Yesterday’s post was about the cowl that I made for Carol, who was my downstream partner in Knitmas 2011. I was the downstream partner of the wonderful Karen though, and look at what she sent me! Do you see the fantastic, gorgeous big bright yellow scarf?! I LOVE IT. It’s from Malabrigo Worsted in a colourway I’ve been wanting for so long now. It’s garter! LOVE IT. And all the other thoughtful things of course – the jar was a premixed vegan cookie mix for me, plus the tin to bake it in, and the pretty little wrappers to bake them in. Then there was tea, a tea cup, and a skein of glorious Handmaiden yarn, and a big square workbasket. This was actually the best thing that happened me this Christmas! Thank you Karen!!!

Posted in special joy | 10 Comments

New Cowl Pattern

A couple of months before Christmas happened, one of the most intrepid of knitters in Ireland – Sue in Cork – organised a secret knitmas swap thingie. Everyone taking part had to make something, then pack it up with pretty little extras, and post it off by the middle of December. My downstream secret pal was the lovely Carol Feller! Knowing that I had an internationally renowned designer as the recipient of my something-handmade, I panicked. The challenge was this: to make something superchunky (because I had no time left before posting) but chockful of technique and interest (because it was Carol!). This is the result! I hope you like it, I wrote down what I did and now you can make one too if you like. Bairbre kindly charted it, and Deirdre tested it, so it’s all good to go. The photo isn’t totally amazeballs, I’ll come back with a better one asap!

Here’s the blurb from the pattern:

This pattern turns a regular plaited cable into a reversible one with some clever replacement techniques which add density to the work, making for a very warm garment. The reversibility means that there is no wrong side, and you can throw this around your neck any way you like, without having to worry about fixing it so that the pattern is to the front!

This project is deceptively easy to work up – in the eight-line repeat, just two rows require any attention; the rest are plain ribbing. The super bulky yarn gives your knitting wings, and this can really fly off the needles in an evening – perfect for last minute gifts.

Also – it’s mobius, so it sits really nicely on your neck. Win!

I got cold over the Christmas holidays and made one for myself in brown Debbie Bliss Paloma. Hmmm squishy. I was tempted to keep going and make it a scarf, but I like how a cowl doesn’t blow off in the crazy wind we got here in Dublin. Nothing to stop you scarfing up the pattern though!

Here’s the link to where you can get the pattern on Ravelry. Enjoy!


I almost forgot!

The pattern has a bit of an obtuse name, hasn’t it? So I thought I would have a little competition to see if anyone could guess as to where the name comes from. The prize is a goodie bag, comprising the pattern itself, the yarn to make it in any colour you like, the right size needles, plus whatever other goodies my eye lands on when I’m doing the prize bag up ;D (I love putting this stuff together, it’s the best fun!) All you have to do is leave a comment saying where you think the name ‘Dented Cowl’ is from. No peeking at the other comments! I’ll draw a random name from a hat next week for the winner. Good luck!

Posted in finished projects, patterns what I have conjured | 32 Comments

Christmas Crochet

In contrast to last year’s hectic ‘I’ll knit something for every single person in the world for xmas’, this year I only made one thing (the barbarian hat thing is still on the go so doesn’t count, yet). We had a Secret Santa thing in This Is Knit, organised by the ever fabulous Nadia. I grabbed two skeins of Debbie Bliss Paloma, and a giant hook, and this whipped itself up in an episode of Home and Away (it’s never xmas there because they take it off Irish telly for a month during xmas! *sadface*). The above pic was taken just before I popped it in wrapping with a bottle of wine.

Modelled by http://www.teaandcakes.net. It turned into a very squishy cowl-slash-neckhug. And anyone who knows the team in TIK couldn’t mistake these colours as being for anyone but Jacqui. Merry Xmas Jacqui!

Pattern: On The Double

Hook: 9mm

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Paloma, 2 skeins

We were talking in the shop during the week about knitting trends. Remember when everyone everywhere just knit self striping socks, and nothing else? And how now everyone is knitting garter stitch in semi-solids? Well, I predict that stripes are next. It’s taken me a week of deliberating to decide this. So this is my first striped FO of the new stripe trend, hurrah!

Posted in crochet is awesome, finished projects, gift knitting | Leave a comment

Glazed Carrots

Apols for the blurry pic, I snapped it quickly before throwing it on my neck, and then proceeding to wear it all winter.

I was having a knitting slump. Every WIP seems to have hit a spot where it needs sliiiightly more attention than I can give it right now. To take the edge off, and also cos I just love the name of this colourway of Malabrigo Rasta (Glazed Carrots), I hooked this up. It took all of an hour. Totally worked. I steamrolled back into a big cardigan project right after snipping off the ends on this baby.

Sometimes you need the knitting equivalent of a big, hot, brandy-spiked cup of hot chocolate. The giganto hook, and the huge, thick, squishy singles of the Rasta are this.

Ravelled here.

Posted in crochet is awesome | 2 Comments


Fear not! Stashdown 2012 has not been affected. No new yarn has crossed the threshold. This is loot from the Knitting and Stitching Show in November of 2011. I am just super slow at uploading pictures to show you.

This is a parade you are going to want to see. Are you sitting down? Alone? You may need some alone time with this post. You’ll see what I mean.

But first up – some exciting owl linen and bicycle cotton. Nice!

Then a stuffed orange owl pin. Cute! I know, I have too many owl things :(

And now. Didn’t I tell you? Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Seven skeins, baby. YEAH!

I don’t know what happened. I just went a bit nuts. I was working very hard at the This Is Knit stall, and every time there was a quiet moment my eyes slid over to the Hedgehog display and I’d play this game where I picked out my favourite colours and took them home to live with me. By the time 6 o’clock came, I’d been through all the pros and cons in my head, and was clutching a very full paper bag.

They have since come home to live with me, and we are all very happy together. They have paid for themselves since, as every time I am stressed I take them out and pet them, and soothe them, and speak to them of my plans for them – waaaay cheaper than counselling, right? Hmmmmm look at those colours. My absolute fave is the first one, the one called ‘pollen’. Freaking love it. I think it’ll be a crochet shawl – maybe that crochet version of citron.



Posted in crochet is awesome, special joy, stash | 14 Comments

Tales From The Frog Pond

I saw these two skeins, fell in love (they are a mix of my two most favourite colours evah), and took them home. I wear cardigans all the time, so thought they could be an Awesome New Cardigan.

I even found a set of matching stitchmarkers in my stitchmarker stash! How fantastic! These were a specially commissioned set made for me by my friend K at Chocolate Bunni Crafts, and represent my favourite vegetables, plus yarn. Fab combo. Yes, there is glitter on that turnip. She is the shizzle. These were just the thing for raglan increases.

I knit and knit and knit. The pattern was just a plain top down raglan sum done to my own measurements, with a gauge that I liked the fabric at, plus some garter edging. Here W. is modelling it for me in Accents one Saturday afternoon knitting group. Would you like to see what it looks like now?

This. It’s back to being wool again. After knitting to the bust, I decided I’d prefer the fabric at a slightly looser gauge, using a needle size that was 1mm bigger. So I ripped it all out. I swear to god, I wasn’t even in a bad place the afternoon I did it. I suppose I have just become that kind of knitter. The cross-eyed-with-stress kind. I don’t know what to do to combat this. I do know that, for now, I have put the two skeins away in a far corner of the stash-box, not to come out again until I have recovered myself.

You’ve seen this new site, right? I’m veerrrry excited about it!

Posted in stitch-markers, wip | 8 Comments

Paws For Thought

You’ve seen this bad boys before. Many times. You know that they broke my heart.

For a long time (actual length of time: the hours it took to knit the second mitten), I thought that it was my own thumb that was the problem here. Looking back now, when a pattern makes you think this, it is an evil pattern. I thought going up a needle size would fix the issue so I did that with the second one. It didn’t – so I cast on for a third one.

Finally I came to my senses, realizing that my thumb does not spring forth from the palm of my hand. Length of time this took me: the year or so that they sat in a dark corner of the WIP chest. In the August WIP-smack-down, I took them out, wove in the ends, blocked them (again) and declared that they were D.O.N.E.

They are very pretty, and I would love to make them again someday, with A PROPER GAUGE GUIDE, AND THUMBS THAT ACTUALLY FIT THE HUMAN HAND, but this won’t happen until I stop having cat-mitten-shaped nightmares, or shuddering when I see stranded scrolls.

They’re nice and warm to wear, and they don’t immediately look as though one is bigger than the other. And if I’m sitting in a stationary position and not wanting to do anything at all, except clutch my thumb into the ridiculous place the mitten puts it, then they’re absolutely fine and lovely!

Isn’t S. a simply febulous mitt-model?

Moving on from the Mitten Anger

I have tentatively drawn up a pattern (so far, in my head) for the beardy hat. I have also found some yarn that would do for it. Fingers crossed! (Except when I need them to knit with.)

Posted in finished projects | 2 Comments

Hooks Divine

Aren’t these handles just fabulous? Colourful, beautiful, and comfortable to use. Guess what they are!

Crochet hooks! It is so important to have tools that are full of glamour and gorgeousness, isn’t it. Who would hook with grey plastic crap from a chain haberdashery, when they could order these fantastic handmade beauties from Etsy instead?

This is the pretty box they came in – I got them from this etsy shop here. It’s run by an independent craftswoman called Angela Hickey who makes these in Oregon in the U.S.

Update on the ‘Barbarian Beardy Hat Xmas Knitting’ scenario:

I have found this pattern for something similar in bulky (v. important – it’s only a week til xmas, practically!) yarn. I really like the colours that this knitter made it in, so will copy those. Then I just need to figure out attaching the moustache and beard myself – shouldn’t be an issue, right?! And find a bulky that comes in those exact colours… really soon…I am thinking that the russety coloured beard yarn will be the hardest to find, so if you know of a bulky in this sort of reddy-orange then please let me know, thanks! Here’s the picture again to jog your memory…

Posted in tools | 2 Comments

Surface Tension

This is one from the deeeeeep recesses of the WIP chest. This one languished and lay neglected until the great WIP-down of August (?) this year. This event was where I tanked myself up on coffee and courage, and threw myself, darning needles and scissors in hands, at the pile of unfinished knitted items in my life.

It’s a mug cosy. It is about three years ago now, I’d say, that I said to Lisa in the shop that we should really have a cabled mug cosy pattern. That it would be a nice little project that people could pick up on a whim. Three years later, here we are. It isn’t a shop pattern, or a blog pattern, or any pattern! I wrote up the pattern at the time – it’s a basic cable stitch found in Barbara Walker but with additional twisting and closing to form the button hole and tie. The yarn is Donegal Studio Aran weight. But here’s the thing: to get the cables to pop as I wanted them to (as they do pop, so nicely, in this photos), I had to go down to a 2.5mm needle. I kid you not. I had hands like claws after finishing this. It went straight into the ‘waiting for finishing/ a button’ pile and stayed there for months and months. The button that I eventually did put on it was a gift from Teaandcakes and is from Down Unda. Isn’t it fab! *bear noises*

So it won’t ever be a pattern, because I don’t want to inflict claw hands on anyone else. In fact, I gave the frigging thing away as a present. I don’t want to see it ever again!

Here is a mug cosy I am keeping – it was a gift from Sara who runs the fabulous online Irish sewing boutique ‘Sweensie‘. I ordered one of her cute knitting box bags, and she included this. I use it every morning. I forgot to add her to the list of female-owned businesses! I’ll go back to that post and do it now.

How’s everyone’s xmas shopping going? I haven’t bought (or made, or aquired in any other way) a thing! Seriously! I’m hoping that the shopping/giving mood will strike me some day next week, before the big event itself. I decided not to knit for anyone this year, but then got a request for a hat like the picture below. Haven’t been able to find a pattern on Ravelry that is similar (just that Viking hat with the plaits is all I can see there) so it looks like I’m going to have to wing it! Any tips?!

Posted in finished projects | 3 Comments

Answers To Your Questions

It’s been ages since I did Google Penance! For those who don’t remember, Google Penance is when you look at your site stats, look at the phrases that people have been typing into Google that led them to your site. Usually they land here without really meaning to (ie if they google ‘bread recipe’ and here they are! at a knitting site!) so you give them the answer they need instead.

The Google: “simple beginners knitting pattern for a tea cosy ireland”

The Answer: Tea And Sympathy is right here!

The Google: “image – teeny little knitted hat”

The Answer: How about this one here? It’s coypright to http://www.jewelandarlin.com though!

The Google: “malabrigo glazed carrot cowl”

The Answer: This one is just spooky, because I crocheted this during the week but haven’t really posted about it yet. This person googled into the future.

Posted in google penance | 2 Comments