Feeling the fear, packing the bag and doing it anyway.

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Today I finally got around to doing something I had wanted to do for a long time – go back to swimming lessons.  I learnt to swim as a child in Templeogue College Swimmming Pool and my son swims there so it was a good a choice as any.

Over the last 40 years or so I have managed to loose my breathing technique and really struggle with keeping my face in the water.  So this morning I joined the ladies class and I think the worst might be over.  As an adult the fear of making a fool of yourself is usually far worse that the reality of a situation.  I did find it difficult, was a little panicked but the lovely instructor Paula was great.  By the end of the session I was worn out, my legs felt like lead but I was happy that I had taken the first step.

Have I sorted out my breathing technique – no but I will get there with practice – lane swimming here I come.



Surge by Lisa Mutch

I hate having UFOs on my Ravelry Projects page.    I started my original surge over two years ago and misplaced the project.  Everytime I saw it on my projects page it annoyed me.

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Lisa has recently released Continua and Inceptio both of which are impressive short row wraps and in advance of starting something a little complicated I decided to go back and restart Surge.  This is a link to Lisa’s  home page http://www.ravelry.com/designers/lisa-mutch.  There are lots of dramatic and edgy designs and we could all learn from her photographs.

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I used a DK yarn and the finished wrap is dense and squishy and would look good on guys or gals – another quick knit that might make the Christmas list.

Shetland Hartland Shawl

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While in Edinburgh in March I purchased two huge cones of Shetland yarn in lovely Sage Green and Raspberry.  The yarn has that lovely authentic feel and smell and is a joy to work with.   I think over the next 12 months there will be a lot of patterns featuring these yarns.

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Finding a pattern that would suit this yarn and reflect the rustic feel of the yarn was difficult but finally I came across Hartland Cliffs  by Sonja Bargielowska.  Link   http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/hartland-cliffs.    This is a free pattern that  was designed for Blacker yarns and is reversible.  Lots of short rows and pattern changes to keep things interesting.  I was very happy with the outcome – a lightweight and warm shawl.   This is a pattern that could be easily modified to suit your stash and colour preferences.



Melanie Berg


Melanie Berg recently visited Dublin and I was lucky enough to join her shawl workshops.  A really inspiring designer who also gives a great class.

In advance of the trip to Edinburgh I was trying to do some stash reduction and the results were this lovely version of Spice Market and a summer version of Drachenfels.

My spice market was closer to a fruit market but still a lovely result.  This is a link to Melanies pattern page  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/on-the-spice-market.


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The Summer Drachenfels turned out quite pretty but is missing all the drama of contrasting dark colours – will have to revisit. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/drachenfels

Did I achieve the desired stash reduction – absolutely not – discovered I had lots more than I thought so lots more shawls to come.



Skinny Dip Shawl – Test Knit

This neat shawl was finished in May and the pattern has recently been released.   A really nice and simple shawl with lace sections and stripes.  Designed by Britni Sherfield it is a quick knit and fairly easy knit.  Great for gift giving – affordable as it used 3 balls of Drops Flora.


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I love the way the clever use of two colours actually looks like you used three colours.   This is the link to the pattern on ravelry have a look and see how different colour combinations change the feel of this cute shawl.  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/skinny-dip-shawl










Catching up – May Test Knits.

May was a great month for finishing up some projects and Test Knits.  Today I would like to look at Fog smoke and smog by Stella Egidi.

This was a lovely knit with lots going on but still simple enough for binge watching Netflix.   Short rows and lace panels combined with calming colours great for gift giving.

I used Drops Flora and needed one ball of each colour so an affordable option.   The bind off is really cute and adds a softness to the shawl.  A good option would be to bead the peaks and this would add a little weight and drama.


Link to Pattern is here:  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fog-smoke-and-smog

Stash Busting and planning

With the Edinburgh yarn festival now two weeks away it was time to make some hard decisions.  I had to take a look at my stash and make some sacrifices to make space for lots of lovely new yarn/

I spent some time last week deciding on what I could part with and re-discovering some lovely yarns that are just waiting to be used.  I have a really bad habit of “saving” yarns for something special.  When in reality everything we knit is something special.

Finally I came up with some yarn to be donated to our local charity shop – not as much as I had hoped.  The next issue was to use up some of the lovelies – I reviewed my ravelry queue and listed a number of shawls I want to knit.    I then needed to identify the best choices for social knitting.

It looks like the Edinburgh festival will be very social and too much lace work is not a good idea so I decided on Drachenfels http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/drachenfels   and On the Spice Market  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/on-the-spice-market.  Both these shawls have lots of garter stitch and use multiple colours – great for using up small quantities of really nice yarn.


This lovely rose bouquet was the inspiration for my spice market shawl which will probably be more of a fruit market colour palette.  All the shawls are now set up and ready to go – roll on Edinburgh.