October 7, 2014

Knit all the things!

Filed under:Cardigans,Finished Objects,Knitting,Mittens — Aileen @ 11:30

It’s that time of year again! After a glorious Indian summer, I think it’s safe to say that Autumn is well and truly upon us. Autumn and winter are my favourite seasons in Dublin – we often get dry, clear air and long dry periods. Spring can be bitterly cold here and summer is frequently heavy, cool and humid. So I’m ready to enjoy my favourite season!

Things have been busy, going back to school (I teach evenings, 20 hours a week) and starting a chamber music residency. The residency is fantastic, but time consuming, and involves traveling to Galway once a month. So far this has entailed getting the first train down, playing for 2 hours and then getting straight back on the train. I hope for the next session, Alb will come with me and we can stay over a day or two.

Anyway, there’s been plenty of knitting! I’ve been working on a cardigan. This guy is deep stash.

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The yarn is Berrocco Ultra Alpaca and I bought it when I was in Chicago in…2007? I think?! The pattern is Dark and Stormy by Thea Colman and I actually casted on for it years ago. It sat there, with the needles and everything. Thankfully my gauge hadn’t changed! I finished the sleeves yesterday and just need to pick up for the shawl collar. I love it already. The yarn is a beautiful colour blend – it has traces of blue and red throughout so I think it will match many things.

Recently completed is a new pair of mittens!

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I’m so happy with these! I used a pattern from the Selbuvotter book and about 75g of cream Jamieson Shetland and ~35g of navy. My other pair totally bit the dust last spring thanks to a hole that I neglected to mend :(

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I really like the decreases on the tops!

I have some knitting for men to do next but after that, I really want to do another deep stash sweater!

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October 3, 2012

Autumn pursuits

Filed under:Crochet,Finished Objects,Hats,Mittens,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 13:37

It’s been unseasonably cool here recently. There’s nothing better to kick-start one’s knitting.

Mittens for Alb.

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New hat for Alb.

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Wool for a new jumper…for Alb.

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Someone’s been putting on the squeeze. Wool for the above projects was leftovers from his last jumper, knit from Drops Karisma. It’s a superwash and I can testify that it is perfect for anything a guy can throw at knitting: food, drink, beer, repeated snagging on door handles, countless machine washes. It’s trojan. He has requested another exactly the same.

As satisfying as it is to keep my guy warm, man knitting can only sustain me for so long.

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It’s a small motif for a lace collar. There are five of these, surrounded by four larger motifs. Like the last lace project, I downloaded this from a Japanese website which was a project in itself. It is sooo pretty, I’m really enjoying it. My next task is to figure out how I can wear it…

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March 7, 2011

There and back

Filed under:Finished Objects,Lace,Mittens,Shawls,Travel — Aileen @ 16:18

We spent the weekend in London. We went primarily to catch the Toronto Raptors (which was brilliant! one of the best things I’ve ever been to!) but we had some time for other things. We swung by the Tate Modern and did the London Eye. We wandered a lot. Its infrastructure, a scratch-for-every-itch, bubbling populace makes it very similar to New York but I think the charm of London is the narrow, winding streets and the Alice-in-Wonderland feel to wandering around.

I had time to knit and finished Celaeno last night when we got home.

I haven’t had a chance to block it out yet. There’s something I really like about unblocked lace.

I ran out of yarn two rows from the end but I don’t think it really affected the end of the lace pattern very much. I also finished up a pair of garter mitts for my dad.

The pattern is Ysolda’s and the yarn is possum/merino that my friend Heidi sent me from New Zealand. I already knit Dad a beanie from this yarn but had enough left over to make these. They are extremely warm!

And my London spoils? We managed to squeeze in a quick trip to Loop in Islington. If Cath Kidston or Avoca opened up a knitting shop, this would be it. It is filled with gorgeous yarns, many from renowned dyers such as Malabrigo, Madeline Tosh, Hand Maiden and Juno, as well as a variety of needles, bags of all sizes, journals and notebooks, shawl pins, books and so on. Most of what they stocked I knew I could get from my own This is Knit so I hunted quickly for things I couldn’t get at home and didn’t cost the earth. I came up with these:

The shawl pin is a funny purpley-brown (I thought it was just a normal brown but the light was dim). The yarn is a whopping 825 yards of extra fine lambswool in dark navy. The packet is full of T-pins for blocking and I’ll be using them later for my Celaeno!

It was a super trip and I’d like to go back again sometime. My thanks, of course, to Alb for bringing me to see the Raptors. True to form, we lost both games!

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March 3, 2011

Some FOs and some WIPs

Thanks everyone for your response on my last post. The concert in Mary Immaculate, Limerick, went extremely well, as did our violin duo concert in St. Pat’s, Drumcondra, last week. Things were a bit mental for a while as I juggled work, concerts, rehearsals, my regular lesson and then extra teaching from Vanbrugh Quartet at the weekend. I ploughed on and went with it but this week has been a come-down. Apart from my regular work commitments, I have nothing else on so there has been a lot of this….

…and not much else. This is Graystone from Veera’s Book of Gray. The yarn I bought ages ago – nearly two years at this stage, I think – for Ysolda’s Vine Yoke Cardigan. But the more I watched peoples’ projects on Ravelry, the more I was put off knitting it. A lot of people had issues getting the yoke to lay flat and most people found it too cropped. I think it’s very cute but maybe best kept for a time when I have more brain space to dedicate to it.

I love everything about this so far. The cowl neck is raised a bit at the back, the cable is assymetrical, the shaping is easy, I love it. Also on the needles is Celaeno from the 7 Small Shawls booklet I mentioned a few posts ago. I picked up this dove grey cashmere from Hedgehog Fibres via This is Knit. I find the subtle tones of blue, grey and tan very soothing.

I’m about halfway through the lace panel. I’m at a point in my knitting where I like lace to be interesting but not too hard. I mostly watch tv when I knit so a chart that’s easy to memorise is all I want. This pattern certainly has that.

I was cranking out the Splitbark mittens from Stephen West’s Book Two until we got some unseasonal spring weather. It was suddenly too warm for mittens so I put them down. Of course, now it’s back to being cold and I have already started the second one.

I finished up Ishbel. I used my own merino-silk handspun singles. I think I had nearly 400m of it! I wasn’t sure how it would knit up but I think it turned out quite nicely. I love the colour progression though I assure you, it is accidental.

I’m going to send this to the lady who minded me when I did the competition in Italy last May. I know it’s been a long time coming but better late than never, right? I wanted to make her something extra-special and I can’t think of anything more special than a handspun merino-silk handknit shawl!

…And I finally got around to sewing those cushions. My sewing machine is very slowly giving up the ghost. It refuses to sew zips and has decided that winding bobbins is just not the done thing. I had to finish these off by hand but I think they look ok. Frankenstein stitching is in next season, they tell me.

I don’t know about you but I find cushions really overpriced. When I went up to Ikea before Christmas, I found these cushion fillers for €2.50 each. Then I got a metre of this and 1.5m of this. I made two brown cushions and two patterned cushions (with brown backs) and still have enough leftovers to make something like a table runner for the coffee table. I got four massive cushions for €25, which is not too shabby at all.

Off to THIS for the weekend in London – Toronto Raptors play the New Jersey Nets in the O2 Friday and Saturday nights. I caught the NBA bug from Alb so we couldn’t believe our luck when the team we follow (Raptors) announced these games last August. They’re not the best team in the league but they’re our team and we’re very excited!

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February 5, 2010

No limit to the WIPs

Filed under:Cardigans,Hats,Mittens,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 14:14

Hi everybody! Apologies for the long silence. College has been very busy but thankfully there has still been time for knitting. These days I have been mostly knitting the Girl Friday cardigan from Knitty.

I would have finished this at least three weeks ago only I was struck by what can only be described as utter stupidity when casting on for the body. I didn’t want a 37″ body and decided to take 20 stitches from either side of the side seams. This left me with a very peculiar body. Unfortunately I didn’t really notice until I had completely finished the body and grafted the shoulders together! Anyway, I ripped it all out and reknit the 37″ size as written. It is a much more sensible size and I am almost finished the shawl collar and button band. Hopefully I will finish it off at the weekend and tell you all about it in more detail.

In the meantime, I just had to cast on for a new pair of mittens. My brother gave me a very beautiful chocolate-brown skein of hand- and naturally-dyed sock yarn for Christmas. So, when I saw these mittens, I knew what it was destined for. I wanted a nice stone colour to go with the brown. Initially I chose a cream-brown Noro Silk Garden Sock but it didn’t match the thickness or texture of the other yarn very well. In the end I found a King Cole 4ply merino in the yarn shop in Rathmines that matched perfectly.

These are going slowly at the moment because I am not the most attentive in the evenings these days.

What else? I knocked out a Shroom for a quick hit.

The only problem about asking Alb to take a photo of a hat is that he takes a photo of me. Still, you get the idea. If I were to make it again, I would probably shorten the rib a bit and make the body of the hat longer. Speaking of Alb, I also finished off his jumper but that really deserves a post of its own!

Mostly though, my biggest WIPs have been what I am working on for school: Brahms D minor violin sonata, Beethoven piano concerto (the 4th!), Copland duo for flute and piano, Fauré Dolly suite (piano duet), Bach English Suite (the 2nd! my favourite)… and literally a million songs that I play for singers to make money. I am working as an accompanist for NUIM (Maynooth university) this term, too. It is all going really well, though, and miraculously I manage to make a living whilst being very much a full-time student. I have made some decisions regarding what I will specialise in, based on what I have found out during the first term, and it’s made my life a lot easier!

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