Enter the Geek

It always amuses me when people are surprised by my geekiness. I guess somehow, despite my best efforts, I come off as normal to people who aren’t looking very hard. It’s the same kind of amusement as when people don’t realise I’m gay, often even after a conversation about my decidedly female partner (I talk about her a lot).

That said, people seem a lot less surprised when they realise I’m a knitter. I don’t know what that says about me.

I’m not the most brain-active of people today so I’m going to write a little about a few things that are making me happy right now.

Ms. Marvel

This morning I went to town for a cuppa and an apricot croissant to accompany me in catching up on a few comics. Ms. Marvel is a WONDER. It’s garnered a lot of attention for being about a Muslim teenager (the letters page in #2 are lovely) but even aside from that awesomeness, it’s well-written with gorgeous art and I can’t get enough of it. Can’t wait for #3.

My Nintendo 3DS

I bought it from work second-hand and haven’t really stopped since. I’ve played lots of Pokemon Black then moved on to Zoo Tycoon and now I’m having a good go at Super Mario Brothers. There’s a reason I won’t let myself get seriously into gaming; I know I’d lose years of my life to it and I need to knit!

Speaking of which…

Knitting Sweaters

I’m currently knitting a very nice sweater/jumper for someone close to me and it’s making me happy. Of course I can’t actually tell you what pattern or show you photos in case said person visits my blog but that will be coming soon. There’s something very satisfying about making something so substantial and useful. I’m also going to start a mini-one for someone else soon.

My New Laptop

It’s nothing flashy but I’ve needed one for a long time. I got it super cheap but it has a full keyboard which means I don’t have to copy/paste the V into my words. Which, considering ctrl+v is paste, was especially annoying. Plus it has a webcam!


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What’s on the Needles

I took a few weeks off from knitting for other people (in theory) and knitted whatever I felt like. It was refreshing. It’s not that I don’t enjoy knitting for friends and such – I do, I thrive off it. Even when I try to knit myself something it ends up being for someone else. I am what is known as a ‘process knitter’. I enjoy the act of it more than the finished objects.

That’s not entirely accurate though; I love the finished objects. But like a proud parent I want to send my creations out into the world. Or something.


I bought a mahoosive dragon’s egg of blue wool/acrylic when a new yarn store opened near where I used to work. It’s a beautiful royal blue that I adore. It’s already made some socks and a few little things but I decided to make an aran-weight shawl for myself as a reward for life and such. I picked a pattern and off I went.

There are many mistakes in this shawl. Many. So many. But I give no craps because it is for me and no one else will care. It’s quite freeing.

The actual colour is much richer than this.

The actual colour is much richer than this.

I’m also knitting some mitts but those are for someone and they’re a surprise so this is the only picture you get. I have to say that my love affair with malabrigo started a month or so after beginning to knit and it hasn’t died. So buttery. So squishy. Augh, it’s so perfect and this colourway (Jupiter) makes me so happy.


I’m also re-knitting a jumper for my little sister because the one I was doing just wasn’t feeling right. It didn’t feel like it would work for her – my sister Megan is a super classy broad so I want her to be decked out in something super classy. No picture yet because it’s still on the garter-stitch hem; I’m nowhere near anything interesting yet.

So what do you guys have on the needles/hooks lately? I’d love to see!


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A (Nerdy) Day in Durham

It’s one thing to meet someone with one similar interest to you; it’s quite another to meet someone with lots. That’s how I feel about quite a few people I’ve met in Newcastle since I moved up here a year and a bit ago. I never expected to meet people who share both my love of comics and my love of knitting/fibre in general but I have multiple yarn/nerd friends up here and they’re all wonderful.

One of these friends is Rachael. We met at my first or second trip to the Knit Studio for the Saturday knitting group (currently suspended) and hit it off, eventually deciding that we needed to hang out outside of the knit group.

A couple of weeks ago we decided to go to Durham to see the new yarn store (The Woolly Workshop) and to go the comic book cafe (Dark Matter Cafe). SUCH A GOOD IDEA. I bought some lovely Cashmerino from the yarn store – yes, the one that made the baby hat/booties - and marvelled over the sheep model outside it. We went TWICE to Dark Matter Cafe because their peanut butter hot chocolate is utterly divine and we could not resist going back for more.

As Rachael said, THE FACE(s) OF PURE JOY!

As Rachael said, THE FACE(s) OF PURE JOY!

Rachael is the one with the blue mask and fabulous hair; I’m the one with the rather dashing jawline and sparkling whites.

It’s so refreshing to go to a place where you feel comfortable and like you’re in the majority rather than the minority. People were sitting playing Pokemon and making awful Pokemon/Doctor Who puns. The walls were filled with posters and interesting comic art. These were our people. I wish I’d had somewhere like that to go as a teenager; I woulda been much happier.

Plus it’s super pretty.

Of course we got a little knitting done whilst enjoying our drinks. Rachael is making her first socks; they’re amazing because she is an over-acheiver when it comes to knitting new things, seriously. And I knitted some more of a scarf I’m making out of some beautiful blue silk.

Left: Fishnet lace scarf. Right: FABULOUS first sock.

Left: Fishnet lace scarf. Right: FABULOUS first sock.

All this in the beautiful surroundings of Durham which is one of my favourite places in the world. Sure, you go home with super sore muscles from walking up and down all the ridiculous hills but it’s gorgeous and full of interesting things as well as the famous Cathedral which is older than my brain can compute and drenched in history.

Just look at that. So cool.

Just look at that. So cool.

It’s days like these that fill me up with happiness and inspiration. I’m lucky to have such interesting and awesome people in life. Since today I’m going to eat lunch with another fellow knitter/nerd (hello Jen!) I’m feeling especially pleased with my lot in life.

Except for that part where I’m still waiting to hear back from the Canadian Embassy. Hurry up, guys.

At least I have fun things to do and nice people to see while I wait to go home!


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For Tiny People



Hat – Little Scallops by Maria Carlander.

Booties – Saartje’s Booties (modified) by Saartje de Bruijn.

I used Baby Cashmerino which is totally squishable. I managed to get these little cuties done while on five days holiday from work – there were a lot of train journeys so even though I messed up the booties the first time I still finished it off quite quickly.

Beautiful patterns, beautiful yarn.

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Nupps: A First Attempt

In some flash of madness I decided that nupps cannot be as difficult as people say. They’re wrong, thought I. People told me turning a heel was hard and I did it without any problem at all. Jumpers/sweaters are a piece of cake despite what people have said. Yeah, okay, self. Let’s try a nupp.

A notoriously difficult and fiddly stitch involving a k7tog in this pattern. A k7togtbl, in fact. Yes. Knit seven together through the back loop. That sounds like something I can do, I decided. It’s totally not a big deal that I am sitting on a bumpy bus on the way to work when I make this decision.

For anyone considering doing this: don’t. Just don’t. It was never destined to end well.

Whoops a not-nupp!

Whoops a not-nupp!

The problem is, of course, that I’m a super tight knitter. I get even worse when I’m anxious, like say when I’m about to try a really difficult stitch for the first time whilst using a really splitty yarn and bouncing around on the crappy Newcastle roads. There was no poking my needle through that little clump no matter how hard I tried.

I am not defeated. I will defeat the nupps.

Maybe next time I’ll wait til I’m off the bus.


Filed under Craft, Knitting

What Does a Knitter Look Like?

“Despite what we knitters know to be true, the non-knitting world somehow persists in thinking that a “knitter” looks a certain way. Most likely, this picture is one of an elderly woman, grandmotherly and polite, sitting in her rocking chair surrounded by homemade cookies and accompanied by a certain number of cats.

In reality, a knitter today is just as likely to be young, hip, male, and sitting at a “Stitch and Bitch” in a local bar. Several of today’s best knitting designers are men, and a knitter is as likely to have body piercings as homemade cookies.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

I’m not what most people would think a knitter would look like if you’re following the old stereotypes. Old being the operative word: it’s somehow a thing that only people with plenty of wrinkles do, or so many people would have me believe. And yes, I know plenty of older people who knit and who are totally awesome. But there’s young ones too. And middling ones. Basically there is no age requirement on picking up a couple of pointy sticks and looping string together with them.


There are at least two knitting projects in that bag. Fact.

This is what I look like. My hair is a little longer now on top but you get the gist. I’m not your stereotypical knitter. People have literally done double-takes on seeing me knitting on the bus.

I think the stereotype is starting to fade but we’ve still got a long way to go. There are loads of different types of people who knit and we shouldn’t be surprised by someone of a different gender or different age picking up the art. It’s good for everyone. It’s relaxing (and frustrating), it makes beautiful things (and terrible ones too). Knitting and its little sister crochet is especially great for anyone who, like me, feels like they can’t sit still without doing something.

A lot of people who don’t fit the knitterly profile tend to shy away from knitting in public. I say it’s time to stop that fear; the only way knitting is going to continue to be seen as a revitalised art form is if more diverse people start showing it off on the bus or the train or in class (with permission).

I would lie and say I knit in public to raise awareness of it but actually I’m just incapable of sitting still for any amount of time without reaching for my project bag. Thankfully a lot of my friends are knitters and no one else minds (or cares!) all that much so I can indulge wherever I am.

Let’s show people that knitting isn’t a myth and it’s not just something people magically take up when they get their senior bus pass. There are some awesome bizarre knitters out there. I’m proud to be in a community like that.

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A Few Changes In These Parts

First up, due to an unexpected chunk of money coming my way with nothing important to buy, I finally got around to purchasing a domain name. This blog is a few years old now; it deserves its own real name instead of a wordpress address! So welcome to http://www.knitternerd.com!

I have literally wanted my own domain name since I was thirteen. Yeah. This is unreasonably exciting for me.

Next, I’m going to be more expressly focusing on the nerd part of my life now. So far I’ve been primarily writing about knitting and that will still be the case – it takes up the majority of my thoughts after all – but I spend a lot of time and energy on comics and suchlike these days so I’ll be talking about that here too.

Basically my little blog is having a growth spurt. More and more people are visiting each day and I intend to make your stay worth it.

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