Friday, January 30, 2009

A Friday Scone

And just how do you pronounce that? Do you rhyme with gone or cone? And what does your pronunciation of scone say about you I wonder? Wikipedia has this to say on the subject,
The pronunciation of the word across the United Kingdom varies. According to one academic study, nearly two thirds of the British population and 99% of the Scottish population pronounce it as /skɒn/, to rhyme with "con" and "John." The rest pronounce it /skəʊn/, to rhyme with "cone" and "Joan." British dictionaries usually show the "con" form as the preferred pronunciation, while recognizing that the "cone" form also exists.[1]

Which begs the question, who does these studies?

For the record I rhyme with "gone" and I am wondering if the pronunciation of scone is a similar hotbed overseas or are those readers now entirely convinced of my madness.

These scones were baked to a new recipe, well new to me but well and truly tried and tested by my aunt who fed them to me slathered in butter, bejewelled with cranberries and sat upon the finest bone china, they were perfect. We like them with raspberry jam too. Surprisingly there were a couple left today and Tilly had them at breakfast. Depending on your point of view this is either a very bad or a very good way to start the day no matter how you pronounce them.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Some knits are quick

Some people always seem to knit the things you wan
t to knit. I find myself mentally taking notes of pretty much everything that Leslie knits and on one occasion even found myself getting there before her, just, (but hers is still my favourite for colour).

I came across the Thorpe hat on Leslie's blog last year, duly followed the link and then did nothing about it for over a year.

However on completing my Ingenue I found myself rather alarmingly with nothing to knit, I could have cast on for socks but somehow I'm just not in a sock mood at the moment. After losing some of my life to Ravelry, you know how it goes on there... you look up on pattern and before you know it hours have passed.... I forced myself away from the screen and turned to my shelves were I suddenly found Thorpe.

A Dylan sized Thorpe was whipped up in a blink, one skein of Magpie, the boy declined the plaits. When Tilly spotted it in the morning she immediately requested her own version and that evening's knitting was assured.

Cashmerino Aran and something pink to trim, size medium.

Kirsten designed a great pattern, it's an excellent hat, just the thing for a walk in the woods.

Friday, January 23, 2009

An old favourite

Ingenue was completed over a week ago and has already achieved the title of "old favourite" within my mind.

Knitted in Sirdar Eco wool, this sweater wraps me in warmth and cosiness. The unusual neckline, the cropped sleeves and the gentle shaping keep it from looking like too much of a "comfort before style" garment but comfortable, it undoubtedly is and I do feel rather stylish in my comfort. I had to stop myself putting it on this morning, I really couldn't turn up at school wearing the same sweater again, they would think some sort of terrible misfortune had befallen the rest of my wardrobe. It was a wrench though, a real wrench.

Wendy Bernard has created a wonderful pattern. The top down circular construction was such a joy, the only seaming was a quick 10 minutes of stitching down the folded collar, really no trouble, no trouble at all.

Wendy Bernard is my new best friend; this sweater is my favourite, my absolute favourite.

The Sirdar Eco wool was lovely to work with, it has a pleasingly sheepish smell (OK, I grant you, that sort of smell may only appeal to a knitter, but I assure you it is easily removed with a soapy bath), it is soft and the natural hue is so easy to wear.

I want more of these sweaters. I want one in black, one in cream, maybe palest grey, charcoal of course, green would be nice. I want some with more drape, more luxurious ones, silk and cashmere would be good, alpaca would be nice. Oh, I'd like one in blue too and I have a stranger hankering for one in orange.

It was a good knit and I am very satisfied with the outcome, can you tell?

Ingenue by Wendy Bernard, the pattern can be found in her book, Custom Knits: 25 Projects (Plus Variations) and Techniques for Customizing to Fit Your Style and Your Body I made the medium size.

I like this one, I really like this one.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Something to tempt you

I do believe that I may have previously mentioned my addiction to Radio 4 and indeed I am always puzzled that anyone could not be similarly addicted when they give you things like this to listen to.

It's an excellent adaptation of a thoughtful and moving novel. Honour Blackman conjures perfectly the newly independent Lady Slane and it is such a treat to sit down at 10.45 each morning and enter that leafy Hampstead house.

Inspired by Cornflower's recommendation I read All Passion Spent (Virago modern classics) last year and simply could not put it down, the characters so well crafted that my head was quickly filled with very definite portraits
of each and this Radio 4 adaptation has not disappointed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

That sweater again

Yes, I made it again. In my defence I would offer that it is the first time I have made it this year! I realise that this knit frequently appears in the same colour too, well I'm sorry, I like this colour and it is always available in my local yarn shop. This colour goes with lots of the ribbons in my ribbon jar and I am pretty sure it will grace these pages again.

I did try to make it a little different this time by adding little bloomers in the softest needlecord. I realise this is not a colour match made in heaven but it was all that my fabric stash had to offer and given how very late this baby gift is I really could not afford any fabric shopping time or there really will be no chance of it fitting for even a day.

I made my own pattern for the bloomers, based on a Japanese one but there is a lovely pattern in the first edition of Sewhip and a pull-out pattern for the same bloomers in the current addition.

I used french seams throughout and then sewed them down, not sure if that makes sense but basically it means that these seams are not only rather beautiful but very strong, perfect, I hope, for a baby who will soon be on the move. French seams do drive me a little crazy whilst I am sewing them, I am an impatient sewer, but once you have used them a few times you really do want to use them on everything, they are just so very good.

In case you need reminding of the details... Sweater from Simple Knits For Cherished Babies ,made in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Knitting in blue

The blue cardigan was finished in time for Tilly to wear at Christmas. It was so quick to knit and she seems to love wearing it, the soft fabric created by the squashy cashmerino envelopes her in comfort and calm. It looks great with jeans, thrown on after school and equally perfect with her blue party frock.

In fact this is the second time I have knitted this pattern. There was a pre-blog, baby sized version and for that reason the pattern holds a tender place in my heart, stirring distant memories of tiny knits, worn for just a few weeks and then outgrown. Invoking the memory of a baby asleep in my arms, that sweet smell, that sleepy smile. This one will fit a little longer I hope, I made the sleeves long (I always do, I'm one of those terrible mothers who insists on plenty of growing room) in the hope of its seeing another Christmas.

I did not actually follow the pattern for Mia from the Junior Knits
book but rather, a sized up version of the pattern entitled Lola in the Cotton Angora book. As far as I can see, they are the same garment. An adorable baby sized version of the pattern also appears in Special Knits

The Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran was, as always, a pleasure to work with. I notice there is a little bobbling already but then this cardigan has already been bike riding, disco dancing, sticking and gluing, walking, running, jumping and cuddling. I think a little wear can be forgiven in those circumstances.

I didn't add the ribbon because I knew I would end up having to un-knot it on too many occasions but the little brooch works well.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Beginning again

Lately it would seem that I have been in the habit of showing you my beginnings but not my endings. It's not that there have not been endings, there are several knits requiring photo shoots and I really need to get to with these. The Habu jacket is finished and in regular wardrobe rotation, Tilly's cardigan is also finished and in use. I will make an effort to give these items full and proper posts of their own but in the mean time....

This is Ingenue fromCustom Knits: 25 Projects (Plus Variations) and Techniques for Customizing to Fit Your Style and Your Body
. I am using Sirdar Ecowool and lovely stuff it is too. The third time I have made a sweater in the round and as in the past I find myself wishing all patterns were so, it is such fun to see the whole garment taking shape as you knit, so relaxing to sit in the evenings just going round and round and round.
So sensible to have the opportunity to properly check fit whilst knitting.

I am just about to cast of the main piece and have almost two balls left for the sleeves, I am reasonably sure that I will not have enough yarn to finish but I am knitting as fast as I can in the hope of proving myself wrong. Because obviously knitting faster might mean I have enough yarn. Because, of course, you all know that knitting faster makes the yarn go further, don't you?

Monday, January 05, 2009

Ripples and ice

Firstly, I wish all of you the very best of things during the coming year. Like so many others at this time, we are facing an uncertain year. The Technical Advisor and I have been joking for some years now that things surely cannot get any worse for us but in fact it seems that just is not true! On the other hand, if we put our happy hats on, it is almost always possible to see the up side to most of life's missiles and we frequently remind ourselves of how much worse things that could be, so we gaze out on 2009 apprehensively but with thanks too.

Today was the last day of the Christmas holidays, the children return to school tomorrow. It has been a good break full of enjoying nothing, the occasional trip into the frozen outdoors in search of adventure (and fairies). I love those adventures they plan, so often the packing and planning take longer than the adventure. This expedition involved Christmas cakes and apples, what better picnic can you imagine?

In celebration, or mourning, of the last day of the holidays today heralded a pyjama day, there was no venturing outdoors, indeed for any of us as a slight thaw on Sunday, accompanied by overnight rain turned to lethal ice today keeping us tucked up indoors atop our little hill. Pyjama day involved lego, disco dancing and an afternoon film, perfect.

The decorations are down and although there was a flurry of cleaning in their wake, I wouldn't call it Spring cleaning, the lounge remains filled with blankets and quilts, the very thing to accompany pyjamas. I felt the Ripple blanket deserved a little more mention although it is hard to give it full photographic attention as it is so often in use. In fact while still working on it I found that people sitting next to me were unable to stop snuggling up and making use of it. Perhaps I will give it a full outdoor modelling slot come Spring.