Calm after the storm, originally uploaded by iknitlondon.

Two of my favourite knitters, Craig and Gerard from the I Knit London shop which just moved to a new, bigger and more central location in Waterloo. Woohoo. They have a lot to celebrate.

They had an opening party and the pear cider was flowing freely. These men are really generous spirits. I don’t know how they do it all! My favourite moment was watching Craig sat on the sofa, pounding out shelf labels on yellow paper using his old 1930’s typewriter. If it’s worth doing…

I brought Mike along in hopes he might start knitting again but he’s feigned amnesia and impatience for learning anew. Oh well. He found this new Regia Sock yarn– the color schemes masterminded by Kaffe “king of 80s intarsia” Fassett himself. Mike was like, “Who is this joker on the label?” It was hard to explain given my mixed feelings for Fassett who has a lot of double consonants in his name. When I told Mike I would make socks for him out of this yarn, he felt a lot more generous about it.


No doubt many a Londoner has seen these billboards around town. Knitting has hit the mainstream. The other day I was in a pub wearing a scarf I’d made and this beefy punter actually turned his attention away from the footie long enough to admire it and say, “Why, that’s a lovely scarf.” and then with a knowing, conspiratorial wink, “I wonder who made that.”

Seriously, when big rugby-player looking guys knit-flirt with you, you know knitting has reached some kind of pop-culture pinnacle.

Kate wearing the Train Tam, originally uploaded by velvetdahlia.

I knit this tam for my friend Kate– the buttons I’ve had since I was a kid– one has a unicorn on it.  It’s based on the pattern by Cozymakes.

Favourites, originally uploaded by velvetdahlia.


Favourties, originally uploaded by velvetdahlia.


This reminds me that I really need to get knitting for my Blythe. I need to name her and style her hair and…well, just stop neglecting her.



This is my version of the “Spicy Tee” from Stephanie Japel’s Fitted Knits . back.jpg

Here you can see the shaping at the back. It does fit me amazingly well. From looking at the flickr group devoted to this book you can see that the name of this book is pretty appropriate. Everyone’s designs fit them really well. I promise a picture of me modeling this soon.

This design is very similar to some of the tees in Teva Durham’s book– they are knit from the top down with decorative shaping in chunky, earthy yarn. But unlike Durham’s tees that come in one “stretch to fit” size, these designs can be modified from shoulder to hem, adding and subtracting stitches in the round.

I modified the pattern a bit to fit me, but also I made the sleeves cap sleeves and abbreviated the garter stitch ribbing. I was using Rowan “Holiday”– a cotton ribbon-like yarn that is basically a stretchy core inside a gauzy ribbon. I knew it was going to be hard to work with, but it was on sale at Liberty and I liked that it was this chunky, stretchy yarn. But it really was unlovely– splitting, fraying and getting caught on everything. I was irritated that my earthy-funky sweater looked too “Rowan”– ie– a West London boho lady-who-lunches. I really wanted it to look more like something Lt. Uhura might wear if she was, well, going to Ladyfest Bristol or something.


I actually realized I would run out of the dustly plum, without having done the sleeves or neck, so I ordered some day-glo chunky from Texere. Lately I’ve been obsessed with this idea of using day glo as a trim on something earthy looking, like searing pink and moss brown as a color combo, or tweedy grey and acid yellow. I thought hell— plum and synth orange? Why not.

It reminds me a little of the stuff the used to sell at Cyberdog in Camden in the late 90’s. When I first saw those soft-armor pieces, all intended for black light, I was pretty turned on by it all. I know neon is “in” right now, and I don’t care. I intend to make it my own.

favourites, originally uploaded by velvetdahlia.


Next Page »