July 12, 2010

Conveyor belt

I can’t seem to stop knitting. I have been a bit under the weather over the last week – I think it’s weather related. Our weather has gone from hot to cold and wet and now back to sunny-but-cool. It has been a bit of a struggle to get back into the swing of practice so it’s nice to have been productive on at least one front.

I finished my Drops alpaca cardigan. This was my world cup knitting and, even though I thought it would be an unachievable goal, I completed it easily. Got the sleeves set in before half time and now all it needs is a good blocking.

I am still a bit mad about forgetting the buttonholes but the garment fits so nicely and the yarn was so lovely to work with that I can’t really stay mad at it for very long.

I finished up Audrey as well. I was sort of putting off finishing it because I was certain it was going to be too big and floppy. But when I got the button bands and neckband on, I realised that it fit really well.

All I need now are buttons. I am thinking about putting a hook and eye at the very top since I forgot to put in a buttonhole. I will post more detailed, modelled shots when these two are blocked and finished completely. I made a few mods in both which I’d like to document for others to use.

I have been trying to work my way through my backlog of almost-FOs. I did finish off the Minimalist cardigan but really, it’s been a disaster from start to finish. It is the most ill-fitting sweater I have made in a long time and even with my mods for the sleeves, they turned out enormous. But you can’t win ’em all so I have put it away in the hopes that someone will appear on my horizon that I can give it to. In the meantime, I have dug out my only other languishing sweater – ole Henley Perfected.

All this needs is a sleeve and a half. It got put away because winter came in rather quickly last year and I wanted to move on to woollier things. The yarn is Calmer a stretchy cotton blend from Rowan. It’s usually quite expensive – about €8 a ball – but I picked up a bag of 10 for about €40 last summer in Galway. It’s a beautiful colour and is really lovely to work with.

But really, my tricot du jour has to be Veera’s new pattern, the 3/4 hap shawl. True, when I saw the pattern the weather had just broken and true, when I cast on, it was pouring rain outside. But now that I have started, wild angry crocheters couldn’t get me to put this down.

The green is Malabrigo Sock in Lettuce and I bought it originally to join in on the Annis knitalong at This is Knit. I kind of put off casting on because of the huge amount of stitches to start with and the rumours of nupps. In the meantime, this little gem appeared and I knew what I had to do.

The purple is Brown Sheep Nature Spun Fingering which has been patiently waiting in the wings. It’s a pretty stark contrast but really, purple and green belong together, don’t they?


July 5, 2010


Last week was a busy one but in the nicest way possible – Alb and I got engaged! Yay! He actually popped the question Friday before last, when we were in Kinsale for the day. Much of last week was spent looking for a ring; now I just have to wait a few weeks for some tweaks and we’ll be good to go. Although, I must say I have been enjoying telling people and then showing them my left hand. (Sorry, guys).

My knitting on our road trip was this alpaca cardigan from Drops. It’s a really straight forward knit – lots of mindless stockinette with a few bits of shaping thrown in to keep your attention. The only problem for me was that my mind was elsewhere most of the weekend and I totally forgot to work in the buttonholes. It was a bit of a slog until I divided for the armholes and then it really started motoring along. I got most of a sleeve worked up yesterday.

The instructions include a nice bell shaping for the cuffs. I like the shape but it’s not very practical for me. I end up dipping it in everything or it gets caught in every door handle I pass. So I skipped that bit and cast on the number of stitches it specifies directly after the shaping.

I have also been ploughing away at Audrey. I got both sleeves done and am on the button bands. It was pretty cumbersome to bring along with me in the car so I am only really getting back to it today.

I really love the texture of the ‘bib’. The yarn, Debbie Bliss’s Amalfi, helps that a lot too.

The only thing that concerns me is that it is working up to be a bit floppy. I suppose I expected that but perhaps I should have anticipated it better and knit a size smaller. I think I will try throwing it in the tumble dryer to tighten up the fabric when I’m finished.

I got a bit bored with knitting at the weekend so I started a project I’ve been meaning to get stuck into for a while – a linen hexagon bathmat. I found the pattern via Ravelry to Pierrot, a Japanese craft site. Here’s a direct link to the pdf. The written instructions are in Japanese but the diagrams are very clear.

The yarn is Lin from Drops, their 100% linen yarn. It is just like the other linen I used before. Maybe a bit shinier. I hope it fluffs up like the other stuff, too. That’s all my World Cup knitting for now. I hope to finish off both cardigans by the finals!

I haven’t even started on my Tour de Fleece spinning yet but I know Eimear and Laura have. I have a crazy idea but I don’t know if it will work. I am going to practice and see about it later. Will keep you posted.


June 26, 2010

Summer holidays

Filed under:Knitting World Cup,News!,Photography,Travel — Aileen @ 22:43

It feels a bit dull to say that, yet again, the last few weeks have been very hectic… but they have. I had six end of BA or MA degree recitals in NUIM (Maynooth university) to practice for, rehearse and get through. I also had my own FLCM exam. The London College of Music (LCM) is one of the main examining boards in the British Isles. They provide a number of different standard performance diplomas. The Fellowship diploma (the F bit) is the highest standard of diploma you can do and is the equivalent of a postgraduate diploma. I did mine in piano accompaniment because it will make me eligible to apply for more third-level work next year, without having to wait to graduate from my masters. Happily, all of my students did very well in their exams – some were truly exceptional – and I passed my own exam, too. So you know what that means: summer holidays!

Alb had Friday off so on Thursday, we took off for Cork. We found a cheap hotel on Lidl breaks. It’s been really fantastic – big, comfortable room; broad, varied breakfast and superb service (if you’re interested, it’s the Carrigaline Court Hotel. It’s not near anything but it’s only about a ten minute drive from the city if that’s where you want to go. It’s also beside the bus stop if you want to go that way, too). Anyway, Friday wasn’t so good weather-wise so I hit up the shops and while I was at it, picked up some 4-ply wool in a lovely blue-grey for an Austin hoodie. The afternoon brightened up considerably and we headed out for Kinsale. I’d been a few years ago with my mum and I’m happy to say that it exceeded my memories upon return.

Kinsale is a small, colourful, vibrant town with a busy harbour. We had a great time walking around in the sun and taking photos. It was a perfect day.

Today, we headed in the other direction to Youghal. Like Kinsale, it too has a busy harbour. However, the town is more spread out and is built into the steep moutain beside the sea. It is a very old town that built up in medieval times thanks to rich trade from the continent and much of the town still reflects its origin. This is the clock tower.

…and the lighthouse at the other end of the town.

We walked up to the old town walls and St. Coleman’s church. It was built in the 13th century and can boast its continuous use since. It was impressive but next to impossible to photograph, unfortunately.

An ice-cream in the sun and onwards then to Cobh, another harbour village. Cobh was the last port of call for the Titanic and is still a busy port for ferries to France and fishermen. It is unusual, though, for the truly gigantic cathedral looming down above the village. This is a tiny portion of it.

Like Youghal, much of the town is cut into the mountain with very steep streets. It is definitely worth the climb up to the cathedral for the wonderful views across the bay. The sun was strong today and the sky was quite grey and hazy so my photos aren’t very interesting-looking. I am sure Alb will come up with something a bit better soon enough!

Tomorrow we hope to strike out for St. Finbar’s hut before heading home. I have a few things lined up for the summer but mostly I plan to stay at home in my sweatpants and catch up with you guys. You know the Tour de Fleece (ravelry link) is starting soon? And I don’t know about you, but I am knitting away to the World Cup. Let’s catch up again soon!


September 12, 2006


Filed under:Knitting World Cup,News!,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 10:24

Phew! Yesterday was a helluva day. I had two hour and a half lessons, and it took me over an hour and a half to get home in the torrential rain. But I had my knitting with me and I got another repeat of the Alien Head top done. It’s official, they are alien heads. Lotus blossom my ass.

Sleeve #1 of Granny Smith is very nearly finished – it just needs that last sprint to the end! I’m going to finish that up today and GASP! start seaming up the body pieces. This cardigan has dragged out for nearly two whole months. I just want to be done with it.

I just couldn’t get to sleep last night. I was running a temperature and all the music and things that had been said to me in my lesson kept going around in my head. I had to give in in the end and spent a good hour turning the heel and sorting out the gusset on my sock.

In case you haven’t heard, the new Knitty is up and for the most part, I am impressed. Following a link from a felted bag project in the new issue, I came upon this. I would really like to make a felted bag, and I think the Coco Bag (scroll to the bottom) would be perfect. It doesn’t look as big as a Booga Bag.

Lastly – and I know this is unprecedented – but do you remember Bliss? That ill-fated Knitting World Cup project? Well, I have about four rows left on the last sleeve and then I have to just sew it all up. So I think I should get stuck into that because I need it to wear! Yesterday, for reasons unknown to me, I decided to wear a poloneck. Why? I knew I was going to be playing for two lessons, I know how hot I get when I play… I’ve got to start making myself wear lighter clothes.


July 14, 2006

Filed under:Knitting World Cup,News!,Secret Pal 8,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 12:14

What a week!

My KWC project, Bliss, didn’t get finished. I’ve got the front and back pieces done, but ended up finishing the back piece the day after the final :} Not only that, but when I compared the front pieces to the back piece for length, I realised that they were two different colours. I was sort of half-expecting it, but after everything, it just made me so fed up with knitting it that I have just left it to one side for the moment. It is perfect weather for it, but our office is so cold (just where I’m sitting, it seems :P) that I have no incentive to finish it!

However, I finished my second sleeve for Salina last night. Horray! I am going to start sewing it up tonight. I am looking forward to knitting on the lapel. It is in seed stitch, just like the cuffs and bottom of the body. I got some wooden buttons for it when I was in Galway last weekend, so I hope that they suit. For anybody thinking of making this jumper, I would definitely recommend it and also say that you will definitely get it finished with the 6 balls recommended for 36″ chest. I bought a seventh because I wanted full-length sleeves instead of 3/4 length and I must say that I have only used a little bit of the seventh so far.

My Secret Pal sent me the greatest parcel during the week! I really needed it this week. I haven’t been feeling great. I’ve caught a bug from sitting in the draft from the air conditioning. She spun me the loveliest mohair – about 600m of it! It is a dark grey and I’m envisioning luxury socks… From what she told me, it is not the easiest to spin, which makes me appreciate it all the more. I have been showing it off at home and it has been widely admired! She also sent along two skeins of Cascade 220 (hope I got that right) in a fantastic petrol blue. I’m imagining a mad blue hat with matching mittens for winter! Yay! Roll on Winter! lol… Also included was a lovely photo book of Virginia, a map of Virginia state in case I hadn’t figured out where she was from ;)… some yummy chocolates and a really fun selection of music-themed buttons. These really made me laugh and cheered me up no end.

The three books I ordered ages ago came in during the week too – Knitting Rules, Socks socks socks and One Skein. I will write more about them later. I want to post pictures too! It sucks, I hardly have any time to catch up on my blog reading or posting anymore. The concerto I was supposed to do, and then thought wasn’t going ahead, is now going ahead. I’m not really thrilled about it. I wish I didn’t have to do it.

I promise I will post pictures as soon as I can.