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? 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Yarn Along Wednesday

Just a quick post today. We're slowly settling into a new routine with Mr A in primary school and Miss S started going to preschool 3 days a week. Mr C is enjoying having me to himself those 3 mornings that his big brother and sister are out of the house.

I've started reading After You. It's the sequel to Me Before You. I'm enjoying it so far and I'm hopeful that it will result in fewer tears than Me Before You!

That rust coloured jumble is the beginnings of a Dockside Cardigan in Studio Donegal Soft Donegal. Jessica is running a knit along over in her Ravelry group  if  you fancy joining in the fun!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Yarn Along and New Adventures

It's been a few weeks since I last posted. There's been visits to the zoo, a pet farm, a castle, numerous playgrounds, family and friends.

I'm just finishing up My Brilliant Friend by  Elena Ferrante. It's a nice, gentle story following the lives of Lila and Elena during their childhood and adolescence  in 1950's Naples. Throughout it their paths continue to diverge and converge but through it all thy remain best friends. I think I will be buying the next volumes in the Neopolitan stories by Ferrante soon! 
Today I'm browsing through the third volume of Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries in the hopes of some dinner time inspiration.  Niger Slater is one of my favourite cooks and I really like his Kitchen diaries series. He focuses on simple, good food. Nothing too complicated but still taste good. I already make several of his recipes regularly and the kids enjoy them too (bonus!).
On the knitting front I'm working on a sample knit for a new beanie design so watch this space.

I'm a bag of mixed emotions today. It's Mr A's first day at primary school. I'm excited at discovering his potential, watching him learn more and absorb all that information like a sponge. He's broadening his horizons and I'm both excited for him and a little sad for me. He's becoming more independent and I'm happy for him, proud of him but a little sad that my little boy is not quite so little any more. This little boy, my first born, the bundle of joy who made me a mammy and filled my heart with so much love when I first set eyes on him that I thought it would burst and helped to heal some heart breaks there is off on a new adventure...

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Yarn Along

I've cast on for the test knit and I'm just at the sleeve separation. It's a cute figuring weight tee and it will look adorable on any kid.
I finished Me Before You and yes I did shed a tear with a few odd looks from the kids as I was finishing it while we were all eating breakfast. I've just started My Brilliant Friend by  Elena Ferrante. It tells the story of Lila and Elena as they grow up in 1950's Naples. Throughout their lives their paths continue to diverge and converge but through it all thy remain best friends. It is the first in the Neopolitan stories by Ferrante. So far I'm enjoying his book and if it continues this way I will probably pick up the other volumes not this series too.

I finished the princess crown and hair  for Miss S. She's very happy! I think if I could've added a big more "hair" to the front of the crown to give a bit more volume. If I ever manage to convince her to give it back to me I'll do it. I used about 200 m of King Cole Dolly Mix DK. I may write up the pattern if you're interested let me know.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Yarn Along Wednesday

I missed yarn along last week but I'll tell you about what I was reading last week as well as what I'm currently today.
Last Wednesday my Mam and I took the kids to Wells House. The kids had a great time in the playground and at the pet farm. The fairy woodland walk was magical for us all.

We even met the gruffalo and the gruffalo's child.

Last week on the recommendation of my cousin I read O Pioneers by Wila Cather. It tells the story of a young Swedes immigrant Alexandre Bergson as she tries to tame the prairie of Nebraska and make something of the farm that her dying father left to her. Something about it evoked Steinbeck works so I think if you enjoy his works you'll also enjoy O Pioneers!.

This week I'm reading a book recommended by a friend. Me before You by Jojo Moyes is about Louisa who is an ordinary girl living an ordinary life in a very ordinary town. When she looses her job in the local cafe she takes on a job looking after Will who is quadriplegic after an accident. Will is moody and acerbic but Louisa refuses to treat him with kid gloves. I've been really enjoying it so far. It's at times poignant and also quite funny. My friend did tell me that if I was going to read Me Before You I would need to have some tissues nearby. I haven't needed them so far but I'm only half way through. 

On the knitting front, I'm just starting another test knit for Jessica, that's what the blue yarn is for. I've just finished the yellow crown and the white yarn will be attached to it so Miss S can complete her Queen Elsa ensemble! I'll let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Test Knit: Harvest Sweater

During May and June I test knit a sweater for Jessica M. Anderson. Harvest Sweater is a cozy hooded sweater with a kangaroo pocket. The ribbed pattern of the sleeves are nice and stretchy but also make for a snug sleeve, just what I like. The pattern is designed for a sport weight yarn at quite a loose gauge of 20 stitches to 4 inches. It is knit top down in the round.
I found it to be a quite straightforward knit and I've worn it a lot since I finished it. I did use more yarn than the pattern suggested but I did need to add about 1.5 inches to the sleeves. I did find that the suggested sleeve length was a bit short (maybe I have long limbs for my height) and if I knit this again I think I would add about 2.5 - 3 inches extra length as even with the extra 1.5 inches they're still a little short for my liking. Having said that I do tend to push my sleeves up most of the time so the slightly too short sleeves are fine but I do like to have the option to pull them the full way down to my wrist. I would also add a little extra length to the hood before grafting the stitches to make it a bit roomier. I have some more of this yarn in my stash so I may go back and make these adjustments to my existing sweater ... eventually. In the meantime I'll just enjoy wearing it.

Pattern : Harvest Sweater
Size : s
Yarn : Malabrigo Rios in 58 Borrajas
Amount : 335 g/ 1025 m

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Yarn Along

I'm reading two books at the moment. Disclaimer by Renee Knight and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.
Disclaimer is an intriguing and well written thriller. Shortly after moving house the main character,  Catherine, comes across a novel on her bedside table. Nothing too surprising for her. However, when she begins to read it she discovers that the main protagonist is her and it is telling the story or a dark part of her life that she has kept secret for the past 20 years. I'm caught in the dilemma of wanting to read it as fast as possible so that I can find out what happens but also wanting to slow down as I've a feeling I'll be disappointed to have it finished. I generally don't reread thrillers as I know what happens but I think I'll reread this one, maybe in 6 months or a year's time, long enough for me to forget the finer details of the story. I highly recommend it!
I'm reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to the kids. Mr A and Miss S really like both versions of the movie and they are now at and age that they can concentrate enough to listen to  couple of chapters of a book. I loved all of Roald Dahl'sbooks when I was a child and kept them all to enjoy again as an adult and to share with my children. The copy I'm reading from was given to me by my parents for Christmas about 30 years ago. Not surprisingly, my kids enjoy them too and want me to read just a little bit more several times a day. They are the kind of children's book that continue to be enjoyed kids of all ages and generations!

I don't have much knitting on the go at the moment. I finished Milly monkey for Miss S last night and tucked it in beside her for when she woke in the morning. She went down well and has been a constant companion today.

Today I plan to add pockets to her plain tunic dress. I haven't done this before but I have plan and it shouldn't be too difficult.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Yarn Along and a Finished knit

With the passing of Elie Wiesel over the weekend,  I dug out my copy of his book Night. It is a deeply moving and poignant account of his time in Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. 

"Man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn" and that is something we should never forget. 

Although at 128 pages long it is a relatively short book Night certainly makes much more of an impact than many lengthier tomes and definitely a work everyone with even a passing interest in WWII (or general history, biographies etc) should read.

As requested I'm knitting a purple and pink monkey for Miss S. The pattern is Jacobus and I had forgotten just how great it is. I knit one if these monkey's about 5 years ago when I was expecting Mr A. The pattern is designed to knit in any yarn weight and it has an extensive photo tutorial to guide you every step of the way. There's patterns for a dress or overalls too but I think I'll let Miss S decide if her monkey needs an outfit. I may just sew or knit a different instead.

I finished up the dress for Miss S. She picked out some Russian dolls buttons and gave it a test twirl. Miss S *loves* pockets, so I'm thinking about adding some.
I made a couple of adjustments to the pattern. Miss S measured about half way between the 2-3 and 4-5 sizes, so I used a slightly tighter gauge of 15 stitches to 10 cm and the stitch count for the 4-5 size hoping to get something closer to 3-4. As she's quite tall I also added about an inch to the length to make it more of a dress than a tunic. Of course this will give more growing room and longer wear too. I cast on an extra two stitches over each sleeve, as suggested in several other Ravellers project notes. Instead of crocheting on button loops later I cast on 6 extra stitches (3 at the beginning of the first two yoke rows) to make a button band. 

Pattern: Plain Tunic from Sweet Pickles
Yarn: Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Chunky (colourway 026), approx 395 m

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Yarn Along

I haven't done much reading this week but I'm still dipping in and out of The Doctor's case by Dr Maurice Gueret.  Mr A has had me read from The Complete Adventures of Curious George at least once everyday this week, especially his favourite of Curious George goes to hospital which I'm well on the way to being able to recite! 
I've recently started a little tunic/dress for Miss South.  The pattern is Plain Tunic from Sweet Pickles. I'm knitting the main body of the dress which is just a lot of stocking stitch which is giving me plenty of opportunity to look through the book and draw up a queue of projects I want to knit from this book! The subtitle is 27 Adorable Knits for Babies and Toddlers and that is most certainly the case. All the designs are just a bit different to the run of the mill children's patterns but still practical and comfortable for kids.  It's a good mix of accessories and garments, with projects ranging from plain old garter and stocking stitch to colour work and brioche stitch, so something for every knitting mood. Each project is also given a skill level rating. Definitely a book I'd recommend for a knitter with kids (or the possibility of kids) in their lives.

P. S: don't forget to check out Ginny'so blog, the link is on the sidebar.  

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Yarn Along Wednesday

This week we're back to an old favourite for bedtime reading. A couple of years ago, Santa in his wisdom brought Mr A a copy of The Complete Adventures of Curious George and it has been a firm favourite ever since.  Sometimes Mr A can be a little too fond of the monkey's acrobatic escapades and wants to try it out too!
The project in the photo is Miranda. It's been on my needles since September 2013 with little or no progress. I'm doing a bit of an assessment of my wips. I've finished some and frogged some. This is the last one on the line and I'm trying to decide whether to just finish it or frog it and use the yarn for something else, maybe Portside?
So what do you think? Finish or frog?

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Birthday Bunting

Since Mr A had his first birthday I've been wanting to make a happy birthday banner. Much nicer than the usual foil ones that can be found in the party section of shops and of course reusable! Four and a half years later I finally got around to making one just in time for Miss S's 3rd birthday.
First up I cut out a card triangle template. The base of the triangle was about 6.5 or 7 inches. Using this and a pinking blade on my rotary cutter I cut out 28 triangles from some balloon fabric I had in my stash. 
I cut out the letters in felt and used double sided fusible interfacing to fix them to a triangle before sewing them down.
I then sewed a second triangle to the back with wrong sides together so that the bunting had a bit more substance. You could add a layer of interfacing between to make them stiffer but I didn't bother.

I tidied up the edges a bit to try and have each of the triangles pretty much the same size before joining them together using some cotton twill tape that I folded in half, inserting each triangle into the fold.

Difficult to get a photo of the finished bunting but the washing line came to the rescue 😀.

For those of you who read my last post, the squares have been joined together! I added a very simple crochet border, two rows of single crochet, as I felt it needed something to finish it off. I finished it up as I was putting the kids to bed last night and Miss S wrapped it around a dolly and snuggled her in beside her. Today its keeping Miss Polly,  Tilly and Elsa warm in their pram. I think they're pleased.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Yarn Along Wednesday

So what am I up to today? Well yesterday when I was at my parents house my mam was sorting through her yarn, throwing out all those little bits and pieces of yarn that were all tangled up and bagging up some to donate to the local charity shop. In the middle of it all I rescued some garter stitch squares. I'm going to sew them together to make a dolls blanket for Miss S. I might even stretch and use my limited crochet skills to add a border!
While there I raided my parents bookshelves and picked up a new book to read. The Doctor's Case by Dr Maurice Guerret is a very witty book of anecdotes from his medical career. I have long enjoyed his column in the Sunday Independent newspaper and this collection of his musings and stories has so far not let me down.
Both of my parents worked in the medical world, my mother as a midwife and later a geriatrics nurse and my dad as a hospital orderly/porter, so I grew up hearing these kind of stories which is probably why I enjoy the book so much.
Don't forget to check out Ginny's Blog.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday again! Just a quick post today. I'm very nearly finished my Harvest sweater, I just need to graft the stitches on the hood and do the edges. I thought I'd show you the beginnings of a different projects that today. I've just started on a nest for Susan B. Andersons Fat Robin. This will be the first of many over the coming months. A friend asked me to knit a couple for her and I plan on making some others as gifts. I'm mostly using random leftovers of yarn so I'm hoping they will be good stash busting projects.
I'm still reading (and still intrigued by) John Banville's The Blue Guitar.
The kids are finally better. Miss S turned 3 on Monday. We had planned to have her party last Saturday but on Thursday evening she still had a tummy bug and was fairly miserable so we postponed it. While she'd recovered by Friday she still wasn't 100 % so we were glad we postponed. So now I'm in party preparation mode again.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Test Knit: Dandelion Wishes

I recently finished a test knit for Kelly Brooker of PekaPeka designs.

Dandelion Wishes is a very pretty sweater. Knit seamlessly from the top down it features a textured panel on the front and picot cuff and hem. 

As always the pattern was wonderfully written with very clear instructions. It's  also written for 16 sizes, newborn to 10 y (35 to 72.5 cm chest), so they'll get plenty of use with growing children!

Size: 55 cm/ 3y
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Rialto DK - colourway 23014, approx 525 m

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Yarn Along

Just a quick post for yarn along Wednesday. I'm still working on my Harvest sweater. I had hoped to be finished or very nearly finished by today but then the kids got sick. Three sick kids means very little knitting time. Only for the fact that we try to just use cloths and handkerchiefs I'm pretty sure I'd be at risk of being buried under a mountain of tissues and paper towels and there would be some forest somewhere under threat. I've just had to deal with a massive increase in washing to be done. My washing machine has definitely been earning its keep the last 3 or 4 days and I'm very thankful that we are having marvellous sunny weather so everything is dried fast (and smells wonderful) and I don't have to use the tumble drier. I'm hoping we're coming through the other side.

I've just started The Blue Guitar by John Banville. It follows the story of Oliver Orme,  ex painter and petty thief over the course of one year. I don't usually like books told in the first person (not sure why), however while the book hasn't really gripped me in a 'can't put down' kind of way, John Banville has created such a fascinating character that I just want to find out more about him. I suspect three sick kids is also impacting my enjoyment of the book so far. 
Don't forget to hook up with Ginnys blog for more yarn along fun, the link is on the side bar.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Test knit: Addie Rose Skirt

I've been meaning to blog about this pattern for a while. Back in April I test knit the Addie Rose skirt pattern for Jessica Anderson. It's a sweet little skirt perfect for a little girl who loves to twirl, aka Miss S. Designed for sport weight yarn it covers 8 sizes for 12 months to 12 years. And if you would like to match your little girl Jessica also has this skirt in adult sizes - English Rose.

Size : 2 years
Yarn: approx 617 m Cascade Heritage 150 Solids, colourway 5607 red.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Yarn Along

Well it's Wednesday again, which means another yarn along post :)!

Himself has been away with work since Saturday so things have been a bit busier than usual for the last few days so knitting and reading time are limited. I'm still knitting on my Harvest Sweater. I've finished the body and I'm now onto the first sleeve. I'm also still reading A House in the Sunflowers by Ruth Silvestre. This morning while enjoying a cup of tea before doing the school pick up, I read my copy of the Spring/Summer issue of the Bioversity Ireland magazine that arrived yesterday. I've never read this magazine before but the proceeds of this particular issue are being donated to Special Olympics Ireland and it also has a great article on identifying ladybirds.

In case you missed my previous post I've a sale on in my Ravelry shop.

There's 20% off all my patterns. No coupon code required, the discount will be automatically applied at the checkout! I'm extending it until end of day May 28th (23.59 pm GMT). 

You can find my store here.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Birthday Sale!

It's my birthday on Monday and as a gift to you I'm having a sale in my Ravelry shop.

There's 20% off all my patterns. No coupon code required, the discount will be automatically applied at the checkout!

You can find my store here.

Nature Challenge

A week ago I was nominated by my cousin to take part in a nature challenge on Facebook.  I usually don't take part in these challenges but thus onemail appealed to me. The challenge was to take a photo of nature every day for 7 days and post it on Facebook. You then tag a friend to nominate them to take part. It was so nice seeing so many beautiful photos of the world around us (and that we often are too busy to see) popping up on my news feed every day. I really enjoyed taking part in the challenge. In the midst of cooking, cleaning, school runs, nursing, nappy changes and everything else involved in an average day of a mother of 3 very active kids it made me slow down for a few minutes to look around at all the nature gifts us. 
So I challenge you to slow down for a few minutes each day for the next week and take in all the beauty that surrounds us (even in the most unlikely places). Take a photo if you wish. Post it on social media and encourage others to do the same. Or keep the photo for yourself to enjoy as a reminder to slow down even it's only for a couple of minutes during the day.

Day 1: bee visiting the honeysuckle in my garden 

Day 2: early morning wishes

Day 3: waiting for my strawberries

Day 4: my Lily of the Valley is late this year but still smells as sweet

Day 5: raindrops on Rose leaves

Day 6: lilac bloom

Day 7: we have bumble bees nesting in one if our compost bins

And a bonus photo of daisies to brighten your day. 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Yarn Along Wednesday.

Wow these Wednesdays really seem to come around fast 😁!

So I'm still working on my test knit for Jessica. I'm a little behind (sorry Jessica!) but I'm hoping to catch up over the weekend. I'm really looking forward to finishing it so I can wear it as the yarn is so scrummy that I know it will be so cozy to wear.
I've finished Fallen and I've just started A House in the Sunflowers by Ruth Silvestre. Its the first in a trilogy of memoirs following their adventures buying and renovating a house in (very) rural south west France. I've only just started but already it's making me long for warm days in a foreign country! Even more so with the weather we're having at the moment. We went from glorious sunshine last week to battling hailstones taking clothes off the line this morning. Maybe, if we're really lucky, that sun we had last week wasn't the only summer we'll have in Ireland this year!

One highlight of the last week has been a dandelion wish slipped into the pocket of my bag...

... as payment for making a daisy chain crown for an almost 3 year old princess on our walk home from dropping her big brother to preschool. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Yarn Along Wednesday

It's Wednesday again! So I've a quick post for yarn along. You can find a link to Ginny's Blog on the side bar. I'm trying hard to be a monogamous knitter at the moment. I've finished my cowl and the pattern, Spring Rising, has been published. Details can be found in my previous post. I'm now working on a test knit for Jessica Anderson. It's a very cute hooded sweater knit in sport weight yarn. I'm using Malabrigo Arroyo in the Borrajas colourway. I'm on to the waist shaping now. Again after I had to rip back 3 inches because I miss read the pattern - I really shouldn't knit when I'm tired!
I'm still reading and enjoying Fallen but I think I'll share the book I was reading to Miss S this morning. "The smartest giant in town" by Julia Donaldson is a bit of a favourite at the moment. Like all of her books it's very cleverly written and a superb fire hit with my kids. It also has a very nice message about the importance of being kind.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

New Pattern : Spring Rising

I've just released a new cowl pattern.

Spring Rising is 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. Sample shown are knit in Debbie Bliss Rialto  DK (colourway 23014, pink) and Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK  (colourway 18011 Apple green). The cashmerino is now discontinued but a similar shade can be found in the Rialto line, 23009 apple would be closest.

Small - 130 my approx
Large - 400 my 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. 

The pattern is available in my Raveley store here or on here.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Yarn Along

A couple of the blogs I follow participate in a Yarn Along, where every Wednesday you share a photo of what you're knitting and what book you're reading. As I like to do both I thought I'd join in. I can't guarantee a post every Wednesday but I'll try.
Today I spent some time working on a new cowl design. I'm almost finished the longer version and hopefully I'll have the pattern released in the next couple of weeks.
I recently started "Fallen" by Lia Mills . It's this year's pick for the Dublin: One City, One Book Festival. An appropriate  choice given that it's the centenary of the 1916 Rising.
The story is centred around Kate Crilly, whose brother is killed in 1915 fighting for the British Army in WW1. The following year on her brothers anniversary Dublin is engulfed by he violence of the Easter rising and Kate finds herself torn by conflicting loyalties and emotions. It's one of the many Rising themed books released this year (and the last few months of 2015) to capitalise on the Rising centenary- to be expected I guess. I've read several of the nonfiction releases but this is the first from the fiction category. I'm enjoying it so far and would recommend it.
You can find Ginnys blog here and Jessica here.

Welcome Home Sweater

In February I test knit a cute little sweater for designer Andrea Sanchez. The pattern collection has now been released so I don't need to keep it secret anymore!

Knit in sport weight yarn it's sized from 3 to 24 months. It's knit from the bottom up, in the round until the chest. The chest and back are knit separately and then joined at the shoulders. Stitches are then picked up around the armhole and the sleeves are knit in the round. Just the type of knit I like - seamless!
It has a curved hem created using short rows. The seed stitch hem, cuffs and neckline are a nice feature too. The hem involved working several rows in stocking stitch followed by seed stitch. The stocking stitch portion was the folded under and joined to the live stitches by knit picking up stitches from the cast on edge together with the live stitches. This was a bit fiddly but once the first few stitches were done I got into the rhythm of it and found it easy enough. The cuffs and neckline were similar but this time the pattern called for the live stitches to be sewn down. I found this impossible to do loosely enough to be able to get it on over Mr C's head so after a couple of attempts I gave up and used Jenny's surprisingly stretchy bind off before turning the hem under and securing. 
The pattern runs a little small so I think I would knit a size larger than required to get a bit more growing room. Still the end result is adorable!

Pattern : Welcome Home Pullover by Andrea Sanchez
Yarn : Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (Colourway 340700)  - approx 112 g/ 280 m

Friday, 25 March 2016

Crazy crayons

Anyone with young kids will likely know how many broken crayons you'll accumulate! Rather than throw them out I've collected them over time and last week I finally got around to recycling them into new crayons.

First, I took all the papers off, I had mostly been doing this as I collected them but there were a few I missed. I then broke them into smaller pieces and put them into a mini muffin tin, using cases to make it easier to pop them out. I sorted them by colour but you could mix them.

I then popped them in the oven at 130 C for around 5 - 7 min. It may take a bit more time if you have bigger pieces. Just keep a watch on them until they've completely melted. Once they were done I took them out and let them cool and set. This didn't take long as they were small, maybe 20 min.
Once cooled I popped them out of the tin and peeled off the cases and we have new crayons. 

As the crayons are non-toxic there's no need to have a tray specifically for crayon melting use (although that's fine too!), a good scrub in hot, soapy water or in the dishwasher and it's good for food use again.