June 15, 2007

Summer Sweater Sprint

Filed under:News!,Plans-Ideas- Designs,Summer Sweater Sprint — Aileen @ 12:12

Yes! I’m going to do it! One sweater a week for the next ten weeks! It’s going to be hard, it’s going to require grit and stamina like you’ve never seen before… but I’m going to do it! Here is the final cut of sweaters that made the grade.

1. Puff-Sleeved Cardigan from Fitted Knits (the one on the left) in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino.

2. Deep-rib V-neck also from Fitted Knits, knitted in this blue mohair.

3. Thermal in Jaeger Matchmaker Merino 4-ply. It will be finished. It will.

4. Leaf T-shirt by Knitting School Dropout in Debbie Bliss Cathay (blue).

5. Frances from the Laines du Nord Simple Knits Book 5 in Debbie Bliss Rialto.

6. Arisaig in Jaeger Matchmaker Merino 4-ply in blue.

7. Edie cardigan from Yarnplay in Twilley’s Spirit.

8. A basic circular-yoke fair isle sweater inspired by EZ. I have some Tivoli Superwash in black and I’m planning on using some Noro Kureyon to do most of the Fair Isle work for me!

9. Rusted Root in Tivoli Cruise Aran (cotton).

10. A toss-up between a Katharine Hepburn cardigan (Lacestyle), Sesame, and the Bluebell Boatneck Jumper from Fitted Knits.

Phew! I have a feeling this list may change about a little but that’s the general idea. I’ve been training all year for this event! From here on in, it’s just me and the wool. Yarrrr!

PS: I am teaching a Simple Summer Shrug class tomorrow morning out at This is Knit. You can choose to knit my Rosy pattern, or I will help you to make up a simple shrug out of the yarn of your choice. Classes aren’t expensive – €20 for a 2/2.5 hour class – and they are lots of fun and a great way to meet other knitters.

Would love to come but can’t make it this weekend? I’m teaching a follow-up class next Saturday too, so if you’d like to join in then, do come along!


June 14, 2007

FO – Twisted Flower Socks

Filed under:Finished Objects,News!,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 22:16

Here they are, in all their cable-popping glory.

Twisted Flower Socks by Cookie A Finished Object

My apologies for the poor lighting. The sun simply did not come out to play today. It seems a shame to cover up these guys with shoes. In fact, they are so much fun to wear that I almost feel compelled to wear nothing but these socks… but something tells me that if I did that, peoples’ attention may not be directed towards my socks.

Twisted Flower Socks by Cookie A
Oh the things we make knitters do, sighed the socks

Yesterday and this afternoon I was working in Castleknock playing for flute exams. I like it when the exams I play for are all together because I play for ten minutes, knit for twenty, play for another ten minutes, knit for another twenty… and so on until I get paid and go home. Today, I brought my Thermal sleeve with me.

Thermal Knitty Winter 2007 Surprise - WIP

I love how the increases grow naturally out from the centre. I have removed the body of Thermal from cold storage and have left it on the table to egg me on to finish the darned thing. I thought to myself, it’s summertime, I don’t need a warm snug top! Try telling that to my dead capillaries (lost tragically in the Great Freeze of 1998 when, in my 16 years of wisdom, I never wore enough clothes and contracted Irish Female Syndrome. IFS can be quickly identified by repeated and persistent complaints of being cold…all the time).

Obviously, there is only so much sleeve knitting one can do so I dug out my Cashsilk top and it has now become a race to the finish!

Laines du Nord Cashsilk Top

I totally overestimated how many bust darts I’d completed – I picked it up this evening thinking that I could jump straight in with some armholes only to find that it was 3 inches shorter than expected. Well, now I’m ready to jump in with some armholes (don’t quote me on that). I’m hoping to get it finished by Sunday in time to start my Summer Sweater Sprint on Monday. More on that tomorrow!


June 13, 2007


Filed under:News!,Stash,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 09:52

Many thanks to one and all who wished me well for my exams – and for everyone who dropped in to say hello and congrats about the article! Glad you all enjoyed it. I had my final recital yesterday afternoon and I’m pleased to report that it went very well. There were a few fluffs. There always seems to be one moment where you’re really into it and suddenly you have no idea where you are. Luckily, I was playing very loudly with lots of pedal so I thrashed around for a few seconds and skipped to the next bit. Even luckier for me, it was at a bit where there is a page turn so hopefully the examiners will just assume that bit was over the page. (Yes, I have three examiners who sit there with the score as I play).

So I am currently in the process of replacing these…

Piano Music

…with these….

Funky Skirt Material
Take us home! they cried

…and these…

Summer Knitting Projects
She’s back! they cried

From left to right: the cashsilk top which has its bust darts complete and now needs to have armholes put in and be divided for the front and back; the purple Thermal sleeve; my second Twisted Flowers sock; and some Debbie Bliss Cathay destined for a summer t-shirt.

I got cracking on my blue sock last night. I turned the heel on Monday night and accidentally knit in one motif too many so it’s going to be a bit bigger than the other one. Picked up for the gusset and continued on my merry way last night. I have already finished the gusset decreases so all I need to do now is speed my way to the toes. As you can see from the photo of material above, I have some summer skirts planned. This is a two-pronged attack. Firstly, pretty skirts are really back in fashion and are, frankly, a necessity in weather like this. Secondly, fashionable skirts are also fashionably expensive. All going to plan, I should have two unique skirts for €50.

I’m really looking forward to getting stuck back into other things I have sorely missed over the last few months: running, taking photos, reading (as in real books and not just looking at the pictures in knitting books), and the most important of all, spending time with the very patient Alb. And while we’re on the subject of cool people, I want to say thanks to my mum and dad. They have been great! Especially to my mum who took care of many background things while I was otherwise engaged over the last few days (the cups of tea, the great dinners, dealing with the mouldy orange in the kitchen, turning a blind eye to the Vesuvius of clothes on the bedroom floor…).

Onwards and upwards! Keep an eye out for next week’s Woman’s Way – there is a super-cute summer cardie pattern in it. And have you been following the quiet rage about the Kauni Cardigan (pdf)? Mmmm.

Lastly, I wish to announce a personal challenge I am setting myself for the summer. I have an enormous backlog of projects I want to knit. Therefore, my challenge for the summer is to knit one sweater a week, starting next Monday!


June 10, 2007

Well, look who it is

Filed under:News!,Reviews,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 11:14

Did you see it yesterday? The bit in the Times?! Of all the things I thought I’d be in the paper for – robbery (of wool), arson (no wool left), mutiny (“knitters unite to overthrow unsheeply government”) or maybe my piano playing (“pianist in woolly one-piece faints during rectial”) – I wasn’t really expecting such good publicity 😀

The sock wants to be in the paper too

If you’re curious, you can have a proper look at the whole thing here. You’ll have to squint but I think it’s readable.

Did everyone have a good time yesterday during World Wide Knit In Public Day? I didn’t have time to drop into the festivities in the city centre but you can read about them here. By all accounts, a great time was had by all. Since I knit in public nearly every day anyway, I wasn’t really into the urgency of the event, but I didn’t want to let the day pass unmarked. So I cast on for a new project!

Orangina Work In Progress by Stefanie Japel
Humble beginnings of Orangina

I’m not sure if it is safe for me to knit lace right now. The pattern has a four row repeat – two of which are purl rows – and I still got hopelessly lost in the second repeat. Usually I can figure it out pretty quickly and just tink back to correct it. Not this time. I ripped it out and managed to re-cast on the wrong number of stitches. I got going eventually though. Sheesh.

Lastly, you may or may not have heard, but KnitCast is back. Marie Irshad started one of the very first knitting podcasts back in the day and I have missed her cheery interviews during her hiatus. How kind of her to return just when I’ll have finished my exams! Happy days!


June 8, 2007

Neels in the News

Filed under:News! — Aileen @ 12:42

No knitting to show today, I’m afraid! Things are hectic chez Neels but all in a good cause… I will be finished next Tuesday. Hurrah! In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for tomorrow’s Irish Times Saturday magazine. They have a column called I Made It Myself and I was interviewed for it about two weeks ago. I had an interesting experience getting my photo taken for it – you’ll see what I mean when you see it – but hopefully I won’t come across as a complete fruitcake! So pick up the Times tomorrow and have a gander.

In other news, I finally got a invitation to Ravelry. I know this will peeve everyone else who is waiting for their’s but… it is as great as it sounds! I spent hours playing with it yesterday evening. It links easily into Flickr, LibraryThing and your own blog, if you have one. It really is going to be the next big thing. *squee*

I am teaching a Simple Summer Shrug class at This is Knit on Saturday June 16th. They have lots of great classes lined up for the summer so drop on over and check out what they’ve got lined up!