Dublin has a yarn festival – this weekend saw the first Dublin wool festival and it was wonderful.  Big congratulations to all involved.

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I managed to spend a couple of hours there on Saturday and it was heaven , yarn fumes and like minded people, what more could any knitter want.    Determined to do minimum damage to the credit card I brought along some Scottish Sterling notes (left over from Edinburgh Yarn Festival)  that our bank did not wish to take.  Ysolda was happy to repatriate the notes for me.

There were so many talented dyers it was hard to make a choice and you could fill a van with everything that caught your eye.  I settled on two beautiful and muted skeins of sock yarn from Old Maiden Aunt Yarns – Mudder’s milk and Raincloud.  Gamer Crafting is another dyer that really calls to me – I bought two skeins of loud and vibrant sock yarn – Draoi and Michael Burnham.  Finally I stopped by This is Knit to pick up some Darnie -the new studio Donegal 4 ply 100% lambswool yarn in light blue and teal.  No plans yet on what these lovlies will grow into.

I have a have a yearning to do some fairisle and spotted the lovely Melanie Ware wearing this fairisle vest – her own design.  It was stunning – bought the pattern when I got home.   Link to Lough Shore pattern page: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lough-shore    Need to get a wriggle on and  finish two test knits so I can get started.

Melanie Ware

Fingers and toes crossed Woollin will become an annual event.


Yarn Shopping in Amsterdam

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.

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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.




Where did it all go wrong

Mittens are one of my favourite things to knit – they are quick, portable and using colour work are very colourful.   I have been a member of the I Make Mittens group on Ravelry  since December 2013 and over the years have made several pairs however this all came to an abrupt halt in January 2016.   I was working on a mitten KAL and messed up really badly – so the project ended up being iced.

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I decided it was time to get my mitten mojo back – and while on the hunt for needles for the I Make Mittens July KAL came accross the iced project.  It was also a KAL and it is a lovely pattern Mosaikk http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mosaikk.  As I may have mentioned before I hate having abandoned projects so I decided to try and see where it all went wrong.  After re-printing the clues and checking and double checking I figured out the problem.    When you are working on a KAL the clues come every couple of days – so you are working on several pages sequentially.  When you are working on a colourwork item the combinations will change with each new piece of the KAL.  My problems arose when I didn’t remember the what colour was cc1, cc2 etc and I worked away on the wrong combination.  I had gotten all the thumb increases in on one mitten before I realised this.

The upside to this problem was I have started the July KAL and was very careful to lay out a sheet with the details and keep it to the top of the pattern pages so I won’t make the mistake again.


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The Mosaikk mittens – well I have knit the corrected colours on the second mitten (mitten on right in photograph) and todays job is to rip back the first mitten and fix.  Lesson learned and my Mitten Mojo has returned.






Never too late to learn something new



Test knits can really surprise you.   The knitting community on Ravelry are very generous and when time and stash allows I give back by taking on a test knit.   One of my recent projects was a lovely colour work hat designed by Anja http://www.ravelry.com/people/FlowerBirds who designs the loveliest colour work mittens and hats.

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The pattern features a series of tucks at the brim of the hat – they look really cute in co-ordinating colours.  The technique for casting on for the tucks was new to me – it was a provisional cast on that used two needles.  One needle is kept live until you are ready to complete tuck.  After a little bit of fiddling I got the hang of the technique and it worked really well to create a neat finish.  The Nut-Hap pattern is on my virtual to do list   http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/nut-hap and I think I will get to use this technique again on a much larger scale.

So back to the Wagtail test knit –  I knit the mans size – the pattern was very well laid out and there is an explanation of the cast on, the design is really cute and worked well in my chosen yarns and the bonus was my husband and son were happy to model for me.  So success all round for a lovely colour work hat that appeals to all ages.










Christmas Knitting for beginners

In the run up to Christmas my students get all enthusiastic about handmade gifts – this year we are working on some really lovely wraps and scarves.  Of course I take the opportunity to throw in a new skill.  This lovely wrap has a provisional cast on – so we can go back and add on the ruffle.  It is a really quick knit and very light and airy.  A knit kit for this will be available in my Dawanda shop next week.

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I am also in the process of writing up a version in Drops Alpaca Silk.  This is a super soft and elegant wrap and great value at €5.25 for 3 balls in the drops alpaca sale.  Will dash off for now to get the sample off the needles.

Hats and more Hats

Big rush this weekend to finish and block hats. This is the last week of school for my son and his lovely lollipop lady had asked me to make her some funky hats. Anne is due to start chemo in the coming weeks – I was happy to oblige but as usual left things to the last minute.


The Cloche and Shore Pattern came from a very nice book – Weekend Hats an Interweave publication.

The Escargot and Piazza Patterns are both free Ravely Patterns – Escargot link is here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/escargot and the Piazza link is here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/piazza-hat.

As usual I cannot leave a good pattern alone and have tweaked these slightly to suit my taste.

The Escargot hat is currently being blocked on my very technical blocking system – a pyrex bowl and two tupperware bowls stacked to give the desired shape.



So looking forward to the next projects – mittens again. Very excited as I have bought some new needles as I am on a yarn diet in an effort to avoid purchasing yarn I needed new needles. I have purchased a set of the new Addi 20cm mini circulars. Hopefully they will help with the tension issues I have on colour work – will just have to wait and see.

Shore Hat
Shore Hat