Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Creamy Delights

A quick and cosy last-minute gift knit.

Hmmm. VERY tempted to keep this one myself!

There's definitely another one in this colour in the future for me. It's not just 'cream'. Like lots of the Rowan Cocoon colours it is full of depth and sheen and sheer luxury.

The knitting is finished now, but it is still unblocked and awaiting buttons. Hmmm. Better get those finishing touches out of the way before I get a phone call saying that the recipient is half and hour away.
There's a recipe for panic if I ever saw one.



Why settle for one?

When you can have two.

Work in progress for Little Monkey. Colour choices and stripes are all her own idea. This is the size aged 10 years. So it'll take a little longer I guess.

See? Told ya I was knitting!


As Promised

A parade of pink lovliness.

Love the garter stitch details and the I-Cord edging and buttonholes.

Now...when the snow eases up I'm off out for some buttons. Yay!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Liebling Iceling

Well, it's been a while since the last post. Apologies. I've been busy. Also been busy knitting.

This is the M and Freddy Show modelling Iceling, the kid version of Iced.

I got perfect gauge with Artesano Aran so you can guess that it's a really warm and cosy project and in this freezing weather my lap really misses it now that it's done.

Good thing there's another one on the needles. Better photos of the knitting coming very soon.

'Mum. Freddy says he wants one too. Puleeese!'

I'll bet he does. That's a smart bear.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Crafting Mama

Geez. I guess it was only a matter of time. Mama is crafting now. And knitting Continental style.

Go over to Eskimimi Knits for her blogpost on Crafting Mama.
And no. I don't think I'll be looking for this one anytime soon. When Mama gets mad, Mama is scary!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


In keeping with the theme of showing you other people's designs (because mine are too freakin' slow to finish) I gotta show you this design from SheKnitUpThatBall. Leaving-On-The-Edge*.
Due to a heady yarn-fume-fueled purchase in the past, I have lots of Debbie Bliss Como in the stash. Buried somewhere under lots of other yarn-fume-fueled purchases. I have several colours but I think the dark purple-y one will be the 1st choice.
Also would be nice in Rowan Cocoon which I (ahem cough ahem) accidently bought recently.
Anyway, I lurrrve this design. Such a chunky and leafy statement. Definitely one for the Gift Bin.
Available on Ravelry and also here.

*(I guess the fact that I have the song 'Leavin' On A Jetplane' ringing in my head can't be blamed on anyone.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Multiple Babouches

More Baby Babouches to be found here.

Honestly, aren't they the cutest things?


Monday, November 1, 2010

Fun With Blogger

Ok, so it's a little bit childish of me, but after spending some time recently not blogging while I am here, it amuses me to post when I'm not. All thanks to Blogger scheduling options.

I love technology when I can use it. When I can't, it's the work of the devil and I'll have none of it. Like I said. Childish.

Anyhew....I'm not home.

I'm here.

And hopefully the sun is shining.

Happy Halloween to you!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Swatch Necklace

More finishing class samples. Here's a necklace of swatches.

I was so sick of never having enough samples that I spent 24 hours knitting little blue squares. In case you're curious, the stitches are live (i.e. not bound off) to demonstrate 3-needle grafting etc.

It was surprisingly satisfying!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blocked / Unblocked

Nah, don't worry. It's not a domestic plumbing issue.

Some blocking samples for a Finishing Class at The Yarn Room to demonstrate the benefits of blocking.

Blocking for lace is such a transformation. Notice how the blocked sample almost completely fills the image space.


blocked magic



Saturday, October 23, 2010

Baby Babouches

Just flying past to show you this, the unbearably cute baby version of this from Chezplum.

Baby Babouches. Love 'em.


Monday, October 11, 2010


Hi there.

I break the silence of this small blog-slump to celebrate today's date.

The tenth of the tenth two thousand and ten.

Pretty cool.

It's not a knitting slump btw, I just have lots of knitting for things that I can't blog about because they're gifts or design submissions.

Oh yeah. Actually. I forgot. Silly me. A finished object is so rare around here that I completely forgot to show you the Shawl Collared Cowl by Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting. It was the September KAL project for the Cowls Group on Ravelry and for ONCE I actually met the deadline. Wow.

S'lovely innit!? It's knit in Rowan Cocoon which is divinely soft. It's a teeny tiny bit tickly, but otherwise the yarn is great. I got the perfect buttons at The Yarn Room so there will be blocked and modelled photos coming soon.

Or if not soon, then as soon as possible.

Er. OK.

Let's say 'sometime' then. And leave it at that.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Obama Yarn

And just to prove the point, lookee what someone over on Ravelry* did with my blog post. Funneee!

Can't see it? Look closer.

(Link needs a Ravelry account. If you're a knitter, go get one.)


Friday, September 24, 2010

You Know You Knit Too Much II

...when you see this on your national news website (RTE) and think that President Obama is worried about yarn.

Seriously. I did.

(Betcha it's Kitchener Stitch that's the problem.)


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ah Jane!

I love Jane Austen.

Yes, I know, that's not exactly startling news, (or even interesting you may say), but I cast my net wider than dear Jane. I love the whole Georgian & Regency Periods too. Beau Brummel, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Count of Monte Cristo...everything from the French Revolution to the Crescents of Bath. I love it all.

I love the history, architecture, fashions, furniture, textiles, wallpaper, social etiquette and even the politics. And they do all come together rather nicely in Ms Austen's work, one must allow.

Recently I treated myself to these treasures: (Book Depository links)

Jane Austen's Sewing Box

and this

Jane Austen Fashion: Fashion and Needlework in the Works of Jane Austen

Tippets, cravats, muslin and lace.

I'm having the lovliest time.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Franklin does it again

Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening (delete as appropriate). I hope you are well.

May I direct your attention to this.

Love it.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Beach Knitting 2010

Now there's something to add to this and this from the previous Beach Knitting series. Here is the Beach Knitting 2010*.

This is the curent design project knit in King Cole Bamboo Cotton, purchased here. This project has taken months and months and MONTHS of thinking, charting and swatching but is finally in the finishing stages. Well, Stage 1 of the finishing stages I guess. There's a tricky construction issue that I haven't begun to solve.

S'funny, I just realised that both of the previous beach knits have become self-published Ravelry patterns - Miss Potter Mittens and the Ashford Cowl. Perhaps that augurs well for this one.

Maybe beaches are lucky. Let's hope.

PS: that's a knit project bag made for me by my Knitting Mama, a.k.a. The Bag Lady. She makes them to order. If you'd like to order one (they're reasonably priced), just give a shout in the comments.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010


There are no words.
It's a very long time since I've knit, and more importantly finished, a garment for myself. Mittens, hats, Twists etc have flown off the needles, but not a garment.
I've barely taken this off since it was finished. And ok, so it's too big and it droops a little in the front, and the sleeves don't match.....but it's sooo soft and creamy.
That's funny. 'Magine that. I managed to find some words after all.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Holiday Report

Starting at the beginning. No, we did NOT get a smooth crossing from Ireland to France. There was a storm at sea and we had a very rough crossing indeed.

So bad, in fact that on a visit to the Irish Seal Sanctury this weekend we met some baby seal pups who had been separated from their mothers and rescued the morning after the storm. Poor little things. Such cuteness. BTW, they will be released into the wild at 3 months old when they can catch their own nourishment. But. I digress.

Fortunately, due to a comfortable cabin and liberal doses of anti-travel sickness medication, nobody was actually ill or felt too rotten. This is a minor miracle and I thank heaven for modern medicine. My childhood method of sitting out on deck, clenching my teeth and staring at the horizon would not have been much use to me this time.

It was bliss. For 2 weeks we swam, cycled, ate, knitted (well that was just me actually) and rested. The weather was mixed, but overall it was good and we split the time between the pool, the beach and the deck.

On the less-than-sunny days we had trips to the circus, Sealand, a lovely zoo and some high adventure at the Feeling Forest where we swung, crawled, clamboured and zipped between pine trees at a great height and got some great thrills and many interesting bruises. (Well, again, that was just me.)

Fearless Little Monkey in action

And oh yes, there was knitting. More on that anon.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Perfect Love

I know it might seem odd, but something has been haunting me.

After the previous post, I remembered that years ago I used to play a game of words with poetry which distilled the rhythm and words of a poem further than the original.

I'm sure I thought it was very clever at the time tho' I wouldn't have been able to describe it in any way.

Therefore I give you:


Try it out yourself. Sometimes of course the meaning and tone of the original poem is completely altered - but that just makes it more interesting!

There's something about that 'perfect love' that gets to me.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

When You Knit My Sweater

Home at last. We had a really great holiday and there was lots of knitting done, tho' Iced isn't quite finished.

Photos and more details in a few days.

In the meantime, look what I found on the ever-entertaining blog of Sheknitupthatball.

by Gayle Brandeis

When you knit my sweater,
leave some holes, some knobbly nubs,
I want to see where your hands have been.
I don't want anyone to think a machine
has knit this, don't want anyone to think
it came from a store. I want you to breathe
through the gaps in the wool, want your knuckles
to bulge at the collar, the hem. I want to feel
your knit and purl like an inhale and exhale,
surrounding me like a fly in the perfect,
imperfect, spiderweb silk of your love.

Isn't that just wonderful? I defy anyone not to be moved by that, and especially knitters.

You already know that I'm very sentimental so I'll freely admit that I got a lump in my throat.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bon voyage

Finally the time for holidays has come and we are off to La Belle France tomorrow. The girls are beside themselves with excitement and I'm not far behind. This is a picture of me singing an Aria of Happiness in honour of the occasion.

Er, ok, seriously tho'. I have shorter hair. This is from the latest Knitty, a pattern called Iced with which I instantment fell dans huge amour. Isn't it wonderful? Cool, casual, stylish, flattering and ideal holiday knitting. It's by the fabulous Carol Feller and I gotta say, she just keeps outdoing herself. Her patterns are wonderfully produced with great photography so I'm a bit of a fan.

It just so happens that I scored 6 skeins of Araucania Nature Cotton in a lovely cream colour at The Yarn Room 1st Birthday sale last weekend.

Soon as I realised that Iced was a perfect project for the yarn it became clear that I didn't have enough yarn with only 600 metres. I swooped down on the YR last night just before closing time and snatched up picked up the last 3 skeins available. If it wasn't for the fact that I did pay for my purchases it was more like a drive-by yarn mugging, since I had to divert at high speed from my commute. Talk about a Yarn Dash.

I haven't had time to swatch properly yet so I had to swoop down again this evening to get more needles, just to be sure that I have every possible needle size that I might need depending on gauge. Can't be too careful y'know.

Also in my suitcase is this book, Confererates in the Attic, by Tony Horwitz, a travelogue/series of essays about the American Civil War. Since I love love love history and especially social/human history, I'm really looking forward to this.

Plus I have Love of the World, a collection of essays by John McGahern. Just because there isn't enough John McGahern in the whole wide world.

AND Ghost Light by Joseoh O'Connor. As a writer he just gets better and better. Plus see above comment re human history. This is a fictionalised story of a woman who had a long affair with the (real) Irish playwright J.M. Synge, famous for his play The Playboy of the Western World which was part of an Irish Nationalist artistic revival in the early 1900s. It's a great play of human nature which I believe has stood the test of time.

There are in fact more books to bring, but who am I kidding? I'm not going to get that much solo time, not to mention the knitting that I'm so looking forward to. Which brings us back to where we came in.

So, this is by way of an au revoir for a while. Needles crossed that the knitting goes ok. Needles crossed (and fingers and toes) also for a smooth crossing to Cherbourg tomorrow. There was a big swell on the sea today and today's crossing was rough. I am a very very very very very bad sea traveller so I'm praying for Neptune's Mercy tomorrow.

Take care ya'll and happy knitting.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Not much to say about this other than it's part of an ongoing design process that has occupied me fully for the past few months. It's for a 2-colour bag roughly 16" square. With wooden or knitted or I-cord or leather or something-else handles. You can see that I'm winging it I've really thought it through.

Seriously tho'. I've learnt something very important here. I spent weeks tricking around with the design elements, (colour combinations, charts etc.) before I picked up the needles. Once I started knitting, 80% of what I'd planned went out the window and the other 20% was on shaky ground.

It just goes to show that all the overthinking and planning in the world is no substitute for the practical work.

Plus I somehow thought that it had to be 'right' before I could even start it. And that the design process was mostly a mental one. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Another lesson learned as knitting kicks my ass once again. Le sigh. Still, I'm happy that it'll be an improved version in the end, so I forgive it.



Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mayday Mayday

Is this your knitting?

I'm passing on an APB Knitting appeal from the Dublin Knit Collective. This lovely piece of knitting was found on a train at Heuston Station, Dublin, Ireland.

I don't know where the train was coming from, but my guess is that if it's yours you'll recognise it.

(Including a picture of the station just because I've always liked it.)

Please comment here if you recognise this lovely red cabled item.


Saturday, July 10, 2010


You know? You guys need a lot of patience to hang around here. I just want you to know that I acknowledge it and appreciate it, even tho' I can't promise to do much about it.

Recently I took some long overdue photos.

At last here's the answer to a question that I just know has been torturing you. Unless of course (like myself) you had completely forgotten all about it.

This is the squishy soft lovliness that awaited me on my return from that volcanic ash-thwarted trip to Paris in May.

It's a Nuno felted scarf in wonderful granite colours from the truely fabulous Nicola at Clasheen. I spotted it in her Etsy shop sale and zing pow click it was mine. Just 5 ft of exquisite felted lovliness. Le sigh.

Doesn't it look lovely against the stone wall and the...er...stones? I can't wait to take a Nuno felt workshop with Nicola sometime. Gorgeous.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mystery Solved

I'm really delighted to be part of the Midsummer Day's Dream series over on LightingLittleFires.

This is a series of 12 creative and thoughtful projects which LittleFire introduces:

'Starting on the 21st of June, the Summer Solstice and longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, I propose a fortnight (yes, 14 days!) of crafting, baking, music, articles, fun, community spirit and with any luck a little bit of sunshine.

Every day for 2 weeks something new to make, do, eat, drink, laugh about, think about or listen to will be posted right here for your enjoyment, in the hopes of making your start to the summer that little bit sunnier.'

The projects so far include yoga, baking, crochet and knitting. Can't wait to see what's coming!

Isn't it a cool idea?

PS: Just to be clear - the typos in the instructions are all mine!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sneak Peek

Recently I was invited to contribute something to something.

It's almost ready.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chez Plum does it again

I just have to share this stunning project with you. Aren't they amaZING! More great pictures on Ravelry here.
I've been flirting with crochet for quite a while now, but this project has flipped me over the edge into a full blown passion. I want them so badly that when I first saw them I had to remind myself to continue to breathe in and out.
Of course, I'll need some....er...um...(cough!)...help with reading the pattern, being completely crochetignorant an' all.

Let you know how I get on...


Friday, June 11, 2010

WWKIP 2010

This year the Wicklow Knitters invite Fiber Fans of all kinds to join us for WWKIP 2010 in the courtyard of Mt Usher Gardens, Ashford, Co. Wicklow. There's outdoor seating in a lovely setting and great choices for coffee/tea/cake/buns or whatever you fancy.

Bring your yarnie stuff and come prepared for blazing sunshine or pelting rain...depending on the whim of the gods.

If you have any unwanted swatches or knitted squares or pompoms bring them along. There's a rumour that some flora things might get festooned with some yarn things.

Fun fun fun folks!

If you can't join us, I hope you have a good day somewhere.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Circle of Hats

At last the camera was put to good use.

Here's a taster. More coming soon...


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Okay OKAY!


I know that I'm a little bit behind the knitting, the blogging and the posting.

Here's something to keep you entertained.


For those of you checking in from overseas. And those of you nearer to shore.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mon Escapade II

Well....we did it!

Did what you ask?

We booked a ferry and a chalet for 2 weeks in la belle France in July. It's a family campsite holiday with swimming pools, watershoots, kids club and restaurants. Oh, and a beach close by.

Usually we spend a lot of our holidays making utterly slightly insane travel connections and running about. Looks like this time it'll be more manageable and the kids will certainly enjoy the activities.

Can't wait.




In knitting news, I'm hoping to have pics of stuff to show you later on today. It's a gloriously sunny weekend here, so it's time for a photoshoot methinks.

In the meantime, this is the garden post that often models my knitting.

Hungry? Here. Have an apple.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mon Escapade

Things are sooooooo busy here it would wear me out to describe it, and you to listen.

Still, there is some knitting going on and as always, overly ambitious plans for other knitting.

As part of the general daydreaming, I'm looking for a holiday rental in France, hopefully in July.

Part of the search takes place at Mon Escapade, an online holiday rental business run by my friend Sylvie, aka the talented crocheter Chezplum.

A couple of weeks here wouldn't do any harm, now would it?

Of course, there may be some translation issues, but I'm sure we can sort that out.

Wish me luck!


Friday, May 7, 2010

Home again, home again


Made it back in one exhausted puddle. Thank goodness.

Lots of stress and travelling, but I'm home and that's what matters. Boy, the security gates at Charles De Gaulle airport was like a riot. Don't want to repeat that experience in a hurry...then a last minute change of departure gate was just to keep me on my toes.

Arrived to a nice surprise waiting in the post that made it all better.

The kind that's all squishy in a jiffy bag and light as a feather.

Pictures and details later on...


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gay Paree

It's that time of year again. Here I am once more in Gay Paree.

Stuck. In the mud ash.

Volcanic ash and closed airports do not a homeward journey make.

There are far worse places to be stuck of course, and at least there's knitting in my suitcase, if I ever get a chance to take it out.

You'll be happy to hear that I'm taking the mature route in my reponse to this unfortunate turn of events.


Le sigh*!

(Got this expression from my pal L. It seems especially appropriate for today.)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Knit knit rip rip

Knit, knit, rip, rip, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, rip, rip, rip, knit, knit, knit, rip, rip, rip.


Note to self: Make your mistakes with the chart on a sample piece, before you cast on a full garment in the round.

Also, try to see a serious mistake in the 2nd row before you get to the 20th row.

No biggie. Just do your best. That's all anyone can do.

That's all I'm sayin'.


Friday, April 16, 2010

The Joy of Chunky

This is what made my lil' heart beat faster this week. (Thump thump thumpety thump). I was unreasonably thrilled to find these here while browsing around last week. The order was made in an instant.

I love love love my Knitpro Harmony set but had resigned myself to inferior products for this (10mm) and this (12mm). And there have been quite a few more knit in the past while.

Now however my knitter's cup runneth over.

There has been a lot of knitting around here, but not quite in a form that I can show you just yet.

There's been some seaming, some swatching, some grafting, lots of cables, a few buttons, an I-cord or three, knitting, praying and lots of blocking.

Patience, my pretties. Very soon now.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Knitting Future

Anyone who's been in my LYS over the past 3 months may have seen me drooling over this pattern. It's Guiseley from Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine, No. 46.

It became a thing of regular habit for me to sit mooning over the pattern and musing over the Rowan Cocoon on the shelves. The discussion over the colour selection took weeks and weeks and involved knitting friends, staff, students and general customers.

I picked this colour. Rowan Cocoon in Red Wine. It's really lovely.

The swatching was interesting. The moss stitch swatch measured 11cms x 8cms. I had a small heart attack. The same number of stitches and rows over the pattern however gave the much lauded 10cms square.

Can't wait to cast on,. Even tho' I've 64 hundred other commitments this week, I predict I'll have this baby on the needles by this time tomorrow.

Knit in the round on size 7mm needles, once I'm past the deep moss stitch border it should make good progress.

Except for the chart knitting of course. That might be a challenge.

Stay tuned. I'm guessing there will be tears mingled with the joy.