Madra Rua


(c) I like Knitting

This slouchy bobble hat is just what your little one needs for the upcoming winter. Knit in the round with stranded colorwork, this warm ad  make this a cozy and warm hat for any child. The hat is worked in the round from the bottom up in garter stitch with short row shapping on the ear flaps before graduating into two colour fair isle and finally, central double decreases in stranded work to shape the crown. The fox’s features are added afterwards in duplicate stitch. Make a pompom to finish the hat. The hat is knit with Studio Donegal Donegal Aran Tweed (4-ply) (100% Wool; 88 yards [80 meters]/50 grams): using one ball of Báinín (MC), 1 ball of  Fire (CC1), and a small amount of black for the features which are worked in duplicate stitch.

To make a larger fitting hat, just bump up your knitting needle size.

The hat is published in October’s edition of I Like Knitting.


Dealán Dé

DSC02070Dealán Dé translates literally as ” God’s Lightening” but is more traditionally used as an old Irish word for Butterfly.

This hat is knit sideways using short rows to shape the crown. The cables and twist stitches form the cloche style brim of the hat which decreases in pattern to a point and is secured with a butterfly painted button which gives the hat its name.

This hat, prior to finding the perfect button was referred to by the unimaginative name of ” sideways hat”.  Incidentally the more common name for butterfly in Gaeilge is “féileacán” but I prefer the more dramatic sounding Dealán Dé. And the zig zags of the twisted stitches of the brim could be reminiscent of lightening bolts too. The sample is knit with Hedgehog Fibres Merino Aran singles in “huricane.”

The hat is just published in Knitty, First Fall 2016 and is available for free on the magazine website! Initially, I submitted the above photos with my sister Rebecca and Holly the dog for the magazine, but was asked to re-shoot. As they weren’t autumnal enough apparently. Yeah the daffodils in the background did say spring but weather-wise in Ireland, spring and autumn aren’t too different. Summer either it would appear. So in late May we headed to Turlough House for more autumnal shots. It was one of the warmest day of the year so far (and since) but Rebecca cheerfully donned a leather jacket and woolly hat for the price of a slice of cake and a latte from the museum’s cafe. Thanks Becca!

A few hundred photos later, we had traipsed the grounds of  the Museum. Now came the difficult part. How do you narrow down the photos to submit? Obviously lose the blurry photos or the ridiculously posed ones. Unfortunately when the model is so photogenic, it’s very difficult to choose between  lot of very similar posed pictures. Narrowed down to a hundred or so, I left it up to Knitty’s editors to choose!  Thank you Dropbox!



Croí Cardi

croi cardi2

© Practical Publishing

I have a cute little child’s cardigan in Issue 59 of Knit Now. The Cardigan is knit with Baby Roster yarns and is knitted flat from the top down with a stranded ombré heart motif across the yoke. The cardigan starts with an i-cord cast-on in a contrasting colour, before increasing across the yoke and then working the heart motif. Stitches for the sleeves are set aside on stitch holders before continuing with the body. An i-cord button band is picked up and knitted along the front edges and the i-cord cast-off continues along the bottom edge of the cardigan in a contrasting colour. Cute and complementary buttons finish the cardigan.

croi cardi

© Practical Publishing

The cardigan is sized from newborn right up to 5 years of age.

And it even made the cover! (just, but hey it counts!)




Bladhm Shrug

My Bladhm Shrug pattern was published in Knit Now, Issue 58, March 2016
Inspired by the Irish version of the Bell X1 song Flame.
This dainty, fiery shrug is knit using Yarn Stories Fine Merino 4ply yarn, it works up very quickly for a pretty cober up for a spring dress.
The shrug is knitted from cuff to cuff, starting with a twisted rib before increasing needle size to work lace. The first sleeve
is knitted in the round before working the centre back flat before rejoining and working the final sleeve in the round. The front edging is picked up along the opening and worked in the round.



Photos from Practical Publishing, Knit Now, Issue 58


February Designs

I have four designs in the on line knitting magazine, I Like Knitting February edition!

First up,  knit in Soft Donegal yarn is an easy cabled cushion and an accompanying cable tutorial.

Next up, is a beaded lace shawl, Diamaint, made with Hedgehog Fibre sock yarn. One skein is enough to create this beautiful top down, winged shawl!

These are Secret Admirer Socks, featuring a few secret heart motifs. The are knit with Life in the Long Grass semi solid sock yarn in “Winter Sea” and come in four sizes, the largest would comfortably fit an average sized male human. Can you spot all the hearts?

And finally, the Wild Swans at Coole hat and mitten set, knit with Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal.

These are knit in the round, but only two colours are used in any row. One ball of each colour easily knits the hat and the mittens with plenty of yarn to spare. The patterns for the hat and the mittens come in two sizes, child and adult.

Phew, that was some epic knitting last summer and early autumn! And I am particularly pleased that all four patterns have some element of Irish Yarn in there creation!




Countess Constance Cloche


Photograph:  Practical Publlishing

A new cloche style hat design, inspired by Countess Constance Markievicz, a Sligo lady, close childhood friend of W.B. Yeats who married a Polish Count, led a garrison during the 1916 Rebellion . She was sentenced to death for her part in the Easter Rising , though, as she was a women, this sentence was subsequently commuted, She was born  Constance Gore-Booth in London in 1868 and grew up in Lissadell House in Sligo, as the daughter of an English protestant landlord. She initially trained as an artist before becoming involved in women’s suffrage.

Constance Markievicz was an Irish politician, revolutionary nationalist, suffragette and socialist. Constance was the first woman elected to the British Parliament, although, she never took her seat. She was the first female cabinet minister in any Government in Europe where she  held the post of Minister for Labour of the Irish Republic, 1919–1922. The Countess died at the age of 59 on 15 July 1927.




The hat design is published by Knit Now Magazine.The cable band is knitted first, the ends are grafted together to form a ring. Stitches are then picked up along both edges separately, one side shapes the crown, while the other shapes the brim using short rows before ending in an i-cord cast off.

This issue is on sale from 10th December in supermarkets, newsagents and craft stores across Britain and Ireland and on the  Knit Now website. It will also be available digitally via  apps for Apple and Android devices and through Pocketmags.

The beautiful green yarn of the hat is an aran weight blend of 50% Wool and  50% Alpaca from Artesano yarns where currently you can receive a 20 percent discount on yarns with the code 20PERCENT.


In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markievicz

By W.B. Yeats.

The light of evening, Lissadell,
Great windows open to the south,
Two girls in silk kimonos, both
Beautiful, one a gazelle.
But a raving autumn shears
Blossom from the summer’s wreath;
The older is condemned to death,
Pardoned, drags out lonely years
Conspiring among the ignorant.
I know not what the younger dreams –
Some vague Utopia – and she seems,
When withered old and skeleton-gaunt,
An image of such politics.
Many a time I think to seek
One or the other out and speak
Of that old Georgian mansion, mix
Pictures of the mind, recall
That table and the talk of youth,
Two girls in silk kimonos, both
Beautiful, one a gazelle.
Dear shadows, now you know it all,
All the folly of a fight
With a common wrong or right.
The innocent and the beautiful
Have no enemy but time;
Arise and bid me strike a match
And strike another till time catch;
Should the conflagration climb,
Run till all the sages know.
We the great gazebo built,
They convicted us of guilt;
Bid me strike a match and blow.