Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ruffles Scarf

Just thought I'd show you something I made a lot of over the Winter of 2006.

At the time I was working towards a Christmas Craft Fair in Wicklow Town and wanted something original I could sell without having copyright-conscience over lots of the lovely free patterns available on the Internet. I'm happy to make these as gifts as the designers intend, but selling them is a different matter.

(Yes, I know that technically you could sell them and nobody would ever know. And yes I also know that you could alter them slightly and clear the copyright issue. Technically. It might clear the copyright issue, but it wouldn't clear the consience.)

So I came up with the Ruffles Scarf. The design is based on a single rib with a ruffle at each end and a lengthways slit so one end can be pulled through. The scarf is short, for quick knit satisfaction and also warm, but without the bulk at the neck of a longer version.

I made them in red, purple, black and white and they were quite popular the 1st year. Unfortunately I was unable to compete with the imported machine-made scarves and other items which appeared at the ‘craft’ fair the following year. Now I make them as gifts for family and friends, and fellow knitters.

Its the knitters who appreciate them most.

PS: I do like how it looks on my ornamental conifer thing in the garden. Very dashing.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Felting Heaven II

More felting joy to show you. This is the 2nd swatch and you can see I got all crazy with the details - buttonhole handle, ruffle, stripes and some contrasting chain stitch. I love it. Plus it knit up very quick.

I washed it at 40 degrees this time (the previous one was at 60 degrees) and I much prefer the result. It's not as dense, the colours didn't blend as much and you can still see some of the texture of the knitting which I like.

Now, I'm just wondering what shape bag to go for. I'm still leaning to the long and narrow style. I'm fickle flexible however, so this may change. Off to TIK later on to get more colours. Yay.

Before that however, I've a Secret Project in mind. Inspired by the glories of this swatch.

Wait and see.


Monday, June 23, 2008

My Goodness My Guinness

Recently I was at an event at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. It was a fantastic venue for the event and a great location for someone like myself who is a Guinness fan.

While I was of course hard at work, I did get a few minutes to look around. I came across the John Gilroy Gallery, he who did the famous ad campaigns for Guinness for many years.

Ain't they fab? (These are for you HK)

The Gravity Bar was pretty cool too, tho' I'm guessing not for vertigo sufferers. I felt a little shaky myself. Too much coffee maybe. It was only 11 am so no Guinness this time.

In knitting news, I knit and felted another Lamb's Pride Worsted swatch over the weekend and it came out waaay better. Pics and details tomorrow. Couldn't take any photos in the monsoon which came to Ireland over the weekend.

Why else do you think the place is so green?


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Felting Heaven

I dropped into TIK a few days ago to see what I could see.

Well, actually I was looking for these pretty babies.

I had heard about them and seen them on the TIK blog but I was dead keen to see them for myself. Lovely things they are too. Lamb's Pride Worsted.

However, what really got me going was that I heard that they're really great for felting. And while I did try and felt something a while back, it was in a machine washable yarn and therefore it didn’t felt - it just got very very very clean.

I'm going to make a felted bag...and probably a felted bowl along the lines of the ones in One Skein. I'm starting with the bag tho' since I've wanted to make one forever. I've even got several yarns in the stash which should felt, but I never had the confidence to dive right in.

Here we go so....I’ve no idea what style of bag I’m going to make. I’m leaning towards something wider than it's deep. To hold…guess what?….knitting.

I got unreasonably excited over this swatch. For one thing, it's the 1st thing I've knit in months (seaming and blocking other projects doesn't count) and for another it knit up in less than an hour on 8mm needles.

Note the stripes, the attempt at fairisle and the running stitch near the top - all included to see what felting would do to these features.

Well, you can see that these details were kinda lost in the felting so I guess I’ll need to make any embellishments larger so they will still stand out in the finished result. I fancy some flower motifs, but since this will be the very 1st felted thing I probably should keep it simple and see what happens.

I'm not mad about how the colours felted tho'. There's a greeney tinge to the yellow against the turquoise that I don't really like. However, add in a nice vibrant red and even some green and we might have an Inca theme going here. Back to TIK we go hardship.

It’s nice tho’ - and boy does it make a thick and sturdy fabric. Those knitting needles ain’t getting through this bag, that’s for sure.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Really really really really really really really busy at work

And when I say that I'm really really really really really really really busy at work, I mean that I'm REALLY really really really really really really busy at work.

I don't even have time to post a photo of the lovely peony rose that appeared in my garden last week. Just as something for youse to look at.

Fortunately there is light at the end of the tunnel. The software project that I've been working on for almost 2 years will be launched next week at a large international conference at Croke Park. There will be 700+ delegates and I'll be demonstrating and talking about the product for 12 hours a day, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

So.....that's pretty busy.

Right now the preparations are going well, but there's plenty of time for the printer to break down, to lose vital pieces of equipment and for the software to suddenly stop working. It happens.

Anyway, I'll get my life back after 12th June hopefully, and maybe even make it into the WWKIP on Saturday 14th. Fingers crossed.

Normal service will resume then. Or maybe I should aim higher?