Yarnalong – September

It’s Yarnalong time, which, argh, argh, means it is September. I work in academia so this means not long until the students return, noooarrghhh.


Knitting wise, I have completed my helical bee socks and cast on for a new pair but I shall leave that for for tomorrow’s OuaS post. What I have been doing is continuing on with my English Paper Piercing and I finished one of the two Crochet blankets I had in the WiP pile. Motivated by a) seeing my mother this coming weekend b) the thought of not having to pack and move* it. 😉

It is a Attic24 Hydrangea stripe blanket but using the colour pack from her Moorland blanket, at the request of my mother. I plan to take proper photos once I’ve handed it over.

Reading wise, I have been quite productive. I read the following:

And I’m in the middle of Handywoman by knitwear designer Kate Davies, which I would already recommend picking up.

Other than that, last Saturday saw me tromping around London as part of Team Knightsbridge as part of the Great London Yarn Crawl. I may have bought a few things but when visiting such lovely shops, how could one resist? We went to Tribe, RayStitch, Fabrications and Stag and Bow on our route and crisscrossed London in the process.

*Thoughts about house-buying process in England currently mostly unfit to print but slowly, slowly getting there.



Yarn Along – July 2018

It is Yarnalong time!  From sweltering (who knew?) Brighton, where, I must admit knitting has been limited as I am trying not to cast on any new projects and all my other projects are either not for public consumption yet or too bloody hot to sit under/near in this heat.

IMG_3210Knitting wise, I have completed my Byatt shawl, with the kind help of my work knitting friend and a little bit of a shawl-to-shawl transplant, after I lost my game of Yarn Chicken with three and half rows/6 increases to go. Luckily, J was knitting a shawl in a very similar grey and let me steal a bit from the other end of the ball to finish the MC/CC slip-stitch section off successfully. It is blocking at the moment and then I hope to briefly take photos before I have to fling it off me again.


I have started one WiP though, for all my bluster above, which is a Silene Shawl in some seriously ancient Stash Yarn (this being from the Des Res in West Kensington era of the Stash Archaeology so, ooooh, late 2000s. )  in the hopes that I will have a completed shawl in time for my brother’s wedding at the end of July. It’s um, possible but we shall see. It’s always good to have a goal, right?


Bookwise, I’ve been rereading the Anne of Green Gables series and I am making a concentrated effort to finish  Ron Chernow’s Hamilton biography. It’s not that it’s not really interesting; it’s just very dense and I have reached the Reynolds’ Pamphlet part, which if you are into Hamilton, is where I spend a lot of time clutching at my face and yelping “Yooooou fooooool, Alexander!’



Yarnalong – June 2018

It’s June. I am in the middle of testing for a server migration but I have run out of brain before I have run out of work day, which is not ideal when you are trying to troubleshoot script errors and file permissions.

But it is also Yarnalong time so that’s a nice break.



I am almost finished the repeats of Chart B in my Byatt shawl, which is exciting. I still have some of the MC left over so I am debating doing another chart repeat before going into the final chart which is all CC. I have another two repeats within the chart to go before I make that decision so we shall see. It is already pretty big and I am looking forward to the lace chart.

It’s been a very soothing knit, actually as it’s mainly garter stitch with increases and the occasional slip stitches and then two rows where you have to engage brain for a bit.


While I was on holiday in sunny Spain and could do nowt but reading, knit and migrate between swimming pool/buffet/balcony (it’s a hard life but someone has to live it…), I managed to read three new books:

  1. The Husband Hunters: Social Climbing in London and New York which was a very interesting look at the influx of American Heiresses into the Upper Classes in the UK and Europe in the late 19th/early 20th century. Includes Winston Churchill’s mother, Jennie Jerome.
  2. Take Six Girls: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters – a biography of the Mitford sisters, who are, as the author says, a social experiment that can never be repeated.
  3. Meet The FrugalWoods – A blog spin off book from the FrugalWoods.  I enjoy the blog so I did enjoy the book.

I have also, in what seems to be becoming a additional section to these posts,  made another cleaning product recipe from Fresh Clean Home, which was the liquid toilet cleaner. I am pleased with it as well – it uses xantham gum (which I own because I should avoid wheat for ibs reasons but like baking) to help make it cling to the sides but does mean that you start off with a very unprepossessing lumpy horror that then miraculously resolves with the application of a handblender!

So far I am very happy with all the recipes I have tried from that book, so would definitely recommend it if you are interested in making your own cleaning products.



Yarnalong May 2018

It’s May! Not that you could actually tell in my office, where Estates have been forced to switch the central heating back on! I am wearing my Diamonds Are Forever jumper and a thermal vest right now. :/

But on with the yarnalong, eh?


Currently part of the way through Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood. Which is looking at the unsolved murder of early Hollywood Director William Desmond Taylor. It is a case I am quite familiar with but the library ebook services suggested it as the ‘your next book’ so I thought I’d have a read. Not expecting it to suddenly be solved like the Golden State Killer, though! (FWIW, the suspect there was unknown to all investigations but ‘I’ll be Gone in the Dark’ did a lot of background research and helped keep the spotlight on it.)

I also finished looking through A Year in Techniques and I hope to have something that combined two of those techniques on the needles soon!

Also, in the continued making my own cleaning projects from Fresh Clean Home, I am still using the toilet cleaner tabs and they are def. helping with the under the water line cleaning. I have also made the sink scrub, which is working well on the bathroom sink and will shortly be used to scrub the bath! Along with the grout/tile cleaner recipe. Wendy has actually just posted the recipe for her oven cleaner, which is also on the list (I have some oven cleaner to use up first).


IMG_3076I made a pair of Baker Street Wrist-warmers for my MiL, which was a very swift (aran weight, so fast!) and enjoyable knit. More details, plus an embroidery kit I also completed in the linked post. Other than that, I am still working on the current socks (see tomorrow’s Sock-a-long post) in the hopes that I’ll be done with them in time to take new projects on holiday with me in a week! I’m optimistic!

Now off to see what other Yarnalong participants have been up too!


Yarnalong – April

Got to get moving somehow, so why not with joining in with the Yarnalong?


I’ve just finished I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, which is an in-depth look into the unsolved case of the Golden State Killer. Michelle passed away before completing this book, which is a great pity as I think this would have been a even better book than it is.  It’s a page-turner and I can see why the case hooked her. Probably not an ideal read on your own though. 😉


Cheerier reading though, in the form of Fresh Clean Home by Wendy Graham, author of the Moral Fibres blog. I do like experimenting with DIY cleaners – I have made my own laundry powder for several years and tend to reach for vinegar etc. when cleaning. I enjoy Wendy’s blog so borrowed the book from the library before the Easter weekend and tried a couple things out. I made the toilet cleaning tablets (smell delicious but might need a couple weeks to see how they go but then, I don’t inspect my u-bend when I’ve used shop bought tablets so who knows, eh?) and the window/glass cleaner, which I am very impressed with! The only downside so far is that I can now see exactly how filthy the outside of my windows are, which isn’t ideal as cleaning the outside of the windows in our flat is…difficult, due to being a first floor flat in a house conversion.
And another recent arrival is a copy of A Year of Techniques from Arnall-Culliford Knitwear (and a bonus gift of the London Craft Guide, which was kindly added to my parcel from Brit Yarns as part of their closing down sale), which I am looking forward to working through. I definitely have helical sock plans!


Knitting wise, I am still knitting the Rivercat socks  previously mentioned but I will save that for tomorrow’s sockalong post (inorite? Like buses…) and I am so close to finishing my Keith Moon but it is currently in the naughty corner with the purl side pick up stitches I need to do to complete the collar. Apparently I can’t read and have picked up double the number of stitches in really dark yarn. I plan to pick it up again this weekend though as I really want it completed and off the needles so I can start my Good Intentions Quarter #3 project without guilt.

Crochet wise, I really must get a move on with the blanket WiPs. I think I might (slightly) retrospectively join in with the #100daysproject and do a minimum of a row a day on the blanket for my mother. That will definitely move that one along!