new old pattern: Into the Valley

A couple of years ago, I wrote a pattern for this beanie & it was published in Bobbins. Now I’m finally getting around to releasing the pattern into the wild. It’s a cabled man’s beanie, knit in aran weight, and available as a free ravelry download .

(if you’re not on ravelry you can download a copy by clicking here instead but you really should just join ravelry).

20th August 2012: as Julie kindly pointed out in the comments, there was error in round 4 of the set up rounds (written instructions). I have corrected this in the latest version. Thanks Julie. 

Lennard-Jones socks

Last year I submitted my chemistry-inspired Lennard-Jones sock pattern to new British knitting magazine Knit Now and it was accepted! The pattern has been published this week in issue 4 – I was so excited when it landed on my door mat, I have been carrying it around & showing it off ever since.

If for some inexplicable reason you don’t already have a subscription, you can buy a copy from good magaziney retailers in the UK.  Click the button  to see the socks on ravelry, beautifully set off by Kate’s gorgeous purple shoes.

knitting teacher

This is just a quick post to explain why there have been no posts recently.

In September I started training to become a secondary school* science teacher.  The course is as time-consuming as it is rewarding, leaving me with little ‘spare’ time to knit, blog, read books not on reading list, see friends, talk to family or do housework (ok no change there for the last one).

But knitting time can be justified if it’s spent making teaching aids …
teaching aids

Top Row: Microbes 1. bacterium (e. coli), 2. fungus (penicillin), 3. virus (common cold), 4. bacterium (TB),
Bottom row: Invertebrates, extinct & extant 5. belemnite, 6. cuttlefish, 7. trilobite, 8. ammonite and belemnite

…  or school-teacher-appropriate knitwear – my angostura is finally finished!
Angostura frontAngostura back
ravelry project page

And yes my classes did love the knitted fossils and mirco-organisms.  I see the time spent making them an investment – hopefully I’m going to be teaching for lots of years so they will get a lot of use. Now I’m off to look for a mole pattern ….


* secondary school = high school, ages 11 – 16 (or 18)

please do not feed the butterflies

please do not feed the butterflies

graffiti on sign at Whitesands Bay

“What I did on my holidays” post/s to follow ….

another tank top Thursday

angostura wip

but insufficient tank top progress to report. Have only just reached the armholes on the back of my Angostura, so no chance of getting it done in time for Ysolda’s visit to Purl City this Saturday (for which there are a few spaces still available – it’s free but you need to email the shop to reserve one).

The cables are extremely beautiful and making me happy.

angostura detail

ging gang woolly

Can’t remember whether I’ve mentioned it here before, but for the past couple of years I’ve been involved with Girl Guiding. Or rather re-involved – I was a Brownie & a Guide myself, and now its fun to help give girls the chance to take part in the fun experiences & opportunities Guiding can provide.

So far I have failed to get any of our girls interested in learning to knit, although I am hoping to run a spinning session at camp next year (I did have to explain to someone that it’s this kind of spinning not that kind of spinning – I prefer to do my cycling out in the fresh air).  But of coure I take my knitting along to do in rare quiet moments in meetings, and have made some “Guidey knits” this year.

Emergency Poppy

remembrance day poppy, for church parade
Guides & Scouts go to church parade for Remembrance Sunday.  I know that we had at least two poppies in the house but on the night before church parade I could only find one. Son needed that to pin on his Scout shirt, luckily I managed to find this pattern and crochet one for myself.
ravlery project page

Bear Sock

bear cast sock
A cast sock for one of my Guides who broke her leg & so couldn’t come to camp.
raverly project page


trefoil detail
I love illusion knitting, so this was was a perfect knit for our Unit Leader & my leadership mentor. The pattern was written by a Brownie leader to raise funds for her unit, so do get one if you have Guides to knit for.
ravelry project page

tank top Thursday

anogstura cast on

As usual I have various WiPs on the needles/hooks but  I had to cast on my new project today because

1.  It’s from Ysolda’s new book & Ysolda is coming to Manchester soon!

2. It’s tank top Thursday

machine knitting


I have been assimilated. My smart phone is now my life support system, which I can’t operate without. It runs all aspects of my life, including my knitting.

Behold, my first android-powered fo – p attern pdf on phone, row counting with rubbish knitter‘s very marvelous county app, notes in everynote. And blog post via wordpress app of course.

I have a tricorder app, where is my jet pack?

Oh, actual knitting info? Pattern is Berry Pie Baby Dress from July 2011 edition of Knit magazine. The magazine featured it in Wild Fire Fibres yarn, so I’ve knit this up as a sample for Vikki, in Tempo & BFL Sock. If you’re going to Woolfest say hi to her.

ravelry project page

oooh shinies


I am always happy to be distracted by new shinies, whether yarny or booky or techie. Which is why I’m blogging pictures of possum yarns from my new smart phone.

Menten Scarf


I love small shawls worn as scarves, they are perfect for keeping your neck cosy warm. MentenSometimes they are a bit too triangular for me and I wanted a long, shallow triangle rather than a deep one.  So I knitted this one, and wrote up the pattern. It’s knit lengthways in garter stitch, with a simple lace edge, and will show off a lovely variegated or self-striping yarn. This red one is in 4-ply (sock/fingering weight) yarn but you could knit it any weight from 4-ply to aran (I used Arauacania Ranco Multy shade 337 & 3.25 mm needles).

Menten is available as a free ravelry download (if you’re not on ravelry, click here to get the pdf).  Or, next time you’re in Manchester, you can get a paper copy from Purl City Yarns in return for a donation to the Red Cross Japan Tsunami appeal.

22/07/11 updated pattern published, correcting minor errors in original

About Maud Menten

Maud MentenOne of the first women in Canada to qualify as a medical doctor, Maud Leonora Menten (1879 – 1960) is best known for her research into enzyme kinetics.  Together with Leonor Michaelis she developed the Michaelis-Menten equation, a mathematical formula modelling enzyme reaction rates still used by chemists & biochemists.