Wednesday 28 April 2010


I finished the Plain Ol Socks! So glad. I actually finished them on Monday night. It just goes to show you how much you can get done if you have insomnia & are waiting in hospitals for hours. I knit almost one full sock in a day! That has to be my best so far.

Pattern: Made up out of my head from previous socks
Yarn: Berroco Comfort Sock. Not my fave sock yarn, but hubby loves it coz no wool.
Needles: 2.5mm Knit Picks Harmony dpns

I enjoyed the mindlessness of the sock, and the finished article is quite good, even if one of the toes looks a little different to the other. That's what happens when I wing it. Still, hubby loves them, and that's all that matters to me.

So, thanks for all your votes on what socks to make for my Dad. I have decided on the Sailors Ribbing socks from More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch:

They are perfect mens socks I think, plain enough, but not so plain that I'd lose the biscuit after Johns socks :) Although, I'm unsure about the heel. I think I'll stick with my old reliable slipped stitch heel. I think it lasts much longer.
Also, see how good they look on the sock blockers? Yeah. I bet those ones are the right size, unlike my mini feet ones :( Bloody US vs UK shoe sizes. Gets me every time.
Let's see if I can get them finished by this day next week. I doubt it, but it's worth trying. If I don't get them done by then, at least I can have them finished by the time he comes out of the hospital. In fact, that might be better, a kind of welcome home gift, and one that I can put a few prayers into. We'll see.

Either way, I have to get some more baby knitting done. My friend is due in Sept, and I've only the Hemlock blanket done so far. I'd love to have a few more bits for her, so I think I'm definitely going to do some more of the petal cotton bibs. Other than that, I'm in search of some asexual baby patterns!

Hubby is away tomorrow night in Sligo, so it's a girls night chez moi. Yeah!

Good knitting!

Monday 26 April 2010


So it's 5am. I've been up since 3.45. I can't sleep. Again.

Sheesh, I'm getting a bit sick of this insomnia. I know why I can't sleep, Dad has a CT scan this morning to see if there's "anything nasty anywhere else" as the doctor put it so tactfully. So I'm off today to bring him down. I always have problems sleeping when I'm worried about someone.

Anyway, what with the being up in the middle of the night & not being able to do anything for fear of waking up hubby & daughter, I figured I'd do a blog post. Yeah. Where's the camera? Upstairs. I can't go get it as I'd wake them for sure, so I'm typing it up now, & I'll post it when they get up. [Edit: they're up so I've got the camera now]

I've finished the first and am almost finished hubbys second Plain Ol Sock. Going swimmingly.

He's looking forward to getting them!
Although it's official, my sock blockers suck. They're too small. All socks look pants on them. I don't know why I bother with them to be honest.

I've abandoned all other projects for the moment, as my Dad asked me for a pair of socks on Saturday. Now who can refuse a request from their Dad? Not me. He wants a pair of grey socks. No problemo, I have this in the stash!

Bargain end of line yarn that I've had for almost 2 years, according to the upload date on Flickr. *cough* I really should sort out my stash.

As for a pattern, I want these to be really nice socks. Something to cheer him up. If I could get them done by May 5 when he goes into hospital all the better.
I was thinking maybe the Gentlemans Fancy Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks
or the Sailors Ribbing from More Sensational Knitted Socks
or the Waffle Rib II from Sensational Knitted Socks
Or maybe you guys can think of a nicer pattern? Nothing too fancy, but something that will look nice & smart.

Until I decide, I'm ploughing ahead with John's socks so I can free up my favourite 2.5mm needles for Dad's socks.

Good knitting!

Sunday 18 April 2010

Cushendale Stash and other things

So I realised that I hadn't blogged the yarn I bought in Cushendale. Here you go:

I didn't buy half as much as I wanted to, I think I felt guilty about spending too much.
I did buy some of this:

Absolutely gorgeous sock weight yarn in a really lovely heathery green shade.
And this one in scrummy pink heathers:
The lady in the shop told me these skeins had 550yds, but according to Ravelry there's only 367? Still, it would be enough for a pair of socks. It's a bit scratchy though, so I'm unsure.
I also nabbed a sale skein of bouclé in this really pretty light pink. For what, I haven't a clue.

Yardage of this is completely unknown.
I must say, the tags on the skeins could be much better, a yardage would be a start!
I also ordered 10 skeins of their DK weight yarn in a delectable mustardy/yellowy tweed for a sweater or a cardigan. They've to phone me when they next dye a lot.
I also couldn't resist this guy:
A guard sheep for my stash. He'll watch over it and keep sticky fingers & moths away.
I met up with Sheknitupthatball and C_Bunni_Crafts briefly at lunchtime during the week. It was great to meet them, and SheknitupthatBall had extremely kindly brought me back some yarn from her recent trip to the States:
Some Pagewood Farm Glacier Bay! I heart Pagewood Farm. The Chugiak I knit with before was just the yummiest stuff, so I'm really excited to make some socks with this one.
Alice nabbed it in the car on the way home and declared it was to be used for socks for her, as Watermelon is her favourite, and I owe her some socks as it's been aaages since I made her any, so it's the least I can do. Well who am I to argue with that? I should get a pair for me out of the skein too, so it's ok :)
I also went into ThisIsKnit and spent like a madwoman. I bought a big bottle of Ravelry Soak, Barbara Walkers Knitting from the Top & 2nd Treasury of Knitting Patterns. I'm mad excited to have these two books, EZ always raved about Barbara Walker, so lets see what the fuss is all about! I'm looking forward to making my first top down fitted sweater too, at last something I make to fit my lumpy bumpy bits!
In project progress, the Plain Ol Socks are coming along. I'm just about at the toe of the first one.
This is my take along project, y'know for the car or when I'm round Mam & Dads as I can chat & knit this one with no problems.

My Summit Shawl is coming along slowly but surely. The progress is not phenomenal, but I can't really carry this around as as I spent most of the week either in Mams or visiting Dad in the hosp, I really only got to knit some of this last night. It's not difficult, just a bit fiddly...
I'm still in love with it though!
In personal news, Dad got home from the hospital on Friday evening. He was worn out & starving hungry the poor lamb. And to top it all the third colonoscopy didn't work again! Unbelievable.
Anyway, the result of it all is that they've decided to remove the growth, along with half of his bowel. They're going to perform what's called a Laparoscopic Right Hemicolectomy, where they remove the right side of his colon. Sounds dangerous & extreme to me, I think they've decided it's too nasty to let it continue. They had to give him a blood transfusion of 2 pints of blood. Apparently the growth is bleeding into the bowel, which is another indication that it could be the big C. They're taking him in on May 5 for the op and expect him to be in for a week to 10 days. I'd imagine this will require a fair bit of recuperation afterwards, so I'm worried about what I'm going to do about Mam. My brother can take some of the time off, so I'll have to take the rest. I'll figure something out I'm sure. In a way I'm glad they're doing something about it, but I'm also a bit scared for him.
Anyway that's all for now. I'm off to make a cup of tea & relax with my Summit shawl.
Good knitting!

Thursday 15 April 2010

Cushendale Mills Visit

So here comes my much anticipated visit to Cushendale Mills, Graiguenamenagh, Co. Kilkenny. I've wanted to visit this place for so long, I was ridiculously excited to finally go.
We got there after much swearing due to Sat Nav stupid mis-directions, but oh boy, was it worth the wait!

We arrived into the mills via the shop. They had truly beautiful wares for sale:

Scarves, gloves, socks, wraps, you name it, they had it and at very reasonable prices too. I nabbed my Dad a pair of hiking socks for €7.95, and tried desperately to let my Mam allow me to buy her some truly lovely scarves for €8.95!
So I progressed into the mill itself:

I feel really terrible, for the life of me I can't remember the tour guide's name. He was the best tour guide I have ever met. He knew the mill history inside out & upside down. He could trace his family in the mill for quite a few generations, & was able to tell me everything I could ever dream about asking about the place.

Alice was thrilled to get involved. He showed us the roving before spinning, and then demonstrated the spinning machine for us:

Isn't it the most gorgeous piece of machinery? Apparently this machine is 150 odd years old, dating from the 1840's/50's. Still going strong and beautiful.
While I chatted with him, hubby snuck off around the mill floor snapping photos. I was absolutely enthralled with his talk, he knew so much! I got to see all the different fibres he spun and the dyeing process. I fondled so many skeins, he asked if I was enjoying myself. Immensely was my breathy answer!

I was like a kid in a candy store. if I could choose a profession, right now this would be it. I thought it was the most fascinating thing I had ever seen, the transformation of sheepy woolly roving into beautiful, clean crisp dyed knitty loveliness.

Here is the skeining machine that they use to wind their massive rolls of yarn into user friendly sized skeins.

The bouclé winding machine was hidden away at the back of the mill:

I was looking at this machine and thinking, if only I could knit faster then there'd be no need to skein this stuff, just crank on the machine & I'd create loveliness as it went! (in my dreams of course)
So here's a few gratuitous pretty pics that John took as he wandered unmonitored around the place. He was really good at sneaking around while the tour guide was distracted by my endless stream of questions:
This is the river outside the mill that used to run the equipment. The mill guy (I'm so sorry I can't remember his name) recalled having to clear out the weeds from the river every Spring to get the machinery going.

And some more random mill pr0n pictures:

I swear I could have happily have given up everything and just moved right in there. The smell of yarn, dye & machine oil along with age was just so alluring and romantic (if yarn can be romantic). I left so filled of family heritage and history. It was the best day.
I think I have already blogged the yarn that I bought there, (and some I have sneakily pre-ordered from their next dye batch)
If not, I shall post it next time.
So if anyone is coming to Ireland any time soon, or anyone living here, you simply MUST visit this place. It's only an hour and a half outside Dublin, and the best day trip I've ever been on.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Where do I begin?

I've got just loads to blog about, but I'll never get a post out if I try to do it all in one post. I've decided to split it into two posts, so here's part 1!

We had a lovely week in Dungarvan last week. The weather was good and we had some nice days out, including a trip to Cushendale Woollen Mills (to come in part 2)

So, here's my knitting progress for the week.
I finished the Hemlock Ring Blanket:

Pattern: Hemlock Ring Blanket from
Yarn: Cascade 220, a smidge under 3 skeins
Needles: 6mm Addi Click
This pattern used Emily Ochers (sp?) cast on for the centre, which I'm not really happy with. There's a bit of a lump in the middle, but I don't think my friend will notice :)
It also called for 6mm dpns for the beginning of it, which I didn't have so I improvised and used two sets of 6mm interchangeable 6mm tips. I always knew having two sets of interchangeables would come in handy!

Johns Plain Ol Sock progresses:

I've actually since turned the heel and am on the foot of this one since I took this picture. Grand plain ol stocking stitch. Perfect for whipping out anywhere.

My Summit shawl got some attention too:

I've completed one repeat of both curves. 10 more to go! I'm enjoying this knit immensely, it's really entertaining and interesting to do.

Just before I went on hols, I entered a competition on UnderMeOxter's blog. It was a treasure hunt, and great fun to enter. It took me a while, but I got there, and won a prize which arrived today:

Some fabulous Rowan Colourscape Chunky in deliciously rich colours. And she included Easter choccies! I just love Mini Eggs, just enough chocolate for me that won't give me a migraine. NOM. Thanks so much! I just love it.

It couldn't have arrived on a better day, either. Dad went into hospital today to prepare for his tests on Thursday. At 6am this morning my phone rang and it was my brother. He had come up to stay with Mam while Dad is in hosp, and he rang to tell me Mam & Dad were burgled last night. Some scumbag had taken out the kitchen window. My brother reckons he disturbed them, as they got nothing and the house was barely touched, as if they had just broken in. Thank God they didn't go upstairs to my Mam & Dad in bed. That doesn't bear thinking about.
I had to take the day off and go round.
So poor Dad was leaving for the hospital as I was dealing with the fingerprint police and Mam was wailing & sobbing about him going. Not the best of days. She didn't seem to give a toss about the burglary, just that Dad was leaving.
Still, I hope they catch the creeps that did it. I know what I'd do to them if I caught them!
I went to see Dad this evening in the hosp and I think he's ok. I know he's worrying about the house, but I got the window temporarily repaired and dealt with the insurance company so that re-assured him a bit. Plus my brother will be sleeping with an iron bar tonight!

Surely this will be the end of the crappy news for a while??

Sunday 4 April 2010


If I'm quick, I can squeeze in one last blog post before I go. It's almost 8.45am and I'm sneaking round the house so I can get this done before anyone else gets up.

Here's my progress on the Hemlock Ring Blanket:

A really quick and easy knit, although the no. of stitches are getting large on the needles now. I'm onto round 42 of the feather & fan chart and have 408 sts on the needles at the moment. This is expected to increase up to 472 before the bind off begins.
I also gave in last night and cast on for the Summit shawl:

I love it so far, a really interesting construction. And the Malabrigo lace? Oh my, it's like knitting with butter, seriously it's that soft. It's very sticky though, so I don't fancy my chances if I have to rip back at any stage. Dropping the stitches down is hard enough, I have to separate the stitch from the bar every time, it just gets stuck there. Almost like shetland wool.
Speaking of shetland wool, motivation is a great thing. I had no spare needles for the Summit as it is knit on 3.5mm needles too (what IS it with every freaking project I want to make being on 3.5mm??) so I finished the second sleeve of the colourwork yoke sweater! I ploughed along with it telling myself it was so I could knit the yummy shawl.
So, I'm now ready to join the sleeves and start the yoke! Yipee!
Of course I can't decide what knitting to bring with me, so sod it, I'm bringing the lot. Luggage space is not an issue. I'm bringing the Summit, Hemlock Ring, Johns boring socks, Myrtle Leaf Shawl & maybe the Colourwork sweater, although on second thoughts maybe not. I've no needles for it anyway!
Have a great week everyone and cross your fingers for me that the sun will shine.