Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Yarn Along

It's been a while since I've had a chance to post! 
I'm  re-reading Sense and Sensibility. I love Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice is my favourite but I do have a soft spot for Sense and Sensibility.

I've finished a couple of test knits and I've just started Shades of Wicklow. I'm trying to knit from stash and I've had several balls of of Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky in my stash for quite a while which I bought with a different project in mind. I don't really like working with chunky yarn so it has just been sitting there ignored. I wanted to use it up and came across Shades of Wicklow. As I'm from Wicklow, it had to be the perfect pattern to get me to use up that chunky yarn!

February 1st is traditionally the first day of spring here in Ireland. To mark the change of season my pattern Spring Rising is 25% off in my Ravelry store for today only! 

I've also listed on of the samples I knit when working on the pattern on Etsy here. This is a sample of the shorter cowl knit in handspun merino-soya blend yarn.

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

A review of 2016

It's time to look back on my crafting for 2016.

In 2016 I completed 34 knitting projects. Down a bit on the previous years but not too bad. They included:

1 pair of baby trousers
4 pairs of socks and booties
2 pairs of mittens
3 hats
6 cardigans and sweaters
3 cowls
1 dolls skirt
2 dresses
6 toys
1 bookmark
1 crown
1 tea cozy
1 decoration
1 scarf

I also released 3 new patterns.

First Cozy toes (RavelryLoveknitting)

 The pattern is written for 5 sizes from baby to adult L in worsted/aran weight yarn so they knit up quick! They're a nice introduction to sock knitting before moving on to fingers weight sock yarn.
They're knit from the cuff down with a slipped stitch heel flap giving extra cushioning and wear. They feature an i-cord tie to keep the socks on wriggly baby and toddler toes but is an optional addition for larger sizes.

Gauge: 22 stitches to 10 cm in stocking stitch
Baby (Toddler, Child, Adult S,  Adult M,  Adult L)
Foot circumference 37.5 (40, 45, 50, 52.5, 55) cm
Leg and foot length is adjustable.

Next Spring Rising  (RavelryLoveknitting)

a cowl designed for DK yarn in two sizes. The small has a circumference of approx 52 cm while the larger size has a circumference of approx 130 cm and can be wrapped twice.

Yarn requirements:
Any DK weight yarn. I used Debbie Bliss Rialto DK in the sample shown here.

Small - 130 m approx
Large - 400 m approx

Gauge : 20 sts to 10cm on 4.5 mm needles.
Achieving correct gauge isn't essential but it will effect the amount of yarn you will require. 

And finally, Colour Block Hat (RavelryLoveknitting)

The Colour Block Hat is written for 9 sizes: 35 cm to 60 cm head circumference (approx 0-3 months to adult large) in double knitting weight yarn.
The ribbed brim is worked in a strong colour with the textured body of the hat worked in a neutral to bring out the vibrancy of the rib. To finish a pompom in a lighter shade of that used in the rib is added.
The instructions for optional rosebuds and leaves are added at the end of the pattern.

Yarn amounts (approx): Main colour 35 to 52.5 cm – up to 50 g / 105 m 55 to 60 cm – up to 100 g / 210
Contrast colours Up to 20 g/ 42 m of each.
The sample shown here is knit in Debbie Bliss Rialto Dk in Fuchsia (34) and Charcoal (33) and Rico Essentials Merino DK in Roses (01).

I also sewed, 
3 beanbags
1 nightdress
1 birthday bunting
2 sets of super hero cuffs
2 super hero masks
3 crowns
3 magic wands and 2 tutus (although they didn't involve much sewing).

This year I hope to sew some more clothes for the kids as well as finish Mr A's quilt (it just needs to he quilting finished and then to bind it) and least make a start on a quilt for Mr C. I will need to pick up some more fabric for Mr C's quilt but I have picked out a lot from stash to use for it. I'm also going to try to continue to just knit from stash whenever possible.

Happy new year!

New year Yarn Along

For the first yarn along of 2017 I'm sharing a wonderful children's book. Blueberry girl by Neil Gaiman was given to Miss S by her Auntie E for Christmasand we have been reading it a lot ever since. This poem is a prayer for what every parent wishes for their little girl. Both the writing and illustrations are beautiful. While it's not a typical rhyming fairy tale for children and some of it may go over the head of my 3 yo the sentiments are beautiful and it will be enjoyed by children of all ages. I'd definitely recommend it for your daughter,  niece, granddaughter or any special girl in your life.

On the knitting front I'm almost finished the secret test knit, just one more row and cast off. I'll  share more when the pattern is released in February or March. 

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

The last Yarn Along of the year

Himself gave me the last two volumes of The Neopolitan Stories for Christmas so I've just begun volume 3 "Those who stay and those who leave". In the Dr Seuss project bag is a secret test knit I'm  working in ssshhh.

As this is the last yarn along for 2016 I thought I'd give you a list of the books I've mentioned in my posts this year.


The Neopolitan Stories by Elena Ferrante. (Expect to be hearing about volume 3 and 4 in the new year.)
The City of Shadows by Michael Russell
Me Before You and After You by Jojo Moyes
O Pioneers! By Willa Cather
Night by Elie Weisel
Fallen by Lia Mills
Disclaimer by Renee Knight
The House in the Sunflowers by Ruth Silvestre
The Blue Guitar by John Banville
The Doctor's Case by Maurice Guerret

Children's Books

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
The Complete Adventures of Curious George by H. A. Rey
The Smartest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson


Kitchen Diaries by Niger Slater

Sewing and Knitting

Making Children's Clothes by Emma Hardy
Sweet Pickles by Anna Enge

Sew by Cath Kidston

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Yarn along and a new pattern release

I haven't done much leisure time reading lately. I don't think you want to hear about the papers on Method Development and method validation I've been reading for an online course I'm starting soon! I am however about to start The City of Shadows by Michael Russell. I spotted Dad reading it last week and asked to borrow it when he was finished. While it's principally set in Dublin some of it is set close to where I live, so I'm excited about how he fits that into the plot.

I have a few knitting projects on the go at the moment. I'm still working on some socks for himself but I'm also knitting some Christmas baubles for some little gifts for friends. 

I've also just released a new hat pattern.

The Colour Block Hat is written for 9 sizes: 35 cm to 60 cm head circumference (approx 0-3 months to adult large) in double knitting weight yarn.
The ribbed brim is worked in a strong colour with the textured body of the hat worked in a neutral to bring out the vibrancy of the rib. To finish a pompom in a lighter shade of that used in the rib is added.

The instructions for optional rosebuds and leaves are added at the end of the pattern (shown in Miss S pink and grey version).

Yarn amounts (approx): 
Main colour 
35 to 52.5 cm – up to 50 g / 105 m 
55 to 60 cm – up to 100 g / 210
Contrast colours 
Up to 20 g/ 42 m of each.

The grey and pink version is knit in Debbie Bliss Rialto Dk in Fuchsia (34) and Charcoal (33) and Rico Essentials Merino DK in Roses (01).

The grey and green sample is knit in Debbie Bliss Rialto Dk in Mint (54) and in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK in Apple (11) and Grey (24). Unfortunately, cashmerino dk is now discontinued but Debbie Bliss Rialto Dk in Apple (09) and Grey (04) would be good substitutes.

The pattern can be found on Ravelry and Love knitting.

Happy knitting! ☺

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Yarn Along

Today's post isn't terribly exciting. I'm still reading the second volume in the Ferrante'so Neopolitan stories, The story of a new name. I'd hoped to be finished it by now but I spent about a week looking for it! Himself had put it in a bag with some paperwork he'd cleared off the kitchen dresser. It was only after I found it that he remembered what he did with it!

I've be dipping in and out of a few knitting projects. With the weather turning cooler I've started on a new winter hat for Miss S. The boys hats will follow soon. 

I've been sewing a little too. I've plans to make some beanbags for the kids for Christmas. I've sewn and filled the inner cushions and I've cut the fabric for the outer cushions so I just need to get time to sew them! 

I've recently finished a nightdress for Miss S too. The pattern is from Making childrens clothes.

I used some brushed cotton that I originally got when I was pregnant with Mr A to make burp cloths. Five years later and I still haven't made them! I made the 3-4 years size but I took a couple of inches off the length of the body and sleeves to make it fit the piece of fabric I had. Despite that it's still roomy and will fit her for a quite a while. 
I'm not the mist experienced sewer, especially but I found Making children's clothes had a good mix of patterns. The step by step instructions are clear and we'll laid out. It also has full sized pattern pieces (always a bonus!). I have found that pattern sizing runs a little large. Following the measurements in the sizing table I've made the 3-4 year old size in this (and the puff ball skirt I made earlier in the summer). Even though Miss S is a tall 3 year old both projects are a bit too big for her. The skirt has buttonhole elastic in the waistband so by pulling that in to the last buttonhole it fits okay. The nightdress is roomy but that's no big deal. Plenty of growing room built in I suppose. I would recommend going a size down (although maybe still keeping the extra length) if you want something to fit well now.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Yarn Along

It's been a hectic few weeks. Mr C turned 1 on Friday and Mr A turned 5 yesterday.  Time is going too quickly and they're growing so fast that if I stop to think about it I can almost not catch my breath. We had a joint birthday party for them at the weekend. It was mostly family and Mr A had a few friends over. Between the marathon baking session the day before, then having 14 adults, 2 preteens and 8 kids (6 of whom are very energetically enjoying every thing) in our small house, I'm just about recovered.

I'm just finishing up The story of a new name by  Elena Ferrante. It's the second volume in the Neopolitan stories. Lila is now married and appears trapped while Elena is trying to discover who she is and what she wants from life.   Their paths continue to diverge and converge and while their relationship is complex they still remain friends.

I haven't knit much in the last few weeks but I'm just casting on a pair of socks for himself. It's becoming a bit of a tradition for me to knit him socks for Christmas. He picked out the yarn in Dublin in May for my birthday. We had a bit of time to spare between going to see the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit at the National Gallery and dinner so we popped in to This is Knit so I could have a browse. While we were there he suggested that he pick out the yarn for his Christmas socks and who was I to say no?