Foggy Sunset

Foggy Sunset
Photo by Aisling Doonan

Friday, 18 August 2017

Bousta Beanie KAL

I cannot resist a fair isle hat. And a fair isle hat KAL is even better! Imagine being able to immerse yourself in a pool of like minded knitters, all dying to swap colour choices and discuss floats and contrasts. Oh it's bliss...

This delightful little creation is called the Bousta Beanie, designed by Gudrun Johnston for Shetland Wool Week 2017 and it is a free pattern at the moment that you can download from the Jamieson and Smith website.

There is a knitalong (KAL) from now until the 20th September on the Jamieson and Smith Ravelry Forum, and Ella will be picking a winner at the end. I'm not sure what the prize is, but the only stipulation is, that you use Jamieson and Smith yarns. No hardship there, I have lots of remnants from other projects and I had a lot of fun picking out colours.

I think that is the most fun part. The colours. Sometimes it's tricky, sometimes you just play it safe, but always I am looking for that magic combination. It has so far eluded me. The colours that just make you stop everything and stare. The colours that look like jewels shimmering in water. The colours that blend and contrast effortlessly. I'm still learning lots about colours and I'm having lots of fun in the process.

I chose three of my favourite colours. A mid blue for the main colour, with a turquoise and a coral as contrasts. The turquoise, surprisingly melted a little too much, I think it needed to be a shade deeper. But it still turned out so pretty and eye catching.

I finished the hat in 2 days, the fair isle is simple and the colours don't change that often, so you get a good run at it. I think it's the perfect beginner fair isle project, because of this and those who are well used to tackling more intense colour work will find it refreshing.

So join in! The KAL is ongoing until September 20th on Ravelry, you can share your thoughts and pictures there, or on Instagram using the tag #boustabeanieKAL

I love browsing through all the projects, with only three colours, there is still a staggering amount of variations, so you can't fail not to find something to inspire you.

Until next time

Happy knitting


Thursday, 17 August 2017

RDS National Craft Exhibition 2017

Two weeks ago, I had the honour of being invited and included in the RDS National Crafts Competition Exhibition and Prizegiving.

Elaine Harrington, A Gathering, Bealtaine 2017

On the 1st of August, we travelled to Dublin and I will admit to being a little bag of tiny, wiggly nerves.

Aislynn Bagnall, Lir Collection
The prizegiving was at 2pm and we arrived with minutes to spare (traffic...) and I had just enough time to quickly scout the RDS Concert Hall to see where my beloved Rioga Shawl was. We had been separated for so long, I had kind of forgotten what she looked like and it was a slightly awkward and emotional reunion. Awkward because I felt silly taking photos and grinning proudly but self consciously at a glass case. I felt so *exposed*! Imagine if anyone guessed it  was *me* who had knit that delightful coral creation. I had to side step, stiff backed, to the next display case and photograph it too because it felt like the whole room was looking at me. Please tell me, somebody, anybody, that this is normal behaviour!

Pearl Reddington, Midnight Python Jumper

Anyway, you will be glad to know, that this year, I did not have toothpaste on my top or lipstick on my teeth. I was squeaky clean, with a fancy dress and make up on. I made an effort! *round of applause*

Oliver Doherty, Metamorphosis

But I digress. Once the gong hit 2pm, the quiet polite whispers stopped and people gathered for the prize giving. 

Suzie Sullivan, Mad March Hare

I think my palms got a little bit sweaty at this stage.

Ciaran McGill, Dolls

They got to the constructed textiles...emerging maker...holding breath...established maker...that's me...oh, not my name...exhale. There is a delicious relief tinged with lots of sigh, once they read someone else's name out. Still, I had made it to the exhibition and I was truly delighted with that. Now that I could relax, I looked about and took note of the pieces on display. There is a staggering amount of talent in this little country. From fibre, to ceramics, to wood, to metal to glass, there wasn't two things in the room that were the same. To see so much beautiful creativity and uniqueness in one room is humbling to say the least.

Katherine Griffith, Irish Hobby Horses, Unicorns and Dragons

I couldn't even pull a favourite out from all of them.

Vivienne Molloy, Mourning the Bees

Well perhaps I could see myself swishing about in this gorgeous Gone with the Wind creation.

Linea Stenfors, Ray

Or this jaw dropping gown.

Ginteras Malinauskas, Sycamore Vessel

While my mind was wandering, and the kids were beginning to hop from one foot to the other, as kids do when they are doing their best to stay still, the hubby looked over with a 'better luck next time' sympathetic smile.

Kate O'Kelly, Wild Blue

They had moved on to the sponsored prizes at this stage.

Emma Bourke, Ethnobotany Collection

And the winner of the Guild of Irish Lacemakers Award goes to...

Edel Traynor, Woven Motion


Jane Murtagh, Flaggy Shore Leaf 2

Hey, why is my shawl on the big screen???

Ann Fleeton, Remembering the Magdalenes

A few digs from my lovely other half's elbow brought me back to the room and I realised that I was being called to the stage!

Aisling Doonan, Rioga Shawl

Yay! So I won an award, and I didn't look a mess. I have totally got this!

And so ended a happy day.

Now I am off plotting how to up my game for next year!

Happy knitting