Casting On

I wanted to start this post by sharing a picture of my workspace. At the moment I’m knitting at a desk, I’ve turned my chair away from the window as the birds are just too distracting. As I write I can see a whole flock of greenfinches making merry with the feeder full of niger seeds, a robin is pecking at seeds that have fallen in the grass, 2 blackbirds are feasting and a whole host of sparrows are chirping away excitedly while a pheasant struts across the field, his chest all puffed up as he watches the garden goings on with some interest (he’s become a regular visitor, I’m not sure which of my neighbours is breeding pheasants, but come the day of the shoot, he’ll be good to bag as he’s been well fed on my bird table offerings!)

I prefer to sit in my comfy chair witha view of the garden, but I’m using long needles which keep catching on the arms and the birds are proving too entertaining. Hence the table – an attempt to put some discipline into my work – but instead the chaos seems to reflect what’s going on in my head, making me feel guilty that maybe I’m working on too much!

I’ve called this post “Casting On” because that’s all I seem to be doing just now. I finished the teen’s purple sweater and I hate it, she’ll love that it’s loose and baggy and she chose the colour, but me… well.. let’s just say it was  a labour of love. So, I’ve immediately cast on a second sweater for her in a similar shade, but this time using Rowan’s Pure Wool DK. I’ve designed the pattern bottom up and  knit in the round, so it’s taken ages to get past the ribbing, but I’m nearly there now. I’ve also cast on a second sock (Oh? didn’t I tell you I had started a sock?) I have to admit there is a lot of “boring knitting”, which makes this an ideal TV project, but I’m yet to be convinced that socks will be my thing.

Also new on the needles is a gorgeous grey cabled scarf, knitted in Rowan’s Alpaca Cotton for a customer at the shop. I don’t make a habit of knitting for customers, but “J” was such a sweet thing, and he asked so nicely I couldn’t say no. We have a deal that if I knit this scarf he’ll take knitting lessons. I’m going to hold him to his end of the bargain! It took me a couple of evenings to design the pattern, which is loosley based on a “Burberry Inspired Cowl”  I found on Ravelry. It should curl snugly round the neck and I hope the finished result will be worth the effort. I’ve not used Alpaca Cotton for a while and I’d forgotten how lovely it feels on the needles (I’m using straight,  Brittany birch needles). It’s so nice to be going back and forth as everything else I’m working on seems to be on circulars just now.

I’ve also cast on a sweet little baby vest in a mock cable – yes, I know I vowed this would be a baby clothes free season, but I couldn’t resist this little top, which will only take one ball of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, and as I already have a ball left over from another project, this will count as my February “Stash Buster”.

With thelighter evenings, I’ve also managed to get outside and begin work on the vegetable patch. I know I’m going to be torn between growing and making come spring time. But what a great position to be in – I truly feel very blessed just now.

I hope the spring like weather is lifting your spirits too.


A sneak preview of the cable scarf!

Leave a comment


  1. Tracey……what a totally gorgeous post….I was sitting there….with you <3 x


  2. Tracey Todhunter

     /  February 18, 2011

    Thanks Andrea, shame I don’t have a tame photographer on hand to do the birds justice :)


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  • I’m Tracey Todhunter. I’m a freelance writer. specialising in green / ethical living – with a “sideline” in craft!

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  • Annual photo of tiny daffs in tiny vase! A throwback to when @andreaellisonphoto & I visited the guys from  @nine_meals_from_anarchy in 2014. So much has changed since then, but I'm still wearing that granny square cowl, coat & wellies combo for gardening! Oh and I lust after a greenhouse this big - think of the possibilities!!! I'm still not comfortable in front of the camera, but Andrea always brings out the best in me. I ♥ all the photos she's taken of me and my crochet!
#grannycoolcrochet #grannysquaresrock #grannysquare #instacrochet #crochetgirlgang #30wears #girlgardener #permaculture #organicgardener #ninemealsfromanarchy All the rhubarb!  My neighbour's crop is showing promise! I'm thinking gin, crumble, maybe some rose petal and rhubarb cordial, rhubarb and ginger jam ... more gin.......I do love rhubarb!!!! My creative space. Today I had a bit of a spring clean & tidied my desk . I took this photo to remind myself how tidy I can be! By Friday it will be a chaotic mess again. You can also see some of my "must haves". Flowers (from a gorgeous posy bought last week in a beautiful posy bottle made by Victoria at Little Wren,  handcream, lip balm and a scented candle - this is a new @willowandhoneyuk candle  bought today from @thelittlecraftcompany it smells divine and the wooden wick crackles in a very satisfying way! I'm working on a new commission for Inside Crochet using super bright shades of cotton, using a lovely wooden hook bought from Beyond Measure at Woolfest last year. On the notice board, a few favourite photos, some paperwork & the ladybird pattern that came free with issue 99 of @insidecrochet . I've put it there to remind me that once this book is finished I can have some fun! There are lots of people tagged in this post - too many to mention - but I love buying lovely things from real people & my workspace reflects that admiration for women who run their own businesses & do it well! Explore the tags and you might discover some new favourites! Flowers everywhere! Bunches of cut flowers in my kitchen, blooms in the bathroom and a desk covered in crochet florals. This spring my designs have been influenced by love of the outdoors.  This is a sneaky peek of a new design, commissioned for issue 100 of @insidecrochet , believe me, this is an issue you will not want to miss!!! #instacrochet #crochetflower #girlgardener #knittersofinstagram #grannycoolcrochet #haaktechniekenbijbel #uncinetto #horgolás Goodbye winter, hello spring! I spent most of the weekend in the garden, tidying and prepping the greenhouse, pricking out seedlings & watching the first Gardener's World of the new season. The greenfinches are skirmishing, the sap is rising, buds are forming and it's light enough to step outside when I wake up. Happy days!
#girlgardener #badbirdwatcher #instagarden #morningslikethese #littlestoriesofmylife #slowliving
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