Quick Hat For The Simon Community

warm and woolly

The Olann and Warm + Woolly Campaign for The Simon Community is in full swing.  There are shops and businesses getting involved and signing up to be ‘Drop Off Points’, there are library’s up and down the country popping up campaign posters and we’ve even been on the radio.  Not that I managed to hear it though, as my broadband was awful on the day 😦

Anyway, as some of you probably already know, I’ve been involved in the odd charity knitting campaign in the past and as a result have written a few, easy knit patterns, that are listed on the pattern page here.  (must tidy them up now and make them all uniformly me as Leftfootdaisy).

Quick Chunky Hats
Quick Chunky Hats

One of them, The Quick Chunky Hat, was originally used for our Chernobyl Children’t Trust collection.  I opted for a standard chunky yarn, for a couple of reasons.  The first –  it’s mighty cold in Belarus and chunky hats tend to be cosier.  Secondly, double knit yarn tends to be the most popular weight here in Ireland and if you hold two strands together when knitting, it makes a chunky = Great for using up your ends.

Going back to my original pattern with fresh eyes, so to speak, it occurred to me that the addition of a longer band, might be more beneficial when it comes to keeping out the cold.  Ears are more delicate and therefore sensitive to the cold, so a folded band would add extra warmth, where it’s needed.  The longer band also gives the individual a couple of options on how to wear the hat, depending on what they find most comfortable.

evolve

Those lovely people over at Thomas B. Ramsden (they distribute the yarns from Robin, Wendy, Twilleys and Erika Knight), gave me a couple of balls of Evolve Chunky from Wendy in different shades, for the magazine and I wanted to make good use of the remaining yarn.

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Each 100g ball of Evolve Chunky contains a generous 180 metres/197 yards of yarn.  The fibre composition is 10% Alpaca, 50% Wool, 40% Acrylic, which when knitted to the recommended tension of 14 stitches to 20 rows on 6.5mm needles, produces a lovely, light, warm fabric ideal for most projects.  There are 10 shades of Evolve Chunky available, each with it’s own subtle changing tones and should you want to investigate further there are some lovely patterns available to support the yarn too.

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I’ll update the pattern when I get a minute, but if you do want to knit this hat in the meantime.  It’s the largest size and everything is the same except at the beginning I ribbed for 21 rows instead of 7, which then means you have to work until the hat measures 9 inches before you begin to work the crown shaping.

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I’m pretty sure I have enough left to knit a second hat too, maybe I’ll stripe it with some of the blue?

Before I go…..

Did you notice that my URL has changed?

I’m now officially fibrestrumpet.com on the interweb (thanks to Shane, Dina’s beau).

💖

 

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On The Road

culture

Since my last post it’s been all go again.

Last Friday, the 18th, was Cuture Night, with loads of events taking place all over the country and abroad between the hours of 5-11pm.  There was so much going on it was hard to choose where to go and sadly it was for one night only, but wool will always win.  So Deirdre and I drove to Dublin for an evening of fibre fun.  I said we drove, but what I really mean is Deirdre drove and I got to sit and knit which was great and much needed 👍

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Lovely Culture Night Folk Drumming Up Support

So what can I tell you about Friday?  Well we ate, listened to some buskers, met loads of really interesting people and……

I can’t tell you that can I?

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It’s magazine stuff 😉

Having got back to Lismore in the wee small hours, I managed to squeeze in some zzz’s before heading into Cork City on Saturday morning.  My mission – to seek out and find people whose wares we wanted to know more about.

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No visit to Cork City is complete without a visit to the English Market to purchase a few supplies and the odd treat 😋 Coconut chocolate anyone?

Having found what I was after, which took much longer than planned and meant I missed my monthly meeting of The Spinners, Weavers and Dyers Guild (naughty, naughty), I headed off to Kinsale for yet more detective work.

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Having never been to Kinsale before, I was charmed by it’s little winding streets and rows of quirky shops.  The sun was shining down and all was good with the world.

Again, I have to keep everything to myself.  Sshhh, it’s a secret.

Fair’s fair, I’ve been so caught up in ‘Olann and’ work, that I’ve barely found time to spend fibre crafting.  That is of course if you don’t count the two hours I spent knitting in the car 😁  So today, I promised myself I’d take an hour, yes a whole hour and do a little spinning, as I’ve barely managed to do any more since my post about Buttercup eons ago.

I cued up Paul Simon’s Greatest Hits on my IPod, moved the chair under the office window, so I could bask under the Septemmber sun and got comfortable (so did Buttercup) and I continued spinning up the brown fibre I’m practising with.  It wasn’t long before the timer on my phone was chiming to let me know an hour had passed 😦

I’m really pleased with the results though 💗

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I managed to spin this much yarn 💗 💗

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and it would seem, I’m a default fine spinner too 💗 💗 💗

I kept trying to make my yarn thicker, but I just couldn’t maintain the consistency.  So fine it is.  I’ll just have to ply more strands together if I need a thicker yarn?

As an added bonus, I’m sure to get a little knitting in tonight too.  I’m meeting up with some knitterly friends for tea, cake and laughter, what more can a girl want?  I know, Dina (my daughter), will be there too 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖

Happy Knitting!

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Not a Lot of Fibre Love

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I’m in desperate need of some time alone with my needles 😦

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It’s probably no surprise that my life over the last week has looked mostly like this

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and this

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and this.

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With very little of this.

Luckily, that’s all about to change, as tomorrow I’m off to Bangor in Wales for a few days and it will be fibre fun all the way.  I’m actually going over to spend a few days learning about Saori weaving at Rosie Green’s studio SAORImor, so be prepared to be bored to death on my return.  In addition to the weaving I’m planning on filling some of my free time with some much needed knitting time and listening to some audio books 🙂

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In the meantime, I wanted to say a very big thank you to everyone for their kind thoughts, best wishes, cards, flowers, wine, chocolates and other assorted goodies.  I now need to go on a diet and begin a strenuous exercise regime to shed the pounds.

Happy Knitting!

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Toasty & Textured

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I feel like I’ve wasted so much time this week trying to post here, Ravelry and Facebook without any success because our internet has been so poor 😡  So the first thing I did when I arrived at the shop this morning was upload lots of photos to store in my various media libraries, ready for the next few posts.  I also managed to get the pattern for my latest hat Toasty & Textured up on Ravelry at last too ⭐

The hat is knitted in 1×1 moss stitch with Rico Essentials Big on 7mm needles.  I’ve also knitted up a couple with Rico Flame and will try and persuade Dina, to let me take a photo or two 😉 at the weekend to post here.

January can be a difficult month for some after the extravagances and the build up of the festive season, even the most positive among us can feel like the wind has been knocked out of us a little.  I’m fortunate in that Dina’s birthday is on the 16th, which gives us something to enjoy and this year she’ll be 25!!!  So to ♥celebrate♥ I’ve made the pattern for Toasty & Textured free to download until the end of the month with the coupon code 25. 

Be sure to enter 25 before you checkout and remember to share you’re projects so we can see.   The hat is super speedy to knit and will work for both men and women.  I’m hoping to find a couple of sneaky hours to have a play with combining some of my stash yarns and will post photos of the results here if they work.

Happy Knitting!

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December Chill

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Following on from my Ophelia post, a good few of you asked about the pattern for the hat Dina was wearing.  Ever organised 😕 I obviously had the pattern written up.  To be fair I did, but it was on Post-it Notes rather than on the computer and it was no where near ready for anyone else to have a look at.

Since then it’s been typed up, test knitted and corrected and is now up on Ravelry Here for €2 but it’s free to download on Ravelry until Midnight on Christmas Day with the checkout code Ophelia.  (Enter it before you checkout.)

It only took the one ball and a couple of hours to knit up and should work with most chunky yarns or even 2 strands of double knit yarn held together like this one.

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I used 2 strands of King Cole Galaxy Double Knit.

Happy Knitting!

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StashBot

stashbot

 

What is StashBot?

Flipping Fantastic! That’s what.

I follow Hannah Fettig aka KnitBot on Instagram and reccently saw a post to announce that she had released her Stashbot idea as an app for IOS.  Originally, you could purchase Stashbot as a paper version from woolly stockists but the app version takes it to a whole new level of portability.

So what can Stashbot do?

Basically, Stashbot has been developed to make it easier for you to work out the average yarn requirements for certain, everyday garments in different sizes.

 

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Searching stitches per 10cm

 

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Searching stitches per inch

 

 

The first thing to note is that it’s based on tension/guage in other words the number of stitches knitted per inch or per 10cm’s.  For example a standard aran weight yarn will knit to a tension of 18 stitches per 10cm’s or 4.5 stitches per inch.

Please note – that if you are using cm’s your yarn requirements will be displayed in metres and if you’re using stitches per inch it will be shown in yards.

Using this tension we can then check how much yarn on average, it will take to knit our chosen project in stocking stitch.  The app suggests that you should reference the next size up for more textured knits.

At present the projects include

  • Vest/Shrug
  • Cropped sweater, 3/4 sleeve
  • Average length sweater
  • Long sweater/tunic
  • Hat
  • Mittens
  • Scarf/shawl/infinity cowl
  • Socks

There is an extensive range of sizes included on the app.

  • Sweaters in sizes from 16″ to 62″
  • Hats, mittens and socks from baby to XL adult
  • Scarves in small, medium and large and

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Here you can see that if I wanted to knit a tunic for your average size two year old, with my standard aran weight tension, I’m going to need approximately 360 metres of yarn.  As I want to add a bit of texture with some moss stitch and maybe the odd cable I look to the next size up, this advises that my project will take 420 metres.  I have 600 metres of yarn to use up, so looking at the requirements for a hat for myself I can see that I should easily be able to complete both projects.  To be on the safe side I’d knit the sweater first though 😉

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The lovely people at Stashbot welcome questions and feedback and have even incorporated a ‘contact us’ button at the top of the page.  I, being my usual annoying self, found myself contacting the Stashbot team almost immediately to champion the addition of a super chunky, 9 stitches to 10cm tension.  I’m happy to say I received a reply within a couple of hours to say they were already working on possible updates, yay!

I wonder if they’ll include a crochet element too?

Unfortunately, for those of you non iphone people, the app is currently only available on IOS but there is an email subscription that you can sign up to for notification when the app becomes available on Android here.

Stashbot costs $4.99 to download from the itunes Store.

I LOVE IT!

Happy Knitting!

 

 

Following Blogs – A New Obsession

blo

I’ve always been fond of looking at pretty pictures of things that people have made, what’s not to like?  Recently though it’s fair to say I’ve become more than a little obsessed with looking at people’s creations.

First there was Pinterest, well actually there’s still Pinterest and then there’s Instagram.  I’m a massive fan, never really one to grasp the concept of Twitter, I completely get Instagram.  It’s so easy to swipe my way through other people’s photos on my phone and I love commenting on the beautiful things people have made or are trying out.  I’m happy to share my pics too and whilst it’s mostly of my knitting or crochet, I also post photos of my baking, travels, odds & sods and of course my family (they’re the odds and sods ;-0)  I find it a great way of communicating with people whether I know them personally or not.

Now though, I’ve gone and installed the Bloglovin app on my phone and I can’t stop trying to find new blogs to read.  Between Bloglovin, Instagram and Pinterest I’ve become hooked and could merrily spend a large portion of my day sussing out new ideas and then use the rest of the day playing.  Who needs to work, feed the family, dust (I only ever dust what I can see anyway and I’m a little, shall we say,  vertically challenged).

The blogs I’m loving at the moment are

Annie’s Place  Sharron’s blog is full of pretty photos with crochet and baking thrown in.

Attic 24 Lucy is the crochet queen.  Her blog is a riot of colour and family fun.

Brooklyn Tweed  So I can drool over the knitted heaven that is Brooklyn Tweed, they’re new BT Kids patterns are soo yummy.

Cherry Heart Sandra’s blog is full to bursting with crochet, knitting, sewing, weaving and baking.

Dada’s Place Dragna’s blog is crochet heaven

Everything Etsy  is areally cool blog, packed with ideas and tutorials for you to have a go at anything & everything.

Fiber Flux Jennifer’s blog contains lots of lovely, free crochet & knitting patterns

Handmade Charlotte A great place to find things to do with your kids and as a family

Heart Handmade UK All things crafty, shabby chic and inspiring.

Hopscotch Lane Becky’s blog is full of pretty photos of crochet & lots more.  She has an Etsy shop too.

Little Woollie Jules blogs about her crafty adventures & family life.

Mollie Makes – An extension of their magazine

My Hobby is Crochet Lots of crochet goodies

Oh She Glows Meat free recipes, many of which are vegan too

P.S. I Made This This blog has a litle of everything from fashion to craft

Sarah London Crochet beauty

Sew Scrumptious Sewing, sewing tutorials and home of the pillowcase dress charity initiative.

Simple Fare, Fairly Simple Valerie’s blog is full of yummy recipes.

Simply Notable A little bit of everything here and it’s where the pattern for the washcloths comes from too.

Simply Recipes Elsie’s blog does exactly what it says on the tin.

Smitten Kitchen More recipes

Sweet Beet and Green Beans Recipe time again

Tatertots and Jello Jen’s creative blog has some really cool ideas

Thrums Susan’s blog is a wealth of information on weaving

Tin Can Knits Because I just love all things Tin Can Knits

Weave Away Amanda’s weaving blog, lots of lovely weaving ideas.

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I’m never short of ideas now, just time.

This is a blog recipe from Oh She Glows.  It’s the Green Goddess Dressing which I discovered and thought I’d try.  I like my dressings a bit thicker so I didn’t use a s much water as specified.

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Dolloped it over my salad and gave it a good toss around.

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Happy to report it went rather well with my dinner of Quorn, spicy rice and peas and I’m not usually a fan of advocado.

If you’re stuck for inspiration go and have a look at some of the blogs I’ve mentioned and if you think there’s one I’d be interested in reading let me know so I can check it out.

Happy Knitting!

 

Granny Square Scarf For Dina

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You might have noticed I’ve gone a little crochet mad of late, I’m not even sure why to tell the truth.  I am and always will be a knitter and it kind of feels like I’m having a bit of an affair really.

The crochet is quick, instant colour gratification and in my case, used mostly for items of frippery.

This scarf for Dina, my daughter (she shows up here quite regularly and is equally obsessed by woolly things – she’s been infected) came about when I was helping a customer to select colours for a crochet blanket project.

The aforementioned customer ended up choosing a more pastel combination I’d grouped together whilst I found myself fit to burst with the need to crochet these five up.

Casting the bookwork aside (any excuse)  I set to work on a granny square, still not sure what it would end up being.

I made a couple more squares and it dawned on me that a summer scarf was the way to go.

 

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First dilemma = How many squares?

It’s a summer scarf so it’s not really for warmth (hopefully).  Originally I thought 15, but after trying it on several times I opted for 13.  Each square is roughly 5″ x 5″ so the scarf is approximately 65″ long.

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Using all these colours unfortunately equals a lot of ends to sew in and I even found myself taking it to bed on one occasion, refusing to go to sleep until they were all done.

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Not too bad a job, even if I do say so myself.

Second dilemma = How to join the squares?

I could have sewn the squares together through the back loops only, mattress stitched them, over stitched them but instead I chose to crochet them together using double crochet.

This has created a beautiful ridge which defines each square and also ads a little weight to the front of the scarf.  Hopefully it will also mean it sits the right way out when worn.

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More ends to sew again, this time whilst waiting in the car for my youngest to come out after school.  This time I refused to drive off until I’d finished. (my poor family)

I’m really happy with the finished scarf and it took very little yarn.  Hopefully my beautiful daughter won’t mind me taking a pic or two of her wearing it for me to share here.  In the meantime I’ve had to use a chair to drape it over.

What do you think?

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Happy Knitting!

Crochet’s fine too though 😉