Tuesday, April 29


cathy's sock
Originally uploaded by yarnzie
Remember that Tiny Wee Sock swap from a couple of months back? Well, I never did get my sock from my lovely swap pal! I did get an 'unofficial' sock from somebody I met along the way but I was waiting for Kathy's sock to arrive so that I could put them both on the blog together.

Well, Kathy has sent me a second sock, this one knitted by her daughter, who is a very talented knitter! There were extras in the package too - a lovely surprise on a day when my Behcet's Syndrome is playing up.

Of course, in the wait for Tiny Wee Sock Part 2, the 'unofficial sock' has been nabbed by the small girl who lives across the road from me. She was quite taken with it! (Or she quietly took it!!). So I can't put its picture on the blog. It was, however, a beautiful sock and I thank Barbara Solbrig of Rochester, Minnesota for sending it to me. To visit Barbara's Coffee Yarn blog, just click.

And finally, after all these weeks - here is Kathy's Tiny Wee Sock! Why not visit her blog too?

Monday, April 28


Well, I've just uploaded my first item on Etsy. Lots more to go but taking all those pix takes time!

The Stitch Marker Gift Tags are brilliant for popping into swap packages and the like. Good value, very attractive, and useful!

Sunday, April 27


I've decided to make the tutorial a pdf file - when I've worked out how to upload it here, it will be freely available.

Saturday, April 26

SOCK KNITTING 1: Those Pesky Needles

sock knitting 1
Originally uploaded by yarnzie
Okay, so those cocktail sticks look a little scary at first, I mean, how on earth can anybody knit with those!

The first thing to remember is that, just like with normal knitting, you are only ever knitting with two needles.

I've cast on these sample stitches on big needles to make them as clear as possible. I want you to look at the orientation of the needles, rather than the ugly cup ring on my old school bible (which was the first thing that came to hand when I was doing this!)

To start, we'll just use my good old standby sock pattern. It fits a standard woman's foot, and you can always add length if you need. I'll tell you how. A 2.5mm set of dpns should see you right.


1. Cast on 60 stitches. If it helps, cast them on using normal needles.

2. When you have your 60 stitches, cast on one more (all will become clear) and then divide the stitches between three of your dpns. The extra stitch should be left on the last needle (the right vertical needle in the picture).

3. Lay the three needles on the table, just like in the photograph and make sure that the cast on edge is towards the inside of the needles, like in the picture.

Important things to note:

* The short end (tail end) of yarn is Needle One
* Which means that the needle with the working yarn is Needle 3
* The horizontal is needle is Needle 2
* The cast on edge should be laying inside the three-sided box made by the needles.


Well, yesterday evening I started a sock, taking pictures along the way - good pics they were too - only to find that I had forgotten to put the card in the camera. I could cry, but I'm a big girl (in more ways than one LOL) so I won't. You might just have to wait an extra day before we start though. Deep sigh...

Thursday, April 24


Watch this space because, coming very soon, will be Nanny Marigold's Emporium of Usefulness, a handcrafted selection of those tiny bits and pieces that make crafting pleasurable.


Okay, Kristina, this is where your lessons will appear - all in bite sized pieces. We'll have you knitting socks for England before you know it!! We'll start on Saturday...


I've had quite a few requests for updates about how my errant son is getting along (see my English Mistress blog). To be honest, I haven't been updating it because I felt a bit like I was being emotionally incontinent in public. However, a few folk have said that it helped them to know they were not alone in this choppy pool of parenting, so I will be updating that blog later on today. It's not the sort of blog where you can just quickly type a few words, so I'll need to think and write carefully. Nevertheless, write I will. But, while you're waiting, here's an image of the boy when he was small - what an angelically beautiful face he had, and who would have guessed the heartache he would put me and his dad through!

Sunday, April 20


My Grandson's First Bath
Originally uploaded by yarnzie
How could I have been so worried about loving him? Really, I was so worried, you see I love my own children so much it hurts and I honestly couldn't imagine loving anybody else with that passion.

Alfie brought his love along with him - he's a real dear!


yarn end socks
Originally uploaded by yarnzie
Remember those yarn-end socks I was going to make? Well, here's the first one, made with an assortment of skein ends. I have saved enough so that I can make its pair.

I really do think it's very attractive (and it will be even more attractive once it's been blocked!).

Wednesday, April 16


Plus there are so many ideas buzzing around in my head. I plan to:

  • Try and get back to my knitting
  • Make stitch markers, row counters, and dinky little dpn bags to sell on Etsy
  • Complete a long ago promised pair of socks for a friend
  • Send a long ago promised selection of books to another friend
  • Update my blog more frequently
Phew, makes me breathless just thinking about it all!

Oh - and my latest wheeze? Using all my ends of sock yarn to make a pair of socks so hideous that they are gorgeous. Watch this space!

Saturday, April 12


On Thursday night, April 10th, at four minutes past eleven, I helped in the delivery of my first grandchild - Alfie. Alfie weighed 7lbs 8oz and was born after a very difficult and very long labour, which I attended both as a mother and a midwife. It was the most emotionally exhausting 48 hours of my life but, like childbirth itself, was worth every minute.

My rough, tough son-in-law cried like the softie he really is and my daughter worked like a trojan to push the baby into the world with the help of a ventouse. Without her strength, stamina, and perseverance it is highly likely that we would be in far from celebratory mood right now - it was touch and go.

I am proud to call Jo Tait my daughter - and boy, do we have some stories to tell Alfie when he's grown.

Pictures to follow - nice pix, not gory ones!

Sunday, April 6

Socks for my FCS3 Swap Pal

Originally uploaded by yarnzie
I wasn't too impressed with the colours my swap pal gave me to choose from - blue, brown, and burgundy. Then I noticed that this yarn from Violet Green that has been in my stash for ages contains all of those shades!

Just knitted a simple pair of stocking stitch socks - my much modified generic pattern that never fails - and I'm quite pleased with how they've turned out.

Let's hope that my swap pal is too!

Thursday, April 3


As with any other field, there are good and bad internet yarn suppliers out there. I'm not going to name and shame the bad ones - I just won't use them again. This is not cowardice on my part but, just because I've had a bad experience, doesn't mean to say that you will.

Nevertheless, I've found some suppliers who go beyond the call of duty in their customer service - so (fanfare) here they are:

Socktopus: Alice at Socktopus is a real sweetie, as are her staff. Nothing is too much trouble and deliveries are speedy and beautifully packaged (usually with a sweetie!). The range of sock yarns available from Socktopus is large and luxurious - simply the best when it comes to socks, that's Alice.

The Woolly Workshop: Another wonderful yarn and knitting accessories supplier. I purchased some lovely Jaggerspun Zephyr here and it was with me within 18 hours! Even better, Gill who runs The Woolly Workshop is an ex midwife like me. Midwives are all wonderful!

Janette's Rare Yarns: This is an Ebay store, par excellence. Wonderful service, stupendous yarns - what more could a knitter ask?


Originally uploaded by yarnzie
Well, I finally decided on the yarn for my Lace KAL (the Juno Vagina wrap). This is Malabrigo Lace that I got from Janette's Rare Yarns on Ebay. It was well priced and delivered within 24 hours! I intend to cast on tonight - Jo's labour socks are almost finished, but not quite. This yarn though is screaming out to be used!