Led down a rabbithole

So I was listening to one of my favourite podcasts Talk the Talk and they mentioned Google Ngram which searches an incredibly large selection of books and then graphs how many times they were used over time.
Inevitably, given how many things are on my to-do list at the moment, I spent way too much time typing in random words from Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and other fandoms to see what came up. Muggle was used as early as the 1800s and TARDIS spiked in the 1820s.

Naturally this piqued my interest and I had to test out some knitting words.

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Knitting and embroidery are significantly more widely used than crochet.
Tunisian crochet and loom knitting turned up no results.
Finger knitting started to turn up in 1960 and machine knitting started in 1880 with a huge spike in usage around 1940.

Then I fell down the rabbit hole and started comparing needle types, sock construction, colour work, basically all the knitting specific words I could think of.

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At first glance it looks like toe up is more well used than cuff down. Then I dug a little deeper and looked at the books with references to Toe Up. I went through 3 pages and not one reference to knitting.
I don’t think this graph will be able to settle the toe up vs cuff down debate!

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That really sharp spike of DPN in 1960? “Diphosphopyridine nucleotide (DPN) : DPN, formerly known as coenzyme I,* contains one residue each of adenine and nicotinic acid amide, and two each of ribose and phosphoric acid.”
So again, nothing to do with knitting just pure coincidence. Maybe don’t talk about lending your DPNs to a scientist. They might just get very confused.

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Without DPN to skew the graph axis, it becomes clearer that circular needles entered the scene around 1860 and double pointed needles around 1940. I tried guessing what correlations there could be with words like circular knitting, knitting in the round, world war, and measles but none of them had a similar spike. I had a vague idea that I could just stumble on a spurious correlation but it wasn’t to be.

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Fair Isle has been around since the 1800s, but Intarsia appeared in 1850 and Entrelac slightly later in 1905. Or at least the word has been in usage since those times.

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And then just for fun I typed in three different spellings of polka-dots just to see which usage is most popular.

Turns out polkadots it is.
There you go! I still like polka-dots. It appeals to me aesthetically.

Graphs are fun!

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So much yarn so little time

I feel like I’m trying to knit everything all at once!!!

I have my Sunshine Shawl making good progress after watching Australia beat England and India beat Pakistan over the weekend.

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Then I am so close to finishing my crickety cricket scarf it’s just beckoning for me to finish it, even if that means staying up all night (which I am vehemently resisting but a girl is only so strong!)
I’m definitely on the home stretch.

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Then there are my spirally socks. I’ve just turned the heel which means that these are also nearly finished. I’ve already planned the next project for my sock needles.

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Then this shawl has gone missing and I’m systematically turning the house upside down looking for it.

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And then there’s also this yarn that I dyed and just can’t stop petting.

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More about that later…. When I have time!!!!

There’s still Dragon Age 2 that I’m trying to finish, and Mass Effect 3 which I’m really starting to get hooked on, plus the desire to play Dragon Age Inquisition which I have played until the final quest but there is still so much I need to do!
And so many feelings!!!!

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Plus you know a full time job, plotting for birthday presents & surprise mail, and some big ideas for my blog.

I need a nap just thinking about it.

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Cricket World Cup craft-along!!!

In case you’ve been living under a rock (or somewhere other than a cricket playing nation), tomorrow begins six weeks of one day international cricket!!!!! And culminating with Australia the best country taking away the Cricket World Cup.

It’s set to be a cracking 6 weeks and it kicks off tomorrow with Australia v England at the MCG. And what goes hand in hand with cricket watching? Cider Crafting.

The Knit Before Wicket group on Ravelry has a Cricket World Cup craft-along.
1) the item(s) needs to be started during the World Cup
2) the item(s) need to be finished before the end of the World Cup
3) it has to be some way cricket related or themed.

Some of the projects that people are suggesting are just awesome! There’s plans for jumpers in Aussie colours, some Black kiwi socks, and even a designer who is making a cricket vest inspired cabled scarf.

Me? I received the 8th Doctor yarn from YarnvsZombies and it’s perfect!!!!! Not only from a Doctor Who perspective, but it’s green and gold with sparkly flecks.

So I shall be casting on a shawl tomorrow, while watching the cricket.
If anyone else wants to join in the fun look out for us on Ravelry, plus on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #CWCcraftalong.

Personally I just can’t wait to see what this becomes!!!!

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FO3 – It nearly all went aSKEW

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I absolutely love this pattern.
And I really love these socks.
I zipped through these in almost record time too. Mostly because the construction was so interesting I just couldn’t wait to see how it all came together. This is one pattern where I identified as a process and a product knitter.

Sometimes’s I’ll slog through the process in order to get to the finished product.
Others I’ll enjoy the process but be underwhelmed by the product. Very rarely will I be both at once!

I really had to trust the pattern as there were so many elements I couldn’t get my head around how it would turn into a sock.
It was almost recreating the feeling that I had when I made my first ever pair of socks, you keep knitting and blindly following directions with the hope that you’ll get a sock at the end.

I knitting the toe and the body of the foot two at a time (on my beloved Addi Turbos). Then turning the heel had to be done on seperate needles.
Each sock was then worked separately until the ribbing, which I put back onto one long circular needle so that the ribbing was exactly the same length.

The only modification I made was after 3 failed attempts at kitchener stitch, I substituted a three needle bind off to graft the heel. No one (except me and now the rest of the internet) will ever notice.

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The yarn is from ladybug fiber and has been in my stash for AGES! I tried making it into a shawl and that got frogged. I then tried it into a shawl, but it was really just waiting for me to listen to it’s desire to become a pair of socks.

Ladybug Fiber has a self striping sock yarn club which is the best way to get your hands on some unique yarn for yourself.

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You’ll notice that the heels have felted a bit in the pictures. These socks demanded to be worn straight away and so they didn’t get photographed until they spent a day in hi-top converse!

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FO2 – my summer sky slouch

Who can go past a bit of alliteration when naming a pattern.
Yeh that’s right I’ve ‘written’ a pattern!

The inverted commas are because I’m not sure how much credit one can take for taking an existing cable pattern and translating it into a hat.

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The yarn is my own hand dye and the base is a fingering weight superwash merino. It’s so soft and squishy.

I designed it so that it’s really a few hats all in one depending on how it’s angled. There’s a cable section, a rib section, a garter section and two stockinette sections.

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I have plans to write it up properly rather than scribbles in a notebook and then put it up on ravelry. But at the moment they’re still just plans. I’m still not really happy with the decrease section, so I think I’ll have to knit at least one more before I actually publish it.

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Work it Eeyore!!!!

2015

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Finish it or frog it!

I have some decisions to make.

There are 15 unfinished projects on my needles and hooks (that I’ve found so far – I’m not ruling out finding more lieing around.)

Of those just one has a legitimate reason for being unfinished. I ran out of yarn and am waiting for some more to arrive. That’s my wibbly wobbly shawl.

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All the rest? Either I’ve gotten bored, haven’t felt like it, didn’t really like the way it was knitting up, or simply forgot about them when something newer and shinier came around.
Which is why I’m making some decisions. Frog or finish.
By the end of the year there will only be 5 unfinished objects on my needles. And hopefully not ones that are currently unfinished which will have the added bonus of making my area of the couch a little more tiny!

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Oh and I’ve just spotted a blanket which still needs ends weaving in :S

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There’s 3 hats, only one of which where I think the pattern suits the yarn.

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3 pairs of socks. One I love, one I don’t remember what the pattern is, and one I stole the needles for another pattern and don’t remember what size they were.

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I don’t know what I was thinking when I cast on a lace scarf in cotton. It hurts my hands, I can’t seem to memorise the pattern, and don’t have the inclination to look at a pattern every row for however long this scarf should be.

Drunk Bek got her hands on the slipped stitch shawl and didn’t do a good job! I also don’t think any pattern will be good enough for this yarn. It’s so pretty and vibrant maybe I’ll just keep it on the shelf and pet it occasionally.

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I do love Olivia.
I just haven’t knit any rows on it for a while and I don’t know why. The yarn is lovely and the pattern is well written. It’s just been forgotten and left to languish.

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Then there are the blankets. I’m waiting for winter to come around again. A blanket on your legs is quite uncomfortable in 40degree heat.
Not pictured is the granny square blanket. I really dislike the way the squares are joined so it’s in the naughty basket until I can make a decision about it.

Also not pictured is my 5th doctor shawl which is in my bag all the way over there. I have no problems with finishing that one. It gets pulled out at the cricket, and the doctors, and whenever I’m waiting for the train.

So that’s going to be my focus.
No casting on anything new until I’m down to 5 UFOs.
Let’s see how I go!

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Finished object 1 – a shawl of sorts

So the first finished object of 2015 is off the needles, with just a small amount to spare.

It was touch and go for a while but I got there!

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The yarn is ton of wool – cormo which is crowdfunded wool from Tasmania, which was then dyed by yours truly.
It’s a gorgeous yarn to dye with and it knitted up beautifully.

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The pattern is mostly made up. I wanted a garter stitch circular shawl and couldn’t find a pattern I liked. So I cast on a random amount of stitches, increased at each end and then every so often did a whole row of KF&B.
And then finished with a row of KF&B and then bound off.

I quite like the result. Unfortunately for you it was well past my bed time when I finished it and photographed it, but I was so worried I’d run out of yarn I knew I wouldn’t sleep well unless it was finished.
I was rather tired for work the next day. I believe this is what living life in the fast line is like.

So this is tired but pleased Bek, trying on a woolen shawl when it’s really very hot outside.

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2015

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2015 – a new musical adventure

I know that you’re all eagerly waiting to know what I voted for in triple J’s hottest 100 (baited breath right!)

Well without any further ado – here are my top 10 songs from last year. And it was really REALLY tough to narrow down. I think I had a 30 song shortlist that eventually culled into 10 songs.

Wolf Alice – Moaning Lisa Smile

Thelma Plum – How Much Does Your Love Cost?

Spoon – Do You

Silversun Pickups – Cannibal

The Decemberists – Make You Better

Cold War Kids – Drive Desperate

Cold War Kids – All This Could Be Yours

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Coming Down {Ft. Matt Berninger}

Blood Red Shoes – An Animal

Blood Red Shoes – The Perfect Mess

As always I’ve restricted my voting to the options that triple J give me, which explains the lack of Editors in this list.
Even though I loved the latest Editors album, it wasn’t all that well received.

To see all my highlights from last year my 2014 playlist can be found here.

And there is a 2015 one on the way!

Stay tuned.
(ha – I’m so punny)

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15 in 2015

This has become a bit of a tradition now. I did 14 in 2014 and 13 in 2013

Something a bit like resolutions but I prefer to call them goals.

Last year got a bit waylaid with the whole ‘spinal nerve damage’ thing, so I’ve made this year a little bit more achievable.

2015

knit 15 finished items
read 15 books I already own & 15 books that are new
dye 15 skeins of yarn
stamp 15 new cuffs
send 15 postcards/unexpected snail mail for unsuspecting friends**

I think this should be simple and achieveable.

What are your plans for 2015???

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**If you would like to be an unsuspecting friend send me an email bekswhoknits [at] gmail [dot] com