I’m still not completely convinced by these photos. In my head, I know exactly what I’m after, but it’s not coming out quite as I’ve planned it.
I’m still not completely convinced by these photos. In my head, I know exactly what I’m after, but it’s not coming out quite as I’ve planned it.
I’m figuring that I’ll have caught up with my Christmas 2014 posts just in time for Christmas 2015 at this rate. In truth I could just post every day for a few weeks, but then I run the risk of boring you all to death, so I’m hoping that despite this being another ‘Christmas’ themed post, it’s still interesting?
It comes as no surprise I’m sure, to hear that I love all things fibre and have been fascinated by weaving for some time. Rather embarrassingly, I actually own several looms, I say embarrassingly because I’m not sure who I was trying to kid when we purchased a giant floor sized loom years ago. Truthfully, my intentions were good at the time and it was a complete bargain, but really???
My smaller, more manageable looms sometimes see the light of day and I was very lucky to have spent the day Tapestry Weaving with the very talented Pascale de Coninck many moons ago now, but lets face it, I’m more than likely to be found with my needles.
I like to get the children I teach to have a go at making a secret Christmas gift for their favourite person, but it can be difficult to come up with something suitable. Some of the girls (they’re all girls at the moment) have been knitting with me for a couple of years now, whilst some are new to the hobby and need a little more time.
I spent ages researching different ideas and kept coming across weaving, particularly for wall hangings. They seem to be everywhere at the moment Pinterest is full of them and they’ve even made it in to several magazines.
Having taught weaving to a group of children before I dug around and discovered an old loom I’d made with strong cardboard years ago and copied it, cutting ‘teeth’ out every 1.5cms. Ensuring you have an even number of teeth to give you an odd number of wraps will make things easier (we had 9 warp threads) . I wrapped the warp threads and tied them at the back so the girls could crack on with the weaving.
Using a plastic needle threaded with the yarn of their choice, they wove a basic over and under weave, remembering to wrap the yarn the opposite way on each following row. We had a couple of mishaps with un-weaving to begin with
There were a few things I knew we’d struggle with, with the girls because of our limited time – namely the ends so I searched children’s weaving on Pinterest and happened upon artblog.com which used tape to secure the ends – perfect 🙂
Every time we added a new colour we used masking tape to secure the old and the new ends to the board. Try to make sure your masking tape is the easy lift decorating one or else you could end up damaging your fabric.
Having filled their looms we worked on securing the warp thread ends. Firstly I ran a line of tape up along one side of the warp threads on the back.
Before cutting them straight down the middle.
Flipping the work over to the right side, we knotted the warp thread ends into bunches of three. Then lifting the tape on the back off we did the same at the other end.
The tricky part was removing the weaving from the board, ideally when you weave the ends are woven in as you go, but that would have been far too time consuming.
I had the wonderful task of peeling of the little bits of tape so we could lay the ends flat against the back of the piece.
After a little trim, here’s where the magic from Bar Rucci’s post comes in handy – Gaffer Tape 😍 Using the super strong tape I ♦obliterated♦ the ends. The tape also made the weaving firmer and less likely to sag. Win, win 🏆
You can never have too many pompoms, so we added three to our wall hangings, which we tied to one end of the warp threads. Covering our ends with a little more gaffer tape.
Lastly, we ran a stick through the top set of warp threads to hang our wall hangings with.
Weaving is a great way to use up odds and ends of yarn and you can add lots of interest with funky fibres or strips of material. Each of the girls chose their own colours and textures making each piece individual.
I think you’ll agree the girls wall hangings turned out lovely and festive (even the ones that are back to front 😶)
I think they all enjoyed it?
I feel like I’ve wasted so much time this week trying to post here, Ravelry and Facebook without any success because our internet has been so poor 😡 So the first thing I did when I arrived at the shop this morning was upload lots of photos to store in my various media libraries, ready for the next few posts. I also managed to get the pattern for my latest hat Toasty & Textured up on Ravelry at last too ⭐
The hat is knitted in 1×1 moss stitch with Rico Essentials Big on 7mm needles. I’ve also knitted up a couple with Rico Flame and will try and persuade Dina, to let me take a photo or two 😉 at the weekend to post here.
January can be a difficult month for some after the extravagances and the build up of the festive season, even the most positive among us can feel like the wind has been knocked out of us a little. I’m fortunate in that Dina’s birthday is on the 16th, which gives us something to enjoy and this year she’ll be 25!!! So to ♥celebrate♥ I’ve made the pattern for Toasty & Textured free to download until the end of the month with the coupon code 25.
Be sure to enter 25 before you checkout and remember to share you’re projects so we can see. The hat is super speedy to knit and will work for both men and women. I’m hoping to find a couple of sneaky hours to have a play with combining some of my stash yarns and will post photos of the results here if they work.
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 😜
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 😱
I love it!
I hope he doesn’t object to making me a load of them in different materials and different colours now 😇
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.
I 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.
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.
I liked them so much that I’ve even made one for me.
Tate looks rather fetching in Leann’s one too, bless him.
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?
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 👨
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 📷
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 🖭
Following on from my Ophelia post, a good few of you asked about the pattern for the hat Dina was wearing. Ever organised 😕 I obviously had the pattern written up. To be fair I did, but it was on Post-it Notes rather than on the computer and it was no where near ready for anyone else to have a look at.
Since then it’s been typed up, test knitted and corrected and is now up on Ravelry Here for €2 but it’s free to download on Ravelry until Midnight on Christmas Day with the checkout code Ophelia. (Enter it before you checkout.)
It only took the one ball and a couple of hours to knit up and should work with most chunky yarns or even 2 strands of double knit yarn held together like this one.
I used 2 strands of King Cole Galaxy Double Knit.
Last night the knitting group decended on the Pepperstack Bistro for our Christmas get together. I think it’s obvious that good fun was had by all in attendance and we all left full to the brim. The food as always, was tasty and filling and the staff were as lovely and attentive.
We all took part in the Secret Santa Christmas Tree Decoration Swap, as you can see from the photos the standard of knitting and crochet this year was quite high.
With only 14 more sleeps to go until the big day there’s not that many more hours left to get those gifts made up (if you’re like me anyway).
I’m not usually too much of a fan of furry yarns, but of late I’ve noticed there are changes underfoot. I even caught myself pondering colours for a project and warming to mint? Those of you that know me, will know I’m not really a pastel kind of girl, quite the opposite usually, but combine the mint and my new found amour with fur and it’s fair to say I’m concerned 😮
In fairness to myself the fur I’m alluding to is in colours more to my usual taste and it is so incredibly soft, that I’d defy any of you not to be smitten too.
The yarn I’m referring to is Ophelia from Sirdar.
Each 50g ball contains 95metres/104yards of this yummy yarn which also has a glimpse of lustre from it due to the metallic thread running through it. Ophelia knits to a tension of 14 stitches by 19 rows on 6.5mm needles and is perfect for making garments and accessories, as well as gifts. Ophelia is machine washable and easy care.
Despite how busy things get round here when Winter hits, I did manage to find the time to have a play and whipped up a really quick hat – beautifully modelled by Dina my ever suffering daughter.
Her co-operation, as you can see was very forthcoming….
I’d caught her off guard when she was sweeping after we’d closed on Saturday, hence the broom.
Me being me, couldn’t resist popping it on her head – oops, I slipped 😉
Not sure exactly what she was about to say, maybe it was Festive or Fluffy?
Come to think of it I’m rather lucky she didn’t bop me with the broom.
Still smitten I used another colour to knit my Heart Decorations
One ball for all 3 and they’ve already been referred to as boudoir hearts. Wonder if I’ll get away with giving them to my Secret Santa recipient?
There have been so many yummy yarnny deliveries of late that the stock rooms are fit to burst and there’s a danger that I’ll go in one day and never return
There were 2 deliveries last week, 2 the week before and there have been 3 so far this week, with at least one more due. Sadly, this does mean that I’m a little behind when it comes to telling you all what’s in and even more behind with knitting my samples for the shop 😳
Cracking on then –
Last week was a good week for those sock knitters among us with several different items arriving in to help keep your toes toasty. The Knitpro Karbonz in 2.5mm are back and I’ve also stocked up on the 2.5mm Knitpro circulars too.
Now for some yarn porn
The almost complete range of Opal Solids
Something we haven’t had for a while now – 6ply sock yarn. It’s the Daydreaming range from Opal. Can’t wait to give 6ply (double knit to you and me) socks a go 💡
Another new addition and one completely at the other side of the woolly spectrum is Flame from Rico Yarns.
Flame from Rico, is a lightweight super chunky yarn, note I said lightweight. Each 50g ball contains a whopping 90 metres and knits to a tension of 10 stitches to 14 rows on 10mm needles. it’s a wool blend, 40% wool/60% acrylic and I’ve opted for 6 of the available 7 variegated shades (2 of them were very similar). Reasonably priced too at €4.99 per ball – Bargain!
We have patterns too and I’ve promised Dina a cardi but I have to cast on a jumper I’ve been promising Durahn first. In the meantime I think I might get a hat knitted up for the shop and possibly the odd Christmas gift too.
I’m happy, no throwing cartwheel ecstatic, to report that we’ve done it!
We’ve managed to collect our target 5000 stockings for the Knit Happens Campaign and more 🙂
The stockings have been checked, counted, bagged up into 50’s, (checked twice) and sent out in counter top boxes to the lovely East Cork Rapid Response people to distribute for sale around the East Cork area.
So far you should hopefully be able to find them at the following outlets.
Ladysbridge Post Office
Castle Holistic Clinic Castlemartyr
Pobail Scoil na Trionaide Youghal
Cobh Leisure Centre
East Ferry Rowing Club
Robinson Tyres Midleton
Ballymacoda Post Office
Brodericks Garage Shanagarry
Sammy Revins Butchers Youghal
Read n Write Youghal
Sean Twomey Butcher Youghal
Crees Card Shop Youghal
Cloyne Post Office
Wallis Bar Midleton
Midleton Park Hotel
Results Fitness Midleton
Dr. Morehan Killeagh
Colemans Newsagent Killeagh
McCarthys News Midleton
Well n Good Midleton
Dr Dorans Surgery
Garveys Supervalu Cobh
Murphys Centra Cobh
Keatings Londis Newtown Cobh
Nutrition Club Midleton
Old Thatch Killeagh
Community Radio Youghal
We’re still in need of more outlets and would love to hear from any in the East Cork Area that would be happy to sell a few stockings to help raise funds for the East Cork Rapid Response. If you see the boxes in any of the places mentioned, please take a photo and share it on the Knit Happens Facebook Page so we can give a little nod to all of those supporting the campaign.
In the meantime…..