Oh Dear


Well it was bound to happen sooner or later I guess?

I’ve hurt my shoulder and I can tell you, it’s impacting on my life more than just a little right now.  Ironically, I don’t think it’s from too much knitting, instead I’m pretty sure it’s from too much driving to woolly events.  It’s sore to knit, worse to type and driving is up there in the OUCH! category at the moment, hence my conclusion.

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A Visit to Dublin at Christmas

Mrs BrownI do hope your houses are all still standing and that you and yours are safe and warm after the battering of storm Frank?  I’ve just heard that Gertrude is on her way now and we all know there’s nothing worse than an angry woman (maybe that’s just me?)

I’ve been busy trying to do a spot of research for this post, but am sad to say I’ve drawn a blank.  I wanted to tell you all about our trip to Dublin to see Mrs Brown’s Boys at the 3 Arena and how it was for charity, but I can’t find anything specific to quote, so I’m hoping what I’ve been told isn’t too far off the mark.

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I’ve never been to Dublin to see the Christmas Lights before and can safely say, I’ll be back.  The city wasn’t as crazy as we’d expected, sure there were queues for parking, but they weren’t too bad and yes there was more traffic on the roads than usual, but I’m a Londoner and that never phases me anyway.

Love it or hate it, most people have a very definite opinion of Brendan O’Carroll’s Mrs Brown show.  I’m a child of the 70’s, a Londoner (as previously mentioned), SE1 to be precise, the cheapest place on the Monopoly Board to be exact.  Despite moving away, I would return weekly, even as an adult to spend time with my grandparents.

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My regular visits always consisted of Pie and Mash from Manze’s (still there and the oldest eel house in London now I think)  and tales from when they were younger. As two of the most important people in my life they influenced me with a diet of Carry on Films, Hancock’s Half Hour, Norman Wisdom and that silly, slightly naughty humour that was around at the time.  I was never allowed to watch Benny Hill though and having seen it now I’m older, I can see why.

Mrs Brown’s Boys taps into that genre in a way that others have tried and failed to do.  It has a feel of a program from the 70’s or early 80’s and it works.  I can’t say I’d go out of my way to watch it ordinarily, but in the main it makes me laugh and my son Kye, like many others his age loves it, so as a ‘Christmas Treat’, why not?


We left Lismore bright and early on Saturday 19th to be in Dublin for the 2pm matinee show of How Now Mrs Brown Cow.  Of course, no trip to Dublin is complete without a stop off at Avoca for tea and cake though.  I wouldn’t mind a large slice of that ow actually.

The 3 Arena was packed and parking was a bit of a nightmare, but we had a great time.  The show was laugh out loud funny and it was obvious from the uncontrollable laughter of some of the cast members, that the performance went ‘off script’ on more than one occasion.  There were lots of families in the audience and I guess for the most part all they see is a man dressed up as a woman, using bad language and personally, I don’t see the harm although I know it offends some people.

The thing I didn’t know about the Mrs Browns Boys Live Show and what I’ve been trying to research, is the money it raises for charity.   I was unaware when I booked the tickets,  that the cast and crew take no wages for their Dublin matinee performance and the 3Arena doesn’t charge for the show either.  I’m not sure if Ticketmaster donate their fee (I imagine not), but all in all, the Saturday Matinee performance raised approximately €250,000 for Irish Charities.  I think there were three mentioned, but can only remember Crumlin Hospital and Irish Autism Action and haven’t been able to confirm the third (I’m actually hoping those two are correct too).  If you know I’d love to hear from you.

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Like it or loathe it, there’s no denying the good it’s doing and 15million fans worldwide can’t be wrong can they?  I for one will be keeping an eye out for when the show returns in the hope that we can go again.

All the Christmas running around also meant I was able to get a little knitting done in between Magazine projects, including these two hats.

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This is Barley from Tin Can Knits, one of those quick knits that really shows of the beauty of multicoloured yarns.  This Rainbow Drops looking yarn is Genie from Hedgehog Fibres, that I purchased on my recent visit to attend Stephen West’s Colour Workshop.  It was for Dina and she loves it.

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This is another Striped Hat (even though it’s not actually striped) from Erika Knight’s Mens Knits book.  It’s the hat my son Du loves, so both Dina and I have knitted him quite a few.  They’ve tended to be in more muted colours, so the red is a bit of a break from the norm.  I used Studio Donegal Soft Donegal and can honestly say it was a pleasure to knit with.  The yarn has a lovely handle to it and forms a soft, warm fabric, with good stitch definition  Fortunately, he likes the red, so I’m thinking of knitting the next few hats in brighter shades too.

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Currently I’m working on a test knit for the magazine, so can’t show you much, except for the colour, which you can see in my little swatch here.  It’s a beautiful silvery grey, which I know Dina will be pleased to discover as I’ve promised her the garment when we’re finished with it.

I’ve also been trying to finish the crochet blanket for Kye, but the yarn is never ending.  Despite having to crack on with the test knit, I’m sorely tempted to continue on with the blanket, so it’s finished for the end of 2015.

What would you do?

Happy December Crafting!

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Knitting and Stitching Adventures

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I’ve been dying to tell you all about my trip to the knitting and  Stitching Show at the RDS last Saturday, but had to wait until the magazine went live on Thursday.  We had deliberately set our publication date for after the show, in order to shine a spotlight on the event, so I’ve had to stay shtum until now.

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It was rather a long day, having set off at 6.15am to meet my fellow knitty friends at 7.15 in Midleton, where we caught the minibus to take the 12 of us up to Dublin.  The weather wasn’t so great on the way up, and after such an early start, it was important to stop off for refreshments.

Having arrived in a very wet Dublin, we filled in past the poor people patiently queuing for tickets in the rain and headed in our separate directions.  Some of us had booked into workshops, others just wanted an opportunity to peruse and some of us even managed to pop along for a quick visit to This Is Knit to make a couple of purchases too.

I don’t think I’ve ever visited the Knitting & Stitching Show on a Saturday before, having had the shop in the past usually meant I’d get to pop up on a Sunday, when it’s a little quieter.  Saturday was heaving and there were times when it was a little difficult to move.  That number of people in a confined area is also going to mean warmth and boy was it hot.  There were times when I’d have merrily stripped off and I did remove all knitwear, after I’d met the people I had wanted to.

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Talking of meeting people, I bumped into so many people that had been customers of mine in the shop and I was sad not to have enough time to catch up properly.  I even found Moya from Patchwork Plus – Look at the stunning quilts behind her.

Having visited a good number of yarn festivals now, I had felt the RDS show to be somewhat lacking in the past and was worried it wouldn’t have enough to hold my interest for a full day.  However, I was thrilled to see that there was a real buzz about the place and the energy of the visitors just added to the feeling.

The exhibitions were incredible as usual, with such a variety of things to see and delight over.  I always think it’s important to remember that the items on show are the exhibitors work and although invitingly tempting to touch, it should be avoided.  I did notice one or two people unable to resist stroking, pinching and rubbing the displays and I also saw how agitated this made the exhibitors.  It would be a shame if this put people off of showing there work in the future or if the work had to be cordoned off.  Maybe, bigger ‘DO NOT TOUCH’ signs will be needed in the future to serve as a gentle reminder.

There seemed to be a good number of workshops timetabled in, with all of them selling out quickly.  Some were a little oversubscribed and space was at a premium, but I imagine this was probably an oversight.  It would be great to know which classes were the most popular, so groups and teachers could work on trying to get courses in these areas together to run throughout the year here in Ireland.

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There were of course lots and lots of lovely, pretty things to tempt the Euro’s from your purse and despite having tonnes of stuff already, I did succumb, but only a little.  How restrained was I?

The linen type fabric was from Fabric Time and I’m going to make a smock apron dress thingy with it.  No doubt they’ll be leftovers and I’m hoping to use them to make little lavender sacks for my friends (at some stage).

The sari silk scraps and lime green fibre are to have a go at making some felted fabric.  I absolutely adore sari’s and would love to wear one all the time.  The colours and designs are truly inspiring and I’ve always been interested in crafting with these fabrics.  So when I spied the Felt Creative stall I knew now was the time to try.

Of course there must be yarn and the hank of lovely rainbow goodness is from A Fine Fish Yarns who are based in Belfast.  A latecomer to the RDS, three weeks notice I think, the stall was a riot of colour to tempt.  I’ve bought it with socks in mind, but it may well become a shawl as it’s just so pretty.

The green fibre was a freebie for taking out a membership to the Feltmakers Ireland guild.  I’ve been following their exploits for some time now and thought a membership might be  good way to stay up-to-date.  Although with all my fibre exploits, I could probably do without another addiction.

That awesome ball of turquoise and cream fluff, is 200g of merino fibre bought from the Bronte Glen  and I haven’t got a clue what it will end up being, I just had to have some.  I’m really looking forward to spinning it, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten, it may end up being knitted, woven or just looked at for a very long time.

What you can’t see here in the photo, is the lovely bundle of scraps and off-cuts that I bought from the Magee Weaving stand.  Their wool fabrics are beautiful and the stall was decorated with all of their bags, cushions and patchwork ideas.


Having checked the Magee Weaving website I’ve found they do sell their fabric in bundles of fat eights, patches and lengths, but haven’t found any information regarding the kits and off-cuts so I’ve emailed them and will update this post when I hear back.

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As I said the day was a long one and we were all very grateful for being able to sit down and relax whilst Dave, our lovely bus driver delivered us home safe and sound in what can only be described as ‘shocking’ weather conditions.

I say home safe and sound, but of course I still had to drive from Midleton to Lismore 😯

If you’d like to read a little more about the Knitting & Stitching Show in Dublin, pop over to our magazine article here.

Happy Fibre Crafting!

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