Monthly Archives: July 2011

Garden in bloom

My garden is in full bloom at the moment, this  has to be one of my favorite colours ever, it’s so deep and rich.

A few other favorites include this delightful bright orange:

and these very, very abundant pink roses:

Unfortunately flowers are not the only thing flourishing in our garden, we seem to have developed a full wildlife sanctuary.  In the front garden we have two wasp nests, a giant rat that occasionally makes himself seen, an uncountable number of rabbits and a bat that swoops over the eaves of our house at dusk (this one was especially exciting for the boys to watch!).  Our poor dog is being well outnumbered and goes a little mad whenever he runs out the front door now!

Knit Nation

I arrived home from Knit Nation on Monday, exhausted but very happy! I met so may knitters and fondled so much yarn that my head’s on information overload. Of course I manage to forget my camera so my photos of the weekend are non-existent unfortunately. You can however see a few photos at Anne Hanson and Clara Parkes websites to get some visual of the weekend. I do however have yarn that made it home with me that I have photos of!

Before the classes started I got to go to the Victoria and Albert museum and have high tea with the other tutors.  I was very honoured to be included with this bunch, which included Alice, Cookie A (the 2 organisers), Ann Hanson, Lene Alve, Susan Crawford, Elise Duvekot, Franklin Habit, Susanna Hansson, Marjan Hammink, Carol & Pete Leonard, Judith McCluin, Clara Parkes, Merike Saarniit and Julie Weisenberger.  I hadn’t met many of them before but they were lots of fun to spend an afternoon (and weekend) with.  Judith lead the tour of the museum and she is just a font of information, it was just a pleasure to hear her speak so knowledgeably on textiles through the ages.

Just before travelling over to London on Wednesday last week I had the start of a sore throat.  Unfortunately by the time I had finished talking for 3 days solid I was sounding pretty croaky.  My apologies to any knitters who had to listen to me on Sunday afternoon, I suspect I was sounding pretty bad!  I had the most wonderful knitters in my class from all over the place with a huge variety of knitting styles.  It’s not often you get English knitters, Continental Knitters, Portuguese Knitters and mirrored backwards knitters (to name a few) all in one spot.  It was very informative to see just how many different ways you can produce the same knit stitch.  Knitting is definitely not a one size fits all kind of pursuit.

The first class I had I got a wonderful gift (just like last year!) from the Portuguese knitters.  It was a little skein of wonderful hand spun yarn, a lavender sardine, pins, a sample of Yarn Adventures yarn and a handmade project bag.

In addition to these wonderful gifts Filomena also gifted me a bag of her wonderful yarn ‘Yarn Adventures’.  You can find her also on ravelry and facebook.

The rest of the weekend passed in a blur, I met some friends from Ireland, met a few other designer friends that I only get to see at different events (including Woolly Wormhead, Ann Kingstone and Marleen van der Vorst) as well as tons of new knitters and designers.  I spoke for a while on the way back from high tea with designer Stephen West who is now based in Amsterdam.  Who knows, we may actually get to meet up again as my sister lives there!  And for anyone wondering, Franklin Habit is indeed as funny as his blog!

With all of this teaching and fun I did get a few chances to slip into the marketplace and pick up the odd hank of yarn..

the first is The Yarn Yard ‘Clan’ in a delicious shade of green.

The second yarn that sneaked into my bag was Easy Knits ‘Deeply Wicked’ in Sands of Time Colour.  How could I leave it behind?

It’s getting really close to my book actually coming out; as we speak it’s being printed!  I brought the cover cardigan from the book with me to my classes (it was the perfect example for top down set-in sleeve designs) and some bookmarks to make sure everyone doesn’t forget the name….

Not too much longer now before you get to see the full book.

Sad day

I was gearing myself up to wake up enough to post about my weekend at Knit Nation, new patterns and the push on my new book but I was halted in my tracks this morning. A very dear knitter in Dublin, Elana, is dealing with the death of her husband from cancer.  We’ve all been following his progress over the last few months since it’s sudden onset at the start of the year.  Everyone has had their finger’s crossed for him, her and their two little boys.  I’m feeling overwhelming sad for all of them right now and angry that nothing more can be done.

While it can’t help Brendan I feel the need to contribute something for the future – I’m pledging 50% of all my online pattern sales to The Irish Cancer Society from today to the end of July.


All my boys are off on their summer holidays this week, even though the house is full (and work is much, much harder!) it’s really nice not to be tied to a schedule.  This year feels quite different, my oldest son is now in secondary school so he finished early as well as coming and going to friend’s houses and getting ready to head off on a 3 week camp.  Not to mention the fact that he is now very, very nearly my height!  The transition from child to teenage happens really, really fast.  So far I’m loving it…ask me again in a year or two when it really hits…

This week on my ravelry board a few knitters are putting an Akoya KAL together.  If you are think about knitting this and would like company go on over and join them.  I’ll keep following the thread to make sure that any questions you have are answered.

Last Thursday I was at the This Is Knit 5 year anniversary party in Dublin.  It was so much fun, they had a great crowd of knitters (and several fellow designers, Debbie Bliss, Kieran Foley and Aoibhe Ni) and everyone was so excited to be there.  There was so much trying on of garments over the afternoon that by the time it was all over my table of samples looked like a pile from a rummage/jumble sale.  I forgot to take any photos but keep an eye on the This is Knit blog for some photos of the event coming soon.  I got to give everyone a sneak peak of my Contemporary Irish Knits – only a few weeks to go!!  This party was so much fun I’m really looking forward to putting a big book launch party together, hopefully in September.

(Photo courtesy of Sweensie).

(Photo courtesy of Diane.)

While recovering from the trip to Dublin my head is already heading to London for Knit Nation next week.  Just 10 more days and it’ll be here!  I’m printing my maps and class notes and soon I’ll be all ready.  I’ll even sneak a few of my book samples into the suitcase so you can have a peek.  The publisher has sent me a little stack of a sample pattern from the book so if you want one over the weekend and see me just ask.