DIY Bondage Cord

We moved house on the last day of the months, and one the items that got lost along the way was our cord.  It was not a priority item to replace, but I guess that Himself felt the loss as he started stroking the finger knitting that I was turning into a thicker piece for further knitting.  Something about it made me wonder if it would work for *ahem* other purposes.  Rigorous testing shows that it not only works, but is a more enjoyable experience.  If you’ve never finger knitted, this might be the time to start.

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This is what 9.6m of tickly soft, strong rope looks like

How much yarn
I had a selection of weights and thicknesses to hand, none of them more than 25g.  25g of chunky cotton/silk made a rope roughly 15 feet long, while the lace mohair pictured was 3g.  I suggest grabbing some small balls that you like the feel of and, if there’s enough of it to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand then just work until you run out.
Think about the sensation that you want, and choose your yarn to match: tickly mohair (with nylon for added strength), whispering silk, absorbent cotton (if things get messy)

Method
You will essentially be using your non-dominant hand as a small loom, creating a cord approximately 1/2inch wide.  The width may vary somewhat according to yarn thickness, but that’s the finest I’ve known it.
With the palm of your non-dominant hand facing you, take the end of your yarn in your dominant hand and tuck it between your thumb and forefinger, clamping it in place.  Wind the yarn behind your forefinger, in front of your middle, behind the ring, and right around the pinkie.  Coming back towards the thumb, go in front of the ring, behind the middle, and in front of the fore.  You will repeat this process once more, creating two loops on each finger; using your dominant forefinger, grab the lower of each pair of loops in turn, and slowly lift it over the finger and off.
One loop will stay on each finger until the end, and you will weave around as above to create the second.  Your work will grow down the back of your hand, and tugging on the bottom every now and then will keep it neater and help the loops lie lower on your fingers.  It takes a little while to get into the rhythm, but it grows quickly once you do.
If you need a break, slide each loop in turn onto something cylindrical (I used a spent AAA battery).  Once you are near out of yarn, cast off by taking the single loop off your forefinger, placing it on your middle finger, lifting the lower loop as before, and repeating along your fingers.  When you get to the last loop, pull the yarn through and tighten until it snugs up.  Secure both ends of yarn by sewing them into your rope, and enjoy your new cord.  Please don’t show me photos of it in use.

Want to see what I originally intended the cord for? I’m currently working on that project, and will show you when it’s finished.

Bleak Socks (plus free pattern)

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This is one of the two pairs of socks I’m currently making. The photo doesn’t really do it justice, but it’s the best I could get at 11 at night.
I wanted to have enough done to give a taste of how enjoyable it is to make, as the FREE pattern is only available until the end of the month. Hopefully, it will be a pay-to-download then (not my pattern!)
Here is the part that I’m currently working:

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I had the most fun ever with the lateral braid. Yes, it’s inspired by Bleak House!!! Have I said that I lurve Dickens?
I chose charcoal yarn partly because I already had it, and partly because it looks like the dark stone of the inspirational building to me. And I chose red beads because I couldn’t source the black beads I wanted and got itchy fingers, so I settled for that of the colours I had in the right size as I think it looks dramatic. Would pale pink have gone better? Hmmm

Darned socksy

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You may remember when I was trying to knit my first pair of socks, and having great trouble. Well, that above is the second attempt, completed yesterday. I took a big break from it, and it would have taken no more than a week working at them exclusively.
So what was the problem? First, I was deliriously ill. Second, I had no idea that my typically sloppy gauge would be tighter in the round.
How am I celebrating? Making two more pairs of socks. One is a toe up for my mum and… You’ll hear more about the others very soon.
Because I have naturally short and wide feet that are easily irritated y my oedema and I get feverish from prolonged contact with acrylic, I have never had a well-fitting pair of socks before. They’re just on the snug side now, but are growing with blocking.

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In case you were wondering, the yarn is Zitron Trekking XXL in shade 1002. This shade seems to have been discontinued, but 482 isn’t far off

Anya’s Yarny Giveaway

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So I had to share the news that the very talented spinner and dyer Anya Lowery will be celebrating the impendingopening of her etsy shop by giving away sexy yarn, including that pictured above. To win that yarn, go to her blog post and say something nice about it. I forgot the best part: if you don’t knit, she’ll make you an item with it!

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And there’s more! If those pretty little miniskeins make you squee with delight (they do me, that yellow is so uplifting), hop on over to her Ravelry group and reply to thread for a chance to win.
Apologies for the miniskeins pic showing twice, I’ve got trouble with both Internet and tablet this morning

This post doesn’t seen to want to go out! *sigh*

On a Wish, a Kiss, and a Prayer

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So, I’m continuing to work Bigger on the Inside, which is my first extensive lacework. There’s the completed vortex lace section, which I’ve just now (hopefully) picked up and started knitting the 311 stitches for the TARDIS. I say hopefully because I am supremely bad at math, so kept miscounting.
Anyway, I am using my special and possibly unique prayer method while knitting this. It’s hard to cross your fingers for good things to come to someone and knit at the same time, so I cross my needles instead.
I pick a pattern or yarn that’s related to the person, and think a certain word with each word; in this case “please” – which is the wish part. This pattern is one that my friend Vera put me on to because she has the yarn ready to go on her own. So I, still in my head because God is within, had a small prayer with each completed row. And the kiss? Each little lacy area looks like a kiss to me, so she has tons of those.

In case you were wondering, I did clear the dangerous piles of books

Only bamboo will doo

I thought that I would carry on yesterday’s shawl theme today. I am working bigger on the inside as part of a Doctor Who craft-along that I set up on Ravelry. I have not had much luck with lace before, and got rather annoyed when I had to frog this one several times.
Even on this working, I’ve made a compensating error which I hope will save it from another frog. There are two things that may have been causing extra trouble here:

1) I’m using old donated cotton, not the lovely new wool specified in the pattern
2) I started using an unknown plastic circ

When your knitting drags on your needle so much that the surface begins to actually disintegrate, a different one may be in order. Switching to bamboo made a vast improvement to my gauge. Look at the photographic evidence

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It just kinda sits there limply on the plastic, with no stitch definition whatsoever

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And now I see lace!

So you see, I will reach for my bamboo needle and hooks every time; as I simply achieve better results. Every knitter has a particular needle type that they do best with, and mine is the bamboo dpn. When I need to use something longer or the tension doesn’t fit there, I will then use a circ (as pictured).
Due to my strange hearing (an aspect of Asperger’s), I can actually hear the needle rub against the yarn; and so know that plastic provides the highest level of friction. Due to my oedema, a cold material against my skin is actually painful. So I’m least likely to be able to knit with the most commonly available needles, the aluminium or plastic single-point

S-H-A-W-L spells sexy

First off, apologies for all the quiet. I’d say that it won’t happen again, but one can never guarantee that. Anyway, I have been writing a lot lately and so Monday I almost fainted when I realised that I could pack one of my sexier wips for a boat trip down the Medway.
I finished it today, and here it is:

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I was feeling far too hot to try it on (I feel a bit warm when the temperature rises about 10oC), so this is a temporary photo. It is my second working of alabaster shawl, this time casting on 20 extra stitches for extra coverage. Because hey, I’m a big woman.
Here is the original:

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The yarn is varying shades of Colinette Mohair. I have some of it left (it was a kg Creative Pack), so am wondering if I should make an even larger one in green. When the weather cools, of course.