Friday, August 1, 2014

I'm on my holidays now. Forcibly, yes, but now that they're nearly upon me I'm looking forward to them. There'll be much travelling around the country tempered, I hope, with much sitting around not doing much. In anticipation I plied some of my wonky handspun.

 I had planned to spin some more and settled down to do it a few times, but goshdarnit, my wheel just doesn't want to behave. I've never had such trouble getting the right tension for it to pull on the yarn before and eventually I abandoned it for another day. Now I'm nearly out of days but the 2 balls of unspecified weight or yardage should enough to start the kink neckwarmer pattern.
I've just finished the body of my oatmeal pullover. In these hot, humid summer days it's hard to remember why I'd ever want a jumper made out of chunky cotton.
Tiny cycling jerseys! And free hats in return for them! Thank you Look Mum No Hands!

Socks! Socks that were finished long ago but spent a long time a-waiting a kitchenering stichering.
And because this is something of a David Sedaris fangirl blog also, here he is being darling. You can read why here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ok. Ok. Ok. Some of you may recall that I was somewhat excited to be going to a book signing of one Mr. David Sedaris. That I was knitting him a heart to indulge his macabre tenancies,  toing and froing over whether I thought he'd like it or just think I was weird. That I dreamt about the event 3 times in the week preceeding. That I was also panicking that it might all be a bit disappointing. It wasn't. He wasn't. He was an utter charming delight and seemed genuinely touched by my gift. In addition to his inscription, featured previously and included below, he asked for my address and in the weeks that followed sent me a thank you postcard. And now, as discovered by one delightful Miss Tallulah, you may recognize the lady mentioned in this interview in The Improper Bostonion......

I just finished a tour of the UK. I was signing books, and I met a couple—they’re 62, I believe, man and wife—and they both lost their right legs in the same car accident.

Now, they didn’t give me anything. [laughs] They told me that. But that was pretty remarkable. Gosh, I’m trying to think. Somebody gave me a human heart that she crocheted. And it was the size of it that made it so remarkable to me. You know, that it’s the size of a heart. I was so touched because she put so much work into it. And she really did a good job.

Well, as realistic as it can be when it’s crocheted …

 You can read the full interview here.  I am utterly bowled over and flattered that the gift lives on his memory (and hopefully on his desk!). 

So yes. Wow. I think my life all goes downhill from here.
Somewhat on the same theme of fangirl knitting, I am currently knitting mini jerseys for Look Mum No Hands, a cycling themed cafe in London. I'd probably do it regardless but I'll admit the lure of a free cycling hat guaranteed my participation. I don't like having masses of random acrylic yarn about the place but was fortunate to find 25g skeins in appropriate colors in Hickeys.

I suppose it would have been more useful to include a ruler to give a sense of scale. Let's call it 15cm between friends.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

In all the madness, in all the business, in all the rush to eat well, cycle more, learn things, see people, read books, get enough sleep, look nice, be nice, think deep thoughts, respond to e-mails, watch that movie, read the news, clean the house, draw some pictures, take a shower, wash your bike, sort your finances, use your new blender, go to the Asian supermarket, make lunch for tomorrow, clean the coffee machine (like, really clean it), watch the Giro, pack your bag for the weekend, put on a all the hecticness, is there anything better than row upon row of plain stockinette stitch?

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spring classics

I like to make socks that match but don't match.

And I like to make giant man shirts into Skuld sized shirts.
I like to make things badly with wonky stitching and raw edges. and wear them anyway.

My spinning wheel has lost a bearing in transit, but is still usable. For now at least. It has a bit of an erratic rocking motion but I think that just gives it character. I got a mite of spinning done while listening to my new favorite podcast, 99% Invisible. Podcasts really monopolize my ears these days. When I occasionally put on music I'm astonished that I don't listen to it more - some of that stuff is really good.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Barely there

Well now. It's been a mighty busy 2 weeks and all I have to show for myself is a couple of inches of sock.
 I have been busy with a number of happy things though, which makes it ok. Learning to swim, learning to drive, getting out on bikes, seeing people, having fun. My stuff/junk (the term I use depends on my mood at the time) was delivered the other week, so with ample supplies to hand I hope to get up to non-knitting craft at least once in a while. In particular I intend to do a lot more spinning this year than last year - not least because this is what 3kg of unspun sheeps wool looks like.
Bulky no? In my head I'd like to do a scarf or a shawl of some variety to begin. Perhaps with practice my spinning will become even enough to do a garment proper. First step though - putting the wheel back together.

And then I got hungry and went for snacks.
I seem to be missing a brass bearing for one of the crank arms (the axis on which the wheel rotates) but it seems to be working for the moment nonetheless. When I packed it up I wrapped it in the wool itself as opposed to bubble wrap, so perhaps as I work my way through I'll come across the bearing.

The next few weeks promise to be exciting - filled with new (to me) cars, Easter eggs and witnessing the Giro 'd'Italia start in Belfast. I keep trying my best to squeeze some craft in when I can. Be sure to do the same.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sedaris is a sweetie

It went even better than I could've imagined, or dreamed in one of my three dreams about the event.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

This weekend I went hunting for some packaging materials for David Sedaris' heart. I wanted simple and ultimately disposable, because the thing could end up in the bin in 5 minutes for all I know. I wouldn't take it personally - I'm sure he gets given a lot of things on tours like these. While the heart is a hella lot more transportable that the taxidermied animals he's been presented with at some shows, it's really just a little trinket and I don't want him to feel burdened with its ownership. It's ok David, when I give it to you, it's yours to do with as you wish - gift it, ditch it, use it to throw at the tv when there's nothing on, whatever.

Socks are one of my favorite projects - I love knitting in the round and I love being able to just pick up and knit. However I feel I have to start branching out from entirely plain socks.
With this in mind, these are the first socks I've knit with an overall rib effect. It's not really much more complicated that plain, but it's something. I also think the rib all the way down the ankle might help them be less prone to sagging. I'm using aran weight wool from Donegal. I thought given the chunky wool, the rib might not feel so pleasant underfoot so on the the foot portion the ribbing is only on top, with plain stockinette underneath.

For the last 2 months I've been living on the contents of one suitcase I brought over from England with me, and a few bits and pieces I've left at friends' houses. I've kind've enjoyed the minimal existence. Despite this, I'll be relieved when the rest of my gear is delivered next weekend and I'll have both a wider selection of clothes and crafting materials.

Oh my god what if David doesn't do a meet and greet?!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The idea was to make David Sedaris a knitted heart. Really I think I've made him a blob. But a blob from the heart.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Oh suspicious heart

Well now. Last week I mentioned that I am knitting an anatomical heart for the author David Sedaris. During the week I had a dream I gave it to him and he was actively and openly not impressed by it. In fact, he seemed quite disgusted by the whole idea. When I woke up and was in that brief few moments where your dreams are your reality, I was actually quite upset. 

Not naturally superstitious, I am plugging on with the heart regardless. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I'm 'back', as they say. I was away for a while. In England, no less. Very exotic, I assure you. The blog stopped for some reason. Now I'm back, and I suppose it's starting again.

Part of the reason I want to update the blog is to make sure I take pictures of the things I make. Here are some of the things I made or completed while in Ing-Ga-Land. Some of them didn't make it to photo land, or at least not yet. Try to look disappointed.

Intarsi - mittens and jumper. The jumper was the first major garment I've knitted.

Yarn bombing with my homies at the Herts Stitch'n'Bitch.

Yarn-bombing at work.

Some made to order cross-stitch for Simon Singh.


Socks - just one pair shown.

A knitting needle roll.

A chunky jumper - in progress.

For sure what I'm most proud of is a quilt for my friends' wedding present. It's hard to be accurate in how long this took me. I started more than a year before the wedding and worked on it off and on for a few hours every once in a while. It's far from perfect - the bias binding around the outside is already coming off in places - but I love it and I think they did do.

So now I'm back in my home country, and I must admit I'm very happy about it. I have decided to revive my blog both for the original reasons I started it (to keep me craftly motivated amidst an ever varying schedule) but also as a means of staying in communiqué with the lovely ladies of the aforementioned Herts Stitch'n'Bitch group. Hanging out with those lovely ladies once a week really made my time in England much more enjoyable and I'll miss them. I have yet to find a knitting group in Dublin which suits my schedule, but in honesty over the last few weeks I've barely had a few hours spare. It's been wonderful being able to spend times with friends and family again but - time must always be made for craft!

At this moment the majority of my craft stuff is in Donegal. I stashed a couple of knitting projects in my hand luggage to keep me ticking over in the meantime. There is a pair of socks knit in one of my favorite yarns - 100% wool from Studio Donegal. I'm working them on some badass carbon fibre knitting needles that I received as a secret santa gift. I'm really taken with them and will be investing in some smaller pairs for socks made out of finer yarn. 

On a set of classic wooden double points, I am trying out an anatomical heart pattern I've been meaning to do for the longest time. I want to give one to David Sedaris, my favorite author these days, when I see him at the National Concert Hall next month. It's not a complete fangirl gesture, he's all into grotesque stuff, and anatomical bits and pieces........Ok, it is a complete fangirl gesture, but I'm ok with that.

So weary. Life is busy but I will aim to update weekly. It will mostly be pictures.