Monday, 30 April 2007

Rip it up and start again

Oh dear. Poor Monkey socks. I managed to turn the first heel, then had a panic that I had used too much of my wonderful wool. The fabric was coming out very close knitted, and I seemed to be eating the wool somewhere. So I weighed the remaining yarn and found I'd used getting on for half - I had a choice - either very short legwarmers, or back to the beginning, have a thunk and start again.

About half an hour later, with new needles (3mm), a slight alteration to the pattern (14 st per needle, instead of 16), I started again, and this time, it's working for me. I've got 2 pattern repeats to do on the foot of the second sock, then I can see the end, via the toe. They've knitted up so quickly, and I've enjoyed the pattern - it looks good, but it's quite easy for me to remember, which was good, as I had half an hour to spend in the dreaded Metro Centre tonight, before I had my hair cut, and the Monkey socks kept me company over a cup of tea.

My experience in the Metro Centre set me thinking - it's Europe's largest, yet there isn't a single yarn or needlecraft shop now that House of Fraser has dropped its Habadashery department, and The Wool Shop has closed (it's now a shop selling pink things). I find it quite sad, that in all this shopping extravaganza, that you can't even buy a knitting needle. Thinking about it, we seem to have a lack of real world yarn shops - or I am looking in the wrong places. Don't get me wrong - I'm well served by the wonderful world of the web, and there are many online stores I "visit" that would be well out of my reach armed with only my beloved old car and my trusty AA Roadmap of Britain (I fell out with multimap when it started telling me how far I had to drive up sliproads), however there are times when only a squidge will do.

I am quite lucky - we have two department stores (Fenwicks and John Lewis) in Newcastle itself that have decent ranges, but when hankering for something special, only Ring a Rosie in Whitley Bay will do - it's an Aladdin's cave, stocked with a rainbow of yarns, and offers such wonderful customer service as they call it these days - in other words, you can drop in for a natter and a bit of advice. I wish there were more shops like this - niche and friendly, and stocking some different bits and bobs. My poor father was despatched there for my Christmas present this year, and was soothed through his purchase with ease. I suppose I can't have the best of all worlds, but when I see the same identikit shops in shopping centres that sell the same old stuff, I do wonder why we can't have more interesting shops. But then I guess I wouldn't be able to shop on tinternet. I don't know what the solution is, but I'm so lucky to have Ring a Rosie, as well as the Internet for knitting support and essential supplies.

So it's on with the Monkey socks, and if anyone knows of a good yarn shop near to Newcastle, be sure and let me know.


Claire x

PS - Yes - the bag on the to do list is the bag Carrie Anne just knitted - I can't resist!

Monday, 23 April 2007


Just a short note as I'm off to see James in a short while (the price for Jon liking Rock is that I also like Indie...), but I finished the waffle socks (pics to follow) and have, along with what appears like half the world, fallen for Cookie A's Monkey Socks from They're currently OTN and going well.
The comments, and the having a blog has been very motivational for me, Queen of the UFOs to actually get on and finish things, so thank you all!


Claire x

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Some Progress - With Pictures...

Thank you everyone who's left me a comment, and thank you Carrie Anne for pointing people over here. I have finished Roza'a Socks from Interweave, knitted in Fyberspates sock yarn, and Jon has taken a photo of them, which I can proudly show...

The feet are all my own, and I'm really pleased with how the socks have worked out - I like the way the colours spiral down the sock, with the vertical (well - they would be if I pulled my socks on properly) lines of the rib pattern. It's my first pair of patterned socks - I've knitted a plain pair in Opal's self patterning yarn before, but never any with texture in them, like these.

So now I'm addicted - my order from Posh Yarn arrived a few days ago, and the Baby Camel in Flames went straight onto the needles. I found a "Blueberry Waffle" pattern I liked (, and set to. Last night, I realised, halfway down the cuff, that I'd been a little enthusiastic, and that I could probably get both feet in at once! That'll teach me to not knit a tension square, but the yarn was so inviting, I felt I had to get going... After casting back on, I've sped down, and am about to pick up along the sides of the heel flap.

The colours are subtle and beautiful, and the yarn's beautifully soft. I must stop buying yarn - I have a stash I could open a small local yarn shop with at the moment, and keep finding more.

Here's a close up of the waffle pattern (right side) that shows the colours a bit better.
So that's about all for now - I'm going to get back on with these socks, as the quicker I can reduce my stash, the sooner I'll feel less guilty...
Take care,
Claire x

Friday, 13 April 2007


Hello, and welcome to my wooly thoughts - mainly about knitting and crochet, but other stuff may creep in as well. I'm Claire, originally from Lancashire, but now exiled in Newcastle, and have been knitting and crocheting with varied degrees of success for a couple of years now, so I've still got my L plates on... And with regards to the blogging - this is my first, so please be nice to me.

My good friend, Carrie Anne (visit her blog at, and her website at has encouraged me to start this - I first met her when she was 11, and she's as enthusiastic and friendly now as she was back on that first day at senior school.

So, I love the knitting - I've just finished Louisa Harding's Jezebel jumper in her Kimono Angora Pure from the Winter's Muse collection, and while it is beautiful and snuggly (and very, very purple), it's also very fluffy, and much too warm for all this lovely weather. Planning was never my strongest point... I'm currently working on a pair of socks from the Spring Interweave Magazine - they're a simple brioche and rib pattern (it would have to be simple for me!), and I am working them in Fyberspates sock wool in pink and mauve, which has beautifully intense colours and knits beautifully ( I shall put some photos up when I get around to it...

So that's it for now - looking forward to a quiet weekend, and hopefully getting on with my socks - there's going to me more on the way using some Posh Yarn ( in irresistable variegated oranges.


Claire x