January 22, 2015

In progress, a sneak peek and a new shop!

Friends, I discovered a new shop today quite by chance. I went to Phibsboro to buy rice at the Indian shop and whilst three, I went up to the post office to post a letter. Coming back, I spied through a window some wool nicely arranged. Then I saw cross stitch kits on the wall – obviously I had to go in! This is what greeted me:

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The shop is called Be Creative – Be Unique. The yarn you see pictured is a good mix of cheap’n’cheerful acrylics and some much nicer Bergere de France yarns. They have a good range of crochet cottons and weights from sock yarns up to pretty chunky. Basically, if you’re not looking for something extremely specific, you’ll find something to scratch your itch!

They have addi needles and hooks, as well as bag handles and those awesome little leather soles that you can knit socks on to.

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Hmm, what else? Oh yeah, they sell quilting fabrics and some cotton poplins, too!

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(There’s a lot more than pictured). And if course there are ribbons, trims, needles and whatnots.

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I’m just so happy that if I need lining, thread, interfacing, spare needles…that kind of thing, I don’t have to go all the way into town and support a shop that doesn’t care if I shop there or not (Hickey’s). As it turned out, I needed interfacing and thread but I couldn’t go home without a sample of new things…

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I have a deep desire for new socks and incredibly, have nothing in the stash. What perfect excuse to try out a new kind of sock yarn! I look forward to reporting.

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I couldn’t resist this fabulous vintage Japanese print! I got some cream flannel to back it with and I plan on making some kitchen cloths. Look at the eggs!

In other news, I just cast on a Seven Sisters Cowl in Malabrigo Rios.

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It’s to match a hat I just finished so I hope to show you the set soon. And speaking of sets, I started this shawl over Christmas to match a dress I’m making!

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The dress is a lighter version of the same shade and I’m excited to finish it. The shawl is made from the new Fyberspates ‘Cumulus’ alpaca mohair so it’s very snug and warm. I’ll write more about it when I post the outfit.

I hope you’re all staying snug these days, or at the very least, crafting your way towards that state!

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May 31, 2011

Summer is for sewing

Filed under:Crafty Sites,Sewing — Aileen @ 08:00

You all know I have a penchant for embroidery. Last night, I decided to return to a few handkerchief projects I had started when snow was still falling!

Spurred on by The Summer of No Pants project over on Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky!, I dug out a summer dress I started sewing before Christmas. It’s the Roundabout Dress by Anna Maria Horner. I’d left it to one side because I managed to sew on the pockets the wrong way around! So yesterday, I fixed that and all I need to do is hem it.

It covers a lot of firsts for me: lots of gathers, a v-neck, putting in a lining when there wasn’t supposed to be one and pockets. It didn’t turn out perfectly but I’m really happy with the gathers and how I got the lining in. When I get it finished off, I’ll show more pictures. Albert is one step away from saying out loud how much he dislikes the fabric! So far I’ve gotten, “Wow, that’s a lot of… flowers?” and “It looks like you made it yourself”. This amuses me because the fabric, I must have bought about ten years ago and I wasn’t about to go buy new fabric for a design that I was unsure would even suit me! Given our record for summer weather, I will probably end up wearing it only twice anyway.

If you’d like to jump on the summer sewing bandwagon, check out Grosgrain’s Free Pattern Month. At least one free pattern a day for the month!

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December 18, 2009

“Ask not for whom the bell tolls…”

Filed under:Cardigans,Crafty Sites,Spinning,Stash,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 11:38

…it tolls for knitting (well, in my house it does). It’s been a busy month for me; I have three concerts down and two more to go. There’s been a fair amount of travelling, rehearsals, page turning, taking the tempo into my own hands, reassurance of singers and thanking of audiences. Thankfully, life is not all about work so I have a few things to show you that I’ve been busy with in my down-time.

First up is a time-sensitive project. My mum has requested a Central Park Hoodie for Christmas.

Don’t worry, I have the body already knit. This is just the first sleeve but there is no hood to worry about. Isn’t that cherry red lovely? (I know what date it is, by the way.)

I am not really sure how it happened, but I got completely bitten by the spinning bug last weekend and have been going hell for leather since. I had a bag of longhaired Welsh sheep and decided to spin it up as finely and consistently as I could.

I got quite a lot out of the bag – two big skeins along with what’s wound off here and there is still about 50g left in the bag. I think there was about 200g in it. I made a 2-ply out of it in the end and it seems to be coming in as a light double knit. I love the colour of it. It has the occasional natural fleck of brown throughout so it looks very oatmealy. Delicious! I don’t think I would use it again though. See those hairs poking out? They also cover the entire sitting carpet and most other surfaces, as well as my clothes. Sweet divine, I have never come across something that shed so much. I spun my singles really fast and tight but it made no difference. On the upside, the stuff itself was lovely and easy-going to spin thanks to its long staple length.

As I neared the end of the bag of the Welsh stuff, I caught sight of Eimear’s singles spun from Ashford’s Merino and Silk. I got a pack of blue (‘Salvia’… but if you’re like me, you will constantly mis-read it as ‘Saliva’) from The Yarn Room. I had had a bad day. I was really, really unwell the week before last and needed a treat. This is definitely it! After spinning the Welsh stuff, this is just heavenly. So soft and no shedding!

I just love the colours. I’m not being very attentive about what order I spin the colours in so it’s going to be… interesting. My plan is to spin a nice sportweight 2-ply and knit Quant. The Knitty version is for an aran weight but I found a subsequent version of the pattern free on the Spin-Off website that’s for a sportweight. I think it will be a nice use of the merino silk and will probably use up the whole lot.

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October 19, 2009

This cuff ain’t big enough for the two of us

Sleeves and I have a love-hate relationship. I love them because, well, they’re sleeves. They keep me warm. Sometimes they even keep my ears and nose warm if I create inventive sitting positions. I hate them because knitting them is the equivalent of trying to control a violently sprouting weed or possibly even a ravenous herd of goats. On this occasion, it’s the sleeves of my Minimalist Cardigan. The body went swimmingly. I even grafted the front borders at the back of the neck. But the sleeves? The first one was too big. Too big as in the cuff was certainly big enough for the two of us and possibly even Alb, too. A triple teapot cozy. A giraffe scarf. The second one was definitely the right size but – and that’s a noone-to-blame-but-myself-‘but’ – my increases were very odd. The result was a pretty sleeve with a tumor. Not even a tumor you could cover up. It was a very, my goodness, your arm is growing suddenly in a contrary direction type of tumor. I must stress that each of these attempts involved at least ten inches of moss stitch.

Anyway. Behold my goat.

It fits. It is almost the right length. And soon, all I will need to do is make another one…

There have been some distractions, of course. My Fountain Pen Shawl totally ran out of yarn. I ripped out the half border I had knit as well as a repeat of the main chart. I have now reknit half of the border and still… still…. do not have enough to finish. I am going to need to take out another two repeats of the main chart.

Still, when all is said and knit, there is nothing to take the sting out being thwarted at every stitch like the prospect of new projects! Hope springs anew! Check these guys out. First up there’s Liesl, an oldie but a goodie. Then there’s the Vine Yoke cardigan. This free Tokyo tshirt pattern has me very excited! And then there’s Girl Friday, for which I have a gorgeous smooshy sea-blue aran wool. Don’t get me started on Game Knitting! And possibly the best thing since sliced bread – or at the very least, OwlsGet Off My Cloud.

So little time… too… many… sleeves…

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October 2, 2009

Smitten

Filed under:Crafty Sites,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 12:09

My usual reason for not posting in a while is that piano things have gotten very busy. This is partly true – I started college last week and my schedule still isn’t set in stone yet. But really, somewhere in my head I eloped with my knitting this week.

I blame it on the Malabrigo. I picked up this hot pink Malabrigo merino lace in Berlin. It didn’t look like much in the skein but knit up, it turns into an unbearably soft, light, pillowy fabric. The pattern I picked was perfect: not too hard but not too easy, either. After a few repeats I could watch tv with it and keep a stray eye on the chart. It was a match made in heaven. On and on I knit, not even heeding the purl rows. I knit myself up the aisle. I knit myself through our ‘I do’s. It got bigger and bigger, softer and softer until suddenly, halfway down the aisle…

lace malabrigo shawl interweave

…we ran out of yarn. I was stunned. You mean… this skein… had an end? An End? We looked at each other for a while until eventually I realised that there was nothing I could do to save the relationship. The best thing for both of us is to see other projects for a while.

So, really, when you think about it, the moon and earth were perfectly aligned for my reunification with the Minimalist Cardigan. It was meant to be. (I seem to be saying that a lot this week).

Look at that wee curl on the hem! The subtle texture of the moss! The grain of the chain-plied yarn! After my false start, it is nice to have something that is truly fool-proof. And of course, although the curl of the hem is cute for a photo, in reality I will be lining the edges of this with some pretty ribbon.

… Which reminds me to tell you that Rubanesque, that fabulous wee shop of inspiration on South William St, has relocated to the ground floor of the Powerscourt Centre. I popped in there last week and it’s so bright! And big! And full of ribbons, vintage fabrics, buttons, lace… I can’t wait to finish my cardigan so I can go back and pick out ribbon for it.

It hasn’t just been the knitting that’s been floating my boat recently. I have been really enjoying The Sartorialist as well as all of the latest catwalk stuff. I have been purusing Avoca – sort of the Irish equivalent of Rowan in a way – and thinking about clothes, knitting and their function in general. I think a lot of people consider ‘fashion’ to be whatever is trendy at the moment. I, however, am increasingly of the opinion that ‘fashion’ can be better interpreted as a sense of costume. To approach how one dresses, and consequently what one sews or knits, from that point of view makes the end result more convincing. What do you think?

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