The Final Count Is In – Didn’t We Do Well?

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My shop looks rather bare now because as you can see from the photograph I gathered all of the blankets for Armenia from their hidey holes in order to pack them up ready for Global Missions Ireland to collect them.

I’m not sure the photograph shows everyone’s efforts off to full effect.  What you cant really tell is exactly how tall each pile is, or that they’re 4 deep.  (Tom Hardy looking on in the top left hand corner can though – Yum)

Global Missions Ireland will hopefully be taking them over to Armenia in the very near future and we’ve been promised photos which I’ll pop up for all to see.

In the mean time after gathering, folding and bagging and most importantly COUNTING, there are ……………. no you’ll have to wait just a little longer…….


Yes you did read that right, 118 blankets.  Everybody that took part should feel very proud of themselves, we did great.

News about our next collection will be coming very soon, but for now.

Happy Knitting!

I Think We’re There Now

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The last two weeks have seen an enormous amount of squares and finished blankets being handed in to us at the shop.  So many in fact that I’m pretty sure we’ve now passed our 83 blanket target – YIPPEE!

I know from talking to many of you that there are still squares out there yet to be handed in and we will still happily sew them up into the blankets.

Hopefully the Global Missions Ireland team will welcome a few extra blankets, if not I have a few other charities in mind for the surplus.

A humongous, ginormous, gargantuan THANK YOU for all of you that have supported our collection.  It is heart warming to see the extent of people’s goodwill.  I will take lots of pictures of the piles of blankets when all the sewing and crochet is complete.

Happy Knitting!

Blanket Update


Last week was a bumper week for our blanket collection and some of you may have already seen the photograph I’d posted up on our Facebook page of the 5 blankets Lil had completed.  In addition to Lil’s contribution we also received 30 more squares from the clients at Oak Lodge, a full size blanket , 51 squares from Lucy, 2 from Edwina, 5 from Mary O and 1 more from Dina.

At my last count that means we have 61 blankets although only 52 of them are fully finished, some still have to be sewn.  The collection will be going on until the last week in November so if you have time please get knitting or crocheting.

Happy Knitting!

Stash Dash Time


stash 13

For those of you that have been before you’ll know what it’s all about, the rest of you would probably best to read this previous post here


Basically, we cover up all the shelves and lay out as many tables as we can fit into the shop; on top of these we put all the yarn we’re discontinuing.  There could be whole ranges of yarn, shades of yarn and some you might not have seen before.  There will be odd balls, several balls and packs of balls, no matter what, all balls are €3 each.


There are things to consider: you have to book your slot, you only have 20 minutes (you’re timed), you have to prepare, dig out the patterns, check your favourites on Ravelry, make sure you know how much double knit/aran/chunky you need.  Have a look at the post linked above if you’re not sure and make sure you book your place quickly before they all go.


This is what you should be expecting.


Happy Knitting!


Everything Has Gone Square


As you might expect my life is being dominated by squares at the moment. In my naivety I thought this latest charity collection would be lovely and simple – really! What was I thinking?!

So there’s the making of the squares, that bit is simple. Except I’ve had to take an executive decision and forgo the making part to move onto the blanket stage. This involves the all important selecting of the squares and laying them out into a blanket. (this can take a while)

Then there’s the sewing:

  1.   Sew 4 squares together to make a strip
  2.   Sew 5 strips up to make a blanket
  3.   Sew all ends in
  4.   Crochet the border



Now to be fair to blankets look absolutely beautiful, particularly because they’re made up of multi-coloured squares that you probably wouldn’t put together if you had the choice. Mixing the colours and styles up really adds to the eclectic feel of the blankets and hones in on the popularity of ‘Shabby Chic’ at the moment. Truthfully, you could probably sell the blankets in a vintage store FOR A LOT OF MONEY with the current trend in all things handmade. Don’t worry I won’t.


The good news is we have 40, yes 40 blankets in various states of completion, which is fantastic and has made all the work worthwhile.  We still have approximately a week left to get as many squares in before we have to send of the blankets, so please keep at it.

In the meantime I’ve just discovered that I’m short of a square to complete the blanket I’ve been sewing up, so I’ve had to crochet a quick one.


Happy Knitting!


Wow, How Hot is It?

It seems like ages since I managed to get on here and post up a little snippet of life in the shop.

For the past 2 weeks we’ve been so busy with the blankets that it feels like we’ve done little else.  Given the time restraints for the collection (3rd August) it’s very difficult not to get absorbed with knitting & sewing squares.  I have managed to get a pair of socks knitted and think I could become obsessed.  They’re the first pair I’ve made using the two circular needle method as championed by Cat Bordhi.  If you’re interested in seeing this method check out her video on


If you were on Ardmore Beach this week you could have possibly spotted me trying to get ahead with my Autumn/Winter Samples.


If that wasn’t enough the Innocent Smoothie/Age Action Campaign is back again, more about that another time.  I’m off to knit or sew, or both if that’s possible.

Happy Knitting!

Squares Everywhere


Our blanket collection for The House of Hope in Vanadzor, Armenia is well underway and there are squares everywhere.

I’ve got piles of them sorted by size, strips already sewn to be made up into blankets and several finished blankets complete with crochet border, a very basic crochet border believe me.

We’ve calculated it takes approximately 7.5 hours to sew the squares together, sew in all the ends and crochet the border.  So we’ve been trying to sew the squares up as they come in to try and keep on top of things.  A big thank you to those that have been sewing as well as knitting.

As you might expect, the squares initially came in, in various sizes and dare I say shapes.  Undeterred all squares are being used and as you can see the blankets are beautiful when sewn up.


Please keep your squares coming in as we would love to be able to give as many residents as possible a blanket each.  It might be a little ambitious though as there will hopefully be 80 people, nothing like a challenge.

Happy Knitting!

Here’s Another Idea For The Blanket Squares


Some of you may recall we knitted 14″ blankets for the maternity hospital a couple of years ago now and the pattern many of us used was knit on the diagonal.

20cms/8" or there abouts
20cms/8″ or there about

The beauty of the pattern was that you started with 1 stitch and increased by 1 stitch on every row until you’d reached your desired size.  You then knit one row plain and begin decreasing 1 stitch every row until they’re all gone.

Easy peasy!

8inch/20cm Charity Blanket Square


Any weight of yarn

Appropriate size needles for yarn

 Eg: Double knit yarn = 4mm,

      Aran weight = 5mm

      Chunky yarn = 6.5mm

      Super chunky weight = 10mm



K – Knit

KFB – Knit into the front and the back of the next stitch

K2Tog – Knit the next 2 stitches together


Cast on 1 stitch

1st Row – Knit into the front and the back of the stitch, (2 stitches).

2nd Row – K1, KFB, (3 Stitches)

3rd Row – K1, KFB, K to end, (4 Stitches).

You can see that by increasing in every second stitch a decorative border is produced.  Repeat row 3 until either of the sides is approximately 8”/20cm (please note you are working on the diagonal). 

Next work one row in knit without any increase.

To decrease K1, K2tog, K to end.

Repeat this decreasing 1 stitch on every row until only 2 stitches remain, K2Tog

Cast off final stitch and sew in ends.

Needs blocking

Lap Blankets For Armenia

As our collection of winter woolies for Chernobyl draws to an end we are happy to announce our next charity project.

GMI logo jpegGlobal Missions Ireland (Charity No: CHY13718) is a Cork based charity that undertakes in missions both at home and around the world. Locally they run feeding programs to reach the people in the City of Cork.

On foreign missions they work with the local church to reach out to the most vulnerable and marginalised in society. The charity’s main aim is to run mission trips, which provide people with an avenue to work abroad or help a community, which they feel, are in need.  They send people from the medical field, construction industry, teachers, housewives any sector that they find will help in the country that they are working in.

This year  Global Missions have got a team going to the ‘House of Hope’ retirement home in Vanadzor, Armenia. Here there are 80 men and women taken out of deplorable conditions to live in safety and comfort. It was set up to house the elderly community who had been living in derelict buildings and containers since the earthquakes in 1988.
The team will be running feeding programs, giving bread made in the ‘ House of Hope’ bread factory to those in the community that are in need. They will also visit with social workers other in the locality that are in need of help to try and rehabilitate and rehouse them into better conditions.
These elderly people need our help as they have very little and Global Missions has specifically asked if we’d be interested in making lap blankets.  These will help to keep the residents that little bit warmer whilst at the same time giving them a gift of kindness they can cherish.
Calling all of you that knit and/or crochet for your help.  We’d also welcome those of you that sew or can be a little creative with felting old jumpers.
What we’re after?
  • As we’re making lap blankets these can be either the complete, finished article or 20cm/8″ squares which we will sew together to make blankets 100cm x 120cms/40″ by 48″
  • Squares can be made using any yarn however, please remember these blankets will need to be washable and warm.  Chunky yarn will knit up quicker and remember that you can always use more than one strand of yarn together.  Two strands of double knit worked together is the same as using a chunky yarn.
  • Squares can be in any pattern/design of your choosing and we have no colour preference.  knit, crochet or as I mentioned before sewn or felted it really doesn’t matter.  Take this opportunity to use up your leftovers.
  • Spread the word – we’d love to hand over as many blankets as possible.  Tell other knitting groups, schools & colleges, residential homes, church groups, etc.
  • The closing date for our collection is Saturday 3rd August.  It would helps us enormously if you are making squares if you could send them in sooner if possible to allow time to sew them up.  Even if it means giving them in in batches.

There are absolutely loads of lap blankets available on

There are also loads of patterns available for 20cm/8″ squares out there in cyberspace, just type ‘knit a square’ into your web browser.

The Knitter/Simply knitting Magazine ran a campaign for Refuge last year in which they asked for squares the same size to be donated.  You may well have a copy of the magazines neatly filed on a shelf.  Crocheting a square should be simple enough as you just stop when you’ve reached the right size.

I intend to pop up a few square patterns when I’ve knitted some examples but I wanted to get the collection underway.

Technically speaking if your tension is correct, casting on 28sts (loosley) with chunky yarn on 6.5mm needles will give you 20cms horizontally.  Knit in stocking stitch until square is 20cms vertically and cast off loosley.

Hint: I’m terrible for casting on/off too tight so I use a needle at least one size larger

If you want to have a closer look at what the charity does checkout their Facebook page