of) by making them as identical as I could but I have very small feet so I knew I had yarn to spare.

I tried out an afterthought heel on these and it worked really well. It meant I could just plough on knitting my tube and think about the heel much later. I think Elizabeth Zimmermann talks about it in at least one of her books, and I found actual numbers and directions in Lucy Neatby’s ‘Cool Socks Warm Feet’. I couldn’t knit just one pair, so I tried a different colourway.

I love these! They’ve already gone a bit bobbly from being worn around the house.

The downside to the afterthought heel is that without reinforcement (like nylon or whatever), I doubt they’ll hold up to the test of time. We’ll see!

I finally finally finally knit myself a boring plain pair of socks. Need I mention that these are the ones that get the most wear?!

You’ll have to take my word that they are, in fact, the same length. Have a great weekend, one and all!


May 24, 2013


Filed under:Cardigans,Knitting,Lace,Shawls,Socks,Stash Down — Aileen @ 11:58

Between the last Masters I did and finally finding a job with decent hours (love my job, by the way!), the last few years have meant that I have had to scale back my knitting alot. Sewing has had something to do with it, but not as much as you’d think…usually I sew when I can’t knit and vice versa. I’ve also had a recurring tension problem in my left arm that is often exacerbated by knitting, but not by sewing. Anyway, all this to say that I still knit almost every day but it tends to be very plain and easy to knit!

Example one: a wool shrug in Jamieson shetland.


The pattern is called ‘Biston’ and it’s a downloadable from one of the Wool People magazines. This is perfect TV knitting and just as well, as I’m working with 2.5mm needles. It’s slow going.

Example two: a replacement pair of Welsh Country socks. I was really upset when my brown and cream pair shank. I invested in two balls of Brown Sheep Wildfoote, which washes beautifully. I finally got to the toe of the second one last night. These I found to be hard work on my hands – 2mm metal dpns are unforgiving.


Lastly, I casted on for yet another shawl in the Blue Sky Alpaca ‘Silkpaca’ (correct me if I’m wrong, I’m not sure of the name). This stuff is just heaven! Love! Considering what I have planned for summer sewing (an unmentioned jacket maybe…) this will really for the bill.


I think another part of my knitting slow down is alot to do with the fact that I have many, many hand knit items that I love to wear still and don’t find myself lacking too often! Aside from one or two ‘top up’ sweaters or cardigans, I will probably devote much of my summer and autumn knitting to adding to Alb’s and my Dad’s currently measly collection.


March 4, 2013


Filed under:Socks,Sweaters,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 14:50

I’ve been working on some things for myself since finishing my Dad’s jumper (which fits really well!). First is a pair of navy socks from some plain old Opal yarn.


Yes my feet really are that tiny. I take a 3.5UK. It means I always get shoes in the sales!

The other thing is a sweater, Pomegranate, in Rialto DK. The colour is beautiful and will go lovely with my million navy items. I don’t like how I worked the rib decreases here though, so I’m going to rip back and rework it.


That’s it for now. I started sewing my green dress today so hopefully will have photos soon.


January 24, 2012

Welsh Country Socks and some facecloths

Filed under:Finished Objects,Socks,Stash Down,Zakka — Aileen @ 07:38

I put these on this morning and realised that I had never shown them here.

Pattern: Welsh Country Socks from Folk Socks by Nancy Bush.

Yarn: The brown is from Lidl and the white was one skein of Brown Sheep Wildfoote. I used about 1.5 balls of the Lidl yarn and one ball of the Wildfoote. The Lidl yarn is great and I will definitely buy more for socks when I see it on sale – they sell 4 balls for about €5.

The pattern was very straight forward to follow – I put the pattern on the toe section as well. I saw someone else had done the same thing in this colour combination and I thought it was really pretty. I wear these socks all the time. Now that I think about it, I think it’s partly because of the colour and also partly because of the length. I got the book on sale and picked it up primarily for this pattern, but it is terrific reading with many other attractive patterns that warrant closer inspection. Nancy Bush never fails to educate and entertain the knitter, I think.

I was tidying up and found a ball of Louisa Harding Ianthe that I bought to experiment with. It’s 50-50 merino-cotton and I had been thinking about a summer top, perhaps. I changed my mind subsequently and figured that some washcloths would be a good use. You can see how what size I think the hooks in the bathroom are changes…! The yarn was really lovely to work with , not very splitty at all and would make a nice top, were one so inclined.


March 14, 2011

On knitting, cycling and so on

Filed under:Cycling,News!,Sewing,Socks,Sweaters,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 12:04

I’ve had a busy time of it recently but things are settling down – no more playing for competitions or exams for another month or so. There has been knitting. Check out this mega cable.

I’m nearly finished the body of Graystone. I tried it on and let me tell you, that cowl is humongous! Perfect for this damp, chilly weather we’ve been having.

I got a discount code for a book from the Book Depository so I finally caved and got Folk Socks by Nancy Bush. I went off knitting socks there for a long time. I came across this book through Ravelry and somehow got sucked back in. Just like Knitting on the Road, it is full of social history and intriguing tit-bits all about socks. Here are my Welsh Country Stockings.

I don’t know what makes them Welsh (maybe the little pattern?) but I like them very much. I learned a new cast on for it and it’s one that I think I will keep for ribbed cuffs. I started off on 2.25mm needles but eventually ripped it out and restarted on 2mm. They were turning out a little baggy. I have some lovely 2mm double points but they’re so thin, they kept bending in the warmth of my hands. Yesterday, I dropped into This is Knit and picked up some metal ones instead. It has been a very long time since I knitted with a metal needle… so I wasn’t as cautious as I should have been when it came to leaving my knitting on the sofa last night. There is now a very neat, deep hole in the sofa… and one to match in my leg! I don’t recommend it!

When we were in London, I had to get a toiletries kit from the hotel reception because I forgot my toothbrush, toothpaste and any form of shampoo or soap. It came in this neat little hard case. I liked it so much, I kept it for holding my sock!

An update on Bertha: we were grinding very slowly to a halt through January and February, thanks to a slow puncture. A friend of mine with tools and know-how came over one evening, replaced the tube for me and also lent me a far superior pump to the one that I was using. We’ve had a new lease of life ever since! It’s astonishing what a difference it can make. It’s really starting to get into bicycle weather now and it makes me happy to see an ever-increasing number on the streets of Dublin.

Sometimes I don’t feel so excited about cycling but I find reading blogs like Academichic, Let’s Go Ride a Bike and of course the original Copenhagen Cycle Chic keep me fresh and interested!

Lastly, let me tell you about a book I got yesterday. It’s called Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear. I have often looked into getting a book on this topic but, despite reading countless reviews online, could never figure out what would be most useful to my needs. I find myself increasingly drawn to nicely-cut but plain clothes – pieces that I can wear for a few years and update with different shoes, accessories, a trendy blouse or skirt. These are things that I would like to learn to make myself. This book is exactly along the same lines as what I was taught at the Grafton Academy when I did the sewing course a few years ago. It is very clear and outlines all the simple blocks needed for tops, bottoms, sleeves, dresses and so on. All the blocks are laid out at about 25% of actual size. This is something I’m familiar with from the classes I took; everyone had to take down the notes and reproduce the block at 25% in their notebook. Initially we practised scaling it up to 50% and then actual size. Having done that, I am pretty confident I wouldn’t have a problem adjusting the blocks outlined in the book to my own size. I would like to make up some simple skirt shapes just in calico to practice drafting for my own size and making the shape. It’s a bit nerdy but I think it would be fun and give me a better understanding of how patterns work. If you’re in the same boat as me, maybe this book would interest you.