Sunday, November 25, 2012


Years ago (probably seven or eight, and definitely Before Child) I did some dyeing. Because in the B.C. era I seemed to have a lot of that stuff called 'spare time', and I like to learn new stuff.

This was not complicated dyeing using plants, wood shavings, mordants and so on* but using food dye, and also 'Kool Aid' which is something you can safely ingest, but not to my taste, and heaven knows I have, due to my great age,  eaten icing coloured with actual cochineal - which is made of actual beetles.  I have to say I much prefer to boil yarn up in the Kool Aid than drink it (you can even get turquoise from one of them).

A packet of Kool Aid, this one would turn your yarn pink
Hmm...beetles. Anyway, during this dyeing phase I made a skein of really alarming self striping yarn in Bright Green and Bright Red (this was from Supercook food colouring):

The true horror of the green doesn't come over. Yes that's another Kate Davies going on there, and a glimpse of the chaos that reigns, constantly, over my coffee table.

So, like the good stasher that I am, I put this thing in a the cupboard because it would come in useful One Day. That Day, it turns out, is the day of the great Pom Pom Mania of 2012.
Pom poms are 'the thing' right now - why? I don't really know, but like to think it's more due to Radcliffe and Maconie's cheeky championing of the 'Hoxton Bonnet' (scroll down to the second story) and less with Alexander McQueen and Lady Gaga.  

And, some clever people have invented a doodah (Prym do one, so do Clover) for making pom poms which does away with the cardboard circles of infant school. Clever them, and thank you.
With this new device you wind round one half of the circle, then round the other, and then fasten them together: 
A pom pom in its embryonic stage
After that, you cut round the wound on yarn in the traditional manner, hoping all the while the thing doesn't ping apart before you get the yarn tied round its middle, as it will do if you have wound too much yarn round it and you finish with no pom pom but 100s of lengths of un-useful 4inch pieces of yarn as a result. You only do it once.


Once past this hiccup (it was a very shallow learning curve) I suddenly  - this is quick *and* addictive - had lots of balls. I have no idea what I will do with them though...:
Some balls, this morning.
* it's on my list, I have a vision of me, the washing machine brazier and a big cauldron, boiling stuff up of a summers eve. I could wear my goddess trousers and pixie coat. I might move to Glastonbury... 

Monday, November 05, 2012


I haven't knit anything for the boy since he was but a tot. So I asked him 'What would you like' and he answered  'A red thing', 'Cardigan or jumper?' I replied, 'Cardigan' said he.

Luckily I had bought Millamia's 'Wonderland' at the Knit and Stitch show, so an 'Alexander' Jacket it is (I am not doing the patches, I'm really not sure about them).

And why have 'red' when you can have SCARLET:

Redder than a red thing in a red paint factory
The Millamia yarn is amazing, beautifully soft merino, excellent stitch definition a joy to knit, and machine washable.  I just wish John Lewis hadn't seen fit to package each ball individually, and then in the big silver parcel:

Never knowingly underpackaged

Meanwhile, Wobember is underway here: celebrating all things wool, and well worth a look at (there are pictures of Lincoln Longwools, what more could you want?)