Everything Happens at Once

It’s been a productive week and one that got busier as it went along! It seems as though my work is building momentum currently and that’s really quite exciting. This wouldn’t have been possible while I was a full-time school teacher as I just wasn’t able to put the time in to yarn-based stuff to get things happening.

The socks are finished as I intended and, as you can see, they fit me really well. I can’t wear them ‘properly’ yet as I want to use them as a teaching aid at my sock workshops at Yarn O’clock on Thursday and there wouldn’t be time to wash and dry them between now and Thursday evening. The yarn is from RiverKnits – it’s the cormo wool 4-ply version of their 2022 Open Day Special yarn, dyed with Lola from Third Vault Yarns, and the colourway is called ‘Ankh Morpork’. The pattern is the basic sock pattern I always use for me; 2.25mm needles, 80 stitches to cast on, rib for a while, stocking stitch for a while, heel flap, heel turn, gusset decreases to 68 or 72 sts (68 in this case), work foot straight for a bit, toe decreases, graft. What some people call a ‘vanilla’ sock.

Yesterday’s beginner knitting class went well. It was still just the one lady attending and she got on really well. I forgot to take a photo of her bunting triangle, so instead, here’s a pic of the one I made. She did some extra eyelet rows in hers too! I rather like the extra eyelets – it keeps it interesting and add extra practice of yarn overs too! Our next class will be in two weeks, with the focus on using knit and purl stitches to create texture. I’ll be adding it as an event to Facebook to see if that helps encourage folk to book a place.

I chose my next fibre and started spinning it. I’ve got 200g of this lovely Bluefaced Leicester wool. It’s dyed by FibreHut and the colourway is called ‘Faded Blooms’ which I think suits it well. As I’ve got more fibre to play with, I decided to spin this one a little thicker. The singles are (mostly) coming out around a DK weight and I’m hoping the plied yarn will be somewhere between an aran and a chunky weight. I do need to concentrate to avoid drifting back to spinning finely though. It’s certainly eating up the fibre more quickly spinning this way!

The final section of our mystery knit-along, Am Byth, was published on Friday and I’ve done two videos to help folk with certain technical aspects. One was for the 5 stitches to 1 stitch decrease and I’ve been absolutely astounded at how many views it has had on Twitter – at the time of writing, over 1700! I will add this one to the website as well. The other video I recorded was for one of the cast-off options. it’s a sewn cast-off that gives a fabulous finish to a ribbed fabric, but it’s not one that everyone knows.

Also, now the larger cables are complete, can you see why I called it ‘Am Byth’? Am byth is Welsh for ‘forever’, and these closed cables look like the eternity symbol (when you hold the knitting on its side!).

I’ve also started getting ready for Buxton Wool Gathering – which is now less than four weeks away!! These are the filing cases I transport and store my printed patterns in and I’ve been going through my patterns spreadsheet, deciding which patterns I need more copies of, and I started printing more out today. The next thing to do is to go through the kits and see what I’ve got and what I could do with replenishing. Although, at a pretty big yarn show (there will be 54 vendors) it’s not as if folk won’t be able to get some gorgeous yarns from the other stalls to knit my designs with.

Part Two of Branwen is in the new issue of The Knitter that is in the shops from Thursday. It’s a knit-along shawl (but not a mystery) using West Yorkshire Spinners Fleece. It’s a lovely DK yarn made with Bluefaced Leicester wool. There are three more parts to the pattern after this one, and I will of course be publishing the whole pattern once I receive the rights back. This also means that if you want to read the interview with me in Issue 185 you have one day left to visit WHSmith and buy a copy!

Yesterday I had two more design submissions accepted which is lovely and very exciting, and one of the reasons for added busying! I set up the Excel spreadsheet for the first one that’s due and started working on that this afternoon. I bet you didn’t know designing knitting patterns was so glamorous, eh?! Seriously though, it’s amazing how much easier the process is with a few formulae up my sleeve – it helps turns one set of numbers into ten far more quickly than I could ever do on my own. Afterwards, I go through it all and make sure it’s still elegant and all the sizes represent the design concept ‘authentically’. Wow, that sounds a bit pretentious, but it basically means if you have a sweater with a design where, for example, a cable hits the shoulder just by the neckline in one size, it needs to be positioned so that it hits the shoulder in the same place in all the sizes. The geek in me loves playing with the numbers to make it all work.

There have been one or two less fabulous things that have happened this week too – but that’s the way of the world, isn’t it? One of the things was that I broke ANOTHER tooth this morning whilst eating my breakfast. At least I already have a dentist appointment in two weeks… I think I need to go back to porridge oats stirred through plant-based yoghurt, it’s far less hazardous than a bowl of cereal!

Anyway, take care one and all and don’t go clicking any links in your notifications until you’re absolutely certain you know who it’s from! And do something that makes you happy this week. K x

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