Just before Christmas, there was some sort of social media thing

Just before Christmas, there was some sort of social media thing where you had to take a #selfie, but using a toilet roll, which for some reason makes you look like a #moon, particularly if you use a b&w filter. Or maybe my cousin @anne__bee just made it up for a laff… Anyway, she sent me hers, and I did this one. If you ever meet me in person, I am not just a disembodied head. But as a doctor once told me, possibly for distraction during something undignified, “total amelia” means the total lack of limbs. One for the pub quiz file. #yarnlovechallenge #zerowoolcontent #knitter #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram #morewooltomorrow #honest

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February 13, 2017 at 06:21PM


Actual flipping #sunshine!! If you sit in a sunny bit, it is warm!!!

Actual flipping #sunshine!! If you sit in a sunny bit, it is warm!!!(Fighting my inner Garfield at this point.) So, this was the post meant for Friday’s #yarnlovechallenge on the subject of #oldeststash. Friday … was a non-school day, with all that entails. Anyway. These cheery shades of @rowanyarns #kidsilkhaze — looking so much juicier in the sunshine — entered my stash in about 2009, directly inspired by @janebrocket’s stunningly colourful Yarnstorm blog. Among the tulips and cakes were pictures of this yarn, just because it looked nice together. Not because it was about to be knitted, but just because it made her happy. It made me happy, too, and I started thinking about what I bought in a different way. Goodbye, random purchases from eBay: hello, thinking about colour and quality. The pink has been used in many projects (inc last year’s Cosmic Dandy), the green was an early lace project (mohair and lace, so pretty, so prone to woe) and the orange reminds me of my sister’s hair. They remain precious, and it’s lovely to see them out in the light. 😍#knitter #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram #kidsilkhaze #kidsilkcrack #somecallit #wibblewobble #jellyonaplate

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February 13, 2017 at 02:33PM


🎵We’re wide awake

🎵We’re wide awake /It’s good to know you’re ready and you’re wide awake🎵

Saturday-morning-child-based-activity-new-level-brainwave: I have brought a thermos of #coffee. And my Siri cardigan, now with 1.5 arms. It has grown out of the previous project bag and graduated into this roomy #denim beauty (that could describe half my wardrobe, ha!), designed by @gailswindyday for @wildandwoollyshop. As my #travelproject is whatever I am working on (fidelity generally ensures completion), I am always in search of LARGE project bags. This one is perfect. #knitter #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram #siricardigan #onlyoneballleft #yarnchickenfearbegins (Recognise those lyrics? They are from #Wacaday)

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February 11, 2017 at 09:37AM


I missed a #widn tag!

I missed a #widn tag! @stitchbirdie, aka Lorna Reid, creator of lovely things and designer of the charming sewing pattern in the Old Maiden Aunt book — have you ordered yours? see the link on @oldmaidenaunt’s page — asked me a couple of nights ago but I missed it, oops. So here’s what I’m doing now: winding another ball for my Siri cardigan. Smugly, I have just finished a whole sleeve before doing the last few inches of stocking stitch on the body. And used a new-to-me bind-off for the ribbed sleeve cuff that is kind of like Kitchener stitch but worked flat: search for “invisible ribbed bind-off”. Lots neater than my usual “bind off in rib”. Wait a minute, why do I, a speaker of British English, use “bind off” rather than “cast off”? Because it has a different abbreviation to “cast on”. I was burnt by CO confusion as a less-experienced knitter, and now watch out for that trap while I’m #techediting. As I step down from that small soapbox, I’ll ask a couple of fellow OMA team members: what are you up, @jenireid and @woollenflower? #knitter #knitstagram #knittersofinstagram #caston #castoff #bindoff #nottodaysleeveisland #newballsplease🎾

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February 09, 2017 at 08:34PM


My first #knitting #tools were a pair of brightly coloured straight needles

My first #knitting #tools were a pair of brightly coloured straight ones that @looplondonloves used to stock: made from casein, and very cheery. At some point I started using circulars, and have never gone back. First came the cheap but grey and joyless Pony needles (default John Lewis brand), then Addi, and now my favourites are @knitproeu Zings: colour-coded by size for easy identification. I can hear (some of) you (OK, just you) marvelling at my #needlestoragesolution. Made by Mr Words in frustration at a previous iteration that was rather less visually pleasing (a sturdy carrier bag), it is a simple wooden box, perfectly sized to store circular needles in their packets. They are sorted by size, with a “misc” area at the back for crochet hooks and a small amount of dpns. #iloveit. And the smaller, cardboard box is #purgatory, a holding area for packetless needles and needleless packets until their partners emerge from project bags/rucksacks/sofas. I let the chaos mount up then spend a pleasant 10 minutes doing “reconciliation”. A spreadsheet also exists. If you’d like to sort your needles out in the same way but didn’t keep the original packaging, you can buy plastic packets online cheaply, or make them out of paper. The satisfaction of having everything back in this box, and in order, is … mmm, I hope you can experience your own, similar pleasure. Sudden realisation: this is what my dad and grandad do/used to do with their tools, using shapes on pegboard, and neatly labelled nuts&bolts&washers drawers. #itsgenetic #nohope #knitter #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram #knittingneedles #circulars #neat #aplaceforeverything #andeverythinginitsplace #yarnlovechallenge

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February 09, 2017 at 03:22PM


I’ll snatch a bit of knitting time from wherever I am

I’ll snatch a bit of knitting time from wherever I am — buses, trains, waiting rooms — but here is where I get to really relax into a proper session, once dinner’s done, children are stowed away in an appropriate place, and something’s on the TV. There is a pair of scissors I. The arm of the sofa that shouldn’t be there, a piece of waste yarn (just the kind of thing that *should* be there, my Siri cardigan, and a packet of M&S liquorice allsorts. Better than the Bassetts ones, if you ask me. Less sugar, more liquorice.

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February 08, 2017 at 03:07PM


For a fan of #stripes, I have very few knitted ones

For a fan of #stripes, I have very few knitted ones, so here are some #grellow industrial ones from my local tube station, spotted after a cross-town work meeting. Crying out to be turned into #colourwork via @knitsonik’s system, surely. Or magicked into a hand-dyed #skein? #wishfulthinking #knitter #notadyer #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram #yarnlovechallenge #urban #harringay #grey #yellow #grime #londontransportrealness

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February 07, 2017 at 04:09PM


Jane “you maniac”* Lithgow

Jane “you maniac”* Lithgow, fresh from releasing new knitters off into the world, has just asked #widn. In a situation that will surprise no one, I am #knitting, while watching #UniversityChallenge with Mr Words. Random correct answer from me: Johan Cruyff played for Ajax. Most quickly interrupted question by Mr Words: whatever it was that had the answer “baklava”. *Have a look at her post to see why that’s her nickname. OK @vinca56 and @girlinknits, what are you up? #knitter #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram #siricardigan #pirkkalanka #pestogreen #stockinettestrait #justoffthecoastof #sleeveisland

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February 06, 2017 at 08:38PM



Sometimes, I wonder if having a hobby (that word barely does it justice — pursuit?) with natural, relentless, #predators is a #mistake. Damn you, #moths. I pack yarn away in airtight tubs, in ziploc bags, surrounded by cedar-scented products and lavender, and still you come. And munch. Is it the glut of opportunities in this built-up part of #London? Is it the temperate climate? Is it the sheer temptation of a clearly beloved garment that you can’t resist? To all appropriately specialist scientists out there: please could you invent a non-toxic-to-anything-but-moths, 100% effective deterrent? I would #kickstart that in a heartbeat. #knitter #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram #yarnlovechallenge #wheredidday5go #gotabitoverwhelmedbyallthelove #thankyou #stuntskein #unharmed

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February 06, 2017 at 03:58PM


🎵Take it easy, take it easy, take it easy/ No need to hurry🎵

🎵Take it easy, take it easy, take it easy/ No need to hurry🎵 I’m at a Saturday-morning child-based activity, with 30 minutes to spend doing Whatever I Want. Which today is winding the next ball for my Siri cardigan, and writing the post for today’s #yarnlovechallenge prompt: #speed. The mechanical charm of swifts and ball-winders is spot-on for 4ply, but for anything heavier I prefer hand-winding. Very satisfying. A big thank-you to @oharethey and @maryheatherb for organising this challenge: Twitter is … useful for news, but it’s so often bad just now, and this month Instagram is full of faces and stories, making and sharing. I know that’s partly down to algorithms, but right now? Just my tempo. (Anyone else picturing JK Simmons in Whiplash at this point?) The lyrics are from Take It Easy by Hopetown Lewis: great way to kick off a weekend’s soundtrack. #knitter #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram #badlighting #hellofilter #takeiteasy #justmytempo #newballsplease 🎾

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February 04, 2017 at 09:45AM