26 July 2007

Book Comment – Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter

Oh my goodness! I have just finished reading 'Yarn Harlot' by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. It is such a good read. I found it a very inspiring, light and cheerful read. You know how they say a book comes to you when you need it. Well… I think they say this or I might have made this one up. Anyway, I think it was the exact right time to read this book for me. Whilst I read it for my knitting interest it offered indirect advice on parenting.

I especially appreciated the last few chapters (in connection to parenting) where Stephanie compares her parenting experience to knitting shawls for her babies. And notes that she learnt as her family grew but regrets (with her first one) that she spent too much time cleaning and less time rocking (I paraphrase here). This resonated with me and as I have recently been preoccupied (read obsessed!) with Elizabeth’s sleeping. After reading this book, I have decided (don’t know how long it will last…) to still manage the sleeping but not let it take over. I am refocusing to also take care of those periphery (and some central) issues and relations which help make the whole (another paraphrase from the book). Funny how one learns something from a very surprising source.

On the knitting front, I also found that Stephanie provided logic behind certain techniques. For example, using her witty manner she gives reasons for why some patterns call for separate knitting of the button/collar band. I this found pertinent to my current knitting adventure – Sahara. Progress report on latter to follow; needless to say I have had some adventures.

p.s. I did not call this a book review because it is not a proper review on content, style etc. And I am sure it has been done elsewhere.

19 July 2007

In My Backyard…

It has been a while since I blogged… The sleep stuff with Elizabeth went haywire. We tried controlled crying, medication, cuddling, rocking, walking, gradual retreat etc. – some of this on Elizabeth too. As for controlled crying – she was controlling, while I was crying… The upshot of it all is (and I am nervous about typing this... fingers crossed) that she has started settling herself. Not counting my chicks though…

Now, about my backyard. If you saw the comments from others on my last entry you would have noticed that Jo left a message about her stand at a fair in my town. So last Saturday morning, I bundled our little treasure in her pram and set about finding the venue, a mere ten minutes from home. I got there rather eager to see what was on sale and I was not disappointed. Jo welcomed me very warmly and she had lovely stuff on her stand. Having forgotten to take my camera I can’t show it here; but she had felted bags, sewn cushions, hand spun yarn. Oh, the joy when I saw what she had.
And while Jo was there she was spinning and gave me a brief introduction to spinning. I was also impressed by her thirst to learn more via City and Guilds qualifications. Not only this but also her eagerness to share her learning with other people. We only spent about 20 minutes chatting but we covered recycling, spinning, toe up socks and possible workshops. Oh, and babies. On the former she noted that she would be keen to run workshops in my town. Oh, the joy at hearing all this - can you tell how excited I was? I want to learn to knit socks properly. I am still a novice. My last attempt is about to be ‘scarfed’… Anyway, I enhanced my stash with above yarn - Crown Mountain Farm superwash - which might turn into a Baby Surprise Jacket. I have a whole other story on this too… Time is short though so maybe next time.

Meanwhile visit Jo’s online shop – LimeGreenJelly too. She has some fab stuff.

09 July 2007


The other day I received the latest Knitting magazine (British). After a long break from the knitting world, I welcomed it and sat down to browse. Lo! What happened while I was away making a baby and did not have time to appreciate the magazine? The set up is all new. It looks rather snazzy.
However… I can’t quite put my finger on it but… I also felt really let down. Why? I don’t think there was a single pattern in there that inspired me. There is not one pattern that made me want! Or made me think I need to get the yarn for it. Instead, I flicked through it rather quickly and sighed at the end. I am hoping that things get better as I have a subscription.

Perhaps after a fourth look something will appeal to me. Or maybe I should just be thankful that I am not coveting yet another cardi. As you my have noticed I love cardigans.

Talking of which, I finished Elizabeth’s little cardi and here it is
It has not been worn yet, but I think she needs a few more weeks before she can fill it adequately. When she does, I will post a photograph here so that you can see how it looks on her. I love it and I think I will make another one in the future but with a different lace pattern and maybe with a cotton yarn.

06 July 2007


Oh it is a long road to that sleep rhythm, but we are getting there. Meanwhile, the whole exercise leaves me frequently frothing at the mouth, as a result of biting down on my lower lip once to often. I hate to hear Elizabeth cry.

Yesterday, I received this...
...through the post from Rowan as the membership gift; to knit "Lauryn Shawl" by Lisa Richardson in All Seasons Cotton (Pansy). I am toying with the idea of knitting Trellis with the yarn for Elizabeth but I am not too sure about the colour on her. I think it might be too dark. From swatch photo on the Rowan website I thought it would be lighter than it is.

Receiving the package brought back memories of another Rowan subscription gift I knitted ages ago (2005, I think). I love Kidsilk haze, and was really excited when I got the gift to knit "Froth" in Trance.

It was such a pleasure to knit. Because of this I decided to knit a hat to go with it. It turned out really well until I washed it. It now looks like this.
I am not really sure what to do with it as it is too big. I had a flower on the front but once the hat got too big the flower drooped over my forehead. Sad really. I am thinking of felting the hat but I have never done this before. So, I will experiment with putting it in with some wash and seeing how it looks after that. The alternative might be to thread the hat with some knitting elastic I bought last year. Any suggestions on how to make the hat wearable again?

04 July 2007


It has been a while since I wrote anything, but I have also been visiting other people's blogs. Meanwhile, I have not been able to write anything, as Elizabeth’s sleeping was thrown out of whack by the vaccinations. So we are back to square one, but hopefully it will not be long before she resumes her rhythm.

Elizabeth’s cardigan was finished on Saturday i.e. the knitting finished on Saturday. But because I have not been able to do much, the sewing and blocking has not been completed. I am hoping as I type this that she will sleep for at least an hour, so that I can complete that little cardi. And show it here... otherwise you will see the semi finished article.

I am also dabbling in designing, if one can call it that. I am going to be using the yarns below to create something for my little one (orginally intended for someone else).

The design is called Sahara. Knowing that there is another design out there called by the same name, I feel obliged to explain why mine is called Sahara.

About a year ago while watching Michael Palin travel across Africa, I spied a wonderful Kanga/Chitenge while he boarded a train in the Sahara desert. Because it caught my eye so much, I wondered whether I could reinterpret the pattern for a cardigan. I quickly drafted a sketch and ordered the yarn. Remember this entry? I think I have now worked out the dimensions. My only hope is that it turns out. My poor daughter is going to be subjected to wearing it regardless!