Monthly Archives: June 2011

How it all started

As I sat on the bus en route to the 5th Yarniversary Party in This is Knit in Dublin, I started thinking back on how my love of all this knitting and yarnalicious started.

I first learned how to knit whilst still in Primary School. I remember an awful striped garter stitch scarf in dreadful brown & yellow with dropped stitches a-plenty. My aunt knit parts of it for me, as I was so pitifully slow, but the teacher knew by the change in tension & quality. Although nothing was said, I wasn’t fooling her.

Fast forward about 15 years and I play with the idea of knitting again. I bought a pattern for Tivoli Denim, started knitting the back of a jumper for myself & promptly abandoned it. About eight years later, when I was pregnant on my third son, I bought a simple baby pattern, started a lemon-coloured cardi & never got beyond about 15 rows.

I was put on bed-rest when pregnant on my fourth son in the summer of 2007 and had over 3 months of nothingness to fill. I initially thought of buying a Nintendo DS to fill my days but promptly dismissed that idea as too expensive. I decided to go with the less-costly choice of knitting. Oh how naieve I was. I had no idea of the existence of interchangeable needles, luxury yarns & fabulous coffee table-style Knitting books. I should have known that, with my addictive personality, I’d be hooked.

My good friend Aisling, an avid knitter for years, loaned me a few baby pattern books in the beginning and that whet my appetite. I progressed rapidly to cashmerino-mix baby yarns for my little boy who was causing all the worry outside yet was very cosy inside himself. I loved lumbering into This Is Knit in Blackrock to choose what yarn (generally a Debbie Bliss one) to start my next baby project in. Lisa & Jacqui were so helpful & encouraging in helping with my choices.

By the time Rory Dallan arrived, weighing in at 9lb 9.5oz, 18 days early in September 2007 he was welcomed by a sea of soft yarn. I had cardigans, hats, blankets & teddies waiting for him. As a baby he loved the feel of merino wool through his fingers and sat happily rubbing his blankets. He still loves me knitting for him. My current WIP for him is a cute Rowan frog sweater from the “Rowan Kids” book. I’m hoping to finish it next week.

I’ve spent the past four years making knitty friends. It was in Blackrock that I also met the lovely Aileen, Elana, Diane, Heidi & Yvonne. Between the friendships I made there, more chatting with Irish knitters on Ravelry &, more recently, twitter, I have a great bunch of buddies for chatting about all aspects of life. I’m so looking forward to meeting all the girls today. Lunch first, then YARN!!

Best of luck to This is Knit. Here’s to the next 25!!

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Doogarry by name & by nature

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I’ve finally cast off Doogarry, the beautiful shawl designed by neighbour (in rural terms anyway) Rubysasha. It was a beautiful knit and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The charts were great as were the written instructions.

Doogarry is the name of the townland I live in. It’s in rural West Cavan and a very beautiful place. I’m lucky to live here. It’s full of hidey-holes & “dens” that four little boys can have adventures (& break bones) in. The yarn I chose reflected the landscape to a tee.

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My son, James, was back in hospital for further tests earlier this month and I got the majority of this knit while staying with him from the Friday to Monday of his second stint in hospital.

Disaster struck when I ran out of yarn 2/3 of the way through the cast-off. I had anticipated this might happen so had left the last two rows out but I still hadn’t enough. I put the call out on twitter and the lovely Sweensie came to my rescue with a wee bit of extra yarn. Not only did she get the yarn to me but she sent it in a beautiful little snack bag as a gift for James. So thoughtful & kind!!

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Looking forward to wearing my Doogarry shawl while sitting out on the balcony outside the kitchen watching a spectacular Doogarry sunset.

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Surreptitious Stash Enhancement

I’ve been on a stash
reduction exercise for the last while & was intent on knitting my way through the recession (falling off the wagon occasionally when falling for the temptation of Malabrigo Sock, but that’s understandable).

However, I dropped by a friend’s house in Monaghan yesterday and she had come by some yarn via her in-laws that she was passing on to her mother’s knitting group. They knit multi-coloured blankets with odd balls & have no need for multiple skeins of the one kind so she asked if I’d like to rummage through the bags before she brought them home to Donegal.

I got me some goodies :). I’d appreciate pattern ideas for any or all of the following.

Firstly there are three mega-hanks of what looks like Kilcar yarn. Not sure what weight it is but it looks more Chunky than Aran. I’ll check that out later. It’s a gorgeous aqua shade. There are no tags left at all on the skeins.

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Next on my stash list is this bounty of 15 skeins of Jaeger Angora Spun (70% Angora, 30% Lambswool). The colour wouldn’t be top of my list but it’s so soft it was irresistible.

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There are a few other bits including these Wendy Skye skeins. They’re a mix of polyester, acrylic & mohair but I really like the mix of colours in them. There are about eight balls altogether.

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So a “drop in for coffee” turned out to be very worthwhile. Now to work out what to eventually use them for. Let the fun commence.


Two New Shawls

My second start at Centrique, due to yarn choice decisions, went great & I got the shawl completed in four days. I love the colours in the yarn and how they show off the pattern really well.

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Was about to block it Thursday evening but James, who had been very unwell since Tuesday and was at the GP twice on Wednesday, developed a far worse headache than before and his temperature shot to 38.5 degrees celsius so I took him to Cavan A&E where he was admitted until Saturday afternoon. We’re still in limbo with a diagnosis (“it’s probably virus”), he’s not fully better yet but he’s improved on what he was.

Anyway, as I was stuck in Cavan with him for the duration, I asked Gerard to bring me a skein of Malabrigo Sock in Solis that I had been holding on to for ages as it looked so gorgeous in the skein. My good friend, Scattyhats on Ravelry, suggested a Milkweed KAL so I didn’t take much persuading. Having the pattern in my Ravelry library meant I could view it on my iPhone. Isn’t technology great?

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I called my Milkweed “Lisdarn” as that’s the name of the townland where the hospital is located.

This is the un-blocked piece

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Hoping to block both later. Photos to follow.