January was a busy month with lots happening and lots of knits finished and worn. I finished a pair of Podster Gloves for my son. They are a little on the big side but he is still growing and I imagine by next winter they will be just right. The yarn was Schoeller and Stahl Fortissima that has been in my stash for a very long time. We were in Barcelona in All you knit is love in April 2012 when Owen picked out the yarn.
Podster is a nice pattern that is easy to follow and the result was a very nice pair of mittens. The only down side is the amount ends to be darned in around the fingers -however if you are as terrible as I am at picking up stitches there was plenty of gaps to be filled in so it worked out well Here is the link: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/podster-gloves
This lovely pattern is Intimate Cordoba designed by Stella Egidi. Knit in Drops Alpaca Colour 4400 Lila a rich dark purple. Available on Raverly – pattern link : https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/intimate-cordoba
This is the second test knit I have done for Stella, a very talented designer based in Rome who has fantastic selection of patterns that have been test knit by Ravelry members.
This crescent shaped shawl features two panels of garter stitch and a centre lace panel with a pretty lace border. One of the test knitters added beads to the border, a really pretty addition to this feminine shawl.
As we near the dreaded back to school day we are already looking forward to Halloween. This is a big event in our house and it takes place over mid-term so a great time to focus on for students struggling to get back into school life. My daughter is once again making a costume – this means I am usually heavily involved and my non existent sewing skills are put to the test.
This year it will be a Snow White costume – there is a definite princess theme here – last year it was Cinderella. Buying fabrics for such big dresses is quite expensive so we decided to go with some upholstery fabric – as this out fit will possibly be worn once.
I knew there was a fabric outlet in Newbridge and had heard rave reviews about prices and range and so we headed out. It was fabulous – a huge range of fabrics at €4.99 a metre and a serious amount at €2 a metre.
This is a great outlet with lots of choice – but operates on a cash only basis so go prepared.
We found all the colours we needed and got lots – just in case. Since then we have been considering an Assasins Creed outfit for my son so it looks like another trip is in order.
Over the August Bank Holiday weekend we had a great family day out at Ardgillan Castle. This is a beautiful country house in Balbriggan and is set in the 200-acre (0.81 km2) of Ardgillan Demesne. The building overlooks Barnageera Beach, the Irish Sea and Balbriggan.
It has been a long time since we visited Ardgillan and my memories are of family days out with mum snaffling bits and pieces of plants to make cuttings from. We were blessed with fabulous weather and to be honest didn’t do as much as we intended. The gardens were glorious and that was where most of our time was spent. Awash with colour, butterflies and bees there was lots of inspiration for colour combinations that will cheer up dreary winter days.
I imagine there is a very big garden team that keeps everything looking fantastic. I was surprised to see so many lilies and hard to grow plants thriving.
The children’s playground is well worth a visit and the Dog friendly café was a wonderful and inexpensive end to our day. Hopefully next time we will have a look inside the house – but hoping for a wet rainy day for that.
July has been a great month for knitting – lots of items off the needles and some projects that were sitting on the naughty step have been resurrected and sorted out. I joined a Mystery Mitten KAL in the I Make Mittens group on Ravelry and completed a pair and in between clues worked on an old wip – Mosaic mittens and also completed them.
The pair on the left were made using the two at a time method and the pair on the right one at a time. I think there is a big difference in terms of tension and quality of knitting stitches. The two at a time pair are quite uneven and the join is noticeable.
This month I am hoping to complete or at least start another two pairs and this time I think I will go down a needle size for the two at a time and see if this helps. Also this month the patterns will be nowhere near as busy with only two colours in use. This will also mean less darning in of ends always a good thing.
Last weekend I was fortunate to spend Saturday in Amsterdam shopping with my Daughter. We flew in early and spent the day shopping before having a late dinner.
I wanted to pick up some Souvenir yarn and as we were short on time and energy we headed to Stephen and Penelope, a lovely welcoming shop filled with yarns of all types and origins. I was delighted to see Hedgehog fibres continues to do well here and has a fabulous display of colour – it is nice to see one of our own doing so well. There were lot of Stephen West patterns on display and lots of inspiring ideas. I was surprised to Spincycle handspun yarns so far from home – another lovely brand. I could ramble on and on but the photographs say it all – spoilt for choice.
After much consideration I decided to go with Undercover Otter – a range dyed in Amsterdam and purchased 3 skeins in shades of grey. There are quite a few colours in this range that are exclusive to Stephen and Penelope.
So if you are in Amsterdam with some time to spare put this lovely shop on your list and also check out the shop next door – amazing buttons, fabrics and haberdashery.
This lovely shawl was a Test Knit I completed in May for Britni Sherfield. A lovely crescent shaped shawl that makes great use of short row shaping.
This was a quick knit and the colour possibilities are endless. The pattern has now been released and is available here http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fools-gold-shawl. Using only garter stitch this is a simple pattern that produced an elegant result – another great addition to my shawl repertoire.