Memory Lane Again

With Mum & Canon

Some things just get lost in the mists of time, and that is right and good, it clears the way for the next innovation. Take the hand-knitted cream jacket folded neatly on my arm in this photo taken somewhere by the sea in Kent in the later half of the 1970s. The pattern for that jacket is long gone, and I remember so little about it that reconstruction is not a possibility. Oh, I could make a stab, and I could get close, but it wouldn’t be that jacket, just a cream hand-knit jacket slightly reminscent of it.

As I recall, the design was slightly boxy without buttons; it had a slash neck – you can see in the photograph that the front is a long straight line right up to the shoulder. When worn, the neck would naturally fall open forming a soft, ad-hoc rever. The yoke area was worked in a one-by-one rib, but I can’t remember if the body was textured or just stocking stitch. I am guessing that I used an aran-weight yarn, because it felt more like a jacket than a cardigan.

I found the pattern in a UK knitting magazine that was published in a small format – probably A5 – and which had a fairly short lifespan. I can’t find anything in my internet research that seems to relate to this publication, but there are references to “Mon Tricot” which was also in a small format and published in the 1960s and early 1970s.  I bought my first copy of this mystery magazine in a newsagent on the Isle of Wight in the summer of 1976 then I got a few copies from shops before it became subscription only. I subscribed, but it wasn’t long before it petered out completely.

I can remember knitting a couple of other patterns as well as the cream jacket. There was a plain and simple twinset (short-sleeved sweater and long-sleeved cardigan) in a lightweight yarn, which featured a square neckline and folded hems – très chic. The wool I used was quite luxurious for the time, containing at least some cashmere, and I bought it in Aldertons, a little haberdashery shop that inhabited one of the historic buildings on Swan Lane in Norwich for at least a hundred years before closing down in the 80s or 90s. Although mainly dedicated to sewing, if you climbed a tiny, twisty wooden staircase to the first floor you would find a small selection of knitting wools.

The other pattern I knitted was a thick gilet made in a chunky wool for which the design was worked in three horizontal bands with each band being folded down on itself to double the fabric before the next section was added. It was an ingenious construction.

Returning to this cream jacket, I have been wondering whether I should add a cream version of that cabled jacket in my previous post to my list of things to make. It would not be a direct re-visit of this old project, but more an homage to the basic concept (I fear that may be akin to a fashion designer revealing the inspiration for their latest collection and you looking and saying “You what?”). I am not sure, however, because I rather like the idea of the heavily cabled jacket in a jewel toned yarn. It may be the destiny of this cream jacket to live on in memory, and this photograph, only.

Finally, to bring things bang up to date, I have a finished object! The Cable Front Cardigan is off the needles, washed, and ready to wear. I’ll do my wrap-up post on Monday with some finished object glamour shots.

I hope you all survived the week in good shape and that you have time this weekend to put in a bit of work on your crafts, whatever they may be.

On the home stretch

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I am getting so close to finishing my Cable Front Cardigan that I don’t want to put it down, but perhaps it is fortunate that the weather is forcing me to work in short bursts. I’m writing this mid-afternoon on Tuesday and we are currently at 26℃ (78.8ºF) which is hot enough to make wool stick to fingers after a while.

I am thoroughly enjoying working on the cabled scarf part of this pattern; in fact, the whole pattern is a joy which probably explains why I am on my third version. The main cardigan is quick and simple to execute in stocking stitch, then the two different cable patterns on the scarf front, together with the ever-decreasing width, has me happily knitting ‘just another 8 rows’ for hours on end.

I have made some modifications to the scarf front. The pattern has the decreasing take place between the large cable pattern at the outside edge and the section with the smaller cables, but I am doing the decreasing at the inner edge where it will be joined to the body. I have added a single buttonhole which I am placing immediately below the bust as I know from experience that I like being able to button the cardigan closed. Perhaps the biggest change is that I am working the larger cable over 16 rows rather than the pattern’s 14 rows. As the smaller cables are a 4-row repeat, and the decreasing is every 8 rows, this change means there is hardly any thinking required.

When this is off the needles I am going to rein in my knitting for August. I will hopefully make time to finish my Mama Weer All Crazee Cowl and perhaps knit a pair of socks, then I hope I will be ready to embark on another garment come the beginning of September. I am already dreaming about what that might be. That pink v-neck sweater I’ve been banging on about is one contender, although I need to order suitable wool, but then again I have always hankered after knitting this:

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The pattern is by Bergere de France from their Irish Knit Magazine No. 159. I bought the pattern book from Norfolk Yarn back before their shop moved from the outskirts of Norwich into the city centre, so it’s probably high time I actually knit something from it. Every time I get it out and look through it, I think how great it would be if I could find a blouse just like that, too. I really like the combination of the bold, colourful print with the light, chiffon type of fabric.

The other pattern I really love from that same book is:

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I think I would classify this as a labour of love.

I am continuing to saunter down memory lane and have some very sketchy recollections to write about on Friday of an old, old project from a magazine that I can recall only the barest details of.

What are your plans for summer and into autumn? Do you have any projects you keep thinking of doing but somehow never get around to? I love to hear from you, so drop me a line in the comments section to let me know what you’re thinking of doing.

New Ink (not a tattoo!)

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Last Wednesday we had a three-sisters day at Bury St Edmunds, complete with lunch and associated new-home admiring (my oldest sister has recently moved to the town) and a saunter around the Wednesday market and general window-shopping.

I made a small detour to The Writing Desk to purchase some Diamine ink, having been influenced by YouTube ink reviews from Writerly Witterings over the past few months. I tried some ink cartridges from this brand some time ago and at that time I wasn’t too keen; I thought it was a shame as they are a British brand and I do try to “shop local” when I can.

I have to say this time I am both impressed and happy with the inks I chose. I wanted to get one called Sunset which is an orange tinged with red, but they didn’t have that one in the shop so I went with the Wild Strawberry which is a red tinged with orange. I have filled my Lamy LX pen in the rose gold finish with this, and I must say it is a lovely combination. There isn’t any reason to use certain coloured inks in certain coloured pens, but there are some combinations that make me smile as I use them and this is one of those.

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I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that the Sunset colour would look even more spectacular in this pen.

I definitely have a penchant for red – ink, clothes, shoes, handbags, even hair sometimes – so I doubt this will be the last red ink I buy, although I already have enough to see me through many years to come. I have only used a few millilitres of the Lamy Crystal Ruby ink which I got for Christmas, and I still have three cartridges of J Herbin Rouge de Caroubier as well as this new shade. The Wild Strawberry and Rouge de Caroubier are definitely similar in tone and I don’t see a purpose for both in my collection. The Lamy is more on the pink side and I can see me using that and the Diamine turn and turn about.

The Majestic Purple was the more sensible purchase; I have no other purple ink at present and have been planning to rectify that for several months. I used it to fill my original black Parker 51 with the fine nib and was pleased with the colour, then I decided to go ahead and also put it in the burgundy Parker 51 so I could do a comparison. Loved it! I have not been happy with any of the other inks I’ve tried in that pen, because I don’t generally like a broad nib, but this just hits the spot. It is bold and well-defined, with none of the wishy-washy watercolour vibe I have had from other inks in this pen.

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The Diamine inks come in a host of shades and a variety of formulations, from the Registrars’ Ink which is permanent, waterproof, and of archive quality, being the ink used by registrars and clergy to sign official documents, to Washable Blue which, as the name suggests, is not waterproof at all. The Writing Desk offers the following:

30ml plastic bottle (the ones I bought) – 20 shades from the Music and Flower series at £3.99 a bottle; 112 standard shades at £2.35 a bottle.

80ml glass bottle – 113 shades at £5.85.

40ml glass bottle – 16 shades of the special range released to celebrate Diamine’s 150th Anniversary at £7.75 each.

50ml glass bottle – 40 shades in the Shimmer range, inks with a metallic undertone selling at £8.95 a bottle.

For someone based in the United Kingdom, these inks are great value for money. For comparison, the most expensive single bottles of ink on The Writing Desk’s website are the Pilot Iroshizuku at £29.00 for 50ml and the cheapest (ignoring the 30ml Diamine bottles) are inks from Rohrer und Klingner at £4.25 for 50ml. I like the fact it’s so easy to buy a a small bottle so you don’t have to invest in a full-size bottle to try out a colour. That being said, good pen retailers such as The Writing Desk and Cult Pens (two online stores I have personally used) offer ink samples in many of the inks they stock so that you can test out a colour before you buy.

(All the prices I quote are inclusive of VAT and shown on the website of The Writing Desk at 14th July 2019.)

If you are the least bit interested in fountain pens and inks, or in the current celebrations of the first footsteps on the moon, I would suggest you watch the video by Brian and Drew of Goulet Pens as they unbox the Colorverse Limited Edition First Moon Landing Ink Set. Inspiring stuff.

Of course, The Writing Desk doesn’t just sell ink and, although I kept my visit pretty brief, I did have a quick look at some of the fountain pens on display. I was particularly taken by the Pelikans, but the pen that really caught my eye was one of the less expensive offerings – the Faber-Castell Essentio in the Rose finish. The shop owners were unpacking some items when I was there and I am glad that they were not displaying the new Lamy Studio 66 in the limited edition Aquamarine colourway – I’m not sure I would have been able to leave the shop without it!

Now I have a full complement of pens inked up with a variety of colours, all that remains is to use them, so I had better make sure I do plenty in my bullet journal during this third week of One Book July.

I hope you have found some useful, or at least interesting, information in this foray into the wonderful world of ink. See you on Wednesday for a knitting update (and there has been knitting).


I should also point out that The Writing Desk is far from the only stockist of Diamine inks and I would highly recommend also checking out Cult Pens (Diamine produce a special range of inks specifically for them in “deep dark” shades) and Diamine’s own website. I know they are stocked by Goulet Pens (online USA) and Wonder Pens (bricks and mortar stores, Canada) and I’m sure in tons of other places too.


 

Pink Ice-Cream

First Jumper

Uh-oh, it’s the 1970s again! Just look at those flares! I wouldn’t be surprised to find a platform sole hiding just out of shot.

Here I am with my lovely Mum at the seaside (I think it’s the Isle of Wight in which case it’s the summer of 1977) and I’m wearing the first jumper I knitted myself after I left school.

Along with my sisters, I was a keen knitter from the age of 5 when I learned the basics from our mum. I can remember knitting dolls’ clothes and scarves, but I don’t remember actually knitting myself any garments as a child or young adult. A little later I learned to crochet (I think it was our oldest sister who taught us that) and I remember crocheting tank tops in the early 1970s, but then who doesn’t? When I left school at 16, there was a lovely long summer before I started working in the autumn, and it was during that summer that I picked up the knitting needles and, really, never stopped.

This jumper was incredibly simple, just a basic v-neck pattern with set-in sleeves and I am pretty sure it was knitted in a man-made yarn. However, it fitted nicely and was warm and comfortable and, really, doesn’t that sum up what a hand-knitted garment should be?

This is the first of my ‘historical’ projects which is inspiring me to make a revisit. On this one, it’s a combination of the colour and the simplicity of the garment – that vibe of being a step up from a basic cotton sweatshirt – which is inspiring me. I have been yearning to knit something in an ice-cream pink for so long and I think this year will have to be the year.

I have been working away over the past couple of weeks setting up an archive of completed knitting projects on this website and, if you care to take a look at any, you can find it linked on my main menu. It is my intention to log new projects as I begin them so I end up with a proper archive of the things I knit. I do have a number which I made but didn’t originally bother to log, so I may go back and record them if I can find photos and details of yarns and patterns. In time, I might also add a page of stashed yarn, although I might be being a bit ambitious there.

Well, that’s all I wanted to say, and now the weekend is peeping over the horizon. I hope you’ve got nice things planned, and I will see you back here on Monday, I hope, for more chatter about inconsequential things.

Seams okay

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Now that is what I call progress!

My Cable Front Cardigan by Norah Gaughan for Vogue Knitting is coming along apace. I made it my goal to finish the back over the weekend and, despite having a totally lethargic day on Saturday (which I am putting down to the humidity), I comfortably finished it by the early part of Sunday morning. That was the point at which I decided that I could seam together the main body of the cardigan and then when the cabled scarf front is finished all I’ll have to do is add that to the body and I’ll have a finished object.

Of course, as soon as it was in the above state, I had to try it on and I have to say that if the fronts were not so narrow, I’d be tempted to just put a button band on it and call it done. I love how it fits at the moment. It is nowhere near as boxy as the initial, multi-coloured version was, although the addition of the scarf piece will change the fit and the look of the garment dramatically.

Just to clarify, I have not made a mistake with my grammar in the title of this post, it is a play on words. I thought it would be nice to show you how I seam my hand-knits. First of all, I tether the pieces I am about to seam together with loops cut from left-over sock yarn – the contrasting colours help to make things clear. The loops are usually about 3-4cm apart.

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Then I run a row of crochet along to form the seam, removing each yarn loop as I come to it.

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Yes, it’s more bulky than a nice professional invisible seam, but what it lacks in grace it more than makes up for in sturdiness and ease of finishing. The only seam I really hate doing is the shoulder seam – no matter what I do I can’t get a shoulder seam to go together easily. Mind you, they look fine once the garment is finished, so who cares?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little look at my current work in progress. I’ve been doing a little housekeeping on my archive of finished projects over the past week and I’ve come across some more references to old knits which I want to make new versions of. Come back on Friday for more about that.

In the meantime, I hope your week is progressing well.

 

Unanticipated Cake

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Looks scrummy and it is! You might think you don’t have a recipe for Unanticipated Cake, but I’ll bet you do because there are just so many recipes for it. Unanticipated Cake is the cake you make when you forget a key ingredient in the cake you anticipated making. So, for instance, this example of a Coffee and Walnut Cake where the walnuts remained safely contained in their plastic box whilst the coffee cake went into the oven. It’s a lovely example of a coffee cake, and I could call it Coffee Cake and pretend that is what I meant to make, but that would be a lie: it was my intention to make Coffee and Walnut Cake, so this can only be an Unanticipated Cake.

I generally find if I’m making a cake with “and” in the title, it is likely to end up as an Unanticipated Cake. It seems my mind can only hold onto the idea of one flavour. Chocolate and Orange? Yeah, gonna be chocolate or orange really, isn’t it? In fact, I should just substitue “and” with “or” in all recipes and be done with it!

One Book July Week 1

At the end of the first week of One Book July I thought I’d do a brief update on how I am finding it. At the start of the second day, I was reading in The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll about how valuable it is to re-write tasks as you progress through the days in your journal because it automatically gives you the incentive to examine the items you haven’t done and ask yourself why you haven’t done them. You will, at some point, become fed up with carrying forward an item and you will either knuckle down and do it or else decide that it is something that doesn’t need to be done and drop it completely. That stuck me as so sensible that I had to question why I was so keen to be able to move pages around in my notebook and prevent myself having to re-write things. I was so taken with this that I decided to change my plan for the month and move into a bound notebook, following Ryder Carroll’s methodology much more closely than I originally anticipated.

It turns out there are things I like about the bullet journal and things I am not so keen on. At heart, I know that there is nothing that will get me working on the things I need to work on apart from my own willpower; no system can kick-start that.

One of the things that I am resolutely refusing to do is replace my usual daily longhand journal with bullet journal. Whilst I can see the value of rapid logging of things that happen during the day but leaving them to be processed later, my daily journal is the ‘later’ – it is a quiet, reflective period where I can stand back and assess the things that happened the day before and record them.

However, for the on-the-go logging, recording of events, tracking of tasks, and general information about where I am and what I’m trying to achieve, the bullet journal is an interesting experiment to make.

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So glad I grew up in…

With Mum 1

… the 1970s

Yeah, that’s not going to come as a surprise to anyone! This is the decade where I spent my teenage years and, although I wouldn’t return to being a teenager if you paid me, I am truly grateful that those are ‘my’ years because when I look back on them they were so much fun. Okay, so it was a period of political upheaval in the UK, with the Irish troubles constantly making headlines and trades union actions leading to regular power cuts and the introduction of the 3-day week which, as I recall, didn’t apply to schools so I didn’t benefit!

Yet, set against that, here are five things that I look back on with immense fondness.

The music

Oh, yes. From Glam Rock to Punk: T Rex singing “Ride A White Swan” in 1970 to Blondie’s “Heart Of Glass” in 1979, I was there! Roy Wood of Wizzard was my pop pin-up and I had a big poster of him in the bedroom I shared with my sister. There will never be a Christmas song to top “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day” and I will brook no argument on that. I patiently waited until I was in my 50s to see Roy Wood live and also got to see another 1970s favourite – The Stylistics – around the same time. But the 70s were also the years of Don McLean, Bread, Alvin Stardust, more Don McLean, Neil Diamond, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and a host of others who provided the background music to my adolescence.

We had transistor radios and listened to Radio 1 and Radio Caroline. We had cassette recorders on which we could tape music off the radio (and make mix-tapes for our loved ones) or play our favourite albums bought legitimately on cassette (Andy’s Records was the big Norwich seller at the time). We still had record players and bought on Vinyl too. My oldest sister even had an 8-track player which provided my introduction to Leonard Cohen. Now the big thing is music streaming services and where is the romance in that?

The clothes

For a long while the 1970s were labelled as the decade that style forgot, and there were some hideous crimes against fashion in that decade – from Glam Rock to Punk! However, for me it was also a very classically fashionable decade and provided the bedrock of my wardrobe for ever more. What I remember best are the a-line skirts hitting between the bottom of the knee and the middle of the calf and the trousers actually reaching to your waist. There were Oxford Bags and a lot of other 1920s influences like Fairisle knitwear, and there was plaid, not to mention the ever-present Laura Ashley mini floral print. Wool coats for winter and cheesecloth for summer. Men in suits – what heaven for a heterosexual lady was the 1970s office full of men in suits and ties.

The photo at the top of this post shows me in one of my favourite outfits of the later 1970s – a soft pink tweedy skirt and lightweight cotton blouse which if I recall correctly had little pintucks and a line of embroidered flowers on the front. Accessorised with a big shoulder bag, heels, and the worst hair cut of all time! Love it.

The TV

You can all chant along with me as I go through this list! Alias Smith and Jones, Kojak, Starsky and Hutch, Blake’s 7, Dr. Who (Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker shared the decade). Yet there were also gems like A Horseman Riding By, The Day of the Triffids, Survivors, The Quest (American cowboy series with Kurt Russell and Tim Matheson), The High Chaperral (more cowboys), The Devil’s Crown (historical drama from the height of the BBC’s reign, about the Plantagenets), the start of the BBC’s epic task of televising all of Shakespeare’s plays.

It might well be that you will be sitting in the year 2059 still awstruck by how good Killing Eve was, but I am not entirely sure that will be the case. I think we got the best of the best in the 1970s.

The holidays

I had one foreign holiday in the 1970s – two weeks on Crete with my sister, brother-in-law, and a friend of theirs. It wouldn’t count as exotic or even, probably, enviable nowadays, but it was a great adventure for me. Other than that,  I happily pottered about the UK with my parents and had lovely, simple times that were just plain enjoyable. From the early 1970s in a camper van in Scotland to the later 1970s of the above photograph, visiting Canterbury; via the Isle of Wight where we stayed in an old house with no TV and where I bought a book which really boosted my newly-revived interest in knitting. I loved my holidays every bit as much as the trips to Thailand that are obligatory for teenagers now.

Swisskit

Will anything sum up the loved-and-lost nature of the 1970s as well as the Swisskit? I loved these fruit and chocolate and meusli bars for an intense period in the mid-70s and then they disappeared, never to be seen again.

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It isn’t conceivable that they were as good as I remember them, but I often think now how good it would be to sink my teeth into a Swisskit again!

So, yes, this is my ode to the 1970s, decade of my youth, and the years that made me the decidedly odd person I am now (heaven only knows how it fared for the ones who took drugs!). Let’s raise a glass of Blue Nun to the memories.

The new and the old

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My current progress – not much to write home about

Well, hello there, welcome to Wednesday and my latest knitting update. As I intimated last week, there has been a slowdown in progress because I was engaged in ‘proper’ work last week, by which I mean a paying job carried on outside my home. One week was more than enough, though, and I am back to trying to puzzle out how to generate income without having to sit on a customer service desk for seven and a half hours a day, whilst hoping that other job opportunities will come along that involve methodical ‘back-office’ work needing someone with limitless patience when it comes to paper-handling, plus general plod-ability.

However, progress there has been, despite the overall rising of temperatures here in East Anglia, UK. Whilst I have only put about two rows on the Crazee Now cowl, I am a good halfway up the back of the Cable Front Cardigan which, thankfully, grows apace without me putting in a horrific amount of effort. I think this is on track to be in my wardrobe well ahead of the chilly autumn days which, it has struck me this week, can’t come soon enough for me. I don’t generally enjoy summer a lot, being an indoors rather than outdoors kind-of girl, a cooked vegetables rather than salad type, a opter for rhubarb crumble and custard rather than strawberries and cream. Wait, I need a short break here to fantasise about steamed jam roly-poly!

Okay, now that’s out of my system, I am going to write a little about an old project because there isn’t so much to say about my current knitting. The jumper I’m going to write about dated back to 2008 and it was one I really loved and enjoyed wearing. A plain, mid-blue, v-necked, long-sleeved jumper, it shouldn’t have been anything special, but it was one of the knits that stands out in my memory as just being eminently wearable.

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Jumper modelled on completion by 2008-me!

For me, one of the most successful things about this jumper was the yarn – “Grace” by Louisa Harding which is sadly gone from this place*. This was a DK-weight yarn, 50% Silk/50% Merino wool and it knitted, washed and wore like a dream. Initially it was sold in solid colours then a range of multi-coloured options were introduced. This blue was the only batch I ever bought and I kick myself for that. In 2010 I had a sweater’s quantity of a Rowan yarn with a similar fibre content, but found that one to be very splitty, and not anywhere near as pleasant to use. I started a jumper with it, but never finished, and in the end I sent the majority of the yarn to a charity shop, realising I would never want to use it.

I think the pattern for the jumper was from a pattern book that accompanied the yarn, although I’m sure I modified it by keeping the neckline very simple, bordered only by a minimal crochet edge. I remember the yarn being on the thick side for a double-knitting weight and the fabric pleasingly dense, with the silk content providing a softness and feeling of luxury but not giving it a drape as such. I know this jumper was part of my regular rotation of knitted garments for a good number of years, and that the fabric stood up to wearing and washing very well indeed.

Thinking about it, I could really do with a good, serviceable blue jumper in my winter wardrobe. I seem to have edged towards the teal end of the the blue shades over recent years, but a good mid-blue is eternally useful. Mind you, my plans for winter involve a couple of jumpers in icy shades. Perhaps soon I will treat you to revisit of the first jumper I knitted when I took up the needles again in 1976 after a bit of a hiatus during my early teens. If that seems like a non-sequiteur, it isn’t – the jumper was an icy pink shade and is the inspiration for the ones I am thinking of knitting this winter.

So, that’s all for now, folks! I hope your week is going well, and you are making progress on your plans and schemes. I need to head into the kitchen and sort out the vegetables I have been batch-cooking this morning; get them into the freezer, keeping out a serving to do vegetable rice for my tea.


* “Gone from this place” is a line used in the 2002 movie adaptation of HG Wells’ “The Time Machine” when describing Eloi who have been taken and eaten by the Morlocks, which is probably what happens to all those yarns we love when they stop being produced! If only I had bought the printed copy of “The Time Machine” that I was looking at yesterday I would be able to check if it’s actually used in the original text. Alas, I was not in a forward-thinking mood and now I would need a time machine to put it right!


 

One book July? I’m in!

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You’ve seen it all before, but here it is today

Since 2014, some enterprising ladies on the internet have been running a challenge called One Book July. If you’re not part of the “planning” community everything I am going to write from here on in will seem a little odd, or totally crazy, to you, but you may enjoy it all the same.

What is One Book July? Why One Book July? Well, there are an awful lot of different planning systems out there in the universe nowadays, and if you find you have even a slight interest in time management/planning/personal productivity, in a very short time you are probably going to fall down a massive rabbit hole and find you go from owning one little week per view diary that fits in your pocket to one of every type of diary/ring-bound planner/Travelers’ Notebook/Erin Condren Spiral Bound planner/Cocoa Daisy insert….. you get my drift.

Noticing the growing tendency for people to become overwhelmed by the choice available, and by the number of planners they personally own, a group of ladies suggested that for the month of July 2014, interested members of the community should pick one planner and one pen and use them exclusively. Some people managed it, some people found out a lot about themselves but didn’t complete the challenge. Each year since then, the challenge has been issued, but each year it has a new twist and members of the community can choose from a number of options that have built up over the years.

As a person who has stood on the edge of the rabbit hole, but not disappeared down it, I haven’t previously been enticed by the One Book July challenge, although I’ve often watched videos about it. This year, however, I’m going to break with tradition and take part. That’s because this year the group are putting their focus on The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll and I am still reading this so I think there is a lot of value to taking part in a group reading of it.

My planner/bullet journal set-up is going to be the one I’ve been using the past couple of months – my Filofax Notebook with the Mark and Fold weekly diary pages at the front and lined notepaper behind them. This is a departure from the standard Bullet Journal set-up, particularly in that the optimal paper suggested is always dot grid. I love lined paper and hate any kind of grid so I’m following my own heart on that particular point. I find the pre-formatted diary pages work well for my future logging and as a repository for upcoming events but I hope to put into practice a better way of processing information on the collections and longer-term lists side of the equation, and learn a lot about the goal-setting and reviewing area which I am poor at, to say the least.

Just a word, before I depart, about the one pen part of the original challenge. Really? One pen? No way! One book, all the pens – that’s the way to do a challenge!

For the expert information about this year’s One Book July challenge, check out Dispatches From The Frat House https://www.carieharling.com/one-book-july-2019-introduction/ or search for One Book July on YouTube for a plethora of videos.

What you’ve always had

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Cable front cardi #1 (2006)

Having touched on the idea of always getting what you’ve always had in my previous post, I thought today I would do a show-and-tell about the previous versions of the cable front cardigan I’m knitting.

Above is the first version in a Katia yarn which I believe was part wool and part acrylic. I always thought of this as my “international cardigan” because it was knitted in England using Spanish wool bought in France by an English lady who was born in Germany in an English hospital staffed by Canadians! I did the cabled scarf part in the asymmetric style of the original pattern. This was a really nice top that I wore a lot. The man-made element of the yarn meant the fabric was quite floppy/silky so it draped very nicely and although it is quite cropped and wide, it never felt too boxy.

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Cable front cardi #2 (2011)

I didn’t really take to this second version quite as much as the first, perhaps because it was a bit too boxy, I was a bit too fat, and the gauge was a bit too tight. Looking at it now, I also think that button is way too high up! It was really cosy, though, and I wore it a fair bit. This was knitted with J C Rennie coned 4-ply wool held double, which yielded a Worsted weight fabric. You will see that on this one I kept the scarf front the same the whole way around and I’m not sure that was a good move.

Having looked at the photos of both now, I think I will go with the asymmetric scarf on my newest version. I am also making the body a little longer on this new version which I hope will prove flattering. It is always hard to tell, part of the way through a project which is knit in pieces, quite how the whole will hang once it’s all finished and pieced together. That can be a persuasive argument for all-in-one knits, but I rather like the big reveal at the end of the project when I get to be very happily impressed, or slightly underwhelmed.

I’m going to leave you with a funny thought – if I follow the mathematic sequence set so far, I will be knitting my next version of this in 2030 and I will be 70 years old.

I hope your projects, knitting or otherwise, are trundling along well and that you managed to either get on with them during the week or are planning a weekend with them.

See you on Monday.