The Madness Has Been & Gone

By the madness I mean the build up to Christmas Day, which I convince myself every year that I’m not going to buy into, only to find on Christmas Day that I have 😞 Maybe though, that’s part of the fun?

Unlike previous years I really didn’t manage to get as many presents knitted or even generally handmade as I would have liked to.  The year seemed to rush by faster than a speeding car and before I realised it it was the end of November and I’d only knitted the one gift, a Hitchhiker for a friend of mine.  Of course I’d forgotten to take a proper picture of it before I’d mailed it, so this is one I’d posted on Instagram whilst I was knitting it.

hitchhikerI used a ball of Rico Poem Superba in green and a ball of King Cole Merino 4ply.  The Poems Superba is variegated, so the greens change as the scarf grows.  I found it a really lovely pattern to follow, with only 8 rows and by using 2 colours, the stripe effect meant I really didn’t have to concentrate on which of the rows I was on.  A lovely happy accident.

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Nearly everyone that would wear one received a knitted hat of some kind, mostly these ones though.  The pattern is very basic and I should be able to get it up on here over the next couple of days.

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Nostrils shouldn’t be that big should they? It’s obscene 😬

 

I liked them so much that I’ve even made one for me.

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Tate looks rather fetching in Leann’s one too, bless him.

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Some friends including my Secret Santa recipient received my crochet baubles, which I loved making once I’d figured out what to do.  I used several resources to help me, but the circles kept getting bigger because of the trebles.  After trying a few different things I decided double crochet was the way to go.  A couple of you have asked for a pattern already, but I’m not sure if I can write it up as a ‘proper’ crochet pattern, so it might end up being more of an instruction sheet?

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Last but not least was the jumper I’d been making for my hubby Con in secret.  Many of you will have seen me trying to get a few rows done in the shop; especially if you popped in the few days before Christmas when I was frantically trying to get the sleeves finished.  I’ll write up a separate post to tell you all about it and I might even be able to get a photo of the man himself wearing it 👨

Cobblestone

Since finishing the jumper I’ve cast on and started knitting Cobblestone by Jared Flood for Durahn my son.  I’ve also been sticking to my morning walk everyday, regardless of how cold it is and both Kye and myself have been going a bit photography mad with our phones.  This morning’s walk produced some beautiful snaps, all with no filter too 📷

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He pinched my hat.

 

 

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2 of my dogs trying to drink from one of the frozen troughs. The black one usually dunks her head in, but even she’s not daft enough to do it when it’s this cold, right?

 

 

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No wait…. She really is that daft.

 

I’ve also been watching far too many cheesy movies including the must see Guardians of the Galaxy which inspired me to make my own mix tape on Spotify.  If you fancy having a look at what tracks I’ve included my profile is lmillar72.  More mix tapes to come me thinks 🖭

Happy Knitting!

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Refurbishments

As most of you already know we were closed for most of August whilst we refurbished the shop.  I know from talking to a lot of people the general consensus was that the shop was fine and dandy the way it was.  However, for me when we moved into the new premises 2 years ago I didn’t have time to get it just how I wanted it and it had been really bugging me, hence the August break.

Whilst many of you will have seen the transformation in the flesh, there are a good few of you that are unable to get into us regularly or purchase from us via mail-order.

So let me take you on a little tour…….

2014-09-04 14.39.49 On entering the shop you’ll happen first upon our new knitwear display area.  My super talented hubby has gone bonkers with copper pipe (he’s a plumber) and made me this beautiful display rack, which compliments the mannequins perfectly.

Behind the mannequins there’s my upcycled vintage suitcase and my now gold painted hat stand.

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Looking down the shop there are shelves running down most of the left hand side to meet the counter, which we have moved in order to open up the shop floor completely.  The shelves are packed with weights from 1ply to dk and we’ve managed to do away with the pattern stand by slotting the folders and books in between the yarn.

For those of you that were colour spotting on Facebook you’ll probably have noticed the ribbon stand has received a lick of aqua paint or two.

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To the right or the ribbon stand there’s the basic acrylic corner (part 1)

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Part 2

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We’ve moved the buttons to the other side of the acrylic stand  and the haberdashery supplies seem to fit in just nicely next to them.

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Next comes the aran weight unit.  Complete with gaps for some of the new yarns due in.

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Where the counter was previously and some might even say the piece de resistance, are the vintage cinema seats and upcycled tyre coffee table.

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Last but not least is the chunky/super chunky stand – I haven’t completely worked out where all of the new yarn that’s on order is going to squeeze in there yet though.

So far the response from everyone has been extremely positive ‘the shop seems bigger’, ‘there’s lots more light’, ‘it’s easier to see everything’ and everyone loves the upcycling with my hubbys copper pipe work receiving the most praise.

Have I tempted you to come and visit?  It’s a bit of a work in progress as there’s still things I’d like to get done so I’ll keep you posted.

Hope to see you soon.

Happy Knitting!

 

 

 

 

More Baby Knits

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I’ve been so busy trying to plan for our refurbishment that it’s ended up being a couple of weeks since I wrote my last post, despite having tonnes to tell you all about.

My needles and hooks have come close to combusting with all the use they’ve been getting.  I’m currently mid way into at least two projects for the shop and I’ve just started another.  I’ve been baby knitting for my friends first grandchild and another friend has just had a baby too :-0 and then I was trying to crochet up a few bits for The Craft Club Yarnbomb, oh and I’ve been crocheting for the shop too.   (I’m so excited about the refurb, sad I know)

I thought you might like to see the little cardi I knitted up for baby Sean as it’s one of my all time favourite patterns.

Beyond Puerperium by Kelly Brooker is going to set you back about €4.20 via Ravelry here  and it’s worth every cent.  The pattern includes sizes newborn to 2 years with options for using 4ply, double knit or aran weight yarn.  If you have time I recommend looking at what other knitters have made on the project pages as there are some great colour combinations and pattern modifications.

There is a free double knit version of the pattern available too in newborn size, if you want to try before you buy, but I guarantee you’ll be hooked.

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I’ve used a lovely vintage green Sirdar Snuggly DK with multicoloured buttons from Rico this time but I’ve made several of them now and am happy to report Dina has too, she’s actually making a lovely candy pink one at the moment (we’re sharing the buttons, I used the boyish ones she’s using the girlie ones).  I’ll see if I can persuade her to let me post a photo or two here when she’s finished.

I’ve just sent all the yarn bomb goodies off so my next post will be a photo explosion of crochet creativity.

Happy Knitting!

Quick Knitted Gift For Kye’s Teachers

 

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On Thursday I posted up a photo of the present Kye made for his favourite resource hours teacher Mrs McCarthy, today I thought I’d share with you the little gift I knitted up for all of the teachers, secretary, special needs assistant and resource hours teachers including the very special Mrs McCarthy.  Don’t panic it sounds like I’ve been knitting for a bus full when in fact there’s only 6 ladies in total as it’s a very small school.

I’m a regular reader of the blog Simply Notable, which is written by Carli and her mum.  I spotted her post on The Almost Lost Washcloth Pattern and was delighted because it was just what I was looking for.  Have a look at the blog here Simply Notable or you can find the pattern through the link on Ravelry here.

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The Spiral shape is created by using short rows, much easier than it sounds, you knit 14 points in total and sew the cast on edge to the cast off edge and gather in the centre with a running stitch.

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I made 8 of the washcloths in total, the first was more of a trial one to see if I liked them, the 8th was to use up the yarn and I can gift it to someone else later.  The yarn I used was Rico Essentials Cotton Aran and I knitted two washcloths out of the one ball.

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I bought some lovely handmade raspberry soap from our local health food shop Well & Good and wrapped the bars up with the washcloths and a bit of organza ribbon. Simples!

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Nice, pretty and personal.

Happy Knitting!

 

 

Exploits in Crochet

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Following on from the crochet madness of Dina’s scarf I thought I’d have a go at making something else and as you might have seen on the Facebook Page or Instagram I decided to have a go at The Chunky Crochet Basket by Elizabeth Trantham.

Heading outside to crochet in the sun, I was grateful I’d managed to get the bottom of the basket made before the rain clouds appeared and chased me inside.  Thankfully Elizabeth has put photo tutorials to accompany the pattern up on her blog, great if you’re like me and assume because you can ‘do a little crochet’ you must be able to conquer the most complicated of patterns.

In her original basket, Elizabeth uses 2 strands of a super chunky yarn held together and an 8mm hook.  This means the resulting basket is sturdy and stands up independently like you might expect a basket to do.

2014-06-07 10.46.19Cue my attempt

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It’s general state of floppy isn’t really that bad.

I followed Elizabeth’s pattern but used 3 strands of Rico’s Country Aran held together and a 7mm hook.  This meant the base of the basket when I’d reached the suggested 48 stitches was a little on the small side so I continued increasing my stitches until I had 72. My basket is approximately 10″/26cm’s across it’s diameter.

The basket is a very usable height at /19cm7.5″and as you can see I decided not to add the handles.  I did work them up, but didn’t like the way mine turned out and my yarn was running a little short, so I completed 14 rounds of the half trebles.

 

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Perfect for my current crochet project, one of them anyway.

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I’m thinking ideal gifts for friends?  Ones that don’t crochet though because I’m pretty sure I had more than my original 72 stitches when it came to finishing off the basket with double crochet (ahem).

Happy Knitting or crochet.

 

World Wide Knit In Public Day

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It’s come around rather quickly again this year, technically it’s actually a  week but we’re celebrating on Saturday 21st.  The Saturday knitting group is scheduled to take place on the 21st anyway, so it would be lovely to think the sun might be shining.  Sunshine or not we can still knit can’t we?

As a little incentive to get a few more of you into the shop armed with your knitting and crochet we’ll have the market stall set outside as we did for Yarn Shop Day.  For those of you that missed it before, there will be packs of yarn, books and maybe some other bits and bobs all at discounted prices.

Come and join us for a for a bit of open air knitting fun (fingers crossed anyway).

Happy Knitting!

wwkip

 

 

1 More Sleep

So Yarn Shop Day is very nearly upon us, 1 more sleep until the fun begins.

As promised here’s a little peek at some of the goodies on offer tomorrow on our market stall outside the shop.

They’ll be all of these books and more all down to €5 each with some going for as little as €3.

All of the packs of yarn on the stall will be €20 each, including the multi packs.

There will be other yarn in the special bins for €3 a ball and the day will be full of on the spot give-aways.  Not to mention the raffle and the competition to find the fastest Knit Happens stocking knitter.

I hope to see as many of you as possible.

Happy Knitting!

Yarn Shop Day – Saturday May 3rd

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It seems like I’ve been trying to write this post for weeks now what with computer and internet problems *sigh*

Anyway….

Yarn shop day (taking place on Saturday May 3rd) is all about you showing your love for local yarn shops.  It is also an important opportunity for bricks and mortar shops – such as ourselves – to remind our customers how valuable our personal experience and knowledge of all things wonderful and wooly really is.

Whilst the online yarn market is fantastic for those that cannot manage to get into a shop or can’t find something particular it is also unfortunately taking away from the tradition of local yarn shops.  There is nothing better than going into your local yarn shop and having a good squidge and play with the wool, as well as getting hands on help and advice.  Knitters and crocheters alike are an enthusiastic bunch and our shop has often played host to a number of excited discussions about new projects and ideas between strangers that have bonded over their love of the craft.

Yarn shops are fast becoming an endangered species and every week I will have someone come in and say how nice it is to have found a wool shop because they no longer have a local one.  A visit to the yarn shop was something I looked forward to as a child and even now I still get excited when I go to a new place and discover they have a yarn shop to explore.

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So in the spirit of all things woolly we are planning the following events, giveaways and special offers to celebrate Yarn Shop Day.

  • The first 15 customers to spend €25 or more receive a baby knits goody bag.
  • 11am – There will be a demonstration on how to use the amazing Clover Pom-Pom Makers.
  • 2-4pm – We are holding a competition to see who can knit a “Knit Happens” stocking the fastest.
  • There will be a woolly raffle with prizes including Knit Pro needles, Scrumptious Yarn and a variety of books.  (Details of the raffle will be posted here and on Facebook in the coming days.)
  • A free Sparklemouse pattern will be sent to your via e-mail when you spend €5 or more.
  • Clearance packs of yarn and books will be available to buy throughout the day on our market stall outside at less than even Stash Dash Prices.

Throughout the week we will try (I stress the word try) to pop up photos of some of the items that will be  putting on the market stall and using as raffle prizes.

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Sparklemouse

Woolly Clearance

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The time has come to accept that my addiction for all things woolly might be getting a little out of hand.  I know, I know, most of you had probably already spotted it some time ago now and for those of you that know me, you’ll know it’s not going to stop any time soon.

Facing the facts, I need to make space before I disappear into one of the stock rooms and never return -“suffocation from yarn, there are worse ways to go”.

After discussing it with friends, family and anyone who’ll listen, I’ve decided to give in and try an ecommerce site.  My lovely customers have been asking me to do this for years now and I’m concerned they’ll think it’s so much more than it is (apologies in advance).

It is a clearance shop, with clearance prices.  The yarn will only be sold in packs of 10 balls and you can buy as many packs as you want at the much reduced prices.

I intend to work my way steadily through the boxes of Stash Dash yarn one at a time and will therefore be popping up new products on a weekly basis (I’m aiming for Tuesdays).  The yarn will be from all the companies we stock and will include acrylics, wool, cotton, blends, etc, though once it’s gone it’s gone.

Postage here is still extremely expensive, with An Post the cheapest at this stage.

They’re prices are  – €6.50 for 500g/1kg or €7.50 for 1.5kg/2kg

You can of course purchase your packs of yarn on the website and collect them from the shop, but I’d ask you to contact me to ensure I have it waiting for you at the shop for collection.

We’ll see how it works, maybe it will go so smoothly that I can be persuaded to look at running with a proper online shop at some stage.

For now this is where you’ll find us Online Clearance Shop

Please be patient with us, hopefully there won’t be too many teething problems 🙂

Happy Knitting!

 

Oh Dear

Oh dear indeed…….

The number of projects I’m currently working on has gotten a little out of hand lately and I only realised how bad things were getting when I opened a project bag and discovered about a third of a blanket knitted in beautiful, Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino that I’d completely forgotten about.  Hoping to regain control I frogged it!  All 600 metres of it!!!! Ouch!

So in an effort to overcome my problem and in the hope that I’ll manage to complete some of the ongoing wip’s I’d like to confess.

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Wip mania

Sorry for the awful pic, the sun wasn’t shining my way.

So…. They consist of

A piece of green knitting that needs to be felted and made into brooches.

One lace sock that needs it’s equally lacy partner.

3 balls of yarn for a gift that needs to be knitted ASAP as the birthday is looming.

There’s a beautiful piece of red knitting belonging to 8 year old Aoife from my children’s knitting group that needs sewing up into a cowl.

There’s a shop sample jumper in Stylecraft Stars.

Another shop sample is the woolly sheep I’ve made in Sirdar’s Snowflake Chunky and Snuggly Dk that needs sewing up and stuffing but I’d like to make some more legs so it’s a little more multi-coloured.

There’s the blue, grey and red Alice Cardigan that I’m knitting for myself.

More socks for me too.

Ongoing are the Knit Happens Stockings for the East Cork Rapid Response.

Also the Attic 24 inspired crochet flowers.

Catrina aka Purl Petal is to blame for the crochet squares.  If she hadn’t brought her beautiful blanket into the shop to show me, I wouldn’t have needed to start one.  Go and check it out  http://www.ravelry.com/projects/PurlPetal/granny-squares-crochet-blanket

 

10 in total

EXCEPT THERE’S NOT

Whist I was pulling out my patterns and books I realised that I’ve also been working on a jumper for my son Durahn, but have stopped because I need to check his measurements.

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Also, if this really is a confession, then I should probably include the bag of crochet bunting that I add to occasionally.  The two easy, cinema knitting scarves that I have hanging on the back of the door and my beautiful Moody Blanket.  The main part of which is finished but I need good light to photograph knitting the applied i-cord edge for a ‘how to’ post.

This is the missing, offending jumper for my son.  It’s beautiful and the yarn is lovely to work with but he’s 6 feet tall so it’s gonna be the right size even if I have to tie him up to measure him.

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How many wip’s do you have on the go?  I hope it’s not as bad as me.

I can’t even claim that they’re mostly for the shop this time.

Happy Knitting!

(we’re going to sweep gracefully over the three other projects I frogged and the crate full of items that just need sewing up too 😉 aren’t we?)