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September Sale!

Buy one pattern from my ravelry store, and get a second free! For the month of September only!

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Crosaire socks

I Like Knitting

(c) I Like Knitting

My Crosaire (Cabled Crossroads) socks featured in April’s Edition of I Like Knitting. The socks are knit with Life in the Long Grass semi-solid Sock in Greenstone. 

The variegated top-down socks feature a cluster of cables along the sides which can be modified to adjust the height of the socks. You can customize the length and style of your socks by playing with the number of cable repeats.

The socks are worked in the round from the top down, staring with a double rib before merging in to the cable design which incorporates closed loop. The socks can be ankle height, with one cable repeat or longer with 2, 3, or even more. The ribbing continues along the length of the sock for comfort and stretch before continuing into a ribbed heel, ribbed foot and shaped gusset and finishing with a grafted toe.

Cabled-Crossroads-Socks-1

(c) I Like Knitting

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Irish Tourism Workshop

DSC02389A few weeks ago I gave a knitting workshop in Turlough House for Irish Tourism. This was part of the fabulous Nine Night North of Ireland Knitting and Craft Tour. This was a hands on knitting workshop with a wonderful bush of enthusiastic knitters.

In the workshop, I taught the ladies the unique elements of my Deirdre na nDolais shawl pattern, including a heart cable band and the cable and lace beaded edging. The knitters were particularly interested in how to add beads with a little piece of wire!

Included in the class was a unique yarn. A custom dyed fingering weight merino in a deep rusty red, hand dyed by Caroline from Life in the Long Grass.

These ladies left with all the materials need for knitting the shawl all wrapped up in a handy cotton kit bag!

kit and pattern

This Celtic Shawl pattern will be available on ravelry shortly! Keep an eye out for a special competition running along side it!

 

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An Irish yarn for St Patrick’s Day

Great article on real Irish wool by Heather

nearlythere

With the Euro having reached parity with the USD and today being St Patrick’s Day, I’m hoping some knitters are considering a trip to Ireland.

One of the most active threads on the Ireland Ravelry group is regarding info for visiting knitters. People also want to know where they can get their hands on an authentic Irish yarn. Visiting knitters are seeking some wooly experience based on images of sheep grazing in the hills of some Craggy Island, with hearty sailors wearing wool jumpers bobbing on the sea nearby. Even ifthe origins of the Aran jumper are clouded in the mists of marketing mythologydating back to the 1930s. (This can be a touchy subject for Irish knitters, since visiting North Americans, obsessed with authenticity, are known to comment “why did you let this tradition die out?” when actually it was entirely manufactured and not that…

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Formerly Irish Fleece

A few months a go, there was an interesting subject upon the Irish Knitter’s board on Raverly. Why is there so little Irish produced wool? You can read the posts here! Christine kindly offered to give away some of her yarn, which she had spun from her pet sheep. This is 100 per cent Irish wool sheared from Christine’s pet sheep in County Leitrim and spun by Natural Fibre Company in Britain. Christine of Formerly Fleece then dyes the yarn using natural dyes or sometimes, the yarn is dyed at the mill!

So far I have used the natural undyed white and the blue. Both are a heavy DK/ aran weight and knit up with brilliant stitch definition. They are a little fuzzy, with a soft halo and I imagine would felt with a little encouragement. While not soft compared to the luxury indulgent merinos we are now so used to, the wool  is not scratchy or itchy worn next to the skin. The blue, dyed by  the Natural Fibre Company to organic standards became a pair of finger-less mittens. The yarn beautifully showed off the cabling and textured stitches of the design. 080There was just enough white yarn to create a lacy beret design. Again the yarn show up the stitch definition but was strong enough to withstand vigorous blocking needed to open up the lace work. Both items are worn daily by their owners  and are hard wearing yet warm and comfortable.

148The yarn was nice to work with, slightly coarse but robust. To my inexperienced hands, while heavier, it felt a lot like Shetland wool to work with. It felt sturdier than Studio Donegal tweed, probably due to the plying method.  I enjoyed working with this wool, however I  am partial to real wool,  my only niggle is the fuzzy halo that appeared on the beret when it dried after I blocked it. I knew  to expect it, just not so much! Thanks Christine for the chance to use some genuine Irish Wool!

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Milseáin

A few months back, I found a skein of Tivoli Spice yarn in a local second hand shop.  With only 30 metres, it wasn’t enough to make anything, so it lay idle in the bottom of a bag in the interim. photo (1)The colours in the yarn were reminiscent, to me, of the brightly coloured sweet wrappers found in tins of sweets at Christmas. Contrasted with a deep purple homespun yarn, this hat is quite the chocolate box, suitable for carol singing and cold, cold winter nights. The hat is reversible and equally delicious inside or out. Click here for  my milsean hat pattern.photo