The Knitting Sailor

Once I get started
April 22, 2014, 4:38 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , ,

Once I get started I sometimes can’t stop.  In fact I get a bit carried away.  So much so that I have gone on a bit of a sock bender.  Like many people with an addictive personality this has taken the form of looking at a lot of socks, imagining socks on my feet, feeling sock wool and going for quick mini-hits of socks when I think no one is looking.  So my friends children have had an influx of socks.

How cute!

How cute!

I’ve tried them for the dog but she just pulls them off in disgust.  They are so cute and you can knit one in an hour.  That’s right – an HOUR.  And that’s for the bigger ones.  As an achievement junkie this is a totally new and amazing discovery.  And I can use lots of different bits of sock wool so the variety is a big plus.  The additional benefit of knitting something so small is that you can try out and learn lots of new techniques – and then translate it to big ones!  So these are toe up socks.

Starting with Judys Magic cast on there is no longer any need for looking for my tatty photocopy of kitcheners stitch.

This is using Jenys suprisingly stretchy cast off – fantastic alternative to the traditional and helps get all of those wriggly toes gathered up in one go.

2014-04-22 16.11.34

And these are toe up two at a time socks using magic loop.  I LOVE this – because you get two socks at the end of it!

These were actually a bit of an experiment as I tried to just upsize the baby pattern, which completely didn’t work and the toes were square, but after a bit of trial and effort they are looking like they are meant to.  I have also done a version of the short row heel rather than a heel flap like I usually do on proper socks – the sock is definitely a better fit and I think looks just as lovely.

But now to the bad bit.  They don’t match.  NO really – look at them – they don’t even look like they were from the same wool never mind a matching pair.  They joy of these socks is that they are being knit from one ball – one end from the middle, one from the outside.  But they have come out as what is commonly known as ‘fraternal’ rather than matching.  It’s messing with my head more than a bit – but it’s not stopping me knitting more…

Orange and Green - kind of troll colours

Additional feet required!


NB – Apologies about the lack of photos – I lost all my ‘in progress’ shots on changing my phone 😦

How to win friends and influence people…
October 25, 2012, 9:39 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , ,

… at a wedding.

  • Tell everyone who comments on your feather fascinator your technique for getting a bird of the right colour to fly into your hair specially.  Feel guilty when someone actually believes you, but not enough to tell them you were making it up.


  • Comment on how great it is they have colour co-ordinated the bridesmaids to the wallpaper.


  • Spend more time photographing the sheep in a neighbouring field than the bride and groom.

What no wedding finery?


  • Turn up with hand knit baby socks to accompany the wedding gift…. Only to start to worry if they are inappropriate half way through the service – and AFTER having given them to the best man to add to the present pile.


  • Tell all of your husband’s work colleagues that you really want an Angora rabbit or an Alpaca to keep in your back garden and that you don’t understand why he won’t let you have one.  Discuss house rabbits at length.


  • Steal all of the best sweets out of the favours on the table before anyone notices – only realising later you might have got away with it if it wasn’t for the chocolate smeared down one side of your mouth.


  • Mention that you are going to have fondue night on Saturday despite the fact you don’t own a fondue set… only to adopt one from another guest that has one in the boot of their car for no discernible reason.


  • Talk to a volunteer special policewoman, only to feel inexplicably guilty about the afore mentioned stolen sweets.


  • Kiss the groom who you don’t know that well on the way out then panic it was inappropriate.


  • Leave early to drive to Bristol for a stupid early appointment – plenty of time to contemplate how you managed all of the above without even having a drink.


EcoBuild and Socks
March 27, 2012, 7:36 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , ,

Last week I had the most extraordinary week away at EcoBuild – nothing to do with sailing or knitting, but work related I’m afraid.  For the uninitiated EcoBuild is just what it says on the tin – a trade show of products and services for those involved in the construction industry – with an ‘Eco’ thrust!  I had had a great plan around this – take sock knitting with me for train and in-between working on the stand etc.  After all, we wouldn’t be THAT busy… would we???

What ensued was three days of total madness.

I know you will be bored if I tell you too much (and I’ll bore myself!), but there were some genuinely interesting things going on. The real life Dulux dog from the adverts was there (and getting treated better than any of the other exhibitors with his own podium, walkies on demand and a job description that basically required him to sit around getting petted), there was a huge display of wool and (plastic) multi coloured sheep – advertising the use of this fantastically versatile product as insulation (what a waste), and a fab stand advertising marine ply via the medium of wooden fish in a tank (we stole lots as souvenirs for everyone’s kids).

I also enjoyed that we were staying in Canary Warf and got to walk over the ‘Apprentice’ bridge (I fancy not looking quite so stern – or as steady after some light evening refreshment) as well as zooming backwards and forwards to the ExCel in Black Cabs (not half as glamorous in real life).

It was a hit for the business, and I loved getting the opportunity to talk to so many customers – although next time I may take a little more note of the line in the staff brief to ‘wear comfortable shoes’ and ditch my 6 inch stilettos next time … well they were comfy at the start of the day.  In my head.

However all this high excitement meant that as I returned to Newcastle on the train my knitting was still sitting, forlorn and abandoned in the bottom of my laptop bag.  This is now starting to induce guilt, and as everyone knows, guilt means avoidance, which means more guilt and then just not doing it.  I now have both a cardie and a sock giving me the eye in this way.

However I have finally got back on track with some junk, instant gratification knitting and have actually finished something!

It is actually the cutest sock in the world – made even cuter on the basis it’s finished.  You will note I say ‘sock’.  The second one, well, isn’t yet!

This is all as a result of a fantastic day out at the Knit Studio in Newcastle on Sunday.  Despite having knitted socks before, myself and my mum (a sock knitting virgin) went along to Anne’s workshop and had a great time.

It was a fantastic day and my Mum loved it too – she went a bit –

As for me I knitted my cute sock and its sister last night – I will have them all finished for a baby present by the end of tonight.  The only point of concern is that although very cute my socks look like the baby they are for may need to be a large baby, or grow into them… while everyone else’s are baby sized, mine are definitely for an older child.  I wondered if maybe I was being overly critical, but apparently the average babies foot is 3 inches long and 1 inch wide.  My socks are five inches long by 4 inches wide.  This is OK as I feel sure it will only be a matter of time before I meet a giant baby and it’s good to be prepared.

Now to finish that Cardie…

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