Tag Archives: FOs 2010

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



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.


Right now we are on holiday in Ireland, visiting Rob’s family.  It takes about 10 hours to get here, by car and ferry,  so I decided to see if that’s enough time to knit a new summer beret.  Turns out, it is.
journeywoman hat
pattern: improvised; yarn: James C Brett Kool Kotton shade KK9; needles: 3.25 mm & 4 mm; rav project page
26/07 – edited to add some better photos, taken on the beach with a real camera rather than in the bathroom on an ancient phone
new hatnew hat, side view
and a gratuitous pic of my menfolk on the beach


Revontuli mini shawl finished and blocked and looking lovely, if I say so myself.  Revontuli is Finnish for ‘northern lights’, and the colours of the yarn are like the aurora borealis.
Northern Lights Shawlette
pattern: Revontuli-huivi (Northern Lights) by AnneM – yarn: Regia Hand-dye Effect 06551 – ravelry project page

The plan is for it to be raffled to help raise funds for C to go to the Scout World Jamboree next year.  It’s in Norway so the northern lights theme is most apt (although it will be the wrong time of year to see the lights, they will have the midnight sun instead).

Meanwhile, I am so happy with the shawl I got my neighbour to model it
Northern Lights ShawletteNorthern Lights Shawlette

oh and I just realised I have never blogged about the other shawlettes I’ve made in the past few months. They turn out to be far more useful and practical than I imagined – used as triangular scarves they are awesome.

There was Herbivore, bought as a Help for Haiti pattern, knitted from Mrs Skeins‘ beautiful BfL sock yarn and worn constantly by me until the weather got too warm
herbivore outside
pattern: Herbivore by Stephen West – yarn: Skeins superwash BfL sock yarn – ravelry project page

There was Easter Bandit, for by BFF’s easter gift
pattern: Springtime Bandit by Kate Gagnon Osborn – yarn: Violet Green Solemate in Delphiniums & Cream – ravelry project page

And, saving the best for last, a swallowtail shawl for my sister. I actually finished this year but it was embargoed until her birthday. It’s the first time I have done lace ‘proper’, in lace weight and with nupps and everything. It was pretty challenging but I love the finished object.
swallowtail shawl
pattern: Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark – yarn: ‘mystery lace’ – ravelry project page

Shawlettes are the new socks!

finished at last

The Never Ending Crochet Blanket of DOOM, it has ended
pattern: Wavy Blanky by Stephanie Gage; yarn: Creative Yarns Style DK; hook: 4 mm

I do love this pattern, it was just a bad decision to make a single bed sized blanket in dk yarn.sock yarn squares If I ever decided to make another blanket, remind me not to use anything thinner than aran weight. Oh except for the sock yarn squares blanket but that is a loooong term project.

Anyway I had much of the blue yarns left over so I made son a matching Manchester City cushion cover. The pattern for a patchwork cushion is from a book, and I used Rhonda White‘s charts for the letters.
pattern: Patchwork Cushion by Jane Crowfoot; letters charted by Rhonda White; yarn: Creative Yarns Style DK; needles: 4 mm

Looking at the flickr bar on the right, I see that all my recent projects have been blue. And so is my main WiP, a lacy(ish) jumper in bamboo tape which I am making up as a I go along based on a jumper I already have.
It’s been a bit stop-start because I don’t always feel up to calculating shapings, so I put it aside and knit something with a pattern instead. It’s not the actual calculations that put me off but the decision making process. With a pattern, someone else has decided where to place the sleeves and what size the neck should be and so on, so I can blame them if I don’t like the end result. But with this jumper I will only have myself to blame. Eep.

early to bed, early to rise

Now that my Open University course is in full swing1, I need to try and balance my desire to knit with my need to study.  One possible solution is to get up earlier so I can study in the mornings, leaving evenings free(er) to continue indulging myself in bad tv and knitting.  So I’ve signed up for this lifehack challenge.  If nothing else it’ll break me in for when the clocks change next weekend.

My two seekrit projects from the ravelympics can now be revealed …

Curling Mitts, for mum for Mother’s Day
curling mitts, for mum
so-named not because she’s going to curl in them but because they were mainly knit at silly a.m. watching curling matches
pattern: improvised, to match her Christmas beret (
yarn: Sublime Yarns Cashmere Merino Silk Aran shade0133 cardamom & Noro Kureyon shade 183

Lennard-Jones socks, for Karl
Lennard-Jones socks, for Karl
Lennard-Jones socks detailso-named because the stitch pattern reminds me of a Lennard-Jones plot

pattern: improvised, because I couldn’t find a man-friendly pattern than worked with the yarn
yarn: Violet Green Solemate shade B5

I’m pretty happy with how both of these improvised patterns turned out, and will maybe get around to writing up the patterns one day.

Now I am twiddling my thumbs, yarn-wise, waiting for the colours I need for my fair isle jumper project to be re-stocked.  In the mean time I am grinding out a few rows of the never ending crochet blanket of doom.  Why I ever decided it was a good idea to make it full single-duvet size I have no idea.  Still having thoughts of stopping now and calling it a lapghan ….

1. and if you happen to be a chitosan chemist, do say hai; that’s what I’ve opted to spend the next 6 months studying. Yes it is just a co-incidence that one of its many applications is to make yarns

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/audreyrobowen/4450565616/&#8221; title=”curling mitts, for mum by audreym, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4035/4450565616_24ca4051e0_m.jpg&#8221; width=”240″ height=”205″ alt=”curling mitts, for mum” /></a>

finish line

ravthleteI won a nice batch of medals for my winter olympics projects, pictures to follow once the pre-gifting embargo is past.  I had to withdraw hurt from my main event, the WiP Dancing, when I discovered one of my contrasting colours for fair isle was insuffiently contrasting. However I have now finished the WiP in question, my Bohus cardigan. After the steeking, doing the button bands and spending 3 days waiting for it to dry, at last I get to try it on
pattern: Bountiful Bohus by Chrissy Gardiner (from ‘More Big Girl Knits’ or available free online)
yarn: Jamieson & Smith Shetland Aran, shades BSS15, BSS16, SS3

I’m happy with it, but I’m not sure yet whether I love it.  It’s a bit too big, and also the neck line is too wide (despite my adding extra short rows to bring it in.  I’ve decided I don’t like short row neck lines).  I think it’s going to be more of a jacket than a cardigan.

This year is going to be the year of the jumpers, I think. My next big project is a fair isle jumper for Rob. I have half the yarn (Dale Garn Falk) and have been knitting fair isle hats to check my tension
fair isle beanie in dale garn falkFair Isle baby beanie

I’d forgotten how much I love knitting fair isle. Looking forward to buying the rest of the wool next pay day so I can get it cast on.


I finished my hat and gloves for the Big Issue knitting event
patterns: glittens – improvised; hat – Turn a Square by Jared Flood
yarn: King Cole Fashion Aran (blue) & Patons Diploma Gold Aran (purple)

I’ve been wearing glittens myself during the winter and love how handy it is to be able keep your fingers warm most of the time but have them free when you need, eg to use a camera.   I thought the same would apply if you’re standing around outside selling the Big Issue, you’d want to have cosy hands but still be able to handle money.  The hat is the first Turn a Square I’ve made and I love it, I can see this becoming my default basic beanie pattern.

The colour scheme was accident not design.  These are two of my favourite inexpensive arans (although the Paton’s has now been discontinued, unfortunately), soft, hard wearing, machine washable.  I had part balls of each and wasn’t sure if there was enough of either for the glittens, hence the stripes.  It was only when I was half way through the first one I realised I need to hope for a Big Issue seller who is a Burnley fan.  Or West Ham, Aston Villa, Port Vale, Scunthorpe or even the bluagranas themselves, Barcelona.  Or just someone who has no interest in foopball but wants warm head and hands.

beginnings and endings (and carrying-on-ings)


On Sunday I started another pair of glittens, this time for a homeless or vulnerably housed person, as part of the Big Issue Knit .  Which was a great fun afternoon out, too, and amazing to see so many knitters in one place.
big issue knit

100119And it being January, another Open University course is about to begin. This is (fingers crossed) my final course for my degree and is a literature-based research project. Which is scary,100126 being left to myself to turn out 5000 words by September. I’m probably going to concentrate on physical organic chemistry, but the past year of studying physical chemistry has pushed all the organic I knew out of my brain.

most importantly: buy more knitting patterns!

I’ll be starting lots of new beginnings soon with all my new knitting patterns.   Lots of lovely designers are contributing money from their January pattern sales to the Haiti relief effort. So if there’s a pattern you were thinking of buying anyway one day, have a look if the designer is taking part in the Help for Haiti efforts and buy it sooner rather than later.


potions class socks, for mefinally, at long last, I have finished my potions class socks.I really don’t know why it’s taken me so long, except that they got pushed to the back of te work in progress queue. I love both the yarn and the pattern and am very happy with the finished socks.

pattern: Hallows and Horcruxes by Kate Heppell
yarn: Old Maiden Aunt Merino Superwash 4ply shade K1

I’ve also finished some glittens I promised my favourite small girl, an experimental short row slouchy hat, and (with a lot of help and advice from my mum, ravelry friends and the nice lady in Leon’s) sewed myself a bag organiser and a top.
mosaic for blog


I’m still pushing on with my Bohus cardigan. I finally got the waist decreases to work out for me, and am just about to start the short row shaping for the bust. After that I can join in the sleeves and start on the colour work, which will be a relief from all this stocking stitch.

And the never ending crochet blanket of DOOOM is continuing in occasional fits and starts. It seemed a good idea when I started, to make son’s blanket full sized so he can use it for a long time, but I am regretting it now.

crochet 2, audrey 0

I am not one of nature’s artists.  I know I can’t draw or paint, but sometimes I delude myself about my ability to undertake other creative tasks.  Take for example the time I decided to bake my son a train cake for his birthday, like the one my friend made for hers.  Baking cakes I can do, and she said it was easy to make the carriages & engine from sponge cake.  At 3 am, surrounded by bits of sponge cake hacked into random shapes and soggy with tears, I found out that her definition of ‘easy’ was different to mine (and then went to the 24 hour supermarket to buy a damn cake).

This is a lesson I seem to need to keep relearning, apparently.  I can crochet, so I can do knock up an amigurumi Darth Maul for my nephew, based on this cute pattern.  Right?
amigurumi FAIL
I don’t know which aspect of this is worse, my inability to crochet tightly enough for amigurumi (despite using big yarn and little hook) or my attempts to embroider the features on to it?  On balance, I think the embroidery is the biggest fail.  The tension I can work on (as a self-taught crocheter I can probably learn from some RL crochet gurus) but the embroidery I think falls outwith my creative sphere.

So then I decided to crochet a hat.  This also went sadly wrong, managing to be both too tight at the brim and too floppy on the crown.  Luckily however I found someone it fit perfectly.