How to knit for a nosy bitch

Friday, January 13, 2012

As I've mentioned a couple of times, I've been attempting a bit of knitting recently. (Sadly, while I wait for Smidgen to shed enough hair for me to start spinning it into yarn, I've been having to make do with the non-animal-hair variety.)

A couple of you have asked what a snood is, which I thought was a bit strange, until I discovered that before the late 80s (when the snood as I know it, a tube-like scarf thing, became all the rage in North Berwick), THIS is what a snood looked like:

Um, no. That is not what I'm knitting for myself. And it is most definitely not what I knitted for Smidgen. I don't even know how that would work. Where would her ears go? What would the other dogs say? What would she wear it with? No. What I knitted for Smidgen was this:

I know. My skill as a knitter is dazzling. Behold the slightly wonky hole for her lead, the "rustic" ribbing, the body language that manages to convey shame and disgust in equal measures. In fairness, it could have been worse.

As for myself, I'm aiming for something like this...

...but I'm not going to get my hopes up too high.

This sudden, fervent obsession with knitting is quite a recent development in Operation Be More Creative. It all started when Zoë of Conversation Pieces and I decided in a moment of crafting madness to sign up to a knitting class. After a difficult and prolonged process involving muddled needles, panicked tweeting and An Unfortunate Incident With The Dog, we finally coaxed into being two perfectly imperfect hats (mine resplendent with an incredibly dense and heavy pompom. It's the pompom equivalent of a black hole).

I have never been so proud:

The hat in action. Isn't she beautiful?

Buoyed by my early success, I decided for my second project to knit the present for my Nosy Bitches gift recipient (who I can finally reveal was the lovely Trisha). Her favourite colour is purple and I think she has kind of an alternative vibe going on (she was a blue-haired bride!), so I picked up some purple yarn and got to knitting swearing unravelling knitting.

Can you guess what it is?

No? How about now?

Really? Still no? Okay, try this on for size:


What do you mean, "are they legwarmers"? Of course they're not legwarmers! That would be completely ridiculous! Who would want a pair of legwarmers?!

They're handwarmers.

Which is, of course, not remotely ridiculous.

I did kind of write on the card what they were meant to be. Just, you know. In case. Obviously played the Scotland card too, to make them seem a bit more authentic and Celtic-y. As though maybe Trisha might read the card and think, "Oh, that must just be a special Scottish knitting technique. Those holes are probably intentional. Those crazy Scots. Probably drunk*."

I deliberately haven't posted a picture of me modelling them, because they make me look like I've got a broken arm. Or the wrist equivalent of a cankle. But I have seen a picture of Trisha rocking them, and they look ace on her, so that's some comfort.

If you fancy making some for yourself (and let's face it, who wouldn't?) I found the pattern here. I went for the pattern without a thumb-hole, because, well, I don't know how to knit thumb-holes yet. Tube-shaped things and pompoms are the entire extent of my abilities.

Pompom legwarmers, anyone?

*Possibly true.

{Images: 1. tinpotlil on etsy. Is it wrong that I kind of like that dress?? 2&3. Hairnet-snood things: source unknown. 4. Me. 5. Laark chunky knit snood. 6. Lauren McGlynn 7-10. All me. Obvi.}

18 boats moored

  1. I lIke that dress too! Although not in bright yellow (I like yellow, but not that yellow) and not next to a man that looks vaguely like Paul Newman dressed as a fisherman who's lost his trousers. Creepsville.

    Also your hat looks amazing, kudos. I did wonder what the lead hole is, thanks for clearing that up.

  2. The hat (and you in it!) look so flipping cool. The modern, pompommed version of your lady and the greyhound picture!

    I'm well jealous of your knitability. I have tried so many times to learn, and as soon as I get going I go wrong and can never work out why. Inevitably things get thrown across the room. Animal snoods though! I need to try again!


  3. Check out you and your greyhound looking fab! Very impressed by the knitting, not so impressed by that weirdo in the first picture

  4. The hat and snood and hand warmers are all impressive. I am rubbish at makign pop poms so most impressed by your pom pom skills.

    And I think there is a market for pom pom legwarmers. Somewhere.

  5. I'm very impressed!!! I would like to learn to knit so I can make myself a copy of the laura ashley duck egg cable knit throw/blanket I wanted to steal from a holiday cottage last year.

  6. Greyhound+snood is very cool...

    My knitting chat pretty much ended last year when my mum taught me how to knit a hat with a pattern she found online. It was all going fine and dandy till we got to the end and realised it was a pattern for a baby's hat.
    Knitting fail. Well done on your successes!

  7. Ohhh I love knitted things. Everything is warm and pretty in the same time :D xxx

  8. ahhh that kind of snood makes sense! really the only time I've heard the word before was in White Christmas, which was made in 1954-ish, I suppose it's natural the word has a new meaning now.

    well done with these knitting projects! I've never tried learning but I did try crochet and never could master that, so I've been hesitant to try. does seem like a nice little hobby though..

    1. I'm working my way up to knitting a scarf. Ambitious, I know.

  9. I have a pair of arm/hand warmers that I LOVE. I totally knew what they were, right away.

    You're talented, lady! (And really, who knits w/o swearing, unraveling and drinking? I do not want to meet this person, we wouldn't get along.)

  10. While you are waiting for Smidgen to shed her hair, what about trying this?

  11. you are seriously crafty! and hand mits are awesome. I love mine ever so much.

  12. Ok, you are my new knitting guru. That hat is Fabulous.

  13. So far my knitting has consisted of a hat and a snood. I'm working on a baby blanket and want to move on to socks next!

  14. Love the hand warmers, impressed with your knitting skills, I've not knitted since school despite back then being constantly encouraged by my Granny to keep my Shetland heritage alive - think my skills (or lack of) came from the other side of the family... I have a ramdom question - where did you get that lovely purple tag & ribbon from, it's just like the one I would like for my wedding favours but can't seem to find! Thanks!

    1. Hi Caro,

      I got the tags from Paper Tiger in Edinburgh but I found them online here for you - they also have handmade paper and giftbags in the same pattern. It's lovely in real life.

      As for the ribbon, it came attached to the gift tags but I have always found ebay really good for ribbon in every imaginable colour.

      Good luck! x

  15. Thanks! I love paper tiger, never thought of looking in there! I've been trawling the internet for pretty luggage tags and have not found what I am looking for. They will match perfectly with my favours, I wonder if they do navy?! I will have a wee rummage next time I am in Edinburgh!
    Thanks again! x

  16. I can not believe I haven't commented yet! I just want to chime in and say that they are lovely, and warm, and perfect. No really, I love them to pieces.

    Mr Ninja (the Husband) has even asked me if I really need to wear them so often. It lead to a conversation like this.
    Me: "Of course I do! They're awesome! You should try them on, you'll see!"
    Mr. Ninja: "Okay, Hand them over then."
    Me: (Slightly panicked because that would mean I would have to take them off.)"No! They're mine. If you want some, you'll have to find your own awesome internet friends! Plus, you'll stretch them out with your giant hands!"
    Mr. Ninja: "Giiiive them to meeeeee!"
    Then some good-natured scuffling on the couch happened. I'm not very good at sharing I'm afraid. Especially when it's something I really like.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Kirsty!