My holiday yarn

For the last few weeks I’ve been getting back to work after my holiday and trying to get the house organised for the new school year. Now that the boys are (mostly!) back to school I can actually take a few minutes to enjoy some of the lovely yarn I brought home from Florida with me.

You might like to take a look with me, what would you knit with this yarn?

IMG_3217First yarn is Fiber Optics, I had been stalking them for a few months and there was never yarn in stock but when Laura tweeted that she was buying from them at a show I jumped at the chance to get my hands on some!

There were a few sale yarns that I couldn’t resist, colours I love with sweater quantities of each..

IMG_3221I haven’t knit with Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool before but the colour was wonderful and it seems like such a versatile yarn.

IMG_3223My next purchase was some Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport. It was on sale at A Good Yarn for half price so really I’d have been negligent to not take it!

IMG_3224Finally this is some delicious yarn that Susan from A Good Yarn gave to me. It’s been created just for the store and this one is A Good Yarn Fingering. It comes in 100 and 50g skeins which works really well if you want a pop of colour for some contrast in your work. I’m going to be designing with this later on this year, should be fun :-)

Penrose Tile release

Last September I designed a shawl called Penrose Tile for the second issue of Ply magazine (blog post here). This is a spinning magazine so the shawl was knit using hand spun yarn. It was my first time knitting with hand spun and I loved it. They created a variegated yarn with a complementary solid color that I used to create a garter stitch/lace shawl that used the two yarns in a series of garter stitch short row stripes with lace panels.

The shawl was very popular and that issue of the magazine quickly sold out with the result that I’ve had a lot of request for this shawl pattern over the last few months. I’ve been preparing for the re-release by knitting the shawl again in hand dyed yarn. Yvonne from Dublin Dye Company¬† kindly custom dyed two colors for me, Ripple and Mustard (good think it’s not for eating!) that work really nicely together in her new Swing Sock yarn.

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The updated shawl pattern has just been released and there is a bonus coupon for a 15% discount included for Dublin Dye Company. They have just updated their etsy store to include some lovely swing sock color combinations that would be just prefect for Penrose Tile.

We’ve been throwing some color combination ideas around on twitter if you’re looking for some inspiration!

penrose tile 1

Back at the desk

I’ve just come back from holidays and I’m sitting here at my desk trying to remember where I was before I left! I actually love the feeling of returning from holiday, I adore what I do and I miss it when I’m away :-) I feel so lucky every day to be able to say that.

Once I’m settled back in here I’ll give you a few yarnie updates from my holidays, I’ve got a nice little collection.

Georgian Heights

This summer Jenny from This Is Knit started hand dyeing yarn under the label ‘Townhouse Yarns’. They sent some on for me to try in a very pretty olive green colour. The yarn was soft and light, perfect shawl material.

IMG_0912I decided to use it for a new shawl pattern that uses a slip stitch pattern that I’ve experimented with before. I love the geometric lines through the garter, with a ruffle that finishes with a flourish. The shawl starts with a standard garter stitch tab and then from there you can see how it evolves into a series of st st and garter panels. The end result is called Georgian Heights.

IMG_4324Georgian Heights  is for sale at a discounted price until the 4th of August. Plus as an added bonus all pattern sales before that are entered into a draw for a skein of Townhouse Yarn in the same colour that I used for the pattern!

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Sorting my yarn choices

Last weekend I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed with yarn and design decisions. Definitely a case of too much of a good thing! However laying everything out was very helpful for me as I began grouping and organizing my yarn.

Here’s a little peek at some of my initial decisions.

My bundles of sweater yarn…

sweatersQuite a few options for shawls -

shawlsSome larger wraps/cowls -

wrapsHats -

hats:accessoriesAnd finally socks -

socksNow that I’ve got all my ducks in a row I can begin my planning. I’ve just compiled all 42,000 words for my next book with Potter Craft and I’m making final checks. It feels so good to be almost done :-) It’s turned out so beautifully I can’t wait to share it with you all.

Yarn choices

This morning I’m feeling paralyzed by choice. This is a selection of the yarn from this year that I’ve yet to use. Some came from yarn companies, some are leftovers from the book and others are yarns I’ve purchased. Now that my book projects are finished I’m at the planning stage again and I’ve got a problem – I want to knit it all NOW and it’s causing a mental traffic jam. I hoped pulling it all out would make the decision easier but not so much…

2014 yarn

Holiday Time

This year the summer holidays have sneaked up on me. I’m so mentally preoccupied with the book that everything else has just faded into the background. I’m reaching the finish line now though and I’m looking forward to sharing it all with you…sorry it’s going to have to be a year away though :-(

Now that the knitting for the book is finished and I’m on to the editing part I can start thinking about new projects. I’ve got a few pieces that I want to reknit and some that I’m picking up an idea thread from. One of these is from a pattern I designed for Blue Moon Fibers Rockin’ Sock Club last summer, Sagrada. This went through a redesign initially – this was the first version -

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I loved the slip stitch garter panels and wide wings of this shawl but it was for a club so it was released with a single skein of yarn. Somehow as I was knitting the shawl felt to me as though it wanted to be bigger. So I’ve started playing around with it and using the design as a starting point for something brand new. I’m having fun with it, especially as I’m getting the chance to use This Is Knit‘s brand new hand dyed yarn Townhouse Yarns. The Grafton 4ply is really soft!

IMG_0912It’s nice to be able to share what I’m working on right now! My knitting list is growing, I’m also going to reknit Penrose Tile in some Dublin Dye Company sock yarn, I’m swatching up my delicious Blue Moon Fibers Targhee Worsted. I think this yarn wants some cables, what do you think? Plus in less than 2 weeks I’m heading off to Unwind in Brighton. I’m really looking forward to this, I get to see Brighton, lots of my knitting pals and teach all in one spot! Almost too much excitement for one weekend….if you’re around I think there are a few spots in my Cable and Short Row classes left still…

Photoshoots and animals

I’m approaching the last few weeks before my book deadline, the last project is being knit, swatches are being worked and most importantly photos are being taken. I’ve been traveling around Cork meeting different models and getting all the book projects recorded. It’s fun and scary in equal measure!

However it would seem that animal life in Ireland are very eager to photobomb…

first it was the cows.

cowsthen someone arrived with a horsebox and two dogs…admittedly they were very cute so who could object :-)dogsNext time out we headed to Kanturk

kanturk castleApparently we were disturbing this poor bird’s resting place, but he stayed quietly in the corner while we photographed.

birdAs you can see it’s been pretty busy around here…but unfortunately I can’t share much of it with you yet. I think the wait will be worth it though, the book is shaping up very nicely so it should be worth the wait!

Yarn porn

I’m currently knee deep in book projects and final preparations for the Dark Pearl KAL but a surprise box from Blue Moon Fiber Arts is making me itch to start on some new projects. The colors and yarn are just out of this world, and looking at the pricing it would be amazingly good value for sweater knitting.
spawn of scum
The first yarn I want to share with you is the Targhee Worsted in Spawn of Scum color. From Blue Moon’s website ‘ Targhee is one of America’s youngest breeds and is named after the National Forest where they grazed in the summer. The forest was named after the Chief of the Bannock tribe of the Northern Paiute. I love the history the breed name holds, so why not keep it as the yarns name.’

This yarn is new to me, it’s feels and looks great in the hank so I’m hoping to get it on the needles soon to check it out. The skeins are huge (250g – 616yds) and at just $32 each you’d have enough yarn for an average size sweater in 2 skeins so really good value!

The next yarn is Silky Victoria. This is a Polwarth wool (also new to me) from South America combined with 15% silk. It also just begs to be knit, this color is copperline (same color that Talamh was knit in). These skeins are also enormous, 695 yards and just $36 a skein. Imagine how little ends you’d have to weave in!
victoria
Just in case you wanted a little more variety here’s some fingering yarn, BFL and some Yaksi!
fingeringSo help me out – what should I try first? What would you knit with it?

Busy around here

The Briar Rose KAL is getting off to a great start, knitters are picking their yarns and photos are popping up every day as the yarn is arriving. If you’ve joined the KAL drop by and introduce yourself!

IMG_0796This is always my favorite part of a KAL, the excitement is building and great friendships are started. Apparently on one of my previous KALs (Ravi) two knitters made friends in real life and are still knitting together!

Irish yarn club logoDo you all remember the Irish Yarn Club? I’ve been busy in the background with this, every 2 months a new pattern has been released and yesterday I just sent out the last one. I really enjoyed this project, This Is Knit, is one of my favourite yarn shops and they did a fantastic job organising the yarn. And I got a chance to knit with some of the great yarn being dyed in Ireland.

We hope to do another club for 2015 so the planning will have to start soon…anyone out there with preferences? What type of yarn would you like to see? Lace/fingering/heavier? All the same type or a mixture? The benefit of fingering is that there are loads of projects that can be done with just one skein so the club cost doesn’t get too high. Would you like to see more yarn each installment with 2 skeins instead of 1 with bigger patterns? What kind of patterns would you love to get? Let me know your thoughts, it’ll be a big help with planning!

Would you like a sneak peek of the patterns that were released in the 2014 club?

First up was a hat, Tempano with Hedgehog Fibres yarn.

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The second pattern was a shawl, Dunderry, using Coolree Yarns.

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The final pattern that was released yesterday was toe up socks, Talium, using Dublin Dye Company Merino Sock.

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