Getting Back to Normal

leftfootdais-puppy-rizla

That must be the longest amount time I’ve ever gone without blogging – seven weeks to be precise.

It was a little bit of self-imposed hiding in truth.  A couple of days after my last post we had to say goodbye to my daughter’s dog Puppy (on the left), which was incredibly difficult.  Her real name was Dope and bless her she really was.  She was far from the most sensible of animals, particularly when it came to vehicles.  She’d been in two accidents the first resulted in a big operation and pins in one of her hips and one of her legs.  The second meant she had to have one of her back legs amputated.  Despite all of this she was a very happy dog, always smiling and incredibly loyal, always circling back to me to make sure I was ok when we were out walking and very protective if a stranger came near.

Saying goodbye was a very tough decision, but having had dogs for most of my life, I understand it’s part of it.  The joy they bring far outweighs the bad and it’s true to say that mine have been my salvation, sanity and companions.  So it was horrendous when we had to say another goodbye two weeks later, this time it was to our big, old, Labrador, Rizla.  She was puppy’s mum and had been poorly for a little while and went downhill almost immediately after.

My local vets were incredible and they were very patient with us through the whole journey.  They really did make everything so much easier and now my girls, all three of them, are resting in one of their favourite sunny spots in the garden.  (very deep down obviously).

Now I only have the boys, Errol and Thom, although if you hear me calling them you might wonder if they really are boys.  I find they sometimes only really respond when I shout out ‘girlies’ like I always have  😂

The death of the dogs meant I really wasn’t able to focus on much for a while and as a result, the work started to pile up, particularly the stuff for the Harvest Moon Issue of Olann and.  So much so, that when I did feel able to tackle the ever-growing pile of items, I was so behind, that it feels like I’ve been tied to my computer for about a month.

It’s a very rare day when I won’t knit a stitch, but there have definitely been some and on others, it was all I could do to complete that day’s Knitted Diary.  Food, because I was working such odd hours, for the most part, consisted of a sandwich and a chocolate bar, with the odd hot meal thrown in.  However, despite the total lack of routine, I did manage to keep on exercising and walking the boys – score!

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Now that the Harvest Moon Issue is published, it was completely worth it.  I am thrilled with how everything came together and I’m so grateful to my friends, two of whom, Goosey Lucy and Catherina, made samples for the photographs and Helen, aka @prettyfunkyknitter, who wrote the article about the Irish Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.

There’s no rest for the wicked though because we were behind getting this issue out it means we have to start working on the next issue immediately and October is tax return month too 😱  I’ve also promised myself that I’m going to stick to a plan of blogging and podcasting for Olann and, after that, I’m going to do my best to pop in here and continue to document my making.

leftfootdaisy-getting-back-to-normal-sunny-summer-days (600 x 503)

I’ve loads of makes to catch up on from the last issue, Sunny Summer Days, there’s the Carnival Hat,  the Modulation Mitts and the Baby Boatneck Sweater that I’d like to shine a little spotlight on.  There’s also a design I created for Yarn Vibes to talk about and then there are the Melange Cowl, Dream Cardi and Subalpine Hat that I made for the Harvest Moon Issue.

handweavers-guild-cork-pin-weaving-lora

In amongst all of that, there have been baby knits, both finished and ongoing and I even managed to do a little Pin Weaving after starting it at the September meeting of the Handweavers Guild of Cork.  (there’s more than what’s in the photo, not much more, but still.)

leftfootdaisy-getting-back-to-normal-conifer-cardigan (600 x 600)

Last but not least, I sat down this weekend and did some work on the Conifer Cardigan I’m making for my grandson due in the New Year, but I’ll give you all the details next time.

In the meantime, it’s a quick cuppa and back to the accounts for me.

Happy Making!

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Knitting for Little People

leftfootdaisy-knitting-for-little-people-baby-layette-featured-image

Lately, it seems like the majority of my knitting has been on projects that have to be kept under wraps.  Which does tend to make talking about them a little difficult?

I couldn’t resist sharing a sneaky photo on Instagram the other week, but since then I’ve shown total restraint when it comes to flashing these lovely little baby knits.

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Knitting the Woodlawn Vest

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I’ve been a little slack when it comes to talking about the garments I’ve been knitting for Olann and.  To be honest, the time just seems to run away on me and before I know it, the next issue is released and that window of opportunity feels lost.  As Deirdre and I have decided to switch, from a bi-monthly publishing schedule to a quarterly one, hopefully they’ll be more time (for both of us) to do the things we planned to.

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The These Islands Book Launch – Come See

final cover

Come and have a look at what you missed if you couldn’t join us and if you were there it’s time to see the photos.

It was all hands on deck to set up between the shop closing at 5 and the launch starting at 7.30pm but we managed and it was lovely to be able to see the design samples knitted up.

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The Happy Out Mitts that Sara had knitted up looked fab in the the Cinnabar shade of Smudge Yarns 4ply.

2015-04-09 19.09.11The Hip Hop Hat sample shown here is knitted in Smudge Yarns double Knit.   The beautiful blue shade is Cairn, whilst the lime green is Fuggles, a name you just can’t say without smiling 🙂

2015-04-09 19.08.40Confession time now, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the Crosshatched Cowl, it didn’t really appeal to me.  However, I’m a convert, seeing the knitted sample in the shop last night really changed my mind about this piece.  The colours in the Pencil Roving really pop with the Herringbone Stitch, it tempted quite a few people too, judging by how much of it was sold.

2015-04-09 19.10.15As I mentioned in the previous post about the book launch.  There were kits for the Beaker Shawl Knit Along available last night (I also have a few available here in the shop).  Much discussion was given over to choosing the complimentary colour for the KAL and as you can see from the photo, the choice was a made harder by the sheer scrumminess of shades available in the lace weight.

Don’t forget that if you ‘cast on’ your shawl via Ravelry by Sunday you’ll automatically be entered into a draw to win a hank of Smudge Yarns Laceweight yarn.  (I’ll pop up a quick post later today on how to this for those of you that haven’t ever done this before.)

2015-04-09 20.07.03I kicked things off with my usual chit chat, minding my p’s and q’s a little and then handed things over to Sara so she could share with us how the book came about.

2015-04-09 20.07.32Sara handed the gauntlet over to Evin to tell us a bit more about the book and the ethos behind the yarns used, before we moved on to the socialising, laughing and general merriment.

2015-04-09 20.26.28The turnout for the launch was fantastic, it’s great to see fibre folk coming out to offer their support and better still when it’s for local knitterly people.

2015-04-09 20.26.34Dina my lovely and ever suffering daughter, went round with the camera gently persuading everybody to smile.  Having reviewed the photos, it evidently meant she wasn’t in front of it at any time.  Does anyone have photographic evidence that she was there?

2015-04-09 20.30.27See those smiles.  Fiona, Rachele, Sadie and Lee Ann seem to be enjoying themselves.

2015-04-09 20.29.35As do Noreen and Liz.

2015-04-09 20.33.08Hilda and Catherina posing for the camera (I think I spy a KAL kit there).  Isn’t Catherina’s crochet Granny shawl beautiful?

2015-04-09 20.33.52Smiles all round from Joan, Erin, Sara and Carol.

2015-04-09 20.20.44Clare and Michelle doing a great job of enjoying themselves and plugging the book at the same time.

2015-04-09 20.29.58I managed to get in on the action too, laughing of course with Orela and Edwina.

2015-04-09 20.33.21How lucky am I?  My best friend Snadra was over from England too.

2015-04-09 19.07.02I know some of you will be eager to hear about the raffle prize, but I’m not quite ready to tell you yet.

2015-04-09 21.01.06It wouldn’t be a book launch, without a book signing or two as demonstrated here by Sara and Evin.

2015-04-09 21.00.11Having roped the lovely Carol Feller in to draw the winner I’m really happy to say Noreen won the hamper of goodies, can’t wait to see what she makes with the ‘special edition’ yarns.

I know you’re probably wondering…..

2015-04-10 14.39.07Yes, I did.

Happy Knitting!

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These Islands: Knits from Ireland, Scotland, and Britain Book Launch

Book Launch (2)

It’s all been confirmed, we’ve sat down,  deliberated, cogitated and digested and I am now happily able to announce that the These Islands book launch will take place on Thursday 9th April from 7.30 to 9.30pm

These Islands includes eight never before published patterns for hats, a cowl, shawls, fingerless gloves, and boot cuffs using locally-processed wool made from the fleece of Irish, Scottish, or British sheep with names. The patterns are designed by Sara Breitenfeldt, Suzanne McEndoo, and Evin Bail O’Keeffe.

Suzanne currently lives in Edinburgh so won’t be able to make the launch however, both Evin and Sara will be available for book signing, laughter and fun.

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A Cork resident, Evin is the author of the 2014 Blog Awards Ireland award-winning craft blog EvinOK.com.  In addition to being a busy mum and her blog, Evin also managed to find the time to write and release her book Bake Knit Sew, which showcases a year of creativity in baking, knitting, and sewing. The book offers a complete year of projects! With over 50 full-color photographs shot on location here in scenic Cork.  To find out more about Bake Knit Sew or to order your copy head over to the Anchor & Bee website here.

smudgeMany of you will already have heard of Sara, now a Midleton resident too,  as is the creator and owner of the  hand dyed yarn company Smudge Yarns.   Sara’s beautiful yarns are available to purchase via her website or in a handful of shops around Ireland, including mine 🙂  There is also a Smudge Yarns Facebook Page here and a Ravelry Group too for you to join should you want to show you’re appreciation.

The gates open at 7.30pm for the book launch, with everything kicking off ♥ proper ♥ at 8pm.  This will be a ticketed event due to the size of the shop, so spaces are limited.  There will be refreshments, book signing and all ticket holders will be automatically entered into the craft hamper raffle (more details to follow later, watch this space).

Tickets are €5 each and can be purchased in the shop with me or via the Smudge Yarns website here 

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In addition to the book, Sara hopes to have some of her yummy yarn on sale to tempt you, she will also officially launch her Beaker Folk Shawl Knit A Long on the night.  Kits will be available to purchase at the launch and we hope to get as many of you casting on for the KAL as possible.

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As a special incentive to get involved, everyone who “Casts On” the project on Ravelry before midnight on Sunday 12th April will be entered in a draw for a special limited edition skein of yarn.

Beaker 3

The shawl can be knitted in one of two sizes,  either as a smaller shawlette, or as a larger wrap.  The photographs shown here have been taken from the book and have been knitted using Smudge Yarns Hand Dyed Lace Yarn and 5.5mm needles.  The featured colourway if you’re interested, is the beautiful denim hues of 💙 Beara 💙

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If you’d like to have a closer look at the Beaker Folk Shawl, we’ve a sample garment on display in the shop at the moment.

I’m really excited to be able to showcase this brilliant book and hope some of you will be able to join us on what promises to be a great, fibre related evening.

Happy Knitting!

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Stylecraft Malabar

Malabar2

Summer yarns aren’t as popular for us as you might think?  After 10 years in this business I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s several reasons for this.

  • Many summer garments are fashion rather than classic and this can be off putting to even the most dedicated knitter amongst us.
  • Lots of knitters are also gardeners, so they switch loyalty when the sun begins to make an appearance.
  • Summer yarns usually means double knit or 4ply traditionally = a lot more knitting.
  • Our summer isn’t too long, so the garment you’ve lovingly created doesn’t get worn much.  Fine if it’s a classic piece but refering back to the first point I made….

At last it would appear the big yarn companies have started to listen and this year we’re seeing a good few summer yarns in aran weight 🙂

I’ve had a play with some of the main releases and have decided to go with Malabar from Stylecraft so far.

malabar

As I’ve said, it’s an aran weight yarn, a blend of 22% silk/78% cotton, fantastic for €6.75 per ball.  There’s approximately 180yds/165m in each 100g ball and the suggested tension is 18 stitches x 24 rows to a4″/10cm square on 5mm needles.  Did I mention there’s 12 colours too?

Malabar 3

The good folks at Stylecraft Yarns have released lots of accompanying patterns, including the crochet shawl at the top of this post, which is likely to be a favourite of everybody’s because it’s just so pretty.  I’m quite smitten by the summer shrug/cardigan on the accessories pattern leaflet here in cream 

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Truthfully though, I’m thinking of knitting Mimic by Veronika Jobe for myself in Malabar when I’ve finished a couple of my ongoing projects.  In the mean time I’ve run up a little Yoked Cardigan by Hannah Fettig aka Knitbot as a mini display garment for the shop in the fabulous summery, turquoise shade.

Interesting fact for you all, turquoise is meant to be the one colour that we all look good in regardless of our skin tone, eye colour or age, it’s universal.

Happy Knitting!

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