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Líonta Iascaigh take two

IMG_4033Six months or so ago, I published líonta iascaigh, a retro style turban pattern. Actually, I cant believe that it’s been that long. Insert aghast smiley face here. Well, the hat has a trickily brim assembly, and I decided to knit another prototype, this time in Studio Donegal, Soft Donegal and have the hat test knit again. And while I was tackling the brim, I took a few bad quality photos and made a photo tutorial to assist with the construction of the knit. many of the  photos came out either really dark or out of focus, but I hope you can make out what I am doing. You can down load Líonta Iascaigh Brim Assembly photo tutorial here.

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You can buy the updated and reformatted Líonta iascaigh pattern on etsy! And now is available for purchase on ravelry too!

 

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Peárla

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The bookworm princess received her First Holy Communion last month. Initially I harboured notions of knitting her a dress but life and indecision got in the way. I still wanted something to mark the occasion so I designed this elegant beaded bag made with Twilley’s 4ply bamboo, which is sadly discontinued.

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This bag is started by knitting the lace beaded flower edge for the flap. Then stitches are picked up along the edge, the flap is shaped with short rows and the remainder of the bag is knit in stocking stitch with purl rows for turning and increases and decreases for shaping before sewing up. Lining is added to give it stability and strength. An icord becomes the handle. A flower petal hole is used as a button hole and a pretty mother of pearl button finishes the little purse. You could deepen the bag by adding extra stocking stitch rows if you wanted a bigger purse. The little purse holds a child’s prayer book nicely or for a grown-up, would hold a phone, some money and a key, perfect for any glamorous occasion.

IMG_4187The pattern is available to purchase here.

 

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Abhainn Airgid

 

DSCF1112A shawl

or

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a cowl!

So this is what STwist Wool became, Abhainn Airgid, the silver river. It can be worn as a cowl, cape ,small shawl or a bolero for a princess. The button is used to fasten the shawl in different ways. The lacy rib acts as a button hole and because of this, it can be worn tight or loose and even twisted and closed at the back!

Pattern for Abhainn Airgid will be available in the near future….

 

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STwist Wool

A few weeks back I got a very interesting message on Ravelry. Would I like some free wool? Who me? Could I possibly turn down such an offer? Ah, no! Not only was this wool free, it was also 100 per cent Irish sheep and spun. My favorite kind. A few days later this beauty arrived in the post!

The kind and generous person who was offering me free wool was Diarmuid, owner and proprietor of S Twist Wool, a yarn  company based in in Dublin. S Twist is a brand new Irish hand spinning company where the fleece is sourced in Tipperary and spun in Ranelagh: interesting just a street away from where I used to live. Currently, S Twist yarns are only available in heavier weights,in both single and two ply chunky and in natural undyed colours. Diarmuid hopes to provide wool in lighter weights and also naturally dyed yarns in the near future. Diarmuid and S Twist are also very environmentally minded and use a natural rainwater fermenting process to clean the Tipperary wool. While Diarmuid sources, skirts, scours and cleans the fleece, he currently is outsourcing the processing and carding. On reuniting with his carded fleece, he then spins it up on an electric wheel which he has modified with a faster motor and a larger bobbin.

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So, to the yarn: 100 grams or 180 metres of naturally grey undyed single ply, mixed Irish breeds and 100 percent wool. The label suggests medium weight, a heavy aran to my eyes.

The yarn is loosely spun, and because I repeatedly frogged it initially, it did become fragile. I wanted to try a cabled hat, but a hat did not want to be made. I made repeated mistakes. Firstly, I cast on too many stitches and only realized six rounds down. Started again, and managed to turn the ribbing into moss! Third times a charm, they say! Well, not this time, when failed to follow my own hat pattern. Who needs a cabled hat in summer, anyway? With the hat abandoned, it was back to the drawing board for a suitable pattern but the wool was becoming unspun with all the ripping out.

As its made from Irish wool, it is has lots of character and some may find it coarse when compared to softer yarns, but to me, it felt quite soft to knit with and not at all rough on the hands. The yarn has quite a few long loose hairs, so refrain from wearing black while knitting with it! I knitted it with a loose gauge on larger needles and blocked it aggressively after. I was afraid that it might break or snap, but it held up admirably and holds a lace pattern prettily.

If you want your own skein, you can buy from S Twist online shop and I believe,  This is Knit, in Dublin stocks it too.

What did I knit, do I hear you ask? To find out, tune in next time, same bat time, same bat channel!

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Féile na Tuaithe

feile na tuaitheIt’s back! After a three year absence, the renowned two day family festival returns to Turlough House in the grounds of the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, Turlough, County Mayo on Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 May 2014. And it’s free! With many events for all the family including children’s activities, craft and textile demonstrations, bird watching and beekeeping, working dogs, art, film and music, it isn’t summer without it! Read the full brochure here. You wont go hungry either as there will be a dedicated artisan food and bakery area too