Attention all braiders. You don’t exist!

Knit if you want. Crochet if you must. But don’t talk to me about braiding. Because I found out recently that there is actually no such thing as a braider!

The shock came when we were watching Countdown on Friday 10 November. For those who have never seen it (ie, about two hundred thousand Americans for a start ๐Ÿ™‚ ) contestants have to get the longest word possible from a selection of nine letters. Winners stand to take home the grand prize of…a teapot.

Anyway, one hapless anagrammer suggested the word ‘braider’ and was promptly informed by the venerable Susie Dent of the Oxford English Dictionary (an excuse for a lexicon if ever there was one ๐Ÿ™‚ ) that ‘braider’ was not a valid word.

So if you are (or think you are a) a braider, sorry but your time is up. Prepare to live the rest of your days in an existential quandary.

Or alternatively, take up knitting instead. You know you want to.

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If knitting stitches were eggs

‘I’ve lost my count!’ Shana wailed. A fine time to lose count, I thought. She could have done it at some other time than while working on a ย Top Secret new project ๐Ÿ™‚

But the wailing continued…

‘I have forty-eight stitches here…’

‘Now just hold it there a moment,’ I said. ‘This isn’t going to turn into one of those math headaches like the one about how long it takes two men to fill a bath and what happens if they rope in two more workers, is it?’

‘No of course not,’ said Shana. But I was not entirely reassured.

‘And you promise it won’t deteriorate into one of those “Let x equal the number of stitches” algebra nightmares?’

‘Certainly not,’ said Shana.

‘Very well then. Go ahead and state your problem,’ I said.

‘Well, I’ve just forgotten how to divide forty-eight by twelve,’ said Shana. An embarrassing difficulty, I thought, especially for Shana, who studied accountancy many years ago when the abacus still ruled the world ๐Ÿ™‚

‘Let’s make it easy,’ I said. ‘Try to imagine the twelve is, say, a dozen eggs. Instead of worrying about stitches, look at it as four dozen eggs. See? Your forty-eight eggs divided by twelve is four. Got it?’

‘Thanks a lot,’ said Shana. ‘You’ve been a great help.’ Shana’s subtle intonation suggested, however, that she rather thought otherwise. And that if those stitches had indeed been eggs, I would now have a bonce fairly covered in yolk.

‘You’re most welcome,’ I said, thick-skinnedly. ‘Don’t mention it.’

Now, why do I have a sudden appetite for a supersized egg and bacon omelette?

Knitting with screwdrivers

(…or, if you prefer, ‘Purling with Pozidrives‘ ๐Ÿ™‚ )

At last, the long-awaited sequel to Knitting with spanners, which I wrote back in November 2013.

As you might expect, the basics of knitting are not too hard to grasp. (If I can do it, so can you.)

However, most blokes might be put off having a go at knitting because they think it’s not very…erm…macho. But if you are a bloke who has secret leanings towards knitting, here’s how you can try it without fear of embarrassment.

First, get a big tough-looking toolbox, preferably ย black (but any colour will do as long as it’s not pastel). Then select two screwdrivers. I used one Pozidrive and one Phillips. They were approximately eight or nine centimetres long (not including the hand grips). No special reason except that having a screwdriver long enough so that your yarn doesn’t fall off, isย just good common sense.

Then, sinply start knitting. You’ll find tutorials everywhere, although maybe not at B & Q ๐Ÿ™‚

You’ll get better the more you practise.

And if you get really good…

…you might like to knit your own hi-vis jacket! (As worn by all blokes in bloke-y jobs eg bricklaying, motorway construction, digger driving etc.)

Oh, and if you’re not sure what sitch I have used in the picture gallery, it’s…

…Screwdriver Stockinette ๐Ÿ™‚

Crochet Hook Tidy For Men

Over breakfast this morning, I mentioned in passing to Chris that I was thinking about designing a crochet hook tidy more suitable for male crocheters.

In between mouthfuls of cereal, Chris mumbled, “crochet hunk tidy.” I almost choked on my oatibix flakes, and stopped munching a raisin for a moment to partake of a hearty guffaw. “Just add a Tom Selleck moustache…” Chris continued, at which point I gave up trying to eat my breakfast.

Tom Selleck Hook Tidy