Thursday, 10 November 2011

Sock Sisterrs! - Guy Knitters welcome

Woohoo!  I am starting a monthly sock knitting club.  By club I mean a get-together of like-minded people who like to sit and chat, knit socks, talk socks, compare socks and generally motivate each other - with any kind of DPN knitting.

Do you like knitting socks?  Do you live in London and would like to come along?

We could swap ideas about patterns, help each other with oddly worded instructions, show off our completed projects, talk sock yarns and compare notes about yarn shops or good online sites.

I thought of meeting up once month, perhaps on the first Monday of the month?  I will keep an open mind about that for now in case this weekday doesn't suit people.  I already had some feedback from some people about Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays not being very good, and seeing as Thursdays aren't brilliant for me I ended up with a Monday after this process of elimination.  But nothing is set in stone.

Shall I explain the name a little?  It had to have something to do with socks (well duh, obviously), Sisters goes nicely with that but just 'sock sisters' isn't all that unique.  No chance of trying to google that.  But stick an extra 'r' in there (a bit like in 'Grrls') and this is easily googlable! (go on, try it)

And please let me say that guy knitters are very welcome, the more the merrier!

I am thinking of posting information about this on various social media sites, like Google+ and Facebook, mention it on Twitter and also form a Ravelry group.  Right now the first meeting in December is posted to the 'London Knitting and Craft Meetup Group' on  So if you are a member of that meet-up group then please set your RSVP there!  If you are not, you are still very welcome, just let me know.  You can contact me any time for more information.

The venue will be in central London.  It is probably going to be the Royal Festival Hall unless we are a small group only - in that case it might be nicer to go to a coffee bar like Caffe Nero or Costa Coffee in the Piccadilly or Covent Garden areas.  I will confirm the weekend before.

The first meeting will be Monday 12th December 2011.  We can get a bit of Christmas knitting in! [Apologies, this is rescheduled from 5 December]

I will update this page once I put the Ravelry group together so that you can go there for all the ins and outs about the group, the meetings, the members.  We'll also be able to post pictures of our completed projects showing off our crafty cleverness!  Sock Sisterrs go!

There is just one thing I would like to mention. I will be very happy to advise you if you would like any pointers or help with a tricky bit, I am delighted to share what I know (and to learn from others) - exchanging tips and tricks is what these meetings are all about!  The only thing is that I will not be able to teach anyone how to knit.  I envisage this sock club as a social get-together with lots of knitting, chatting and eating cake but it is not a class or teaching event.  I am very happy to help, and I'm sure others don't mind having their brains picked either, but as I said it is not a workshop or course.  The meetings will be free of charge.  The only cost to you will be your coffee and cake, or civilised glass of wine if we're at the RFH!

I will also bring along a set of instructions for a pair of basic socks, so if you haven't knit socks for a while then this can serve as handy reference.  Please make sure you bring all the bits and pieces you need: a set of four or five double pointed needles (DPNs), your instructions and a suitable sock yarn.  The 4 ply yarns that have a bit of nylon in it are great for socks because it makes them more durable.

There are some great patterns out there.  Ravelry in particular is wonderful for free patterns (as well as those you need to pay a little for).  You can also check out how other people found knitting them, and look at their photos.

Let me know if you would like any other kind of information and I will update this page.

I am so excited and really, really looking forward to the 5th! Come along, indulge in knitting socks, sock, socks!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

A bag sew-along!

I love the idea: a sew-along for a bag that you can use for crafts projects.  What an utterly brilliant idea to use up some of my fabric stash.

I might even get a nice gift out of this, you never know.  Unless of course I like the bag so much that I can't help but keep it.

I came across this on Google+ (love that site).  Here is a link to Knit Purl Gurl's blog explaining the sew-along.

You can easily catch up if you feel like taking part.

There is also a Ravelry group, a link to the tutorial, and other links and tips listed on this blog post.

I just need to go and buy a zipper now!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Christmas knitting

So, I'm doing it again.

I had promised myself not to do this again... If I remember correctly that's exactly what I was thinking last year too! And same result: yup, you've guessed it - I will be knitting some Christmas presents again this year after solemnly promising myself that this year I wouldn't.

Various reasons: I might not pick something the other person will really like (liking in terms of what it is, as well as liking to wear or use), or all my time and effort might not produce the sort of result that I envisaged (falling short I mean) or the intended recipient might not actually appreciate how much time and effort I've gone to even if all else worked out.

On the last point I am thinking of my brother who appreciated the cute as a button amigurumi puppy keyring attachment that I made for him so little that he gave it away without knowing if that recipient would like it either (he chucked it in with the parcel of an ebay sale).  I suppose I can count myself lucky that he didn't just bin it.  I think that he felt that I should have known that he doesn't need any key rings (he's got one) and therefore he shouldn't have to decide what to do with one that was given to him anyway.  So work the mysterious minds of my male relatives.  Funny species that.

I'm wondering what he'll do with this year's idea of a suitable gift for him (suitable in my mind) - I thought of a hat.  He doesn't wear them (so that would be a point against) but on occasion he does need one.  It can get pretty darn cold where he lives, to the point where snow is blowing round your ears and un-be-hatted ears are no fun in weather like that!  So who knows, if I manage to hit on the right sort of colour, pattern and fit?  He might, just might, possibly, like it.  Though I won't hold my breath.

Dad is getting a pair of socks this year, if he likes it or not.  He's the one who keeps insisting that he doesn't want "any" presents at all! I mean: any!!! As in: none at all. But then he and his wife do exchange just the one present between them anyway.  So I'm not falling for that again.  I reckon he just wants to avoid getting rubbish gifts.  That's what I think.

It has one advantage: if I don't get stuff done for the occasion, I can give it to him later.  I just mustn't make the mistake of telling him that I didn't manage, or it didn't work out, or whatever, - he's just not keen on hearing that.  Better if he thinks he's really not getting anything, and then I can surprise him with a gift that I wanted him to have.  I do hope that works for the both of us.  It does for me.

So that's the two most difficult people in my life sorted: men.  What a relief!  The socks are even coming along nicely (I shall blog them soon) and I'm pretty sure that the hat is not going to present a great challenge in terms of the time needed to knit it up.  Finding a suitable pattern and trying to decide how big it needs to be, that's where the tricky bit lies.  I shall meet this challenge with steely determination and fortitude!

I also already started the gift for my mother.  And I won't say, just yet, what it is because between my sister and my mother it is just possible that one of them might read this blog.  So best keep that to myself.

I have an idea for my sister's present which may change because it involves a fabric I found that I think she might like but I'm not at all sold on whether she might like the item that I'm thinking of making.  It would be the sort of thing that she probably won't wear, doesn't really need and therefore might not like all that much (in comparison to all sorts of other things that I could make for her instead) but it would look utterly darn gorgeous and I think she'd like it - even if it ended up just being hung up and admired.  Err... maybe admired.  I'm not actually that sure about that part either.  Oh dear!

So the plans are drawn up, some of the work has been started, I will keep on the look-out for those materials that I still need - and I'll be doing more thinking work to try and test the present ideas for my siblings against some kind of reality check.  If I can bear to do that...

Just one thing's for sure: I won't be making any more key ring attachments for my brother.  Not a single one.  I wonder why...