Saturday, 5 June 2010


Saturday morning at the Women's Institute cafe

knitting in the garden

I'm going through a bit of a knitting phase at the moment. It started when a friend gave me £30 of vouchers for this lovely wool shop for my 30th birthday. I decided I'd like a new cardigan, then spent ages in there trying to choose wool, then even more ages trying to find a pattern to knit, and then lots of trips to the shop being told I needed to know things like tension, and needle size, and length of wool needed, not just the number of balls.

Hmm - seems I've got a bit to learn then.

Anyway, I finally settled on a pattern for my cardigan - tea leaves - after seeing it here. Pretty straightforward, I thought - and then realised it's knit on circular needles. Aha, another thing to learn.

Being impatient, and not given to following instructions, I started it on straight needles. I even managed to knit a few rows of 360 stitches (!) on straight needles (although I was too scared to put it down in case all the stitches fell off, so had to sit for 2 hours to knit those rows - hmm).

Finally, an old friend who will be taking me to my new knitting club took pity on me, and very kindly gave me two sets of circular needles. So now I'm all set, and things are progressing nicely.

The wool is Stylecraft pure luxury merino in 'kingfisher' (which this photo doesn't do justice to), and it's ever so lovely to knit with. I've never bought new yarn before, so it really is a luxury!

Anyway, this cardigan and the consequent flurry of knitting, combined with the discovery that you can order and reserve things online at my local library, has sparked a general knitting enthusiasm, and each Saturday I treat myself to a new knitting book from the library. Last week it was Love to Knit by Bronwyn Lowenthal, which has some, erm, slightly quirky items of clothing in, and a rather fetching laced up corset cushion. This week is Greetings from Knit Cafe by Suzan Mischer, which I am already very taken with - particularly the stripey knitted bikini you can see in the top photo (and which I will not be wearing!). Next week's selection will depend on whether what I've ordered turns up - I'll keep you posted.

So, while I actually didn't manage to get to knitting club on my first day at my new job this week, I am managing to turn the 2 hours on the train each day into exclusive knitting time. And next week I'll be spending 10 hours on trains! I reckon this cardi will be ready by July at the rate I'm going...

What are you knitting at the minute? I'd love to see!


  1. What a great colour. You seem to be flying along. I have seen the tea leaves pattern before and it looks great. Well done with the circular needles. I have tried a hat but found them quite difficult. Maybe I will give the cardi a try.

  2. Thanks! I think I'm finding the circular needles easy because what I'm knitting isn't actually circular, lol! It goes backwards and forwards in rows (just l-o-n-g rows). I'm sure I'd be even more baffled if I had to keep going round and round and round...

    I really would recommend this cardi - so far really simple (as long as you can keep track of increasing and decreasing stitches - but pretty easy). I'm sure I'll have far more trouble when I get to the sleeves though - done on double point needles (which I've also never used...)

    Let me know if you do try the cardi!

  3. No knitting for me. BUT I love the cardigan you are working on. What a great pattern. AND what a perfect thing to do with your train time. Emily in So. Texas