Thursday, 6 December 2007

Yarn Cake Pattern

This is what we're aiming for - it stops your yarn cake falling apart or getting tangled in your keys in your bag.
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When reading this pattern keep in mind that I am not built for speed, lettuce or writing patterns and so am not sure whether I am using english or US terms but I know it works for me. Some kind person may leave a comment and then I'll make it better so it makes more sense.

First choose your yarn - I tend to use leftovers of cotton 4-pky or dk. You'll need about 15g. Choose a hook suitable for the thickness of the yarn. In the photos I used DK cotton and a 4mm hook.

Make a slipknot and chain 10. This base chain decides the width of your finished net so if you are using one of those mega ball winders then make this number bigger.

Chain 5 (first treble plus 3ch), 1 tr into 5th chain from end
Chain 2 skip 1 and treble into next chain. Repeat 3 more times. DON'T TURN THE WORK!
Into same stitch ch3 treble, ch3 treble. This effectively turns the corner and enables you to do the same loopy thing up the other side of your starter chain.
Repeat to match first side of chain (where made first treble). Ch3 and join to 2nd chain of first treble.

At this point it should look something like a freaked out sea cucumber, a la picture below.
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That's your base done.

Slip stitch across 2 chains - you're now on the peak of one of the little loops. Ch4 and dc into next space. You now repeat this round and round in a spiral.

At the end of the first round you might be tempted to join the end of the round with the beginning at the place the hook is pointing to below.
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Instead make your last ch4 work a little harder and just dc into the next loop, where the yellow arrow is.
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Keep going round until the cake holder is a bit shorter than you want it to be (about 9cm unstretched/7 loops high for me with my low tech average size ball winder). It should look a bit flacid and useless, like the pic below.
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Now you're going to sort out the top so it can be gathered tighter to keep the yarn cake in it.

From wherever you are on the brim ch3 (first treble) *ch1 skip 1 1tr into next stitch. Repeat from * to end. Join this round to the 3rd chain of your first 3ch. You've created some little gaps like the pillars that held up aquaducts in ancient rome.
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To neaten it off do a round of dc around the top. Cut yarn and sew in end. Use approx 50cm yarn to make a twisted cord and thread it in and out of the aquaduct spaces, indicated by yellow arrows.
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You've finished! Put your yarn cake in it and tighten the top cord to keep it in. The centre pull end of the cake comes out of the top. Tighten the cord around the top as your cake gets smaller.

The pattern is on Ravelry as 'Yarn Cake Keeper'. Let me know if you spot any mistakes!

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

THAT wig

Oh yeah, this is me. I'm the one with the chin.
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Because of course last night was Grease 2 at the Barbican's bad film club and it was really fun. Not as good as Anaconda - if anything Grease 2 is almost too bad to be shown at the bad filmk club - but still pretty good. And made doubly memorable by the attendance of Alice (aka Socktopus) and Sue from Golders Green. And triply memorable by my winning a trophy the size of my nose for my wig and a t-shirt.

The wig is of course the hallowig from knitty and it was great fun. I can quite see them being great as hat substitutes for bright young things or chemo patients (not that the two are mutually exlusive unfortunately).

Grease 2 brought back many memories, not least of which was thinking of the last time I ever did something like this in a crowd...
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Here is my sister trying not to be noticed between Sue and Alice. We all had kazoos, clackers and whistles so we could try and drown out songs like 'Charades'.
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It all reminded me of dear old anaconda and I don't think I ever got it together to share this photo of Pooch with a snake on his head.
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The sticky up tail rattles. What a boy.

The terribly busy rush in the run-up to xmas has started. Not at work,. oh dear me no, but in my real life. The weekend saw me going out on both friday and saturday night (practically unknown for me as neither occasion involved knitting) and then going to meet my parents and sian at her place in Horsham.
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If you ever happen to pass through it is worth stopping. A very nice place with lots of promising looking charity shops. Sadly only one of them was open when we were there. And also containing my sister and her boy's very impressive collection of rocky memorabilia which decorates the whole of their flat. I was wondering whether you can get a rocky doorbell as his xmas pressie...? And if anyone knows of somewhere I can get some rocky fabric let me know asap.

This week I have already been to Grease 2 and am off to Lille tomorrow for an early weekend with Pooch. We'll be away til Saturday and I have a couple of yarn shop addresses pencilled in my diary for when Pooch is looking the other way. Then on sunday I get to have my secret pal actually meeting her in person at the Romford knit-in! How exciting is that?!

Job wise I still atrophy a little more each day. I had an interview on monday and got asked back for a second but told them I wasn't interested. The woman I had the first with kept telling me how overworked and understaffed they were and how everyone wanted to work there so they expected a lot from their staff and if one person went off ill everyone else really suffered and basically it didn't sound like a restful environment. Fingers crossed something else will turn up soon.

Sunday, 2 December 2007


It's a hat...
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It's blocking as I type, over a dinner plate. Was a bit foxed by the instructions becauser they didn't mention any increases after the headband and so didn't understand how it would work. Should have known Interweave wouldn't let me down. Is the december lights tam from the Interweave Holiday mag and uses Rowan something and diakeito something else rather than the squillion colours mentioned in the pattern.

I've also been doing a few rows on the Pi Shawl which at the moment is looking pretty manky, although I do like the way the yarn and the colour is working out.
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It's something I've been doing a few rows of in bed. I was thinking about one of the blogs I've been reading where she journals every night. I don't think Pooch would tolerate glitter in the bed and a couple of rounds of knitting is much more 'me'.

I've been trying to be a bit healthier recently and sat down to a really yummy meal of toast and this lot last week.
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I can't understand why I never liked raspberries until last year. They are just so good. The texture is good, the taste is good, they look good and they are actually good for me. Goooooooooooooood.

Went and had lunch with sian, mum and rob and drove around in sian's bright yellow car. Torben was lying in a ditch on salisbury plain in the rain. I don't know how they do it. I get hysterical if my feet are wet for more than about 30 mins. Finished the hat on the way back which involved a terribly long train journey for such a short distance. Gave me pause for thought - I have a job interview tomorrow and I keep thinking..."When they ask you 'what is your greatest weakness?', what should you say?" So far all advice is to say something that is actually positive. But the example Dann gave me last night at dinner was one of the ones Sian said not to use under any circumstances, and she interviews grads for a living. I think I'm going to go with the fact that my default facial expression is 'peeved' and that in meetings I have to remember to smile and be facially expressive. I'm very big on giving feedback and expressing things verbally but I know that when you do that but your face says 'pissed off' it makes the person you're talking to uncomfortable. Geez, I'm so fricking insightful.

Another thing I've been thinking about is how to keep ones yarn cake intact. This has been my long-term solution and has been in use constantly since I made it. It's just occurred to me that I need more than one and so am writing a pattern for my own and others use.
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It even looks kind of dinky.

So...pooch is lov ely

Pooch just highjacked the laptop and typed that last bit. I'd ignore it if I were you.
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