Monday, December 31, 2007

Hat Trick

Another recent purchase to help with the Stash Control was this lovely hat box (from Dunnes Stores) for special yarn storage. I've recently acquired some silk yarns which in my view deserve an extra special storage solution. Besides, that Stiletto really looks like it means business! This-Yarn-Is-Precious-Approach-With-Reverence it says.

(PS: The box holds quite a lot and I shouldda got some more while I was there. Sigh.)

Anyway, ta da!

Lid off!

Lovely innit? There's some Louisa Harding, some Rowan Tapestry, some Hipknits Silk and Hipknits laceweight and some silk from a UK shop who were at the last Knitting & Stitching Show and whose name eludes me. The Yarn Something they were called. I'll check later and get back to you.

I've no idea what these yarns are going to turn into, but I can't wait to find out. There isn't enough of anything to make a garment so I'm thinking some lace scarves perhaps, but am anxious now about whether they'll show the lace stitches well enough - since the Louise Harding Grace Silk & Wool turned out to be a bit fuzzy. Just have to try some out and see I guess. As always, suggestions are most welcome.

Isn't that blue colour in the centre just divine? It's a kind of Midnight Blue shade with a fantastic sheen. Sigh! Who cares what they become. I'm just happy they're here!

Happy New Year to ye all!


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Nollaig Shona

Ok, OK I'm a bit late with the seasonal greetings, but between the shopping, preparations, house cleaning and decorating, general festivities, work pressures and of course holiday knitting - there just wasn't time to post anything, unless you count the late christmas cards of course.

I hope you all had a happy and blessed Christmas and will have a wonderful new year. I'm spending this weekend at a big family event and looking forward to it enormously.

So...even tho' it's not a cake or even a pud, here's a One Skein cupcake to make up for the lack of traditional baking.

Happy Knitting in 2008!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Secret Project Success

So...the Secret Knitting Project is completed and has been presented to it's new owner. She was delighted I'm glad to say.

It was a relatively easy task to turn this....

...into this...

And, what is it exactly?'s a Gift Bag / Evening Bag I guess. I presented it with a little candle inside, but my friend wants to take it on the town as an evening bag...or would if it was lined that is. (Note to self, line the bag.)

Like I said, it's essentially a swatch of Snowdrop Lace with some eyelets at the top followed by a flared edge with a picot finish. This pic gives a better view of the makings of it, tho' it's a little dark I know. A curse on Knitting Pictures, they're tricky, eh?

I did make many some mistakes but left them in for (hah!) authenticity as a handmade gift. And so's not to offend the Gods.

In this pic you'll notice that some snowdrops are not so much drops as drips...the top one is 2 rows shorter than the lower one. Dunno how that happened. I didn't think the lace definition was great in this yarn, but come to think of it I didn't block it due to lack of time.

And yes, I could've should've knitted it in the round but I was in a hurry and couldn't figure out how to convert the stitch pattern into the round easily. Would have been nice to avoid the pesky seams.

Anyway, I make no great claims for it as a work of art but my friend LOVES it, and HER friends were impressed. Now there's a result for a knitter.

Here you can see how luminous and lovely the yarn is (Louisa Harding Grace Silk & Wool). Not all of that sheen is the darned camera flash.

I mentioned that I'd learned something on this project. What on earth possessed me to create a double flare (i.e. increased in every stitch in 2 rounds, 1 round apart) on the edge of something that was going to be gathered?


Mind you, it does make for a nice little posey at the top, n'est ce pas?


Friday, December 14, 2007

The Budget

Or more precisely, the Knitting Budget.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. Obviously, because I want to justify past and future yarn purchase. Before you dismiss this post as entirely subjective however, (because you can be sure that it ends with yarn, for me) let me outline briefly a few points.

(Editor: Yeah. Briefly. Like anyone believes that.)

Over the past while, (for sound financial and stash busting reasons), I have reined in the yarn budget. This is partly due to a hedonistic yarn spree in the past that a) left a legacy of unfortunate novelty yarns and b) has put a severe strain on the Stash Accommodation.

Let’s just say that the normal means of Stash Disguise have been exhausted: in rarely used saucepans; under and between beds, cupboards and furniture; and camouflaged as innocent clothing, towels, bedding etc. Add to that the fact that the house dates from 1860, when inbuilt furniture was a distant dream and that the rooms don’t fit your average wardrobe, and lo and behold you have The Great Yarn Purchase Restrictions of 2007.

Anyway, given that an average sweater might cost 50 to 60 euro to knit, you might think that it’s hard to justify paying that against the cost of a chain store sweater (20-30 euro) or from a slightly better high street store (40–50 euro).

Think again.

I recently pursued 2 young children around did an informal survey in a new local shopping centre, which has a pretty good range of shops, from chain store, to high street names, to fancy-nancy boutiques, and I realised that my entire Yarn Budget thinking had been mistaken. Thank Goodness.

Sure, the chain store offered lots of useful, inexpensive and attractive sweaters, and there are plenty of them in my wardrobe. (That’s a metaphorical wardrobe I should add, what I actually mean is they're hanging from a broom handle nailed up in the roof space). But even in the chain stores, and definitely in the high street stores, there were lots of pieces far more expensive than I expected (of good quality admittedly), while in the boutiques the range went from 120 euro up to unlimited amounts (up into space and out of budget range entirely).

My point being that the fashion forward high street stores offer a similar product to what I could produce with my own needles and ingenuity, for roughly the same price as the yarn. I realise that there’s all the blood, sweat and tears, oh yes, definitely tears joy of knitting the thing, but mostly a knitter would say that’s a bonus, not a disadvantage.

So while knitting for myself can no longer offer a less expensive alternative to cheap clothing (which it would have done in the 80’s perhaps) it stands up very well against the middle and higher offerings of fashion.

Added to that the following:

  • A small supermarket shop leaves me approximately 120 euros the poorer, a large one over 250 euros

  • A trip to the cinema would easily set you back 20 euro for 2 people, with ticket and popcorn prices

  • The last novel that I bought cost me 18 euro

  • A recent restaurant excursion in Dublin cost 160 euro for 2 people. Admittedly it was a pretty fancy restaurant, but still.

So, take the cost of entertainment, factor in the cost of a ready made garment, and I have come to agree with the Yarn Harlot (she’ll be so relieved).

'...costs $40 - which is still a little dear for a baby thing, but I count yarn in my entertainment budget. I knit for fun, like some people golf, so if I get a baby gift out of it, that's a bonus.'

(for the full post go here and scroll down to entry May 27th)

Given that yarn purchase should come from your entertainment budget, not your clothing budget, it’s now easier to justify 11/12 balls of a lovely yarn for perhaps months of knitting pleasure and a (hopefully lovely and wearable) garment at the end of it.


I've just bought myself this to celebrate. I've wanted it for a long time.

Of course, given the cost of living, there’s less yarn budget available to play with, but that’s another story. At least I can read about it.


So, how old is Jesus anyway?

Description: A recent discussion between NicKnits and NicKnits beloved eldest daughter of 6 years, Little Monkey.

Scene: driving to school

Setting: in the NicKnits car

Little Monkey in a tone that indicates she is or is about to be up to something: Muuummm...what does Christmas celebrate?

NicKnits: Well..........

Little Monkey: I know I know I know! It's to celebrate Jesus's birthday!

NicKnits: That's right pet, it's Jesus's birthday.

Little Monkey: old is he now then?

NicKnits: (......silence!)


I did finally manage some kind of an answer about how infinite and universal Jesus is etc. and she says that it doesn't matter how old Jesus is, he still helps everybody in the Whole World.

So there.

And that includes you.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pay It Forward

I just signed up to be part of Kerrie's Pay It Forward exchange and I'm making a similar promise here.

Based on the concept of this movie
Pay it Forward , random acts or deeds of kindness are done unto others, with the hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness pass on their own act of kindness, not backwards to the deed-doer, but forwards. So this is a small way to improve the world...and pass on the knitting love.

So, in that light, I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don't know what that gift will be and it won't be sent this month (darn right it won't!), nor next month (due to New Year work deadlines you wouldn't believe), but it will be sent (hopefully within 6 months) and that's a promise.

What YOU--the recipient--- have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog. If you don't have a blog, just make the same statement in your comment.

So sign up guys...and see what the post may bring.


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Secret Christmas Project: _________ for _____________

I've just started on a Secret Christmas Project.

A lovely __________ for _________. I'm kinda making it up as I go along, but when all is revealed you'll see it's basically a matter of picking a lace pattern and making a smallish swatch and then fiddling about with it crafting skillfully until it's done.

I'm using some Louisa Harding Grace Silk & Wool which I scored at the Knitting & Stitching Show from yes, no prizes for guessing these people.

It's not the right yarn for the project yarn really, but I didn't know that until I'd started. And in any case my friend _________ just fell upon it and rubbed it against her cheek sighing in an unsuitable way, so I can't go wrong. I could just give her the ball and she'd be happy.

After being disappointed in the initial lace patterns I picked (I usually go for leaf motifs, but they just didn't show up) I finally plumped for Snowdrop Lace. This lace pattern doesn't show particularly well either, it's a tad fuzzy, and it really needs a bit more definition. Plus I had to go up a needle size to get any drape at all.

However, it's more than adequate for this project so Knit On MacNic. looks like I actually learned something, about the yarn and about the lace. And that this yarn would be better reincarnated as an item of clothing. It's super soft yet silky shiney too. Hmmm. Scarf? Mittens? A glamorous top? A Tudora? Perhaps if I go back down the needle size I went up. (If you follow me).

Because I also got these while I was at it, so there'll be something in it for me after all. Yay, result.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Tudura: Contrats to Cheryl

Wow, the Winter Knitty is up. Already.

And it's great. Lots of interesting things here that I like. Mostly the accessories (given that I'm not exactly a waif). This and the previous Knitty issue had more that appealed to me than the earlier ones for a long time. No judgements, just sayin'.

I'm definitely making this for Little Mouse, this and this for myself and this for pretty much everybody else. There may be other neckwarmer things around, but nothing approaching Tudura for sheer dash and simplicity.

Congratulations Cheryl, it's genius. I can't wait to get started! Plus those are very chic and sassy pics.

Edited To Add: Congratulations also to Carol for Doddy in the same issue. Yay Irish Knitters!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Yay Franklin!

Isn't it great when your own views are confirmed by somebody that you admire!* In case there's any doubt, I'm a Big Fan. A. Big. Fan.

I was browsing the blog of the Oh-So-Talented-And-Generally-Wonderful-Franklin-The-Panopticon yesterday and found this post. Scroll down where he gives bobbles the thumbs down.

And pause to admire that wonderful hat-upon-a-hat. Jeez, as if we weren't screwed up enough! You want to make it, I know you do.

And check out the 1000 Knitters Project. That's a tempting notion...even for the digitally challenged.

Yay, Franklin.


* The question with an exclamation mark instead of a question mark is intended to be rhetorical. Don't know if that works, but it's my little contribution to blog-grammer


Monday, December 3, 2007

Yarn Smoothies...

An unexpected trip to Dublin on Saturday morning allowed an unscheduled visit to TIK ...where I was hit with these beauties! They're quite spectacular up close, so beautiful and marbley and tempting. All that yarney goodness busrting to get out. And the knitting needle 'straw' is a winner! Haven't you always wanted to take a sip from your favourite yarn?

I'd just like to congratulate the Fairy Godmothers on another winner, and I hope they do well. They're a fabulous gift for a knitter - to give or to receive (which is less blessed I know, but still...).

I nearly wouldn't care what project was in them, they're just so nice to look at. As it happens, I don't actually need one, given the crises proportion healthy state of the stash and the numbers of projects not even started yet, but I was still really tempted by the Aysen Scarf kit. Since when has 'need' actually directed yarn purchase?

And...not only...but also...they have a Party Scarf kit complete with Swarovski crystals packaged in a lovely organza bag. €22 I believe. Yum.

Ah well, when my knitting nieces are old enough some of these will be heading their way.

Go check 'em out!

And yes, an unexpected visit to your LYS does result in unscheduled yarn purchase. Your Stash Defenses are down y'see.

This is for my very 1st felting project. I had a notion to try a felted bowl, like in 'One Skein', but was sidetracked by this lovely yarn. Introducing 'Soho' from Debbie Bliss. I don't think it's dense enough for a felted bowl but I'd like to try a felted bag.

Maybe a wide clutch style to hold a small knitting project, like socks or mittens. Or a pouch style for the traditional purse/keys/phone.

I got 2 balls, so that's 130 yards altogether...sorry, metres. I'm guessing that I go up a needle size to assist in the felting? or up 2 sizes? Or should that be down a size?

I'm a Felting Virgin, so any suggestions for an online pattern to follow or amend would be received with interest.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More Bliss...

As promised, more pics* from the World of Bliss.

A view of the cardigan back, showing fab cabling detail. See the way all those bobbles are receeding into the background? I think they call that adding perspective or something in the art world. Anyway, they're lovely. (Eagle-eyed viewers will see that there's something in the basket at TIK on 1/2 price sale. A bargin. Get down there, I'll wait. You back yet? OK)

And that's my new cosy jacket that I'm wearing (from Dunnes Stores). I needed something to wear at work that doesn't look dipped in baby spit and domestic chaos crumpled. Smart innit? You can't knit your WHOLE wardrobe.

Here's the cardigan back with the left front piece draped artfully across it. Those cables are quite seductive. If they could, they'd wink at ye. 'Come up and knit me sometime'.....they say.

Even more eagle-eyed viewers will notice that I have ommitted the bobbles all the way up the front. This is because while they serve a purpose on the back, by creating a lovely vertical line and giving the back detail an almost Tudor-like feel...well. ..I ...actually ...hate ...bobbles. Seriously. Hate 'em.

Hate knitting 'em. After all it's the knitting equivalent of running on the spot. All that knitting and knitting and turning the piece around and around, and no progress.

At least on the back I won't have to look at 'em. I permitted them to remain on the front insofar as the cable detail requires them, but I wasn't about to let them creep all the way up towards my neckline-view. Nasty bobbly things! Go 'way! And they were just too much with the button band as well. Trust me.

So...what happened next? Well, I spent HOURS picking up stitches for the button bands. I dislike knitting button bands almost as much as bobbles. (Jeez, I sound like a very grumpy knitter, but I'd honestly rather knit a 3rd sleeve than a buttonband. Go on, admit it. You feel the same.) It took 3 or 4 attempts before the 129 stitches were picked up evenly on one side but mercifully the other side was quicker.

And remarkably, the bands look ok. No flaring to speak of.

Progress on the cardigan has been halted due to the gift knitting. 3 or 4 pairs of mittens and a lacey drawstring bag.

More pics, you've guessed it...


* These pics also courtesy of the Lovely Lisa of TIK.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Introducing the Jolly Green Giant

The Jolly Green Giant (JGG) is (or will be) a large, green aran sweater for my Dad. When I say it's green, I mean that it's really really really green. The greeniest green there is. And nothing subtle about it. Kermit the Frog is a tasteful green alongside it.

Put it this way, when I showed it to Lovely Lisa in TIK last week she actually took a step backwards. She said nothing, (so polite) but a strange look passed over her face.

See, it's like this...

Some time ago I promised to make my Dad an aran jumper (that's a sweater for you non-Europeans). Make no mistake, as a lifelong knitter he's more than capable of making his own jumper, and indeed he often has. And wonderful colourful creations they are too. I'll show you sometime.

This, however, is a labour of love for me and a small payback for the years of great knitting and Dad-ship he has given to me. As such, the yarn is entirely his own choice and I will knit it without dark glasses complaint*. Tho' I might stitch a message in the back 'My daughter knit me this sweater, but I chose the colour myself'.

Top left of picture is the scramble of yarn - it's a EuroBuster yarn, green of course.

Bottom left of picture is 8 inches or so of ribbing. After the ribbing I'm using a basic raglan pattern in a kind of waffle stitch/mistake rib with some cables and other do-dads to keep it interesting. Oh yes, and a Secret Surprise on the front. Not going to show that until it's finished.

Right of picture is a strip of sample rib stitches, starting with:

- Fisherman's Rib in 8mm (way too open),

- the same in 6mm (still not firm enough) and then

- a variation of a 3 stitch Mistake Rib, (think that's what it's called)

- followed by a 2 stitch Mistake Rib.

As you can see, the 3 stitch Mistake Rib was the winner. There's a heart there because there just is.

[Hah! Edited to add...looks like I'm wearing my heart on my sleeve! Ha hah hah! Sorry, I'm a bit sleep deprived. Everything is either terribly sad or hilarious.]

I've done about 8 more inches of the back, including some cables - more pics to come. It's pretty heavy already (especially since I've been knitting delicate little mittens for months) so I got some 6mm circulars (I love Addis) to replace the cumbersome No 6's in the photo. .

Big improvement.


It's still green tho'.


Editor: Not another word about the colour. From now on, it's all about the knitting, right?


Tuesday, November 20, 2007


There's no easy way to say this folks, so I'll just spit it out.

Or maybe I'll just spit!

I've always wondered how typos occur in published knitting patterns.
I mean, surely they're checked and proofread very carefully?

The answer is Human Error. Specifically, MY human error.

It breaks my heart that there's a significant typo in the pattern for Ms Pottern Mittens as published in Yarn Forward Magazine - in the text as provided by me in the 1st instance. I cannot BEAR to think of the poor knitters struggling witih incomprehensible instructions and cursing me and the horse I rode in on.

I've been that knitter. We've all been that knitter.

Basically the instructions for the thumb gusset places the gusset between the 1st and the 2nd dpns in every odd round and between the 2nd and 3rd dpns in even rounds. Can you IMAGINE the confusion? The instructions for K13 and K26 in the even rounds need to be transposed. There are some other typos too, but not as serious as this one.

Kerrie (who publishes the magazine) was very kind about it, which I really appreciate. It happens apparantly, but I feel TERRIBLE about it and apologise most deeply and sincerely to anyone effected.
Errata will be published on the magazine website and included with future copies of the magazine.

The magazine is lovely, by the way. Great production values, clear layout and some good articles etc. The photos of the mittens are terrific and I was sooooo proud of the pattern. It just kills me to think of the pain in store for the unsuspecting knitter. Arrrrgh!

If anyone has any questions on the pattern or any other issues, please email me at Nicknits AT gmail DOT com. I'll publish errata here shortly.

All I can do is fall on my needles and beg the mercy of the court.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Dyelot 54 Where Are You?

There's a hold-up in the Bronx,
Brooklyn's broken out in fights.

There's a traffic jam in Harlem,
That's backed up to Jackson Heights.

There's a scout troop short a child,
Khrushchev's due at Idlewild...

Car 54 where are you?

Well I'll explain for all you young things out there that 'Car 54 Where Are You?' was a tv programme broadcast in the early '60s and repeated by Radio Telefis Eireann later on.

I notice from the lyrics (via Google, I love Google) that Idlewild Airport had yet to be renamed after John F. Kennedy - so that dates it pre 1963 for sure. Not tellin' ya my status in 1963, but I wasn't watchin' telly, that's for sure.

As you can see from the pic they were a pair of goofballs cops, a bit like Laurel and Hardy - but funnier. I was knee-high to a grasshopper watching it but I do remember the theme song (above) and the canned laughter.

It belongs with Wanderly Wagon and The Magic Roundabout in my early TV memories. Oh yes, and Charles Mitchel reading the news.

And Hall's Pictorial Weekly!

Anyway...Dyelot 54 where are you?

Right here...!

Picture courtesy of Fairy Godmother Lisa at TIK. Thanks Lisa!

So our Fairytale had a happy ending after all! Thanks to the Fairy Godmothers of course.

Not a dry eye in the house I betcha.

More progress pics next post.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Voluntold! Hah! What a fabulous word!

While browsing Grumperina's blog I followed a link to this knit beauty. Isn't that jacket something else? It's Ram's Horn Jacket from Norah Gaughin's Knitting Nature. Must get a look at that book sometime.

And on top of that, right at the bottom the piece, the writer mentions in passing that she got a friend to model the jacket and took the photos herself, instead of modelling herself and trying to direct the photography at the same time, or modelling the jacket on a dress form. Very useful tip.

But the real gem of the piece? She V O L U N T O L D the friend that she would be the model. Isn't that a great word?

Any other new words you've found in the blogosphere?


Monday, November 12, 2007

The suspense.... killing me!

The Lovely Lisa (aka Fairy Godmother) of TIK has emailed to say that they have located some of the missing Dyelot 54!!! I believe they had to send knights into enchanted lands to fight dragons and witches, but they have returned triumphant!

Thanks Fairy Godmothers!

I can hardly believe it. In fact I won't actually believe that the dyelot is the very very very very same until I can get into TIK later this week and check. My first chance to do that will be Wednesday lunchtime.

Go on, admit it.

You're curious too, aintcha?


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

So where do you keep your Beach Knitting?

In your hat of course. * Seriously. In your hat. So portable. It fits nicely in your bag and while you're knitting you can pop the hat on your head. It's perfect.

And what was the beach knitting?

A perfectly portable pair of Ms Potter Mittens.

Two pairs actually. The darker pair (left of hat) is knitted in Rowan Tapestry colour Pot Pourri.

The lighter pair (right of hat) is knitted in Sublime Kid Mohair shade 025. It's a more subtle colour than appears here - a lovely dusky pearly greyish pink.

Since the Sublime yarn is a more glamorous option, (soft and mo'hairy - mo hairy - more hairy, geddit?) I decided to go for a longer length at the wrist, and a flare/ruffle effect. I included an eyelet row after the flare which eventually will get a ribbon - when I find the perfect shade. 1st stop in the ribbon hunt will be the Fabric Gallery in the Arcade in Bray.

Pretty innit?

And yes, knickers did come on holiday too, as well as knitting.

* Photos courtesy of my lovely friend and colleague Elena visiting From Madrid - Muchos Gracias Elena!


Saturday, October 27, 2007

High Noon at The NicKnits Corral

OK, so you know the way that personal computers have improved our working and personal lives in zillions of ways? Equally of course they've found just as many new and improved ways of driving us crazy.

A case in point: My laptop is fairly new. Well, new in comparison to the solar system. It's a year old, so in technical years it's about 100. Anyway, it was zinging along for a while there with few problems.

Recently however it has become as slow as a) molasses b) the traffic on the M50 or c) a really really really slow thing that goes very slowly. (Just insert your preference). For one thing, it seems to have memory issues - perhaps there was a traumatic event in the factory, or it didn't get enough love from it's motherboard.

Editor: Ah Jaysus Nic, enough with the metaphors. Get on with it.

It turns out however, that there are not one but two internet security systems installed. (Don't ask, it has to do with overzealousness on the part of another.) Like wearing in cold weather.

This means that whenever I ask the system to do something, especially internet related, like open a browser window, each security system starts to monitor the activities of the other.

It's akin to 2 gunslingers facing each other at each end of a deserted and dusty street.

Gunslinger 1: 'I'll draw!'

Gunslinger 2: 'No, I'll draw!'

Gunslinger 1: 'No, I'll draw!'

Gunslinger 2: 'No, I'll draw!'

Gunslinger 1: 'No, I'll draw!'

Gunslinger 2: 'No, I'll draw!'

NicKnits, from an upper story window of the local saloon: 'Bang!'

So I shot one of 'em. Not sayin' which one.

Gunslinger RIP.

In Knitting News, I have finally begun the long knit journey into night process of the Jolly Green Giant, a hu-normously large aran jumper for me Dear Aul' Dad. Pictures and details at another time.

Enough to say for now that it's a) large and b) green.

Right now I'm packing feverishly for the NicKnits Family who are off to Spain for a week. Praise God for Half Term.

Now...the eternal question. Never mind the knickers, what knitting will I bring?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Foolish Princess

Once upon a time there was a Foolish Princess.

The Foolish Princess started out as a Happy Knitting Princess (HKP).

The HKP didn't intend to be foolish, it just kinda happened along the way. The HKP is sorry now and she won't be foolish anymore - at least, not this kind of foolish. (She reserves the right to be foolish in many other ways that she hasn't thought of yet.)

Our story begins long long ago, when the HKP fell in with a Handsome Prince, but like many other HKPs before her, she fell in love with a Handsome Yarn and a Charming Pattern.

Such a very Beautiful Project (BP), thought the HKP, I shall be the Happiest Knitting Princess in the land!


When the HKP went home and cast on for the BP, she was a very HKP indeed. The Handsome Yarn knitted swiftly and the stitch pattern was interesting and delightful. The HKP took her progress knitting to show it (off) to the Fairy Godmothers (aka, the ladies of TIK).

The Fairy Godmothers ooh-ed and aah-ed over the BP and suggested that the HKP might like to take home THE LAST BALL of yarn for the BP as a precaution against running out. (Here comes the foolish part.) The HKP foolishly said, 'No thanks, it'll be fine' and foolishly skipped off home.

The HKP (now the Foolish Princess) said this even though she ALREADY PLANNED to make the BP slightly longer than specified. In her defense, if she had known that HKP Mary L had finished the very same BP with only THREE FEET of yarn to spare, she would have answered differently.

[On a serious note however, the cardigan was only lengthened by 4 rows (front and back of course) which doesn't justify running out of yarn to such a degree. AND the HKP left out most of the bobbles on the cardigan fronts - because she just doesn't like bobbles - so that should have saved some yarn. Definitely a pattern warning.]

The FP kept on knitting and knitting but instead of becoming happier, she became sadder and sadder as it became more and more obvious that she would run out of yarn entirely before the end of the 2nd sleeve, with the button band and the collar still to go.

Too late, the FP ran back to the Fairy Godmothers. 'Please, please may I have the last ball of yarn for the BP', she said eagerly. But the Fairy Godmothers couldn't help her. The last ball of yarn was long gone. Sadly they sent her a new ball in a different dyelot in the hopes that it would suit, but in vain. The dyelot was significantly different and just would not do.

The FP searched far and wide and finally found a 1/2 ball of the Handsome Yarn hiding in a stash sale in the Castle of the HKP Knitting Neels. HKP Knitting Neels gladly sent the yarn to the Castle of the FP, but again it was in vain.

In desperation, the FP sent out messages to HKPs throughout the land to see if anyone had some of the Handsome Yarn hiding somewhere.

'Desperately Seeking Debbis Bliss Cashmerino DK, Colour 18004 (Red), Dyelot 54', the message said.

The Foolish Princess sadly put the Beautiful Project away and waited. While she waited, she wondered if casting on for Sofia would ease her pain. 'I'd better shorten the sleeves if I lengthen it', she thought.

The Foolish Princess had finally learned her lesson!

Sofia, from the magic needles of Fairy Godmother Jacqui!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Happiness is...

A new knitting book! My thanks to Jellyknits for enabling this particular choice. Once I got my mitts on her copy I was powerless to resist!

I ordered it from my local bookshop, Bridge Street Books in Wicklow Town. (Tel/Fax +353 (0) 404 62240) and they got it for me in double quick time. Thanks Hilary, Joanne and Sandy!

They know that I can't wait to get a new book once it's ordered. They're so good too, they let me babble about each book when I pick it up and I make them look at all the patterns! That takes patience for non-knitters as we know.
I guess they think I'm safer off the streets for a while so they're doing a social service for the community.

Anyway, back to the book. I haven't had time to read it in detail (I'm looking forward to an uninterrupted moment - probably sometime next March!) but it looks as if it doesn't assume that you're a lace whizz and it holds your hand while you try out the lace patterns.

To be honest, some of the pieces are unfeasibly large, would take YEARS to complete and are probably quite unwearable. Tablecloth? Bedjacket anyone?

On the other hand, it's definitely all about the lace and it's really really beautiful.

It's also sumptuously produced, with fantastic photos, historical locations, and best of all, lots of knitting and social history, which I love.

Just holding this book is a pleasure. Boy, have I got it bad!

I'm not predicting when I'll actually have time to tackle any of these projects, but it does bring me joy knowing that they might be in my future.

I'll settle for that.

Edited to add: Here's the scarf from Grumperina which began my journey to this book last year, until last weekend when Jellyknits sent me over the edge - and it's the most likely project I'll someday take on. Fabulolus.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Digitally challenged

Well, here I am again and still no knitting pics. Is this a soooper knitting blog or what?

Don't answer that.

Yadda yadda yadda there are lots of excuses reasons for this, but the long and the short of it is that somebody else has the cables for the digital camera, and the drivers that make it work, so that person gets to download and store the pictures. Hence, the camera is full of non-knitting pictures. This situation will be recitified as soon as I can get around to it.

However, just so's I ain't got nuthin', here's the Debbie Bliss Ribbed Cardigan that I am almost finished.

Lovely, innit? A thing of beauty. The kind of thing that makes one rush out and cast on forthwith. I was instantly inspired by the cardigan Mary L (currently blogless) had with her at TIK the day that Ms Bliss came to tempt us to spend the children's allowance on yarn say hello.

And if you think that's nice, you should see the picture inside the book of the back shaping. And no smart remarks about how it'll be better to see me leaving than arriving.

Progress pictures presently.


Thanks folks!

Many thanks for all the nice comments and emails about the Yarn Forward cover. I'm dead chuffed and I appreciate such a positive response from ya'll.

I should have a copy of the mag in a week or so. Let's hope there are no errors in the pattern - yikes!


Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I went looking for the new Magknits this morning to see Lien's new pattern. (Congratulations Lien it's gorgeous!) It's a really great Magknits issue, check it out.

However, that's not the OHMIGOSH moment, oh no.

On the way to Magknits I found this!

Those are MY Ms Potter Mittens on the cover.

I'm not going to pretend to be all cool about it. How proud am I? Wow.

Thanks Kerrie and Yarn Forward. And thanks TIK for the Rowan Tapestry!

I wasn't expecting these to be published for a couple of weeks yet so this was a nice surprise. For those of you who know me, this is hard to believe, but I'm kinda speechless.

For now anyway.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

It's you.

As in many other places, knitting and other fibre arts have been making an appearance recently in the Irish media, from snippets to full blown articles to the fashion pages. I've often been asked (well several times anyway) why I think knitting is going through a revival. Is it a response to global consumerism? To the tyrrany of technology? To the pressures of modern times?

It's all those things I suppose. And much much more.

It's the almost meditative rhythm of the process, the colour and texture of the yarn, the soothing click clack of the needles, the beauty of the finished object.

It's the kick you get out of making something useful and/or lovely from scratch with just your own effort, 2 pointy sticks and some fibre. It's the pleasure you get from wearing something unique that you made yourself.

It's an antidote to the relentless demands of phones, computers, work, technology and the commute. It's the yarn, the fabric, the fibre, the texture, the drape, the colours and the lace. And lots more besides.

It's the folks at your
LYS where you can show your latest project and receive advice, encouragement, congratulations or comiseration depending on how it's going.

It's the
knitters you've met and those you haven't yet. It's the generous, the funny, the unique. It's Dolores, it's your first blog, and your most recent. It's the knitting community and the fellow-fibre-fanatics-feeling.

It's the people, people.

It's the knitters.

It's you.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Spell with Flickr

Hey! Found this really cool Flickr thing-a-ma-jig on Chez Plum's blog this morning.

It's fab! AND you can click on the images to change the style of each letter.

What fun...

(OK, so I couldn't work out how to get the Java code to work with Blogger, so I made an image of it and posted that instead. I'm a little bit techie, but not all techie...just right for a knitter! :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Secret Project

So...the knitting.

I do have something to show actually. Here's part of a Secret Project which will have to remain so for a couple more weeks. All I'll say for now is that there's some Regia Sock Yarn.

And, no. That's not a sock.

I don't do socks - although I get that they're nice and neat and portable an' all. And contain nice possibilities for stitches and challenges in a small do-able project.
Pomatomus anyone? Queen of Cups? and best of all...Twisted Flowers, and didja see these beauties from the talented Knitting Neels?

Hmmm, I could be tempted yet. Maybe I could do socks after all. One question to you folks who sock-it-to-'em. I just couldn't bear the saggy ankles thing.

Do they stay up? No really, do they?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Our reporter's exclusive interview with NicKnits

Me: So...your first blogpost, NicKnits. You must be very proud.

NicKnits: Yeah, know. More nervous really.

Me: Nervous? Why?

NicKnits: Well...because who wants to read about my knitting anyway? Apart from my Mum & Dad (I hope!) and a few people with nothing better to people in line for jury duty or a colonoscopy or something.

Me: Well, you read a lot of knitting blogs and you enjoy them. A lot.

NicKnits: Yeah...and that's something else. Doesn't it have to be funny or something?

Me: ...or something.

NicKnits: And I'm supposed to have a digital camera and an organised stash and a knitting philosophy and a clever blog title...and a general life plan...and...and...

Me: Oh just get on with it.

NicKnits: Okay.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007