Please Miss, I’ve got a note.
Please Miss, I’ve got a note.
I can’t believe it’s been over a fortnight since my last post, even harder to comprehend, is how quickly the first five weeks of 2017 have flown by. Unfortunately, I’ve spent most of those weeks worrying about my youngest child’s health and the stress that caused, resulted in rather a bad RA flare up.
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.
The Happy Out Mitts that Sara had knitted up looked fab in the the Cinnabar shade of Smudge Yarns 4ply.
Confession 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.
As 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.)
Dina 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?
Having 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…..
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.
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.
Many 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
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.
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.
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 💙
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 ♥
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.
By now I’m assuming a good few of you will have seen something about the crochet along that Jane Crowfoot has designed in association with Stylecraft Yarns? If you’re not sure what I’m referring too, pop along to either Jane’s blog here, Facebook Page here or the Stylecraft Facebook Page here.
If you have spotted it, chances are you might have also noticed all the chatter about the yarn for it being difficult to get? The blanket has been designed using Stylecraft’s Life DK range which is a blend of 25% wool/75% acrylic and has a beautiful handle to it.
The interest in the CAL has been tremendous, much more than Stylecraft had anticipated and as a result a couple of shades needed for the CAL have sold out completely in the Life DK. Unfortunately, to make matters worse, the missing shades are unlikely to be back until mid to late May and the CAL is due to begin on April 7th.
Undeterred, Stylecraft and Jane have put together a replacement palette using the Special DK range instead and despite having already sold out of some of these colours too, the team at Stylecraft have worked round the clock with their manufacturers to secure stock in all shades for this week.
To Crochet the Lily Pond Blanket in Special DK you will need: 1 x 1061 Plum, 1023 Raspberry, 1241 Fondant, 1080 Pale Rose, 1005 Cream, 1081 Saffron, 1034 Sherbet, 1068 Turquoise balls and 2 x 1065 Meadow, 1708 Petrol and 1027 Khaki balls. I have pre-booked the 11 shades required to complete the blanket and am expecting delivery by the end of this week.
Stylecraft have released an introduction to the CAL here which contains lots of helpful information including a valuable section on tension to ensure your blanket is a success.
The patterns will be published fortnightly and there’s a total of 8, which will be free to download on the Stylecraft web site from the 7th of April. The stitches used to complete the blanket are chain, slip stitch, double crochet, half treble crochet, treble crochet, and double treble crochet.
If you’re wondering about the level of crochet ability the CAL is aimed at? In her blog Jane says “I have tried to design the pieces so that they get progressively harder and hopefully this means that crocheters can use the CAL as a learning tool. The patterns will focus on one motif or block every fortnight and you will need to complete an average of 4 motifs/blocks per set. Most of the blocks are 15cm square, although others are slightly bigger”
There is an official Facebook CAL Group here where you’ll be able to keep in touch with other taking part and watch everyone’s progress. I’m hoping to have a go myself, although my crochet skills don’t really stretch past my granny shawls 😁 I’ll be sure to document my attempts (and I do mean attempts) here for all to see. I’m guessing I’ll be utilising the Facebook Group lots and I’m even more pleased to know that the patterns will include step-by-step images to help guide us (I mean me), through the making process ✌️
Anyone interested in joining in too?
As soon as the delivery arrives I’ll be sorting the yarn out into CAL packs ready to go out straight away, so you can be ready for the 7th. The 14 ball pack will set you back €40 and I’d recommend reserving one if you’re going to give it a go as it’s likely stocks will run short again.
That should probably be crochet I guess?
Soooo many things to see, I have to go back. Preferably when it’s a little warmer and there’s a chance of the sun putting in an appearance, but return I will. It would have been sacrilege not to snap a photo of this daisy I spied carved into the end of a bench.
Edinburgh was everything I’d imagined and more 💞
No trip to the Scottish city would be complete without a visit to the castle of course, dominating the skyline as it sits perched above the other buildings. My word, you definitely know how high it is too when you get up there, because it’s blooming freezing.
The castle itself is fantastic and much bigger than I thought, think fort rather than castle. Cobbled paths lead you to the different buildings which contain room after room of memorabilia from Scotland’s history. My favourites were the National War Museum and the Regimental Museums, I’ve recently developed a bit of an interest in military history and am hoping to visit The Imperial War Museum in London again this year 🙂
The Scottish National War Memorial is a truly moving place, which commemorates the dead of the First and Second World Wars and of military campaigns since 1945. Around the main room you will discover books with lists of the fallen soldiers from each Scottish regiment. The number of books provides a poignant reminder of all that lost there lives in defence of their country.
In truth we didn’t leave ourselves enough time to truly experience the sheer volume of things to see at the castle and will have to go again when we’re next in Edinburgh 😉
We rode the obligatory tour bus, but only managed to take one of the three tours and after dragging my poor husband to several yarn shops and haberdashery departments there was barely any time left for a wander through the cobbled streets, stopping for coffee and cake. I really can’t sing the praises of the public transport system in Edinburgh enough. An all day pass for the buses and trams costs only £3.50 and you can travel the length and breadth of the city
Edinburgh is a bit of a haven for yarn shops, having already visited the yarn festival I thought it only fair on hubby not to take us too far out of our way.
I’m a bit of a department store haberdashery junkie, I just can’t help myself and have to look at everything. Jenners House of Fraser is smack in the centre of Edinburgh and their haberdashery department in the basement, was jam packed with a rainbow of colours from Rowan and Patons. Having popped in briefly on Saturday afternoon before they closed I was able to resit the urge to purchase something in order to save my pennies for the festival. if Rowan is your yarn of choice though I’d recommend a visit to either Jenners on Princes Street or the John Lewis which you’ll find in the St James Centre. John Lewis also had some of the fantastic but seriously pricey Wool and the Gang yarn and kits too.
Kathy’s Knits on Broughton Street offers some beautiful yarns, patterns and notions, concentrating on British yarns sourced from around the country including Blacker Yarns, New Lanark, JCRennie, Jamieson & Smith and Eden Cottage. I didn’t stop long enough to purchase as it was drizziling a little outside and I didn’t want to risk having a grumpy, sodden husband. Next time when the sun is shining I’ll be sure to stay longer 😎
Ginger Twist Studio is an indie, vintage inspired yarn shop on London Road crammed full of yummy yarn, most of which is hand dyed. I’d met Jess at the yarn festival, but as I follow her on Instagram I wanted to pay a special visit to the shop. We popped in briefly on Monday when Jess was busy unpacking after the show. You wouldn’t want to turn up with a massive group of knitters as Ginger Twist is a little on the compact side, however this little haven is a hand dyed yarn lovers dream destination.
Never one to resist hand dyed I opted for a hank of luminous lime sock yarn and the necessary shopper.
Up near where we were staying in Haymarket was David Drummond’s a traditional sewing machine and knitting shop with a vast selection of all things knitting, sewing and haberdashery. Rather happily I discovered some Wendy Alfresco Aran on special, which I purchased to crochet up a quick granny shawl on the way home. Four balls in a great charcoal shade for less than £10 – bargain!
In amongst all the travelling, walking, eating and touring I managed to get my knit and crochet on too. The bottom project is a granny shawl in Rico Galaxy Chunky yarn that I took with me to keep my hands occupied whilst on the plane (it’s a gift for a dear friend). I also managed to finish one sock and start it’s twin, but didn’t want to risk having my Knitpro Karbonz taken off me on the plane, hence the Alfresco purchase. You can kind of make out the lovely shade of grey in the photo and to jazz it up a little, I’m adding some rows in yarn from my stash.
I’ll be sure to post up some pics of the finished garment, but I could end up boring you as I’ve developed a bit of a hankering for granny shawls at the moment.
First there was the blue one I made for myself here and then you might recall the photo from a previous post with all the ends needing to be sewn in? Well I finally found the time to do so and to give it a quick block too.
I love it and it’s really warm having been made in the now discontinued King Cole Chunky Merino. Hopefully, you can never have too many shawls?
The photographs make it look rather bright, when I like to think it’s a little more subdued ✨ only a little mind.
As the name of this posts suggests, it’s gonna be a quickie as I have woken up this morning with a bit of a cold virus, which currently seems to be manifesting itself as a miniature someone 👾 thumping on my eyeballs 👀
I have managed to get some baking done and have cleared away all evidence of the whirlwind that is Wednesday baking. I’ve met a rep, looked at new yarn and attempted to clear my desk and get on with some paperwork. It’s not working though the combination of dust from the desk and the constant need to sneeze 👃 are getting the better of me.
What a fantastic excuse, if ever one was needed to go and get comfy and do a little 💟 knitting 💟
So very quickly, I just wanted to show you the lovely new shades in Sirdar Snuggly DK that have arrived in.
They’re fun and bright and definitely invoke thoughts of summer sun, the book of new patterns is in too for you to peruse but don’t forget Snuggly Dk is a standard double knit yarn and will therefore work with any double knit pattern.
I said it’d be short and it is, on a last note if you search ‘virus’ on Ravelry you get some lovely little patterns for viruses including this little one by Krista Frank, which is her amigurumi interpretation of the cold virus. I think it looks too sweet to be creating the way I’m currently feeling, so it must be another kind of virus altogether.
So in the last post I covered 6 of the many knitting and crochet publications available in the UK and Ireland. I’ll have had a yarn shop for 10 years in August and my love of knitting magazines goes back further than that. I remember buying the first few issues of Knitting Magazine from The Guild of Master Craftsman Publishers when they first came out in 2003.
Actually, thinking back I can remember looking through my mums copies of Golden Hands from the 70’s. Not strictly a knitting magazine, they covered lots of different crafts too like crochet and dressmaking. I’m now the keeper (yes I read fantasy) of 5 full binders of them and I occasionally pull them out to have a look through them for ideas or to reminisce.
I digress, I’m here to talk current publications and Knitting Magazine seems like as good a place as any to begin with. Knitting, is one of my favourite publications, there’s a good mix of everything you want in a knitting magazine. More recently, Knitting has had a bit of a refresh and the new look magazine is even better. The patterns are laid out in sections now, so all the women’s garments are together, the men’s, children’s, accessories, etc. There’s often a ‘How To’ based on an unusual technique and there’s also the usual yarn and book reviews that you see in many of the other publications too. The magazine is very often pattern rich with an average number of 20 or so each month, but ‘bumper’ issues can have over 50 💕 One interesting thing to note – Knitting doesn’t have a web page as such to support the magazine.
Next up is Simply Knitting, which in truth is actually very similar to Knitting, but doesn’t appeal to me quite as much. Perhaps it’s because the publishers, Immediate Media Ltd. produce another of my favourite mags – The Knitter. Simply Knitting can quite often seem a little ‘light’. It’s a personal thing I’m sure, there are still lots of lovely patterns, reviews and editorials, but I think it probably lost something when The Knitter came out.
The Knitter on the other hand is usually so inspiring, it is the only knitting magazine deliberately aimed toward 😉 The More Experienced Knitter 😉 Whilst not strictly true, the designs inside are more likely to contain lace or cable stitches, stranded or intarsia colour work, or be of a less than standard construction. There is usually a master class, book/yarn reviews and everything else you’d expect form your knitting magazine. As with most of the publications nowadays they can also be found on all sorts of digital platforms like Facebook and Ravelry too. The actual magazine is quite different to the other knitting ones, it seems to be printed to a higher quality and this is probably reflected in the price of £5.99, I pay €9.16. It is a little pricey, but for me there have only been the odd month where I wouldn’t consider making any of the designs within. It’s usually quite the opposite if I’m honest, in the issue above (81) there are at least 5 patterns I could easily be persuaded into making and I’m in ♥ love ♥ with the extra free pattern for a Swedish Shawl by Donna Druchunas.
Whilst the colours aren’t me, I absolutely love the concept. it’s the first in a new series from The Knitter, so I can’t wait for the next issue to see what it brings.
Knitting & Crochet from Woman’s Weekly Home Series has turned into a monthly magazine after Time Inc (UK) decided to increase the number of issues from 4 to 12 per year. It is actually quite a good magazine and the one where you’re more likely to find licensed projects. By that I mean jumpers with Peppa Pig on them, or toys like Paddington Bear or Bob the Builder. Producing licensed patterns can be extremely expensive for companies now as there are all sorts of issues surrounding distribution rights, which is why you don’t see them so often now. The Woman’s Weekly has been around for as long as I can remember and many knitters will have used a pattern that they found in it.
Knit Now from Practical Publishing International and edited by Kate Heppell is one of the newer magazines to join the family with the first issue dating back to 2011. I can distinctly remember having a conversation with Dina when the magazine first came out, about how we wondered if it would continue to be new and innovative and in the main it has. It has a much more independent feel to it, with far more designs worked in yarns from the smaller producers. The magazine is committed to supporting the British yarn industry and they promote British yarns, even dedicating one whole issue every year to them. An important feature of the magazine is that the garments include sizes up to a 26.
It just so happens that the latest issue was the British yarn Industry issue and it contained an exclusive pattern book of 25 baby knits with it. Lots of little babas bedecked in knitting to coo over, oops I mean lots of knitting ☺️
Inside Crochet is one of two newish monthly crochet publications to hit the shelves, the other is Simply Crochet. As the names suggest they are dedicated crochet magazines, which cover all aspects of the craft so don’t be surprised to see projects using hairpin, broomstick or Tunisian crochet too. There are usually somewhere in the region of 20 projects in either mag, for anything from cardigans to dishcloths.
Like it’s competitor Inside crochet is a bright, cheerful publication aimed at making crochet fun and accessible. There are much fewer single patterns designed by the big yarn houses like Sirdar and King Cole available, so both of these publications go some way towards dragging crochet into the 21st century. Credit where credit is due though, the big boys have been trying to develop more designs of late, probably in order to grab you pennies.
Both magazines have web pages but, Simply Crochet has an app too, The Granny Square app is an added bonus and it’s free on the apple operating system so anyone can use it. Android users can access the patterns by signing up for the monthly newsletters here.
For me, as a knitter in the main, I find there’s little between both magazines. I love to look at the pretty pictures and read about what’s new in the crochet world and have to confess to being inspired by the rainbow granny squares on more than one occasion too. Both Simply Crochet and Inside Crochet cost £4.99/€7.49 each making it even harder to separate the two.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that as I’ve covered 12 different magazines so far that, that must be it, except it’s not. There are magazines from America that have traditionally been quite difficult to purchase here, but are much more readily available now and then there are the ones that I subscribe to too.
Another post me thinks?