Good Intentions

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It’s been 17 days since I last wrote a blog post, which is blooming terrible, especially as I’ve actually made a rough plan for the next few too.  How do I know it’s been 17 days exactly?  Well the last one was on New Years Eve (seems like ages ago now) and because I’m currently keeping track of some of the things I do regularly, in order to see the places areas of my life than ‘need work’.  More about that in a minute.

Did you think about a One Little word for your 2016?

Despite my concerns about ‘putting it out there’, several friends have mentioned how positive they found my last post.  How it made them think about their 2016 and have picked words too, including CONFIDENCE, RESTORE, STRONG and HAPPY.  Each word definitely reflects the individual that chose it and I can’t wait to see how it impacts their year ahead.

I’ve been busy test knitting a garment for the next issue of the magazine, due for release on the 26th January – eek!  Deirdre and I have also been swatching samples for the Yarn Review feature, but I’ve spent the best part of the last fortnight stuck in front of my pc or unpacking and sorting out craft supplies, in order to begin scrapbooking my One Little Word.

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Nearly forgot to mention that I made Deirdre a hat.  It’s the Orbitus Hat by and I love it.  Hopefully she does too 🙂

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This pile of ends is also an indication of things completed…

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I’m happy to report that I’ve finished the granny square blanket I had been making for my youngest, Kye.

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He was thoroughly chuffed when I told him it was for him and he loves it.  I might add another couple of rounds to it some time in the future, but for now I think the 75″ square is the perfect size for that extra bit of warmth.  Much needed at this time of year, especially if you live in an old farmhouse that seems to eat the heat.

Talking of cold, it really has been rather chilly of late.  I finally gave in on Thursday and broke out the thermals, unable to take the sensation of numb legs anymore.  It’s lovely to get out for a walk in the Winter sun, but I’m finding no amount of layers are keeping my hands or ears (?) warm.

 

Today the sun hasn’t even been able to poke it’s way through the grey overcast cloudy sky, but I’m happy to see the fog lifted after last night.  It was so thick that I found driving home in it close to terrifying and I would never think of myself as a nervous driver.  I took my dogs out for a walk on the farm at 10pm last night, because I hadn’t had time earlier in the day and I couldn’t even see two fence posts ahead along the track with my torch.

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We’re in full ‘getting ready to publish mode’ and we keep getting messages from people telling us they can’t wait for the next issue.  It’s easy when you’re so busy to forget to look after yourself and I’m extremely guilty of doing this, part of my hopes for the year ahead was to try and stem the chaos a little and have faith in myself.  Putting this plan into action late again as per usual (but better late than never), I’ve started to keep a track of some of my daily routines and habits so I can see where I’m falling down.

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The table is basic a diary of sorts, there’s plenty of lines to fill in the things you want to monitor and the boxes on the right represents the days of the month.  By checking or colouring in the boxes for the things you’ve achieved that day, you can see at a glance what’s happening.  I only really started it on the 9th of this month, but it was easy to back fill some of the boxes.

For me personally, I’m trying to establish a ‘baseline’ in some areas of my life, so I can work on them in the coming months.  In no particular order I’ve tried to include things that I like doing, things that need doing, social media is there to ensure I remember, things I have to watch and things I’m aiming for.

Knitting & crochet is there at the top as this is my sanity, meditation and mindfulness time all wrapped up in one.  A day without even a little time spent with my needles or hook can be too long for my head.  As you can see, I haven’t spun or wove since the beginning of the year.  I have worked on other crafty pursuits which is great, but I desperately want to try and make spinning and or weaving part of my daily routine, in order to improve my technique.  I also find I totally switch off whilst doing either, which equals a happy head too.

The next section is all dedicated to the magazine, Leftfootdaisy stuff, social media and blog posts, which is why I know it’s been 17 days and having the chart hanging next to my desk has been a constant reminder.

The next group of items are areas that I want to or should be watching.  Walk the dogs, is so I do just that, it would be rare that I wouldn’t and if I couldn’t someone else would.  Keeping tabs on it, just gives me that little extra nudge to do it myself.  Washing (clothes not myself) is listed because it seems like my washing pile is never ending and I’m hoping that by seeing ‘washing free days’ it will help me to realise this just isn’t the case.

I’ve added ‘eat’ and ‘pain’ and have included a traffic light system for keeping check because these are two areas in my life that are a interconnected, a bit of a priority and in need of work.  I’m planning to use this months results to make changes in the coming months.  (more about in another post)

The next few entries refer to actually getting in the car and leaving my house, it’s rural so you have to drive and although I’ll invariably have gotten out to walk the dogs it’s not really the same.  Looking back at the last post, in which I mentioned trying to create some more ‘joy’ in my life, I thought it would be good to note how often I see my friends, even if it’s for the briefest moment.

Bed before 12 – the X’s are because I haven’t achieved it.  It doesn’t even mean bed and sleep, I’m just working on trying to train myself to actually go upstairs to bed before 12.

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Last item for this month says ‘read or listened to’, because I always enjoyed reading a book and can’t remember the last one I actually completely read.  I started listening to audio books about a year ago as a way to fill this need, but even that has begun to fall by the wayside now I’m not driving backwards and forwards to Midleton several times a week.

I’m currently listening to The Way of the Kings by Brandon Sanderson, all 76 chapters, 0r 45 hours and 34 minutes of it.  I’ve a little over 33 hours left, but am getting a little confused with the names of the characters.

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I’m trying to read Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, but I haven’t managed to get that much read.  The basic principle of the book is doing less, but better, which kind of ties in with some of the things I’m trying to fix.

I’ve made my ‘Daily Habit’ chart available to download as a pdf if you’d like to try keeping a check on your daily routines here.

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For now I’m dreaming of knitting this yarn up into an Orbitus Hat for myself and working on my first prompt of the Ali Edwards One Little Word workshop. and thinking about my word FAITH.

accept what is let go of what was and have faith in what will be

Doesn’t she and the view look lovely?

Look a little closer and you can see it’s ice in the tyre tracks because it was freezing and bless her, she was sitting because she was tired (she only has 3 legs).

Happy 🙂

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Something New For 2016

Happy New Year!Are you a New Year Resolution kind of person?

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m not really into the whole thing, purely because I’m not so good at sticking to things.  If we’re being honest, I’m really one of those people that stumbles through life, I’m not a planner, in fact the only thing I’ve ever planned (truthfully), were 2 of my three children.  You’ll guess wrong, promise.  My happy and much loved surprise is never the one people assume it must be.

Anyway, if we look back to last year the only goal I actually set myself was to knit more socks, preferably a pair every 2 months (think I managed, but will have to check), but as 2016 approaches I think it’s time for a change.  Not least because 2015 has actually been a year of great change for me  The decisions I made, none of which I really planned of course, we’re made to try and improve my life and let in more joy.  Joy is important, everyone needs to have joy in their day, somewhere.  No matter how dark life gets, finding the joy is probably what keeps us going when things get tough.

So without even realising what I’ve been doing, I can see now that I’ve been taking more time to reflect over my life of late.  Where I am, what I’ve achieved, what I’ve yet to do and I’ve come to the realisation that things are a bit chaotic.  They always have been and I’m not sure it’s going to really change, but I think it might be worth a try.  So I started to think about how to make changes and a New Year is as good a time as any to begin.  Still, I wasn’t completely sold on the idea of a list of New Years Resolutions.  Then I heard about One Little Word and liking it, but being too busy to look into it properly, I filled it away in the recesses of my brain, never to be found again.  Until the other day when I was listening to the Elise Gets Crafty Podcast episode 79, in which Elise talks to Ali Edwards about her One Little Word Workshop and I really began to think about it again.

The idea is that instead of setting yourself a list of goals in the form of New Years Resolutions you pick a word, just one, with which you’re going to try and keep your focus on throughout the coming year.  There’s a great video on Ali’s website abut choosing your word and if you listen to the podcast Ali and Elise talk about what their words were for 2015, what they meant to them and how there words for 2016 differ.

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It’s an old photo, sorry

Ali’s course is a scrapbooking one and yes I use to scrapbook and have kept all of my supplies hoping to return to it one day – eventually.  Truth is, I haven’t scrapbooked for over 4 years and I think I’ve only printed out photos once  year since then.  So I wasn’t convinced it was really for me, but the idea of this one word thing wouldn’t let me go, especially as the word I’d though of is really quite a strange one for me.

I forget things easily and then get fed up with myself for doing so.  I was full sure I’d remember so much more about my kids growing up than I do and I always tell friends that have babies to get a notebook and write things down.  All the silly stuff you think you’ll remember, the crazy things they say, the daft things they do, those are so more important than the big things at the end of the day

So I’m going to do it.

I’ve bought the workshop at the early bird price of $26 (normal price is $31) and I’m looking forward to trying something new.  Having one word to focus on throughout the coming year, will I hope, help me to focus a little more on the things that are important.

So what word have I chosen?  Or rather what word chose me?  It’s not a word that would usually be a part of my vocabulary.  So I’ve tried really hard to ‘like’ other words with a similar definition, but they’re not sitting comfortably with me and this one just won’t let me go.

So…..

faith

My One Little Word is Faith and the reason for my astonishment is that I would usually associate Faith with religion and I’m not religious.  Like I say, I’ve tried other words like strength, trust and believe but I’ve come to accept that it has to be Faith.

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The definition of faith seen here at number 1 is how I hope to live in 2016.  I want to have Faith in myself to do what’s right for me in all the areas of my life including my family, my home, my career, my health and well-being.

I’m actually looking forward to trying to keep my One Little Word at the forefront of my decisions and have signed up to the closed Facebook Group that you can become a member of if you take the workshop.

I hope you’ll follow me in my pursuits throughout the year and maybe even join me?

Have Faith and believein Yourself

If the One Little Word thing isn’t really for you, I’ve some other ideas too that I’ll write about over the next couple of days.

In the meantime here’s my midnight kiss X and I want to wish you all you wish yourself in 2016.

Happy New Year!

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Panic Stations

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So the first issue of Olann and is due for release on Thursday – only 3 more sleeps and although we’re there with pretty much everything, it feels like there is still so much left to do.

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I have been sneaking in a little knitting occasionally (mostly by lamplight and often in the wee small hours.  I added the red row to my crochet blanket last night, finally giving up at 12.20, when I’d completed the whole round.  I look a mess, I’ve booked a haircut for Friday morning, enough is enough.  My family, could do with a proper meal and my house, well, how about I show you how bad certain areas have become?

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Currently I’m typing this post at this.

I barely have enough space to move.  I only cleared everything off my desk on Thursday evening and I was out all day Saturday at the RDS, so I’ve no idea how it’s got so bad, so quickly.  What you can’t see in the photo is that I’ve more piles of stuff on the floor to the left of my desk and then there’s a make shift table with piles of books, yarn and papers on it.

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The kitchen has become a makeshift photography studio, the light is at it’s best in there.  It’s completely in the way though, getting into the fridge is difficult to say the least.

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Think it might be time to take the dogs for a walk, someone seems to be growing a little impatient, Errol and the other three, get far too crazy to overlook this necessity.  Nothing would be safe, if he wasn’t sufficiently worn out.

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Thankfully, living on the farm means it’s unlikely I’ll bump into anyone.

Normal service will resume shortly.

Promise.

Happy Knitting!

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It’s Been All Go Round Ere Today

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You know when you have one of those days that seem really productive, you’ve been really busy, got loads done and your extremely satisfied with the world, despite knowing you’re probably going to literally fall into bed?  Well it’s been a bit like that here today.

To be fair I live in a truly beautiful spot, especially when the sun is in the sky, but the amount of work it takes to keep the house and yard in order can be truly overwhelming and there’s always so much to do.

Today and for the next couple of days the boys (my hubby and our sons Durahn and Kye) are on operation prepare for winter.  It’s a necessary evil of living in a damp old farm house 😦

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A major part of Operation Winter involves chopping trees up into logs for the stove

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Then there’s the kindling.  I knew it was worth all the shelving from the shop stock rooms.

There wasn’t any need for me to get involved, despite my love of power tools 😁  So I walked the dogs, cleaned, washed up (several times), cooked and got loads of other general ‘needs doing’ stuff done.

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I also found the time to make some lemonade, to use up the glut of cheap lemons and limes I’d bought last week, fully intending to make lemon curd, but forgot to buy some wax coated discs for.

2015-08-18 17.33.06I’ve also made another Wiksten Tank for myself.  Although, I still have to finish binding the sleeves, but that won’t take too long.

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The boys managed to get 10 crates of kindling cut up, but there are still more shelves to get through 🙈

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My 💪 hubby 💪 has cut all the trees up into rings and is now, even as I type (it’s nearly 9.45pm), splitting them into logs.  I managed to get this photo before the sun went down.

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If that wasn’t enough, my socks are drying on the line.  They even look pretty when they’re inside out 💗

Time to put clean sheets on the beds and get a spot of knitting in now before bed, me thinks.

Happy Knitting!

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Changes Are Underway

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So…

I’ve one more week of trading left in my little shop, before I finally close the door and my family and I begin the process of dismantling, packing up and removing what’s left before I say goodbye to Knit.

So far I’ve been fine and as I’ve told everyone that’s asked “that making the decision was the hard part”.  I’m no fool though (well?) and I know I’m going to feel a sadness when I close the door for the last time and will probably need a period of readjustment.

It is said, that as one door closes (literally), another one opens.

Since I announced the closure of the shop, so many of you have asked if I’ll keep the Facebook Page and blog up and running.  As I’d always assumed it was just a shop thing, I wasn’t confident that the interest was there without the shop, but it seems I was wrong 🙂

I can’t keep calling myself Knit, Knitmidleton or KnitinMidleton, not least because I actually live in Lismore and who knows maybe someone else will eventually open a knitting shop in Midleton and then it really wouldn’t seem right.

Some of you will already associate the name LeftFootDaisy with me as it’s been my profile name on Ravelry, Pinterest and loads of other things for many years now.

Cue boring, hopefully succinct, explanation –

My favourite flower is the daisy, big floppy ones, small dainty ones, I don’t have a preference.  I even considered changing my name when I was younger, but I’m not even sure I’m a Lora, let alone a Daisy.  I was meant to be called George (yes for a girl and no not Georgina, I’m a child of the early 70’s) and I think it would be a good fit now, probably not in school though, the bullies would have had a field day

My love of daisy’s extends to a tattoo on, you guessed it, my left foot.  There’s just the one and if I ever get round to it I’ll have more, but I love it so much that I stupidly thought I’d use it for my on-line presence many years ago and it’s kind of stuck.

My husband even proposed with a giant billboard at the side of the road which read ‘Will you marry me LeftFootDaisy’ 💕

Confessions of a Fibre Strumpet (1)

So I’d like to re-introduce myself as LeftFootDaisy aka Lora and just so you know it’s me I’ve decided to go the whole hog 😉 and it’s LeftFootDaisy – Confessions of a Fibre Strumpet

I’m going to keep popping up links to patterns, news stories and ‘naughty’ knitted thingys on the new Facebook page (come and join me) and I’ll post here about all my fibrey and not so fibrey goings on, where I’ll also continue to make up words, use awful grammar and write as I speak 😁  As I won’t have my own shop I’ll be able to talk more about where I’ll be shopping, what I’ll be buying and the things I love or loathe.

I hope all of you and more will join me, better still, interact with me, I’ll miss that the most 😦

Happy Knitting!

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My Cheating Ways

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More confessions of a fibre strumpet I’m afraid 😉

I do love the word strumpet by the way, what word(s) do you like the most?

I digress.

Sorry.

A couple of weeks ago now, I spent a beautiful Saturday afternoon enjoying myself in the sun with some of the lovely ladies from the Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild playing with indigo dye in Bunmahon on the beautiful Copper Coast.

Most of us will no doubt, have something in our wardrobe dyed using indigo (probably in it’s synthetic form) as it’s the dye of choice for most denim fabric as it’s extremely resistant to fading.  My husbands 12 year old favourite pair of jeans are still very blue, they’re just falling apart, proof if ever it were needed.

Indigo for those of you that are interested, is an ancient plant dye, with evidence of it’s use going back to the 3rd millennium BC and it’s still being used all over the world today.  Dyeing with natural indigo can be quite labour intensive and although using synthetic indigo still requires a lot of steps, it’s much easier and quicker to get going and we only had the day after all.

The synthetic indigo powder came from George Weil and we followed the instructions given by Vivien Prideaux in her book – A Handbook of Indigo Dyeing.  Once mixed and ready the dye bath requires constant, steady heating for an hour or so before you can add your fibre or cloth, which provided the ideal opportunity to indulge in a little lunch of salad, home made hummus and rolls, followed by Irish strawberries and ice cream 🙂

Each of us had made up mini skeins of different yarns (about 20g each), so we could have fun observing how different fibres reacted to the dye.

My yarns were all commercially manufactured yarns, which can sometimes mean they’ve been bleached and may not take the dye, but I was under pressure and it was touch and go whether I’d actually make it on the day.  Happily, all of the ones I’d picked took some of the dye and the result is a range of beautiful, blue hues.

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From left to right the fibres are Ramsdale pure wool, merino, merino/cashmere/synthetic blend and lastly a bamboo/cotton blend (2 of them as I’ll probably use it as a warp thread).

I love the way the different yarns have reacted to the indigo.  The Ramsdale, which is probably my favourite, was a mid grey to begin with, whilst the other three yarns were off white/cream before dyeing.  All of my samples have had a couple of rinses, but I’m not sure if the bamboo/cotton blend would actually remain blue if I was to rinse it again.

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I’m thinking of weaving a little wall hanging, or maybe even knitting it in linen stitch so it resembles weaving.  For now I’m just enjoying steeling glances at the jar of mini blue hanks sitting on my desk.  It’ll be interesting to see how the other guild members use their samples, perhaps they might let me take a photo or two and if so I’ll be sure to post them here.

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As is so often the case when you’re enjoying yourself, the day drew to a close all too quickly and we were soon off and on our way home.  With the sun still high in the sky, I couldn’t resist the temptation to pull in near a little pebbled cove, where I found a bum size rock to sit on and took my shoes off to let the heat from the warmed stones radiate through my feet.

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I even found some lovely driftwood branches, bleached white from the sea and sun, which I intend to use in a wind chime project sometime soon.

 

If you want to know more about indigo dyeing, the history, how to and where to purchase it, these are the websites I’ve found useful.  I’d also recommend Vivien’s book that I’ve mentioned above.

George Weil

Wild Colours 

Instructables

Happy Knitting!

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Edinburgh Part 2 – Exploring

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Soooo many things to see, I have to go back.  Preferably when it’s a little warmer and there’s a chance of the sun putting in an appearance, but return I will.  It would have been sacrilege not to snap a photo of this daisy I spied carved into the end of a bench.

Edinburgh was everything I’d imagined and more 💞

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No trip to the Scottish city would be complete without a visit to the castle of course,  dominating the skyline as it sits perched above the other buildings.  My word, you definitely know how high it is too when you get up there, because it’s blooming freezing.

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The castle itself is fantastic and much bigger than I thought, think fort rather than castle.  Cobbled paths lead you to the different buildings which contain room after room of memorabilia from Scotland’s history.  My favourites were the National War Museum and the Regimental Museums, I’ve recently developed a bit of an interest in military history and am hoping to visit The Imperial War Museum in London again this year 🙂

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The Scottish National War Memorial is a truly moving place, which commemorates the dead of the First and Second World Wars and of military campaigns since 1945.  Around the main room you will discover books with lists of the fallen soldiers from each Scottish regiment.  The number of books provides a poignant reminder of all that lost there lives in defence of their country.

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In truth we didn’t leave ourselves enough time to truly experience the sheer volume of things to see at the castle and will have to go again when we’re next in Edinburgh 😉

We rode the obligatory tour bus, but only managed to take one of the three tours and after dragging my poor husband to several yarn shops and haberdashery departments there was barely any time left for a wander through the cobbled streets, stopping for coffee and cake.  I really can’t sing the praises of the public transport system in Edinburgh enough.  An all day pass for the buses and trams costs only £3.50 and you can travel the length and breadth of the city

Edinburgh is a bit of a haven for yarn shops, having already visited the yarn festival I thought it only fair on hubby not to take us too far out of our way.

I’m a bit of a department store haberdashery junkie, I just can’t help myself and have to look at everything.  Jenners House of Fraser is smack in the centre of Edinburgh and their haberdashery department in the basement, was jam packed with a rainbow of colours from Rowan and Patons.  Having popped in briefly on Saturday afternoon before they closed I was able to resit the urge to purchase something in order to save my pennies for the festival.  if Rowan is your yarn of choice though I’d recommend a visit to either Jenners on Princes Street or the John Lewis which you’ll find in the St James Centre.  John Lewis also had some of the fantastic but seriously pricey Wool and the Gang yarn and kits too.

Kathy’s Knits on Broughton Street offers some beautiful yarns, patterns and notions, concentrating on British yarns sourced from around the country including Blacker Yarns, New Lanark, JCRennie, Jamieson & Smith and Eden Cottage.  I didn’t stop long enough to purchase as it was drizziling a little outside and I didn’t want to risk having a grumpy, sodden husband.  Next time when the sun is shining I’ll be sure to stay longer 😎

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Ginger Twist Studio is an indie, vintage inspired yarn shop on London Road crammed full of yummy yarn, most of which is hand dyed.  I’d met Jess at the yarn festival, but as I follow her on Instagram I wanted to pay a special visit to the shop.  We popped in briefly on Monday when Jess was busy unpacking after the show.  You wouldn’t want to turn up with a massive group of knitters as Ginger Twist is a little on the compact side, however this little haven is a hand dyed yarn lovers dream destination.

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Never one to resist hand dyed I opted for a hank of luminous lime sock yarn and the necessary shopper.

Up near where we were staying in Haymarket was David Drummond’s  a traditional sewing machine and knitting shop with a vast selection of all things knitting, sewing and haberdashery.  Rather happily I discovered some Wendy Alfresco Aran on special, which I purchased to crochet up a quick granny shawl on the way home.  Four balls in a great charcoal shade for less than £10 – bargain!

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In amongst all the travelling, walking, eating and touring I managed to get my knit and crochet on too.  The bottom project is a granny shawl in Rico Galaxy Chunky yarn that I took with me to keep my hands occupied whilst on the plane (it’s a gift for a dear friend).  I also managed to finish one sock and start it’s twin, but didn’t want to risk having my Knitpro Karbonz taken off me on the plane, hence the Alfresco purchase.  You can kind of make out the lovely shade of grey in the photo and to jazz it up a little, I’m adding some rows in yarn from my stash.

I’ll be sure to post up some pics of the finished garment, but I could end up boring you as I’ve developed a bit of a hankering for granny shawls at the moment.

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First there was the blue one I made for myself here and then you might recall the photo from a previous post with all the ends needing to be sewn in? Well I finally found the time to do so and to give it a quick block too.

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I love it and it’s really warm having been made in the now discontinued King Cole Chunky Merino.  Hopefully, you can never have too many shawls?

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The photographs make it look rather bright, when I like to think it’s a little more subdued ✨ only a little mind.

Happy Knitting!

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Edinburgh Part 1 – The Yarn Festival

2015-03-15 10.19.52-2I’ve wanted to go to Edinburgh for as long as I can remember and The Edinburgh Yarn Festival provided the perfect excuse to finally pay the place a visit 🙂

The first thing to mention about the yarn festival is how many ‘stars’ of the industry offered classes, there were definitely more in attendance then I’ve seen at any other yarn show.  Unfortunately, I’d missed the ones that interested me most as demand was incredibly high and most booked up very quickly.  Who can blame them too, with names like Stephen West, Ysolda Teague, Rachel Coopey, Carol Feller, Hélène Magnússon, Nancy Marchant, Veera Välimäki, Emily Wessel and Karie Westermann to name but a few.

I arrived at The Edinburgh Corn Exchange bright and early on Sunday morning to try and avoid some of the crowds, heading straight for the Baa Ram Ewe stall in order to purchase a present for a good friend.  Saturday had been such a productive day with their Titus yarn that certain shades had sold out, including the one I was after.  Undeterred, I had a great time playing with colours and trying to decide on the right colour combination for Stephen West’s Daybreak Shawl.

My plan of action when attending any yarn festival is to walk round all of the vendors once without purchasing and make a mental note of any ‘favourites’ before walking round for a second time to spend time investigating further and making any purchases.  This ‘purchase’ round can in practice, lead to a 3rd and possibly even a 4th lap of the stalls, depending on how strong the ‘pull’ of some yarn is 😉

With over 75 stalls to peruse I was a little spoilt for choice when it came to selecting goodies to bring home.

So what did I buy?

Too much as per usual including

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Well, I couldn’t resist the Edinburgh Yarn Festival cotton shopper.  You can never have too many project bags can you?

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I actually only bought the Tin Can Knits 9 Months of knitting book at the show, finding the other ones in a bargain book shop in the city.  I also purchased a couple of books on spinning and weaving in order to work on my ability in these areas.

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I was spoilt for choice with sock yarns, but was rather smitten by this hand dyed 4ply Blue Faced Leicester loveliness, from The Threshing Barn

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Hélène Magnússon’s class was the one I’d hoped to be able to attend, having missed the opportunity this time round it seemed only fair that I bought one of her beautiful knitting kits.  I opted for the Icelandic Spring Shawl in beautiful blues and greens.  The lace weight yarn is a rougher texture than we’re probably use to now and there was another softer option available, I wanted Icelandic authenticity and I’m sure it’ll soften with washing.

Scary lace weight it may be, but the pattern I’m happy to report, is knitted on 5mm’s

I did purchase a few more interesting items including more yarn, but you’ll have to wait until I’ve made the projects up.

Of course no short break is complete without taking in the sights, including Edinburgh Castle and a few of the yarn shops more on that in part 2.

Happy knitting!

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2014 & One Day

Hello 2015

Why 2014 & one day?  Several reasons really.

1)  It was a bloody awful start to 2015 here.  It was blowing up a gale and raining and the sun was obviously nursing a post New Years Eve hangover and didn’t seem to show her face all day.  Unlike today which is a much prettier and heart warming (so far).  Don’t get me wrong, the sun’s not out there splitting the stones, this is winter in Ireland after all, but the day is full of expectation and anticipation for 2015 🌻

2)  I’m sure I’m not the only person guilty of this…. I went into a bit of a cleaning frenzy.  It’s come to my notice that I actually spend very little time in my house and thus far have been able to remain blissfully unaware of how much clutter we have accumulated.  🆗 Cards on the table time, it’s not going to change, but I do think I need to address the situation.  So yesterday I tackled the fridges and the kitchen, there’s still the oven to do, but I forgot to slather it in bicarb again last night 😖 and next it’s the living room 🆘

3)  I wanted to start as I mean to go on and cook more, so I did, at least for the men folk as I wasn’t hungry and ended up wolfing down something later.

4)  My internet connection was horrendous, probably because of item 1 on this list or maybe there were other 👽  cosmic forces at work?

5)  I went to see The Hobbit 🎥 which I thoroughly enjoyed, regardless of how true to the book it was.  Pure entertainment, although I did shed a tear or two 😢

2014 was a pretty good one, yes there were a few moments of yuck there however, I woke up every morning so it can’t have been that bad and I laughed a lot, there is always room for improvement on that front though.

2014 was a busy year though as you can see from the photos.  We had our year long charity campaign Knit Happens (more info soon), knitted Shamrocks for Age Action, the first Yarn Shop Day and made crochet critters for The Craft Club’s Guinness World Record Yarnbomb attempt in aid of The Little Haven’s Hospice add to this our refurbishment, it’s no wonder I’ve felt a little overwhelmed at times.

Happily 😄 I’ve managed to knit loads and have been trying to perfect my crochet skills too.  I think my favourites this year have been my shawls of which there have been five, one of which was for a good friend.

I won’t bore you with the list, actually lets be honest, that would mean I’d have to have stuck to my original plan at the start of the year.  Ever the positive, I did manage to upload more items on Ravelry and I kept a knitting journal until the end of April and I also posted here 60 times  (pausing to bow).

Looking forward, all of the same things apply as before

🌻 More organised

🌻 More exercise

🌻 Eat better

🌻 Feed my brain more

🌻 Relax more

🌻 Enjoy life

🌻 Laugh as much as possible.

🌻 Need to knit more socks too  🌻

Could possibly be a mini New Years Resolution…. not a pair a month though, more like a pair every 2 months maybe?

Happy 2015 to you and yours.  May all you wish for yourself and more come true ✨

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Look What Durahn Made For Me

 

Top 64

As some of you know my son Durahn, has developed a love of sewing, he even saved and bought his own machine this year rather than continuing to use mine.  (note to self, maybe he’s broken it)

He has already made me a couple of things including my fabulous grey, pinstriped apron and my lovely and very useful Sew Together Bag, which goes everywhere my knitting bag goes.  I’m not even sure how I managed before without it.

I knew he was planning on making me a top for Christmas because we had to take measurements and then discuss why my back is a size 12 but my boobs are a size 16 😳

When I opened my pressie on Christmas morning I was blown away by his choice of pattern and fabric.  The pattern was from Merchant & Mills and is called Top 64.  Totally me, I’m already planning the material for my next one 😜

Tweed

He made it using beautiful Donegal Tweed, 100% herringbone wool from Donegal.  The shade is described as being ‘like a biscuit dipped in honey’ on the Merchant & Mills website.

I’ve interrogated him about making the top but, he’s not too well at the moment so the words are few….

Pattern was nice and clear, material was good to work with and the trickiest part was putting the yoke in.  Think he means on the reverse?

Apparently, he thinks it will be ideal for work as there’s a pocket for my tape measure and one for my phone – he’s deluded if he hasn’t realised by now that I’ll have to have both items spring loaded so they’re returned to the afore mentioned pockets, rather than left somewhere 😱

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I love it!

I hope he doesn’t object to making me a load of them in different materials and different colours now 😇

Happy Knitting!

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