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.
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.