Monthly Archives: August 2011

Rathcooney set

Rathcooney Fingerless Mittens and Hat

From Contemporary Irish Knits

I’ve always loved this stitch pattern, the cocoon stitch.  It is so delicate and subtle, increases and decreases move the single rows of knit stitches in and out.  The idea for this set came from the stitch pattern, I was trying it out and began experimenting with how it worked flowing from the stitch into ribbing.  I loved how it worked, the cocoon stitch is perfect for drawing in the wrist and head band for both the hat and mitts and then the ribbing forms the body of both.  As an added bonus this ribbing looks extra good when decreases are worked between it to form the crown of the hat!

The wonderful yarn for this set was donated by Beata from Hedgehog Fibres.  I knit the set using 4mm (US6) size needles which gives a fairly tight gauge for this yarn.  This helps for two reasons, firstly it gives an extra warm hat and mitt set and also the tighter gauge really allows the stitch pattern to pop out and create a very sculptural effect.

All of the edgings on the set are worked as I-cord.  I love the clean, finished look this gives to a knit, simple to work but very slick!

The mitt set is knit in size 7.75″/19.5cm shown with some positive ease and the hat is shown in 19.25″/49cm with around 2″/5cm of negative ease.  Remember that hats work best with a little negative ease so that they stay on snugly!

The full set was knit using Hedgehog Fibres Silk Merino singles (50% silk, 50% merino wool; 164 yd./150m per 100g skein) in color Winter Thaw.  Beata has told me that this yarn now has extra yardage so 2 skeins should knit that full set for all sizes!

The gauge for the ribbing is  25 sts x 30 rows = 4″ (10cm) and for the cocoon stitch pattern it is 28 sts x 32 rows = 4″ (10cm).

Launch Party!

I hope you haven’t all started getting sick of hearing about my book yet! It’s more exciting than I thought it would be launching my first book, even watching it yo-yo up and down on Amazon is kind of fun (in a masochistic sort of way!).  In a few weeks time I’ll also be launching a blog tour for the book so you’ll start to see some more details about all the patterns and the book.

This Is Knit have kindly offered to host the book launch party on the 8th of September.  So if you’re anywhere near Dublin come along for an afternoon of fun (along with lots of wool and perhaps some cake)!  You can book your spot at the launch here. Their shop is located in the center of Dublin in the Powerscourt Shopping Center.  The launch will be held right up at the very top in the Loft area.  It will start at 4.30 and will run until 5.30, after this their Yarn Tasting evening begins and if you’ve also booked for this we’ll be there for the first hour or so for garment trying on and book signing.  We’re hoping to have a few of the mills there as well to give you some virtual tours of the mills and yarn.  If you have already bought the book bring it along to get it signed, if not you can pre-order when you book your spot at the launch!

For anyone not withing easy distance of Dublin, I’ll be bringing my book trunk show and book signing hand around the country.  17th of September I’ll be running a class at Crafty Alley in Killarney that can be booked here and I’ll be in Glasgow with the Yarn Cake on the 21/22nd of October, classes can be booked here.


Fibre Feis 2011

In west Cork this weekend my friend Sue decided to hold her own little mini fibre event.  Her back garden was a sea of tents, spinning wheels and lots of smiling faces!

After a misty morning the clouds cleared and we miraculously had sunshine for most of the day!  It felt like such indulgence to sit knitting for the whole day, with mountains of food provided by everyone who came.

Except for the photo above and a very, very fuzzy photo of the bonfire at the end I didn’t take any photos in between.  Evin however took some great photos of the day, most importantly of Sue’s pretty new kitten Minou.  I also pulled out a few boxes of samples for people to try on and there will be a few of those up on Evin’s Flickr stream later.

Sue’s lovely DH (who was the model for Straboy in the book…) was worked hard that evening, barbecuing for us, and later building the most amazing bonfire.  It’s a pretty dreadful photo from my i phone at night but it gives you a hint of what it was like!

Many, many thanks to Sue and hubbie for the great (but exhausting!) weekend.

In the next day or two I’m going to post a little  more on the Contemporary Irish Knits Book.  I’ve put some details with a montage together and I’ve eventually managed to get all the patterns up on ravelry, that took quite a while!  I’ll have lots of fun stuff coming up to celebrate the book launch in the next few weeks, a blog tour kicking off on the 15th of September, some give away on the blog and a book launch party in Dublin.  The launch will be at This Is Knit on the 8th of September but we need to finalise the last few details.  If you want to make sure you book a place just get in contact with This Is Knit.

Full Autumn Collection

The final pattern from Stolen Stitches Autumn Collection 2011 is up – Tembo.

I got this yarn (Osprey) a few months ago for the first time. I had a big pile of deadline projects and it just taunted me from the corner of the office I wanted to knit with it so much!
Eventually I was able to give in and got to knit this cardigan. I love wearing it. It is soft, comfortable and very flattering to wear.
I knit it from the bottom up, separating for the pockets. The shoulders are joined together using a three needle bind off and then stitches are picked up for the sleeves and the set in sleeve cap is knit using short rows from the top down.
The collar looked very strange while it was being knit as each side is knit in one piece and the two sides are grafted together at the back of the neck. That is where the name came from – Tembo means ‘Elephant’ in Swahili, as the collar looked like an Elephant’s ear when it is being knit!

Now back to work…


I’ve just added the next pattern from to book to Ravelry – Killybegs.

(c) Joseph Feller

This design is very close to my heart, it was the very first one I completed for the book!  It took me ages (and much ripping) to get the top of the yoke just perfect.  Just the right amount of curve across the back from short rows without it becoming too high.

The cardigan is worked around a traditional honeycomb stitch cable pattern.  This is usually used as an accent panel but I’ve played with the structure so that all of the decreases are worked into the pattern around the yoke.  Its worked seamlessly from the bottom up.  The body and sleeves are both knit first of all, and then are joined at the yoke and worked in one piece.  The natural ‘drawing in’ quality of cables is used at the waist so that the increased cabling creates the waist shaping rather than decreases.

This pattern is worked up in Donegal Yarns ‘Aran Tweed’ (also sold as Studio Donegal and occasionally still under the Kilcarra label).  It’s a great color green that has fleck of orange and purple running through it.  As soon as I’m finished using the samples for my trunk show this cardigan is going straight in my wardrobe!

Finished bust circumference: 28.5 (32, 36, 40.5, 44.5, 48.5, 52.5)”/72.5 (81.5, 91.5, 103, 113, 123, 133.5) cm
Shown in size 36″/91.5cm

Donegal Yarns “Aran Tweed” (100% wool; 88 yd./80m per 50g skein); Color: Green (4824); 10 (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16) skeins
NOTE: This yarn is also sold under the “Kilcarra” and “Studio Donegal” labels.
US 8 (5mm) circular needle, 32” (80cm) length (or longer for larger sizes), or size needed to obtain gauge
US 7 (4.5mm) circular needle, 32” (80cm) length (or longer for larger sizes)
US 8 (5mm) double-pointed needles
Cable needle
Removable stitch markers
Waste yarn
Tapestry needle
9-13 hook and eye closures

We’re getting close….

I’m feeling pretty excited about this book at the moment, it feels like it is starting to gather momentum now that the release is so close.

Last week Wiley posted an interview with me on their blog that you can find here.

And at the start of this week the new Fall issue of Twist Collective came out .  There are some wonderful new designs in this issue and I got to write my first article for them on the Irish Mills here.  I really enjoyed writing this, there are some wonderful Irish yarn out there to sample!

Save the date!

We still need to work out the details but This Is Knit in Dublin have very kindly offered to host the Contemporary Irish Knits launch party.  We have the date, 8th of September, and it will be in the afternoon upstairs in the loft.  The exact time needs to be confirmed but I can’t wait to see you all there.  I’ll have all the samples from the book and This Is Knit will have the book there if you want it signed (or you can bring your own copy if you already have it!).

From events in the last month or two I’ve handed out an extract from the book that includes the pattern Ardara.  So for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet here is a photo –

ArdaraFor a few more peeks at the cardigan you can go take a look at its entry on Ravelry here and for a peek inside the book take a look on Amazon here for the US and here for the UK (it hit number 39 last night in the UK for knitting books!  Not too bad for a pre-release!!).


I’m not sure how it ended up happening but I’m teaching a whole lot more these days.  I’ve got a class coming up in September at Crafty Alley in Killarney (with a trunk show after!) and I’ll be at The Glasgow School of Yarn (The Yarn Cake) in October.  Take a look at my classes page for full details of all the classes.

New Pattern

I had a pattern published last week in the Fall issue of Interweave Knits, Cardigan Bay Jacket.  This was a crazy fast knit to do, it’s top down in a chunky yarn which would be seriously cosy for winter!