Friday, September 26, 2008

Christening Sunday Brunch Update

There has been great progress on the Christening Sunday Brunch jacket. I’m knitting it in the round (of course) on my lovely new harmonies (did you doubt it?).

I calculated the number of Berry Cluster Stitch repeats that would fit across the stitches. 234 stitches. TWO THREE FOUR. There’s a nice symmetry*. Anyway, it seemed to be absolutely HUGE, so I took out a repeat (207 stitches) and jumped right in.

This has been flying zipping zooming along the needles. Even through the Vast Plains of Stocking Stitch. Probably because I’m absolutely in love with it and snuggle up with it at every opportunity.

My heartfelt thanks go to Jellyknits [Ravelry link], for preventing me from knitting the eyelet row at the bodice BEFORE the decreasing row for the smock effect. Phew! That would have been a painful mistake.

As it was I had to frog 5 rows (that’s 1,028 stitches people) but it was worth it. Jellyknits also encouraged me to retain the Moss Stitch pattern for the upper part of the jacket. I thought that a double Moss Stitch would be more pronounced, but she pointed out that the single Moss Stitch was really appropriate on a little person.

Dead right there babe. Thanks! It’s especially effective with the pearly incandescence of the Prima yarn. Each stitch looks like an individual seed pearl. (I can see why they call this the Seed Stitch in other parts of the world.)

So we’re flying along. Have divided for the armholes already and sprinting towards the left front neckline.

Happy happy happy.

* I won’t tell you how long it took me to work out that the 23 stitch pattern fits 10 times into 234 stitches, with 4 left over. I even had to use a pencil to work that out. (But I won’t admit it.)


Monday, September 22, 2008

Love Bunny

The start of another school season means lots of new stationary, pens, folders etc. I love stationary.

Little Monkey does too, with a vast and chaotic collection of notebooks, drawing pads, colouring sets, papers and folders*. Of course, it’s waaaayyyy more fun if you decorate your folders too, so out comes the glitter and pens.

This particular scene is based on her current favourite book. Dear Bunny: A Bunny Love Story. Normally we don't do schmaltz in our hourse, (sentiment yes, schmaltz no) but this is delightful.

Valentino and Valenteeny, (Tino and Teeny for short) live across the valley from each other but have never spoken because they are VERY VERY Very very very (very) shy. Anyhow, they write each other little notes and eventually meet and fall in love. I just love the way these bunnies are shown in profile with their ears straight up. They look like they’ve been electrocuted!

And can you see the little hearts coming out of their mouths? Sweet innit?

Oh yes. Knitting.

There's that too.

* I guess she didn’t lick that chaos off a stone either.


Sunday, September 21, 2008


This was on my car this morning. A flaming creature landed from the skies above. Looks like Autumn has arrived.

It’s from a lovely Maple tree which we planted shortly after we moved here. After 10 years growth it’s a pure delight in all seasons. A spreading green canopy in summer and a glorious flaming torch in Autumn.

Doesn’t it look like some sort of flying creature? Like a flying mantis or Portuguese Man-O-War?

Got my leaflet for the Knitting & Stitching Show this week. I'm really looking forward to it. This year the organisers are claiming it will be the biggest and best ever, with more actual craft stalls and fewer people selling funny irons and boot polish.

Let's hope. Tho' I might wear me boots just in case.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Joseph Cot Blanket

And there's more in the Joseph series from the NicKnits Knitting Mum & Dad Team.

I have described previously how over the years there was a Joseph Jumper knitted for everyone in the family. Right at the end of this line comes Little Mouse, the 9th grandchild, the last leaf on the family tree.

Here's the Joseph Cot Blanket. Knit by Dad and quilted by Mum. What a team.


I'll bet you are.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

Just a little message of birthday wishes and love to the bestest Dad in the whole wide world!

Happy Birthday Dadd-io Poppa Pops!

I love you.


Saturday, September 13, 2008


Yay for This Is Knit 2!

Great news guys. Well done. I'm hardly ever in Dublin city centre, but still it's great news.

Can't wait to see it. I hope you don't mind, but every one of us will feel like we belong there - just a little bit.

That's kinda nice I think.

And how you manage that kind of customer feeling with a commercial business in this day-and-age I can't imagine.

Unless the business in question just happens to involve knitters and yarn of course.

And unless it's run by special people of course.

There's always that.



Thursday, September 11, 2008

New Knitty

Welcome to the Fall Knitty 08. In the dim and dark olden days before Ravelry and TIK, Knitty was the 1st online resource that helped me find other knitters and feed my hunger for modern knitting patterns.

For this reason, I've always had a soft spot for Knitty, even tho' it has been joined by many other great resources (which I believe it may have helped to inspire). Now that I think about it, it's not that I've knit many Knitty patterns, but it provided a lot of interest and inspiration at a crucial time.

Since I don't do socks, let's look at the patterns that I would knit, given sufficient time and resources.

This is the cover pattern: Twist and Shout. Definitely something that I would knit and wear - tho' I'm not sure about the collar.

Retrofit is a great guy pattern. For a really great guy.

And Versitility is really amazing (see note below*). Anyway (ignoring the bobbles) I like the construction, tho' I think it helps that the model here is a little person. I was shocked to see this pattern in fact, since I've been thinking about designing something like this for a while. That's frustrating, since I worry about not being original enough and have abandoned several design projects where there are other similar ones published. Still maybe it means I've tuned into the knitting zeitgeist or something.

Same goes for Abby, a lace cowl, tho' I think this is a generic enough shape to be able to design alternatives without plagiarism.

But this? OpArt baby blanket? I would never have thought of this. Great innit?

Or these...they're just cute.

Coming in top of the queue tho' is the Waves of Grain scarf/wrap. I've been looking for a lace and beaded scarf for some silk laceweight that I've been hoarding in my Hat Box for a long time.

Nice one.

*The rest of you in other nations probably don't have this problem, but anyone growing up in Ireland in the 70's who had to endure study the author and storyteller Peig Sayers can't even contemplate a certain type of shawl for fear of looking like this.

...or this....

...tho' I notice Peig is knitting in the 1st picture. So we've more in common than I thought, after all.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Berry Cluster Stitch

Well, so far it's all about the swatchin' and I'm lovin' it. My, this yarn is delicious. Soft, pliant, lovely drape.

Funny, it feels like it has the qualities of cotton, but without the stiffness, the kinks or the 'rope-y-ness'. (Isn't my command of language a marvel?) I've heard that it does stretch or drag a bit after knitting, but hopefully this won't be a problem, as it will be lined in anticipation of an Alpine winter's day, and this should give it plenty of structure. Besides, the fullness of the jacket skirt should hide any stretch.

Anyway, here's the Berry Cluster Stitch mentioned previously.

Lovely innit? Happy sigh*.

You can see the experimentation with bobbly embellishment here. The blue/green Prima is lovely, and it will tie in nicely with the baby's light blue Ao Dai.

What you see here is actually a group of embroidered French Knots. They're ok, but a bit chunky. I'll experiment a bit to get a finer, more delicate version.

Of course these beads are nice too, but not so suitable for an infant garment.

Oh this is fun.

* I should point out that what I'm celebrating here is the yumminess of the yarn and the beauty of the stitch pattern, not my actual knitting per sae. I'm not going to deny tho' that I'm pretty pleased with that too!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Livin' in Perfect Harmony!


Just got my set of Harmony Knit Picks circular whatsits...from TIK, (specifically from the lovely J. Thanks!).

Gives a whole new meaning to the term 'k/nitpicking'.

No, really, I see a connection. Ha Ha.

All joking aside, these babies are SHARP!!!!

First of all tho', they're soooo purdy! Those marbelled colours, and the wood grain. Lovely.

Er...I know that's not the most practical response, but after all, we spend so many knitting hours transferring needles from hand to hand, sliding stitches up and down, going thru' the stitch rhythm, and most importantly easing stitches and needle tips in and out of cables and lace, that - just like with a violin, a flute, a plane or a saw - it really matters what the instrument/tool is like.

Is it sticky, halting, jagged or smooth as butter?

Is it plastic, metal, aluminum, wooden or smooth as butter?

Is it shiney, grainy, splintery or smooth as butter?

In other words, is it as smooth as butter?

Yes it is.

(I should point out that here in Ireland, in case it's differnet in your part of the world, butter is smooth, and er....buttery...and oh yes, yellow-ish and kinda salty! Yum.)

At first with the Knit Picks, I must admit, (in the interests of full disclosure), that while I was bedazzled by their good looks, I was freaked out worried about how sharp the needle tips are. Not that accuracy and ability are a handicap. After all, I'm the kind of knitter who wants their boyband to be able to actually play an instrument and hold a tune. And Boyzone, are they sharp and pointy. But I haven't knit much lace, so these seemed over the top for my purposes. And painful.

I even thought - argh!- that maybe I had been once again suckered by the bandwagon to buy into something that looked lovely but would be inappropriate to my needs or fail to deliver. I'll admit, if I see a bandwagon passing, any bandwagon, about the right height and speed I think about jumping abord.

However, I:

- assessed this issue calmly, soberly,

- allowed for a suitable passage of time so that my crush on appearances would have time to pass,

- cast a beady eye on the knitting budget

...and I came to the sensible, adult and mature conclusion that they were just too darn pretty to resist!


So there I was, piercing the pad of my left index finger with every stitch and wondering if it was all a mistake.


However, it turns out, that the very 1st project that I try these babies out on, the Berry Cluster Stitch, has a VERY tricksey purl 2 together THROUGH THE BACK LOOP for which quite frankly a blunter set of tools would be useless.

So, not only are they good lookin', they pack a punch.

Yay, redemption.

And you can't ask for more than that.

Or you can. (A free trip to the great knitting shops of the world, dinner for all your knitting friends - online and local - with the Yarn Harlot, tutorials with your favourite designers and a lifetime of free yarn.)

But that's just silly...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fish Felt Thing

What can I say about this? It was to be a potholder for my friend’s birthday. She gave me such great encouragement over the felted bag swatch shown earlier that I wanted to say thanks. With felt. Heartfelt thanks in fact.

She's a fabulous crafter and makes the most sublime rolled felt (i.e. wet felt) things. Just. Fabulous.

There's no joy compared to giving someone you love something you made yourself, that you know they will really appreciate. (And don't TALK to me about knitting for your children. Little Monkey would break your heart! Mind you, she's very considerate - perhaps with an eye to her disinheritance. 'Yes I like it Mummy, I just don't want to wear it!')

Knit for other knitters I say - or in this case, felt for other felters*.

Well, it IS a potholder, but it turned out a bit bigger than planned, and then I got a little carried away with the embellishments so now my friend says she’s not lettin’ her lasagne dish anywhere near it.

So let’s call it a Fish Felt Thing and leave it at that.

That yellow thing in the corner was going to be a a flower, but Little Monkey said it was obviously the sun.

She's probably right.
* Oops. Sounds vaguely obscene, sorry!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Christening Sunday Brunch

Am VERY excited about this project. It’s for my friend’s new daughter Victorine Tam Thomas who will be christened on 28th Dec 2008 in France.

We met at TIK on Saturday and settled on Debbie Bliss Prima to make this jacket. It will be worn layered over a traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai costume for the Christening deremony so it needs to be a little longer to make a more formal/classic look and fit with the full length style of the Ao Dai. Gorgeous.

We put our heads together to come up with a colour scheme and some mods that will make this just perfect. The jacket will be mostly in a delicious cream yarn, with some lovely blue/green for some embellishments and matching Mary Janes. We also picked a stitch pattern from Nicky Epstein's Knitting On The Edge - the Berry Cluster Stitch, only we're using the beaded version...because my friend prefers it....(nothing to do with the bobbles on the Berry version, I swear!).

I couldn't wait to swatch the yarn so I got right on it as soon as I could that evening. I predict a little bit of a Jolly Green Giant delay (sorry Dad!). Got perfect gauge thank goodness and yesterday I started to swatch the stitch pattern for the edge. It's a bit tricky, but after a few goes I think I have it now. It will be lovely.

Yay. I love knitting!

Don't you?