Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Off to Nancy Blakes

For this week's SnB meet up.

I may well be the only knitter there but at the very least twill be an excuse for a pint.

I'll be working on my Man's Vee Neck cardigan.

Come over and say hi if ya see me.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

The faint of heart may want to brace themselves......

...this is a sight no knitter should behold

The Soft Focus Version

The soft focus version is bad enough.

Check out the true sharp focus horror.

The Harsh Glare of Knotted Reality


My blond bombshell & her best mate decided to 'sort through' my stash a couple of weeks ago. Once I lifted my head away from Ravelry for long enough to realise what they were doing I informed them that in order to avoid Mount Parent from erupting they had better put everything back in.

They did.

And the above scenes of devastation are the result.

Somehow, through fiendish calculations and sleight of hand, they managed to hide the mother of all tangles within the bosom of the stash itself.


Looks like I know what I'll be doing for the next.....while.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Chocolately progress

Right Front of Cardigan
Progress to Saturday 18.042009

Sleeve Progress
Monday 20.04.2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

A new week....

And new stash.

I had to wait for a wee while in the city one day. Took a wander into O'Mahony's and just had to offer a good home to Wendy Bernards "Custom Knits"

Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard

Then, of course, I had to pick up the next copy of Yarn Forward. Plus the buzz on Ravelry about the current issue, the cover top being photographed inside out and general chatter made me curious to get it.

Yarn Forward: June Issue 13

Following on from my "Eeep" post regarding my newbie knitter error of failing to check if my subsitution yarn went by the same yardage as the suggested yarn....:face palm:.......and the subsequent need for 5 more balls to complete my chocolate top, the roadtrip to source same was had. Thank you Ro!

Getting to Ennis town was easy enough.

Finding parking was pretty easy too.

Finding Feirin....well, let's just say we had a grand aul walk around Ennis and enriched our stores of vitamin D thanks to the sun shining merrily on down. :D

Thanks to MadeMarian I knew there was a decent craft store in the town. We came across 3 by the time we were through. We went into one of these to beg directions. Armed with same...well, Ro armed with same, as I'm a sieve head with directions....we set off in search of the aforementioned Feirin.

Found it!

Just so you guys can plug it into your sat navs, here's the address:

81 Parnell Street,
Co. Clare

Tel: 065 - 6848765

Twas worth the trek. As, despite MadeMarian's sage advice to the contrary, I hadn't contacted the store in advance to see if they stocked the colourway I require. Yes, MadeMarian does know best when it comes to planning ahead in yarn related matters (or pretty much any matters. I'm so gonna hire her when I have a bricks'n'mortar yarn store).

In these times (no, I'm not gonna type the R word), it's important to support our Local Yarns Stores. Just because Feirin isn't, technically or geographically speaking, my LYS didn't mean I couldnt' support it as a continuing resource for Co. Clare based yarn crafters. (Oh how I doth rationalize stash enhancements). Plus, there was a bargain bin...or three. Couldn't pass reduced price yarn up......



I got me some:

  • Sirdar Spree Cotton Rich Chunky x 2 100g
  • Patons Lulu x 1 50g
  • Wendy Allegra x 1 50g
Partly, this impulse buying was to show my blond bombshell that I can and do go for bright colours when it comes to yarn. I like bright and varied colours......I just don't necessarily wear them.

Patons Lulu
Shade: 07005 Dye Lot: K1236
100% Polyester

Wendy Allegra
Shade: 957 Dye Lot: 0490
32% Alpaca, 31% Acrylic & 37% Polyester

Sirdar Spree Cotton Rich Chunky
Shade: 0093 Dye Lot: 1734
60% Cotton 40% Acrylic

Speaking of my blond bombshell, she required a hospital referral today for a tummyache which could have been appendicitis. All is well, if still ouchy. Neurofen to the rescue (seriously, that's what the hospital doctor said to do. Keep an eye on her & give her Neurofen 3 times a day). So anyhow....faced with the prospect of a wait in the count of hours rather than minutes in the hospital, I did what any sane knitter does, I brought my WIP with me and did some KIP.

No-one batted an eyelid at me......or if they did, I didn't care nor notice.....until a little boy walked past with his mother and his eyes stayed focused on my knitting while he continued walking. Thankfully, he swung his head around before his neck achieved an impossible angle for a still breathing homo sapiens. Once his mom had a seat, he returned to me and this was pretty much our chat:

Boy: "Are you knitting. What are you knitting?"
Crafty: "Yes, I am. It's going to be a cardigan sleeve"
Boy: "Where's the rest of it? Is that the rest of it?
(He reached into my bag & pulled out my cardigan front. No stitches were harmed in the execution of this scene) :holding & squeezing knit fabric: Oh, that's going to be lovely and warm"
Crafty: "That's part of it. I knit it up in pieces but don't bring them all with me. They're better off left at home, and yes it should be nice and cosy when it's sewn together"
Boy: : stares enrapt:
Crafty: "Do you know anyone else who knits?"
Boy: "My nan before she died"
Crafty: "I'm sorry she died. It good you know she knit. Did she knit for you?"
Boy: "No, but she had a big bag full of that stuff" (points to my bag full of needles, yarn, an Art of Knitting throw square in progress etc).
Crafty: "So, she had straight metal needles too?"
Boy: :discussed differences between straights & circulars and how his gran held hers: "Can you knit hats?"
Crafty: "Oh yeah, I've knit hats"
Boy: "Can you knit me one?"
Crafty: :D Heh heh "But, I don't know what yarn you'd like"
Boy: "I like that one" (The chocolate yarn of my WIP)
Crafty: "Cool. But I wouldn't know what size to make it or how to get it to you"
Boy: "Could you knit me one now?" (Brain working like a whippet)
Crafty: "Umm....I'm enjoying knitting my cardigan now & I'd like to get that finished first."
Boy: "Do you knit all your clothes?" (Bless, but I love how fast he thought I could knit).
Crafty: "No, I don't. I'd be waiting a long while for clothes if I did that. I knit because I enjoy it and it keeps me patient, especially when I wait in queues"
Boy: :nods in sage agreement & ponders: "Do you find that (knitting) easy?"
Crafty: "I do. I've been knitting for a long time, which is why I can knit so quickly. But knit and purl are easy enough to learn. l bet you could learn how to knit if you wanted. I bet you're smart enough"
Boy: "What?:
Crafty: "Did you ties your shoe laces and dress yourself this morning. Cos if you did then you're smart enough to learn how to knit if you wanted to."
Boy: :with pride in self: "I tied my own laces & dressed myself this morning" :back straigher & smiling:
Crafty: "Oh, well, in that case, you're plenty smart enough to learn how to knit, if you wanted"
Boy: :insert massive grin here:

He returned to his mother and I returned to my knitting & tried to ignore my rumbling belly as the time approached 1p.m.

On my way out with my blond bombshell, I caught sight of the boy again, gazing at.....another KIP knitter!!!!!!


I'm not alone!


This lovely lady made time to natter with my spiked haired self and we got into a right ole chat about knitting, Ravelry (she'd not heard of it before), soakers, patterns........and Rainbow SnB :D

Hopefully, we'll see her lovely self at one of our SnB meet-ups. Details of tomorrow's meet-up can be read here. Hyperlink will take readers to the RainbowSnB blog.

Thursday, April 16, 2009




And dang it!

Singer Sewing Centre only had one remaining ball of the colourway I'm using for my chocolate top.


Thankfully, there's a yarn store in Ennis that Triona referred me to that she is fairly certain also stocks Sirdar Escape Wool Rich DK in sufficient quantities.


There was of course stash enlargement anyhow. We took a wander into Hickey's and my blond bombshell decided that her doll needs new handknits. Therefore we gave a loving home to a 100g ball of Wendy Bambino as shown below.

Wendy Bambino Double Knitting for Babies
Colour: 1470 Dye Lot: 6683

I also picked up two decently sized duck feather filled cushions which are destined to be covered with a custom made LukeOblivious hand knit. :)

MadeMarian's ladybug decided to take a wander around my desk (ably assisted by my blond bombshell's restless hands while she surfs the net).

Looks kinda like he's exploring Mars, doesn't it?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Post Rainbow Meet-up

Wherein I got plenty of knitting done and squeezed in some bitching with my blond bombshell offspring heh heh. There were only the two of us as MadeMarian had a class, Froodie is without mobile & got my Tweet late, Abydos is up to her neck in eZine editing and Fatandfortysomething is most likely working.

I figure these things need to start somewhere though.

My kvetch about The George as a location would be:

  • Coffee: Twas stewed....urgh
  • Lighting: Twas fairly dim

A different venue required methinks.

Still, worth doing as it got me out of the house and the weather perked up (a wee tad less grey). Afterwards I took my blond bomb to Chocolat for dinner. A worthy pitstop in any itinerary. Blond bomb tried Caesar Salad (which bless her cotton socks she called Kaiser salad). I got their take on Mango Chicken and enjoyed it muchly. Blondie decided next time she gets a "Kaiser" salad it will be without the pine nuts or the sauce.

.....so that will be a plain salad for my gourmand in the making. :)

Between our mini SnB and home based knitting afterwards I have cast off the left front of my chocolate cardi as pictured below.

Left Front
Mans Vee Neck Cardigan
15.04.2009: Day 9

Even with the scads of knitting accomplished over the last few days, I had restless hands after casting off. I figured it a foolhardy enterprise to cast on the right front of the cardi as I failed to reach Singer Sewing at all this evening and thus have yet to replenish my stash of Sirdar Escape Wool Rich DK required for this WIP.

So.......I cast on something completely different.

The Art of Knitting
Issue 119
Diagonal Garter Stitch & Embossed Leaf

It will get finished tomorrow.

Good night folks and happy crafting.

Rainbow Stitch'n'Bitch Meet Up

Off to The George.

Wherein I shall knit copiously, enjoy coffee & scope out the place as a suitable haunt for yarny folk.

If anyone can come along, just keep an eye out for me with:

My current WIP
(work in progress)

My blond bombshell
(minus Binks the cat)

My Rainbow Scarf
(draped over a couch or some such)

Don't be shy. Come on over and say hi!


The best thing....

....about volunteering to sit beside a phone for a couple of hours in case it rings is that one gets a super amount of knitting done.

Left Front
Man's Vee Neck Cardigan
14.04.2009: Day 8

MadeMarian got it so right when she observed that posting regular photos of my current WIP's daily growth would serve to motivate me to keep up the good handiwork.

At this point I'd feel rather sheepish if I didn't have some decent progress in pictorial form to upload. It pretty much slays the procrastination monster outright.

I did knit some more once I got home.....through an episode of Angel.

My lil (though becoming more teenage by the second) blond one looked over at one point and exclaimed:

"Ohmigod, mom, you're knitting to Angel!! And like really fast!! You crocheted to Britney! Now you're knitting to Angel"

:insert goggle eyed expression......here:


It was the soundtrack on the episode we were watching that I managed to unwittingly knit in time to.

Yes, I did at one point find myself crocheting to the beat of a Britney Spears track.

No, it wasn't a bet.

:face palm:

Happy and amusing crafting time to ya folks!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009



I've just cast off the back of the chocolate cardigan.

It's knit up quickly for me & behaved itself since the last stitch-by-stitch frogging back.

Back of Man's Vee Neck Cardigan


Whoop & all that jazz. I finally got the Raglan decreasing right. Wahey! The multiple stitch-by-stitch undoing of row upon row of garter stitch paid off. It's right and now I can move on with the bloomin' thing.

Raglan Shaping Detail
Back of Man's Vee Neck Cardigan
a.k.a. My chocolate cardi

Overall Progress: Day 8
Back of Man's Vee Neck Cardigan

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Bank Holiday Weekend

My weekend was filled with sunshine, a road trip, a mystery tour to Coolock, finding This is Knit in Blackrock Village, knitting & undoing my chocolate top several times and spending lovely time with my girlfriend. It was such a good weekend that I got precious little knitting done save what I clocked up in the car journey up to the big smoke.

The last time I was in Dublin was for the Alternative Miss Ireland weekend & on that occasion made my way to This is Knit in Powerscourt. This time around I landed in there so that I could ask directions to their store in Blackrock. I zoned out while directions were being given to my lady, who has a far better head for such things than I, & had a good look at their Knitpicks needles & sock club yarns. :drool:

Prettiness at Blackrock Village

We arrived in Blackrock Village, which is pretty by the way and plans are afoot to head there again and explore the local eateries. It was easier to find the store on foot rather than by car. Once there I kinda didn't want to leave as there was such a lovely atmosphere in the store, not to mention a wealth of lovely yarn and plethora of books that I've not been able to get in Limerick. We reckon the next time I head to This is Knit to drool over yarn and funky buttons, my lady will make herself comfy in a local cafe to spare her feet.

Heh heh

As it turned out, while I added to my collection of YarnHarlot books, my lady got to add an item for herself to my queued knitwear list.

Oh lookee!

  • At Knit's End by Stephaine Pearl-Mcphee
  • Things I Learned from Knitting by Stephaine Pearl-McPhee
  • Knitting Rules! by Stephaine Pearl-McPhee
  • Men's Knits by Erika Knight

My lady took in the variety of yarns available and settled on Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino....no that's not quite true....she scanned the array of colours available and zoned in the on hot pink. :D

Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino
55% Merino wool 33% microfibre 12% Cashmere
Colour: 340029 Dyelot: 20

I figured that if we gave a caring home in my stash to six balls of this colourway that there would be enough yarn to knit up a vest type top. Once we were home in Limerick my stack of magazines were flicked through (which competed with SG-1 for her attention I might add) and out of the possibilities and probabilities the cropped cardi below beat the other competition.

Cropped Waitcoat by Sian Brown

Sourced from Knitting magazine
Issue 56 November 2008

It's now in my Ravelry projects list which means it has to get done! Heh heh. :)

The runners up

From Left to right:

  • Vintage Summer by Martin Storey from Knit Today Issue 23 July 2008
  • Fantail Tunic by Rita Taylor from Knit Today Issue 32 April 2009
  • Autumn Tank Top by Sian Brown from Knitting Issue 55 October 2008
I'm gonna be a busy lil fire sign yarnista methinks :)

I also picked up a pair of KnitPro Interchangeable needles in size 3.25mm. These will nicely enlarge my set of Knitpicks Options Harmony Interchangable circular needles.

The event which had us Dublin bound in the first place was this. Hence the Coolock mystery tour as it took us a fair while to actually find the astro pitch in question (apart from my standing transfixed in This is Knit). To know what I'm going on about you're actually going to have to click the link. Go on. You know you want to. :)

The only downside of travelling to Dublin for the weekend was that we missed Club Wilde :(
Read more about Club Wilde here. We'll make up for our absence by dropping in the door fee to Rainbow Support Services during the week.

Seeing as I have such cool stuff now, tis only fair that I pass stuff on too in the spirit of YarnHarlot's karmic balancing.

This lil guy is for MadeMarian

Plus, I saw this lil guy, and pretty much immediatley thought of the lovely MadeMarian. It's a ladybug magnet. Turns out she has one, but needs a replacement. So I reckon it's just meant to be hers. It can help keep her wedding lists in order on the fridge methinks. :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Chocolately progress

Progress Day 4

I've only just realised that the colour graduation seems to have changed. I have had to move to a second ball of yarn. I didn't notice the difference while I was working, but it's there alright. Methinks I shall have a 'characterful' top by the end of my endeavours.

That'll suit me fine.


The bus journey to and from Clonmel this afternoon facilitated quite a lot of today's knitterly progress. My squished thumb is healing up nicely and no longer getting in the way of my knitting. The plaster is a bit of an nuisance though. I'm letting the air 'get at it' at the moment & I've not yelped with pain since typing with it plasterless so perchance my knitting will go a tad more smoothly on the morrow.

Talking about going smoothly, my yarn smoothly made it way out of my bag and travelled the width and then the length of the bus on the way back from Clonmel this afternoon.

:face palm:

Thankfully, it decided to return to me via gravitational mechanics when the bus stopped in Cahir.


Thankfully, my fellow commuters were a patient bunch & merely grinned while I retrieved my errant yarn.

It behaved itself for the rest of the journey. Thankfully!

Happy crafting folks!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Chocolately goodness.....mmmmm

That's pretty much the phrase conjured up while working with this colourway.

I've seriously been longing for Belgian hot chocolate to sip while working on this.

Have a look. Doesn't it look like someone's just cut a swath through some type of chocolate confectionary?

Day 2 Progress

My decision to use garter stitch for the body of the cardigan has borne fruit in making this a very portable, KIP (knit in public), project. I particularly enjoy the quick pace I work up with garter stitch. Quite satisfying really. I also think that it shows off the colourway well.

:) This project recieved its first compliment from a lady sitting beside me at the bus stop today. I was quite pleased about that.

Day 3 Progress

It's going to be interesting (for me at least) to see if I can keep my momentum up with this project.

Only time, and comparing pictures, shall tell.

Goodnight folks.

Happy crafting.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Despite thumb squishing I can still knit!


My friends won't have to deal with my yarn withdrawal symptoms.

Plus, there has been progress on my birthday cardi.


Man's Vee Neck Cardigan - Back

The graduation between the stripes is turning out to be lovely and gentle. I decided to use garter stitch for the body of the cardigan as opposed to the suggested stocking stitch. I prefer the texture of garter stitch. Stocking stitch can just look so....plain. I'll see how it goes.

Man's Vee Neck Cardigan - Back
Hem in 1 x 1 rib
Main body in garter stitch (knit every row)

Oh lookee! :D

Thanks to the graphics meister Evil Steve my bloggie has a shiney new header.


Pleased am I, truly.

On to latest new yarny project in the works.

Man's Vee Neck Cardigan: Design B
Sirdar: Simple Easy Knits
331 Code C

I want this.......I don't mean the manly chest (altho that would be a bonus).....a comfy cardigan for lounging around in. Something nice and simple that will let the yarn do most of the work.

The yarn in question, as pictured below, is Sirdar's Escape Wool Rich DK.

Sirdar Escape Wool Rich DK
Shade: Fervour 181
51% Wool & 49% Acrylic

Taking into account the amount of ease built into the design, I've decided to knit it up to fit chest 32/34 inches.

I was looking forward to working on this over the weekend. It's pretty much my birthday top & the only WIP intended for me. The yarn is thanks to a voucher for Singer Sewing Centre that I recieved for my 29th birthday. I'm so glad that the store saw fit to let me redeem it after a year.

I put the kaiboosh on knitting by closing the car door on my thumb last night (um ouch!). There was distraction involved and I am a klutz.

While there was a trip to the A & E where a dressing was put on it to hide the impending multicolourful aspect of the digit - I didn't linger to see a doctor. The nurse checked that I had my full range of motion, assured me that I would be seen albeit there was no telling when, established that I have no earthly notion when my last tetanus shot was & didn't seem too perturbed otherwise. Staying seemed a waste of my friends time & of the A & E resources.


So I did the butch on it.


My friend did verily roll her eyes at my "I'll be fine" swagger. Especially as I whimpered while sorting out the seat belt.

Impervious boi that I am.


Anyhow, there ensued much gogglement this morning over our Sunday morning fry -up.
(If in the vicinity of Shannon Airport's cafe I recommend trying the full Irish. Tis surprisingly good).

The opening of sugar sachets and milk portions alike were beyond me. Much to the miffdom of my uber-independent self.
(Tellingly, my first words as a toddler were "Me do it").

Now that the throbbing has eased and the inflammation has died down, thanks in no small part to anti-inflammatory pain relief, I may try a few stitchs.

Wish me luck.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Squares, stars and rectangles

If my friends were in any doubt about just how much of a yarn nerd I truly am, their doubts were dispelled when I arrived in Dublin for the AMI with less drag paraphenalia than your average king and more yarn than you could shake a binder at. (If you're curious google drag kings & binders).

I knit in the back of the car on the way up.

I knit in the back of the car on the way back.

I did, however, manage to down my harmony circulars for long enough to take in the fabulosity that is the Alternative Miss Ireland.

For you dear readers unfamiliar with AMI may I please refer you to my other bloggie Limerick Drag Kings for enlightenment. :)

The fruits of my labours are pictured below.

Issue 105: Multi-Colour Diagonal Striped Square
- Incorporates all the colours of the finished throw

Issue 107 : Garter Stitch with Thin Stripes
- Biscuit yarn background wiht horizonatal stripes of Vanilla, Sky, Mocah, Lavender and Fennel.

Issue 114: Diagonal Garter Stitch & Embossed Leaf
- Worked in garter stitch diagonal by starting at the corner and increasing until broadest point of square, then decreasing. The embossed leaf is created at the beginning and is not at all tricky to do. Looks the business though!

And only now do I notice that the two colourwork squares are back to front.

:face palm:

They still give the gist though.


You remember 'that' blanket?

Well, I thinking out loud, as I am prone to doing (bless my friends much used ears), I hummed and hawwed to my favourite cub about how to proceed. Ever the graphically inclined wunderkind, he suggested (& proceeded to draw) the punk star as a noble addition to the, by now, epic design process of 'that' blanket.

So off I went and took that idea to the drawing board, by which I mean, of course, that I dived right in and cast on. I just happended to have black yarn in my stash (which is now, by the way, the yarny equivalent to Forty Coats & His Fifty Pockets, I'm not quite sure what's in there at this point).

Punk Star - Version 1

Punk Star - Version 2

Seeing the two versions together, methinks I was on the right track with the first version. However, it has sinced been frogged as I was running out of room for increasing. Version 2 is just too.....skinny. This time around I will sit down with excel and actually plot out a knitting chart for myself.


Alternative Baby Blankie Arrangement - Take 1

Alternative Baby Blankie Arrangement - Take 2

I needed to see how I could put these together in order to make, y'know, an actual blanket out of them. I'm happy with arrangement Take 2.


Off on another tangent, I had a gawk at the visitor feed. I love seeing where my readers hail from. Along with Irish locations, which I do love seeing, I spotted:

  • Douglasville, Georgia
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • San Leandro, California
  • Campos, Rio de Janeiro
Hi folks


Again, I love seeing Cork, Dublin and Clare and all other Irish points popping up, but it is lovely to see how connected the craft communities are thanks to the internet.

Call again.

I'll have the welcome mat out.

(the rectangle :D )

Happy crafting folks!


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Because it came up over dinner.....

When a craft nerd turns 30, of course the conversation is going to include yarn or patterns or both at some point.

As regular readers of this blog will have noticed, I seem to have knit a gazillion squares for a throw from The Art of Knitting.

My lovely friend Marian liked the idea of confining her knitting to a square at a time.

It's a useful exercise really.

  • Leftover yarn can be used up
  • Frogging isn't as painful to the ego
  • Your repertoire of new stitches builds with every square
  • If you really hate the stitch, you never have to do it again (in theory).
  • There's a sense of completion with each square
  • Each square is perfectly portable for knitting on the go
  • At the end, you get a quilt
So here's the link to The Art of Knitting for those of you who won't be getting to borrow my collection & so you can see what the heck I've been referring to for months.

Oh, and I realised the other day, when setting up my new Ravelry profile, that I've been blogging for just over a year.

Boi but that year flew.

Happy Crafting folks.


I spent today putting together a separate online presence for Rainbow Stitch'n'Bitch.
Please have a look and leave a comment to say hi.

Rainbow SnB are also on Facebook & Bebo.

And, um, Twitter , since I was on a roll :D