Monday, 25 October 2010


I had nothing to do yesterday and nothing I wanted to knit. Well I say nothing to do. I did technically have work for Math Bio, Number Theory, Math Stat and a lot of organising for Focus, but well. Totally putting that all to one side.
I have lots of projects on the go, but the only one I don't need the pattern for is the silly jumper that I'm bored of, and I needed to take the knitting into the chaplaincy to knit - Focus wasn't entirely ignorable. So, time for a new project I thought!

I managed to ruin my awesome rainbow scarf the other day. I was cycling home with it tied onto my back and it got caught in the gears. And covered in oil. Hum.

So I needed a new scarf. I dug through my stash - cause lo and behold my dearest Grandmother darling I do not want a beige scarf no matter your views on beige being the only colour anyone should ever wear ever - and found some happy chunky wool. The really awesome upshot of all this is that now after a full days lectures and only a small bit of knitting I have a new Snu! (btw a snu is what I call a circular scarf or a buff. I don't really know why.)

And - as a bonus upside I now have an idea for what to knit my brother for his Christmas present! Or my uncle!


Thursday, 21 October 2010

Random Musings inappropriate to Lectures.

I really wish it was considered slightly less weird to knit. Today I had a string of 3 lectures which were totally pointless and REALLY wanted to just get out my knitting. Its not even like its very exciting knitting (such as Daleks and ducks and pterodactyls), just my Dad's jumper, which I got bored of months ago.

First of the 3: Math Bio. Sounds like it ought to be interesting really - you get to work out how come animals have specific coat patterns and eat each other and things. In reality the silly man at the front talks in a monotone and writes unrelated equations on the board. Knitting makes much more sense. Next up: History of Maths, or in other words Time For A Nap. And finally Number Theory. Where this silly man at the front is confused as to why we are all fundamentally comatose, and continually asks us if we are bored.  I've usually just about forgotten the fact I'm bored each time he brings it up. Ass.

To be fair it's not hard for fairly boring things to be the highlight of entertainment when you put them into the same frame of reference as maths lectures. Technically I ought to like maths since I'm now in my third year of studying the ruddy subject, but actually I just don't care. It is a means to an end. The end being the important part. Not in the sense that I will then have a degree and a career (I want to be a maths teacher and yes I realise that makes little to no sense given that I really truly hate the study of maths), but that it will be the END of my maths degree! Another minor technicality is that to pass the degree I should be paying at least a modicum of attention, not fantasising about cake (mmm... cake) or being really frustrated that I actually had knittable knitting with me and still couldn't knit it.

One of these days I will just ignore the weird looks I am sure to get from my peers and knit. If nothing else (and I'm pretty darn sure there are many better reasons than this) to see the reaction on my lecturers face.

Purple is a Happy Colour

I finally decided that it was irritating to keep guessing people's favourite colours, so I sent out a facebook message to all those who are really likely to be involved in a Secret Santa that I am also involved in this year.
The results were surprisingly consistently purple.

Kate Drage 19 October at 23:57
Hi everyone.
Whats your favourite colour/s? This would just make my life sooo much easier for a surprisingly large amount of the time. Please tell me!
Suzz Wood 20 October at 00:09 ReplyReport
green/purple perhaps
Emma Tinnion 20 October at 07:23 ReplyReport
Purple or Green :)
Victoria Jarvis 20 October at 09:38 ReplyReport
Blue! Or dark purple.
Anne Parkinson 20 October at 09:44 ReplyReport
turquoise, purple
Rob Horswell 20 October at 10:11 ReplyReport
Blue/Red/Purple, I think...
Sam Fiveash 20 October at 10:15 ReplyReport
Steven Weston 20 October at 10:25 ReplyReport
Grey, black
Sophie Brightwell 20 October at 10:38 ReplyReport
Like everybody else I'm going to say purple. Or red, maybe.
Matt Brennan 20 October at 10:38 ReplyReport
Sorta bluish-teal. Like this
Stephen Adams 20 October at 11:36 ReplyReport
Mel Moore 20 October at 11:45 ReplyReport
i;m going to stick with the trend and say purple haha
Emma Giddens 20 October at 13:33 ReplyReport
Blue, purple or yellow :)
red :)
All I can say is that Matt Brennan is the only person I have ever met who would respond to a simple enquiry as to a favourite colour with a weblink. I mean - yeah its nice to have the exact shade, but really I was looking for blue or teal.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


Sumaiya's birthday is... actually I don't know. But she's doing stuff for it this weekend. Apparently I was invited to this about 2 months ago... but I only actually found out on Sunday, and only confirmed I was going this afternoon.

This is a major YAY: I get a weekend with friends in London!,most importantly Sumaiya who is bucking the trend with Focusites by actually leaving both Uni and Coventry at the end of her course (more-or-less, she spent one extra year here); I get to see Avenue Q!which I thought I was gonna miss due to it closing in like a week; and (importantly I feel) this means I cannot possibly do any maths at all this weekend!
Minor issue. Present.

However that is now sorted. I found an awesome pattern for ducks on Ravelry and have knitted Sumaiya a duck :D Whether this is really a sensible present for a 23rd birthday is a matter that I don't really care about to be honest. It's not that earthshattering as knitting goes, but it is cute, and importantly only took about 2hours! Success here is measured in time left over before the deadline : 2 days and several hours!

I looked at the duck today, and it looked cold. It IS cold - it should NOT be this cold when its only October - so I couldn't let the poor thing suffer. I knitted it a scarf. It is now a warm cosy duck with an awesome I-cord scarf. Yay!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

So... no hat. Lets try gloves next.

So. I have no hat to help with the keeping-Kate-warm, but I do have a scarf - its awesome and rainbow striped! My current issue with cycling in is how freaking cold it is (yes it's mid October, but it's only Week 2! How bad will it get?) and how my hands are gently getting frozed.

Obvious solution. Gloves. So I am now in the process of knitting awesome rainbow striped gloves. Happyness. I searched Ravelry for the pattern again, and picked the one that looked easiest while still resembling actual gloves rather than mittens or the creature from the Black Lagoon. Little things like that make all the difference in knitting patterns I think.

One thing I will say though: Knitting gets silly when you're using 6 double pointers and a circular needle in one glove.

Monday, 11 October 2010


So. I've been happily knitting this hat for myself for the last two weeks. I cycle to uni, and its irritatingly cold even this early in the term, so I decided I would knit myself an awesome hat. Minor problem: I never check the gauge. A little bit of a mistake there.

Little being the operative word. The stupid hat is just about big enough for a small kid. When I was casting on the stitches for it I thought 'that looks too small, hmmm. Lets make it bigger' and so did so. And its still too small.
I did actually notice this problem about half way through knitting it, but by that point I just decided to continue.

Stupidly small hat. Whoops.

On the other hand, my house mates have been happily giving me suggestions of other things to turn it into. So far, suggestions have been: a bag, a Christmas tree hat, a snowman, a dalek, and a polar bear. We have the randoms in our house.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Tory's Gecko Completed!

My first ever pattern-that-I've-made-up-myself done! AND its really awesome! I love it!
I basically made up the pattern as I went along, starting at the tail and working towards the head, and knitting the legs separately. When I was done I decided to cartoon-ise him, and modified part of the Dalek pattern to make massive eyes.

The pattern is approximately:
Starting at the tail end of main body piece,
Repeat from * until piece is the length you want the tail to be (more or less)
**K1 inc1 K2 inc 1 K1
P row
K row
P row
Repeat from ** until there are 16 stitches.
increase 4 stitches in each of next 2 rows.
K row, P row until the piece has sufficient body length
decrease 2 stitches every other row 4 times.
decrease 2 stitches every row 3 times
K row
increase 4 stitches in each of next 2 rows
K row
P row
decrease 2 stitches every other row until 2 remain
P row

Legs, make 4 the same:
Work in I-cord for 16 rows, or until leg is in proportion with body piece
Place 6 stitches on holder, continue working in I-cord on remaining 2 stitches for 6 rows to create a toe.
Pick up 2 stiches from holder, work in I cord for 6 rows.
Repeat for final two rows.

Eyes, make 2 the same:
KPKPKP into that one stitch
KP into all 6 stitches, making 12 stitches in total
K row
K row
K2tog 6 times
K2tog 3 times
Pick up the original cast on stitch, K2tog

Sew up the main piece of the gecko from nose to tail, pausing at some point in the belly to stuff. Attach legs and ears.

And - you have a Gecko! Yay!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Tory, her Gecko, and the yrrytatyon of Crochet patterns

I have a very lovely fryend named TorY. She ys Amerycan so must be forgyven the fact that she cannot spell her own name, and ys yn fact declaryng herself to be a Conservatyve the whole tyme she ys yn England. Y once had a really long argument wyth her and her boyfryend Rob about her to spell Tory, whych resulted yn the current weyrdness of usyng 'y's all over the place.
Anyways. The poynt ys that Y myssed Tory's byrthday yn September, to be fayr she was yn Amerycaland so yt could have been worse. Tory loves geckos. There ys happyly an obvyous solutyon to thys problem: knyttyng Tory a gecko.

Unfortunately Ravelry users do not thynk that knytters want gecko patterns, only crocheters crochet geckos. Thys even more yrrytatyngly went double for google knyt pattern search, so Y'm now left wyth ynventyng my own pattern for knyttyng a gecko. Thys could take a whyle, especyally gyven there ys no tyme to guylt-free knyt anymore...

The one good thyng about myssyng someones byrthday by a month already: Yt no longer has any relevance how late you gyve them a present.... provyded yt's before Chrystmas anyway.

Yt surely won't take that long, wyll yt?

Monday, 4 October 2010

The End of Guilt-Free Knitting

So. Today was the last day of guilt-free knitting. Tomorrow is a new day bringing with the new challenges, trials and tribulations of a new term of university mathematics. I really wish I could remember why maths sounded like a good thing to study. So what with lectures starting tomorrow, classes starting, assignments starting, the need to read maths books and the consistent attempts to entice freshers towards my societies... I actually have real and useful things I need to do.

Knitting is going on the back burner.

On the other hand I really do need to finish my dad's jumper. It was originally going to be a birthday pressie, but, uh... his birthday was way back in June. So it's now gonna be a Christmas pressie. Always assuming it's finished in time.

My very own Elephant Herd

I went on safari this summer through Botswana. Before I went I thought how awesome it was going to be to see an actual-real-live-in-the-wild-elephant! Then the very first night out in the wilderness we actually saw some actual-real-live-in-the-wild-elephants, including a baby one! So I was obviously happy. Then we didn't see any elephants for about a week, and then we saw just about every elephant that lives in Botswana. They kept coming to say hi. It was awesome. We saw really little babies, and really old males, and big herds of females and their younguns crossing the Zambezi, and big herds of males - who by the way spent most of the time we were watching them playing in a handy river and ducking each other! Awesomeness!

Anyways. The point was actually going to be that before I went I promised my friend Anne that I would steal her a baby elephant, but shockingly our guides and the elephants mothers were both none too keen on this plan. So I got back home with no elephants in tow.

I then found on ravelry the easiest pattern for an elephant in the world. Its so awesomely easy that my first garter stitch elephant took around about 3 hours to make, and he looks really elephant-like and everything!

 I then knitted another that was multicoloured which took significantly longer thanks to the joys of changing yarn ALL the time and the jumbled mess of wool I ended up with. But he's even more awesome. He was going to be another of my exciting knitting birthday presents, obviously to make up for the lack of a real elephant, but he's too cute.

Now I keep making more elephants but I haven't yet got one that I'm willing to give away....

Hmmm.... what else could I get Anne for her birthday?

Friday, 1 October 2010

Knitting for Birthdays

You know the old tradition of knitting socks for peoples birthdays? Well I thought it was boring. For my friend Emma's birthday this spring I found this stuffed Tigger in Asda. It was quite cool, but not quite up to awesomeness standards. So I fixed that by making him into Super Tigger!, with the simple addition of a cape. It was basically a copy of the cape I made by accident for my weasel, except that this one had the major plus of a big orange T in the middle of the cape. Poor Emma then received less a present than an assembly kit with unhelpful instructions. I enjoy vaguely irritating my friends for their birthdays, and happily they find it funny. It works for everyone this way.

Sophies birthday is this Saturday coming, but I got the jump on this one. In the summer we got majorly into Doctor Who, including some of the retro stuff... and well. She has a stuffed weasel too, and it was looking mighty cold this summer. It just HAD to have a Doctor Who scarf really didn't it? Couldn't let it suffer.

For Sam's birthday (next week) I kind of panicked. I'm really terrible at thinking of anything to buy for Sam, so it had to be something knitted. Problem was thinking of something interesting (read random) enough for her, since I'm thinking she wouldn't overly appreciate a pair of odd gloves. So I was happily searching Ravelry for inspiration when my housemate Suzie (who so far has avoided the onslaught of knitted gifts but won't for long) suggested more Doctor Who related knitting.

And I found a DALEK pattern!! Knitting has apparently got so popular again that it can even be Geeky! YAY!
Anyways - long story short, I knitted her a Dalek. Its awesome.

ps. its even a fictionally accurate colour. Pierre reliably informs me that the red dalek will reappear next season of Doctor Who, whereas the retro grey versions, and even the new blue one won't.
 I should really get a life sometime soon.