You may remember I knitted a beast of a cardigan for my brother? Well, I had a few skeins of New Lanark DK yarn in Pebble leftover, and I had a hankering for a grey cardigan of my own. My Driven cardigan has proved to be one of my most useful knits and I wear it all the time, so I wanted something in a similar shape in a neutral colour that could be thrown on over lots of different outfits. In the end I settled on using Featherweight as a template.


However I knew I didn’t have enough of the Pebble for the whole cardigan, so I dived into the stash to see what else I could find, and came up with some lovely Shetland yarn from Well Manor Farm (now The Little Grey Sheep) which I decided to use for a little colour blocking.

I kept to 4mm needles and pretty much followed the pattern as written (with a few tweaks to the first row to start with more stitches in the sleeves) although I knew that using a heavier yarn would result in a larger cardigan. The Shetland yarn is a good match with the Lanark in terms of texture, though it is slightly lighter in weight. But given that the shape of the cardigan is very simple and I wasn’t worried about the sizing, that wasn’t a problem.


I was pleased with the end result, especially as it turned into an excellent stash-busting project, but I’m not sure that my expectations were very high. So I’ve been happily surprised by how much I’ve worn it. Although the Lanark yarn remains sheepy and not as soft as some of my sweaters, the fabric is dense without being too heavy, and is so fantastically warm and cosy that I find myself reaching for it all the time. The over-sized shape makes it easy to throw on, like a wearable blanket, but the hip-length stops it being too sloppy.  I’ll definitely be returning to the Lanark DK before long.

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Lacking in visual aides

I am trying to get my arse in gear and actually post something on a regular basis, in spite of the fact that my recent days seem to consist entirely of rain, commuter rage, and procrastination. But someone brought donuts into the office today and perhaps the resulting sugar high is deluding me into thinking any of this is interesting. So here’s some stuff:

  • I have knitted things. In particular I have knitted an EPIC jumper of awesomeness, but I do not have pictures yet. So there’s not much point in going on about it here.
  • I have also knitted an excellent shawl, which is not only fulfilling my Holy Grail shawl requirements (unfussy, big enough to loop around neck, simple but not boring to knit, practical shape) but which is made of Pixie Dust and doing a brilliant job of staving off the dank January gloom. Again, I don’t have a picture of it yet. In fact I don’t have pictures of the last four things I made. Sigh.
  • I have watched things. In particular a film of such mind-boggling awfulness that I can’t be certain I didn’t hallucinate the whole thing in a pudding-induced coma over Christmas. But no, it really happened, and therefore this will be coming to a podcast near you so that you can all share in the joyful horror.
  • I am trying to read more. Between knitting and work my reading time has been shrinking to the few brief moments in bed before I pass out from exhaustion. My Kindle is fully loaded. We’ll see how I do…
  • I am going through one of my periodic phases of trying to put on weight. Which is not so bad, I just have to stuff my face with Greek yoghurt, peanut butter and avocados every couple of hours, but it is somewhat tedious. As pretty much all diet-based things are. If anyone has any brilliant ideas of how I can sneak in extra calories, please jot them below. The Sheep’s suggestion, of a barrel of clotted cream and Guinness, was not helpful.

Right, next on the to-do list, take some pictures of my knitting…

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Episode 112: Attack of the Panto

Just in time for the festivities, it’s the annual Electric Sheep Knitter’s Audio Christmas Pantomime! Grab your knitting and some eggnog and settle down for an extremely silly rendition of Snow White & The Seven Dwarves.

If that’s not enough to get you in the Yuletide spirit, or you’re utterly baffled by the whole thing and need to catch up, you can find all the previous Pantos here.

And if you’re still wrestling with your Christmas knitting and need some comfort, good cheer, or pattern suggestions, you can try previous festive podcast episodes, like Elves or Knitting for Others, or you can check out the Sheep’s pattern guide in the Advent 2012 blogposts.

Happy Holidays everyone, and a very Merry Christmas from me & the Sheep.

P.S. I hear iTunes is doing some sort of update and consequently new episodes may not show up for the next week or so. Sadly this is entirely out of my control but if you do have any problems accessing the show through iTunes, you can either use the audio player at the top of this post to play the show, or you can go to the feed for the podcast here and subscribe using the podcatcher of your choice.

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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.


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


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.

Posted in London | 42 Comments