31 Oct 2006

Have yourself a bit of cake

Cake ala Avoca Handweavers.

Machine knit, and not as nice as these!!


30 Oct 2006

Only a knitter can understand

We were at the Knitting and Stitching show in Birmingham, of which I never blogged about because it seemed a little pointless so far after the event, especially after subjecting everyone to endless posts about the Electric picnic so far after the event again, (take a breath..) and one of the items that myself Isobel and Sharon were keeping an eye out for was one of those nifty gadge/ruler/needle sizer things that Cheryl had with her, as she had whipped it out to check her gadge on her fetchings in the hotel bar as we sat and knit earlier.
We were disappointed. There wasn't so much as a hint of anything that looked anyway like this, not to mention any other little item we were desperately (well not really) searching for.
I was at Stitch N Bitch last weekend, and it was winding up and people were getting themselves and their knitting together to go, when Cheryl pulled these out of her bag and said she had a friend coming over from the States and she asked him to get his hands on one of the gadge sizer thingy's for us. She threw in the T blocking pins also as he had brought over more of these than she had asked for. I was very touched. Wasn't that nice of her?? Thanks Cheryl!


Spinning like a mad woman

Its been quite a while since I posted about my spinning on this blog.
August to be precise. Can you believe that?

Its not that I havent been doing any, I have, just havent been posting.

This will rectify that!

If you remember, I posted about the Madder and Safflower dyed Galway Cross that I carded together, to get this lovely combination of colours.

This is what it looks like spun up

I love this combination.

I got great yardage from this lot, which was half of the original seperate colours that I dyed. Now I will have to card together the other half and spin that up too as the more I have of it the better!

This is one of the koolaid dyed Jacobs fleece that I spun

I took a part of the fleece that had a lot of the black in it and only a small amount of white, and carded it together so that it was blended together, then dyed it. I loved the way the colour turned out in it. unfortunately I only dyed a small amount of this so I only have the one skein of it, and I spun it so thinly that I used all of the roving in order to get a good yardage on it.

I think it really needs to be plyed with something, so I may have to see if I can dye up another lot of Jacobs to match it.

What else, well I have been doing a lot of trials and testing with other roving that I've either dyed, or using straight from the fleece after carding. As I'm still a leaner spinner, and dyer, all of this is good practice for me.

70/30 combination of Jacobs and Galway Cross dyed with koolaide

I certainly have a lot of fleece to be practicing with, and I want to get my hands on some blue faced leicester after seeing what Holly did with hers.

She is bringing it to the knitting and stitching show in the RDS and I'm a bit jealous of how good she is (hear that Holly?!).

I have a very small amount of blue faced leicester that I got on ebay one time, so I may have a go at that before making the decision to buy more as I have tons of fleece to spin with as it is! I know who can supply me with some also....which makes it even more tempting..yikes!


29 Oct 2006


I have been a very bad girl.
I've let my heart get ahead of myself, and the head is now telling it how bold it is.

I've been busy buying magazines all round me.
First up is 2 magazines from Phildar.
I ordered the english version, which means I got the french full version, plus a seperate english version minus all the pictures and adds etc.

I love love love several items from each of these. Its going to be hard not to want to knit them all.

Next up is the new Yarn Forwardmagazine.
Its not bad, its the first magazine and has some good articles in it about shaping your knits to suit your body shape, how to spin using a drop spindle (Isobel?) and has a good selection of knits in it. There are a couple of patterns I may try.

Next is Knitscene Fall issue.
I loved the previous issue of this, it had several items that I would make, none of which I have made (yet) but this one didnt capture my attention the same way, in fact it looked as if there were less items in it than the previous one. Actually, I've just checked and there are only 30 in this issue compared to 44 in the last
Still, there are a couple of items that I have marked to try out and I will be doing so (I'll just add them to the list!)

Finally is the Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts
I haven't really had a good look through this yet, but on first glance through it, I like the Spiral Hat, the Larkspur Hat and Scarf and the Ooh La Loopy Hats for kids. Nothing else really took my attention and there looked like there were one or two items in it that I've seen before.
I ordered this before I read about and commented on the issues that Donni was having with receiving issues of Interweave press, these last 2 magazines were ordered together and luckily only took a week to get to me, which was surprising given all the problems with Interweave.
I still havent received my winter issue of Interweave, although I'm not expecting it for another while, seeing as I live on a different planet, being in Ireland and all!

Okay, I drafted this post a couple of days ago and didnt get to post it until now, and since then I have received another, yes another magazine through the post.
This is from one of my subscriptions, and I was very happy about getting it as it came with a knitting calender for next year,

until I went to Borders yesterday and discovered that they hadn't sent me the Rowan magazine that was supposed to come with it also......


28 Oct 2006

Yum to wristwarmers

Now I know that everyone is in love with Fetching, and I am too, I plan on knocking a few more of these babies out for friends/family/myself.

I am however, a bit swayed by these:

I bought the pattern when I was at the Knitting and Stitching show in Birmingham, along with one 100g ball of their 100% Alpaca. I got it from UK Alpaca. I should be able to get 2 pairs out of the ball of wool.

I really like this pattern, it took me approx one day to knit and was easy peasy, although I felt a bit nervous initially at dropping stitches as per the pattern. I think it could progress into a nice scarf to match.
I think I will pick up some stitches along the selvedge edge i.e. the top of the wristwarmer, and knit an i-cord bind off though, as I can see the tops streching fairly soon.
Its not been cold enough really here to wear them much, although I'm sure that I've just jinxed the whole country into a bitter winter by saying that!


27 Oct 2006

beta blogger

Just in response to Cheryl's comment on the last post:

Pro's of Beta:
I have a gmail account already and when I want to moderate comments from there it brings me straight into my blog without having to log in again. Like now.
You can apparently change your template/or customise the way you want it to look. the jury is out on this one, I havent attempted it yet....but plan to. I'll update when I try!
No difference in leaving comments on peoples blogs if they have other provider like wordpress etc or if they have also upgraded to beta
I can add labels for each post I create, similar to wordpress.

It won't allow me to post as me on bloggers blogs who havent upgraded to beta yet.
Oh yes, Ive just found another one when I tried to post this post. When signing in directly to blogger (as I can't remeber the beta blogger address) I have to sign in to blogger and then am asked to sign in again using my gmail account address, although it does default into my username. An extra step.
Thats the only con I've found so far, but it is a pain.

I will have to test drive the knitting bag soon, I have been feeling strange about bringing it outside so far, its as if I want attention to the fact I'm a knitter or something!
Maybe I should walk down the road knitting, with the bag over my arm or something ala subway knitter person on the 1st of Sept post.

Oh, and check out the retro fabrics at Yarn.ie, they will be at the knitting and stitching show in the RDS next week....yummy fabrics...


26 Oct 2006

E-bay purchase

An impulse buy on ebay.
Its not bad, it will probably house a lot of yarn very soon, and I think it may be a good one to bring to SnB and my own knitting group that I've recently set up in my home town. It has a lot of room in it actually, and plenty of room for long needles.
I'm pretty excited about 2 new store opening up fairly nearby, but both in opposite directions to where I live.
First of all, we have a shop called Borders, which I know a lot of you people out there in blog land have right around the corner from you, but here in Ireland it is the first one to open. Can you believe that? Well the main reason I'm excited is actually because it is going to incorporate a Paperchase, which again is the first in Ireland, and again I know a lot of you are scratching your heads in amazement that we don't have one of these wonderful AMAZING STORES IN OUR LAND.
Well, now we do!
I know where I'm spending part of my weekend.....
The other part of my weekend may just have to be spent here, in Avoca. They have just opened a new flagship store in Rathcoole, which isnt that far from me. This is the store that I have regularly taken my Canadian friend Sherri to, in Dublin and in Wicklow, and she loves it. I do too, they have the most amazing food, and clothing, and throws, afgans, shawls, scarves.
Sharon posted previously about the handweaving part of Avoca in Kilmacanogue in Wicklow, they even let her have a go. Go and find the post about it on her blog!
Anyway, I plan on stopping by for a coffee at least....and maybe a bit of a fondle of their throws....

22 Oct 2006

Sheep Challange

Black Sheep Ale bottle, found at Biddy Early's Brewery in Co. Clare.
Photo taken through the window of a cabinet.
I don't think they are making this anymore.
This pub does the best food ever in its restuarant, and is very reasonable too. A pot of tea for one euro?? Where would you get that?
Unfortunately they have closed the restuarant part for the winter now, and will reopen it St Patricks weekend. Pity, its one of our favourite places to eat in Clare and we actually detour to stop there if we are heading home.
Don't worry, the pub itself is still open!

19 Oct 2006

Homespun Mouse

Remember I showed you the baby shoes I made with my homespun?

Here it is before I started knitting with it

Reggie was impatient with me taking photo's of the yarn, he wanted to be the Star attraction!

And here it is. The finished mouse. Squeek squeek

Little does it know what fate has in store for it

Oh yes Reggie, get in there, you big mouser you! Look at him licking his lips!

Needless to say, the mouse is a HUGE hit with both Ronnie and Reggie, and is now minus its tail, but still going strong. Reggie picks it up and carries it over to a corner to play with it himself. A pure Ratter.


18 Oct 2006

Lists of favourites as requested....

I was asked by our Secret Pal 9 Hostess Shelby to list my favorite:

Actor -Aidan Quinn, hands down
Actress -Jane Horrocks (think Absolutely Fabulous for those non Irish/UK people reading this....or Little Voice)
Animal - The Kitty Cat of course!
Band - Juliet Turner (at the moment) or Damien Rice
Book -The Time Travellors Wife
Bubble Bath - Lush bath bombs
Candy - Green and Blacks organic chocolate or Cadbury's Flake "Only the crumliest flakiest chocolate..."
Color -Orange
Drink- good old ordinary Tea! With only a drop of milk please.
Flower - Fresia, or daiseys
Food - Chocolate!!!Or okay then, Lasagne as chocolate wouldnt really be classed as food really...love Lasagne
Lip Balm - Boots Spearmint Lipsalve, tastes as if you could eat it, or else Clinique nude balm or good old vaseline
Lotion - The Sanctuary products
Movie - Amelie
Place-Co. Clare, Ireland
Song - Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen
TV Show - Coronation Street(!) or Strictly Come Dancing
Yarn- Noro yarns, but love all of them, can't get enough!!
Vacation Spot - Rome or Paris....or Australia, or Scotland...or...or...or

16 Oct 2006

Blogging pains

I've just been attempting to blog with uploading more than 2 photos and its absolutely painful.
Its slow, and its painful. Its even more painful when you wait for the picture to upload forever, being slow and painful as it is, and then it says its done, and you go to check it out or to move it to where you want it to go and discover its not there at all. 3 attempts later, you give up and save the post as a draft.
I have 3 drafts in the past week and a half just waiting to be posted, but the pictures are just not cooperating. AArrrggggghhghghghgh!
Over and out for the night. I've had enough.

Baby boys

What do you do when you make some tiny shoes?

You find a tiny baby to put them on!

In my case I found 2.

2 babies that is.
I had 2 friends have their baby boys over the course of a week.

So Micheál and I went a-visiting.

I made this Matinee Jacket also from Sublime yarn by Sirdar that I bought at the Knitting and Stitching show in Birmingham. Its a blend of cashmere, silk, merino and its also called Baby Cashmerino. It was nice to knit with, though I found it split quite a lot while knitting with it.

The pattern is from Baby Cashmerino 2 by Debbie Bliss, which I also picked up at the knitting and stitching show. I reckon I have enough left out of the 4 balls of yarn I bought to make a pair of socks to match the jacket.
I wanted to use green ribbon but I was in a rush to find some before handing it over to the Mum so I found this purple ribbon instead, which is just as well as the Mum loves purple!

This Mum also got a baby feet washcloth for baba, its her first one.

The Other Mum will be getting some bootees and a hat for baba also, and big sister will be getting a hat and some slippers (she asked where were her shoes when she spotted them!! And she wants red hearts on hers too)
The yarn I used for the wee shoes is my own handspun, one of my earlier efforts. I have used it for another little project also, more on that to come.

Thanks to woollywormhead for the advice on getting blogger to cooperate, its definately helped as you can see!!!

13 Oct 2006

Very Fetching Indeed

I knit myself a pair of Fetching Wristwarmers in time for the Electric Picnic (see the many posts before this on it!) and I wore them both days I was there, got a lot of people commenting on them.
I brought them out with me last night when meeting friends, among them Isabelle who I used to work with, and who has been jetsetting ever since, she's lived in New Zealand, Australia, the Isle of Man, and is now in Switzerland. And is originally from France. Did I mention she lived here in Ireland also for a time? She comes back to haunt us regularly (sorry Isa!!)
Anyway, Isabelle runs, and thought that my wristwarmers would be great for keeping her handies warm in the Swiss winter-time.
So Isabelle now is the proud owner of a pair of very fetching wristwarmers.

A very proud Fetching pose.

9 Oct 2006

The Last Knit

I saw this in my previous Secret Pal Trudi's blog a little while ago, and then my cousin Siobhan in Australia emailed me with a link to it, so thought you all may like a look.

Its really good, I have watched it a few times now, with the odd chuckle escaping at times from me....

So here we are: The Last Knit

(don't worry, its not MY last knit.....)

Secret Pal 9 Questionnaire

Yep its that time again. Here follows my Secret Pal 9 questionnaire....

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?I like a lot of different yarns really. I like handspun and hand-dyed yarn, I like Rowan, Debbie Bliss, Lornas Laces, Koigu, alpaca, almost anything really. I don’t like fun yarns, acrylic yarns, mohair or angora (gets into every facial orifce and I can’t breathe with it!, love the feel of it though… but the need to breathe is probably more important? ;-))

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?I have a couple of straight needle holders that I use for my straights, one came with a set I bought and the second came free with a magazine. My dpn’s and circulars are just dumped into a box at the moment, although a nice box it is, and both this box and the straights are then housed in another larger wooden box. Every now and then I have to go searching for needles as the box gets depleted and needs reorganising.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?I have been knitting as long as I remember, but in reality it was probably since I was in primary school, like a lot of Irish girls. I think my Mum or my Gran started me off and I remember doing some knitting in school. A red scarf comes to mind.I would probably be an advanced intermediate. I haven’t got a problem in doing most stitches/methods, I’m just usually too lazy to do any big projects requiring them! I’m going to remedy that this year.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes I have an amazon one, see my blog for details

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
Vanilla, clean smelling scents. Have discovered the Yankee tarts a while ago (through a friend) and have introduced them to most of my family at this stage. I usually have one burning if someone comes around to dinner and they always ask what the lovely smell is

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Yes I have a sweet tooth unfortunately. As I’m Irish, I always lean towards the Cadbury’s chocolate taste, though I have been known to try other things and like them! I love Green and Blacks Organic chocolate, white chocolate and like things with nuts in them. I like marzipan too. I am not very fond of nestle’s, or pralines.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
Well apart from the knitting, I do spin a bit, but not as much as I would like as knitting always seems to get in the way! I have been doing a lot of preparatory work for spinning, having gotten a few fleeces during the summer, so have been washing them and carding them and dyeing them. Now all I need is time to spin them!I also do mosaics and some beading, and would like to learn how to crochet at some point, and be able to sew.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Love 80’s music (obviously the good stuff, not some of the bad that was also around at the time). Depeche Mode, Thompson Twins, Abba, The Cure, Wham, Franz Ferdinand, Damien Rice, BellX1, Kaisers Cheifs, Gorillaz, David Bowie, Katie Melua, The Frames

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
Like a lot of different colours really, depends on mood. Green, red, orange, brown, pink, blue. Not fond of yellow really, but again in depends on circumstance.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Single, with boyfriend of 2 and half years. Live in my own home with 2 terrors of kittens called Ronnie and Reggie

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves: yes
Hats: yes
Mittens: occasionally, but prefer gloves
Ponchos: No

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Baby boottees are great for me, they are quick and look so cute!Also like making hats and quick items, although this winter Im determined to knit myself a cardigan (have swatched for it last night!!)

13. What are you knitting right now?
A friend of mine had her second baby 2 days ago so I am knitting bootees and hat for him, and another friend is due today, with her first and I’m making a matinee jacket for her baby- thought I’d do something special for her as she’s the only girl in a family of 4 boys, and her mum is very sick at the moment so she deserves something very special.Im also in the middle of doing a doll for the babies (from Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino2 book).
Swatched last night for the cardigan (from My Fashionable Life- the Bridie)
Have lots of WIP’s also-
Socks for my beau
Kitty Pi for my boys
Lopi tote from Hello Yarn
Do you want me to go on?

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Oh yes!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Circular over straight, and probably circular on a par with dpns.Bamboo over aluminium and don’t really like plastic usually, though see answer 20

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes to both, and they are both a godsend

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Oh God. Eh, probably the tote from Hello Yarn as far as I can remember

18. What is your favorite holiday?

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Stash!!And knitting booksAnd knitting magazines

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Books- see my amazon wishlist. At the moment, my biggest book wish is for the Handknitted holidays one, but I think I may just go ahead and buy that myself.
Yarns- well, anything that is hard to get in Ireland (which is a lot!!)
Needles- Pony Pearl dpn's

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Knitting with 2 circulars

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes, but I try not to have more than one on the go at a time which is why havent cast on yet for the pomotomous socks….
Size (UK)4 or 37 shoes,
8.5in/21cm around ball of foot
9in/23cm long

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
09/29. I won’t say what year as I’m trying to deny it myself.

5 Oct 2006

oh yes, we have come to a conclusion

Okay, this is really really the last post about the Electric Picnic. And yes, it really is Paul from Bellx1 and Tomo who is the drummer with Damien Rice.
They look like great knitters don't they??!! ;-)

So there are a couple of wordless posts following on from this, and yes that is me in the silly hat, Isobel thought I looked like the cat in the hat with it on. I was going to buy it....but thought again....

oh yes here's another one!

more proud knitters