Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Finished Knit - Embellished Toddler Hat (aka The Small Human Cosy)

Over the last week or two, I've been trying to force myself out of a knitless slump. By... well, knitting. A really wonderfully dotey tea cosy picture shared by SpillyJane Knits on twitter gave me the boot up the arse that I needed to get knitting. Specifically a dotey Small Human cosy.

The hat is knit in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino leftovers from a while ago. It is knit in reverse stocking stitch with columns of slipped stitches.

I used embroidery floss from A Rubanesque and buttons from This is Knit as embellishment.

It's been quite a long while since I have attempted embroidery; I made little effort to keep the stitches uniform, and kinda fudged some stitches I vaguely remember using in my pre-teen years. I'm happy with the results, and it has enough growing room for another Autumn/Winter season.

Of course, I now feel the need to embellish All The Things.

Thanks to Spilly Jane for sharing the pictures of her wonderful tea cosy.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Finished Knits - Stripes!

For the last month or so I've been so preoccupied with knits and painting walls and various other things in preparation for a certain second birthday that I've completely forgotten about sharing the knits!

First up, Colour Affection by Veera Valimaki.
Considering how popular this pattern has been, I'm surprised I lasted this long without knitting one. 
This was a good stash buster, until I decided that a stronger contrast colour (the pink) would suit better. The light blue - Shades of Cashmere's cobweb weight - has been in my stash for at least 6 years, so I'm relieved to finally make something with it. Held double, it worked really well with LHogan's Merino Lace (dark blue - another stash yarn) & Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace in Fuchsia. 

The recipient was delighted, and I am feeling the urge to make more Colour Affections. I do hear it's rather addictive...

Next up, a striped cardigan for The Small Human, of my own devising. I used Wendy Merino DK in grey, with Schoppel Wolle Zauberball, which I had plied together for a thicker yarn, taking care to match up the colours. I'm pleased with the distribution of the colour stripes in the cardigan, and even more pleased with the almost-rainbow buttons I picked up in This is Knit to match. 

I wanted to make the most of the available yarn for this cardigan, and finished with just a few metres to spare, but it is just a *little* big on her. She will grow into it, eventually!

Friday, March 13, 2015

New Pattern Release: Concentric Collection

I am delighted to announce the release of three new patterns! The Concentric Collection consists of three cowls, inspired by the Bronze Age gold gorgets in the collection of the National Museum of Ireland, and knit in Dublin Dye Company yarns. 

To celebrate the launch, and Dublin Dye Company’s stall at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, these patterns are available to download for free until 8pm GMT on Sunday 15th March. From the 16th of March, they will be available for sale at 3euro each, or in e-book format for 6 euro. The e-book features more information & hand-drawn illustrations of the gorgets that inspired the knitwear.

Gleninsheen Gorget - from A History of Ireland in 100 Objects

In reinterpreting these beautiful objects, I have focussed on the horizontal lines that dominate the collars, expressing this repetition through a variety of textured stitches. 

Gleninsheen Cowl was designed to display the subtle shifting of colours in Dublin Dye Merino DK’s semi-solid Old Gold. It is knit back & forth, & is finished with i-cord button bands. It consists of bands of stocking stitch with raised horizontal cords.
download now

Toryhill Cowl was designed to emphasis the fullness of Dublin Dye’s Merino DK in purple. It is shaped with short rows, and can be worn gathered around the neck or pulled down over the shoulders. The body of the cowl is begun with a provisional cast on. It is knit flat, in a combination of garter stitch & slipped stitches. The ends are grafted together & stitches are picked up around the neck for the threaded stitch border, which is finished with an i-cord bind off.
download now

Borrisnoe Cowl is knit in Dublin Dye’s Alpaca Lace yarn in Clear. The yarn is held double throughout, for a lightweight  fabric with beautiful drape. The cowl is knit flat, & features cables, with increases along the length. The knitting is pleated & then finished with a series of horizontal cords before sewing the ends together. 
Dublin Dye Merino DK is a wonderful yarn; it has great stitch definition & stood up very well to multiple attempts at swatching & ripping out. I will certainly be planning more projects with it in the near future. 

Dublin Dye Alpaca Lace is another firm favourite; held double, the yarn makes a much more substantial fabric that is still lightweight & with beautiful drape. The slight halo of the yarn disguises the individual strands, & the fabric is lovely & warm. (I am writing this on a cold windy day!)

I've really enjoyed producing these patterns; working with Dublin Dye Company has been a great pleasure, and I've had an excuse to indulge my not-so-inner pre-history nerd.

The patterns are available to download now.  

Thanks to Dublin Dye Company for yarn support & pattern feedback, and thanks to A.C. for invaluable proof reading. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Slow knitting - and visits to the library!

I've been struggling with putting together this blog post for a few days. After spending January racing through quite a few small & quick knits, I'm working on two large accessories knit in lace weight. It's hard to share something interesting or exciting about literal kilometres of yarn in a big tangle. 

 But I have been to the local library, which has the usual delightful early 80s knitting shenanigans...

(From The Knitting Book, with Introduction by Una Stubbs)

... and some delightfully modern and informative publications. I've only just had an hour or so of actual reading time with Clara Parkes' The Knitters Book of Wool  (while trapped under a napping toddler) and I *love* it. This book has the perfect blend of information with amusing language. I want to go and knit all the sheep breeds now. I just hope that I actually get to read the whole book!

I've only just joined the local library recently, and am delighted that it's already a favourite place to visit for the small human. She enjoys picking out books for Daddy to read at home too. We read books, sometimes talk to the other small children & the librarians, we don't have to worry about the weather, and it's just a nice place to be! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sunny but cold!

At the weekend, we spent a couple of hours at the Botanic Gardens. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, perfect for squirrel spotting, and toddling up & down hills looking for pine cones. It was also cold.
So cold that the pond was entirely frozen over. These pine cones resting on the ice are probably left over from someone's attempt to break that ice.
This was also the perfect opportunity to show off our new matchy-matchy hats! After knitting one Epistropheid for myself, I felt the need to knit more.
Mine was knit in Jamie Possum DK (blue) and Jamie Possum 4 ply held double (off-white). I knit the large size as written (I have a big head).
The Mini-hat was knit in Debbie Bliss Rialto DK (white) and Fyberspates Vivacious DK (Blue).
I cast on enough stitches to knit one repeat less than the small size of the pattern.
The Mister-hat was knit in Brown Sheep Wildfoot held double (black) and in Wendy Merino DK.
I knit the brim in 2x2 ribbing for about 12 rows; used the stitch count of the large size for the body of the hat, and started knitting from the 'm' size starting point in the chart to accommodate the longer brim.

I did consider pompoms for all, but I do love the pattern over the crown, & didn't want to hide it. Also, it's hard enough to keep a hat on a toddler without the extra weight of a pompom.

The Mini & Mister hats are in soft, machine washable fibres, so I think they'll get plenty of wear.... assuming the toddler doesn't grow too much, and that the mister doesn't lose his (there's a history...). The possum yarn is extremely warm with a very obvious halo; perfect for the frosty days we've been having but I suspect it will be a bit too warm & prickly before long.

I might just have to knit myself another.....

Monday, January 19, 2015


I've lost the run of myself in the last week or two, casting on All. The. Things. 
There have been quite a few baby hats (two beautiful babies were born to friends in the last month).  

Most of the hats have involved lots of stocking stitch; great for knitting along to subtitled tv programmes. And if there is an opportunity to add a pom-pom, all the better!

Doodie by Woolly Wormhead in Debbie Bliss Rialto. In the largest size.
Doodie by Woolly Wormhead. I accidentally omitted a round of increases just after the brim, but this helps the pom-pommed hat stay on! Also in Debbie Bliss Rialto
Tubey by Woolly Wormhead in Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran, and Katia Darling which I had chain plied.

Cubba by Woolly Wormhead in Debbie Bliss Rialto
Aviatrix Hat by Justine Turner in Debbie Bliss Rialto

It turns out that the pom-pommed hat intended for my small human is too slouchy to bear the weight of the pom pom and stay on her little head. More knitting required!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New year, old yarn

It's a whole week into the new year & I'm only getting around to the 'resolutions' post... doesn't bode well, does it? This January (and possibly February) I want to focus on using up or clearing out unappreciated items, & stick to the existing yarn & fabric stash.

First up, garments;
Plain and Simple pullover, in Nature Spun Fingering. 
I gave up knitting this while pregnant, figuring that it probably wouldn't fit me by the time I finished it. My tension seems to have changed in the last year, so I think I'll rip it & start again. 

Dark Pearl cardigan in alpaca select 4 ply.
I'm not happy with the way the front gathers & drapes - probably due to my selection of alpaca rather than a silk blend yarn. I think I will rip the front & knit it again, with less excess fabric for gathering. 

February Lady Sweater in Lambs' Pride Worsted.
The garter stitch yoke just makes this look chunky & unflattering. I intend to rip this out &  use the yarn to make the Golden Wheat cardigan. 

I have a couple of projects on the go that were specifically intended to use up leftovers. 
The Barn Raising Quilt uses up leftovers of sock yarn. I have made enough squares for a small blanket and have sewn together some of them, but still, no blanket!

I've also have a collection of hats made from scraps & partial balls (no pattern). I need to weave in about a million ends with these, and then rehome the finished hats.

I suspect that the small human may have her own ideas about these hats - she wouldn't get me get a clear photo of them!

Happy New Year! I hope the rest of you have set achievable goals, if any!