Saturday 24 September 2011


(Picture taken from

It's with a heavy heart that I announce I'm moving home. I'm going to try WordPress for a bit and see how it works out. I've been finding it increasingly difficult to work with Blogger over the last while, particularly with images. It's so slow adding images that magazine reviews in particular have been taking me days to do. 

So, I hope you'll all change your blog reader links, and come visit me in my new home at!

Friday 16 September 2011

Tweedy Goodness

Tweed. Yum. I love tweed, especially when it's Irish yarn. Alice's Rossbeg is flying along, I cast off the body this evening. Here's the back:

And here's the front:

It's coming along great, isn't it? It fits Alice really well too. I'm delighted with it so far. Just the button bands and the sleeves to go!

Last Tuesday at knit night, one of the lovely ladies gave me this ball of Rowan Kid Silk Haze in a gorgeous shade of deep Aubergine purple:

It's a woegeous picture, it's really hard to photograph dark purple in the evening! But you get the idea. Now I have to think of something nice to knit with it! Wasn't it a lovely gift? Knitters are great. :)

Good knitting and have a great weekend!

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Contemporary Irish Knits Review

Here's a review of Carol Feller's fantastic new book, Contemporary Irish Knits. I'm excited to do this review, I'm a huge admirer of Carol's talent. Her designs are so beautiful, and are all in a fantastic range of sizes. This book was inspired by the three Irish mills left in operation and the yarns they produce. Her designs are all a modern take on what is considered traditional Irish knitting, lots of yummy cables. One of  my other favourite things about this book is that if not all, then most of the patterns are seamless. I love seamless. Sewing is not my friend :)

All photos are ©Joseph Feller and are taken from the pattern pages on Ravelry. Joseph is a fantastic photographer, the book is peppered with beautiful pictures of the mills and the Irish countryside.

Carol starts with a section on the origin of Irish knitting, and moves on to fit and gauge with an interesting section on ease.

The first mill is Kerry Woollen Mills.There's some gorgeous shots of the outside & inside of the mill and a brief history too.

The first pattern in this section is Killorglin:

I love the cable pattern, it looks really snug and warm for the colder weather. The high collar and zipper would definitely keep out the cold wind!

The next pattern is a really gorgeous skirt, Tralee:

Isn't it gorgeous? So sexy and refined. I love it. Unfortunately, not one for me to knit, but this would look just amazing on a slimmer lady. I love the small details, such as knitting it on a tighter than normal gauge so as to prevent the dreaded "butt sag" and the cables hidden in the vents at the sides of the skirt. So clever and sophisticated.

The next pattern is Listowel:

Such an adorable little bolero. This would look really pretty over a cute dress. Alice wants one for Christmas.

Next is Caherciveen:

This is a really great pattern for boys. It's hard to find patterns for older boys, most patterns seem to stop once they hit 2 or 3. As if they wouldn't wear handknits. This looks perfect for the rough and tumble of Autumn! There's a great hood on the back too.

The next section is based on yarns from Cushendale Woollen Mills. I adore Cushendale yarn, really reasonably priced and so lovely to knit with. This is my favourite section of the book. Again there's some lovely photos and a description of the mill and the yarns it produces.
The first pattern is Knockmore:

A really great mens sweater. I love the saddle shoulders and the way the stitch pattern runs all the way down the arm. I'd love to knit this for hubby. This could be his Christmas Sweater...

The next pattern is Ballyragget:

A really lovely twisted stitch hat. I love hats, so comfy and warm on cold mornings! Another definite make for me.

On we go to Dangan:
Isn't this gorgeous? I love it. It's a square blanket/shawl with a really lovely and effective feather and fan edging. So lovely. And I have the exact yarn in my stash! Begging to be knit!

This design is Belville:
This sweater is fab. Slipped stitches make the colourwork pattern which is so effective, but it's the little details I love such as the folded under hem and cuffs to make it look really neat. Just gorgeous.

Another lovely boys sweater, Ballinagree:

You'd know Carol has four boys, her boys designs are really lovely and wearable! This looks really warm and snug, and would look really smart on a little boy. The collar is really cool, but I'm not 100% sure I'd make this, there's an awful lot of reverse stockinette! If I did make it, I think I'd end up knitting it inside out so I could knit instead of purl!

The next pattern is Kilnamanagh:
Such a cute bag! I've never felted before (except by accident) so this could be a good first attempt. I'd knit this to match the purple sweater above, but then I like to be matchy matchy sometimes.

On to Donegal Yarns, best known for their fabulous tweed yarn. More lovely pictures of the mill and surrounds, with a description of the mill.

The first pattern is a star guest, Killybegs:

This pattern is beyond clever. There is no shaping, the honeycomb cable pattern does it all for you! It's such a flattering silhouette, I'm dying to make this.

It also comes with a matching beret, Bundoran:
Really cute and cheeky beret. Very dapper!

This pattern has got a lot of folks talking, Ardara:
This truly is an amazing garment. It would take a lot of commitment to knit it, but it's something that you'd wear all the time. It would be so lovely with jeans as pictured, but I think it would also look really smart over a blouse & work trousers. The colour of the yarn is just divine, too. I adore the cables in this cardigan.

The next pattern is Glengesh:

I love this. it's really dramatic with the wide cable in the centre back, but I bet it's also really snuggly and warm due to the extra fabric from the cables. Wrap this around over a nice dress and you'll be the belle of the ball! Definitely one I'm going to make.

The next pattern is Straboy:

Isn't this a fantastic picture? I love it. The sweater is amazeballs too. So intricate and traditional, yet brought smack bang up to date with the wide centre band that flows around the neck and into the hood at the back. Just brilliant.

The final pattern in this section is one I've already started knitting, Rossbeg:

So cute. Alice can't wait for me to be done so she can wear it! It's flying off the needles, a really quick and easy pattern to remember, yet really effective.

Carol moves on now to independent Irish dyers. She mentions two dyers in particular, Dublin Dye Company (facebook link) and Hedgehog Fibres, both of whom produce really lush yarns. Mmm.

Using Dublin Dye Company yarn is the Dalkey Cowl and Mitts set:

Really nice and simple cowl and mitts that would be perfect for cooler Autumn days. Great for gift giving too, they'd make a great present for someone. Squishy and warm!

Using Hedgehog Fibres, there's the Rathcooney Hat and Fingerless Mittens:

I love the cocoon stich, and the way it almost grows out of the rib that runs up the mitts and hat. Really lovely. I'd say you'd get lots of wear out of this set. I like the hat especially, it looks really snug.

So there you go! Isn't it a great book? Showcasing the best in Irish yarns and Irish design. Who said Irish knitting was all about Aran sweaters? This should convince you that arans are only scratching the surface of the vibrant knitting scene here in Ireland. Thanks so much Carol for such a great book, I'll be knitting furiously!

Good knitting!

Sunday 11 September 2011

Yarn Tasting and Book Launch

A great time was had at This Is Knit last Thursday at their annual Yarn Tasting event. It's so much fun. You get samples of all of their new season yarns along with cake, wine and fun! It was the first one I'd made it to and I loved every minute. Not only was there yarn galore, there was also the launch of Carol Fellers new book, Contemporary Irish Knits. I'd been eagerly awaiting this book for a while, I love Carol's designs.

Here's here stall, with Carol hidden in the background. The photos are not the best, I was kind of dashing round the room taking them. I didn't want to appear too stalker-like.

Carol very kindly signed my book for me. I'll do a review next post, it really is a fantastic book.
There were loads of sample garments knit using other yarns, as well as representatives of the three Irish mills. Lots and lots of eye candy. Feast your eyes!

This is only a portion of the crowd that was there, this room was packed full by the time it got started. It was great fun.

Hubby was away with work, so I had to bring Alice with me. As she did last week at the HandmAid Charity Fair, she dug in and helped out! Here she is doing her best impression of shop girl. She ran errands all evening for the shop staff.

She also got her modelling on again! Here she is with Carol, modelling her Nepal Wrap. I think I may have to get her an agent soon!

The wonderful Kate Davies was also there, and she gave a talk on her designs as well. A really lovely lady with gorgeous designs. I don't know why I don't have a picture of her, I was sure I took one. Maybe I was too busy oohing and aahing over her designs.

Of course, there was stash enhancement too! This Is Knit had blogged earlier in the week about shawl pins they had begun to stock, and I loved them. I bought this one:

Isn't it lovely? They also had magnetic ones too. Really clean and simple designs, and not too expensive.

Alice flicked through Carols book and asked me to make a cardigan for her, Rossbeg (Ravlink). How could I refuse? She's great, she loves wearing handknits. She picked out this colour herself, and I think it's going to be lovely on her:

Studio Donegal Aran Tweed in a really nice orangey/red shade. And the best bit, it was 10% off! I loves me a bargain :)

Here's my progress so far:

I swatched that night when I got home, and cast on Friday after work. It's going great at the moment, I'm at the point where I split for the sleeves. I'm loving the project so far, it's really easy to follow and the yarn is divine to knit with.

Thanks so much to This Is Knit for a fantastic evening, and especially for being so good to Alice. She really enjoyed herself, and I got to have a great time too!
Thanks Carol and Kate for bringing us great patterns, and for your interesting talks on the night.
Thanks to the Irish mills for producing such fantastic Irish yarns!

Good knitting!

Wednesday 7 September 2011

An Ethereal Girl

"Some boys kiss me
Some boys hug me
I think they're ok
If they don't buy me lots of yarn
Then I just walk away"

I couldn't resist the pun on Madonna's Material Girl. Sorry.

Hot off the needles, it's finished! The Ethereal top is finished!

What'cha all think? I'm not wild about it, but I guess it's ok. It looks nothing like I had planned it to.
The sleeves are shorter, the body is much more fitted and there's no real stitch pattern to speak of.
Pattern Deets:
I used the basic instructions from Barbara Walkers Knitting From The Top and  the rest just kind of evolved as I went along. It has a square neck, and I tried to give it an empire waistline. I placed a couple of rows of purl stitches in two bands under the bust to create that and mirrored it at the hem and sleeve ends. Then I increased both sides every 5th round to make it flare out a bit. It's a good thing I did, otherwise it would have been too tight!
Overall, I suppose it's ok, but I'm a bit disappointed if I'm honest. I should be happy as I really did wing it, and it could have been so wrong, but I had hoped it would be a bit more flattering.

Whatever the result, it's ready in time for me to wear to the yarn tasting tomorrow night at This Is Knit. It's going to be so much fun! Samples of all the new season yarns, chatting with the girls, the book launch of Carol Feller's new book Contemporary Irish Knits, an appearance by Kate Davies the designer of the famous Owls sweater and the gorgeous Paper Dolls and special offers & prizes! I cannot wait.

Good Knitting!

Monday 5 September 2011

Competition Winners

Thanks a million to everyone who commented on my last post! It was great to see what you like/don't like and what could be improved. Looks like I need to change my template, huh? I might use this as an opportunity to move to Wordpress while I'm at it. Blogger has been a bit naughty for a while now.

BUT, that's not what you're here to find out! No! You want to know who has won the goodies, right?

The Random Number Generator plucked this number out of the ether for the skein of Lisa Souza Sock! Merino yarn:

Commenter number 6! That's Two Cables and a Frapp! *Applause*

The second prize of a skein of Knit Picks Shimmer goes to:

Commenter number 2! That's Currantine! *Applause*

So, can the lovely Two Cables contact me by email at knitincATgmailDOTcom to arrange postage, and Currantine, I'll give yours to you at the yarn tasting on Thursday?

Congrats to the winners, and thanks again for celebrating my blogiversary with me. :)

Good knitting!

Monday 29 August 2011

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

(Picture taken from Searching the Inner Me)
Happy Blogiversary to me! I can't quite believe it, but I have been blogging for 4 years. From August 19 actually, but I only realised it today. Where has the time gone?

It's been a roller coaster ride of fun, not so fun and learning all the way. I've made great friends all over the world and have been privileged to share in their blogging lives too.

In honour of this auspicious birthday, I've decided to have a little bit of a giveaway! Two winners will be randomly selected from all comments left by midnight, Sunday September 4th, and they will receive either of these two lovelies:

Lisa Souza Sock! Merino in the Josephs Coat colourway. There's 560 yards of yummy 100% Merino in there, enough to make anything from socks to shawls and even mittens. I made a pair of Jared Floods scrummy Druid Mittens using just half a skein of this yarn before. Mmm.

The second offering is some lovely laceweight:

Knit Picks Shimmer in the Deep Woods colourway. 440 yards of 70% Alpaca, 30% Silk goodness. This stuff is really squishy and nom.

So, leave a comment telling me what you like best and least about my blog and if there is anything I could do to improve or anything you would like to see added and I'll pick a winner on Monday!

Good knitting!