what to wear to toad hall

October 28, 2013

I’ve moved!

Please come visit my new virtual home at


Well, Messing About in Boats, of course!

This is a drive-by posting to announce the release of this perfectly pocketed pattern.



Messing About in Boats is a sweater to live in – or mess about in.* From a design perspective, it was one of those rare projects that simply worked from beginning to end. My lived-in sweater turned out with just the right amount of ease, slouchiness, length, and comfort. Things appeared where I wanted them (neckline, cuff, bumforgiving hem split, pocket placement) without a single frogging or rethink.

And I had 2 yards of yarn left after casting off… Phew!
(I’m knitting a second one, while trawling the internet for yarn for a third.)

* Annabel, a valiant test knitter and Island Knitting Retreat creator, invented the name – an homage to Ratty and Mole, and possibly to pooling.



August 11, 2013


I’ve moved!

please come visit my new virtual home at




One simply cannot have too many stripes.

Therefore, strrripes:
OK, so the challenge was and still is this: how do you start from one shoulder and wind your way down to the hem in one piece of knitting, while striping and with absolutely minimal cutting and joining of skeins? And achieving symmetry? And no finishing left to do when you’re done?


The challenge is still on for even if the Ziggurat method is now worked out and finessed in general – I have so far worked out the turns and joins for 6-row stripes (as in the blue/green cardigan above) and 4-row stripes (below) – there are other possibilities…
Each variant of striping and pullover versus cardigan works differently; the colour change has to happen in different places  – unless one likes cutting, joining, sewing. That, too, is of course possible.
(I like sewing. I like knitting. I just don’t like to sew my knitting. When I’m done knitting, I want to be done done.)

Oh, and a knitter just asked about using multiple colours, not just two. I have work to do!

p.s. The fabulous yarn for the Strrripes cardigan at the top is dyed by Ce of The Uncommon Thread. Her BFL Sock yarn has fantastic sheen and drape. It’s almost hard to believe there is no silk involved. The happy, gorgeous colours in the other cardigan are dyed by Tuulia of Knitlob’s Lair. The yarn is Väinämöinen, a 4-ply sock yarn. (The pattern is not available yet but will be.)


Dido in Scrumptious 4ply from Fyberspates

Thanks to the brilliance and generosity of Natalie Fergie of The Yarn Yard and Pete and Clare at MSF (Médecins sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders), knitters are raising much-needed funds via p/hop — Pennies per Hours of Pleasure. Knitters donate patterns, knitted items for raffles, yarns, pattern books. These are made available to other knitters (or non-knitters for that matter)  in return for a donation to MSF — as much as they think the item is worth or as much as they can part with.


Dido in Clan from The Yarn Yard

Dido is one such pattern. If you would like to knit it, you can find it now at p/hop (along with other interesting patterns).

Dido can be knit as stole (requiring about 700-800 yards/metres of fingering yarn) or as scarf (requiring about 400 yards/metres).

There is more information on the pattern here (as well as a link to p/hop and the download link).

dido in fybersspates scrumptious

Dido in Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply

It is necessary to knit.

February 8, 2010

My knitting obsession fervour has lately morphed into a desire to design things. I still like to knit other people’s fantastic patterns. And I still waste hours trying to work out a pattern I’ve seen — not because I’m cheap and don’t want to pay for it, I’ll have you know, but for the challenge of working it out.

The latest challenge is to start from nothing. Nothing?! I’m lying. Nothing comes out of nothing. There’s always something. Such as a fantastic YARN in a fantastic colourway, that lands next to another colourway — and ZOIIIIING!

A glove. Callisto.

callisto glove

And a mitten. And a mitt. And so on.


My obsession can perhaps now be called a worthy (pre)occupation.

callisto mitt

With a big, big thanks to Natalie of The Yarn Yard.

(It’s all her fault you see.)