Aidez Again

I’m sure you all remember the disaster that befell my first Aidez cardigan a couple of years ago. Well I’ve been meaning to replace it ever since, and finally got around to it this Autumn.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This time, I decided not to use a luxury yarn, but instead turned to one of my dependable favourites – New Lanark Chunky. And I thought this would be a good opportunity to improve a little on the original pattern, namely to make it a little roomier in the armsyce and a bit longer in the sleeves and body. As with the first, I knit it all in one piece, but kept the selvedge stitches in as I wanted a bit more fabric in the front.

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Once I got to the armsyce and joined the sleeves, I had a whole plan about adding extra stitches under the arms, and extra rows to the yoke. However it quickly became apparent that I was going to end up with a cardigan that would fit the Incredible Hulk – it was enormous. So I ripped back the yoke and followed the pattern as written. And it was still huge. With the extra stitches on the body, I needed to do extra raglan decreases anyway to end up with the right number of stitches for the collar. And what I hadn’t factored in was that my gauge and the fabric were totally different with the New Lanark yarn compared to the Quince & Co. (yeah, I know, big surprise right?). So I ripped yet again. It’s a good job I was doing this on 6.5mm needles, and the going was fairly quick, otherwise I might have just set fire to the thing at this point. Thankfully it was third time lucky.

It’s still pretty big, and feels as though you’re wearing a blanket, but in a good way. It’s exceedingly cosy, and perfect for throwing over pyjamas on a lazy Sunday morning. The New Lanark yarn blocked beautifully and softened, but it’s much more elastic than the Quince & Co. and not as dense. I think if I had gone down to a 6mm needle it would have just tightened up the fabric a little, but that’s a minor quibble really. My only other issue with it is that, as the raglan lines are quite high, the shoulders tend to slip a bit. I might try doing what others have done, and do a crochet chain along the seam at the back of the neck to give it a bit more stability. But all in all I’m really pleased with the result.

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Pigeon Feather

There are various things I’ve been knitting over the last few months which I’ve yet to show you, so I thought I’d start catching up on some of my finished projects. First up, another Featherweight Cardigan.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a pattern I’ve used a few times now, and I bought this yarn, Easy Knits’ Deeply Wicked, specifically for it a couple of years ago. The shade is called Battleship, though it reminds me more of London pigeons. This time I tweaked the pattern a little, as I find it tends to slip off the shoulders otherwise. Brief notes about what I changed are on my Ravelry project page. Next time I’d probably amend it further to move the raglan lines a little lower still, but I’m happy with how it turned out. I wanted a plain grey cardigan that could be thrown over summer dresses, and this fit the bill perfectly.

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Comfort Yarn

*clears throat. inhales cobweb. splutters. dusts off keyboard*

This poor website has been rather neglected lately. I had grand plans to go to the lovely Pom Pom Quarterly’s Christmas party, and to do a podcast, and then I came down with a completely boring wretched cold. So instead I spent most of the weekend on the sofa, nursing a Lemsip and working my way through several boxes of tissues.

On Friday night and a fair bit of Saturday, with my red streaming eyes, and red streaming nose, I couldn’t even face knitting (see, I really did feel rotten). But by Sunday I was on the mend, greatly helped by some medicinal yarn.

I’ve been hunting around for the perfect project to use up my delicious treat from New York. Remember that Anzula Squishy yarn I bought at Purl Soho? Well it lives up to the name; it’s a squishy, soft, silky, shiny pile of goodness – just the thing to give a dismal cold the boot.

I only had two skeins totalling 750yds, and my snot-addled brain couldn’t cope with anything too complicated, so a shawl seemed the obvious solution. A trawl through Ravelry and I hit upon this – Line Break. And then I remembered I already own the pattern as I bought the collection it comes in, Follow The Lines, ages ago. Clearly destiny was calling. Garter stitch and eyelets – I can handle that, even when maxed out on paracetamol and decongestant.

Sure enough the Squishy yarn did its work and today I am almost back to my old self, with a growing pile of garter stitch. The rows are getting longer, and I’m nearly through the first skein, but I’m loving the result so far.

The picture doesn’t really do it justice but it’s turning out a lovely soft, drapey, dark grey scarf that will go with everything and be snuggly and warm. Win.

Given the time of year, I expect you’re wondering what I’m doing with all this when obviously I should be Christmas knitting? Tomorrow I will explain all…

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Episode 111: Brooklyn Tweed

 

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So we went to New York for a long weekend and really, not all that much happened except did I mention that I MET BROOKLYN TWEED!

Jared Flood very kindly agreed to be interviewed for the podcast, so you can hear all about how the company evolved from knitting blog to publishing house and yarn brand.

There’s also a rundown of the yarn I found at the wonderful Purl Soho and a real life Duracell bunny.

Brooklyn Tweed

Shelter Yarn

Purl Soho

Anzula Squishy

Bunny Racer

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Back to Blogging

Since my time-wasting online activities are rather restricted this week, in a no doubt futile effort to avoid Breaking Bad spoilers (we’re only halfway through season 4) I thought it would be a good time to try and revive the blogging from the bunker.

Ironically, it seems that Peckham Rye is fast becoming the new Hoxton. Obviously the Sheep takes full credit for this transformation and, to be fair, his moonshine and DJ skills are proving rather popular when it comes to entertaining the hipster masses. Coming home from work each day I can hardly move through the station for all the bright young things in tight trousers, difficult haircuts and the kind of eyewear the Two Ronnies would have been proud of. More than once I have seen someone carrying a ukulele nonchalantly under one arm. It’s possible that this is a sign of the End of Days and we should move house immediately but then again their presence means we’re getting some very good bars and restaurants opening up, so swings and roundabouts really.

I am knitting happily on my Aidez cardigan with the kind of speedy progress that is like crack to someone with my level of attention. It’s instant gratification and completely addictive; woollen catnip, if you will. Over a couple of hours yesterday evening I knitted about 7″ of sleeve, even with a seeded wishbone pattern all the way up one side. I had been thinking that I would try and finish it in time for our trip to New York* in a couple of weeks, except that I checked the forecast and it’s currently 29 degrees over there. Forget the wool, I’m going to need a bikini at this rate.

And, if you’ll forgive a little self-promotion, please do check out the latest issue of Knitting Magazine (#121), which has a feature I wrote all about craftydermy (and if this terminology has left you baffled, then you really need to read it!). Admittedly, it’s a somewhat quirky topic. Can’t imagine why they came to me with it…. ;)

*Yes, we are going to NY! Woohoo! Some of you may remember we were supposed to go last year, and then Hurricane Sandy struck, our flights were cancelled and our hotel was flooded. This is take two. Just as a government shutdown has started and the air traffic controllers are threatening strike action. Sigh.

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Episode 110: Back To School

 

The Sheep is back! Woo-hoo!! All the excitement is adding to my general knitting mania to Knit All the Things at this time of year. Plus I’ll be sharing with you the best wedding present EVER; telling  you what I have on the needles; drooling over some beautiful new patterns and applauding the musical genius, cute factor and comedy on display in some very special performances.

Making Baking & Raking (aka Glenda the cake & crochet goddess)

Knitting: Aidez Again, Habitat, Lanark Wool

BT Fall 13

Music videos:

Everything Counts; Tonight You Belong To Me; Bohemian Gravity; Lip Sync Battle.

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Mr & Mrs Hoxton

As you know, I like to keep my personal life separate from the blog, but it’s not every day that a girl gets married, and our photographer did such a fantastic job that I wanted to share a little something of this very happy occasion with you. So here’s a little taste of our London wedding a few weeks ago:

The obligatory picture of the dress...

The obligatory picture of the dress…

...and the shoes

…and the shoes

The headband made my inner 6 year old very happy; I felt like a Disney princess (without the pouffy ballgown).

The headband made my inner 6 year old very happy; I felt like a Disney princess (without the pouffy ballgown).

Before the ceremony.

Before the ceremony.

The groom proves his excellent character by showing off his new handknitted socks, (which he insisted on wearing in spite of the August heat). Not that I knit socks of course. Ahem.

The groom proves his excellent character by showing off his new handknitted socks, (which he insisted on wearing in spite of the August heat).

My bouquet was made of freesias.

My bouquet was made of freesias.

A special buttonhole for a rather dapper suit.

A special buttonhole for a rather dapper suit.

Cerise roses.

Cerise roses.

Our table plan and settings were based on the Underground. Well, had to be done for a London wedding, right?

Our table plan and settings were based on the Underground. Well, had to be done for a London wedding, right?

Time for dinner.

Time for dinner.

Our fabulous cake, made by the wonderful Glenda of the Making Baking and Raking blog.

Our fabulous cake, made by the wonderful Glenda of the Making Baking and Raking blog.

The Thames looking particularly photogenic in the evening light.

The Thames looking particularly photogenic in the evening light.

The new Mr & Mrs Hoxton take a stroll along the riverside.

The new Mr & Mrs Hoxton take a stroll along the riverside.

It really was a wonderful day and we had an amazing time. Thank you for all your kind messages, good wishes and congratulations.

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Ep : Summer In The City

 

This week we’re melting in the Summer heat, so the only sensible thing to do is sit back, relax and admire some beautiful knitwear and take a look at some new knitting needles. Oh and by the way, do keep an eye on the Sheep’s latest acquisition, I think he’s peckish….

Black Death shawl pattern

Featherweight cardigan

Knit Pro Needles

Brooklyn Tweed – BT Men Vol.1

Disposing of Incompetent Henchmen – some handy tips from James Bond.

 

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Episode 108: AWOL

 

Many things have gone AWOL recently – me, the Sheep, Spring – but the podcast is back and the Sheep is here to fill you in on what’s been going on over in Peckham. Plus there’s my new knitting pattern, more tweedy goodness from Brooklyn, a multitude of sweaters on my needles, a closer look at those accents in Game of Thrones and some excellent singing in space.

From the Sheep’s diary: Game of ThronesSecurity Alpacas, Parkham Women’s Institute dress as pirates, Llamas visit the elderly, Nigel Farage in Edinburgh, Get Lucky

Black Death shawl pattern

Brooklyn Tweed – Wool People Vol.5

Sedum, Aidez, Fauxdez

Featherweight, Pigeon Feather, Pebble

Caramel, Driftwood, Knit By Numbers

Accents in Game of Thrones

Commander Chris Hadfield sings Space Oddity in space

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Takeover

As Hoxton’s still brushing confetti out of her hair, it falls to me to keep this blog going. Honestly, I have to do everything around here. However this does afford me the opportunity to sort the place out and give you some properly useful information, instead of her wittering on about some nonsense, so I am taking over the Handmade. At least until she notices that I’ve hacked my way into the website admin and takes away my broadband privileges. So, to business.

Apparently it is Spring. In fact, it’s almost Summer. Not that you would know this from the English climate, which appears to have got itself stuck somewhere around late February. It’s cold and windy, the skies filled with ominous grey clouds, and my new barbecue is forlorn and unused.

I have managed to dodge the annual shearing so far, as even Hoxton can’t bear the thought of me naked and shivering in my bunker. She offered to knit me a jumper, but I can’t get my head around that particular piece of meta-wool-wear, and besides, I’m not a chihuahua.

But to cheer you up, here are a few things that have been seeing me thought the cold snap:

  • Dan Brown’s new book. What can I say, Inferno is a seminal piece of 21st Century literature, and I think it’s laudable that this piece in the Telegraph refuses to make fun of it. Not even a little bit. No sir.
  • Commander Chris Hadfield singing Space Oddity in ACTUAL SPACE! Obviously he has inspired me to take to the skies myself, and I’m currently building a rocket, from which I will broadcasting a series of ukulele concerts. It’s going to be epic.
  • Mr Men books. I had assumed these were simple children’s tales but it turns out they are fantastic allegories of philosophical thought. Who knew?
  • I have discovered these brilliant recipes for gin. It seems something of a waste to put the good stuff into a smoked salmon torte, when you could just drink it, but then again you could have an entire gin banquet. Just the thing to recommend to her Majesty for the next time she’s hosting a State dinner.
  • And finally, Brooklyn Tweed has published Wool People vol.5. I hadn’t noticed this until I found Hoxton gibbering in the corner, drooling over some photos and muttering something about tweed and cables. But then she’s obviously bonkers.

Right, time to go and see if I can crack the locks on the recording studio and sort the podcast out. The tricky part will be disabling the alarm and dodging the infra-red sensors. Honestly, it’s as if Hoxton doesn’t trust me at all.

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