The first post!


I’m Woolhead…

And I knit.

Just like it says on the tin! I’m 20-something (OK, the wrong end of 20-something), and I live and work in Wales, though I grew up in Cornwall.


Spot the scarf

I love and can’t afford beautiful wool… My current prized possession is a Noro Kureyon scarf, which really deserves a post of its own. Know anything about Noro? What I knew when I bought the wool was that it was super-expensive – at the time, I was earning minimum wage, working 6 days a week and just about paying the bills, so wool with a super-expensive reputation was well beyond me. But the stars aligned: my grandparents gave me £20 for my birthday, which I decided would go on a Treat. (Back then, most birthday money went on the overdraft.) A friend came to visit me, we found ourselves in a pretty south Wales town for lunch, and I dragged him into a wool shop (to stroke wool, not eat lunch). The shop was independent, beautifully lit and super-expensive by my standards. But I had Treat money, and Noro called to me. I spent £15 on 100g of Kureyon, mostly because in the middle of the ball I spotted a patch of bright red wool which sang, and totally surprised me by how much I loved it. I’m not a red person usually. (I can’t remember what I spent the rest of the Treat money on – cake, probably.)

My wool shopping experiences are usually less momentous (yes, momentous – the stars aligned, the wool sang). I have a stash accumulated from various sources, which are fairly easily categorised. The acrylic DK in colours I like have been bought (usually from the market near my parents’ house, which again deserves a post of its own) for projects which are started, finished, unfinished, abandoned, forgotten, gifted, and so on. The acrylic DK in colours I don’t like have been inherited or bestowed upon me – mostly from my Mum, but there’s some bits from my Grannie’s old stash too. The unlabelled wool of varying and mysterious types, weights, lengths and colours are from when I worked in a cafe attached to an art gallery – someone in the gallery found out I was a knitter (possibly because I was obsessed with the lady who brought her spinning wheel into work) and let me rummage through their donated wool. I magpied everything that looked pretty, without any real idea of how to use it. That was about three years ago, and to be honest, I still don’t know how I’ll use it. It’s still pretty though.

And the most recent addition to my stash, which I am very proud of, is 20 balls of Stylecraft Special DK. 20! Ordered online! Lots of colours! Delivered in a big box! Collected from the Sorting Office! (OK, that last part isn’t exciting.) This box of wool is a big deal to me: I’ve spent the last year earning no money. I was at university, and couldn’t work at the same time. For the last six weeks, I’ve been doing bits and pieces of work – tutoring here and there, helping out a friend who has her own business – and I managed to earn some spending money. And I spent £33.80 of it on delicious pretty wool, as a present to myself for working really really hard. 20 balls! In a box! This one’s definitely getting its own post, and I’ll try to use fewer exclamation marks.

So that’s my wool. Now, my ability. It’s OK. It’s not amazing though. I can follow a well-written straightforward pattern. I can usually follow a badly-written complicated pattern. My tension is awesome, but my technique is somewhat lacking – I can knit quickly, but I drop the right needle to wrap the wool. That’s one of my things to work on. I have a morbid fear of knitting in the round – that’s another thing to work on. I’ve done one scarf in the round, and it’s very pretty, but… It’s got two twists in it, and I checked and double-checked that I hadn’t twisted the cast-on row. I can’t do long-tail cast-on, but the tension of my cable cast-on is beautiful. I’m still working on the tension of my cast-off, but I think I nailed it on the Noro scarf. Increasing and decreasing, marvellous; I can even do it so there aren’t holes in the knitting now.

WIPs: a cardigan for my friend’s new boy; joining eight million squares into a blanket, then giving it an edge. ETA: the cardigan’s got to be done next week or he’ll grow out of it. The blanket has been going on for about two years now, and it’s got exactly a month left or it’ll be relegated to the ‘this will never be finished’ bag in the back of the wardrobe.

So that’s me. Why Woolhead? It’s what my boyfriend calls me – nothing to do with knitting; I’ve got very curly hair. Why blog? I realised I’ve knitted loads of things that have disappeared into the ether to be buried at the bottom of bags, chewed by dogs, ruined by rotting peaches (err, that was a phone cover in a handbag that I stopped using for a while). Here, I can keep track of what I’ve knitted. I also realised that I don’t have the patterns for most of the things I’ve knitted, because they are on scraps of paper, or, in one case, written on the back of my hand. So I can also keep track of how I knitted the things I’ve knitted. And lastly, I’m a lazy knitter. So maybe this will also be a kick up the arse to remember that knitting goes faster when you’re actually knitting, not just thinking about it!


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