Category Archives: knitting

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)

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

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

what I did on my holidays (Easter 2011 edition)

knitted a Valkyrie Vest
Valkyrie Vest
I made a few mods to get the fit I wanted, details on ravelry project page.
Valkyrie VestValkyrie Vest

thanks to Vikki for taking such great photos , I am appointing her my offishul garment photographer from now on

It’s knitted from Drops Alaska & so was perfect for the Purl City Yarns’ Scandivian Night (celebrating the arrival of yet more Drops yarns yay).
Scandinavian Night at Purl City Yarns

Oh & I did occassionally do stuff other than knitting over Easter …
what I did on my holidays (Easter 2010 edition)
1. help my father-out-law celebrate his 80th birthday, 2. finally finished my pink socks, 3. ate icecreams at Benone beach, 4. walked in the Ness Woods, 5. saw bluebells in the Ness Woods, 6. oohed & aahed over the new bebbeh sheeps, 7. visited Ballycastle (& shopped for dulse for RubbishKnitter & Barry’s Tea for spinninggeer), 8. saw the sun set on the hills of Donegal, 9. skimmed stones at Marsden Bay, 10. knit on the beach, 11. got hot in the Durham Botanic Gardens hot houses, 12. sat in the spring sunshine with bff & bff’s mam

at last

Bauhaus Fair Isle finally finished
pattern: Bauhaus Fair Isle by Mary Jane Mucklestone ; yarn: Dalegarn Falk; ravelry project page

Also known at the Never Ending Fair Isle Jumper of DOOM as it took soooo long to finish. I love knitting fair isle, that wasn’t the problem. Part of the problem was running out of yarn & having to order more. The main problem was how unwieldy I found it to knit in top-down sleeves. The work was so big and heavy, too big and heavy to just do the odd row from time to time. I didn’t even want to get it out unless I had a good chunk of time free to work on it. I think that I would generally rather knit in pieces & seam (now I have finally cracked mattress stitch, seaming holds little fear).

Now to try & knit a Valkyrie Vest before Easter ….


spinning yarnz

For the past two years my bff has been threatening to teach me to spin. I couldn’t risk letting her – there was no way I would ever graduate if I got another fibery habit.  But having completed the final course for my degree in October, I found a spindle in my Christmas stocking
new spindle

along with a pair of hand carders and some merino tops. So I spent Christmas day (and many days thereafter) playing with my presents, and eventually (and thanks to various online tutorials and videos), made yarn!


I have already managed to make Real Yarn, plied and everything.  All the tutorials caution new spinners to make sure to add enough twist; I think I took this too much to heart and ended up with very twisty yarn.  But it’s still yarn, and I think I have enough of the green merino for fingerless gloves.
first plied yarntwisty merino handspun
So mostly I have been spinning since Christmas, not much knitting except for sshhh sooper seekrit project for Purl City Yarns design contest).

There was however much knitting and other crafting at the end of last year, here’s a quick catch up on some recent(ish) makes, including Christmas knittings
Christmas & other makes
1. Tavish’s booties, 2. Fagin Gloves, for DrM, 3. beanie, for son, 4. day of the dead bag, 5. Ishbel, for mum, 6. limpetiole, for sis, 7. dolls house shawl, 8. cats’ Xmas present, 9. Lennard-Jones socks, for Ethel

last weekend

My Open University project report is submitted at last. I am so used to spending my weekends hunched over books & netbook, watching the sunshine through the window, I hardly know that to do with a free weekend. We can even go away on the odd weekend (when son can be torn away from capoiera, MC club, drama group, rugby and D&D).

So last weekend we headed up to the North East to stay with my BFF and help another Dear Friend celebrate his birthday. Major baking was in order; I am all about the muffins and have even started experimenting with savoury ones.
We went to the coast, to the gorgeous Marsden Bay and its very lovely limestone, ideal for DF to try out the pirate hat I made him.
pirate hat
piratespattern: We Call Them Pirates by Adrian Bizilia (free ravelry download); yarn: James C Brett Pure Merino shades PM9, PM7, PM10; needles3.25 mm, 3.00 mm; ravelry project page.

I was a bit worried about the tension on this, as I do knit slightly loose anyway and was using DK instead of sport weight, but it came out perfect.

I do love knitting hats, you can just spot a couple of others in this picture.
looking out to sea
(that’s a Guimauve and an Into the Valley).


I have a new cardigan, complete with zip.
kool kotton kopy kat kardigan
pattern: improvised; yarn: James C Brett Kool Kotton shade KK12; needles: 3.25 mm & 3.75mm rav project page

I made it up as I went along, trying to copy an old cardigan I already own. One of my favourite features of the old cardigan is the two-way zip. After reading up online and with plenty of virtual handholding, I installed my first-ever zip-in-knitting.
zip bottom zip top
oh and that on my head is my new beret. I have fallen in love with wearing slouchy hats in summer-ish yarns, this latest one is Phannie crocheted from Kool Kotton.