MOOCs to soothe the February blues

A couple of MOOCs

I hate February. The days are still short and temperatures low, but there’s none of the post-Christmas bonhomie of January, and the sales are over so I have no excuse to indulge in retail therapy. It’s too cold and icy to go for a walk or a bike ride and I can’t do any messy DIY because I have nowhere to do it other than an ill-lit unheated garage. There’s a limit to how much free time I can spend knitting and sewing, but I’m attempting to keep myself busy by taking a couple of MOOC courses. One of these is on the Coursera platform and the other on Futurelearn. I did my first MOOC last year and I still can’t get over how wonderful they are: university level education in bite-sized chunks for free, and you can fit the learning around your other time commitments. What’s not to like?

End of the Wurm

Wurm hatI have finished my Wurm hat, my first completed knitted item of 2015. It is warm as well as wurmy. In the end I rounded the top of it off by starting my decreases well in advance, instead of leaving them all to the last few rows as per the pattern. That abrupt ending looked a little ugly to my eyes, although it’s very similar to the hat I knitted for my niece recently and she’s happy with that one. Must be an age thing. Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer my hats to be approximately head-shaped. If you are considering Wurm and want the top of it to look neat instead of gathered-in, take a peek at my Ravelry project page where I have recorded my alterations to the original design.

Wurm hat - extended

Marge Simpson or what?

Wurm hat - compressed

Beanie style

I quite like the way the Wurm can be worn concertina’d together, which makes it beanie-like, or pulled out to give it more length, slouch-like. Actually, in its extended mode it looks like a red version of Marge Simpson’s beehive, so I probably won’t be wearing it like that very often.

Rain hatNow I have two new red hats, including the rain hat I made just after Christmas. That should be sufficient. I still have industrial quantities of the red chenille yarn left over, I must have a think about what else I could use it for. I could perhaps knit some matching gloves with Wurmy bands around the wrist, but I don’t actually need any more gloves.

Natalie revived

My knitting attention has refocused on the Natalie sweater and I’ve nearly finished the front, just the sleeves to go. I’ve raised the scoop neckline by 2″ because I don’t like draughtiness around the neck. Funnily enough, according to the pattern book (“Knit Vintage”), the only thing about this sweater that has been changed from the original 1950s pattern is that the neckline was lowered. They should have left it where it was, IMHO.

The makings of a bag

Cupcake toteBack in October I posted about a beautiful tapestry bag that we bought on holiday. I’ve been looking for tapestry fabric ever since, to make another one.  I was in Leeds earlier in the week and found a new fabric and yarn shop just outside the covered market. It’s under the same ownership as a stall within the market that I’ve bought quite a bit of fabric from over the years.

I was delighted to find that they had a couple of fun tapestries, one with little dogs on and the other with large butterflies. I opted for the latter – I probably should have got both because it was only £4 per metre.

Butterfly tapestry fabricIt’s nothing like the quality of the Flemish cupcake tapestry, but at that price who cares, especially as half a metre is enough to make two bags. Watch this space – unless you know me and you’ve got a birthday coming up, because you might well be getting a butterfly-strewn bag.

About yorkshirecrafter

I live and work in West Yorkshire.  I've always enjoyed crafts of all types, from woodwork to lace-making.  I also enjoy anything mathematical, which makes knitting a favourite pastime, especially complicated designs.  I've been advising businesses and industry on environmental matters for 30 years and also have an interest in green living, especially where it saves me money. I live with my husband and our Maine Coon in a 100-year-old cottage that constantly needs something doing to it.  Fortunately, I enjoy DIY too.
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