true tales from the gates of the underworld

February 23, 2012, 2:05 pm
Filed under: Crafts | Tags: , , , , , , ,

This is the first of my gaming soakers, all my own pattern.


Knitting longies in the round- a step by step guide.
February 23, 2012, 1:40 pm
Filed under: Crafts | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’m going to make this as simple and basic as I can. Using my own pattern, which is basically a 0-2 year size with very simple adjustments.

1. Pick your yarn. If you want to use the longies as nappy cover, it is better if the wool content is above 80%. Merino is good. Stitch nation Full o Sheep has a lovely colour range, too. Aran/worsted weight yarn is good.

2. Choose your needles. Double pointed needles, or DPNs are easiest in my opinion. Some packs contain 4, some 5.
The size of the needles needs to match your yarn. Depending on your gague and tension somewhere between 4mm and 6mm, I use 5s most of the time.

3. Cast on your stitches. I use the long tail method because it gives a nice stretchy edge.
For this pattern, you cast on 92.

4. Distribute your stitches evenly over 3 or 4 of your needles, depending on whether you have 4 or 5.

5. Join them in a round, careful not to twist your cast on row. This is done by knitting your first stitch into the very first stitch you cast on.

6. Knit the ribbing for the waist band. Knit two stitches then purl two stitches until you have as many rounds as you like. Most of my waist bands have about 15-20 rows.
6.1, optional drawstring holes. These sit in the middle of your waist band, so if you have 15 rows of ribbing, the holes would be after row 8. From the beginning for the round you do the following:
knit into the first of the two knit stitches of the previous round.
Knit the next knit stitch and the first purl stitch together with a k2tog.
Then yarn over and purl into the next purl stitch.
Knit into the next stitch, then k2tog, then YO and so on and so for the rest of the round.
On the next round, continue your ribbing as before.

7. Knit the rise. If you like, you can change colour here. Then knit in every stitch of the round and carry on in this stockinette stitch for about 20 rounds or until you have about half of the required rise.

8. Knit the bottom. This is done in short rows. To start, at the beginning of your round, knit into the first 33 stitches. Bring your yarn to the opposite side of your work, pass the next stitch over to your right needle, bring the yarn back to the other side, and pass the stitch back. This is called wrapping, and you have just wrapped a stitch.
Now, instead of carrying on round, you turn your work, as if you are knitting rows, not rounds.
Purl into the next 20 stitches.
Wrap the next stitch as you did before, first bringing your yarn over to the opposite side, slipping the next stitch, passing the yarn back and slipping the stitch back.
Turn your work again.
Knit up to where you wrapped the first stitch.
Pick up the wrap by inserting your right needle into it and pulling it up on the left needle, then knit both stitches together.
Knit the next two stitches.
Wrap the next stitch, turn your work.
Purl to the wrapped stitch at the opposite end, pick up the wrap and purl it together with it’s stitch.
Purl the next two stitches, wrap the next stitch, turn.
Knit to the wrapped stitch on the opposite end, knit wrap and stitch, knit two, wrap, turn.
Keep doing this until you reach the point where you started the round, this should be a purl row.
Wrap the next stitch, turn and knit all the way round now. Don’t forget to pick up the final two wrapped stitches.

9. Knit six  rounds. On the sixth  round, place four stitch markers, after 20, 26, 66 and 72.

10. Knit the crotch. Starting at the beginning of the round, knit to the first marker, knit an increase, knit to the second marker, increase, third marker increase, fourth marker, increase. Do this for another five rounds, so six increase rounds in total.

11. Separate the legs. Sew the central six stitches between the two sets of markers together. Move the stitches of one leg to a circular needle or stitch holders while you knit the first leg.

12. Knitting the legs. Knit to where you have sewn the crotch together, then pick up three stitches along the inner edge to avoid holes in the crotch, and knit around the back.
Keep knitting in rounds until you are about an inch off the desired leg length.

13. Cuff. For a straight leg, finish the last inch of the leg in garter stitch, alternating rounds of knit stitch with rounds of purl stitch. Finish on a knit row.

14. Cast off. A sewn cast off is pretty and slightly stretchier than a knitted cast off.

15. Knit the second leg in the same way as the first.

The Writer and The Old Lady
February 15, 2012, 9:06 pm
Filed under: Life | Tags: , , , , ,

His name is Robert.  Nobody really seems to know much more than that. People in our town know very little about him, which is unusual;  everyone knows things about everybody else’s business here.
People just know him as Robert.
He walks through the town all day, every day.
He wears the same long coat every day, and the same flat cap. In his hand a rolled up umbrella, a white paper bag with food in the other.  He likes to sit on a bench on the edge of town and eat his breakfast while talking to the sky, his eyes vacant.
His wits have left him long ago, just as his family and friends seem to have left him.
He intrigues me.
Although everybody seems to know about him, nobody knows who he is, only that he used to be a very intelligent man, a writer, with several millions of pounds in the bank.
Does somebody, somewhere care about him? Is he capable of holding a conversation? When you see him in the street he seems so far removed from the world that you wonder how he manages day by day.
Someone, somewhere must know something.


Her name is Hazel. This time, I know the name, I know the story. Her sister, 80 years old and in the tight grips of dementia, hasn’t spoken to her for thirteen years. Fearing that the end is nearing, she tried to get in touch with Hazel, but she can’t be found. The phone number listed as hers in the phone book is mine. There is no address, and the sister can not remember it. Nor can she remember that of her niece.
Others have phoned in the past, call centres, banks, cold callers, all asking for Hazel. They left me unmoved, or annoyed, at best, at the fact that companies don’t even know their customers’ phone numbers. This one touched me. Maybe it was the old lady’s pleading for information, a name, an address, a number, anything?, maybe the fear of growing old and lonely, or maybe it was just a spark, wanting to commit a random act of kindness, but I spoke to the Old Lady on the phone for almost quarter of an hour, listening to her story, and took her phone number. Promised to call if I heard anything.
I don’t know what I would do if I found out Hazel has died. Surely, the Old Lady would have heard about that.
So someone, somewhere must know something…