Dyed in the Wool
A dyed-in-the-wool knitter shares mainly fibre-related information, updates and musings (with the occasional moan about the weather!).

A cool way to start 2006

Saturday, December 31, 2005
I've joined an "along" that basically is like a photojournal. It's called the ABC-along (found thanks to Norma), and the idea is that starting in January, you post one photo every two weeks, starting with the letter "A", and finishing in December with the letter "Z" (that's a zed, not a zee, BTW!).

So, here's my "A":

Gosh, that's original, isn't it! It's me. A is for Amy.

I chose this photo because I think I look not-ugly and I love the shawl!


Here's the link for the toe-up pattern (you'll still need the original one here). Progress can be seen below.

WIP wall of shame:

These are the unfinished projects I'm taking with me into the new year.

31-12-05 003

  1. Sirdar Lace Cardigan (only the back completed)
  2. Jaywalker socks
  3. I Do lace shrug (1 half done)
  4. Arien - the cardigan for my mum
  5. Martha lace cardigan (about 40% of the back completed)
  6. A baby waistcoat for charity
  7. Mystery Lace shawl

And that's not even counting the stuff I have the pattern and the yarn for (Rogue, Bella, Follow the Leader...)

Tag, I'm it!

I've been tagged for my first ever Meme. Now, I had a personal resolution that if tagged I wouldn't play ball. However, since this is all about the knitting, I'm relenting!


What new knitting techniques did you learn this year?

Short row shaping (not really new, but I used it a lot and I did learn Japanese short rowing - thanks Nona!)

Which completed project from the last 12 months are you most proud of?

Nothin' but a T-shirt. I love it. The yarn and the pattern came together in a beautiful way, and the modifications I made worked out great. That, or my Lotus Blossom shawl.

What was your biggest knitting disaster of the last year?

Turning my Clapotis into a poncho - unflattering and unwearable. It's now back as a wrap.

Who or what has been the biggest influence on your knitting in 2005?

Without a doubt, the Ample Knitters list.

What knit craze grabbed you this year?

Lace, lace and more lace! Not that I finished many lace items, but I did start quite a few!

Finally, some New Years resolutions.

Knitting ones only:

  • Learn intarsia
  • Learn entrelac
  • Have a pattern published in Magknits (cheating, because it's already been accepted!)
  • Finally finish that flippin' Sirdar lace cardigan that I've had on the go for about 2 years.

Name the folks to pass this meme on to:

I wouldn't dare inflict this on anyone who doesn't want it (I'm a wimp), so if you want to be tagged, consider yourself tagged!

And finally...

I love my little nodding dog! I got him last Christmas and I just flick his head every now and then and it really cheers me up. In the background are Sherbet Fountains - man I love them!

Right, I'm off to listen to some podcasts and wish my next-door neighbours could have their party elsewhere.
9:49 pm :: 2 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink

Snow from a clear sky

Thursday, December 29, 2005
That's what it was doing yesterday. It was wierd to look up into a blue sky and see snow falling down!

Anyway, I have a finished object!

helmet earwarmers

Item name: Bike helmet ear warmers
Recipient: My brother (for his birthday, today)
Pattern: Bike Helmet Ear Warmers By Amy O’Neill Houck from Fall '05 Menknit
Yarn: Stylecraft Fashion Aran (about 20% wool, 80% acrylic)
Needles: 4.5 mm bamboo straights
Size: one sized
Modifications: yarn substitution
Notes and comments: Overall, this was a really simple pattern. I'm slightly disappointed with the ribbing at the top (it flips down). If I were to make these again, I'd do the ribbing on a smaller needle (possibly even as small as 3.5 mm)

New Socks:

For meeeee!

Toe-up Jaywalkers.

As you can see, I've gone for a really muted, dull colourway. I dyed the yarn myself using Kool-aid, and I love it! It's doing exactly what I wanted it to do! The pattern isn't really showing through yet, but I've only done four pattern rows, so I'm giving it a chance.

Arien update:

Slow and steady, because the yarn has zero elasticity and it quite hard on my hands, but I'm down to belly-button level now.

arien 27-12-05 002
arien 27-12-05 003
arien 27-12-05 005
arien 27-12-05 004

I've done them as thumbnails, to cut down on loading time. To see larger views, just click on the little pictures.

The fit won't be the same on my mum (she's slimmer than me), although we do have the same torso length. I've also only seamed up one sleeve, and the little coloured blobs are the pins I used to hold the fronts together.

She's requested "somewhere to put a tissue", so I'm going to try and reverse-engineer patch pockets! Wish me luck!

I'll see you the other side of the new year, which I will spend with headphones on, being depressed and trying to ignore the fireworks (it's my annual tradition).
1:30 pm :: 0 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink

TFFT: Amble socks

Friday, December 23, 2005
Thank Friday For That!

Amble sock finished

Yarn: Regia Silk in "Sand" 012. About 60 g (approx. 240m) used.
Yarn Source: Opitec
Needles: 2 x 2.25mm circulars
Pattern: Six Sox KAL group
Modifications: Apart from mis-reading the directions for the number of repeats on the leg, none.
Notes/Comments: I loved the pattern, although due to circumstances it took me from August until now (the end of December) to finish them. I worked them one-at-a-time on two circular needles, instead of my usual two-at-a-time. BIG MISTAKE! Lesson now learnt.

At least my mum will be getting one of the knitted gifts I'd intended to give her. Sigh!

I've now moved on to my brother's birthday present. I can't show anything here yet, just in case he reads this, so I'll see you on the 29th of this month!

I hope you will have/did have a happy Christmas/Chanukah/Hannukhak/Hanuka/I give up - how do you spell it?/Solstice/naked bonfire dancing/general festive shin-dig. (Delete as appropriate).
8:15 pm :: 2 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink

A (knitting) revelation

Friday, December 16, 2005
The first pair of Cigar Gloves are done:

cg 001


cg 002

But that's not the great news! I had an apiphany! I think the reason my wrist "went" was due to working with metal needles. During knitting the fingers I switched to a set of Brittany Birch dpn's I'd bought earlier this year. OMG! Seriously - it was like knitting with air. They were amazing! I've a feeling that 2006 will be "The Year of Selling Metal Needles" followed by "The Year of Buying Wooden Needles".

For all the nauseating yarn, needles and pattern details, scoot over to the Dyed in the Wool FO blog.

I'm now debating whether I should plough on with Amble socks, or make a start on Cigar Gloves number 2. I think we all know that the socks should be done first, since they are the oldest (and I haven't even cast on for the gloves yet).


Zero progress since Sunday, and I've resigned myself to it being late. My poor mum! It's always her stuff that gets done last, because she's so reasonable about the whole thing. I'll still wrap it and give her a present, but I'll include an IOU!

The Poll is still open (see this post) and at the time of going to press we have YES 70%, NO 0% and I'LL WAIT 30%.

Thanks for all the "Congratulations" on my exam results. Hopefully, 2006 should be a heck of a lot easier, although pretty much all of the year will be self-directed. I have to come up with my own project topic (Science in Society) and create a massive essay. Help!
9:51 pm :: 3 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink


Thursday, December 15, 2005
I passed both my courses!

The results were supposed to be up tomorrow, but I thought I'd chance my arm tonight and they were in!


  • Exam - 53%
  • Continuous assessment - 67%

Infectious Diseases:

  • Exam - 56%
  • Continuous Assessment - 61%

Phew! Considering that my mantra for the exams was "I only need 40%", I'm overjoyed with the results!

Only one more year to go before I can add BSc (Hons) Natural Science (Open) to the end of my name!

Obligatory knitting content:

My wrist is healing well and I'm three full fingers, two half thumbs and two half fingers away from finishing the first pair of cigar gloves.
4:41 pm :: 6 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink

War wounds

Monday, December 12, 2005

A combination of the cigar gloves on Saturday and Arien on Sunday. Humph.

So, all I have to show for progress is this:

Don't worry - the intended recipient doesn't have wrists that size - it's just my support strapping!

Instead of knitting, I will showcase some sewing (only as links to images in case a certain someone, who's ego is now the size of a house since he "got" knitting, is looking) :

Item 1 - Photo 1 and photo 2: (David - don't look. I'm serious. Quit it! If you look, you won't get the birthday cake I promised I'd make you. Do you want the mini boob cake? Do you?)

Items 2 and 3:
A pocket-pencil holder, and a toolbag for crosshead and flathead screwdrivers.

Lifted wholesale from Bagatell, because I liked it.

Julememe, translated.

Eggedosis eller kakao? What the heck is eggedosis in English? It's like eggnog without the milk... just sugar and raw egg. All I can think is SALMONELLA! Oh, the question is - that stuff or hot chocolate?

Hot chocolate, because I can't really drink alcohol (health reasons)

Pakker nissen gavene eller bare legger han dem under treet? Does Santa wrap the presents or does he just put them under the tree?

I wrap the presents and get a bad back for it in the process!

Fargede eller hvite lys på treet? Colored or white lights on the tree?

Coloured for kitch, but white for class (and erm... they're cheaper too!)

Henger du opp "mistletoe"? Do you hang up mistletoe?

No - it's a very precious plants and I wouldn't want to risk making it even more endangered (sorry, not very sexy, but it's how I feel!)

Når begynner du å pynte? When you you start decorating?

I put bits and pieces up around the second week of December, but the main sparkles go up around the 23rd or the 24th.

Hva er din favorittmat i julen? What's your favorite food at Christmas?

Sprouts (and that, I know, will divide people)

Favorittminne fra julen som barn? Favorite memory from Christmas as a child?

The one Christmas we didn't have to go to my grandma's. It was horrible as a child to have to get dressed up, leave the house, wait until 1 'o' clock to eat, sit through the Queen's Speech and then get to open the presents (in regimented order). Blegh.

Når og hvordan lærte du at nissen ikke finnes? When and how did you find out that Santa didn't exist?

For any children reading - he does exist - really he does. However, I worked out that it was highly unlikely that a reindeer-powered flying sleigh would be able to deliver presents to all the children in the world. Plus, starving kids in Africa don't get pressies do they? So, one year, I proposed an experiment and I waited up to see who would deliver the stocking to the end of my bed. It was my Dad! I didn't let on, becuase I knew that it meant something to the adults! Gawd, I was a weird child.

Åpner du gaver på julaften? Do you open presents on Christmas eve?

No, never.

Hvilke kaker setter du ut til nissen? What type of cookies do you set out for Santa?

We don't do that in this country. We leave out Mince Pies and a glass of some sort of alcohol.

Snø! Elsker eller hater? Snow! Love it or hate it?

Love it!

Kan du gå på skøyter? Can you ice skate?

No. I've a feeling I'd fall flat on ... something!

Hva er din aller beste julegave? What's your ideal Christmas present?

In fantasy - for my parents to have good health and no money worries. In reality, books and yarn!

Hva er det viktigste med julen for deg? What's the most important thing about Christmas to you?


Hva er din favorittdessert i julen? What's your favorite dessert at Christmas?

Not traditional, but tiramasu.

Hva er din beste tradisjon i jula? What's your best tradition at Christmas?

Giving my grandma the same kind of chocolates she's had at christmas since the year dot.

Hva har du på toppen av juletreet? What's on top of your Christmas tree?

A yellow, sequin-embellished, star, sewn by me.

Hva foetrekker du? Gi eller få gaver? What do you prefer? Giving or getting presents?

I love both, but to choose one, I'd have to say giving.

Beste julesang? Best Christmas song?

I can't remember the title, but I think it's an Emerson, Lake and Palmer song with the line "The Christmas you get, you deserve". It always makes me cry! Either that, or Bells End by The Darkness!


Hmm.... marzipan. But only if it's wrapped around Batternburg cake!

And, finally ...

Look what David did next:

He cast on, and got going himself. I'm so proud! We actually did communal knitting!

Hopefully (where have I said that before?) I should have the first pair of cigar gloves done by next post. So, if I don't post until the 26th, you'll know why!

9:46 am :: 0 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink

It finally happened

Saturday, December 10, 2005
After years of nagging cajoling suggesting that I teach my (not so) little brother to knit, yesterday this happened:

10-12-05 001
My brother's first knitting!

Not bad, huh! Until 17:45 on Friday, he had never picked up a pair of needles in his life. I'm doubly proud because he has dyspraxia, which means he has difficulty with fine motor control and he is clumsy. I taught him continental, because I thought that having permanent hold of the needles would be best for him. I also taught him "in, round, through, off" to help him remember where he was up to.

I started him off on ten stitches, and he's only managed to lose one so far (he actually knit two together!) so I think he's doing really well. UPDATE: he's now on 11 stitches! Genius!

And yes, ladies, he is straight and single!

Cigar Gloves #1:

10-12-05 002
Progress as of about 12:30pm on Saturday.

I'd hoped to be further on than this, considering that there are 14 days to go, but I hope to have them finished by (possibly) Monday.


Not much blog-worthy progress here, but I am nearly done with ball number 9. I seem to be getting about 8 cm/3.25 inches per ball (over about 200 stitches per row) which means with 6 balls left, I should get about 48 cm/20 inches more. That means a finished length of ... whoooh ... 65 cm (that's around 26"). I had a look at the Berroco pattern library and that length seems to be about right for a hip-ish-length cardigan. I suspect it will sag slightly because the yarn is a cotton/acrylic mix and therefore doesn't have much elastic memory.

10-12-05 003
The amount of knitting per ball.

New blog:

I've set up a new blog for my finished objects (FOs). I'll still keep my home page up, because I'm not going to add items to the new blog retrospectively.

I'll see you the other side of the weekend with (I hope) my first pair of finished Cigar Gloves.
9:02 pm :: 2 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink

I'm never leaving the house again...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005
For the first time in ages, I was well enough to "go to the village" (not a euphemism!). Four days later I developed what can best be described as gastric flu. This was, of course, exacerbated by the news that my maternal grandfather had been taken to hospital almost two years to the day that my other grandfather died. Needless to say, I didn't cope with the news well. I don't know how ill he really is**, but this was in the same week in which legendary footballer George Best, 34 year old Rally Driver Richard Burns and my next-door neighbour's 16 year old cat all died. Oh, yes, and my parent's mortgage company insist that the 900-odd quid over the amount they thought they owed were charges from the beginning of the 20 year mortgage!!!!! My mum is now launching an official complaint with the company, but in the meantime they will have to pay the money. That's something they can ill-afford right now. Not a very good seven days...


Progress so far:

Click for a slightly bigger picture

Ball count: 8/15 (those that have been used) - which means I've got seven left. I should make it, shouldn't I? My mum wants a "Kidney-warmer" cardigan, also known as ar*e-length! I did a quick calculation as to the finished width and it is (in the words of one of my favourite films, "My Cousin Vinny") dead-on-balls-accurate!

And now a wee question:

Would you be interested in the rough notes for Arien?
I'll wait to see what it looks like first!

Free polls from Pollhost.com

The notes I put up would be very rough and sketchy and they would just be the raw numbers that I used. If you've ever knit one of Stef Japel's designs, you should be able to figure it out! At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, I'd really recommend Knitting from the Top.


I was knitting these when my Grandma phoned on Saturday, so I've only done to just before the heel flap:

Cigar Gloves:

I've made a start on parte the first:

Can you stand the excitement? They could be almost anything - socks, sleeves, two tiny hats ...

And Nona - I have actually done one third of those items I promised (for peaceful palms), but I just can't show them yet. OK?

Winter Knitty

If you're a knitter on the internet, you probably already know that the new knitty is out, but for what it's worth, here's my review:
A bit ... mehh ... for my tastes.
For a little insight, the following are designs I could see myself making (sometime, maybe):

  • Boogie Time (because of my allergies I can't wear normal watches, so this will be made)
  • Tubey (I'm one of those hot/cold people, so this could actually be quite practical for me)
  • Cheesy Puffs (for my dad as is or for my brother as a jacket)
  • Spike scarf - lovely, lovely. I love it!
And does the Mrs. Beeton pattern look familiar?

** The opening paragraph was written on Sunday and Monday. My mum spoke to my Grandpa on Monday night and he's now back home and still has his "sense of humour" - so he seems to be good!
1:46 pm :: 2 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink


Saturday, December 03, 2005
Yet Another Knit A-Long!

This time, it's a hat-based one called "If the Hat Fits". I joined because on Monday and Tuesday I did this:

30-11-05 00930-11-05 012

sirdar denim ultra hat 002sirdar denim ultra hat 003

And busted my wrist in the process. Humph. Knitting with super-thick yarn on US15 needles hurts.

Yarn: Sirdar Denim Ultra Chunky in Heather
Needles: Size US15/10 mm (precisely 9.95 mm) Denise Interchangeable set
Pattern: my own Harry Hat one (again)

Your Personality Profile

You are dependable, popular, and observant.
Deep and thoughtful, you are prone to moodiness.
In fact, your emotions tend to influence everything you do.

You are unique, creative, and expressive.
You don't mind waving your freak flag every once and a while.
And lucky for you, most people find your weird ways charming!
The World's Shortest Personality Test

Pretty accurate, I think!

Arien cardigan:

Woo-hoo! Sleevage!

arien 002

arien 003

I forgot to take account of the cables pulling the fabric in when I calculated the number of stitches at the wrist and therefore the rate of decrease. I wasn't a huge problem, I just dropped down a few stitch to un-do a decrease a few rows below and everything was fine.


I've been working on them on-and-off because I can't knit them whilst watching anything significant on TV, and I tend to want to complete an entire pattern repeat in one sitting. That aside, this is the progress I've made:

Not too bad!

I photographed the first sock with it, just to prove (to myself?) that I really had started the second one!

The new Six Sox pattern is now up, and it's a Shadow-knit sock with a heart motif.

I'm not a big "heart" fan, especially after I found out what it is a representation of (and it ain't your heart), but I think I've come to terms with it and since they are only socks, I think I could live with it!

This post was brought to you by the Sciatic Nerve, an orthapedic mattress and the wireless internet! Humph again.
12:43 pm :: 1 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink