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Ag Sugradh sa Sneachta

The many faces of the superhero scientist modeling Ag Sugradh sa Sneachta Cowl, just released! Buy Now!

This is a stranded colour work cowl featuring puppies frolicking in the snow. Ag Sugradh sa Sneachta translates as playing in the snow.

The cowl is available in three sizes, but easily adaptable to alternative sizes. The sizes are 53 cm, 60, and 67 cm in circumference. It is knit in the round from the bottom up with a garter stitch border. The stranded colour work uses just two colours per row.
The sample, shown here in medium, is knit with Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal fingering weight yarn in colour ways Snowdrift and Teal. The cowl used less than half a ball of each colour in the medium size. The yarn is spun in Co. Donegal and has the distinctive tweedy appearance of many Irish yarns. The added cashmere makes it soft enough to wear next to your skin too!

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Until, Friday the 13th of February, if you buy Ag Sugradh sa Sneachta pattern you can get any one of my other patterns free! Enter coupon code madra at the checkout. Wahoo!

 

 

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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.

molly

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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Duilleoga an Fhómhair revisited

headshotThis was one of the very first patterns I designed last year. I decided to revisit this cabled brimmed hat and create alternative sizes. The pattern now has four different sizes, child, adult small, adult medium and adult large. The original hat was designed for ” adult small”, though was quickly stolen by the bookworm princess aged 7 and worn as a more floppy, slouchy beanie than originally intended. The largest size is pictured here, and yes, I have stolen the look from my daughter, more slouchy, and loose. This version was knit in Studio Donegal Aran Tweed, but any aran or worsted yarn would be suitable.

You can buy the new updated pattern here!

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Étaín

moll etain

In Celtic mythology, Étaín outshone all other women in beauty and gentleness. Consequently she became a victim of both desire and jealousy. When the fairy king Midir fell in love with her, his wife Fuamnach, transformed Étaín into a pool of water and later, into a scarlet fly, to be blown over the ocean for seven years. When she was finally able to return to Ireland, she fell into a glass of wine which was drunk by a woman who longed for a child. Étaín was reborn and she later married a High King of Ireland. Eventually Midir found her again and they transformed into swans and flew away. Continue reading

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Conrós

A top down slouchy beret style hat with a lace rose pattern at the crown. The yarn over increases and purl rows create the rose shape that gives the hat its name, conrós, meaning dog rose or wild rose as gaeilge. Yarn over increases divide the hat in five, each with a central wee lace rosebud pattern to compliment the crown. The self-stripping yarn gives a lovely sunset effect. A slouchy fit should fit any large child or adult head. Knit here in Drops Big Delight on 5.5 mm needles, it uses less than one skein of yarn. Block the crown of the hat to show off the pretty lace rose at the centre of the yarn.

Click to buy the pattern conros