Yarnlong: Fighting Words


Knitting: Fighting Words  by Annie Watts in SweetGeorgia Tough Love Sock  and Patons Dreamtime Merino Four Ply

I’m knitting these for one of my teachers, because she’s pretty kick arse and we’ve been very lucky to have her. They’re not really what I want to be knitting at the moment (my brain is really only capable of garter stitch), but it’ll be worth a little bit of extra effort. Continue reading

Yarnalong: Otis & Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society


Knitting: Otis by Rachel Coopey in SweetGeorgia Tough Love Sock 

These are taking a little longer than expected because I’m also sewing an outfit for my flatmate to wear to a wedding. And then I went to Christchurch and injured my hand in an old WWII bunker. Four mortal days off knitting. Ugggg.  Continue reading

Yarnalong: Ursula, American Peril, & Shepherds

I’ve decided I ramble too much in my Yarnalong posts, so I’m going to limit my intro and descriptions to 140 characters each, Twitter-style.

Knitting: Ursula Cardigan in Jamieson & Smith 2 ply Jumper Weight

I swear I’m on the home stretch now. I ripped back the shoulders a little and it now fits. I only have the sleeves and neck band to go.

Listening: The American Peril from Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

Highly recommended. Looks at the beginning of the USA’s self-contradicting foreign policy of ‘freedom for all’, now let’s invade someone.

Reading: The Shepherd’s Life: A Tale of the Lake District by James Redbank

Enjoying this, even if it is a little repetitive & I assume Redbank is talking about me when he disparages those who leave the rural life.

See what everyone else is knitting/reading/listening to over on the original Yarnalong.

Yarnalong: Sleep, Rome, Ursula & Decca

Reading: The House of Sleep by Jonathan Coe

To read more books that I want to read (rather than should read), I’ve started with someone else’s favourite book. In a recent Pom Pom Quarterly podcast (or should I say Pomcast), their top three list concerned books they would read and re-read. Sophie recommended The House of Sleep and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. The characters are all mildly flawed and a little creepy, but in a very entrancing manner.

Listening: Knit.fm and Death of the Republic

Knit.fm is still my go-to morning drive podcast and I’m learning so much. This week I learnt I’d been picking up stitches wrong for my entire knitting life. I can’t recommend it enough to knitters.

Death of the Republic is another Hardcore History podcast concerning the fall of the Roman Empire. It’s another marathon, but with a road trip at the weekend, I’m a far way through.

Knitting: Ursula & – gasp – Decca

Ursula is still inching along (steeked last week, scary, scary), but a couple of weeks back, I broke from the queue a little and cast on Rachel Coopey’s Decca socks with Little Dipper Yarns Bootes Sock Yarn in a delicious colour I can’t remember the name of.


New Coop socks with new CoopKnits bag – and my owl row counter, because apparently, I cannot be relied upon to count to four.

Yarnalong: Knit.fm, A History of Britain, and Ursula

Right, let’s get back on the Yarnalong train.

Reading: Nothing

After getting most of the way through Postcards from the 20th Century, I gave up. The memories are in a thematic order, with very little reference to which of the six authors are responsible for each story – except their name. Being absolutely fecking useless with names, I got frustrated as I had to ‘get to know’ the author with each new short story.

Then I started to ask myself why I was reading this and how often I read something because I feel like I should. And it’s a lot. So now I’m trying to think of something I would like to read, rather than should read.

Listening: Knit.fm and A History of Britain by Simon Schama

Knit.fm is a short series of podcasts by Knitbot’s Hannah Fetig and Quince and Co’s Pam Allen* that go back to the basics and explain pretty much everything you need to know about knitting. I thought it would be mind-numbingly boring; it’s not, it’s incredibly useful and makes me pay much more attention to my knitting, why I do knitterly things the way I do, and how I could do them differently.

I’ve been meaning to read A History of Britain for years; listening to it seems a wonderful alternative. I’m learning a lot – mainly that I know very little about British history!

Knitting: Ursula

I’ve finished the fair isle body! Hallelujah! I’m currently a quarter of the way through steeking. One armhole down, another to go, and the front.

See what everyone else is knitting/reading/listening to over on the original Yarnalong.

* It wasn’t until I was writing this that I wondered – this isn’t the same Pam Allen who writes poetry is it? It can’t be, that Pam Allen wrote poetry in the 1970s, so she’d be quite old by now.

Yarnalong: Postcards, TAL, & Ursula

Before you get started here, please head over to the Crafting Battlegrounds post and place your vote – at the moment the metal needle-using, polygamous bi-crafters are winning!

Reading: Postcards from the 20th Century edited by Joyce Harrison and Mavis Boyd

I finished Blue Lighting last night and am still – well, I can’t say at the risk of ruining the end for anyone who wants to read it. I’m both very keen to and yet dreading reading the next book in the series. So I won’t.

I’ve just picked up Postcards from the 20th Century from the book shelf. It’s from my all-time favourite second hand book shop in Wellington: Pegasus Books. Seriously, if you’re in Wellington, head to Cuba Mall, dodge the charity collectors, buskers, and bums and slip into the Left Bank – you won’t regret it.

Postcards is nostalgia history, so I’ll either end up throwing it against the wall or being completely enthralled by it.

Listening: This American Life

This American Life is still on in the car. I recommend the episode Bad Baby – the first act had me tearing up on the motorway, and the second and third had me laughing so much it was hard to drive.

Knitting: Ursula

I haven’t made much progress at all. Last week I hurt my neck and was very social, and thus didn’t knit much.

See what everyone else is knitting/reading/listening to over on the original Yarnalong.

Yarnalong: Blue Lightning, Podcasts & Ursula

Reading: Blue Lightning by Anne Cleeves

After much debate, I set aside the lighthouse book. It doesn’t matter how much you may want to know the information in a book, if it’s not enjoyable, it’s not worth it.

Instead I’m reading Blue Lightning by Ann Cleeves. Because knitting a Fair Isle cardigan in yarn from Lerwick and using a pattern book dedicated to how awesome the Shetland Islands are wasn’t enough to make me wish I was back there. I have to actually read about them too.  

Listening: Various

As knitting Fair Isle goes a lot faster when I’m actually looking at it, I’m burning through several podcasts:

Dan Carlin’s ‘Hardcore History’

The Wrath of Khan series turned out to be rather addictive, due to my complete ignorance of Mongols – seriously, where were they going to burn, rape, and pillage next? Carlin can be a little repetitive in stressing his themes (in this case that of ‘should we hold the Mongols to account for the tens of millions of people they killed?’), but that works rather well – if you’re not paying close attention, you’ll still be able to follow the narrative.

Melvyn Bragg’s ‘In Our Time’

I’m a long-time favourite of ‘In Our Time’, the BBC4 program that discusses the ‘history of ideas’. I thought it had gone on a break, but it turns out my iTunes had just stopped downloading it – I now have several months to catch up on!

Favourite episode this week: ‘The Enuch’, if only to hear the female academic remark that castration really is a simple process and Bragg’s protestations to the contrary.

This American Life

This is currently constantly on in my car as I can’t find a radio station I don’t hate.

Knitting: Ursula

Good news: it appears to fit. I’ve changed down a needle size in the hope of creating a little bit of a waist and settling in for the long haul. Where’s the next podcast at?

See what everyone else is knitting/reading/listening to over on the original Yarnalong.