Wednesday, 26 November 2008


I wonder why having laryngitis and losing one's voice also produces pains in the legs. Maybe it's an alliteration thing: larynx, legs, losing, lost...

I am reduced to an unintelligible croaking, so languishing (another L) under the covers at home seems the sensible option.

If I lived in this hermetically sealed Cold War house, designed for the Ideal Home Exhibition of 1956, I might avoid catching anything. On the other hand, I would have to wear knitted nylon outfits like these designed by Teddy Tinling

and I might wake up with marvellously coiled hair.

This House of the Future is featured in the Cold War Modern exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition is excellent. You really feel you are getting your money's worth, as the spaces get larger and larger with ever more intricate and bizarre pieces and displays in each room. Spying and paranoia start to mingle with (then) ultra-modern design. Teddy Tinling's designs form part of my favourite room, which also holds space-rocket inspired sculptures flashing light sparks off moving parts, maquettes of strange mountain-top buildings in Eastern Europe, and attempts to achieve a utopian ideal.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Gritted teeth

I'm not sure whether to declare that I hate a knitting project or that I should be more patient. Perhaps both. I really like the finished article but am almost ready to throw in the towel, and I've only done 3 rows. The instructions are exquisitely detailed but spread over 6 sheets of paper for each row. Using circular needles with cords the same colour as the yarn is probably not helping, but both yarn and Addi lace needles are behaving well. It's just me that isn't. I suspect my refusal to learn to use charts and my determination to stick to the long-hand written instructions might have something to do with this kerfuffle.

Thank goodness for giant Post-It notes.

terhi mitts 2nd attempt at starting

Friday, 21 November 2008


Snow is coming. I am ready.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Are we sensing a theme...?

Alternatively there is this:

Available from Zazzle. If only the stupid customs duty didn't kick in at such a low limit.

Brain Bags

Now that I'm officially weird, according to the exceptionally scientific candy corn ruling (see below), I will say that I think these brain bags by Jun Takahashi are wonderful.


I really, really want one one of these bags for work.

Does that make me officially weird, or just brainy?

Oh really?

What Your Love of Candy Corn Says About You

You are a very strange character. Much stranger than people realize at first.

Like candy corn, the more people think about you - the weirder you seem.

While you are quite quirky, that's what is lovable about you.

You are bright, bold, and simply happy. What could be better?

Friday, 14 November 2008

Getting the Franklin habit

I went to hear The Panopticon - AKA Franklin Habit - speak at IKnit last night. He read from his book and was very, very funny. Such excellent deadpan humour.

Sadly I had no opportunity to ask my burning question of what happened to The Panopticon's knitting student, Willibald. I've always wondered whether there is a man in Chicago clad entirely in grey purled garter stitch garments, and whether he's having fun yet.

I was sorry to see that the evening was a missed sales opportunity for Franklin H as there were hardly any spare copies of the book available. Never mind. I did get to talk to someone who was taught to knit by an elderly woman in Italy who believed circular needles were a form of garotte, and to someone whose brains I could pick about simultaneously knitting two socks on one circular needle. A cure for my Second Sock Syndrome, perhaps?

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Oxfordshire Buttons

There are worse things to pick up as souvenirs. These are from Kidlington, near Oxford, which was yesterday's trip.

pink & red buttons

round pearly buttons

They are tiny. The round buttons are a little like fancy Victorian boot buttons with pearlised centres.

Paris Nights (well, by proxy)

There is some knitting taking place.

Haven in progress

It's growing, and growing...

Haven in progress

My first Malabrigo Worsted experience, in Paris Nights colourway. Suitably squishy, with more of a bloom developing than I'd expected. This will be perfect for the cold weather.

Malabrigo worsted inky

More on Haven later, when it's finished.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Overheard at the cinema box office:

Very refined elderly lady to box office assistant: "One senior citizen for easy virtue, please."

Ha. I laughed. Discreetly.

I believe this might have had something to do with it.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Red Rib Vest

1st birthday party

This afternoon was a First Birthday Party. There were guests of five different nationalities, three generations of the same family, three different types of cake, five different sorts of home-produced honey, one pot of home-made quince jam, and one birthday boy.

red rib vest front

Front view

red rib vest

Back view

My present was a red rib vest, in contrasting crimson and scarlet stripes. The recipient was crawling too fast through wrapping paper to pose for a photo, but I came away with commissions for one child-size vest and one in an adult size. Soozs' pattern is great for carefree knitting, no overly strict instructions and enough give in the ribbing for the sizing to last through a few months of toddler growth.

Every slice of the cake I made (centre cake, above) was eaten, so a good result all round. It was an undrenched version of Tamasin Day-Lewis' Drenched Ginger and Lemon Cake. Soft and fluffy. Mm.

Bees of Barnes crop

A jar of home-produced honey, for which the bees feed on mulberry blossom, and a solitary honey-almond macaroon took centre stage for a moment. In the background are other honeys, harvested at different months. The variations in colour and flavour are influenced by the blossom available in each season.

Red Rib Vest
Size: 15-18 months
Needles: 4.5mm
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran; 2 skeins in Red
Stripes: Rooster Almerino Aran; half a skein in Rooster
Modifications: the stripes are of course a design feature and nothing at all to do with running out of Cashmerino. Oh no. Definitely nothing to do with that.

Ginger and Lemon Cake
Recipe: Drenched Ginger and Lemon Cake by Tamasin Day-Lewis
Published in: Good-Tempered Food
Modifications: not drenched in syrup, but instead iced with lemon and ginger glace icing, made with icing sugar, lemon juice and a little syrup from a jar of crystallised ginger pieces