Psst…

Book Launch

I’m really excited to announce that we’ll be hosting a book launch for the fantastic book These Islands: Knits from Ireland, Scotland and Britain by Sara Breitenfeldt, Suzanne McEndoo, and Evin Bail O’Keeffe soon.

As you can see from the photo above the date is still to be confirmed, but is likely to be sometime over the coming fortnight.

Watch this space

Happy Knitting!

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2014 & One Day

Hello 2015

Why 2014 & one day?  Several reasons really.

1)  It was a bloody awful start to 2015 here.  It was blowing up a gale and raining and the sun was obviously nursing a post New Years Eve hangover and didn’t seem to show her face all day.  Unlike today which is a much prettier and heart warming (so far).  Don’t get me wrong, the sun’s not out there splitting the stones, this is winter in Ireland after all, but the day is full of expectation and anticipation for 2015 🌻

2)  I’m sure I’m not the only person guilty of this…. I went into a bit of a cleaning frenzy.  It’s come to my notice that I actually spend very little time in my house and thus far have been able to remain blissfully unaware of how much clutter we have accumulated.  🆗 Cards on the table time, it’s not going to change, but I do think I need to address the situation.  So yesterday I tackled the fridges and the kitchen, there’s still the oven to do, but I forgot to slather it in bicarb again last night 😖 and next it’s the living room 🆘

3)  I wanted to start as I mean to go on and cook more, so I did, at least for the men folk as I wasn’t hungry and ended up wolfing down something later.

4)  My internet connection was horrendous, probably because of item 1 on this list or maybe there were other 👽  cosmic forces at work?

5)  I went to see The Hobbit 🎥 which I thoroughly enjoyed, regardless of how true to the book it was.  Pure entertainment, although I did shed a tear or two 😢

2014 was a pretty good one, yes there were a few moments of yuck there however, I woke up every morning so it can’t have been that bad and I laughed a lot, there is always room for improvement on that front though.

2014 was a busy year though as you can see from the photos.  We had our year long charity campaign Knit Happens (more info soon), knitted Shamrocks for Age Action, the first Yarn Shop Day and made crochet critters for The Craft Club’s Guinness World Record Yarnbomb attempt in aid of The Little Haven’s Hospice add to this our refurbishment, it’s no wonder I’ve felt a little overwhelmed at times.

Happily 😄 I’ve managed to knit loads and have been trying to perfect my crochet skills too.  I think my favourites this year have been my shawls of which there have been five, one of which was for a good friend.

I won’t bore you with the list, actually lets be honest, that would mean I’d have to have stuck to my original plan at the start of the year.  Ever the positive, I did manage to upload more items on Ravelry and I kept a knitting journal until the end of April and I also posted here 60 times  (pausing to bow).

Looking forward, all of the same things apply as before

🌻 More organised

🌻 More exercise

🌻 Eat better

🌻 Feed my brain more

🌻 Relax more

🌻 Enjoy life

🌻 Laugh as much as possible.

🌻 Need to knit more socks too  🌻

Could possibly be a mini New Years Resolution…. not a pair a month though, more like a pair every 2 months maybe?

Happy 2015 to you and yours.  May all you wish for yourself and more come true ✨

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Look What Durahn Made For Me

 

Top 64

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 😜

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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 😱

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I love it!

I hope he doesn’t object to making me a load of them in different materials and different colours now 😇

Happy Knitting!

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Drum Roll Please ……. Smudge Yarns Have Arrived

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Look at the lovely parcel that arrived yesterday.  (Actually there were 4 more but lets look at this one now)

OK so from the outside it doesn’t look so great and you’d never know what was inside, unless of course you’ve spotted the sticker?

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Can you make out what it is now?

The anticipation is actually killing me, all this photo taking lark is completely against my inner self screaming ‘just open the damn thing’.

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Gorgeous, hand dyed here in Cork, Smudge Superwash Sock Yarn is €23 per 100g.  There’s five shades to choose from at the moment and each beautiful 100g hank contains 300 metres of blended 4ply yarn, 70% wool/30% nylon.  Not just for socks, I’m thinking a shawl maybe, but I do ♥love♥ my socks…..

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Happy Knitting!

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So Much Yarn

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 o_O

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

2014-11-14 09.29.043 delightful shades in Opal Beachcoming

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The almost complete range of Opal Solids

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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.

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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!

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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.

flame hat

Happy Knitting!

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There Off and Where You Can Find Them

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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.

Castlemartyr Resort

Garryvoe Stores

Ladysbridge Post Office

Greengrocer Castlemartyr

Castle Holistic Clinic Castlemartyr

Pobail Scoil na Trionaide Youghal

Cobh Leisure Centre

East Ferry Rowing Club

Robinson Tyres Midleton

Ballymacoda Post Office

Crowleys Youghal

O’sullivans Gortroe

Brodericks Garage Shanagarry

Sammy Revins Butchers Youghal

Read n Write Youghal

Sean Twomey Butcher Youghal

Crees Card Shop Youghal

Castlemartyr Florist

Centra Cloyne

Cloyne Post Office

Youghal Library

Wallis Bar Midleton

Midleton Park Hotel

Results Fitness Midleton

Dr. Morehan Killeagh

Colemans Newsagent Killeagh

Arcade Midleton

McCarthys News Midleton

Well n Good Midleton

4home Midleton

Costcutters Carrigtohill

Dr Dorans Surgery

Centra Carrigtohill

Bramley Lodge

Garveys Supervalu Cobh

Murphys Centra Cobh

Keatings Londis Newtown Cobh

Rosies Aghada

Days Whitegate

Nutrition Club Midleton

Ladysbridge Market

Old Thatch Killeagh

Community Radio Youghal

Big, big, big thanks to everyone involved so far.

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…..

Happy Knitting!

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It’s A Bit Bonkers Round Ere Of Late, Ain’t It?

Wow!

There has been so much going on lately that I’m struggling a little more than usual to keep up.

On Sunday as I’d mentioned, I went to the RDS for The Knitting & Stitching Show. Unfortunately, for my ever suffering husband, my car decided it really had had enough of driving back and forth on the Dungorney Road.

I feel the need to point out to those of you that won’t be familiar with the afore mentioned road, that I mean ‘road’ in the loosest sense of the word. Imagine a road as smooth as silk, a pleasure to drive, that your car no matter the age, make or model, glides smoothly over.

The road from Lismore (where I live) to The shop in Midleton, is the exact opposite.

So Coni and I headed off in the wee small hours and arrived pretty much as the doors to the hall were opening. As usual there was a right mish mash of vendors, many with yummy woolly, fabricy goodness, lots of papercrafting and embroidery too, but there were quite a few stalls selling everything from clothes to hard skin removers, which as always is a little disappointing.

Happily there were a couple of stalls with new items on them including 2 new Irish companies that caught my eye especially.

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Denise Pinnegar is the woman behind the new Irish business Unravel, which she runs from her studio in Co. Wexford.  Denise has created several knitting and crochet kits which use Irish Yarns, find out more about Unravel here.

The Bead & Button Emporium is the brainchild of Sharon Murphy who has developed a unique collection of hand-crafted jewellery, buttons, beads and more.  Working with polymer clay, Sharon’s wares are beautiful and  imaginative with a little quirkiness thrown in for good measure.  As a fan of all things buttons I’ll certainly be looking into the possibility of becoming a stockist of The Bead & Button Emporium goodies.

The other items I purchased were material for my son to make himself a pair of trousers and some grey denim to make a dress for me.  A hank of beautiful Coolree Yarn to have a little play with, a couple of books to add to my library and the ball of Katia Chevrolet is so I can knit it up an see if I’d like to get it in for the shop.  I also picked up one of the fantastic Latvian Mitten Kits from Hobbywool as they were just to tempting to resist.

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If that wasn’t enough excitement for one week TV3 met us at the shop first thing in the morning yesterday to film a 2 minute piece on our Knit Happens campaign for the lunchtime and evening news.  Lee Ann Flemming a friend and one of our knitting group regulars was persuaded to come along and join me for the filming, bedecked in and rocking her woolly creations (thanks babes).

The cameraman Rory was a genius and really managed to bring out the beauty of the stockings when he zoomed in for the piece and I was really happy with how pretty the shop looked on the film.

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What wasn’t shown on the clip was how much of an ‘accomplished’ knitter Paul Byrne is 😉

 

All of this publicity, on the telly and in the newspapers as fun as it looks, is to try and get our message out there and raise awareness of the very necessary service that is the East Cork Rapid Response.

Today I have 100 flatpacked boxes to get ready for the next stage of our Knit a Stocking Campaign – Selling Them.  

We hope to have the boxes in the shops and business in the East Cork region,  that have agreed to help us raise funds by the end of this week, so keep an eye out for them.  It would be great if some of you could take the time to post on the Knit Happens Facebook Page if you notice one of our boxes.

Tomorrow is the launch night and I have to make a speech – wish me luck.

I’ll keep you posted.

Happy Knitting!

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Quick Super Chunky Knits

At the beginning of the month I shared a Ravelry link to the pattern for the Dropped Stitch Cowl by Abi Gregorio.  As i mentioned at the time I was planning on knitting up one rather quickly after having fallen in love with the pattern.

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The first one I knitted was for Dina in the awesome bright red Rico Super Chunky and I’m happy to report she loves it, so much so that it’s never going to be left in the shop long enough for people to see.

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So when 5 new colours in Rico Creative Twist arrived in I knew the Dropped Stitch Cowl would be the ideal quick knit for a display garment.  It took a little over the one ball and I’m actually going to knit up a stripey one as a Christmas gift using a ball of the grey with the remaining burgandy yarn.

I hate taking ‘selfies’ but there was nobody here to help me.  basically my arms aren’t long enough to hold the camera far enough away and my hands are too small to hold the phone and press the button.  However, in the spirit of ‘we’re all friends ere’, ta-dah!

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Add this pattern to your Christmas Knitting list, you won’t be disappointed and neither will the recipient.  The only problem will be everyone else asking you to knit one for them.

Happy Knitting!

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The Sweat Shop For Knit Happens

Dina my daughter said to me on Saturday “to be fair mum you never do things by half” and whilst I’m loathed to admit it, she could be right.

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The best thing about taking on a big project like the Knit Happens Knit a Stocking for the East Cork Rapid Response Campaign and the blankets before, is the laugh we manage to have as the countdown begins.  This Saturday was no exception, as my lovely knitting ladies turned up in force to help with the ‘quality control’ aspect of the campaign.

Every stocking that has been handed in so far had to be checked to ensure it was complete.  I’d noticed as they were handed in, that some of the little socks were without hanging loops, or had ones to small to successfully hang on a tree.  We also wanted to separate the novelty stockings, as we’re hoping to try and sell these for €5 each on a ‘Lucky Dip’ basis.

I need to say a big thank you to the following friends, for generously giving up their time on Saturday afternoon only to find themselves squashed into the kitchen with bags and crates of stockings.

Fiona, Lucy, Sadie, Deidre, Martina, Michelle, Shirley, Agnieszka and Lee Ann.

Hopefully, you can tell from the photos that we managed to have a laugh.

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There’s more to sort and we’re hoping they’ll be a good few more stockings handed in too.  In the meantime we managed to get through a good few of them and have checked, counted and re-counted the little stockings into bags of 50.  These will be distributed to the businesses around the East Cork area, that have kindly agreed to try and sell some of them to help the collection for the East Cork Rapid Response.

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81 bags ready to go so far, or to put it another way 4050 little Knit Happens Stockings which we hope will become €8100.

Happy Knitting!

 

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Wendy Ramsdale

Ramsdale ball

Yes it is as lovely as it looks.

Ramsdale is one of the new yarns released by Wendy for Autumn/Winter 2014.  It’s a pure wool, double knit yarn so as you would expect the recommended needle size is 4mm with a knitted tension of 22 stitches to 28 rows.

Each 50g ball costs €4.99 and contains 112 metres of woolly goodness, which should of course be hand washed.

ramsdale shades

There are 10 Autumnal shades in the range, sadly the first hasn’t arrived in after stock issues with the manufacturer.  This little glitch is made even more annoying as it’s the shade I’ve knitted up as a sample garment (Grrr).

However, the garment is lovely.  Some of you might have caught my sneaky photos on Instagram of it being knitted and then blocking in the sun?

The pattern is called Poolside by Isabell Kraemer and costs €4.90 on Ravelry.  Knitted top down the design is detailed and easy to follow and contains instructions for seven sizes from XS to XXL, I’ve made the small (35″ chest) as the top part of the jumper is meant to be fitted.  In total I used 9 balls of Ramsdale having knitted it slightly shorter, to fit my 5ft 3″ frame and I blocked it quite vigorously to open out the lace.

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Before
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After

I loved the look of the lace pattern before blocking, but wanted the garment to have a more A-line shape to it, which I achieved by stretching and pinning it out whilst damp.

2014-09-11 11.15.17The good news is it’s on display in the shop for all to see, which is bad news for me, because I won’t get to wear it for a good while yet.

Happy Knitting!