Rainbow Granny Crochet

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As you know I recently finished the last granny square blanket I’d been working on for Kye, so it’s time to start another.  Rather surprisingly, I have quite a bit of yarn to try and work my way through, so I’ve been thinking of ways to use more of it and quicker.

It’s Dina’s turn next to get a blanket, so it can be bright and colourful.  Bearing this in mind I rifled through my stash – well that’s not strictly true.  When your stash is as large as mine, it’s more like looked ‘I looked at the yarn on the shelves in the old stock room’.

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I settled on these colours and considered using each held doubled, but a brainwave hit and….

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Having looked at what I’d picked, I drew this rough sketch, very rough I know 😦

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I’m still using two colours held together, which means I get to use my 6mm crochet hook so the blanket will grow much quicker and it’s going to be so warm and cosy when it’s finished.

The colours will run as follows

  • Red & Pink
  • Pink & Orange
  • Orange & Yellow
  • Yellow & Green
  • Green & Turquoise
  • Turquoise & Blue
  • Blue & Purple
  • Purple & Red

8 colour changes in total

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I’m pretty pleased with how it’s looking so far.  As it’s my knitting group project I’m not really expecting to fly through it, they just make a lovely, easy project to work on whilst chatting and laughing.

 

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There’s test knitting happening for the next issue already, but I’m afraid I can’t tell you too much.  I can let you know that it’s going to be the beginning of something exciting for Olann and ♥ ♥ ♥ if all goes to plan.

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Last but not least, our friends are expecting their first grandchild in about 5 weeks, so I get to knit baby things.

Having cast on a Kelly Brooker Beyond Puerperium last night I just want to keep knitting.  The yarn I’m using is Stylecraft Alpaca DK, which I absolutely love.  I know I’ve said it before, but it really is surprising how lovely and natural looking this yarn is, given it’s high acrylic content.

It knits up beautifully 🙂

Back to my knitting now as I think we’ve been separated from each other for far too long.

Happy Crafting!

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Revealing My Knitting

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The madness has abated round here again at least for a little while now the second issue of Olann and is out there, floating around for all to see.

I’m happy, Deirdre’s happy, we hope you’re happy too (sorry I realised I was listening to David Bowie, when I wrote this).  I imagine our friends and family are slightly worried they’ll be the next to get a call to model for us.  A g♥♥d friend has already been persuaded to lend us a child or two and we’re going to be looking for a volunteer or two, later at knitting group.  (Ssh, don’t tell any of them yet 😉 they might decide not to come)

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If you’ve seen the second issue, you’ll know I’ve been incredibly busy knitting and although I shared snippets, I wasn’t able to reveal my work before hand.  I knitted the silver grey sample of Patricia Cox’s Sunset Cardigan for the photographs in the magazine.  It’s actually a lovely pattern, with it’s detailed stitch panels, complimented by smooth stocking stitch.  It was great to knit, the pattern has been extremely well written by Patricia, with a lot of care and attention to detail.  Little things like the few rows of short row shaping around the neck, really help the whole garment sit much better.

The eagle eyed among you, will notice that I worked the decreases to create an obvious raglan line as I favour that look.  Having used a solid shade in place of the beautiful Soft Donegal tweed Patricia used in her original, it also adds a little more detail.

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The yarn itself, Sublime Extra Fine Merino Worsted  was a pleasure to knit with.  It’s smooth construction, meant it just slipped through my fingers and as you can see, it knits with great stitch definition and produces a fabric with a lovely drape and bounce to it.

 

barbara

The other knitting I’d been busy beavering away on, was the Turners Cross Cable Twist hat, one of my own designs.  I knew what I wanted to make, having drawn some rough sketches out and armed with Barbara G. Walker’s Pattern Treasury books, I got down to some swatching.

shane

Several samples and two and a half hats later, plus one test knit (thank you to my good friend Dr. Sock), I was satisfied with the design, except I wasn’t.  Having had the shop for 10 years and spoken to literally thousands of knitters during that time, I know the majority of knitters still prefer to knit flat.  However, there are a good few of us now that enjoy knitting in the round, myself included.  So I re-worked the pattern to include the instructions for knitting the hat in the round using circular or double pointed needles.

celtic

Those of you that know me, know I love Tivoli Celtic Aran, see the review here if you don’t believe me.  It’s an extremely underrated yarn, it’s a fantastic workhorse yarn, that is till 100% wool, doesn’t cost the earth, wears well and feels lovely.  I’d love to see more colours available, but that’s only going to happen if everyone jumps on my Tivoli Celtic Aran bandwagon.

Anyway, it worked up just lovely for the hat, the stitches look great, especially the slipped stitch cable, which sits raised up proudly on the knitted fabric.  It’s warm, woolly, easy to wear and will keep your head nice and snug.

In case you’re wondering about the name?

It’s because the handsome fellow (Shane), wearing it in the photographs for the magazine is from Turners Cross in Cork City of course 🙂

There has also been more knitting….

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New socks, that I finished yesterday evening.  What a great way to round off a very good day ♥♥♥

I’m hoping to get a little weaving in today, after some more work.  Hope you get to spend some time doing what you love too.

Happy crafting!

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Knitting and Stitching Adventures

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I’ve been dying to tell you all about my trip to the knitting and  Stitching Show at the RDS last Saturday, but had to wait until the magazine went live on Thursday.  We had deliberately set our publication date for after the show, in order to shine a spotlight on the event, so I’ve had to stay shtum until now.

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It was rather a long day, having set off at 6.15am to meet my fellow knitty friends at 7.15 in Midleton, where we caught the minibus to take the 12 of us up to Dublin.  The weather wasn’t so great on the way up, and after such an early start, it was important to stop off for refreshments.

Having arrived in a very wet Dublin, we filled in past the poor people patiently queuing for tickets in the rain and headed in our separate directions.  Some of us had booked into workshops, others just wanted an opportunity to peruse and some of us even managed to pop along for a quick visit to This Is Knit to make a couple of purchases too.

I don’t think I’ve ever visited the Knitting & Stitching Show on a Saturday before, having had the shop in the past usually meant I’d get to pop up on a Sunday, when it’s a little quieter.  Saturday was heaving and there were times when it was a little difficult to move.  That number of people in a confined area is also going to mean warmth and boy was it hot.  There were times when I’d have merrily stripped off and I did remove all knitwear, after I’d met the people I had wanted to.

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Talking of meeting people, I bumped into so many people that had been customers of mine in the shop and I was sad not to have enough time to catch up properly.  I even found Moya from Patchwork Plus – Look at the stunning quilts behind her.

Having visited a good number of yarn festivals now, I had felt the RDS show to be somewhat lacking in the past and was worried it wouldn’t have enough to hold my interest for a full day.  However, I was thrilled to see that there was a real buzz about the place and the energy of the visitors just added to the feeling.

The exhibitions were incredible as usual, with such a variety of things to see and delight over.  I always think it’s important to remember that the items on show are the exhibitors work and although invitingly tempting to touch, it should be avoided.  I did notice one or two people unable to resist stroking, pinching and rubbing the displays and I also saw how agitated this made the exhibitors.  It would be a shame if this put people off of showing there work in the future or if the work had to be cordoned off.  Maybe, bigger ‘DO NOT TOUCH’ signs will be needed in the future to serve as a gentle reminder.

There seemed to be a good number of workshops timetabled in, with all of them selling out quickly.  Some were a little oversubscribed and space was at a premium, but I imagine this was probably an oversight.  It would be great to know which classes were the most popular, so groups and teachers could work on trying to get courses in these areas together to run throughout the year here in Ireland.

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There were of course lots and lots of lovely, pretty things to tempt the Euro’s from your purse and despite having tonnes of stuff already, I did succumb, but only a little.  How restrained was I?

The linen type fabric was from Fabric Time and I’m going to make a smock apron dress thingy with it.  No doubt they’ll be leftovers and I’m hoping to use them to make little lavender sacks for my friends (at some stage).

The sari silk scraps and lime green fibre are to have a go at making some felted fabric.  I absolutely adore sari’s and would love to wear one all the time.  The colours and designs are truly inspiring and I’ve always been interested in crafting with these fabrics.  So when I spied the Felt Creative stall I knew now was the time to try.

Of course there must be yarn and the hank of lovely rainbow goodness is from A Fine Fish Yarns who are based in Belfast.  A latecomer to the RDS, three weeks notice I think, the stall was a riot of colour to tempt.  I’ve bought it with socks in mind, but it may well become a shawl as it’s just so pretty.

The green fibre was a freebie for taking out a membership to the Feltmakers Ireland guild.  I’ve been following their exploits for some time now and thought a membership might be  good way to stay up-to-date.  Although with all my fibre exploits, I could probably do without another addiction.

That awesome ball of turquoise and cream fluff, is 200g of merino fibre bought from the Bronte Glen  and I haven’t got a clue what it will end up being, I just had to have some.  I’m really looking forward to spinning it, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten, it may end up being knitted, woven or just looked at for a very long time.

What you can’t see here in the photo, is the lovely bundle of scraps and off-cuts that I bought from the Magee Weaving stand.  Their wool fabrics are beautiful and the stall was decorated with all of their bags, cushions and patchwork ideas.

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Having checked the Magee Weaving website I’ve found they do sell their fabric in bundles of fat eights, patches and lengths, but haven’t found any information regarding the kits and off-cuts so I’ve emailed them and will update this post when I hear back.

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As I said the day was a long one and we were all very grateful for being able to sit down and relax whilst Dave, our lovely bus driver delivered us home safe and sound in what can only be described as ‘shocking’ weather conditions.

I say home safe and sound, but of course I still had to drive from Midleton to Lismore 😯

If you’d like to read a little more about the Knitting & Stitching Show in Dublin, pop over to our magazine article here.

Happy Fibre Crafting!

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Quick Hat For The Simon Community

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The Olann and Warm + Woolly Campaign for The Simon Community is in full swing.  There are shops and businesses getting involved and signing up to be ‘Drop Off Points’, there are library’s up and down the country popping up campaign posters and we’ve even been on the radio.  Not that I managed to hear it though, as my broadband was awful on the day 😦

Anyway, as some of you probably already know, I’ve been involved in the odd charity knitting campaign in the past and as a result have written a few, easy knit patterns, that are listed on the pattern page here.  (must tidy them up now and make them all uniformly me as Leftfootdaisy).

Quick Chunky Hats
Quick Chunky Hats

One of them, The Quick Chunky Hat, was originally used for our Chernobyl Children’t Trust collection.  I opted for a standard chunky yarn, for a couple of reasons.  The first –  it’s mighty cold in Belarus and chunky hats tend to be cosier.  Secondly, double knit yarn tends to be the most popular weight here in Ireland and if you hold two strands together when knitting, it makes a chunky = Great for using up your ends.

Going back to my original pattern with fresh eyes, so to speak, it occurred to me that the addition of a longer band, might be more beneficial when it comes to keeping out the cold.  Ears are more delicate and therefore sensitive to the cold, so a folded band would add extra warmth, where it’s needed.  The longer band also gives the individual a couple of options on how to wear the hat, depending on what they find most comfortable.

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Those lovely people over at Thomas B. Ramsden (they distribute the yarns from Robin, Wendy, Twilleys and Erika Knight), gave me a couple of balls of Evolve Chunky from Wendy in different shades, for the magazine and I wanted to make good use of the remaining yarn.

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Each 100g ball of Evolve Chunky contains a generous 180 metres/197 yards of yarn.  The fibre composition is 10% Alpaca, 50% Wool, 40% Acrylic, which when knitted to the recommended tension of 14 stitches to 20 rows on 6.5mm needles, produces a lovely, light, warm fabric ideal for most projects.  There are 10 shades of Evolve Chunky available, each with it’s own subtle changing tones and should you want to investigate further there are some lovely patterns available to support the yarn too.

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I’ll update the pattern when I get a minute, but if you do want to knit this hat in the meantime.  It’s the largest size and everything is the same except at the beginning I ribbed for 21 rows instead of 7, which then means you have to work until the hat measures 9 inches before you begin to work the crown shaping.

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I’m pretty sure I have enough left to knit a second hat too, maybe I’ll stripe it with some of the blue?

Before I go…..

Did you notice that my URL has changed?

I’m now officially fibrestrumpet.com on the interweb (thanks to Shane, Dina’s beau).

💖

 

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Rainbow Bright

Woman found safe, but extremely warm, after becoming engulfed by her yarn stash early last week. The first thing she did was sit down with a cuppa and her knitting --)

I was looking for knitting needles the other day, only to realise that I broke my last set of 3.5mm interchangeable Knit Pro’s a while back and forgot to replace them, before closing the shop.  So I did something I haven’t had to do for years (holiday yarn shop excursions don’t count), I went to a wool  shop and bought a set.  The trip provided a great opportunity to peruse the shelves of yarny goodness as a customer, tempted by all the woolly goodness and to look for yarn for Dina’s next project too.  Unfortunately, the one she’d fallen in love with wasn’t in stock, so now she’s going to use something I have left after closing the shop.

A much better idea, before the above really does end up happening 😱

Happily, I have also found some time to play with woolly goodness over the past few days, in fact I’m on a bit of a role with my knitting and crochet – Long may it last.

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I’ve finally managed to finish the pair of sparkly socks I cast on back in August.  As you can see from the photo, I’ve taken to just casting on the second sock straight after finishing the first.  Previously, I’ve been trying to match them a little more, but this method is appealing to my way of thinking a little more at the moment and let’s be honest it’s quicker 😉  I’m not sure how many pairs I’m up to now in my New Year’s quest to make a pair every two months, must check.

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Being in need of a bit of instant knitting gratification, I’ve also knitted up a quick cowl for Dina.  The yarn is Elektra from Conway and Bliss that I bought whilst attending the Debbie Bliss event in Kinsale recently.

Elektra has a recommended tension of 12 stitches by 18 rows on 8mm needles and the blend of 70% wool and 30% alpaca makes for a very light yarn, but to ensure it’s super softness next to my daughter’s neck, I chose to use 9mm needles.

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The cowl, as you can see is very basic.  I cast on 21 stitches and then knitted in garter stitch, alternating the colours after working two rows.  I stopped knitting when the work reached approximately 130cm and after casting off, sewed the two ends together.

I was a little unsure if I liked the way the colours were knitting up together and even thought about ripping it back, but after a little more knitting, the colours won me over.  More importantly, Dina loves it and she seems to be able to wear almost any colour.  She tells me it’s extremely warm too, even better – as she’s always cold.

Of course she should have known what was coming next……

My kind of photography drives her crazy though.  I ‘persuaded’ her to strike a pose whilst we were out on our yarn shop trip and just kept pressing the button.

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Can you guess that she’s telling me she’s not ready as she moves her hair out of her eyes?

There are a good few more, but I think she might kill me if I post them 💀

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Tah-dah….

Beautiful ❤️

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Psst….Fancy Doing a Little Charity Knitting or Crochet?

So we have a bit of a dilemma here at Olann and. As you know we’re busy working on our first issue, due for release in November. So far so good, except November is still a ways to go and there are events and campaign (1)

If you’ve been following my exploits for some time now, I’m sure it’s pretty obvious, that I’m a bit of a ‘how can we help’ fiend?  I’ve often found myself knee deep in knitted items, sorting out, bagging up and horror of all horrors – sewing seams 😱 To be fair, my long suffering knitting friends are usually roped in somewhere along the line too 💗 💗 💗

In the past getting a charity knitting and crochet campaign off the ground was relatively easy.  I had the shop and a lovely customer base, who spread the word high and low.  Once I’d got everything together and had a plan in place, I knew I could rely on everyone to champion the latest collection.  Whatever the cause, the response was always fantastic and every time, I was honestly blown away with the amount of work everyone put in.

This time round, there’s no shop.  There is a magazine, so you’d assume it would be much, much easier, but it’s not due for publication until next month 😦

The charity in question, is an Irish one and they’re in need of a long list of things, woolly and not so woolly.

So here in lies a dilemma and I’d love to hear your thoughts?

How do we gauge interest?

How do we spread the word?

How do we collect the items and where are we going to put the drop off points?

It can only go ahead with your help, so I’m looking forward to hearing all of your ideas.

Happy Knitting!

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