Thursday, 24 December 2009

This Year's "Christmas Tree"

Yup. That's Sarah, our dressmaker's doll, standing in for a Christmas tree which are just a bit too pricey to bother paying for this year. Next year!

In other news, LostCityKnits is having participating in the 10 shawls in 2010 group (so tempting...still haven't decided if I'm going to go for it!) and is having a giveaway on her blog if you want to suggest a pattern.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Happy Christmas! And a new pattern!

I think I've finally done all of my Christmas knitting...with a week to spare. Granted, I had to ship a box off to America so I had a much earlier deadline, but I'm feeling pretty good about what I've managed to finish over the past two months.

With gifts finished, today was the Christmas Shop with my husband. This is our first Christmas together as a married couple, and on our own, so we're making it special with special treats, like enchiladas and cereal from back home (Tesco's is sadly lacking in Panda Puffs, but I managed to get my paws on Gorilla Munch). Also, Britain is waking up to the wonder of peanut butter and chocolate, as I managed to score a 3-pack of Reese's Peanut Butter cups at Tesco's today (55p...fantastic).

I've also managed to get a new pattern up: the Leiden Lace Scarf.

It's available for £3.00 at my Ravelry Store.

And if you're not on Ravelry, here's a doesn't-matter-link (Which will take you to Paypal:


Friday, 4 December 2009


It's been a busy week, and Flintshire is now available:

Includes both charted and written instructions.

Flintshire is an intricate yet quick to knit cabled hat suitable for both men and women. It’s easy to pick between sizes; simply use DK-weight yarn and smaller needles for the smaller size, or switch up to Aran-weight yarn and larger needles for a large woman’s/men’s hat.

Small/Medium (for 18-21”/46-54cm head

Large/X-Large (for 21-24”/54-61cm head

Finished Measurements
15”/38cm circ. of brim, unstretched; 8”/20cm

18”/ 46cm circ. of brim, unstretched; 8.75”/22cm

Cable Needle
Tapestry Needle

Thank you to StephCat, NifferJJL1980, faeriesandpixies,
scoochiesmom, MsKniterrific, SheKnitsToo, JenAus0524, WallflowerGirl, and Meggiesgran for test knitting for me!

Flintshire is available for 3.00 GBP (about $4.98 USD at today's exchange rate) as a Ravelry Download (link will take you to Paypal).

Monday, 30 November 2009

Marquess Beret

My newest pattern is up on Ravelry!

It's Marquess, made with US 8 needles (5.00mm) and about 200 yards of Aran or DK-weight yarn.

It's available for 2.50 GBP (about $4.11 USD at today's exchange rate) as a Ravelry Download (link will take you to Paypal).

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Christmas and New Year Patterns, Arriving in December

Just in time for last-minute Christmas gifts, or for some wonderfully selfish New Year knitting for yourself, are:

Marquess, Pattern Coming the First Week of December

Flintshire, Pattern Coming the Second Week of December

And who knows? I new shawl might even sneak in there somewhere.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Butterfly Forest Shawl

I have yet a new pattern up on Ravelry! It's been a long time coming, but it's here!

It's the Butterfly Forest Shawl, and I have to say I'm a little bit in love with it.

It's available for 3.00 GBP (about $4.92 USD at today's exchange rate) as a Ravelry download (link will take you to Paypal).

Free Hat Pattern Available

A hat pattern that shall not be named, just in case the intended recipient happens to stumble onto my blog, has been posted on Ravelry. It's a simple man's knit, and even better, it's free!

Also finished up another Christmas present: Elijah by Ysolda.

Done with 1.5 skeins of Mirasol Yarn Samp'a, an AMAZING organic cotton yarn that is nowhere near as splitty as most organic cotton I've used. Plus the proceeds go to supporting community projects in the Andes in Peru, which has a very special place in my heart.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Beetroot Knits

A few weeks ago, we got a bundle of small organic beetroots in our veg box delivery. They sat in the back of the fridge for a while, as I wasn't quite sure what to do with them...beet crisps? Nah. Pickled? Heck no.

And, as many veg box customers tend to find themselves at least a few times a year, I was completely confused, until I told EllaJ about it and she said, "What about borscht?"

Duh. As I have a very lovely Russian side of my family in my darling sister-in-law, and have enjoyed her and her mother's borscht on many a find occasion, I don't know how that delicate point escaped me.

So last night I made borscht. And while making borscht and seeing how brilliantly fuchsia everything within five feet of me was, I thought, "Oh yeah, people use beetroot to dye things."

In severe danger of being dyed.

After reading a few forum posts and learning that no, it wasn't a good idea, it wouldn't last, I tossed the beetroot peels into a pot with some apple cider vinegar, took out that beautiful skein of Organic Merino Aran that I bought from Bluefaced last weekend, and shoved it in.

At least I didn't give in to my first impulse and just whack it in with the borscht.

I let it simmer for about 30 minutes, half-expecting it to just soak it all in like it would with kool-aid, but second guessed it and threw it in the sink in cold water. As expected, it bled a lot, but didn't, as I was fearing, go completely white again (which wouldn't have been so bad, really). I hung it up in the bathroom to dry, and in the end of it all, got this:

It's a lot more orangey/rusty than I expected, which is good, because I was fearing it would turn out to be a bit more like candy-floss (which I hate the color of). And because it's kettle-dyed, and because I never fished the beetroot peels out of the boiling water, they ended up clinging to the yarn like leeches and leaving little darker splotches all over it, which I quite like.

I fully expect it to fade and bleach in the sun, but even if it's anywhere between this color and its natural shade, I'll still be happy with it.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Bacchus Scarf

Newest (free!) pattern is up on Ravelry:


Step 1: Work

Moving countries, especially to a country so wonderfully beurocratic that you have to have a European Computer Driver's License to prove you know how to work a word processor, has left me in a bit of a sticky situation: jobless.

Fortunately, we're blessed to have my husband's student loans and a frugal lifestyle (besides the chocolate, and the occasional skein of Fyberspates), that I've been able to devote some time (a lot of time) to both my writing, and, of course, my knitting.

I'm waiting to hear back on the fate of my two newest books from my agent, so in the meantime, it's really all knitting:

My Workspace, with desk thanks to the blood, sweat and tears of my husband and to the cool Swedish stylings of EllaJ, who has IKEA in her blood.

Sneak Peak:

The Butterfly Forest Shawl

Monday, 12 October 2009

French Braid Cloche

I have a new pattern up in my Ravelry Store!

It's the French Braid Cloche, and it's available for download as a PDF and is only 2.00 GBP, (at current exchange rate, about $3.16 USD or 2.14 Euro, or 3.48 Aus, or...)

Available in Adult sizes Medium and Large, it's a fun, comfy cloche hat for all seasons, with a cable-created ruffle for snaz and eyelets that are just begging to have ribbons run through them.

(Link will take you to Paypal)

Thank you to KarateKid, Hobobird, and PocketDanielle for test knitting!

Friday, 9 October 2009

tales of an immigrant housewife

Somehow, a black hooded scarf tends to say everything:

Though it's not for me, but a friend, EllaJ. Since my time is abundant and otherwise useless, since no one feels the need to contact me about volunteer opportunities that I've applied for (I mean...really?), I've been mostly knitting. A lot.

Fortunately, this means quite a few designs should be coming up soon:

French Braid Cloche:

A few other hats, and somehow (har har) managing to work in a little Cookie time into my schedule:

Friday, 7 August 2009

Back in England

I'm really very torn between hating employment and absolutely loving it. Because, after all, unemployment means no eating out, no yarn (at least, yarn in minimal amounts), and, obviously, no job to go to everyday. On the other hand, I get to stay home all day and knit.

I've been trying to justify my unemployment by busying myself with potential-income-generating things like working on my book(s) and working on some designs. But when I don't have the patience to finish anything in one go, I end up casting on for seven different projects on one time, four of which don't have any sort of official patterns (at least, not yet), and using up all my spare needles.

In the meantime, I'm quite pleased:

This is the start of my Victoriana Coat, a coat I began because I had a hard time finding a coat that was A. a cut I liked and B. not made in China. Solution? Make my own. Of course. And it's going surprisingly fast. Though, come spring time, when the thing's thrown in a heap in a corner with a piece of half-arsed lining sewn to only one sleeve...well, I might have broken down and bought a coat, by then. But I'm determined. By golly, I'm going to finish what I started! For once.

I think all I need now, really, is one of those pointy 1920s-inspired hats like the Beauxbaton girls wore in Harry Potter and I'll be set.

Also coming:
The pattern for this and its fraternal twin sister, the Bacchus Shawl.

And a hat.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

I'm Back

Well, I haven't really been attention's just been turned elsewhere. Sorry for my absence! I can usually be found kicking around Ravelry; it seems Blogger stopped sending me comment notifications sometime last year.

In the mean time, here's a quick sampling of some FOs (all links lead to Ravelry):

Seeded Cables Cardigan

and Herringbone Socks

I've also been kicking up some new ideas for designs: next up, a lace scarf/shawl.

Here's a peek: