Glorious Sunny Sunday Afternoon

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I have just got back from the most glorious dog walk on the farm, I was so warm and cosy, that it’s quite difficult to think of it as December.  Cuppa brewed and Gluten Free Hobnob at the ready, it’s time for a little blog update, with Spotify for musical accompaniment.

At this time of the year I should really be listening to Christmas songs, but it feels more like a Mamas & Papas sort of day, with the December sun shining through my office windows.

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Revealing My Knitting

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The madness has abated round here again at least for a little while now the second issue of Olann and is out there, floating around for all to see.

I’m happy, Deirdre’s happy, we hope you’re happy too (sorry I realised I was listening to David Bowie, when I wrote this).  I imagine our friends and family are slightly worried they’ll be the next to get a call to model for us.  A g♥♥d friend has already been persuaded to lend us a child or two and we’re going to be looking for a volunteer or two, later at knitting group.  (Ssh, don’t tell any of them yet 😉 they might decide not to come)

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If you’ve seen the second issue, you’ll know I’ve been incredibly busy knitting and although I shared snippets, I wasn’t able to reveal my work before hand.  I knitted the silver grey sample of Patricia Cox’s Sunset Cardigan for the photographs in the magazine.  It’s actually a lovely pattern, with it’s detailed stitch panels, complimented by smooth stocking stitch.  It was great to knit, the pattern has been extremely well written by Patricia, with a lot of care and attention to detail.  Little things like the few rows of short row shaping around the neck, really help the whole garment sit much better.

The eagle eyed among you, will notice that I worked the decreases to create an obvious raglan line as I favour that look.  Having used a solid shade in place of the beautiful Soft Donegal tweed Patricia used in her original, it also adds a little more detail.

wool

The yarn itself, Sublime Extra Fine Merino Worsted  was a pleasure to knit with.  It’s smooth construction, meant it just slipped through my fingers and as you can see, it knits with great stitch definition and produces a fabric with a lovely drape and bounce to it.

 

barbara

The other knitting I’d been busy beavering away on, was the Turners Cross Cable Twist hat, one of my own designs.  I knew what I wanted to make, having drawn some rough sketches out and armed with Barbara G. Walker’s Pattern Treasury books, I got down to some swatching.

shane

Several samples and two and a half hats later, plus one test knit (thank you to my good friend Dr. Sock), I was satisfied with the design, except I wasn’t.  Having had the shop for 10 years and spoken to literally thousands of knitters during that time, I know the majority of knitters still prefer to knit flat.  However, there are a good few of us now that enjoy knitting in the round, myself included.  So I re-worked the pattern to include the instructions for knitting the hat in the round using circular or double pointed needles.

celtic

Those of you that know me, know I love Tivoli Celtic Aran, see the review here if you don’t believe me.  It’s an extremely underrated yarn, it’s a fantastic workhorse yarn, that is till 100% wool, doesn’t cost the earth, wears well and feels lovely.  I’d love to see more colours available, but that’s only going to happen if everyone jumps on my Tivoli Celtic Aran bandwagon.

Anyway, it worked up just lovely for the hat, the stitches look great, especially the slipped stitch cable, which sits raised up proudly on the knitted fabric.  It’s warm, woolly, easy to wear and will keep your head nice and snug.

In case you’re wondering about the name?

It’s because the handsome fellow (Shane), wearing it in the photographs for the magazine is from Turners Cross in Cork City of course 🙂

There has also been more knitting….

socks

New socks, that I finished yesterday evening.  What a great way to round off a very good day ♥♥♥

I’m hoping to get a little weaving in today, after some more work.  Hope you get to spend some time doing what you love too.

Happy crafting!

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Exciting News

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Well I’m excited anyway.

You might remember I’d said I was up to something when I closed the shop?

Well I was and……

Drum roll please

Olann and

My very good friend Deirdre and I are happy to announce the upcoming lauch of ‘Olann and‘ an online fibre magazine focusing on the Irish market.

We’re busy working on the first issue at the moment and it’s due out the third week of November…. yippee!

Expect loads of fibre, yarn and crafty goodness and we’d love to hear your ideas too.

You can find us in the following places so far, with more to come soon, including a blog 🙂

Instagram = @olannandmagazine

Pinterest = olannand 

Facebook = Olann and

Twitter = @olannand

We’d love to have as many of you on board, so be sure to come and join us.

Happy Fibre Crafting!

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Book Review – Centenary Stitches

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After spotting a write up on Centenary Stitches in issue 83 of The Knitter, I knew I’d have to add a copy to my library.

Centenary Stitches is a beautiful book of vintage knitting and crochet patterns, re-worked from traditional garments and patterns for the feature film Tell Them Of Us, a film based on World War One solider Robert Crowder who died whilst serving in the army in 1917.  The film tells the story from the point of those he left behind in the small village of Thimbleby in Lincolnshire.

Despite many of the records from WW1 being lost or damaged, Robert’s family had held his memory dear and kept a remarkable archive of unpublished material, enough to make a film with.  The film goes some way towards exploring the shocking reality of living ‘normal’ every day life then being thrown into the terror and torment of war.

Elizabeth Lovick, volunteered her services when Pauline Loven, the costumer for the film put out a request on Ravelry to find help re-creating a knitted jacket as worn by the original Grace Crowder(Robert’s sister) and which was typical of the period.

lace

Elizabeth in case you don’t know, is a knitwear designer specialising in traditional Shetland Lace designs.  Her book The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting provides a beautiful reference for anyone interested in lace stitches and the beautiful pieces that can be made using them.

From this single design, sprang over 70 garments for the film and subsequent book of patterns, which was a collaboration of over a hundred knitters from across the UK and USA.  The patterns are for children and adults, garments and accessories.  There’s even a dog coat and a set of baby reins (I know some people frown on the use of these, we’ll save that for another day).

In addition to the fabulous patterns, there is a lovely description of the village of Thimbeleby written by Pauline Loven, who also talks about the WAG film making group and what’s involved in being their costumier.  Elizabeth Lovick has included a brief history of knitting in WW1 and the challenges faced in translating vintage knitting patterns.

Most importantly, there is a little history of Robert Crowder written by his Great Nephew – Robert Holland, including excerpts from letters written by Robert’s brother William Crowder, to the historian Peter Liddle about his war experiences and some much cherished family photos.

cosy coat

Of the 70 or so patterns it’s difficult to chose ‘favourites’ as I’m actually quite smitten with lots of them. If pressed, I’d have to go with Cosy Cat by Alison Casserly which is a short crochet waistcoat, worked in aran weight yarn.

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The Rough & Ready Cardigan by Judith Brodnicki is an extremely versatile aran weight cardigan for both children and adults.

waistcoat

Judith is also the designer of William’s Waistcoat, which is a great aran weight knit, that I know my hubby would love (Christmas maybe?).

wrap

The Mersey Wrap translated from a Fleicher’s Knitting & Crochet Manual by Tina Kinnar and knitted in double knit yarn is simplicity at it’s best.

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The garment that started all of this – Grace’s Jacket by Elizabeth Lovick,is truly beautiful.  Elegant, whilst utilitarian and  Knitted in double knit yarn, I can’t wait to find some time to get working on it.

Definitely a book worth having, you can purchase it in traditional ‘paper’ format or as a digital download.  To have a look at all of the designs included in the book, follow the link here for the Ravelry patterns page.

Happy Knitting!

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