The Knitting Sailor

Knitting Lipstick
January 29, 2013, 6:06 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , ,


Have you ever wondered why women have so many lipsticks?  We all have millions of them.  Even I do and I don’t wear lipstick, finding that I find it irresistible to chew off as if it is some strange new food group.

Well a lipstick always fits.  Doesn’t matter how bad the day, if you feel like a blob or have not good hair – a lipstick will sort all of that out.  And it’s easily concealed, so when going ‘cheer me up’ shopping it pops in your bag – no tell-tale shopping bags to take home.

Scarves are exactly the same.  As a knitter they tend to be the first thing you learn, and I have just realised that I now officially have more than I can wear.  There are some great things about knitted scarves – they keep you warm, they are really versatile, they make great gifts, they are quick, they are a fantastic way of trying out new stitches and wool to get a feel for them before you do something bigger.  Gosh the excuses just keep coming.

But do I really need to ONLY knit scarves?  This phenomenon has crept up on me since the cardie incident.  At the time of this disaster I already had a tank top on the needles, so this was finished in a fit of defiance (and ironically was perfect despite no swatching, blocking or measuring), but since then I have not knitted a single thing that actually needs to fit.

Let’s look at my current range of scarves.


Ermmm… do I admit there might be more upstairs?

Seeing a pattern here?  Or rather not a pattern…..

I believe I am a knitting chicken.  This cannot be allowed to continue.


So – I’m starting a hat.  Well I need something to match all those scarves.



Old and Grumpy
January 21, 2013, 7:23 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , ,

Are there rules for sledging?  I feel like there should be, but I have done an internet search and can’t find any, which is unfortunate as I was intending to print out multiple copies to hand out when I get back to the sledging hill next.  Those that you find are for Cricket (apparently banter on the cricket pitch is called sledging.  Obviously.).  It certainly seems that not only can Britain not handle a bit of the white stuff, but all concept of etiquette goes right out the window.  In fact by the time I left I was advocating a cheese counter based approach where everyone got a ticket number.

So based on my experience over the weekend I here present the Knitting Sailors definitive-rules-of-sledging-that-are-not-the-cricket-type.

  • If you are pulling your child in their sledge and continue to pull the sledge on the pavement where the snow has thawed do not be surprised when this breaks the bottom of your high quality Halford sledge.
  • Do be careful that when not sitting on your plastic sledge it does not get blown into you in the wind.  It hurts.
  • Do not walk back up the hill where everyone else is trying to sledge down – you are at best holding up those wanting to come down the hill and at worst getting in the way.  Remember if you ignore this guidance and do this anyway, then take absolutely no notice at all of the multiple people on sledges trying to avoid you and falling out as a result.  Honestly – they don’t mind.
Yes - I do mean you

Yes – I do mean you

  • If your child is sitting in the sledge crying because they don’t want to go down the hill then take consideration of this and TAKE THEM HOME.  Or at least take them away from me.
  • When you get to the bottom of the hill don’t just randomly stand around in the way of everyone else coming down the hill.  These things are hard to steer.
  • If you are not sledging please don’t stand around chatting and getting in the way of everyone wanting to sledge at the top of the hill.  Go stand at the bottom.  Away from the hill.  Or at home.
It's not a coffee shop

It’s not a coffee shop

And with that off my chest, I’m just off to have a lie down.  And to look for a ticket dispenser on E-Bay.



No longer sailing the world
January 17, 2013, 6:56 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , ,

At first I thought it was a great idea – a way to sail through the worst of weather, cosy from my sofa, fire ablaze and gin in hand. But it’s kind of not like that.  So here we go with the reasons why I am not sailing in the virtual Vendee Globe any more.

  • Because I have already ran aground once.  I mean how do you run aground in virtual reality?
  • I keep getting blocked out by crappy media ads.
  • It took me weeks and weeks just to make my boat go pink.
  • I missed the start, so it wasn’t like I was ever going to win.
  • Because of the wind direction I am sure you could be pretty successful just by pointing the boat in the one direction and then letting it sort itself out – with three course changes only over the many months of sailing (down, right, up) it would be interesting to see how high up the rankings you could actually get with this approach.
  • It seems to be vast amounts of just sitting on the same course not really doing a lot.  I think some people do get up at random times of the night and stuff to change course – I can’t stir the enthusiasm to set the alarm just to go and drag a little arrow around by a minute amount.  I have a low attention span and I’m a bit bored now – there have been no sea monsters, pirates or having to drink your own urine – all of which I thought were part of a circumnavigation.  I had my cutlass all ready and everything.

As I can’t get in at moment (because of the crappy media ads) I am unable to withdraw, so in several years if you come across a wrecked and battered virtual boat in pink – you’ll know it’s mine…..

If you were the man in the coffee shop in London last week
January 14, 2013, 6:57 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: ,

I didn’t really see you there

Stood behind my fought for stool

I’d only even taken a pew

To try and use the internet

Your suitcase it was very full

And hung about with extra stuff

But when I pushed my seat right back

I didn’t expect it to fall about

And crash into you with your scalding coffee

(I think it was a grande)

You must have made a grab

To save it from its tragic plight

But this was a futile attempt

It simply knocked the coffee from your hand

Depositing it across the land

I know I looked a little vague

As I apologised and turned on tail

You didn’t look so very jolly

In fact I thought you might go purple

Standing there with bags on floor

Coffee dripping from the door

But my train doors were just closing

Without a rush I would be stranded

… I’m really very sorry

Now we are One

It turns out that it was a year ago today I posted my first entry on this site.  It was a bit random and primarily in response to ‘I couldn’t do that – could I?’.  Well so far it’s been a lot of fun – I think!  And looking back over the year, it turns out there are lots of things that I couldn’t have imagined at the beginning of this!

Things I have learnt from this year

  • Everyone hates running (apart from Tillerman – but I don’t actually believe him)
  • That the inventor of the Crow’s Nest was born in Whitby
  • Spinning is really hard
  • How to taste wine (sort of – it all still tastes like wine really though)
  • Trying to teach kids anything without the benefit of chocolate is basically a waste of time
  • You actually can buy ANYTHING on E-Bay
  • How to be a better OOD!
  • We all like Dinosaurs (maybe I imagined this?)
  • Woolfest is awesome
  • Not every 50p is worth 50p
  • The Internet definitely thinks I should get a sheep

Amazing things that happened this year

  • I ran the Great North Run– who knew?!?
  • I came third in an actual proper sailing race – and got a prize to prove it
  • It was the Mr’s last year as Commodore
  • I learnt to spin
  • The dog qualified to drive a powerboat
  • We didn’t move to the country
  • I met a real life alpaca and fed it a carrot
  • I got a spinning wheel AND a knitting machine called Jeremy
  • The Olympics and the Jubilee!  Go Britain!
  • I qualified as a Dinghy Instructor
  • The Solstice at Stonehenge – kind of amazing
  • I learnt how to felt… OK it was by mistake – but let’s take it as a positive!
  • I wasn’t last at an open event

I also found some amazing people and blogs out there in the ether of the Internet – I have added a new page so if you would like to go and visit some of them then check this out.  Be warned – some of these people actually know what they are talking about!

But most of all it’s been fun to chat with you all – so thanks for dropping by…. it’s appreciated!

So what about this year?

Well I have a plan.  I need to get better at sailing and knitting.  I also need to delete the email suggesting that I take part in the Sunderland Half Marathon in April.  This is a foolish idea and no amount of looking at the email is going to get rid of the cake and beer induced wobble prior to April.

So I am going to be doing 3LT – this is the name for my new recipe for success.  Every idea needs a good marketing slogan.  And maybe a logo.

Look, Learn, Listen; Turn up, Take part and TRAVEL!

That sounds really exciting doesn’t it?

Tinsel would have been cheaper
January 3, 2013, 7:44 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , ,

Back in the office today, and the end of the holiday is truly over.  The tinsel is hanging limply, decorations have fallen down over the break, the Merry Christmas sign is a little dusty and the whole place has a slightly abandoned air about it.

With no decorations up at home due to decorating, I have vicariously lived my Christmas through other people’s Christmas trees and by touring houses with exciting lights on them.  But essentially I have had a sparkle deficiency.  This had led to a difficult period of knitting in which I have got a little over excited about knitting with sparkly stuff as I can’t decorate the house.  Lots of it.  Constantly.

Some people can be a little sniffy about sparkly wool – in fact I remember when I first started knitting and wanted to buy a lovely (for ‘lovely’ read scratchy, sparkly, acrylic…. I know…) ball of silver.  The lady in said knitting shop not only was unimpressed by this (it was her stock? Surely she bought it for people just like me?) and I ended up leaving with some blue sock wool.  It’s still at the back of my box (OK, OK, boxES) of yarn.  I have felt scarred by the brutal dismissal of this beautiful yarn which has gone on to attain god-like unattainable status in my eyes.

But this Christmas I have shown no restraint at all.  It all started with these.


Most exciting and sparkly

They are little fingerless gloves from a knitting magazine, knitted out of despair when I was stuck down south.  As a one off they were quite sweet.  But this was only the beginning.

I then went out and bought pink sparkly stuff.  I was knitting it covertly – when asked what I was knitting I would brush over the subject and say ‘oh nothing special – a scarf’ – expecting the kind of judgement I had previously expected once what i was using was discovered.  When finally forced to admit what it actually was, other knitters were surprisingly supportive (at least to my face?) – which is lucky as I love it.

I know you want to dash out and knit one

The pattern is beautiful and so simple you can remember it and knit it without a pattern, but it’s so effective that it looks like a lot more special.  It’s ‘Crest of a Wave’ – you can find it here – I will definitely be doing it again.  The original pattern is in a more substantial wool, but I think that it works really well in the lighter weight and I may well be trying it over a smaller number of stitches to make a skinny delight as well.

Look at how wavy it is!

Over Christmas I then cast on a hood and scarf – in this (it’s sparkly stuff from Yarn Addict)

You can’t tell how sparkly this actually is…

I know I know – but I don’t seem to be able to stop.  In addition I have gone back and bought the pink sparkly stuff in green.  (It’s Rico Creative Reflection)

Did I really need it in green as well?


I also decided to add beads in a fringe to the pink scarf.  At least next year we won’t need a tree.  I can just wear my beaded beautiful festive scarf.

And for now I hope everyone has a very sparkly start to the New Year!

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