Wednesday, 10 December 2008


So I am finally knitting a Clapotis. I asked my sister what she wanted for her birthday (just before christmas) and she said she wanted a red scarf - a pashmina style one. She then said "I'd love for you to knit me one but I'm sure you don't have time". Well, she's right there, I have plenty to be knitting for myself, but how could I turn that down?! I immediately thought of Clapotis as it is sort of pashmina-like. So I sent her a link to the pattern and she really liked it. I asked around for suggestions for organic yarn that would work for this without costing the earth, and ended up with some Fleece Artist Organic Wool in a semi-solid red. It's going well! No way it will be finished for Christmas though...

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Zak and Bellatrix

Originally uploaded by cob_web

Finally a photo of the first finished Bellatrix sock. Well, the ribbing needs re-doing, but still....

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


I am mildly obsessed with knitting my new socks (Rav link), which are Bellatrix socks (another Rav link). So much so that I am getting a callous on my left first finger where I push the needle. I'm using thinner needles than I ever have before, which was a little scary at first.

No real pics yet as its not light enough when I leave for work and too dark when I get home...

The main problem is that the cast-on is way too tight. I have unpicked it a bit, and it doesn't appear to be about to unravel on me, nor can I see any "live" stitches.... but I'm not convinced. The sparse advice I got on Ravelry (my posts on the main boards always sink really quickly) is to cut into the sock before the ribbing and knit back up from there. I think I'm going to finish and check I have enough before I do that.

On the other hand, if they aren't going to come apart, is there any harm in just unpicking some of the cast-on and leaving it as it is?

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

New Project

Originally uploaded by cob_web

These socks are going to be Bellatrix socks, knit with my Snarky yarns Zak and Sara.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Finished Socks!

Originally uploaded by cob_web

I FINALLY finished Matt's Red Socks. They were quite boring as he wanted PLAIN socks, and his feet are big! (well, not really, but big compared to mine!). As such they have taken me ages, and were not really my main project at any point.

But I'm really pleased to have them finished, and I think Matt likes them.

I didn't keep good notes on the first sock, which I kind of made up, vaguely following the Yarn Harlot's recipie. As such I ended up knitting the 2nd one too long and had to rip some rows out. OWCH. I really hate ripping socks! Picking up the stitches again was horrible!

Monday, 3 November 2008

Knitting Woe

Argh! So I finished knitting Flicca last night, only to discover that I've put the buttons in completely the wrong locations.

The whole thing is sewn up and the ends weaved in. I can't undo it :-(

Is there any way of making an "after thought" button hole?

Monday, 13 October 2008

Finished Fetching

Originally uploaded by cob_web

I finally finished my thank you gloves! These are for Cat, who made my wedding dress :-) No mods!

Monday, 22 September 2008

Knitting Dilemma

Argh! A friend gave me the new computer game Spore on Friday and I am now addicted, and it is eating up my knitting time.

The other dilemma is that while I have lots of projects on the needles right now (Matt’s socks , Flicca , Sheldon ) it suddenly occurred to me that the best thank you token I could give to the person making my wedding dress would be to make her something in return. I have a ball of purple yarn I bought ages ago to make myself a pair of fetchings, and being of elegant gothic persuasion I thought a pair of purple fingerless gloves would suit her well for the coming autumn. I know she walks to work now.

Having said that red is more her colour, but I only have nasty acrylic in red. Which wouldn’t make nice gloves. I am going to hobbycraft on my way home today so I shall see if they have anything red, if not it shall be purple.

I really don’t think I can get these done by Saturday though, especially with Spore on my mind… :-D

Thursday, 21 August 2008


Of course, now I'm having such fun with my Swift I really REALLY want a ball winder.

Are they available ANYWHERE In the UK for less than £30 once you've paid postage? There are cheapish ones on eBay but they are all in the US charging £15 postage....

Wednesday, 20 August 2008


So I finally bought myself a yarn swift, so that I could skein up some yarn I'm dying - which although I bought it from a yarn dying website, arrived in BALLS.

Its lovely :-)

Posted by Picasa

Friday, 15 August 2008


So Flicca is on hold while I mull over buttons. I think I'll probably go with the smaller ones, though I wish they were bigger. I'm knitting MAtt's socks. I don't think I'll be making him socks again for a while. He likes plain yarn and plain stitching and his feet are bigger than mine...

Meanwhile the yarn has arrived for my dying commission from Tolly. It looks like lovely yarn but... its in BALLS. I bought it from a hand-dying website and they've sent it BALLED!! Arse. I was thinking of buying a swift anyway, but it looks like I need to get one sooner than I thought.

I'm off to London tomorrow for a day out with friends. I doubt I'll have a chance to go to iKnit, but I'm not going to order anything tonight. I wonder if Waterloo has a left luggage facility, then I could go in earlier and go to iKnit before meeting my friends - but I don't want to lug a swift around all day...

Sunday, 10 August 2008


What buttons should I use for flicca do you think?

I've got three big brown wooden ones:

Or 4 smaller black and silver ones:


Sunday, 3 August 2008

Pain is...

Picking up 88 stitches, knitting them, then finding your rib is wrong and you have to take it all out again...

Thursday, 31 July 2008

I'm not dead

Just busy frogging.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate picking up stitches? I finally got the number of stitches right, and now I've got to wait and do a few rows before I can see if the ribbing resolves itself and stops looking shit. I've found one gaping hole, but if there is just one I'll just sew it up....

bah humbug.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008


Penny tagged me!

The Rules: Each player answers the five questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1. What I was doing 10 years ago:
10 years ago I was 19, adn would have just finished my first year exams at Bristol Uni. I was studying Environmental Geoscience and was very releived to have passed Chemistry. I was going out with Phil (started going out with Matt in Oct/Nov '98) and was probably back at home already working at Laura Ashley in Aylesbury for the summer. Which sucked.

2. What 5 things are on on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
Finish my letter to the Planner I'm working for
Respond to comments on a piece of work I did without saying "you are a twat" too many times
Do the financial reporting for all my current jobs
Do the weekly Sainsbury's shop

3. Snacks I enjoy:
toffee waffles (I think these are the same as stroopwaffles)
vegetable crisps
dark chocolate

4. Things I would do if I was a billionaire:
buy every book I wanted
buy a bigger house in a cooler area
Give lots of money to charities I care about
Work part time

5. Places I have lived:
Buckinghamshite (that is a genuine typo there...)

I should tag 5 people, but I think almost every knit-blog I read has done this already! If you haven't, please consider this a nomination. :-)

Sunday, 8 June 2008

My poor, neglected blog

Hello knit blog!

Well, Flicca is taking me an age, and with all the sport on the telly at the moment I haven't been knitting much (I like knitting infront of the TV - but I don't like sport! We only have one TV).

I have instead been doing more reading. I'm half way through the Night Watch Trilogy by Sergei Lukyanenko. Its kind of trashy but cool nevertheless. Its certainly ticking my fantasy-but-not-sword-and-sorcery-quest-epics boxes at any rate. I have read half of the 2nd book (The Day Watch) just today (lets see, it was Moto GP, Tennis, Football, Formula1, Cricket, and now more football....) so when I popped into Farnborough (more on that in a mo) I went into WHSmiths, and luckily they had the 3rd book there on the shelf... hurrah!

I went to Farnborough as it is my nearest ASDA, and there were rumors on Ravelry that they were selling foam jigsaw pieces that could be used as a blocking board for cheapness. They were! I got one pack, but nearly bought 2... but I don't do lace and just wanted an alternative to covering the floor in towels, which get soggy. So £9 bought me a "noughts and crosses" board of 9 tiles that make nearly 1m square.

As for actually knitting, well Flicca is progressing. The back and fronts are blocked and dry and I'm on the 2nd sleeve.

flicca back

Matt's socks are still in limbo, although they are further along than when this pic was taken:


Sheldon has returned! He was on holiday with my mum as she can actually crochet, and was going to do a few more rows on his shell-bottom for me. She visited yesterday for a trip to a Silk shop in Guildford, and returned him. So I need to try and master the i-cord join thing that defeated me before.

Sheldon in process

So I think once Flicca is done I shall finish poor old Sheldon, then tackle Matt's socks (they are just so dull, he wanted PLAIN socks, so they are red and stst...).

After that I must knit up my Zak and Sara into socks for ME! I'm currently thinking Bellatrix or Slip-up socks - any thoughts?


Saturday, 24 May 2008

Yarn for sale

Just a quick reminder about my hand-dyed yarn website :-)

flicca back

flicca back
Originally uploaded by cob_web

This is the back of Flicca. It is now on the floor of the spare room blocking. AKA soaking the carpet...

Taken with my brand new camera :-)

I'm into the 2nd 3rd of the fronts now. I say fronts because I had the genius idea of knitting them both at the same time on one needle so they would match. Why I didn't do that with the solitary sleeve which is staring at me forlornly I don't know. Especially as I modded the sleeve... oh well!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

drying yarn

Originally uploaded by cobweb_yarns
More dying!

Thursday, 1 May 2008

More dying

Ubik Version 2:

ubik v2_4

ubik v2_1

ubik v2_2

Sunshine (Sold already!):



Thursday, 24 April 2008

Yarn for sale

I have two skeins of hand-dyed sock yarn for sale. I have offered them up on my favourite forum (no, not Ravelry!) and sold two, but these are still up for grabs. Martian Timeslip is my favourite, and I will be sad to see it go! Chaos was a bit of a disaster and I don't think anyone will want it. I may try over-dying it with grey to mute the colours and even them out. But anyway, thought I'd offer them up in here if anyone was interested. I don't knit fast enough to use all this yarn I'm going to end up dying!

£10 (ONO) inc postage. Martian Timeslip is a base yarn from DT-crafts (75% bluefaced leicester, 25% nylon), Chaos is Trekking XXL (75% new wool, 25% nylon).

Martian Timeslip:







grey lady 2
Originally uploaded by cobweb_yarns
I called this one Grey Lady and made it on the request of someone from the Cowshed. It didn't turn out quite how I wanted but its not bad! Hope the person likes it :-)

Tuesday, 22 April 2008


Not much to report recently. I had a small dying disaster at the weekend, but I haven't taken photos yet. People may like them more than I so I shall still offer them for sale.

Sold some yarn to the lovely Gok from the cowshed - can't wait to see it knitted up!

Matt gets to go to Vancouver in a couple of weeks for a conference. I am INSANELY jealous. Currently planning a shopping list for him. Any suggestions on the yarn front? He may not have time, but its looking like he might have 3 FREE days, so he bloody well better manage to fit in a bit of compensational shopping on my behalf!

Had my first attempt at felting a couple of weeks ago. It was a bit of a disaster, I promose to post a full report.

Matt's socks are boring me (stocking stitch socks are fine with self-patterning/variagated yarn. Less so with plain!) and flicca is progressing slowly.

Monday, 31 March 2008


So here is the big photo shoot of the results of my yarn dyeing adventure! Photo heavy as I couldn't choose which ones to post :-)

I haven't re-skeined as I don't have a swift. I've called the green/blue one Ubik and the black/purple/pink one Martian Timeslip as I've been reading a lot of Philip K Dick recently.

Lots of photos:






Sunday, 30 March 2008

Yarn Dying

So this afternoon I tried out the Procion Dyes (fibre-reactive) I bought with my birthday money. I had two skeins of sock yarn (75% blue-faced Leicester, 25% nylon) and 8 colours to play with.

I'd heard that black was hard to do but had an idea of doing a black/purple/pink yarn in my head, so decided to go for it.

So first you soak the yarn in water with the appropriate amounts of salt and fixer. I used citric acid as it smells much less than vinegar.


After 45 minutes you take the yarn out and squeeze out the excess water. The damper you leave it the more the dyes will bleed.

While it was soaking I made up my dye solutions. I worked out I needed about 500ml of dye in total for each skein, but had lots left over. I made up 200ml of each colour, slightly stronger than suggested as my measuring spoons didn't go small enough. So my black was a bit stronger than 2% and the others were a bit stronger than 1%. For the black/purple/pink yarn I laid it out on a bin-liner to give myself enough space to get the colours right and applied the dye there.


Then I put the skein into an oven-dish and cooked at 140 degrees C for 30 minutes.


I seem to have forgotten to take a photo of my second attempt, which is blue and green. I used the pure blue and green, and then darkened 2nd batches with the black and made it much more random and variegated. It should come out almost semi-solid. We'll see! The skeins are drying in the airing cupboard over night.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008


Originally uploaded by cob_web

Hooray! I have dying stuff! Very exciting. I have 8 colours. Red, yellow and blue (obviosuly). Purple, as its my favourite colour and apparently hard to create without the dye splitting. Black, becuase I like black. Green because nice greens are hard to mix, brown because its useful for toning down colours, and pink just becuase.

Thursday, 20 March 2008


Oooh, we might be going to London on saturday. We get into Waterloo. which is where iKnit has just moved to. I might have to go and see... not that I need anything knitting-wise at the moment. But I have to go and LOOK don't I?!

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Sirdar click fault

Sirdar click fault
Originally uploaded by cob_web

Argh! I'm knitting the back of Flicca - thats 125 stitches. Half way through a row I find THIS in the yarn. A huge slub of untwisted yarn.

I tried knitting with it and knit back across to see what it would look like, but its totally noticeable.

Not cool, Sirdar, not cool at all.

I just have to hope there aren't too many of these or I won't have enough yarn! I bought an extra ball.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

New blogs

I love knitting blogs. I have loads of them in GoogleReader, and it is a constant source of amusement to my boss that I often spend my lunch time reading them (I think he secretly likes it as it proves I am nearly as much of a geek as him).

Anyway, I have just discovered a new one that has amused me so much I had to share. Welcome, friends, to the half-assed knit blog. Which is just made of win, and has majorly distracted me from my own knitting this evening.

Despite getting the internet back after a few days sans router (hooray! *pats the internets*) I have not spent my whole evening online and made some decent progress on the Flicca sleeve and have made the first lot of decreases.

My So-called Flicca

Originally uploaded by cob_web

This is the start of a sleeve for Flicca. For the first time ever I've ha da problem with Guage. I know, had to happen at some point, right?

I started knitting the sleeve on the recommended needles (7mm), thinking that it would do as a swatch, since I never have problem with guage anyway...

Now, I'm making the sleeves a bit narrower than the pattern as they are HUGE, but I had worked out how wide my mods should make them. They were coming out significantly smaller than they should have been... so I got nervous.

And frogged :-(

So I decided to knit a swatch on 8mm needles. but then ignored what it told me and cast on with them. Which was risky. meanwhile I realised I should probably wash and block said swatch as rib is a funny old thing.

The next day I measured the newly dried swatch and discovered its still a bit off. I'm getting 14 st to 10cm rather than 12.

Oh well. I come up between two sizes anyway so I'm going to knit the bigger one and hopefully it will be OK.


Why yes, I probably am completely insane.

The advantage is that the yarn (Sirdar Click Chunky) is 70% acrylic and 30% wool, so it stands up to frogging and reknitting very well.

Of course, the irony is that by the time I finish this it will be summer! I'm also now glad that Matt's socks are plain stst, as rib sends me slightly loopy and the whole thing is ribbed.

I seem to be having a red phase, as M's socks are red too. They clash horribly together though.

ION I'm thinking of buying some procion dyes and sock yarn to have a go at more dying. The place I'm looking at buying from recommends a book, which I'm tempted to get.. but I'm wondering if there are any detailed blogs or websites out there that might be useful without paying for a book? Any ideas?

Shop I'm looking at is here:
Book they recommend is here:

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Birthday Stuff

Finally had sort-of enough light to take a photo of knitting-related birthday goodies!


I got a years sub to Interweave Knits (the other mag is one my mum bought by mistake!), a set of harmony dpns (which are lovely) and some fun plastic needles.

Close up of the lovely harmonys...


Plus the yarn for my Flicca has arrived:


Sirdar Click Chunky in a new colour (called merlot I think).

And a WIP:


Sunday, 2 March 2008

Socks - help?

OK, I'm trying to knit Matt some socks. Obviously Matt is a MAN. So I can't exactly follow the pattern as I have been as he is bigger than women, which seem to be who sock patterns are written for.

I roughly worked out how many stitches to cast on and merrily did so... only to find that when I had done a round of 2x2 ribbing that I had a problem. I finishedwith 2 knit stitches. But of course, I STARTED with 2 K st too... which would mean I had a wide strip in my ribbing. Bah. I cast on 70st, so I'm trying to think of some kind of rule. half of 70 is 25, which is odd. If I had cast on 72 or 68 st, half of those numbers is odd. So do I just need to stick to a number which when divided by 2 is even for the ribbing to work? ETA: Aber has pointed out the blindingly obvious. Both the fact that I was clearly searching for the fact that the stitches need to be divisible by 4, and that 2x2 rib is just a pattern repeat over 4 stitches... so CLEARLY you need a number divisble by 4. Doh!

I'm going to rip and be good and do a swatch. I got the harmony dpn set for my birthday today so have a nice range of sock needles finally. Before I only had a 2.25mm set, so was knitting every thing on those. I realised today that all my patterns (and the Opal yarn) are all written for 2.5mm so tis not really surprising that my jaywalkers are too tight is it?!

So other than the making sure my cast on number results in an even number when divided by two, does anyone have any tips for deciding how many to cast on? I measured Matt's leg at the point where the socks he was wearing came to, and it was 23 cm. Just in case that helps! The Yarn Harlot seems to suggest casting on about an inch-worth's less than the required size so they don't fall down. So that would mean making it 20.5cm I guess...

I'd like to try short row heels again rather than doing a heel flap. Are there any good web tutorials? The first socks I did were SR heels, but they were badly written and put me off. Since then I've done the heel flap and picked up the stitches, which is fine, but I hate picking up stitches....

Friday, 29 February 2008

Hand dyed yarn

squid square2
Originally uploaded by cob_web

This is a mitred square knitting up with my hand-dyed yarn. Its not as crazy as I'd thought it would be! Its also less blue. I've never knit a mitred square before. Its erm, not very square without being pinned to within an inch of its life.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008


Originally uploaded by cob_web

Finally finished. If I were to knit this pattern again I'd probably make the next size up as they are very snug. Great pattern. I make no appologies for them clearly not matching, I didn't even TRY.

I think this pattern would be better on a more variagated yarn. The thick stripes in this one don't work that well. I'm not a huge fan of this colourway at all to be honest.

My first attempt at dying

Originally uploaded by cob_web

I went a bit mad, I admit! The lovely forchette (on Ravelry and the CowShed) sent me some white sock yarn and some "easter egg dyes". These I presume are a bit like food colouring, but they come in tablets.

So I made the balls into skeins (not realising that 50g aint enough for a pair of socks and I'd have to dye the two the same, so they are different sizes). This bit is boring and tediuos and results in a painful arm.

Then you soak the yarn in luke-warm water for half an hour to open up the fibres. Meanwhile I prepared the dyes. I used 2 tablets of each colour and dissoved them in 250ml boiling water with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Obviosuly you let them cool before sticking your yarn in.

I laid out a bin liner and sqeezed most of the water out of the yarn and laid the skeins out. I put the smaller one inside the bigger one so they are vaguely similar. I had in mind a lovely subtle blue and purple colour scheme, but the colours you get are red, blue, green, orange and yellow. I wasn't quite sure if mixing the red and blue would create purple or not. So erm, I couldn't resist using ALL the colours.

I had bought a turkey baster for 90p in Sainsbury's, but it was rubbish and I had to stick my finger over the end or the dye came striaght out again.

Still, it was pretty easy and less messy than I expected as the yarn sucked up most of the liquid like a sponge.

Once I was happy I squeezed out most of the water (the dye sticks to the yarn and leaves a mostly clear water) and put the yarn in a deep baking tray, covered this in foil and baked in the oven for an hour at 80 degrees C. That bit would be much easier if you have a microwave.

After the heating, I squeezed out more water and hung them to dry overnight in the airing cupboard. The next day I rinsed them out, using a small amount of baby shampoo. Then they were left to dry again for 2 days.

Easy really! I think I am addicted though....

Saturday, 23 February 2008

My Fashionable Life?

I'm thinking of asking Matt for the yarn to knit Flicca:

My Fashionable Life: Flicca pattern

For my birthday. Sirdar Click Chunky is pretty cheap (~£2 a ball) but this takes around 20 balls!

Has anyone else knit this? I'd want to add some buttons, like this (ravelry link) I think, but I've never done buttons before. Anyone know of any tutorials?

Anyone else knit this? Its rather big given my slow knitting speed! I think its nice, but I'm not well known for my fashion sense...

Wednesday, 20 February 2008


socks to dye
Originally uploaded by cob_web

Look what I got!

I sent a lovely lady from the Cowshed forum a handbag clasp I got free with Simply Knitting as I knew I would never use it. In return she sent me some white sock wool and some easter egg dyes so I can have a go at some hand dying! How lovely is that? The easter egg dyes are similar to koolaid I think, and her results have been stunning. I don't have a microwave so setting the dye is going to be interesting. I have instructions on how to do it in the oven, but I don't want to dye my dishes! LOL I might see if I can get some of those large disposable tin foil trays.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

more woes

Last night was one step forward two steps back in knitting terms. I picked up all the stitches I'd ripped out and started knitting the rib border again. I had the exact same problem (big holes at the point of the V) and was ready to rip it out again when I realised the problem and was able to fix it. Where the V splits you have to start a new ball of yarn for one side. I hadn't secured the end of this yarn as I wanted to make the whole thing as easy to frog as possible in case it doesn't fit its recipient. Once I had tightened this up the hole mostly went.

Then came the next problem. The ribbing is k1p1 with a decrease either side of the central stitch on each row. So on one side the decreases are knit decreases, on the next purl decreases.

Somehow (goodness knows how, I counted many times) I had ended up with an odd number of stitches on one side. So when I got the the decrease section the ribbing was out of sync. At this point I had managed 2 rows.




I managed to pick up the stiches without having to go back to the crochet hook (which is the only way I can actually pick up new stitches) but then the first row took me ages because I managed to pick up all the stitches backwards so had to untwist each one as I went.

So there is one row of ribbing done. 2 more to go, the ribbing for both sleeves and the sewing up to do. Ideally by the end of today. I'm pretty sure thats not possible. Its certainly making it very hard to concentrate at work today.

Monday, 11 February 2008


Last night I did the dreaded picking up of stitches along the V-neck. Today I sat here and started the ribbing. Which looked awful to begin with last time. This time however it was a disaster. I had to rip out the whole thing :-( I want to get it finished by Thursday, but I just can' tface it at the moment. *sigh*

I hate picking up stitches.

Sunday, 10 February 2008


So, I'm knitting Forever Green (Ravelry link) again for my sister, and thought I'd post about somthing that bugged me the last I did it, and is bugging me even more now I'm knitting it for someone else.

Its the decreases. The first photo -->

shows the GOOD side, where I have used K2tog along the V-neck line. This looks fine.

The problem is shown in the 2nd picture below. I followed the advice in SnB and mirrored the decreases, so on the other side I used SSK.

As you can see it looks crap. Not a nice neat change in direction as in picture one.

What am I doing wrong?