Foggy Sunset

Foggy Sunset
Photo by Aisling Doonan

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Woolly Ramblings

Hello September, hello Autumn, good day to your torrential rain and life sapping humidity. Nothing like living in a country where you suffocate whilst wearing a raincoat!

I couldn't breath yesterday, it was Monday, compounded by tiredness and humidity that would probably keep a fish alive out of water. Every last ounce of energy went into breathing. Today is vaguely better but rainy, so I am hiding indoors listening to the birds sing in the oak outside and taking photos.

My Autumnal project to keep me cosy this year is my Ruby Pi Shawl. I'm knitting it in Jamieson's Ultra (colourway Lava) on 3.5mm needles. The lace patterns I'm using are simple with rest rows, and I'm hoping to release this as a pattern soon. 

I adore Pi Shawls, there is so much satisfaction watching them grow tier upon tier and to end up with a perfect flat circle at the end. It is truly magical. No guesswork, just maths. Nice and logical in reality but I am always in awe of the finishing process, and seeing it all pinned out, the lace taking it's proper form. I still think that some sorcery is involved.

My little (not so little, both getting ever closer to 5 foot tall) darlings are back at school now and I am trying to find a good routine for myself. Trying to fit in everything I need to do into school time, it's an adult tetris puzzle. So many things I want to do, so many projects and ideas that I'd love to see take form, writing, knitting, designing, travelling, meeting new people, learning, my list is endless.

I have some new yarn to share, I recently signed up for the Life in the Long Grass sock club, so for the next 3 months I will receive a delicious skein in an exclusive colourway. This month, the colourway is Barley Cove and it's got beautiful amber and plum and emerald streaks through it. Very warm and tempting, I think I may make a cowl out of it.

I also bought some Patons Merino Extrafine Aran in a rich plummy purple to knit a baby cardigan for a friend. I will make Elizabeth Zimmermann's February sweater as it is pretty and easy to make. It always turns out well and looks more complicated than it is. 

I'm impressed with Paton's labelling, they tell you how many grams you'll roughly need for jumpers, scarves and hats. I thought that was genius, takes all the guesswork out of it.

I did finish my hat but I'm not happy with the brim, I'd like it to be wider and possibly longer. There are a lot of short rows with this hat so it was almost a swatch and I don't mind undoing it back, as I know what I am doing now, haha. I'm taking a break to knit some other things before I start to tinking as it's less psychologically painful that way!

I'll possibly have my baby Cardigan finished by next week, I really need to get a move on as the baby will be a toddler soon if I don't get a move on! I might even get to the next tier of my Pi Shawl, I could have a very productive week!

Until then

Happy knitting


Monday, 29 August 2016

New Designs & Summer's End

Mondays are a good day to upload blogposts, I think. The day that people dread the most, the longest day of the week, the one that no amount of coffee can turn into a Friday, or even a Tuesday for that matter. So I will erase the horror of it all slightly, by posting a lot of photos, and vaguely amusing you for ten or so minutes. Grab a cuppa and settle yourselves.

It is still officially the school Summer holidays, so I have two not so short people under my feet all day, constantly chattering, asking questions and plaguing me for food while they are still chewing their last meal. As usual, I had so many plans for the Summer holidays, but time flew so fast, I can't believe they are back to school again on the 1st of September. We did laminate a list of to do's and stuck it on the back door as a gentle reminder, and I'm happy to say that we did cross most things off the list. My own plans got pushed a little to the side, I kept thinking I had loads more time! Still, once there is silence for 5 and a half hours in the day, I will be able to concentrate again.

It hasn't stopped me from knitting of course and I am still working away on my own designs. The blue hat above is halfway there and I am still puzzling away how I am going to finish the brim, as the idea in my head is being stubborn and difficult to transfer to my hands. I'm sure I'll have a light bulb moment at 3am, my muse keeps odd hours.

I did manage to fit in teaching a few classes locally this Summer. Our local library is absolutely fabulous for hosting little events and I was kindly asked to hold a children's class to make a toy and an adults class for Heritage week (20th - 28th August 2016). Both went extremely well and I had a lot of fun sourcing patterns, gathering equipment and making dinky yarn cakes that looked good enough to eat.

For Heritage Week, I designed a little Lace Coaster using a small Shetland Lace motif that is over a 100 years old. 

I steam blocked it as it was 100% cotton and I loved how it turned out. There is something so satisfying about blasting steam at something you've painstakingly made, it gives me palpitations as I usually work with wool! For the children's class, we knit a square and made an adorable little bunny. We ended up calling my first effort Max the Myxomatosis Bunny as his eyes were a little skewy.

We didn't go away on holidays this year, but we did have some lovely day trips and had a 2 week staycation that was so full of 'stuff happening' that I now need a week to recover. I managed to slot in a little retail therapy and bought some yarn in This is Knit and The Constant Knitter while I was in Dublin.

I also go to meet the lovely lady behind Ellie and Ada yarns, Laura Hogan, in The Constant Knitter! It's so lovely to meet people from this cosy little knit community. We can all be connected through social media and the Internet, but there is nothing like meeting people face to face and having a conversation.

I managed to get some nice photos on my travels too...

And for some, I didn't even have to leave home.

Until next week

Happy Knitting