I’m still not completely convinced by these photos. In my head, I know exactly what I’m after, but it’s not coming out quite as I’ve planned it.
I’m still not completely convinced by these photos. In my head, I know exactly what I’m after, but it’s not coming out quite as I’ve planned it.
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 👍
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?
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.
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.
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 💗
I managed to spin this much yarn 💗 💗
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 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖
I’m in desperate need of some time alone with my needles 😦
It’s probably no surprise that my life over the last week has looked mostly like this
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 🙂
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.
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.
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
There is an extensive range of sizes included on the app.
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 😉
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’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.
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.
Dolloped it over my salad and gave it a good toss around.
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.
OK, as most of you know I knit. In fact, I knit as often as I can (love me, love my knitting) and would love to be a guinea pig if they ever discover a way for you to do it in your sleep.
In addition to the knitting of other people’s patterns, I always have loads of my own ideas sloshing around in my head. Some of these make it onto scraps of paper or into notebooks and then, if I have the time, a few of them end up being tested
I’ve popped a few of these ideas up on here in the past and my Easy Lace Scarf has been quite popular. However, in an attempt to become better at this side of my business a friend suggested I take the designing to the next level.
Based on her suggestion I’ve just opened up a Pro account on Ravelry to begin selling some of my designs and the first one to go up is my Super Chunky Tea Cosy. I’m not interested in making any real money from the patterns but acknowledge that if I ever get to write the book I want to, I can’t have all of my patterns available online for free.
My Super Chunky Tea Cosy pattern costs €2.50 and I hope it will be the first of many designs. If you like the style perhaps you could be persuaded to go and add it to your favourites and if you’re interested in purchasing a copy, just click here.
It’s knitted with Super Chunky yarn on 10mm needles and takes no time and very little wool (approx 70 metres without the pompom). Who knows you might even have some stashed yarn just lingering for such a project.
Tea cosies are one of the most requested patterns in the shop so it seems a great place to start.
I thought it was time to update you all on the progress of my ever increasing blanket which is now 54.5″/138cms. As you can probably imagine knitting the 2 rows per day is taking much longer now on account of the blankets size. To be on the safe side I need to make sure I have three quarters to an hour spare when I start to knit. Unfortunately, our weather is anything but May like which has inadvertently been a godsend as there is some warmth from the blanket.
Sitting under the weight of it whilst knitting in heat is not great.
I think I have a little over a months worth of knitting left before I’ll reach my target length of 6 foot.
In order for you to judge the length and to give you a bit of a giggle you can see me modelling the blanket so far. I’m 5ft3 on a good day.
Length 72″/183cm (hopefully)
Width 7.2″/183cm (hopefully)
2 strands of aran weight yarn are used held together.
You will need approximately 2400 metres of your base yarn and then the same amount again in your chosen combination of yarns. I am using Sirdar Bonus Aran and Sirdar Bonus Aran Tweed and will need 3 x 400g balls of my base shade 929 and probably 2 x 400g of shades 822 & 817 and 1 x 400g of 994. (I will have loads left for charity knitting)
You will also need around another 20 to 50 metres (doubled) to work your applied i-cord if doing so at both your cast on and cast off ends.
I also used scrap super chunky yarn for my provisional cast on and a 12mm crochet hook.
12sts x 18rows on 8mm needles with 2 strands of aran weight yarn held together in garter stitch
k – knit
st(s) – stitch(es)
co – cast on
wyif – with yarn in front
sl – slip next st
sl3 – slip next 3 sts (for applied I-cord)
psso – pass slipped stitch over
K3tog – knit next 3 sts together
Applied I-cord cast off –
*k2, sl 1 k-wise, k1 (this will be 1 of your live sts at the cast off end or from the provisional cast on), psso, sl all 3 sts back onto left needle and rep from* until all sts have been worked. Three I-cord sts remain on needle, K3tog, break yarn and draw through your final st.
For the i-cord edge you need to use a provisional cast on method and you want 222 sts for the blanket.
I prefer to use the crochet chain provisional cast on, so I chained 228 sts with a 12mm hook and super chunky yarn.
1st row – knit all stitches
For every subsequent row you knit until the last 3 sts, wyif sl3
I’m hoping to knit at least 324 rows or 162 garter stitch ridges. I shall be knitting 2 rows per day.
The I-cord edge is optional. If you are making the blanket without it – using thumb method and holding the 2 strands of yarn together cast on 216 sts and knit every row without slipping the last 3 sts.
I shall be using an I-cord cast off on my cast on and cast off edges. Work on your cast off edge first by CO 3 sts using cable cast on method, work I-cord cast off as per instructions above.
Slip cast on sts onto needle and work as for cast off end above.
Sew in your ends, hiding them in the I-cord if you’ve chosen to make it.
This is what my blanket looks like after 2 days
Saturday was a good day whilst Monday was just ok. The red is my provisional cast on yarn. I shall try to update on the blankets progress weekly.