An Aran Shrug in June

OKY knitting may 2015

Yes it’s June (though it’s not exactly the hottest June) and I’m knitting an aran weight shrug. However it’s actually a pretty comfortable knit, since it’s knit quite loosely on 7mm needles.

I modified the cuff by striping the stitch pattern, and then I decided that I preferred the look of the wrong side, to the right, so I used that side instead when starting the stocking stitch portion. It’s now big enough that I can’t knit it standing up, which is a bit tricky because small people want to sit on me whenever I try to sit down. However it’s proved to be the perfect knit while I work on swapping my knitting style from English to Continental, which I’m doing with the help of Lorilee Beltman’s Craftsy Class*.

(Continental purling is so efficient! I’m hooked!)

Hopefully the loose knit, with some decent blocking, will even out and early teething troubles as a swap styles. But hopefully this will give me more knitting bang of my buck, in this season of more limited knitting opportunities. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself. 😉

The yarn, naturally, is OxfordKitchenYarns BFL Aran, in Chocolate Cherry and Cloudy Sky.

 

 

(*As ever, this is not in any way a sponsored post. I just like this stuff.)

Podcast Recs Summer 2015 edition

I am a big fan of podcasts. I listen to them more than I listen to the radio, or even to music right now, particularly when I’m doing errands, and on my morning run or walk (depending on the day.)

Anyway here are a few that I’m really enjoying and that are consistently really good:

  • Friday Night Comedy from the BBC – this is whatever comedy programme is on BBC radio 4 at 6.30pm on a friday. (You know all this obviously – this podcast is hugely popular.) I’m a big fan of The News Quiz, particularly when Sandi Toksvig took over as the chair. But I’m also completely the right age to have a soft spot for Punt and Dennis, so I’ll usually happily listen when The Now Show is on too. I’ve been listening to both these radio shows for about fifteen years at this point, and having them as a podcast just makes listening to them even easier. This podcast is regular part of our weekend and W and I usually listen to it together.
  • Henry & Heidi – I think this has just pipped Wittertainment as my current favourite podcast. I’ve found Henry Rollins a fascinating person since I was reading about him as a teenage in Select magazine and the NME. I’ve been to see some of his spoken word, and would like to see more, (once I get my evening back.) These podcasts are funny, interesting and kinda inspirational. I listen to them a lot when I’m running, and if I’m giggling in the street I’m either listening to that or…
  • No Such Thing As a Fish – This is a podcast of amazing facts, from the QI elves. It’s usually both mind boggling and funny, and has me sprouting all sorts of information at the dinner table (most of which W insists is made up.)
  • Hope*ologie – this is the monthly podcast run by Myquillyn from The Nester, her sister Emily of Chatting at the Sky and their Dad Gary. Hope*ologie is subscription site, but the podcast is free and a great taster for the site. This podcast just makes me happy. It’s like a hug of a podcast and it always makes me smile.
  • Wittertainment – I’ve talked about this podcast before, here, but it’s still a thing of joy. If you like films, or Jason Isaacs, or silly in jokes that you will pick up easily, or two men grumping at either other in an increasingly married way, then this is the podcast for you. I love it. Even though I hardly get to see any films any more, and despite Mark being SO WRONG about Avengers 2. But let’s not go there right now.
  • Read-Aloud Revival – This is the podcast run by Sarah Mackenzie from Amongst Lovely Things, all about creating a family culture of reading, and the importance of reading aloud. I’m still making my way through the back catalogue but I’m really enjoying it, and get a lot of book recs from this podcast.
  • Homeschool Snapshots – This is a short, snappy homeschooling podcast run by Pam Barnhill of EDSnapshots. Overall I like it, and have enjoyed listening to almost all of the episodes. I *did* nope out of one episode due to idealogical differences, but that didn’t put me off the season as a whole. Overall I find it useful and supportive.
  • A Playful Day – I am so late to this party. But I am making my way through this craft podcast, and enjoying it very much.

So there you go – my current favourites. I hope you find something there that you didn’t know about before, and which you might give a go.  If you do, I hope you enjoy them.

What podcasts would you rec back to me?

FO – Kiri Shawl

 IMG_1959(You can find my kiri shawl on Ravelry.)

IMG_1957

kiri

kiri

kiri shawl

kiri shawl

kiri shawl

 This project started with a random trip to Oxford Fiberworks, where I fell a bit in love with a couple of skeins of Malabrigo Rios in the ‘Marte’ colour way. I think originally I was planning for them to be long mitts, which then morphed into a shrug (which I actually cast on for) before deciding I needed some shawl knitting back in my life.

Back in 2007 the Oxford Bluestockings had a Kiri knit-along and Abbi knit her’s in a chunky weight and I was amazing. I’ve had it on my to-do list to make one ever since, and I realised that this was a prime opportunity. Kiri is just diverting enough a pattern, and knit up on 7mm needles it should have been a quick knit. However four birthdays and Christmas got in the way of completing it, until last week when I decided I couldn’t start my birthday sock blank until the shawl was finished and blocked.

Blocking in a house full of small children is a pain to be honest, and I just have to bite the bullet, shut the door and do it. Luckily it only took about a day and a half to dry. And today I’m wearing it.

I have to say – I’m really pleased with it. I love the stripes (Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, and some Alpaca handspun). I love how they balance the differences between the two skeins of Rios. I love how squooshy and warm, and big it is. I love the stitch size, and the drape and basically I’m really happy with it.

Plus it goes with my ‘Troy and Abed in the Morning’ tee.

I think we can chalk this one up as a success. *big grin*

 

 

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