Drive-By Blogging

This week has been fun, stressful, and interesting. Prepare for bullet-points as I don't think my brain has the capacity for entire paragraphs. First some knitting bits:

  • Rowan has published my Windsor hat pattern. It is free and you can download it from the Rowan website.
  • I took part in another crafts/textiles conference at the University of Glasgow. Highlights: Edith Rattay from the Moray Firth Gansey Project speaking about East Coast ganseys with such authority and passion; Di Gilpin and Rosie Eribé asking questions about the heritage and future of Scottish textiles. It was a good day.
  • I had a few more commissions for patterns come through my in-box. I am really, really excited!
  • And because 2012 has been a fantastic year for me so far (which I needed after some very soul-destroying years not so long ago), I am throwing a mini-celebration. I'm knocking 12% off all my patterns until June 5th - just use "Love2012" when you purchase any of my Ravelry designs.

And some non-knitting bits:

  • I finally read some books(!). I re-visited The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald after some 18 years. My first thought? "That'd be a breeze to teach." My second thought? "Damn, but it is slight."
  • London Under by Peter Ackroyd was my next read. My Other Half has an affinity for psychogeography and recommended me the book. It was okay - but for a book about the London subterrain it did skim the surface an awful (if you'll pardon me the pun).
  • I am quietly addicted to W.E.L.D.E.R. - a word game for iPods and iPads. I am yet to get beyond level 10, sadly.
  • Eurovision came around and it was awesome. While I do have opinions on the proceedings, so far I am just listening to Loreen's "Euphoria" for the 464th time.
  • And you may enjoy the Overthinking Person's Drinking Game. Hic.

Friday Linkage

I came home from my holidays Monday. Apparently I cannot leave the UK for seven days before the place is going to hell in a handbag as I have been rushed off my feet ever since returning. I'd share details but nobody really needs to hear me whine about my mountain of work! Denmark was lovely - absolutely lovely - and I want to share some of the highlights with you. There will be knitting involved (of course there will) but there will also be some tales of history and culture. Before I do so in a series of posts, let me just link some of the things I've read/seen/enjoyed on the internet over the past few days..


My good friends at The Life Craft are moving premises, and so they invited me along to a special Friday night of painting pottery in order to say a proper goodbye to their Great Western Road home. I had never painted any pottery before, but I actually had a really good time. I learned the hard way that it is difficult to paint straight lines on a curved surface but this little tea cup ended up just .. fine.

I'm trying not to be too hard on myself, actually - the lines are wonky and the design feels very token but I'm trying not to be too critical, m'kay? It is amazing how self-critical crafters can be.

The colours are exactly how I hoped they would turn out, at any rate. And funnily enough they are almost the exact colours of the dress I'm hoping to make this weekend.

A few links for you to peruse:

Knitterly Musings & Some Links

I have spending considerable time trying to figure out what to knit for the forthcoming winter. The last two winters have been terribly cold and I want to make things that'll keep me both cosy and relatively stylish. A bit of a tall order as I tend towards wearing five layers in the midst of winter! Pinterest has been a huge help in figuring out what to knit. I have a board called Oh, You Pretty Things! (guess why) where I pin clothes and jewellery that catch my eye. I have been fairly ruthless, so while it is not a huge selection what I have pinned really captures my taste. And so I measure all my thoughts and ideas about winter knits against that board.

Having the board helps when I fall in love with knitting patterns that are really outwith the rest of my wardrobe (or what I'm trying to steer my wardrobe towards). I am hugely in love with Wilhelmina, for instance. I love the colours, the shape, and the reindeers. And it goes with absolutely nothing I own.

Would you still knit a cardigan even if it didn't go with anything in your own wardrobe? Or am I missing a fashion trick and Wilhemina does actually work with what I perceive as my style? Yes, I need your honest opinion.

I'll return to my winter knit search, so here are some random linkage for you to ponder:


    Many of you have left thoughtful replies to my review of Jane Brocket's knitting book. I have also received a few mails and tweets. Thank you all. Some of you wondered I made no mention of "Brocket-gate" - i.e. the mainstream media and blogosphere response to Ms Brocket's The Gentle Art of Domesticity - and whether or not I was aware of it. Yes, I was aware of the response to The Gentle Art of Domesticity but I did not think this response particularly relevant to The Gentle Art of Knitting. I could write a long and boring paragraph about how I read books (I'm one of those girls who went to university and lost her intellectual innocence to literary theory) but suffice to say that I tend to focus on the book itself rather than any outrage surrounding its author.

    And so I approached this new Jane Brocket book as I would any other knitting book: did I think it useful? did I find the patterns interesting? did it inspire me? did it teach me anything new? I hope I answered those questions in my review.

    Some linkage: + Women of the Vortex. MARVELLOUS pictorial evidence of daring lady painters of a young 20th century. I find Vorticism endlessly exciting. I wish I could go to Tate Britain and shout about machines, speed and modernist epistemology. BLAST! + A Knitted Garden. This totally made my morning when I first saw it. + Modern day Hollywood has nothing on the stars of the Big Studios years. Clark Gable & the Scandal That Wasn't is an excellent read. + Speaking of entertaining reads, this review of "Rushed to The Altar" from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books had me howling with laughter. The review is definitely not for the faint-hearted and it is NSFW, but it is also hillarious. + It is a good thing I did not have my own webspace back in 1996, because I would definitely have set up an early prototype of My Daguerreotype Boyfriend. + Neil Patrick Harris' opening number at this year's Tony Awards = possibly the best 6 minutes of 2011 so far?

    I have finished no less than three projects this week, so there will be plenty more knitting content over the next few days, but I'm also trying to work out a response to China Mieville's Embassytown which does not involve me muttering about Martian poetry. Cross your fingers hard.


    Dear FirstGlasgow, I am interested in learning why your bus driver wanted to charge me an additional 45p for a return ticket within Zone 1. I was wearing a green coat (from a reputable High Street chain) at the time which the driver was quite obviously eye-balling before informing me that a Zone 1 ticket was "For you, £3.45". Surely FirstGlasgow does not base its pricing upon what a customer wears, so what gives?

    Looking forward to hearing from you, Karie Bookish.

    In case anybody wonders why I'm discussing my wardrobe in a complaints letter, here's the Wikipedia article on Sectarianism in Glasgow. My green coat is just a green coat, but unfortunately some people see it differently. Green equals support for Celtic FC in their eyes and so I never wear my coat when the Old Firm are playing each other. People get very silly sometimes, unfortunately.

    In less serious news, I cast off my Skald shawl the other day and unpinned it today. Photos and info to follow. The yarn, a Faroese 1ply, blocked beautifully but it does look like a cat slept on top of the shawl. It's really quite hairy. I have cast on for the next shawl, the Rock Island Shawl, in Old Maiden Aunt merino/silk lace (colourway: strange rock'n'rollers). The shawl is actually meant for Ms Old Maiden Aunt herself, Lilith, and I hope she'll like it. It has been ages since I promised to knit her a shawl..

    .. I've been knitting whilst listening to Enzology, a podcast from Radio New Zeland about one of my all-time favourite bands: Split Enz (sort-of like New Zealand's answer to The Beatles, only not). It is a heady combination: lace, sunshine, and early Split Enz (youtube link). The combination has truly blown the cobwebs from my brain.

    Less than two weeks to the Eurovision Song Contest, though, and I'm still not excited. Maybe I need to remove a few more cobwebs..