The Knitting Sailor

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!

Happy Christmas!
December 25, 2012, 9:19 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , ,

It’s the most festive boat in the world!

Note the amazing Christmas Tree - so much better than mine!

Note the amazing Christmas Tree – so much better than mine!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic day!

(Photo taken Scarborough Marina)

Vive la Revolution!
December 10, 2012, 7:42 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , ,

At this time of year, knitters everywhere are frantically knitting away to create hand crafted presents created with love for those about them.  Every year I set myself up for a fall here.  I get stressed and don’t enjoy it and then feel guilty about what I can’t finish.

But everyone loves something made by hand.  I truly believe that the most precious thing that any of us has to give is time – be that at home, at work, with friends, or on knitting a scarf.  When I give you something a bit loppy and holey what I am actually saying is ‘I care enough that I spent this long making something to show you I care’.  When you don’t wear it because it’s green / the wrong size / got holes in it / you don’t even know what it‘s meant to be – I’m hurt.  So for this reason many people will only knit or craft for people who will truly appreciate it.

I truly appreciate – and one of the gifts I received this year was this.

The dog looking extra cute - she's still angling for a sausage

Note the whole family trying to get in on the kudos – they too can stand next to a gorgeous blanket….

I know – hours right?  My Mum made it for me and even colour-coded it to the van – love it.

So I am really on board with crafting to show you care.  Go onto any knitting blog at the moment and everyone is powering through Christmas presents, hats, socks, even jumper are all rolling off needles across the world.  Spreadsheets and lists are created.  Sleep is lost, curses are flung and the desire to strangle someone with your yarn increases.

Not me.

This year I have come to the conclusion that I am going to reconsider the whole thing.

I’m not knitting anything for anyone.  It just makes me feel unsuccessful and lots of people don’t like it anyway.  So I have decided to buy all my gifts this year.  But I am working on the basis that really this shows I care just as much.  After all I will be spending money that I earned by going to work, which is an amount of my time I have spent earning money (instead of knitting), to spend on buying you a present.  It’s just a different route to the same thing.  Honest.

And you can take it back if it doesn’t fit or you don’t like green.

I’ve totally cleared my conscience with that one.

Pass the mulled wine while I go do some random stress free knitting with no deadline….


Christmas Reindeer
December 5, 2012, 6:19 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags:
I so want one of these for my house

I so want one of these for my house

Just like buses
December 4, 2012, 8:14 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , ,

So you pine all year, and then two come along at once!

Please ignore the background - we're decorating and its a mess

Nearly looks like a bike when you see them like that

That’s right, I am now the proud owner of not one but two spinning wheels!

They are both Ashfords, both about the same age and both sitting in my house.  I could barely contain my excitement.  Not least as collecting them had involved road trips to Scarborough and York.

Beautiful in the winter sunshine

Beautiful in the winter sunshine

One was from E-Bay, one was from a friend of the Mr’s who had heard I was looking for one – and before I knew it we were committed to both.  But with a brill deal on both I am reasoning that I can always sell the one I don’t like as much.  this was until my Mum started eying them and saying that actually it looked like more fun than she had expected.  and before I started to think that obviously it would be good to have two wheels – you know, one for home, one for the sailing club…

They have obviously been well loved – and Mavis even showed us some of the things that she had made with hers – including a cardigan with beautiful colours in it – all dyed from plants.  I think I am some way off that for the moment!

The second wheel was a real surprise – it came with some extras – a Carding Drum which lets you comb out fleece ready for spinning, but that actually looks like a Spanish inquisition type torture device and a couple of extra boxes.  When I was introduced to this box I was told there was some fleece in there.  When we went to collect, a couple of boxes had turned into 5.  And when I got home and looked inside the first box…. There were two actual sheep fleeces in it.  Complete with straw and sheepy smell.  I don’t know that I have ever been more stunned.   I just looked at them.

Trust me - they look bigger in real life

Trust me – they look bigger in real life

So on rough calculations I have around ten fleeces from ten actual sheep.  It’s a flock of my very own.  I have absolutely no idea what to do about this, so at the moment they are sitting in the spare room being interestingly sniffed by the dog who has finally found a sheep she can get up close and personal with.  I’m just hoping the sheep don’t want them back.

And I have one of them working.  Kind Of.  What I’ve got from my attempts over a few hours is this – it’s lumpy and bumpy and looks like this –

Lumpy, but really fast

Lumpy, but really fast

So I am super loving it.  But I need to put them away as we are in the middle of a decorating nightmare – so over Christmas I am going to have lots to play with once we are finished.

I love Christmas.  I’m going to decorate the pasting table.

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