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We're the little wool shop in Midleton with loads of yarn


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Socks, Socks, Socks

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It’s all things socks here in the shop at the moment and why not?  The sock I’d been knitting in one of the previous posts is now finished and I’m itching to cast on it’s companion so I can move on to my next  pair 

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I’m going to have a go at knitting a pair using the Cotton Premium from Opal.  Unlike most standard sock yarns, the fibre in Cotton Premium is a blend of 38% wool, 32% polyamide & 30% cotton making it more ideal for the warmer months.  A standard 4ply yarn, still with 410m on the ball but the addition of cotton also makes the colours more muted, almost pastel in tone.

My only dilemma now, is which colour to go for?

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Along with the Cotton Premium I also bought another new range of sock yarn for the shop.  Gallery is another Opal yarn and the colour combinations this time, could be described as anything but muted.

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So it stands to reason that a delivery of new sock yarn must mean I might possibly have to have a bit of a clear out I guess?

Any of the discontinued balls of 4ply sock yarn in the basket are €5 each to clear.  Most of them are fairly Autumnal shades, but I’m thinking Christmas presents (yes I did say it, sorry).

Don’t forget that although it says ‘sock’ on the label the yarns are all standard 4plys and will work to most 4ply patterns.  Who doesn’t need a Hitchhiker or two?

Happy knitting!

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Lilly Pond CAL – Clue 2

Cal clue 2This morning saw the release of the second clue for Stylecraft Yarns Lilly Pond Blanket Crochet Along.  I’m not sure how those of you taking part are fairing?  My tension as I’ve mentioned previously is off and by quite a bit 😳

tiny lillyThe block this time is called Tiny Lilly and doesn’t look too difficult (phew).  Having glanced over the pattern quickly though, I have spotted the words sew/sewn  😒 Since when did I sign up for a sew along?

I jest 😉 😉 😉

Having said that this is serious business apparently, if you’ve joined the Lilly Pond Facebook Page you’ll have no doubt seen just how ‘seriously’ some people are taking it 😱 It’s not a race to see who can complete the blocks first and it most certainly shouldn’t be a competition about whose block is better (only my opinion).  Sadly, I’ve noticed several posts from members saying the forum just wasn’t for them and they’ve left because of it.  I’d like to think this will make people think twice before posting anything unbecoming, but I doubt it.  What I do think they should note is that other companies and individuals could be put off of hosting their own CAL/KAL because of it.

Enough chatter, back to the CAL

table 2For the Tiny Lilly blocks you’ll need the shades in the chart above.  Stylecraft Life DK on the left and Stylecraft Special DK substitutions on the right.  Note the Plum and the Fondant shades are only used for the sewing this time.

The next block Lilly Bud will be released on May 5th.

Happy crochet!

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Sharing – But only if the internet connection lasts!!!

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There seems to be so much going on at the moment that I feel like I’ll fall behind if I don’t begin sharing some of it with you and there’s too much to put in a Facebook post, so please excuse the disjointed nature of this post.  It’s probably a truer indication of how my mind works – on a good day that is 😁

(The balloon flower was gifted to me by one of my young students, Miriam, yesterday morning and it set the tone for a lovely day.

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The sun was shining and I finally managed to get round to photographing these lovely blankets that Jackie Dunn whipped up for the Chernobyl Children’s Trust.  Aren’t they just fab?

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As are the scarf and 7 hats that she also made 💕

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Some of you might have already noticed that I’ve finished my 3rd pair of socks this week.  I had literally been dragging my heels over knitting them because they’re not really my colours and was planning on using them as boot socks.  However, I’m prepared to swallow my words and admit to rather liking them.

Just so you know, I’ve knitted them in Heart & Sole sock yarn from Sirdar in shade 107 (Hip Hop) with 2.5mm needles and they’re really comfy :-)

I’m on a total sock knitting binge and am actually making two separate pairs at the moment, one is a 6ply pair just to see what they’ll be like (I’ll be sure to let you know).  The second pair are flying up, so much so that I’d reached the gusset part earlier today, but we were off to see Fast & Furious 7 and I needed knitting 😕  So I decided to risk it and try to work my decreases in the dark movie theatre, what’s the worse that could happen?

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I’m dead chuffed with my cinema knitting.  Not only did I manage to work my k2tog decreases neatly and without dropping a stitch.

2015-04-19 17.47.18I also completed my ssk’s too and 5 rows of the leg, despite being thoroughly engrossed in the antics of Dom, Brian, Letti, Hobbs and the rest of the team.

Happy Knitting!

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Merry Go Round

merry go

You might recall I’d bought a couple of shades of Merry Go Round Double Knit from Stylecraft Yarns, in order to see what it was like and gauge customer interest.  The one on the left is appropriately named Rainbow and the one on the left is called Peacock.

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The reaction has been great, with the inital stock selling out in the Rainbow almost immediately.  I myself, think it’s rather lovely for baby and children knits and the 100g ball seems to be never ending with a whopping 321yds/294m.  So I’ve decided to add a few more shades to the range, top left it’s Starburst, top right is Candy Crush, bottom left is Blue Denim and lastly on the bottom right it’s Strawberry.

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There are some lovely little patterns for the Merry Go Round yarn, but as it’s a standard double knit weight it will work as a great substitute with most dk patterns.  I’m rather smitten with these crochet soft toys from pattern 9161, but I’m not convince my crochet skills are sufficient.

Talking of crochet….

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I finally managed to get one of the blocks made for the Stylecraft Lilly Pond CAL, but I still have to sew in the ends (so many ends) and make a further three of these too.  The next clue, for the second block is due to be released on Tuesday 21st April, so I’ll be way behind, but it’s meant to be fun isn’t it?

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The eagle eyed amongst you will have spotted that my piece measures approximately 53cm, a whole 8.5cm’s longer than the recommended length of 44.5cm

It’s also a centimetre taller, but after talking to friends that are taking part and reading through the posts on the Facebook Group Page, it seems like most people are coming in around this size too.  So I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping everything comes together without too much extra work :-)

Happy Crochet!

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Adding A Project To Ravelry

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As I mentioned in the last post, following on from the success of the These Islands Book Launch Sara from Smudge Yarns thought it might be a good idea to run a KAL with the Beaker Shawl pattern from the book.

There has been such a fantastic reaction to the book, both at the launch and online that we thought it might be fairer to extend the ‘cast on’ deadline to Sunday 19th April, to give everyone an opportunity to be entered into the draw for the ‘special’ hank of hand dyed lace weight yarn from Smudge Yarns.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning, is to add your Beaker Shawl project to Ravelry 🏆

After speaking to a few people in the shop, I’ve discovered that not only are there Ravellers that have never used this feature, there are still fibrey people that have yet to hear of Ravelry (I know fibery isn’t a word, but).

So if you’ve still to learn the joys of Ravelry head straight over to ravelry.com and sign up now.  Thy’ll ask you the usual questions, name, email address, etc and then they’ll forward on one of those ‘confirm it’s you’ emails and once you’ve followed the link you’re in 👍They never email you after that, no spam.

If you’re new to Ravelry you should expect to feel the tingle of project power flow from your fingers and eyes to your brain quite quickly after logging in.  This timid little sensation will increase steadily until it reaches the level of teeth grinding, nervous twitching fibre related insanity, as you begin to navigate your way round the many features Ravelry has to offer.

Some features like the ‘my stash’ option are best avoided in my opinion.  Not only would it be a task of gargantuan proportion, it would also eat into my valuable knitting time and then there’s the ‘confession’ element of recording my entire stash.  Not only would it be out there in the realms of the online world for all to see, I’d have to see it too 👀  Much better that it stays the way it is – sorted into 10 large plastic crates, 3 duvet bags, 2 chests of drawers and countless other baskets, bags and boxes

Anyway, back to the real reason for this post.

2015-04-13 11.32.50You’ll notice when you hover over the my notebook tab at the top left of the Ravelry page, Projects is one of the options on the drop down menu.

2015-04-13 11.33.22Click on this to bring you to the next page and here, at the top left of the page again, click the ‘add project’ tab.

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This will then lead you to the ‘New Project’ page for you to begin uploading the details.

I’m not great at naming my projects, so I tend to go for something simple, in this case I’ve called my shawl The Book Launch Shawl (’twas almost lunch, until I spotted the spelling mistake) .  The pattern is taken from a book and it’s called the Beaker Shawl from the These Islands book (just in case).

Photo 13-04-2015 12 41 10When you hit the continue button, Ravelry does some kind of voodoo magic and if it’s been added to their database, the next page to load, will have the details of the pattern on it.  Click on the ‘choose this pattern’ tab to continue.

Here you’ll be asked to record everything about your project.  The name of the yarn (Ravelry magically links it if it’s on their database), how much yarn you’re going to use, the size of needle/hook you’re using and with both of these items there’s an option to include additional yarns and needle sizes.

2015-04-13 11.36.02Working down the page, you’ll notice there’s the option to pop up where you purchased the yarn, if it’s from me in the shop, you type in Knit which brings up loads of us as you might expect, so you need to scroll down through the stockists until you find me

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The notes section is used by people in different ways.  Some people might note whether they had to change their needle size or made modifications.  Others like to record for who and why they’re making the project.  There are also fibre people that record any issues they might have come across whilst working on the project, in order to highlight things to watch for others attempting the design.   These notes, like most thinks on Ravelry are there to help you and the other members, in fact when you look at other people’s projects you’ll notice there’s a tab underneath for you to check if you found the notes useful.

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At the right hand side of the project page there’s places to add all manner of things, including how far along you are, when you began and if you’re enjoying it.  Underneath you’ve also got options to record more detail about your take on the yarn and the design.

Whilst it’s lovely to be able to add positive comments, I’d always suggest contacting the supplier/designer first if you have any criticisms.  The hopes and dreams of companies, in particular the small, independent ones, can easily be dashed with a harsh word or two.

Save your work now if you haven’t already.

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Nearly there now.  Next it’s a good idea to add a photo or two, even if it’s just of the yarn for now.  At the top right hand corner click on the tab marked ‘add photos’

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There are several options for adding your pics, including Flickr, Photobucket and uploading from your computer.  Just select your file and press the upload button.

2015-04-13 11.39.24Your photograph will often need adjusting to fit the frame.

2015-04-13 11.41.07You can tweak it by hovering your cursor over the 4 little arrows and moving your mouse in either direction.  You can upload several photos if you want including ones where you’ve zoomed in to show a particular part of the design.

Once loaded up, there’s no need to save them as Ravelry seems to do this automatically.

Remember you can edit your project at any stage, even if you decide to frog it years later.

Happy Ravelling!

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The These Islands Book Launch – Come See

final cover

Come and have a look at what you missed if you couldn’t join us and if you were there it’s time to see the photos.

It was all hands on deck to set up between the shop closing at 5 and the launch starting at 7.30pm but we managed and it was lovely to be able to see the design samples knitted up.

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The Happy Out Mitts that Sara had knitted up looked fab in the the Cinnabar shade of Smudge Yarns 4ply.

2015-04-09 19.09.11The Hip Hop Hat sample shown here is knitted in Smudge Yarns double Knit.   The beautiful blue shade is Cairn, whilst the lime green is Fuggles, a name you just can’t say without smiling :-)

2015-04-09 19.08.40Confession time now, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the Crosshatched Cowl, it didn’t really appeal to me.  However, I’m a convert, seeing the knitted sample in the shop last night really changed my mind about this piece.  The colours in the Pencil Roving really pop with the Herringbone Stitch, it tempted quite a few people too, judging by how much of it was sold.

2015-04-09 19.10.15As I mentioned in the previous post about the book launch.  There were kits for the Beaker Shawl Knit Along available last night (I also have a few available here in the shop).  Much discussion was given over to choosing the complimentary colour for the KAL and as you can see from the photo, the choice was a made harder by the sheer scrumminess of shades available in the lace weight.

Don’t forget that if you ‘cast on’ your shawl via Ravelry by Sunday you’ll automatically be entered into a draw to win a hank of Smudge Yarns Laceweight yarn.  (I’ll pop up a quick post later today on how to this for those of you that haven’t ever done this before.)

2015-04-09 20.07.03I kicked things off with my usual chit chat, minding my p’s and q’s a little and then handed things over to Sara so she could share with us how the book came about.

2015-04-09 20.07.32Sara handed the gauntlet over to Evin to tell us a bit more about the book and the ethos behind the yarns used, before we moved on to the socialising, laughing and general merriment.

2015-04-09 20.26.28The turnout for the launch was fantastic, it’s great to see fibre folk coming out to offer their support and better still when it’s for local knitterly people.

2015-04-09 20.26.34Dina my lovely and ever suffering daughter, went round with the camera gently persuading everybody to smile.  Having reviewed the photos, it evidently meant she wasn’t in front of it at any time.  Does anyone have photographic evidence that she was there?

2015-04-09 20.30.27See those smiles.  Fiona, Rachele, Sadie and Lee Ann seem to be enjoying themselves.

2015-04-09 20.29.35As do Noreen and Liz.

2015-04-09 20.33.08Hilda and Catherina posing for the camera (I think I spy a KAL kit there).  Isn’t Catherina’s crochet Granny shawl beautiful?

2015-04-09 20.33.52Smiles all round from Joan, Erin, Sara and Carol.

2015-04-09 20.20.44Clare and Michelle doing a great job of enjoying themselves and plugging the book at the same time.

2015-04-09 20.29.58I managed to get in on the action too, laughing of course with Orela and Edwina.

2015-04-09 20.33.21How lucky am I?  My best friend Snadra was over from England too.

2015-04-09 19.07.02I know some of you will be eager to hear about the raffle prize, but I’m not quite ready to tell you yet.

2015-04-09 21.01.06It wouldn’t be a book launch, without a book signing or two as demonstrated here by Sara and Evin.

2015-04-09 21.00.11Having roped the lovely Carol Feller in to draw the winner I’m really happy to say Noreen won the hamper of goodies, can’t wait to see what she makes with the ‘special edition’ yarns.

I know you’re probably wondering…..

2015-04-10 14.39.07Yes, I did.

Happy Knitting!

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It’s Here!

Stripes

Today is the 7th of April, which is the birthday of Billie Holiday and Russell Crowe, it’s also the day that Liam Gallagher and Patsy Kensit got married on too.  April 7th (1985) is when Wham became the first western act to play China and strangely enough, it’s also the day that George Michael was arrested in a public restroom in Beverly Hills for lewd conduct (1998) 😳

More importantly though, April 7th, sees the release of the first clue for Stylecraft Yarns and Jane Crowfoot’s Lilly Pond Blanket Crochet Along, you can find it on the Stylecraft website to download here

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The first block is called Stripes and Waves which, as the title suggests, represents the ripples of water in the lily pond and you’ll need to make 4 of these in total.  This will be my first time attempting something like this in crochet and I don’t mind admitting that I’m a little worried my crochet skills will fall short.  However, having had a quick look over the first clue, I’m happy to report that there are lots of photographs, to help :-)

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Life Dk on the left, Special Dk on the right

If you’re using the Special Dk rather than the Life DK you’ll have to substitute the colours in the column on the right hand side for the ones they refer to in the clue.

The next clue will be released in a fortnight on April 21st, remember though, there’s no pressure to have your 4 blocks completed by then.  The CAL is meant to be an enjoyable experience, so be sure to take your time, I know I will ;-)

Remember to pop up photos of how you’re getting on on the Facebook Page if you get a chance.

Happy Crochet!

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