view basket

Pen & Penelope

  • 1610 Loading
  • 7
  • »

Every morning for the last four five weeks I’ve woken up with the best intentions. I would write a blog post. A blog post of such searing erudition and delight that every knitter who read it would never more see knitting in the same way. A blog post of such hilarity that there would be knitters everywhere giggling at the most inopportune moments of daily work, causing chaos in traffic and disrupting important meetings. Every day I’ve been blindsided by trivialities such as driving lessons, dentist appointments, gardening, a trip to the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth, several inspirational TED Talks, guitar playing, the snooker, bright shiny objects, impromptu cinema visits, too many good books, etc, etc. Which only compounds my belief that it’s the small, insidious, day-to-day things that you need to watch out for, and be on your guard against. And now here I am, writing this rather humble, vaguely uninteresting post… But thank you to all you lovely readers who wrote to inquire after my absence; it was entirely unintentional!

Penelope & the Suitors by John William Waterhouse

When I haven’t been very blatantly procrastinating, I’ve been a bit like Penelope (excepting the suitors, oh and the weaving), knitting by day and undoing it all by night. I’ve been pretty patient about it though, and I presumptuously attribute this to the fact that I am now no longer a “beginner”. Ripping out huge chunks of knitting, or knitting an enormous swatch just because you don’t feel like stopping – these are not actions that non-knitters or “persons who knit”, seem to understand. They stare at me in horror when I tell them it’s all got to go. All that lovely work! So I’ve taken to ripping alone and unseen, because I’m a little bored with explaining… “No really, it’s OK. It’ll save me work in the future. Besides, this is one of the best things about knitting!” I secretly suspect that Penelope loved the process of weaving as much as she loved Odysseus, or why would she hit on such a solution?

As to why my knitting wasn’t working out… It was really amazingly simple, when I stopped trying to do it the wrong way. Fortunately, Rowan Scottish Tweed is a hardy yarn that doesn’t mind a good deal of frogging and re-knitting. It’s also very rustic & well-suited to keeping warm in the country. I’m testing it right now. :)

country knitting

country knitting

country knitting

I took some shots today and the pattern should be up soon. It will be a perfect present for gentlemen (or ladies) for whom you can’t easily find gifts. If you can guess what it is, you can get a free copy! ;)

November is a busy month. There’s National Novel Writing Month, for a start. Writing a 50,000 word novel in a month is a feat I’ve accomplished twice before. It’s utterly mad, and utterly fun; you must join if only to receive the pep talks from Chris Baty & other famous authors. And if you do, don’t forget to add me as your writing buddy! Also in November is the illustrious WoollyWormhead’s Mystery Beret. How exciting! I think these two challenges will complement each other perfectly, and help me forget about the increasing gloom of winter…

28th October, 2009  // Life, Writing // tags: , , , .


  1. I agree that knitting lengthy swatches “for fun” is something I never thought I would do. But last night I found myself doing it for the first time, and I couldn’t stop. I had some lovely yarn from Babylonglegs and I wanted to make sure I used the perfect stitch pattern to enhance the lovely dye work she doesn’ I must make the perfect hat with this yarn, or I’ll never be able to live with myself. I think the more you knit, the more you learn to listen to the yarn as it whispers sweet nothings to you.

  2. Susanne says:

    I agree with you on the looks people give you when you declare that you’ll rip back an entire pair of socks, or even worse a sweater. (Which is why I’m also swatching more than before…)

    I’ve also added you as a NaNoWriMo buddy. Originally I planned to do it low key this year with no intention of winning but then – why bother. I’ll see how it will work out.

  3. Susanne says:

    I meant – why bother to partcipate if you’re not aiming to win. Sorry.

  4. LittleWit says:

    I just spent this weekend deciding whether to rip back one repeat of a lace shawl so that I would have enough yarn to finish or to get more yarn to finish. :) For smaller projects though I seem to have no problem just ripping out.

    As to what you are knitting, is it a scarf?

  5. Elizabeth says:

    beautiful. I’m guessing a scarf, but maybe that’s too obvious and it’s something else entirely?

    Thanks for the link to nanowrimo. I tried to add you as a buddy, but haven’t had luck yet. still figuring out the site. it’s absolute insanity to add this to my november to-do list (you should see my christmas knitting queue – hahahaha – laughs maniacally) but can’t seem to resist.

    p.s. welcome back!

  6. Julia says:

    Your posts are never uninteresting!

  7. Zeynep says:

    Nasilsin sekerim? Ahh Waterhouse!! I would love to do nanowrimo at least once my life–except I’m too busy now. Next year hopefully. Are you trying to get the previous ones published at all?

Your Favourites ❤

  • Your favorites will be here.