May 24, 2013


Filed under:Cardigans,Knitting,Lace,Shawls,Socks,Stash Down — Aileen @ 11:58

Between the last Masters I did and finally finding a job with decent hours (love my job, by the way!), the last few years have meant that I have had to scale back my knitting alot. Sewing has had something to do with it, but not as much as you’d think…usually I sew when I can’t knit and vice versa. I’ve also had a recurring tension problem in my left arm that is often exacerbated by knitting, but not by sewing. Anyway, all this to say that I still knit almost every day but it tends to be very plain and easy to knit!

Example one: a wool shrug in Jamieson shetland.


The pattern is called ‘Biston’ and it’s a downloadable from one of the Wool People magazines. This is perfect TV knitting and just as well, as I’m working with 2.5mm needles. It’s slow going.

Example two: a replacement pair of Welsh Country socks. I was really upset when my brown and cream pair shank. I invested in two balls of Brown Sheep Wildfoote, which washes beautifully. I finally got to the toe of the second one last night. These I found to be hard work on my hands – 2mm metal dpns are unforgiving.


Lastly, I casted on for yet another shawl in the Blue Sky Alpaca ‘Silkpaca’ (correct me if I’m wrong, I’m not sure of the name). This stuff is just heaven! Love! Considering what I have planned for summer sewing (an unmentioned jacket maybe…) this will really for the bill.


I think another part of my knitting slow down is alot to do with the fact that I have many, many hand knit items that I love to wear still and don’t find myself lacking too often! Aside from one or two ‘top up’ sweaters or cardigans, I will probably devote much of my summer and autumn knitting to adding to Alb’s and my Dad’s currently measly collection.


September 14, 2012

Friday colours

Filed under:Cardigans,Lace,Stash,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 11:49


The inside of my current colourwork project…


…and the outside. A simple cowl I started more than 2 years ago and
rediscovered when sorting stash for HandmAid donations. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino: delicious.


Striped seersucker that I’ll be using to line my navy linen jacket. Just cut it out yesterday so looking forward to working on it.


A quick ‘panda’ shot: kidsilk haze shawl, ‘Violet’ blouse, cardigan from Benetton. Not pictured, pair of ‘Clover’ cigarette pants in charcoal wool suiting (ilovethem).

Currently feeling a little sorry for myself as have dratted start-of-term cold and had to cancel my place at the This is Knit Yarn Tasting tonight. If you’re going, I insist you channel my spirit, drink too much tea, laugh too loudly and buy enough wool to fill your bag.

But really, not feeling too sorry as it has blown into a beautiful day outside and there’s no overestimating the comfort of a hand knit shawl.


June 6, 2012


Filed under:Lace,Sewing,Skirts,Stash Down — Aileen @ 07:30

This is going to be a ‘twofer’ post (two-fer-one), mostly because these are patterns you’ve seen before but in another guise. First up, another Kimono top.

Pattern: Kimono top from Salme. I made it before in chiffon here and delicious Liberty lawn here.

Fabric: 1m of lace from Hickey’s. I bought this about a year ago with a view to making a lace collar for a dark blouse but never got around to it. I have a feeling that I bought a metre of it because it was on sale.

Due to its transparency, I didn’t want to use the facings given in the pattern, but I wasn’t able to use my rolled hem foot, either, because the fabric was too thick. So, I had a bit of a dilemma. I tried putting some cream bias binding on the neckline and folding it to the inside but the colour didn’t work very well. I left it to one side for a while and the next time I was in town, I picked up some ivory grosgrain. I used it to face the neckline and the armholes; I think it worked well.

Other than that, it was a straight-forward make. I am a little annoyed that I didn’t think to use french seams but it’s not a deal-breaker.

The other project is yet another bias skirt! I first made it last summer in an unlined polka-dot here and then for winter in a black plaid here. I have gotten a tonne of wear out of both so when I saw this pink, small check, linen, it popped into my mind.

Fabric: 1.5m of linen from Murphy Sheehy’s, something like €15. Lined with ‘Bomull’ cotton from Ikea, €2 (everytime I go to Ikea, I get some of it because it’s great for making muslins). I wanted to line it with a natural fibre for comfort in warmer weather.

Pattern: Bias Skirt from One Yard Wonders.

Obviously, I did not need all of that linen for this little skirt. I made a matching top with the leftovers; you’ll see it soon.

I did the same thing as for the wool version I made and lined: I sewed a 6/8″ ‘hem’ from the top but didn’t close it up, and used it as casing for the elastic.

I wore this a number of times during our mini-heatwave last week (no tights, sandals, no jacket… I find it hard to believe as I sit here swathed in woolly socks, jumper and shawl). Hope you all enjoyed the long weekend. Mostly I caught up on some sleep and housework, thrilling stuff!


June 4, 2012

A few random FOs

Filed under:Crochet,Finished Objects,Lace,Market,News!,Sewing,Stash Down — Aileen @ 14:47

I finished my lacy scarf. Here it is in its blocked glory.

I used a 1.5mm hook and DMC Petra 8 cotton from here. A few things: 1. The little metal cap that goes on my hook? That doesn’t get old. I was really careful to put it into my project bag every time I took it off and miraculously, we survived the project intact. 2. The yarn blocks out wonderfully. It’s almost like silk, it’s so shiny and soft. I don’t think I even used half the ball so that’s pretty good bang for my buck right there. 3. This is Knit’s online service is a thing of beauty. They recently revamped their site and it’s great. I ordered my yarn and hook and they were posted the same day, so I had them the following morning. It’s not quite instant gratification but it’s about as close as you’re going to get by post.

The last time I was in Galway, I picked up some fresh, loose lavender from the market stall that sells olives. Olives are one of the few things I dislike to eat. I’ve given them a fair try, too, eating them fresh in Greece, Italy and Argentina. Yuck. But fresh lavender? Swoon! They gave me a bag and I took what I wanted. It didn’t seem such an enterprising system on their part because, charging by weight, they basically charged me for a bag of air – I got a big bag of it for €2. I have a big wad of scraps so I cut up some squares and made these. Lavender sachets.

I spent a little while yesterday making them up. Very easy. If you have a lavender bush at home, this is an easy project for the summer. I have about a third of my lavender left over so I will make a few more, I think.

Last but not least, here’s a modelled shot of my Wiksten tank.

Fabric: Quilting cotton from Pippa Blue. I bought 1.5m but only needed a little over 1m.

We’ve had some warm weather recently so I have been wearing it a lot with my denim shorts. It is extremely comfortable!

Today was the day I finally got around to taking modelled shots of what I’ve been making lately. I have a lot of projects to share this week!


May 15, 2012

In the background

Believe it or not, I still knit. The funny thing is that when people say, oh, you’ve stopped knitting, I tend to agree – even though I have knitting in my bag, I knit on the bus, the train and in the evenings…! My knitting has slowed down to pretty much the most mindless projects. This is indicative of my life generally; I’ve been in some sort of post-wedding fuzz for the last six months and am only now waking up properly. Anyway, this is what I’ve been working on.

Some crochet kitchen things – a towel and some cloths.

I made these mostly to just try out a new crochet cotton This is Knit has started carrying, DMC Perla. I got the medium weight one, I think it’s ‘3’ and used a 3.25mm hook. It’s really nice to work with – not too shiny – and can you believe I got all of these items from just one ball? I came across a really pretty crochet scarf here and am thinking about using the lighter weight (‘8’ I think) to make it. Scary as Japanese patterns may seem, the crochet diagrams are usually extremely clear.

Another yarn I wanted to try out, though it’s not very new by this stage, was the Rialto 4-ply lace. What better than yet another Kiri shawl. I pretty much have it memorised by now so it’s about as close to mindless lace as I’m going to get. The yarn is lovely, good value for money, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it blocks out.

I have been very, very slowly chipping away at Bedford. Lately I’ve stalled out because I need to look at the instructions for the neckline.

I wouldn’t mind but it is about 3″ from being completely finished. I’m not even waiting to knit sleeves or anything. I should just finish it.

What else? Oh yes, I found this when I was tidying up.

Handspun! Really nice, consistent handspun that I obviously made but have no recollection of whatsoever. I found other handspun, too, that I know I must have made in the last six months but don’t remember at all. It’s kind of depressing but on the upside, it’s all new again to me! The mittens are kind of important because my old ones finally bit the dust.

Aaaaannndd… I’ve been sewing. Sewing, even when it seems slow, is pretty quick. Here are two Wiksten tank tops. The first is out of some soft voile cotton that I found in the bargain bin in Hickey’s a few months ago.

It is quite light so I had my usual problem of a ‘lippy’ neckline.

Considering that I will probably just end up using this as a pyjama top, I don’t mind too much. I’m not getting any hopes up for a hot summer, let me put it that way. But it was a fun and quick pattern to make so I made another!

This time using the beautiful quilting cotton I picked up at Pippa Blue. Love!

Again, a bit lippy but it will have to do. I even followed a tutorial to avoid such a result. Other sewing has included a pair of Clover pants – sort of a wearable muslin as the material is very light and was extremely cheap, a Violet blouse, and fixing the hem on my failed proper attire skirt. I have had just about the WORST luck on all three of these projects and they all involve making a hole. The one on the blouse was spectacular. I won’t lie: there were tears. I’ll tell you about it again sometime…