Monthly Archives: January 2011

January Patterns

I’ve just added Spud Murphy to my pattern shop and realized that I now have 3 patterns from this month –

Spud Murphy

Nepal Wrap

and Carrageen.

Well to make it easier for anyone who loves all 3 I’ve put a 20% discount on all of them until the end of January.  So for the next week instead of costing $5.95 they are only $4.76.

I’m also eventually getting around to making a comprehensive pattern shop.  I’ve at last managed to get all of the patterns individually listed and I’m now in the process of making front pages for each category.  There wasn’t enough patterns before to merit this much sub-division but it has reached a point now where the list is getting very unwieldy!  Hopefully by the end of the week I’ll have this job finished….unfortunately it doesn’t really help me that my HTML abilities are almost nonexistent and poor DH is regularly called in to clean up the total mess I’ve made.  Fingers crossed, that between the two of us we can actually manage to get these pages up and running!

I’m still here!

I have been having a very hard time getting around to blogging at the moment.  After the lovely lull of the Christmas holidays it feels like life has gone into fast forward again.  Somehow the amount of activities the boys do after school seems to have multiplied again making an afternoon at home just doing homework a rarity.  Now if only we managed to get up on time in the morning we might just about manage to keep this whole circus on the road.

In book news – I just submitted the final portion of my work to the publisher so now comes the editing part!  I’ve gotten so used to self-publishing it’s fun to have someone else who cares as much as I do about the book and to have someone to discuss the decisions with.  It makes it a less isolating process.  Joe has take some truly amazing photographs, it’s very tough not to be able to share them with you yet.  It’ll be quite an experience to have so many patterns to share with you all at once.  As this book was worked on over a relatively long time period and we were traveling around the country to visit the mills we managed to get a good variety of Ireland shown in the photos.

Now back to work – I’ve got lots of exciting projects on the go over the next few months, sometimes it would be great to be able to double myself so that I’d have enough time to knit and design everything I’ve got in my head.

Carrageen – modifications

When you are creating a pattern there is always a long string of decisions you have to make.  It starts with the direction you want to knit in.  For Carrageen, I wanted some fitted set-in sleeves so working it from the bottom up seemed like a good option.  Then came the decision to steek; I wanted a fast knit and knitting in the round is always faster for me.   Because I decided to steek I created slip st folds that would create neat folds that could be hemmed down.

The decision that gave me the most trouble with the cardigan was the fastening.  I had it sitting on the dress form for weeks just staring at it and trying to decide.  I finally came to the decision to keep it clean with snaps just at the top half.  But, there were so many other options I would have loved to see.

The first option would have been to put fastenings down the full opening.

I was also swaying towards using a frog type closure (either knitted or metal) that I think would have looked really great.  I just couldn’t quite decide if a decorative closure would have added or detracted from the cardigan.

The final option was looped buttonholes along the edge….but then what buttons!

Can someone please put me out of my misery by knitting Carrageen and trying out a different closure option??


I talked a little bit about this pattern before Christmas but now all the tech editing and layout has been finished and it’s ready for release.

This cardigan was knit just for me, I really needed a cosy winter cardigan and I got the try out steeking for the first time. I find knitting in the round much faster than working flat (but cardigans are more versatile) so steeking seemed like the perfect solution. I used a crochet steek and it was so much easier than I would ever have imagined.
This cardigan is worked in the round from the bottom up. The set-in sleeves are worked from the top using short rows to form the sleeve cap. The asymmetrical fastening is closed using snaps.
The name ‘Carrageen’ comes from the seaweed ribbing used as this is a type of seaweed.
I used Donegal yarn for this project which is a lovely 100% yarn with wool tweed flecks running through it. This yarn is also marketed as Kilcarra aran tweed and  Studio Dongeal. Debbie Bliss Donegal tweed and Luxury tweed also work well as substitutions.

Carrageen €5.00

add to cart

Bust Circumference: 30.5 (33.25, 36, 38.75, 41.25, 45.25,
48, 50.75, 54.75)”/ 77.5 (84.5, 91.5, 98.5, 105, 115, 122,
129, 139)cm.

Shown in size 36”/91.5cm with 1”/2.5cm positive ease.

Donegal Aran Tweed (100% Wool; 88yds/80m per 50g

skein); Color: Deep Red (4754); 11 (12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20) skeins

(This yarn is also know and Kilcarra and Studio Donegal Aran Tweed)
Size 7 US /4.5 mm circular needle, 24” / 60 cm long, or
length needed for size.
Size 7 US / 4.5 mm circular needle, 32” / 80 cm long, or
longer for magic loop (or Size 7 US / 8 mm dpns if not using
magic loop).
Stitch markers; stitch holders; tapestry needle; crochet hook
US G-6 /4mm, crochet steek yarn, 4 snaps.

Nepal Wrap and Happy New Year

It’s hard to believe that another year has already past.  2010 felt quite different to me as my youngest went to school and after 12 years of having small children at home I had a portion of  each day to myself again.  I’m not sure that I always made the best use of every day though, hopefully next year I’ll spend a little less of each morning website hopping and a little more of it actually designing/writing or perhaps even exercising!

2011 looks like is is going to be an exciting year, fingers crossed this Autumn/Fall my book will be coming out.  All the patterns are done, now comes the hard work of editing, hopefully it’ll go nice and smoothly.  I’m really excited to be able to release the patterns into the wild, it seems like a really long time between knitting and release which is very hard.

One of my new patterns that I can tell you about right now is my Nepal wrap (ravelry link).  A few months ago Rosemary from the Constant Knitter asked if I would design a piece from her yarn. I had bought a sample of Drops Nepal at the Knitting and Stitching show in Dublin and I really liked the feel of it so we went with that yarn. This shawl was a dream to knit, a little bit of interest but very smooth peaceful knitting that you just wanted to pull out and work on!  Once you have mastered the edge stitch this shawl just flows along smoothly and the beauty of working with an aran weight yarn is that it works up very quickly (as well as being really, really cosy when you’re finished).
It is a standard rectangular shawl construction, starting at the back of the neck and working down. To continue the pattern across the top without interruption the top section of the pattern is worked as a ‘tab’ so it looks completely seamless.

My sister Eleanor very kindly modeled the shawl for me on Christmas eve, so we were able to take full advantage of the great light and the remaining snow.

Nepal Wrap $5.95

add to cart

This top-down triangular shawl is richly textured and simple to knit. Easily doubling as a scarf, this is great addition to your cold weather wardrobe.

Yarn kindly provided by The Constant Knitter.


Width: 52”/132cm.
Depth at central spine: 26”/66cm
After blocking:
Width: 58”/147.5cm.
Depth at central spine: 29”/74cm
15 sts and 22 rows over 4” / 10cm pre-blocked.
12 sts and 22 rows over 4” / 10cm after blocked.

Drops ‘Nepal’ in Green Olive Mix, 7238; 82yds/75m per 50g
skein; 65% wool, 35% alpaca; 7 skeins. (510yds/465m used)

Size 10 US /6 mm circular needle, 32”/80 cm long or

3 stitch markers, tapestry needle.