The Madness is coming…

On a different (i.e. not related to Edinburgh Yarn Festival) note – Sock Madness is celebrating their 10th year on Ravelry. You can find the group on Ravelry here. The premise is quite simple:

Sock Madness consists of 7 rounds. Round 1 is open to everyone who registers during February. Everyone that finishes their pair of socks will move on to the next round, those who make a “reasonable effort” (which we’ve defined as one complete sock or two at a time both half finished) will continue to receive all the patterns. For the remaining rounds there will be a certain number of competitors on each team allowed through to the next round and each round that number gets smaller. In the final round the teams will compete against one another. (From the Ravelry Group)

So, competitive sock knitting with no clue as to what the patterns will be. They have shared an initial materials list, and excluding the warm-up / bonus patterns, the remaining seven socks will form the core of the event. Since my sanity is apparently on holiday I’ve signed up and have been sorting through stash to locate appropriate yarns, and have come up with the following:

Sock Madness Planning

  • (A) Old Maiden Aunt Merino (Berry Good) with translucent, silver-lined amethyst beads.
  • (B) Schoppel-Wolle Best OF (Flei ages Lieschen)
  • (C) Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Jumper Weight (77 Black) / The Yarn Yard BBFL (Howzatt)
  • (D) Yarn Pony Mustang (098/200)
  • (E) Easyknits Super Sushi (Dusk)
  • (H) Ripples Crafts Hand Dyed Yarns Reliable Sock (Orkney Sea & Sky) with transparent, silver-lined sky blue beads
  • (I) Easyknits Super Sushi (Torte), with appropriate contrast yarn (10g)

Sign-ups close midnight (wherever you are) 29th February 2016. Are you going to join in?






July – August FOs

Not many to show, I haven’t been knitting a vast amount over the summer… apart from WIPs, which seem to never end. So just three to mention.

First up, Baby Bean Cardigan, using the very popular (and free) Little Coffee Bean Cardigan pattern on Ravelry. Yarn was Cascade 220 Superwash in the Oatmeal and Marionberry colourways. This was a new baby gift for one of the BFs work colleagues. And by random chance (since I didn’t know about this until after it had been gifted) the colours are in fact the colours of said colleague’s home town.

Next, we have the Sock Yarn Blue socks – using some Old Maiden Aunt Superwash Merino 4 Ply which I got to dye myself at her studio. These are for the BF, and I’m delighted with how they turned out. Not least because I was knitting the first one while I was away for work with no real idea of how big the foot should be. I resorted to phoning the BF, asking how long his foot was, and then using my project bag (which was around 26 cm long) as a ruler. First rule of knitting, always remember a tape measure.

And last but not least is the Tesserae shawl. This is a design in progress, it is currently undergoing test-knitting and should be ready for release in October. This sample is in a heavy laceweight – Lotus Mimi in fact – which is a postively decadent (and humanely farmed) 100% mink yarn. It uses three colours (this used light grey, grey and grape). A full-circular version of this shawl is also in progress.

WIP Wednesday (August 6, 2014)

Oops! Being busy with other work is not conducive to keeping the blog updated, will have to try and remedy that!

I have had a fair bit of startitis recently, so there are a few new projects to mention.

On the Needles
Both Sombra and the secret project for GSoY are still on the needles and haven’t really progressed at all. Well the GSoY one is now officially over the halfway point so that is something. I’ve also loaned out the nice straight needles I was knitting Sombra on to my Mum, so will have to wait for them to restart the back.

There is a new pair of socks too, this time a pair of my own design, Orchardton. With textured stitches, cables and a wee bit of lace, I should hopefully get the second sock finished soon. I need to write up the pattern from my rather unintelligible notes for testing and release in the not-so-distant future.

However, this not the only own-design thing on the needles. There are another two to mention (told you I had startitis). Buttons will be a pair of colourwork fingerless mittens, using my favourite Jamieson & Smith Jumperweight (what else?). The first mitt is done, the charts are in draft, and like the aforementioned socks, testing and release will be happening soon.

The other new design in progress is the first in a two-parter. I am currently nearly 400 yards into a circular shawl (picture above) using Ginger’s Hand-dyed by Edinburgh’s own Gingertwist Studio. I’m using the ‘Gorblimey’ and ‘Girl on Fire’ shades, along with some undyed. I’m addicted to knitting this at the moment, but am going to run out of my undyed yarn very soon and will have to wait for the next delivery before I can continue with it. However, all is not lost as I am planning a half-circle version (using Lotus Mimi, a mink yarn!) so I’m sure I can cope.

On the Wheel
Still on the silk at the moment, I haven’t actually spun for at least a week and need to get restarted… When I find the time!

WIP Wednesday (July 23, 2014)

In the interests of sharing, I’ve decided to add in a new post category (probably running fortnightly, although it may become weekly – depending on how much knitting I actually get done). So welcome to WIP Wednesday! Of which there are quite a few lurking around the house.

On the Needles
Three active projects here – there are three others, all either hibernating (more on those later in a separate post) or still in the planning stages (I’ll talk about that one when it is finally started).


First up another pair of socks – I mentioned these ones briefly in the Busy, Busy, Busy! Post last week. 2014 really is the year of the sock! This is the second pair this year for the BF. Again I am using my favourite (since I don’t need to think about what I’m doing) sock recipe (this recipe will also be covered in a forthcoming blog post) and Old Maiden Aunt Merino Superwash 4 Ply. This isn’t a normal OMA colourway, this is one of the skeins I dyed at the workshop back in March 2013. It is a deep blue with flashes of turquoise, very peacock-esque! I named the colourway ‘Wine Dark Sea’ – blame my love of Homer.* The BF however took one look at the freshly dyed skeins and declared it to be a ‘sock yarn blue’. Which resulted in the skeins immediately being set aside for socks for him. The first is done (and fits!), and the second has been cast on.


Next up is Sombra, the lace weight jumper from the Summer 2014 issue of PomPom Quarterly. Knitted flat, this is quite slow going, but the front is finished and I have just the back to finish and the seaming and sleeves to go. I’m knitting this in Sublime Yarns Extra Fine Merino Lace (Oyster colourway) and Habu Yarns Silk Stainless Steel (Brown) and Merino (Green). Quite a neutral palette for me, but I’m loving the effect so far. Due to the fact that I get yarn tangled extremely easily (and taking on board advice from other users of the Habu Yarns) I’m knitting this on straight needles. The cable of a circular needles plus three strands of yarn was simply asking for trouble where I am concerned. As long as I am careful when adding in, or removing the different yarns I’m okay, if I’m not, then I spend a not inconsiderable amount of time unknotting things.

The final active knitting project is another super-secret thing, again for Glasgow School of Yarn in October and again knitted in Jamieson and Smith 2 Ply Jumper Weight (I have an addiction).

On the Hook
Nothing at the moment, though I am very tempted by Pax and really should just give it a go and not think about it too much.

On the Wheel


Some incredibly beautiful silk from Hilltop Cloud. This was one of first Wool-Free Luxury Club offerings, and I have 200g of it. It is delightful to spin. I’m still on the first brick, I’ll get that both spun up as singles. At the moment I’m not sure whether to opt for a 2 Ply or Navajo-ply for 3 Ply. Either way it is going to be lovely.

* In Ancient Greek there is no word for blue, so the descriptions of the sea equate it with other colours, dark wine shades being a favourite.

June FOs (Part 2)

Following on the March-June FO post, there are a few more finished objects from June – three to be precise.


First up is the Indie Burgh 2014 socks, specially designed by the lovely C.C.Almon for the inaugural Indie Burgh Yarn Crawl held earlier in June this year. This pair were a test knit for the top-down version of the pattern (it comes in top-down and toe-up versions), and uses The Yarn Yard Marchmont (100% Merino) in the ‘Festive’ colourway. I completed the required first sock by the test deadline and naively thought I would ge the second finished on the day of the crawl (I was partway through the heel, so just had the remainder of the heel and the foot to go). I think in reality I managed less than 20 rows (and this was on the heel, so only short rows too). They ended up getting finished the following day instead.


Next is a very simple phone cosy I whipped up for the BF. His new work phone did not have a case and was at risk of getting stretched by keys when in his pocket. So needles and yarn to the rescue. I’m going to add a freebies page to the site, so keep an eye out for that appearing soon with this basic recipe included. The cosy used some scrap DK yarn (Drops Karisma) and 4mm needles.

And finally an unnameable project which I need to keep under wraps until October for the Glasgow School of Yarn. I can tell you two things: (1) it does have a name, I just cannot share it as it would give the game away, and (2) it uses Jamieson and Smith 2 Ply Jumper Weight.

Busy, Busy, Busy!

So, no Friday Round-Up today as I’ve been working away this week. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you’ll have seen a slightly strange assortment of bits of ferries, random bits of Belfast, knitting and beer. This is due to the fact that in the last few days I was over in Belfast uninstalling an exhibition, then taking it over to Cumbria and installing it there. Tiring work, but very nice when everything is in place.

It isn’t conducive, however, to writing blog posts, hence the absence of the usual Friday post. It was however, useful for knitting. You can get a lot of sock done on the ferry from Cairnryan to Belfast and back again.

The BF now has one sock, with the other one just started… Thankfully sock number one fits perfectly, despite the fact that one of our nightly phone calls included me asking if he could measure his foot, then me checking the dimensions of my wee box bag I use for sock knitting on the website of the store I bought it from since I had managed to forget a tape measure. Improvisation at its finest!

March-April-May-June FOs

Since I haven’t updated this for a while, there are quite a few finished objects. And normally I run a post like this after the month has finished, but since I haven’t done it for a while I got carried away and included a couple of things that were finished in June. I should have some other stuff done by the end of the month (probably another pair of socks) which I post then.



All the socks follow my usual basic sock recipe, I’ve found that this pattern works well for me and I don’t have to think about what I’m doing. At some point I will write this pattern up!

  • Rye I and Rye II – the free sock pattern ‘Rye‘ by Tincanknits. The first pair is in Abstract Cat Sportweight Merino in the ‘Harvest’ colourway, the second uses Wollmeise Pure 100% Merino in a ‘We’re Different’ version of ‘Giandula’ – I held the yarn double for this pair which turned out too large for me but fitted the BF perfectly. He’s already asking for more socks.
  • Hermione – using the very popular ‘Hermione’s Everyday Socks‘ , just used the stitch pattern and some Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Multi in the ‘Mt. Creek’ colourway. Really liked knitting these, they seemed to get knitted up awfully quickly.
  • Sherbet Socks – just my basic socks using Deeply Wicked in the ‘Dib Dab’ colourway. Actually had the first sock done for quite a while. I cast on the second sock on the bus on a Monday morning, by Monday night I had the entire foot and heel done. I didn’t knit on them Tuesday and finished it off Wednesday – one very fast second sock! Loved the colourway but the second sock pooled a lot more than the first, the first striped, whereas the second was pooling on the foot. Thankfully the leg returned to normal so I’m happy with that.


  • Voar II – a pair for me (the first were a shop sample for Ginger Twist Studio) using some leftover Cascade Superwash 220 and Drops Nepal.


  • Hoxne – I’ve wanted to knit this since I first purchased Doggerland: Knits from a Lost Landscape, I originally planned for it to be knitted up in some Snaeldan 2ply I picked up in Reykjavik earlier this year, but one of the later released patterns uses this yarn and I had to find a substitute – so a well matured skein of The Yarn Yard Crannog in various shades of purple was used instead. I need to reblock the shawl but am delighted with it, I think it will be a perfect lightweight summer shawl.


  • 3-in-1 – a jumper in fingering weight… which I love so much I’m already planning a second. Uses some Old Maiden Aunt Alpaca/Silk/Cashmere 4 Ply in two colourways which I dyed myself at the workshop I took last year, plus some cream sock yarn and one of the Small Skein Society colourways from The Yarn Yard. I need to get better pictures of the FO rather than just the progress pictures! The next one will use orange shades I think.


  • I Talk With The Moon Tea Cosy – more on this in an upcoming post. My own design, which uses Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds B.F.L. in the Cream and Brown B.F.L. shades.
  • Oink! – A mini version of the free pattern ‘Big Pink Pig‘ by Purl SoHo, using my own handspun (Hilltop Cloud Merino/BFL/Seacell/Llama).
  • A mystery project/design which I cannot tell you anything about – come back in September for information on this one!

February FOs

Just a quick picture update, which isn’t …um… all that different to my Ravellenics post.

These are the 3 FOs which I have pictures of.

Look familiar?


There is a Windschief (the second I have knitted this year), for J again, this time in black. Which I don’t have a picture of him wearing. Actually I don’t have a picture of the hat, let alone anything else.