Monthly Archives: October 2015

Darkest Deeds At The Ostrich

So I’m sitting and I’m knitting and I’m sipping, in front of a log fire. I hope you are too? Whilst we knit/hook, let me tell you a tale dark enough to be perfect for All Hallows’ Eve. May I please refill your glass whilst I talk?

It concerns an ancient pub. This isn’t the first time that I’ve written about an old inn. (My post about the pub that was in our family for 300 years is here.) But today, we drove 50 miles just to lunch at a very particular pub that my dear father-in-law discovered on his travels some time ago. Its story intrigued us. Keep reading: there’s a truly hair-raising tale approaching, once I’ve set the scene. You won’t be disappointed.

Permit me to introduce… The Ostrich at Colnbrook. (Yes, weird name. Possibly a corruption of ‘hospice’, meaning travellers’ rest.)

the ostrich colnbrook www.thetwistedyarn.com

Looks charming, yes? A typical British coaching inn? But before I acquaint you with its sinister past, allow me to tell you a little about the place. It lays claim to be the third oldest inn in England, originally dating from 1106, although the current building is a mere whippersnapper of a construction at ‘only’ 515 years old. Here’s a model of how it originally looked from the back, before the external gallery disappeared:-

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Let me show you around. Inside, there are splendidly old rooms:-

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(Aaaaaah, British pub carpets: gotta love ’em.)

And details:-

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Exactly how much would you like to know about the place, before I get on to its grizzly past? Let’s aim for a medium level of detail, OK?

Geographically, we’re located in Colnbrook, near Windsor Castle (one of the homes to our monarchy since 1066, WOAH that’s a long time ago), and just west of London. The near-Windsor thingy is significant, because in (many) centuries past, important folks intent on visiting the king/queen would stop off at our fair inn to change their apparel from something travelly to summat a little more audience-with-the-king-y. In our modern world, this place is by a grim outpost of Slough (yes, Slough the concrete doom-world for which John Betjeman wrote ‘Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough’. Slough can be un-lovely. I say that as someone who covered the patch as a forensic clinical psychologist in times past.)

So we came, and we settled ourselves in anticipation of lunch. (In case you’re local, the food was excellent. I can’t fault a place that offers samphire.)image

But there’s more.

All was not always well at this hostelry. Are you sturdy of constitution? You’ll need to be, in order to stomach what comes next. For The Ostrich has a dark past, although the exact date of its darkness is uncertain. But at some point in the Middle Ages, a chap named Jarman was innkeeper. He and his wife were less goodly than their charming manner would suggest. Know-ye that people in those times often travelled with their worldly fortunes stowed about their person, ATMs and internet banking not yet being a ‘thing’. Jarman and his wife (Mrs Jarman? Ms Jarman? Ms Smith?) hatched a wild plan to separate man from fortune. Whenever a rich-looking chap travelling alone would land upon their inn, these evil folks would lodge him in the finest room in the house, which happened to be right above the kitchen. How charming, one might think. Except there was nothing charming in what took place next.

Are you quite certain that you’re ready for this?

For the bed in this fine room, though elegant and four-postered, formed part of a cunning device. When the traveller fell fast asleep after his weary miles, Jarman had only to release a couple of iron pins in the kitchen below to tilt the bed, hurling its somnambulant occupant head-first through a chute into a vat of boiling liquid below. They were dead before they even had time to grumble. Thus silenced, they could be safely robbed by Jarman, and the corpse tossed in the local stream. Anyone questioning the man’s absence at breakfast would be told that he had taken a horse from the stable and rode off early that day. Yikes. Here’s a model of the bed in question:-

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Scary, huh?

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When Jarman was eventually arrested, he confessed to sixty such murders. Whether he was really so prolific or whether the knowledge that he was inevitably to hang loosened his tongue is uncertain, but there is undoubtedly an air of darkness about this place (however delicious the food). Visit at your peril, and above all remain awake…

Perhaps I’ll stick to knitting: it’s much safer.

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When Did ‘Doing Something’ Become Such A Thing?

So it’s our first ever school holiday, at the end of the twinnage’s first ever term of school, and the boys and I are embracing the gentle art of pottering. Unscheduled, routine-free time suits us far too well, and it’s entirely possible that I’ll forget to send them back to school next week. The only downside is that I can’t go running, because the Stoic Spouse is at work and the boys are with me whenever I’m not at work.

But anyway.

Tempting though it is to stay home and crochet whilst reading them stories all day, I figured that we probably ought to Do Something. When did the children Doing Something become such a thing? I’d have rolled my eyes right out of the top of my head if my parents had tried to fill my school holidays with organized and worthy activities. I was far too busy damming the hideously polluted stream at the bottom of the garden, playing in the street with friends, drawing graphs of the changing temperature of our pond at different times and depths (I kid you not), visiting my friend who was skilled in taxidermy by the age of ten, and writing stuff. But then, I’m a maladjusted, curmudgeonly old bint, so what do I know?

Seriously, though, friends keep asking, ‘What are you doing this holiday?’ and I can only mumble ‘Well the laundry pile could use some attention,’ and, ‘There’s a fair-to-middling chance that lunch will be cooked eventually.’ At which point I feel like a rubbish parent for not having scheduled Latin crammers and lessons in ashtanga yoga, let alone an educational trip to Venezuela. Sorry kids, but I’m not that sort of parent.

So instead, we’ve been pottering. And yes, I’ve been knitting and crocheting whilst we do so. Pottering involves mostly time at home with play and books, but also some time on the allotment under the wise guidance of my allotment-mate, who helped us plant onions and broad beans this week:-

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Also, plenty of cooking. The Stoic Spouse cooked partridges (yum!) so I boiled up the bare carcases with leek, carrot, onion, garlic, mushrooms, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and peppercorns to make stock. The boys were fascinated by this strange form of cooking in which you throw all the solid stuff away at the end:-

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Also, there’s been the feeding of chickens at our local farm shop:-

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Oh, and spurred on by allotment activities, we finally got round to digging up the potatoes at home. Digging up potatoes is like unearthing buried treasure to small children. These were the potatoes left to languish below-ground far too long after my IVF-induced apathy this summer, that I guiltily assumed had probably rotted, but surprisingly they came up just fine. Look! That’s dinner sorted…

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Even better, we discovered that our straggly, untended raspberry plants didn’t get the memo about it being too late in the year for fruiting:-

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So in all, nobody has improved their Latin. Nobody has been to Venezuela. A great deal of time has been spent at home. Mummy has been knitting. But you know what? Maybe that’s all OK. Yeah?

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The Crochet Cottage Bag Pattern!

crochet house bag www.thetwistedyarn.com

Well, here it is, at last.

The pattern.

The pattern… for the crochet house shoulder-bag that I designed. It’s been a while coming. Would you like to make one? It’s not that hard, honest, just a little fiddly around the windows. But I’ve explained everything in the pattern. And if you run into any problems, you can always give me a shout. I’m really very, very excited about this thing. Sometimes a crazy idea in your head just works.

house in bits

And it’s free! 🙂

crochet brick stitch www.thetwistedyarn.com

So without further ado, shall we cut the ribbon and commence the unveiling? Yes? Well, the pattern is…… HERE! Just a click on that word, and it can be yours. Enjoy. And on Ravelry, it’s here. ERRATUM: The pattern currently tells you to finish working the grey panels in the door  in row 17, but they should in fact continue up to and including row 23. Then in rows 24 and 25 you just have the plain blue of the door.

Gosh, this might be the shortest blog post I’ve ever published.

Happy hooking, my fine friends.

crochet house bag www.thetwistedyarn.com

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What? Another Blogiversary Already?

…But just before I publish the bag pattern at last, another post has rudely sneaked in front. Because today is TheTwistedYarn’s second blogiversary! Also, this is my 200th post.

www.thetwistedyarn.com cake

OK I confess, this photo is of the cake that the Stoic Spouse secretly commissioned last year, but it was so wonderful that I thought its picture deserved dusting off and airing again, one year on. Man, that cake tasted good. And as surprises go, this was an above-averagely wonderful one. It was made by some folks based in Oxford’s historic Covered Market – the same people who made our wedding cake eight years ago.

So the blog is two years old today! That means it’s reached toddlerdom and will no doubt become stroppy and cantankerous. (The twinnage’s first serious tantrum began right on cue at 8am on their second birthday – spooky, huh?)

No cake this year, and I left work two hours late this evening, but now I’m home with wine and a fire, and all is good.

You're probably a bit fed up with me posting views like this by now.

Low light: low quality photo. Soz.

Just to get sentimental (no, it’s not the wine – I’ve only drunk 2cm down the glass since the above picture was taken), I never imagined the fabulous rollercoaster that blogging would turn out to be. The new friends in real life (including the inspiring Selma, and Alice, and Greenclogs), and friends online (including the wit of Narf, amongst many others). The chatter we’ve had here (I love your comments, I love listening to you all, I love your wisdom). The column for Simply Knitting magazine. The fun with Stylecraft yarns. The patterns I’ve put out, including on Ravelry. The hope that I’ve passed on at least a little bit of confidence to just go and make that crazy, colourful idea that’s been brewing in your head. The knitting/crochet group we formed in the pub after one of my readers realized that we live in the same village from my description of our postman. All of it. It’s all been good.

But my goodness, blogging eats up time, nay devours it in great slurping ill-mannered mouthfuls. I am that weirdo who writes all of my blog posts by hand on, like, paper with a pen, before typing them up, a process not recommended for anyone interested in speed-blogging.

So what’s next? (Other than the bag pattern.) Well I’m sorry to break it to you, but… more along the same lines. And I’m still planning to add the occasional chattery video into the mix, too, once I suss out the technology and once time permits. (Ha, time?! Who needs sleep, anyway? Just hook me up t’that intravenous caffeine and watch me go. And go. And go.)

Finally, may I propose a toast? To friends, across the world. Knitters and crocheters and random people, you’re all pretty cool.

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How To Crochet The Brick Stitch.

Well, noble folks of a fibrous persuasion, I have good news, and I have… good news. Which would you like first? The good news, you say? OK then. Well, I’ve finally finished writing the pattern for the crochet house bag. Hurrah! I’m excited to share it with you (for free), probably tomorrow unless the universe maliciously interferes. I’m conscious that people don’t want to download/print patterns with over a million photos, so the other piece of good (I hope!) news is that today I have put together a tutorial of what I’m calling ‘brick stitch’, the crochet stitch that I semi-designed for the main parts of the bag. I say ‘semi’ because there are very vaguely similar things out there, but this is the brickiest brick stitch that will ever grace your screen. Use it for the bag, or use it for summat else. But anywhere, here it is. By plonking lots of instructional photos here, you’ll be saved the chore of printing out a whole sheaf of ink-sucking photography with your pattern.

crochet brick stitch

crochet brick stitch

You’ll need two colours, a pale taupe for the mortar (M), and a brown for the brick (B).

I’M USING US CROCHET TERMS, OK? (Despite being a Brit.)

Abbreviations:-

st(s) = stitch(es)

sc = single crochet

dc = double crochet

sk = skip

ch = chain

This pattern has an 8-row repeat.

Chain the number of stitches required in shade M. Turn.

1. In M, ch1. Sc all the way across. Turn.

2. In B, ch1. *1sc in the next 3sts. Skip next st and ch1.** Repeat from *→** to end of row. Turn. (This generic pattern takes no account of your number of stitches, so you may well finish somewhere in the middle of this sequence: that’s fine.)

3. In B, ch1. Sc all the way across. Turn. NB, when changing colour, carry the inactive yarn up the side of your work. No need to cut!

4. In M, ch1. *1sc in the next 3sts:-

house bag brick 4

sc in the next 3 stitches

Then, skipping the next stitch on the current row, 1dc into the M-coloured stitch below from row 1 that you skipped in row 2**:-

Work into this skipped stitch

Work into this skipped stitch

Making a dc

Making a dc

Dc done, thus making the vertical portion of mortar between adjacent bricks

Dc done, thus making the vertical portion of mortar between adjacent bricks

Repeat *→** to end of row.

Remember, you're skipping a stitch on the current row to work a dc into the skipped stitch lower down. So you work your next sc into the next-but-one stitch on the current row.

Remember, you’re skipping a stitch on the current row to work a dc into the skipped stitch lower down. So you work your next sc into the next-but-one stitch on the current row.

And... the sc after your dc is complete. Looks neat!

And… the sc after your dc is complete. Looks neat!

5. In M, ch1. 1sc into every st across. Turn.

6. In B, ch1. 1sc. *Sk1 and ch1. 1sc into the next 3sts.** Repeat *→** to end of row. Turn.

7. In B, ch1. 1sc into every st across. Turn.

8. In M, ch1. I sc. *Skipping a st on current row, 1dc into M-coloured st from row 5 that you skipped in row 6. 1sc into the next 3sts.** Repeat *→** to end of row. Turn.

See, easy! And if you can do that (which you can) then you can definitely make the house bag. So do potter back this way in a day or so to see the full pattern…

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Those Carrots

But anyway, back to the knitting/crochet. And also a little bit of embroidery, because working round the garden of that big crochet house-related project, I’ve realized that at this teeny scale, some things are just easier embroidered. Yep, despite taking on such a monstrously bonkers, months-long mega-project, I’m all for making things easy when I can.

So. This garden is going to have a lot of veg. I’ve always preferred growing things you can eat to growing flowers, although let’s not discuss how badly I’ve neglected the allotment thus far. It’s got to the stage where I’m anxious about even going up there, thus procrastinating further. Anyway getting back to the crochet. Right next to the cauliflowers, I decided to plant some carrots. And unless I was going to use a 0.000001mm crochet hook and hair’s-breadth yarn, it just seemed easier to embroider the things. Here’s the first row finished, with the second row waiting for its tops:-

crochet vegetables www.thetwistedyarn.com

Just in case your skillset doesn’t yet include working miniature carrots in yarn (why on earth not?!) I’ll share with you how I made them. Because I’m sure it’s a technique you’ll need soon enough. Hey, maybe you could make a crocheted hat in brown yarn with rows and rows of vegetables growing on its surface. Y’know, I’m almost tempted to start such a project right now. I’ll call it the allotment hat. It’ll be awesome, although maybe some of the saner inhabitants of this village will look at me askance when I wear it out in public.

But back to the housey project. First, use orange yarn to embroider over and over in one place to get a hard little carroty bump protruding from the soil. I used DK-weight cotton. Then take some pale green yarn for the leafy bit on top. I used DK-weight acrylic because I knew it would look fluffy. It took a bit of trial-and-error to get the carrot tops right. At first, I made them far too full and fluffy and they resembled pale green Afros, which isn’t a good look on a carrot.

Exhibit A. Way too fluffy.

Exhibit A. Way too fluffy.

So I toned it down a bit. Here’s how: sew a length through the top of the carrot, leaving at least 2 inches on either side (to allow for effortless knot-tying).

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(Dodgy photo on phone in bad light.)

Then tie a reef knot. This fixes the yarn securely. On top of that, tie a single knot like this, involving looping both strands round together then pushing them through the loop. (Is there a name for this knot?):-

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Even dodgier phone-photo. Sorry.

This makes a nice-shaped base for the leaves and ensures that both strands of yarn are pointing upwards. Make sure your knots are tight. Cut your yarn to a vaguely sensible length.

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Then use a needle to separate the plies within each strand. Then cut each ply to a slightly different length. And you’re done!

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OK, maybe these won’t win best-in-show, but they’re not bad.

Onions can be worked in a similar way, but use pale brown yarn to make a more protruding bump, and don’t separate or fluff your leafy strands. And use a less fluff-some yarn for the leafy bits – maybe cotton? Am I making sense?

And as a bonus vegetable, I made 3 loops of 5 chain stitches to make each of these lettucy thingies:-

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More very soon. Perhaps even a finished object…

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On The Phone

Hello, fibrous friends. How’s the knitting/crochet going?

Whilst I endlessly crochet the tedious back panel of the secret-house-crochet-furniture-related-project, (trust me, I have precisely NOTHING exciting to say about this) may we please address the weighty subject of phones?

Please?

But I must preface this by saying that I am soooo not a techie person, and that this will n-e-v-e-r be a which-tech-device-to-buy blog. OK? Yes? You want to research the latest gizmos? Then look elsewhere, my fine friend, because you’ll uncover no wisdom here.

So… phones. I was at a party recently, and I got chatting to some folks I’d never met before. It was a warm evening, and everyone was sitting out on the lawn drinking wine and eating yumptious Zimbabwean barbeque. The people I was talking to seemed nice. But then one of them noticed my phone lying on the grass. (I’m just about enough of a 21st century lass to have my phone beside me at all times, always slightly to the left.) And suddenly he said, “Oh! Your phone! I love it: it’s so vintage.”

The phone in question looks like this, in case you’re curious:-

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Yeah? Yeah?? Why are you laughing at my phone?

That rankled. Because I’d hate, hate, hate to think that I’d become in any way technologically hip. I was much more at ease with the reaction of a long-term friend at a recent dinner party who saw my phone and shrieked, “What the hell is that monstrosity?” Ahhhhhhhhhhh, balm to my ears: I’m not trendy. (I love my friend.)

I’d been holding out as almost-the-only-person-I-knew-without-a-smartphone. But that admiring remark did for me. I was off shopping. And so I’ve finally acquired a smartphone (not saying which one, because this ain’t a techie blog – what, you mean you could tell?) But all this talk of apps on this blog recently: that’s because of the smartphone. Grr.

(To new readers, this is primarily a knitting/crochet blog, honest, but these past few days, there’s been a lull in the yarn-related bloggable material because:-

  • I’ve been a tad busy finishing off the final final FINAL FINAL edits to my novel-writing masters degree before submission.
  • I designed something new. I knitted it. And then the Stoic Spouse’s reaction was luke-warm, which made me wonder whether it needs more work before I tell you about it. I’m still pondering.
  • The write-up on the house-bag pattern is nearly done, but I’m still working. And the big housey crochet furniture-related project is nearly done. Can’t wait to ta-da that one on you.
  • Minor start-of-the-academic-year seasonal cold has this evening morphed into full-on stinker of a lurgy. Think pretty-much-bubonic-plague, and you won’t be far off. Histrionically melodramatic, moi?)

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When I’m Cleaning Windows

And how’s a lass supposed to live her knitting life when “real life” (imagine me doing that exaggerated quotation marks thingy in the air with my fingers whilst pulling a disdainful face as I say those two words) keeps barging in and demanding attention? Forsooth, anyone would think that I had to work for a living and parent my children and put the bins out and even haul my idle rear out of this chair in order to chuck another log on the fire. Oh, wait…

(May I just say at this point that I love the fact that my spellcheck is comfortable with ‘forsooth’? That’s my kind of spellcheck. It also tolerates ‘thingy’. I can see that me and this spellcheck are going to be firm friends. Unlike me and my satnav, who have fallen out after it attempted to persuade me to beat a traffic jam by directing me to come off the motorway at a junction, whizz round the roundabout and then sneak straight back on to the same motorway in order to overtake all of about ten cars: as a result of this arseholery, we’re no longer on speaking terms. Oh… the spellcheck doesn’t condone ‘arseholery’: I know how it feels.)

But life throws things at you and expects you to catch them, which is a pity because I’ve always been thoroughly rubbish at ball games. And those things that life hurls your way sometimes interfere with knitting.

For example, we’ve had a couple of birthdays around here. A couple of very small, twin-shaped birthdays. I did a lot of chocolaty baking. And blew up a lot of balloons. And cleared up a lot of brutally shredded wrapping paper after the ferociously feral frenzy of gift-opening that occurred. The Tyrannical Twinnage requested little guitars for their birthday, in order to be just like their guitar-strumming father. A wise friend advised that ukuleles make perfect children’s ‘guitars’. So my parents, the Twisted Seniors, gave the boys ukes. A good idea, no?

ukulele www.thetwistedyarn.com

Thus far, the boys strum with more attention to rhythm than to tune, but even George Formby had to begin somewhere.

uke1

Headless, legless twin strums ukulele.

Speaking of George Formby, my Dad made the mistake of mentioning him in front of the Stoic Spouse. Really Dad, you should have known better. So now, the walls of our old brewery home (and possibly the walls of the neighbours’ homes too) are reverberating to the chords of ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’, and I’m joining in with my best singing voice. The poor twinnage scarcely get a look-in with their ukuleles.

But this birthday was the first one that the twinnage really anticipated and understood and enjoyed. And I’ve almost finished removing all the balloons from the ceiling. (You know that thing where you rub balloons on your hair/clothes and then they stick to the ceiling via static electricity? My Dad does that. A lot. Invite him to your party and you’ll be removing balloons from the ceiling all flippin’ night. You have been warned.)

My Mum, meanwhile, had a go with the giant knitting needles that I bought at the Knitting And Stitching Show. Look! She’s not entirely converted.

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…But I feel a hearth rug coming on, when present projects are finished.

So I’d better get on with those present projects, which include crocheting the vegetable garden and writing up the house bag pattern for you. More muchly soon, my friends.

(Oh, the spellcheck dislikes ‘muchly’.)

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It’s The Knitting And Stitching Show!

Wow, what a day.

For those of you not in the UK, the Knitting And Stitching Show is the yarn-related event of the year in this country, held amidst the splendour of Alexandra Palace on a hill in London. It started today, and runs until Sunday. May I just at this point thank Stylecraft Yarns for my complimentary ticket – very much appreciated, you kind people.

Settle in, my friends. This threatens to be a long post. With many photos. Help y’selves to some of that wine. There will be moments of amusement, I promise.

So. It might be argued that I walked the twinnage to school with just a little more haste than usual, before running back home to jump in my car and begin the 72-mile drive to north London. Given that it’s a knitting event, it seemed reasonable to apply quite a lot of knitwear to my person:-

much knitwear www.thetwistedyarn.com

Can you tell that I like designing stranded stuff? You CAN?? HOW?!

Now, it takes a lot to tempt me into London, given my feelings about the place. I really struggle with the concept of London. But in case I offend any Londoners who are reading this, I’ll just park that thought there, turn the engine off, and move on. Except… I can’t find a parking space: because it’s London.

Anyway, to the show. Alexandra Palace is rather splendid:-

alexandra palace www.thetwistedyarn.com

…with its views across London:-

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And inside, the grandeur continues:-

alexandra palace. www.thetwistedyarn.com

Clearly they’re more efficient about watering their houseplants than I am about mine.

Would you like to see inside the show? You would? Well, there were many, many stands:-

Knitting And Stitching Show 2015 www.thetwistedyarn.com

So I went to the Knitting And Stitching Show and the biggest surprise was that nobody was knitting. Or stitching. Or even crocheting. Is it me, or is that weird? Following your lovely responses/comments to my last post on knitting and walking, I imagined that at least some folks would be wandering around, needles in hand, click-clicking away. But no.

Anyway, the quirkiest thing that happened was being recognised via the bag I made for the Stylecraft blog tour! Lovely to meet you, friendly people! Thank you for coming up and saying hello.

Of course, the whole thing was a festival of colourful loveliness:-

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And did I mention that Arne and Carlos were there? ARNE AND CARLOS!!!!!! My stranded heroes!

Arne and Carlos www.thetwistedyarn.com

There were walls and walls of tempting colour:-

the knitting and stitching show 2015 www.thetwistedyarn.com

…but being the sort of weirdo who isn’t into stash, I didn’t buy any. My only purchase was a pair of oversized knitting needles. And lunch.

There were so many little details to see. This security guard on the right seemed fascinated (for ages) by the woman teaching a customer to use a drop spindle:-

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And then I went to a brilliant talk by Michele Turner of the Association Of Guilds Of Weavers, Spinners, And Dyers, all about spinning. This is a woman who can make a drop spindle out of a banana!

banana drop spindle www.thetwistedyarn.com

She said it wasn’t quite the right kind of banana, but I was too shy to ask what could have been improved on the fruity front. I’ve been holding out on learning to spin for a long time, because I know it would eat up what little non-yarn life I have left, but there is a bunch of bananas in the fruit bowl not ten metres from where I’m sitting, and it’s very tempting to try this new skill. She also made a more conventional spindle using two CDs, a length of doweling, a hook, and a rubber band. Oh, and she spun some rather fine (in both senses of the word) dog hair:-

spinning dog hair www.thetwistedyarn.com

Impressive, huh?

There were exhibitions, too, of designer knitwear:-

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…And stunning fabric art by DAMSS:-

DAMSS www.thetwistedyarn.com

There is so much else that I could show you, but time was ticking. I popped in to say hello to Annabelle, sales director at Stylecraft. Here she is, getting into the spirit of the event. It was good to see her again:-

stylecraft www.thetwistedyarn.com

In all, it was quite overwhelming. Oh, and I was glad to see a massive range of ages attending, although it seemed that most of the youngest folks were there for the stitching rather than the knitting. But for all that the popularity of knitting is increasing amongst men, it was a heavily female-dominated event. C’mon, blokes: pick up your needles!

Far too soon, it was time to go. But if you’re somewhere near London some time between now and Sunday, I thoroughly recommend the experience. Enjoy!

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Knitting And Walking

This is knitting/crochet-related, honest…

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Sooner or later, the Tyrannical Twinnage are going to grow up sufficiently to develop social sensibilities and notice what a colossal embarrassment their mother is. For now, they’re young enough that I could, frankly, pitch up at school to collect them wearing full clown regalia* and they’d scarcely bat an eyelid. Long may these days last, because I fear that their teenage selves are going to be a bit less awestruck by the fact that Mummy (or ‘Mum’ as I’ve already become, it seems: they’re four, for heaven’s sake) can do a silly dance whilst balancing a pair of socks on her head. Heaven knows what I’ll have left to impress them with in a few years’ time, because the sock-dance is about as accomplished as I get.

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Anyway, as you may be gathering from these pictures, for now I get to be that weirdo woman who strides the half mile through the village to collect the twinnage knitting or crocheting happily as I walk, sometimes in the sun, sometimes in the rain, and sometimes humming a tune. And whilst I’m not narcissistic enough to think that anyone who isn’t a blood relative cares about this, I know that one day, the twinnage will start to care very much, and any reports of maternal weirdness will get back to them and will force them to punish me by spending a week holed up in their bedroom refusing all contact with me or school, and smoking crack cocaine. Can you tell that I’m a little wary of the teenage years?

In the meantime, let’s celebrate maternal weirdness. I’ll happily French-knit in the pouring rain:-

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And manipulate a huge knitted blanket whilst ambling in the sunshine:-

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Yes, I did knit that skirt.

And I’m not afraid of puddles when I’m knitting:-

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…Because unlike those non-knitters who say, “Oooh, I could never do that: I don’t have the patience”, I’ve found that knitting satisfies my impatience by giving me something useful to do whilst walking, talking, or doing anything else that doesn’t involve hands. And until the twinnage formally threaten to disown me for my behaviour, I’m going to make good use of the walk up to school by completing a couple of rounds of my work-in-progress. So there.

Surely I can’t be alone in this?

*Ain’t gonna happen. I have a lifelong aversion to clowns.

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