Thursday, December 22, 2011

Last Minute Knitting

There's some frantic LMK going on around here.*

Coupla these, one of these and lots of these.

Hope you're happy knitting or whatever it is that brings you joy.

I can imagine that some of you might be baking. (Just a wild guess H!)

* Pictures later on when I can get them uploaded off my phone. Damn you Technology. Grrrr!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Nellie The Hat

Some time ago. Around this time, I spent a while playing with 2-colour charts. And it was fun.

After many diversions, this was the result. And I was most pleased indeed.

One cul-de-sac that I travelled down resulted in Nellie. A chart that I posted for fun on Ravelry. Just to share the Nellie Love.

Imagine my delight this week when I saw this project. A beautiful hat knitted from the Nellie chart but without some of the fussy detail, and also without the elephant saddle*.

Good decision. Much nicer in this simpler version.

This knitter has many lovely projects using animal and floral charts so I am flattered indeed that Nellie is part of the gallery.

Thanks S! and congratulations on your lovely project.

BTW, it turns out that an elephant saddle is called a 'howda' - which is so like the local greeting 'howya' that I laughed out loud.

I can just hear it in an Irish accent. 'Howya, how's yer howda?'

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Kettle Are Lowing

'The stars in the bright sky

Looked down where He lay

The little Lord Jesus

Asleep on the hay

The kettle are lowing

The Baby awakes

But little Lord Jesus

No crying He makes

I love Thee, Lord Jesus

Look down from the sky

And stay by my side,

Until morning is nine.'


Monday, December 12, 2011

'Tis the Season

It's that time of year again.

The time when the people in the back of the car start blasting out rehearsing segments from the upcoming school Christmas performances.

In all conscience, I don't think I should keep these to myself.

'Come little children,

come, come, to Bethlehem.

Come see the baby,

flying in the manger'.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Loopy Ewe

Apologies me dearies. The combination of a lost camera and an overloaded schedule has left the poor blog a bit unattended lately.

I finally got these pics of a recently completed project.

Introducing Lamb from Itty Bitty Toys. My first knitted toy ever. Fiddly to knit but oh so cute.

One important modification tho'. This lamb had to have a removable coat.

So now I introduce Nekkid Lamb.

Still cute. But maybe a bit chilly.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rising Numbers Update V


The Ashford Cowl project numbers on Ravelry have jumped to 102. Hop on over and take a look. You don't need to be a member to view the pattern page.



Seems to me this deserves a Classic Happy Dance.

I can't believe it's been so long since I posted. My apologies. Life and Work just gets in the way. There's been lots and lots of knitting tho', so more on that later.

Be well my pretties.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

PIN: Penguins In Need

Here's some info on a
human-penguin-it-arian effort to help penguin victims of the New Zealand's recent oil spill.


'A recent oil spill on New Zealand’s coast has left the environment and wildlife in shambles — including the local blue penguin population. While volunteers are working hard to rescue and clean the animals in the region, they require a little bit of crafty help: tiny sweaters, or penguin pajamas, for the rescued birds. These woolen sweaters keep oil-soaked birds warm until they’re well enough to be cleaned and prevent them from ingesting oil from their feathers.'


Check it out. You know what you gotta do.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rising Numbers Update IV


And no, I don't mean one of these...

Although it does look delicious!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Trousseau the Second

This Shawletter Trousseau is off to Switzerland as a Thank You gift.

Project Stats: Shawlette Version

Pattern: Trousseau from Carol Feller

Garnstudio Drops Delight: 2 skeins

Purchased: The Constant Knitter

Knitting Time: approx 1 week

Verdict: Gorgeous...


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Trousseau the First

Project Stats:

Pattern: Trousseau from Carol Feller

Garnstudio Drops Delight: 4 skeins

Purchased: The Constant Knitter

Knitting Time: approx 3 weeks

Verdict: LOVE IT!!!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Introducing Trousseau

Well, the Secret Project is finally finished and off to its destination. I'll be sure to let you know when it's available for viewing. Hopefully soon.

Lots of progress to be seen on the Howth Vest. It is delightful to knit and is growing pretty well, despite the fine-ish needles.

Of course with a mere 3 WIPS on the needles (or is it more?) I had the itch for something new.

Trousseau by Carol Feller. I'm in need of something very special to knit for a friend and this just took my breath away.

Some big decisions were to be made tho'.

Starting with which yarn? You won't be shocked to hear that I already have rather a wide choice of yarn to consider, but having seen this lovely Storm Cloud* in Drops Delight a while back, this was an easy decision to make.

Next question(s): Big Shawl? Little Shawl? Single stranded? Double stranded? Poached or fried? (OK, so the last one has more to do with the fish than the knitting, but the decision had to be made all the same.)

Swatching** quickly brought me to the perfect choice.

*Ravelry link, but you can still view the pattern without a login

**more on swatching in another post. I have things to say.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Revealing Interior

Recently Little Monkey took part in a Clay Modelling Class. One of the projects she enjoyed most was creating and decorating a clay room, with a base and three walls.

The variety and complexity of the rooms created by the class were truely a wonder and it was amazing what could be fashioned on such a small scale.

(The room shown here is approx 5 inches square.)

I was really tickled with the flat screen plasma TV and the bright yellow cushions. But what tickled me most of all was the remote control on the arm of the sofa.

Oh, that child has great ambitions for her comfort and leisure.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I completely forgot to say that the NicKnit family were going here in July.

Apart from the crushing disappointment of very very very poor weather (cold, windy, cloudy, showery ARGHHH!) we had a wonderful time. Little Mouse learnt to cycle without stabilisers and thereafter was seen bombing about the cycleways like a little pink speedy gonzales on, er, speed.

The island is so pretty, and on the three days of sunshine that we did have, it totally repaid our cycling and picnicking efforts. We spent a lot of time in a local small town Rivedoux-Plage and a nearby beach.

The town is filled with a series of monumental sculptures by artist Casimir Ferrer some on a maritime theme and others showing musical instruments. They were really lovely. There were 18 of them in all and we had a great time spotting them while out and about on our trusty bicycles.

If you're interested, there's more info here.

Anyhow, there was quite a lot of Howth Vest knitting and good progress on that mystery project I keep banging on about.

More on that this-year-next-year-sometime-never later.


Monday, July 4, 2011

TIK 5th Yarniversary party

I was very excited indeed to be able to attend the 5th Yarniversary event in Dublin last week. The lineup was stellar, including The Famous Ms Bliss, crochet diva Aoibhe Ni, the super-talented and prolific knit designer Carol Feller and Mr KnitLab himself, Kieran Foley.

Ms Bliss won't mind I'm sure when I say that it was meeting the Irish designers that was the highlight of the event for me.

And that's not to mention the...oh, I dunno...100+ enthusiastic yarnistas from all over the country. With all the catchup up and knit chatter and the oohh-ing and ahh-ing over the knit samples the buzz was something else. It was very entertaining to put faces to Rav names, great to meet new people and lovely to meet old ones again...if you know what I mean.

There were refreshments, cake and champagne.

There were irreverent comments, giggles and laughter.

There were wonderful and inspiring words from the speakers (a big 'well done' to them.)

There were FABULOUS samples of all sorts in crochet, knitting, tweed, lace and cables.

There was a selection of delightful baby bumps in the back row all kicking up a storm.

There was a gate crasher with a baby buggy who wandered in and helped herself to some biscuits. We briefly considered arm wrestling her to the floor and confiscating the kid, but then she fed the biscuits to the child thereby removing the evidence and destroying our forensic trail. If she had waded into the champagne then that would have been a more serious matter. We would have brought her down. Or at least waved our needles at her.

And there was a funny moment when Ms Bliss took my arm and asked if I had a measuring tape. I gestured at the audience and her microphone and said there was likely one 'out there'. Of course when she asked the audience the same question, 50% of the arms went up. Knitters come prepared, is all.

I sat beside Knit Inc while knitting her design Howth Vest. I'm sure there's a term for that. Or if there isn't there should be. Designer Adjacent Knitting perhaps.

It was all so exciting that I managed to leave a knitting bag behind containing my precious tube of dpns, stitchmarkers, weaving-in needles and most irreplaceable of all my miniature swiss army knife with built in scissors. Fortunately, it was well looked after in my absence and thanks to the good offices of a friend, I had it back in my grasp within 2 days.

Many many congratulations to everyone at TIK and thanks for a great evening. And thanks to Kneehigh too. You really made me laugh. And hunted down my knitting bag besides.

And the double-whammy-bonus? I was able to drop into my LYS knit evening on the way home and catch up with my local designer stars and knitting friends too.

Sigh. Perfect.

PS: for pictures go here (thanks Carol!)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Howth Vest Progress

Ah. It's so nice to be able to show some knitting progress.

My intention was to knit this just as far as the rib and then put it aside for another project with a tighter deadline.

As you can see, this intention was completely in vain. In fact it is already several inches longer than this photo, taken 2 days ago.

The yarn is delightful, the chart is addictive and the knitting is compulsive so it is growing nicely. This project came out-and-about with me to some knitting events recently and has been much admired.

I do loves me a pattern that makes me look good.

Thanks Knit Inc!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Dum & Mad

On a recent car journey, the young-ones-in-the-back spent a lot of time reversing and transposing the letters of words that took their fancy. Mostly the words for parts of their bodies, especially those parts that make noises.

Much hilarity ensued and the Giggle-O-Meter levels rose steadily. It went right off the scale however when the elder daughter renamed her parents. 'Dum' and 'Mad'.

Now, I just wonder. Which one am I?

(Knitting content following shortly. Promise.)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nellie The Elephant

"Nellie the elephant packed her trunk
and said goodbye to the circus
off she went with a trumpety
trump trump trump trump!"

Free chart from me to you over on Ravelry. Just for fun.

Good luck Nellie!


Thursday, June 2, 2011



So, I make no claims to be a gardener. At all.

Like baking, gardening is an art that I don't really understand and undertake on a hit-and-miss basis. Not that the Knitting Mama's skills weren't abundant in both the garden and the kitchen, it's just that I wasn't paying much attention at the time.

Fortunately, the combination of hubby's skills and nature's bounty means that we are well served at Chez Nic for garden delights.

So, even tho' this ain't one of those knitting blogs that sidesteps into hymns to spring flowers or a celebtration of culinary achievements, sometimes one just can't help it.

On a recent sunny Sunday I couldn't help but notice the lovely palette around me.

So here it is.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Project Poised

Now isn't that a lovely sight?

A mini yarn mountain and a project poised on the edge of flight.

Beautiful swatch. So soft. So lovely.

Howth Vest here we come.

Thanks Knitinc!

Pattern: Howth Vest by Sinead Cahir

Yarn: Drops Karisma from The Constant Knitter. Superwash and super soft.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Constant Knitter

Some time ago, the lovely R from The Constant Knitter challenged invited me to design something for Drops Alpaca yarn. Not one to resist a challenge or turn down an invitation I went home with two lovely yarns in my bag and a great idea for some fingerless mittens.

Oh those mittens were going to be lovely. So delicate. So fine.

While I have heard that yarn can decide for itself what it wants to be, I have had no experience of it until now. In this case however, I can attest to it. I began with a very clear idea of fine lace ruffled mittens in this most delicate of yarns, yet several days later I had something something completely other on my needles.

Something outdoorsy, dense and very warm. Something more suited to hauling logs or chopping wood than waving away suitors or holding a dainty parasol aloft. Something beautiful all the same, but nothing like I had intended.

Regular (and smart) readers will see where this is going, especially from the yarn colours shown above.

Yup, after many iterations the Tuar Mhic Eadaigh Mittens came to be and I also had an entry for this year's St Patricks Day Celebrations competition over on Ravelry. The rest, as they say, ain't geography is history.

Just goes to show where things can take you if you let them. In my book this is a good philosophy.

Of course, a runaway horse will take you someplace you don't wish to go, so please use your own judgement.

Thanks Constant Knitter!


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Oh Wow!

I am thrilled to show you this fabulous book published by the really really really talented Nicola Brown and her equally talented friend Chrissie Day.

There are so many things about this book that thrill and inspire me. Let me outline them in terms you will understand:

Row 1: (RS) It's fabulous.

Row 2 and every WS row: It's mine. Not yours. Mine I tell you (To get your own copy, go here. Seriously. Go.)

Row 3: It's full of *great photos, clear info, inspiring detail and fibre friendship ** repeat from * to ** as many times as you wish. What could be better?

Row 4: As Row 2.

Row 5: Love the book title. See Row 3.

Row 6: As Row 2.

Row 7: Self publishing. Love it. Great concept.

Row 8: Y'know.

Row 9: This is an inspiring piece of self-publishing. Me likey. (Watch this space.)

Congratulations to both of the authors. Or friends. Or 'fauthors' maybe.

Of course I don't know Chrissie Day (yet), but by evidence of a) her friendship with Nicola and b) her great contribution to the book I'm pretty sure that I would like her - a lot.

IDEA: Any chance Chrissie would come visit?

I'll make the tea.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

So much knitting... little time.

Y'know, when things get quiet around here, it's far more likely that lots of knitting is happening rather than not much. I'm knitting several things that may be current and future designs so of course they have to remain under wraps.*

Of course that doesn't make Chez Nic a very interesting place to hang out, so I'm gonna show ya some bits 'n pieces where I can. That's if anyone out there is still awake.

First up are some swatches for a special gift-in-progress and hopefully a future design submission.

This is Manos Lace (yuuummmmm!) and is basically a lace sampler of knitting thoughts.
I haven't knit much lace before and not with proper laceweight and I am totally in luurve with the results.

Since this is not the destination yarn for the project and this is not the lace that I picked, I think it's ok to show here. (Geez, you'd think this was a top couture design house, eh?)

But just in case. Don't tell anyone, ok?

* Just for clarification for those who may think that all this cloak-and-dagger is a bit over-the-top, knit/crochet designs are not accepted for publication either in print or online if ANY details have been shown in the public domain, i.e. on blogs, Ravelry etc. Fortunately this does not apply to self-publishing - in fact the opposite is true. The more exposure the better.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Awww. Just beautiful.

And the DRESS?! Fabulous.


I hinted previously that I had some good knitting news.

Recently I have had a design accepted for an online knitting magazine. I'm delighted. First tho', it needs to be reknit in a different yarn and altered somewhat. Great. That will keep me busy. Fingers crossed Version 2 goes well.

No. Of course I can't show you anything. Not allowed, see?

So go back and admire the photo above instead.



Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Shocking disregard for one's readers.

Well! I knew things had got too busy for posting here in the past few weeks but I did think very hard about several posts. I am genuinely quite shocked to see that these never got posted.

It turns out that there's no wireless link from my brain to the blog? Pity.



Considering all the @#;%%@X! that goes through my brain every day, this is something we should ALL be grateful for. In the meantime, I was very pleased that the Tuar Mhic Eadaigh Mittens come 3rd in the competition.

MANY MANY THANKS for all your votes. Another post on the mittens coming shortly.

Oh ok. You got me.

As soon as I can then.

Oh yes, and some good knitting news to share. .


Friday, March 18, 2011

Tuar Mhic Eadaigh Mittens

The St Patrick's Day Celebration competition on Ravelry is finally open.

Voting is open between Monday March 21st until Sunday March 27th 6.00pm Irish time. Any votes cast before that time will be discounted so please hold your horses.
Presenting the Tuar Mhic Eadaigh Mittens.

These mittens are named after an area of stunning natural beauty in Co Mayo, Tuar Mhic Eadaigh (Tourmakeady) where they had their 1st outing before they were even finished. It was a VERY cold day and the mittens are sooooo warm. (Er...technically, I should say 'mitten' here since only one mittens was complete.)

I really enjoyed designing these mittens.

I love colour work and learned a lot about mitten construction along the way. Pattern coming soon when I can get it together.

My thanks to my lovely model G and my equally lovely niece L for the forest photography.
And for full disclosure, yes, I ran out of yarn, just yards from the finish line so one mitten is a teeny bit shorter than the other.

So I guess I’ll keep them for myself.
Tee hee.
And no, I am not canvassing for your vote. Vote as many times as you like, or not at all. Just enjoy and appreciate the work presented by the group.
Check out 2009 and 2010 too. I'll be back with pics of my favourite entries from other years soon.


BIG THANKS to The Constant Knitter for yarn support and encouragement. Hop on over there and check it out!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rising Numbers Update III



Numbers falling not rising?

That's just not right people. Just not right.


Monday, March 7, 2011

St Patrick's Day Competition

Well well well. So it's time for this competition once more*.

Boy that was a fast year. It doesn't seem any time at all since I stood in O'Connell St finishing up last year's entry.

To make up for all my bleating lately about being really busy knitting but unable to show anything, here's a teaser for this year's entry.

Tune in on Paddy's Day for more.

* for those of you without Ravelry access, this is an annual competition for an Irish themed knit project to be completed and posted by 17th March. As you can see, last year my project really came down to the wire.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Yarn Passion

Sweet Mother of Yarn, WHAT is this divinely soft lovliness?

It's Manos Del Uruguay Lace and it is silky soft beyond belief. Really. 'Tis.

I did think I was familiar with the delights of high-end yarns and not at all somewhat immune to the lure of a special skein of something. But by golly I was entirely and completely incorrect.

Of course there's a clue in the yarn content as listed - 70% Baby Alpaca, 25% Silk, 5% Cashmere. That's gonna be soft you'd think. But still I was stunned into a kind of yarn coma by the reality of its silky softness as I began to swatch with it yesterday.

Geez, and this has been in my stash HOW long? A YEAR? I should have had it on my pillow.

What? Oh yeah, it's for a super-secret-project that I can't even think about in case people near me can read my thoughts. So no peeking.

In the meantime, I'm just sitting over here. Petting yarn.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Own Trumpet, the Blowing of

On page 45 of the new Knitcircus Magazine you will find an interview with Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting. Alana is responsible for many, many lovely knit designs including the Shawl Collared Cowl, which I blogged about here.

Go over there and check them out. Go'wan. I'll wait.

Alana also presents a twice-monthly knitting podcast on her website.

Regular readers here may remember that the story of the Jolly Green Giant was featured on Alana's podcast waaaay back in 2009, (Episode 22). Some more podcasts followed (Episodes 28 & 37).

I was so surprised and delighted at what I read yesterday at the top of page 53 of Knitcircus.

Now, ain't that nice?


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Random Wednesday

Spotted in the centre of Blackrock Village, Co Dublin, Ireland.

Has a nice ring to it, eh? 'Nic's Place'. (Cue the Casablanca music.)

Actually the name of the bar is 'Tonic' and some of the neon is missing.

S'funny, eh?

There's a lot of knitting going on at Nic's Place I can tell you, but I can't show you as some is for design submission and some for a gift.

Looks like I'd better cast on something else as well so we have something to talk about.

Oh goodie. Any excuse.

Good thing I've a Howth Vest in my future. Just waiting for the yarn!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Little Bit Bohemian

Hi there. Don't mind me. I'm just busy drooling over styling my new scarf.

This is A Little Bit Bohemian, (or ALBB to it's close friends) designed by my pal Knitswithpenguins over on Ravelry. It's a classic design with an easy lace repeat and beautiful shaping. It really has the 'wow' factor - check out some of the other projects in finer yarns. Lovely.

How's this for a lovely smile?

Doesn't it go so nicely with my long winter coat?

So nicely in fact that I was inspired to make something else to match.
Patience now. Wait and see.

Rising Numbers Update I



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Itty Bitty

Normally, folks, the thought of knitting a toy gives me the heebie jeebies.

Let's face it. All that teeny tiny knitting, complicated shaping and (gasp!) sewing up just makes me want to go find a large garter-stitch-something to knit.

Not to mention the sourcing of itty bitty scraps of yarn in the right colours. And besides, there's only so much cuteness one person can stand.

However. There's a change in the air.

Look thee here.

Itty Bitty Toys (Amazon link)

I might just have to do this.

And my goodness.

I'm even thinking about SOCKS! and Elvish ones at that.

Rivendell (Rav link)

What is my world coming to?