27 September 2013

Four things Friday

1. Sock production continues, and approaching the heel on the second of the current pair.

2. Still staying strong on the Little Prince sock yarn. So far.

3. Some charming knitting animations (Pingu and Fraggle Rock), courtesy of The Knitting Needle and the Damage Done.

4. Hatching plans to put down the knitting for a moment this weekend and do some sewing, and to make Alessa's Buchteln.

26 September 2013

The Downton Abbey Conundrum

Downton Abbey series 4, episode 1

~~ may contain spoilers ~~

Downton Abbey was back on Sunday, with new opening credits and music, some missing characters and the promise of some new ones. It was a slow start, but we will see how things pan out as the series, starting in 1922, rolls through the twenties.

There were some wonderful twenties costumes, even in the lilacs and greys of half-mourning. I was particularly taken by Lady Edith's purple satin bandeau, and she later razzed it up in a beaded dress slashed to the thigh for dinner with her editor chap. (As a side note: she does seem to have a type. Editor chap looks remarkably like the middle-aged one who jilted her at the altar.)

But where was the knitwear? The action took place six months on from the 2012 Christmas special, when it was summer in the Highlands. At a guess, late-ish August, as they were shooting (giving plenty of opportunity for tension for those who'd read magazines at the hairdressers and knew that someone was to meet a sticky end). Thus six months on would be February. But not a scrap of knitwear.

Indeed, when Lady E went to London, she didn't even wear a scarf:


Was early 1922 particularly balmy? Or are they blowing what's left of the estate - and little baby George's inheritance - on superheating Downton Abbey?

20 September 2013

Four things Friday

1. A new comment! From the very kind linencat, who has a shop selling all sorts of splendid things, including the very handsome Mr Fox. I think he might have to come to live with me soon.

2. There is also a Mr Wolf, who reminds me of this lovely animation for the Real Tuesday Weld's 'Tear Us Apart':

(I discovered the Real Tuesday Weld via Spillyjane's blog. Can't wait for her book.)

3. Major yarn admiration for agirlinwinter's Little Prince sock yarn. Trying to be strong and not turn admiration into that other 'a', acquisition.

4. Downton Abbey starts on Sunday. Time to get excited! Interweave have even released The Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits in honour of the occasion.

15 September 2013

Coming up: a new craft

Well, not a new-to-me craft, but something I haven't written about here. I have, periodically, done a fair bit of tapestry (and yes, enough to know that I should really call it needlepoint), and - quelle surprise - have a few unfinished canvases lurking.

John Lewis recently sent me a £5 thank-you-for-shopping-with-us gift voucher, which was rather a nice surprise, and I put it towards an inexpensive frame for better working. The tapestries I have completed are all curiously rhomboid and I've never quite worked out how to stretch them back to something approaching a square so I can make them into cushions. She says gaily. I have no idea how to make a tapestry needlepoint cushion cover, either.

Anyway, I have always used the kits with printed canvases, but saw this picture (below) and am going to have a go at making my own:

My own version of Alice Roosevelt's cushion, that is, not a rendering of Alice Roosevelt in needlepoint. Though the Guardian has published a number of stitch-your-own famous-ish person cross-stitch patterns that I'm sure could be adapted. If you wanted. 

14 September 2013

FO: Terra 2

After seeing Tasia's lovely version, I knitted my first Terra last autumn (unblogged, unphotographed, unravelried). Then, for my grandmother's birthday earlier this year, I knitted a second:

A swift, straightforward pattern, warm and much appreciated. The yarn is Stylecraft Special Aran in Garnet. I had toyed with Cascade 220, which I had used for the first version), but needed something machine-washable: my grandmother is in a nursing home and, while the staff do many, many fine things, I'm not sure hand-washing and blocking shawls should really be added to that. 

The Stylecraft also had the advantage of coming in one giant 400g ball, so there were only two wee ends to weave in, and a lot left over that may well go towards a hat or two for Christmas presents.

Yarn: Stylecraft Special Aran with Wool in Garnet
Needles: 5.5mm circular

13 September 2013

Awesome Knitwear #12

there is much to be enjoyed about Foyle's War: satisfying mysteries; sea views; a refreshingly strong main female character; the reassuring tones of Michael Kitchen ... But above all, some very awesome knitwear:
Yes, I took a photo of my telly

Crinoline Robot and What's in a Treehouse have also noticed this - and with lots more pictures