Dec 31, 2013

Happy New Year 2014!

I want to wish you all a Happy New Year 2014.

May 2014 bring you whatever you wish for: Health, Love, luck....

May this New Year 2014 bring me lots of yarn and funky ideas for new things to knit. If I can also keep my health, get Love and also money, I'll be grateful!


Dec 29, 2013

Learning How To Crochet: Being Stubborn Finally Pays Off

I've wanted to learn how to crochet for a while. I don't particularly like the look of straight crochet or crochet granny squares but I thought it would still benefit me to learn as it always seemed to me that crochet was more flexible for making small embellishment pieces with shapes that are difficult to knit and I was set on making some cute crochet flowers.

About a year ago, I got "The Needlecraft Book", which is a reference book to learn and improve knitting, crochet, embroidery and most needlecraft, which is a very good book but as a complete stranger to crochet, I was only able to learn how to make chains. Everything else I tried learning from the book got my yarn in a big tangle.

More recently, as my daughters wanted to learn crochet as well, I came across the "Kids Learn to Crochet" book, which I bought for them, with the intent of doing some heavy borrowing.

During last week, as I was hitting a Knitter's Block: I had all my Christmas knitting finished and I was running out of knitting ideas, I decided to pick up the "Kids Learn to Crochet" book, my crochet hook and some of the yarn my daughters got me for Christmas;-)

Well if you want to learn something that's getting you confused, I have one piece of advice for you: buy a book written for kids, with big pictures and step-by-step easy to follow instructions, as this was the only thing that helped me learn the basic crochet methods.

After crocheting a headband for my youngest daughter, I decided to move on to my own crochet book (which shows a lot more methods, some of which I will probably never use), so I could make a flower.

I failed again and so I moved on to YouTube, where I found a great 3 part tutorial to learn how to crochet a really cute flower - written instructions are on the Mom of 5 Daughters blog with links to the 3 YouTube videos.

I tried, and re-tried, and ripped, and tried again, and I finally managed to crochet something that looks like a flower, Which you can see attached to the turquoise headband.

Turquoise headband in double crochet with 3-layer flower

I decided to crochet another flower headband in grey this time, just to keep practicing my new skills (and to not leave my oldest daughter out). My daughter didn't want a flower as big as the one on the first headband (she's past the age of frilly, pinky stuff), so I modified it a bit to get a slightly smaller flower with only 2 layers of petals. I left the hook attached to prove I really did this myself and didn't pinch the photo from another website (in case you don't recognise my kitchen tablecloth):

Grey headband in treble crochet with 2 layer flower

I find crochet very addictive, but my first love (after my daughters of course) is still knitting, so you may see a few knitted headbands with crochet flowers appearing soon in my Etsy shop.

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Dec 22, 2013

A Christmas Treat or Two: Knitted Leaves Hot Toddy Cozy

I associate Christmas with taking the time to relax and enjoy a treat. One of the things I like to treat myself with (in moderation!) is a Hot Toddy.

You can drink hot toddies in a mug, but I like to drink mine in a glass. One of the common problems hot toddy in a glass drinkers like me can experience is burning fingers in the first few minutes, and the hot toddy getting too cold to enjoy after about 20 minutes - I like to take my time drinking hot toddies, especially if they're strong, and if I'm knitting at the same time, I tend to let it go cold a lot.

Luckily, being a resourceful knitter, I decided it was time for my fingers to stop burning when I'm drinking a hot toddy, and to keep it warm for longer, I decided to work on a little knitted hot toddy cozy: I decided to experiment on a leaves pattern from the "Compendium of Knitting Techniques" by Betty Barnden, which I adapted to work in the round (you know how I'm not a fan of sewing;-)

And because you're a lucky reader, I decided to share my hot toddy recipe and my knitting pattern for the knitted leaves hot toddy cozy with you:

Lemon Herbal Tea Hot Toddy in my brand new Knitted Leaves Hot Toddy Cozy.

Knitted Leaves Hot Toddy Cozy:
This cozy works for drinking glasses from an outside circumference of between 20cm (8 inches) and 24cm (9 1/2 inches) and measures 10cm (4 inches) in height. I recommend using a straight shaped glass, as I tried one that was narrower at the base and wider at the top, and the cozy tends to slip out easily with such a shape, making the risk of scalding injuries greater.

*** Very Important: you will need to try the cozy on an empty glass first, and if you find it slips off the glass too easily to be safe, please do not use it, as the last thing I want is for one of my readers to scald herself or himself. ***

I used circular knitting with the magic loop method but you can use double pointed needles if you prefer, or even knit it flat and sew both sides together (keep in mind that even numbered rows will be different if you knit it flat - you will need to knit purl stitches, purl knit stitches and start these even rows from the end - eg, row 8 will be * p1, k5 * and you may want to add a few extra stitches at the end of the odd rows and beginning of the even rows to allow for the seam and show off the leaf pattern).

Yarn: any Aran (or worsted weight) wool you like.
Needles: one 4mm circular needle with a cable that is at least 80cm long.

Cast on 36 stitches and divide them in 2 (18 on each side) to follow the magic loop method.
Rows 1 to 4: * k2, p2 *, repeat from * to * until row end.
Rows 5 and 6: purl
Row 7: * p5, k1 *, repeat from * to * until row end..
Row 8: * p5, k1 *, repeat from * to * until row end.
Row 9: * p5, yo, k1, yo *, repeat from * to * until row end.
Row 10: * p5, k3 *, repeat from * to * until row end.
Row 11: * p5, k1. yo, k1, yo, k1 *, repeat from * to * until row end.
Row 12: * p5, k5 *, repeat from * to * until row end.
Row 13: * p5, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2 *,  repeat from * to * until row end.
Row 14: * p5, k7 *, repeat from * to * until row end.
Row 15 to 18: * p5, k7 *, repeat from * to * until row end.
Row 19: * p5, ssk, k3, k2tog *,  repeat from * to * until row end.
Row 20: * p5, k5 *,  repeat from * to * until row end.
Row 21: * p5, ssk, k1, k2tog *,  repeat from * to * until row end.
Row 22: * p5, k3 *,  repeat from * to * until row end.
Row 23: * p5, s2togpo *,  repeat from * to * until row end.
Rows 24 and 25: purl.
Rows 26 to 28: * k2, p2 *, repeat from * to * until row end.
Bind off loosely on row 29 in rib 2/2 pattern (as shown in rows 26 to 28).
Cut the tail and weave in ends on the reverse side.

Dress your favourite Hot Toddy glass, taking care so that the glass doesn't slip off when holding hot liquids and prepare the following recipe:

Hot Toddy Recipe
1 teaspoon or honey,
1 slice of lemon,
3 or 4 whole cloves,
1 small serving of Brandy, Whisky or a teabag of your favourite flavour,
Freshly boiled water.

Optional: Put a metal spoon in the glass before adding hot water to avoid the glass cracking (this can happen especially if the glass is cold before you start), then fill the glass with boiling water to heat it and then empty that water.

Add a spoon of honey (or more if you want your toddy sweeter), add the chosen alcohol or teabag (do not fill the glass as you will need to add hot water later) and mix well.
Add the freshly boiled water, lemon slice and cloves.
Enjoy in moderation (or not if using tea).

Merry Christmas!

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Dec 16, 2013

My Knitting Business Is Booming...

...At least by my standards.

You will probably laugh at me with my 2 sales on Etsy and 1 pattern sold on Ravelry for December so far, but that's more than what I had gotten used to so that makes me happy!

I'm not sure if it has anything to do with it or just a coincidence, but as a fellow seller was telling me that my photos were too gray (Etsy Teams and forums are helpful like that), I finished lightening the photo background of my white snood photos yesterday evening: when I checked my Etsy account this morning guess whose white snood was sold?

You guessed correctly, my lovely ivory cream white snood! I am now in the process of lightening more photo backgrounds, while trying to stay true to the colour of my knitted items.

I think I'll have to make some more of these snoods, they seem to be popular as the previous sale was a similar item in a different colour. I have a red one left and more of that same comfy wool so I think I know what I'll knit for my shop next:)

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Dec 9, 2013

Christmas Knitting: Duotone Cowl Nearly Finished

I've been busy towards the end of last week with my daughters participating in some Christmas events but I've managed to ship my first package as I sold one of my snoods from my Etsy shop.

I have also been progressing on the Duotone Cowl that I'm knitting for my brother.

It's a pretty simple pattern and quite quick with Aran wool - I have been using a different yarn than the one from the pattern as this stash of yarn needs to be used up - and knitted in the round so that the wrong side is the inside of the tube. I really like the effect that the changing stripes give the cowl: when both sides will be joined it should have a bit of an optical illusion effect.

All I have left to do on this cowl is another set of stripes and the joining of both ends: there is a temporary cast on which will be grafted to the top and hopefully my seam will be invisible. I am dreading this part a little but it has to be done!

Next on my list is a simple beanie hat for my Mum (with no sewing, Yippee!).

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Dec 2, 2013

Craftsy Classes and Knitting Christmas Gifts

I took advantage of the current classes sale on Craftsy to sign up to 2 of them: Pattern Writing for Knitters and Adventures in Double-Knitting, which I got at €15.00 each.

I never took an online knitting class and I can usually find what I'm looking for on YouTube, but these are very specific and I hope they'll allow me to get a bit more technical knowledge. I will let you know how I get on as soon as I finish studying them.

I am also in the process of knitting a few Christmas gifts for family members: I can't say too much in case they're reading, but for those that are not surprises I have finished making a red headband for an 18 month-old girl and I have just put a pair of fingerless mittens to dry for her big brother whose favourite colour is green, and as you can probably tell by looking at the picture below, his initial is "E":

My Mum, as usual, keeps saying she doesn't want anything but I was talking to her on the phone yesterday and I managed to convince her that she needs a hat, as she said she liked the ones from my Etsy shop. I have also just started knitting this Duotone Cowl but I'm afraid I can't say any more or there will be no surprises.

One thing that is not surprising is what my daughters are getting me for Christmas: you can probably guess what the obvious choice was and as they are too young to go shopping on their own yet and I don't want them to spend too much money on my present, I brought them to Dealz yesterday, as I knew they were selling cheap yarn -  It' still a surprise, as I'm not allowed to see what colours they got me - Do you know how difficult it is to shop with your eyes closed? At least now I have an excuse not to clean their bedroom: you never know, I might see something I'm not supposed to!

How are you getting on with your Christmas shopping? Have you started yet? Do you think it's a good idea to give hand knitted things or would you prefer to get something bought? Please share your comments below, don't be shy!

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Nov 26, 2013

Joining Pinterest And Giving Away My Snowflake Coasters

About 2 weeks ago, I joined Pinterest. I had heard so much about this pinning site that I thought I would give it a try. I started following some knitting boards, created a few of my own, and as a nice surprise, I got an invitation to pin to a Simply Knitting board that I was following.

So far I am finding it fine, my items get pinned by other users so I guess that's a good sign, as the items from my Etsy shop have a link to the listing page and the more they get pinned and repinned, the more traffic I am bound to get. Even though it's another time-consuming activity, I try not to spend too much time on Pinterest. It's a great way of finding new material to post on my Facebook page too, so I'm glad I joined.

I finished knitting my fourth set of reversible coasters this weekend. I wasn't sure whether to sell them as sets of 2 or 4 so I listed both options in my Etsy shop. If I get an order, I can either quickly knit another 2 or update the remaining listings to another set of 2 (if I sell the twin set) or remove the set of 2 (if it's the set of 4 that sells) - I ran out of white yarn but expecting a new delivery tomorrow so knitting extras won't be a problem as I am saving the charts I drew on my knitting graph paper - I am not expecting to get 2 orders of similar coasters on the same day (I would have to get an order in the first place!).

Hopefully I will also get to publish the knitting patterns for all my coasters before Christmas. Did I mention that I sold 1 Slouchy hat pattern from Ravelry and also the same sold on Etsy 2 weeks ago?

I mentioned knitting 4 sets of coasters but I am only listing 3 because my daughter's school is organising a fundraising raffle and they were asking if some parents could donate items. I jumped at the chance and wrapped my favourite set of Snowflake coasters, making sure to include a few business cards, as it could be an opportunity to get a little bit of local business.

So here is what I parted with yesterday (sniff!):

I could knit another set for listing on my Etsy shop but I feel it's time to stop listing Christmas items now, as I need to start knitting the Christmas gifts I've been planning to make for my family, and as soon as I'm done with these, it will be time to start on coasters and mug cozies for Valentine's (sets of 2 only for that occasion).

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Nov 22, 2013

Struggling with my (Dis)Organisation Skills

I haven't blogged for nearly a week, not because I've forgotten - believe me, this blog is always on my mind - but trying to get traffic to my Etsy shop is very time consuming (although I'm sort of enjoying social media  - Sometimes at the expense of my knitting (Yes, I've known it for a while now: I'll go to hell when I die).

I would love to be this very efficient person who gets out of bed as soon as the alarm starts (I'm already failing there, I'm more like: there must be some mistake, I just fell asleep 7 hours ago!).

The kind of person who can function on 4 hour's sleep per night - Nope, not me! I'd fall asleep watching the 9 o' clock news if my hands weren't busy knitting, I don't get time to count to 10 after my head hits my pillow at 11 or 11.30pm and still feel tired waking up at 7am (well, more like 7.15am!)

The kind of person who efficiently multitasks preparing kids' lunches and breakfasts while drinking coffee, reading the newspaper and giving good advice to my daughters - I'm not sure: "stop whining and hurry up eating or we'll be late again" while scrolling through my Facebook/Twitter feeds qualifies as good strong values to teach my kids, especially when it's at the expense of the pre-baked rolls burning in the oven.

I'd love to be able to tornado through my house for 30 minutes each morning to sanitize it before starting work on my laptop - Reality check: sometimes I feel so tired I can't find the energy to bring the hoover back up the stairs after an hour yanking angrily at the cable that keeps getting snagged in the corners (there are way too many corners in my house, and stairs, and under beds, and dust...). And sometimes, I don't even get to mop the kitchen floor for a whole week. (Gasp!)

I'd be a liar if I said I quickly check my emails (I have to delete about 100 every day because I'm too lazy to unsubscribe - You never know, there might be a few that actually need to be read/replied to).

In my head, I know I shouldn't be spending more than 2 hours doing social media, blogging, updating my Ravelry account, listing new products on I can spend the rest of the time when I'm not cooking or picking up the kids from school knitting, but the sad truth is that I work slow, I always lose track of time and trying to do more than one thing at a time is never a good idea when you're not a multitasker - In my dreams I'd be networking with famous bloggers and knitwear designers, making plans to meet up at some craft fair while drinking coffee and laughing airily but really I feel lucky when I get the odd retweet and I'm starving for new blog comments and Facebook likes and it's often after 3pm when I get the chance to sit with my knitting for 2 hours and then it's time for dinner/cleaning and another 2 or 3 hours of knitting before bedtime.

So here we are, 1pm, I'm starving and for the 4th time this week I haven't had time for a mid-morning coffee. Once again I will rush having my lunch and that Tarte tatin I was planning to make for a treat for when the kids are back from school? I'd better get my skates on if I want it to be ready because even though I'll be using ready made pastry, peeling 6 apples may take me a good 20 minutes (don't ever believe those preparation times in the recipes, they are made up by people who have employees peeling their apples for them) and I can never be late picking up my kids from school.

I may not have time to blog some weeks, but I always have to make a little bit of time for my girlies!

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Nov 17, 2013

My Pink Hoodie Cowl

When I was a child (in the eighties, a time when what would be called child abuse nowadays was normal parenting behaviour),  my loving mother used to make me wear one of these in winter:

Photo from

My one looked even worse, it was an ugly combination of dark green and orange (I would have been happy to get the red one above but I wasn't so lucky: living in a small town with only a couple of clothing stores and no Internet, we got to wear what was available at the time).

In theory, the balaclava (or cagoule) of the eighties was great: one accessory that would stay in place and protect us from the wind and the snow in the coldest of the winter, great for children as it was harder to lose than a hat and a scarf.

In practice however, I would describe it in one word: Cringe! not to mention the scratchy sweaty feeling of having an acrylic garment so tightly wrapped around your head on the walk to and from school.

I thought it would be nice to knit an accessory that functions like a balaclava, but that looks much better than the old-fashioned "cagoule".

This is why I started knitting my Hoodie Cowl (I'm not sure I like the name "Balaclava", I hope you can understand why).

Here is the finished item, which I listed on Etsy yesterday:

I added some lace detail as I think it suits this luxurious Rowan Alpaca Cotton yarn. It is loose enough around the head but not so much that it would get blown off with a gust of wind, and can be worn as a hood or a cowl (with the hood down), so no sweaty head, and I hope this accessory looks much more lady-like than the awful balaclava.

The writing of the pattern is another addition to my "To Do" list, along with my other Truck-load of other things that need to be done: I don't think I'll ever get bored in this life:-)

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Nov 12, 2013

Double Knit Reversible Christmas Coasters

This week-end, I started knitting these fun Christmas tree coasters:

Front side

Back side
This is the first reversible coaster I made. It is knit in one piece, using 2 strands of yarn simultaneously. This little coaster measuring 11cm (just over 4 inches) took me an insane 6 hours to make - between counting stitches, getting mixed up, undoing and re-doing a few rows.

Even though double-knitting is very slow, it is extremely fun to do, and that's beside the fact that the only bit of sewing there is to do, is the secure weaving in of the tails on the inside).

Once I had finished this one, I tried to find a way to make a neater edge and after a few trials, I successfully finished this one:


This little coloured edge is not only pretty, it's also functional, and if it wasn't there, both sides would split. I could have done 2 separate sides and sewed (ouch!) them together but the colour changes in double knitting are actually useful in keeping both sides together. It gives the coasters extra stability.

Thankfully I am picking up a bit more speed as I keep knitting these cute Christmas reversible coasters: I just knitted the bottom half of a new one in about 1 hour and a half this morning, so I am hoping to be able to make 4 or 5 sets of 4 double knit coasters and list these on Etsy in about 10 days (this may mean a bit less Facebooking and much, much more knitting than I've been doing lately;-)

I would love to hear your thoughts on these reversible double knit coasters or on double knitting in general. If you are interested in learning, you can head on to my Knitting Tutorials page, where I've just added the Very Pink Knits Double Knitting tutorial video.

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Nov 9, 2013

Come Into My Office.

Today I've been busy reorganising a corner of my bedroom and turning it into a little office space.

It all started with a need to organise my knitting yarns and to declutter a bookcase that had no more business being in my kitchen (I had it there since I Ikea'd my sitting room 2 years ago, and I knew it would come in handy one day).

I decided to take all the books and kid mess (you wouldn't believe the stuff they can shove in there when I'm not looking) out of that bookshelf and bring it upstairs (thank god for cheap DIY units from Woodies - there was more dragging than lifting but as this is cheap material and not heavy wood, only a little bit of sweating was involved and you can ask my kids: I didn't even swear this time!)

Then I emptied out all my wool from the toy bins (previously stolen from my kids - I'm such a bad mother!) and big shopping bags and I was able to fit most of it into the bookshelf, leaving one shelf free for books. I still have a box nearly full in my sitting room, but that's nice and tidy inside an Ikea bookshelf, and the yarns in there are left overs and small balls that the kids can use (even though they also have their own little stashes in their room), I would also use this myself as it's useful for learning new techniques (crochet, crochet!) and trying out new knitting stitches.

I also moved my wardrobe and computer desk, as I thought it would be a better idea to have the desk closer to a plug - I used to sit on my bed to use my computer but this is not a good idea if you care for your back. The computer desk I have is not ideal for a laptop, but it will do until I can afford something better.

If you're wondering why 2 desk lamps, I need them both to use with my light box, which you can see on the floor. It's not very fancy, but it will do for now.

Well, it's 6pm now and I haven't even done a bit of knitting today so I'd better throw the traditional Saturday pizza in the oven so I can get on with knitting some Christmas coasters after dinner.

Nov 6, 2013

Little Happy Dance To Celebrate Ravelry Pattern Sale

I uploaded my Slouchy Hat pattern both on Etsy and Ravelry on Thursday before driving to Dublin on Friday for the Knitting and Stitching Show.

As I spent the whole week-end in Dublin, I didn't do much work but when checking my emails on Friday, I realised that one copy of my pattern sold on Ravelry:)

Then, last night one of my knitted phone cases was featured on a blog and in an Etsy Treasury, which may not convert into sales but it should help getting a few extra page views.

Apart from my online activity, I have started knitting some of the yarn I bought at the Knitting and Stitching show. I got a few bargains including a pack of 10 balls of Rowan Alpaca Cotton for €35.00 - This yarn is listed at €8.49 per ball on Deramore's website so I think I didn't do too bad.

Here's what I'm making with it:

At the moment it looks like a cowl, but the practical side in me wants to make 2 uses out of this one item, so I am adding a hood (it rains a lot in Ireland). I will post a picture of it when it's finished. This Hoodie Cowl (not sure of the name for it yet) should only take 2 balls, so I'll be looking for ideas of what to make with the rest (I'm sure there's a pair of long wrist-warmers waiting to be knit as well;-). If you have any other ideas, you're welcome to share in the comments.

Oct 30, 2013

My News: Knitting Pattern for Slouchy Beanie Hat In Progress

This has been a bit of a slow week for me, as it's midterm and my daughters are off school, meaning that my working routine has to be a bit different: instead of starting work after being back from the school run after 9am, I still wake up at 7am, but I try and put in an hour or 2 of quiet work at my laptop before we have our breakfast together, then it's another hour or 2 of work until lunch needs to be cooked.

I've ignored Bank Holiday Monday and treated it as a working day (as I do most of my week-ends, except that my alarm is on a 8am on week-ends: I need my sleep!), but I took yesterday afternoon off so we could go to the cinema. I thought going to the cinema on a Tuesday afternoon, we would avoid much of the traffic (Wrong! There are no words strong enough to describe how ridiculous Galway traffic is at the moment!) and have a quiet time watching Turbo (Wrong again! those 5 teen girls that sat behind us, kept kicking our seats, talking and laughing noisily a la De Niro in The Hand That Rocked The Cradle probably get too much pocket money if they waste it ruining movies for other people).

I was hoping to be able to add my first slouchy beanie knitting pattern for sale on Monday, but I realized that, since I had used yarn from the snood that I had ripped in order to knit the slouchy hat I made for myself, I'm not sure of the exact quantity of yarn needed for this pattern (I am hoping it is just one, as my regular beanie hats each took about 3 quarters of one 100g skein).

I guess I could try and weigh my own hat in my kitchen scales, but being a bit of a perfectionist, I've decided to start making a new one, but this time I am starting a new skein. I am using King Cole Riot Chunky yarn again (I love this yarn, it's so soft and beautiful), and since the color stripes vary slightly from one skein to another, this still means this new hat is going to be one of a kind:

I started typing the pattern in English on Monday morning (I will also do one in French) and I started knitting the new slouch beanie hat on Monday evening. The reason why I haven't finished doing all this already is that, as well as my kids being on midterm, I also need to put on my Marketing Manager hat on for about half my working day in order to promote my Etsy shop.

I have nearly finished making another 4 phone cases apart from 2 embellishments and the toggle buttons: I ordered some yesterday from another Etsy seller, and I have another day to finish making that hat (I might even push it and list this one too before the week-end) and putting the finishing touches to the pattern, then I'm off to the Knitting and Stitching show on Friday (Yippee!) and to spend the rest of the week-end in Dublin.

I will try and schedule a blog post for Saturday and I can't wait to tell you all about the Knitting and Stitching show next week (I hope I get some goodies within my limited budget). In the meantime: Happy Knitting!

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Oct 26, 2013

Saturday Etsy Share: Random Halloween Stuff

This is the last Saturday before Halloween, so I thought I would share all kinds of Halloween things I found on Etsy.

You know the drill by now, so let's start with Halloween goodies from Irish Etsy shops:

Little Sofi has an original Exploding Pumpkin box card:

Stained Glass Fayre has a beautiful stained glass Pumpkin Suncatcher Halloween window decoration:

Barmbrack is a traditional Halloween food in Ireland. Thanks to Homespun Ireland, you can make some using their traditional recipe which comes in a muslim bag with 7 traditional charms and the obligatory accompanying teabag:

Rubys Ribbons and Bows is not afraid of giving little girls Hello Kitty nightmares with these spooky Pony O Streamers:

From International Etsy shops, here's some of what's on offer:

Sugar Tats has some odd Halloween Zipper Eyes temporary tattoos:

You can sweeten your tea with these sugar cube skulls from DemBones (even though it would be a pity to dissolve them):

Get scary with these Pumpkin Nail decals from NailsThins:

I have all these and more included in my Halloween Etsy Treasury, if you want to take a look.

Happy Halloween!

Oct 22, 2013

Would You Wear a Knitted Wig?

It's amazing what can be done with 2 needles, some yarn, and a lot of imagination!

A while ago I came across some knit wigs by Louise Walker in a knitting magazine, and I just could not not write about her funky knit wigs. Here are my 2 favourite knit wigs:

While I wouldn't be brave enough to go around wearing one of these even on a bad hair day (and I have many of those, luckily I have winter and hats!), I find them beautiful and can't stop wondering if maybe I should knit myself a witches wig for next Halloween.

Knowing how long it takes me to decide what do make and how will I go about making it, I should probably start now to be ready for Halloween 2014!

Random Technorati Code, for the sake of traffic

Feeling a bit technical today, as I've remembered that of the non-fun parts of writing a blog is all the traffic driving stuff.

I've submitted My blog to a few blog directories, and the most important one I can think about: Technorati is asking me to write a post containing a code that no one in their right minds would write in their blog.

So here I go: A2CWWK3VDXAA.

I hope you're happy, Mr Technorati, now maybe I can get back to knitting and talking about knitting?

(Must remember to turn off all my automatic Facebook/Twitter... postings of my blog posts before I publish this post).

Oct 19, 2013

Saturday Etsy Share: Halloween Jewelry

The weeks are going back so fast! It's time again for Saturday sharing of some items I love on Etsy, and this week I've decide to show off some original Etsy Halloween Jewelry.

Starting in Ireland:

Halloween Bloody Odd Earrings from Bloody Odd Jewellery:

Scary Spider Pendant, from Feanor Crafts:

Skull Charm Bracelet from Jayne's Jewels Online:

Jack'O Lantern Earrings from Rosie Recycled Crafts:

Other Halloween Jewellery from around the World:

Halloween Pumpkin Necklace from Out Of Space Jewelry:

Spider Bracelet from Studio DCT:

Halloween Earrings from Stone Horse Designs:

Is Halloween a good opportunity to wear original jewellery? Which one of these pieces is your favourite?

Oct 15, 2013

On My Needles: I'm Ready for Winter Cowl

When I say I'm ready, I mean nearly there.

I've got my hand knit fingerless gloves and hat already finished - I wanted to try and make a slouchy hat and I'm pretty happy with the result:

 My 11 year-old daughter doesn't want me to wear my slouchy hat, she likes to try it on herself and tells me she likes looking like someone from the 60s.

I'm not sure what she calls sixties style, but I'm still going to wear it, even though I'll probably leave the small round glasses a la John Lennon and the minidress for someone braver than me.

Anyway, I still haven't finished this cowl that I keep trying on to see if it's as big as I want it - I'd want to be able to put it over my head when I don't have my hat on (are we there yet?:-)

The knitting yarn I'm using is King Cole Riot Chunky in Monsoon shade, I just love how soft it feels and the self striping colours mean that I'm never bored with the colour. Also, the advantages of handknitting my own winter accessories means that I get everything to match, even though I won't go as far as knitting my own winter coat.

 I have a new matching;-) phone case planned so time to keep knitting this snood and free up my needles!

Oct 12, 2013

Saturday Etsy Share: Knit Halloween Goodies

I've decided to share some of the great stuff that's available on Etsy, so since Halloween is fast approaching, I am starting with Halloween items.

This week I have been looking at knit and crochet items. Of course there's a lot more than handknit and crochet on Etsy, but I had to start somewhere so why not with my favourite craft?

The first items are from members of the Etsy Ireland Team.

Here's Crow Cottage Crafts' Harry the Halloween Hamster

Next, check out these Victorian Vampire Mittens from Koticzka

Halloween Handknitted Art Scarf with cats, bats and witches from Purls of Colour

Olga Soleil has some Crazy Crochet Halloween Coasters

And a few more from non-Irish Etsy sellers:

There are a lot more cute and spooky Halloween items on Etsy, and I could spend hours looking at these, unfortunately I can't share them all here, so if you want to see more, head on to Etsy.

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Oct 9, 2013

My First Free Cowl Pattern is Available on Ravelry

I did it! For the last few months I've wanted to publish knitting patterns on Ravelry and I've finally managed to finally upload a free knitting pattern for my Infinity Super Chunky Cowl on Ravelry.

For my first pattern, I decided to give it away for free, mainly because how easy it is to make: you can't really ask for payment for a pattern that most people could work out themselves, and now I've worked out how to do it, it will be easier to publish some more free and paid knitting patterns.

What I would really like to do also is have a go at publishing a pattern booklet of between 5 and 10 knitting patterns, but first things first: here is the download link for my Free Infinity Super Chunky Cowl.

And here's the picture of the finished cowl:
Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Oct 4, 2013

Knit Flower Tutorial: My Attempt.

Last week I came across a knitting tutorial for a flower on Craftsy.

I wanted to share it here so I've added the video to my Knitting Tutorials page. I think this flower would make a beautiful embellishment for a knit or crochet hat, bag, it could also be made as a brooch or attached to a hair band or hair clip for a cute girl accessory.

It seems difficult when you see the finished flower, but like most knitted accessories, it is easier than it looks and even a beginner knitter can make this. The instructions are easy to follow and to prove that it's not that difficult, here is what my own version of the knitted flower looks like:

This would look great also with beads or shiny sequins knitted into it, to add a bit of sparkle.

Oct 1, 2013

The Best Postman In The World

Sometimes you can really relate to the saying: "it's the little things that count".

I walk or drive my children to school every morning of the week (depending on the weather, and sometimes the mood). The timing seems to coincide with the time the postman delivers my mail, which is OK for bills, but if I get a parcel that doesn't fit through the letterbox, I have to wait until 4.00pm before I can get my package from my local post office.

While this is not a huge inconvenience, you must be aware of how much knitters love their wool; I can't even start describing the trauma we go through when we have to part with our yarn (can you believe that some flights don't allow knitting needles or crochet hooks on planes? What's a knitter supposed to do when traveling, it's bad enough leaving lots of wool at home - On the other hand, think about what treasuries can be discovered in the yarn shops of faraway countries). But I am straying: let's go back to my postman:

I had been waiting for a yarn delivery and expected it to be delivered on Monday but I had to walk my children to school. I spotted the post van on my way home and when I got home I took off my shoes and jacket and I had just started doing my morning housework when I heard the doorbell: I was my postman who said he had turned around when he saw me walking towards home and guess what he had for me?

 6 balls of Wendy Serenity Super Chunky in Celery shade: of course there are only 5 on this photo as the last one has already been turned into this (you'll have to excuse the picture quality, as I haven't had a proper photo session since last weekend:

 I love my Postman!

Sep 27, 2013

Little Hats for Charity: The Big Knit 2013

Every year, Innocent Drinks has a fundraising event for Age Action, that they call The Big Knit.

This year I've decided to try and knit some mini hats and send them off: these will be put on Innocent Smoothie bottles and for every bottle with a hat, Innocent Drinks will give 30c to Age Action.

So far I've made 4 hats and my daughter made one (the yellow one, she also made my Pom pom, for some reason mine just keep falling apart):

It's been fun to make these, and also an opportunity to experiment with different hat shapes. I might get around to make another 2 or 3 before I send them off on Monday (the deadline is October 4th). I got the pattern for the bird on Deramore's website (they have really funky ones you can download for free here). Unfortunately my bird hat doesn't look as good as the one from the pattern; my excuse is that I didn't have the same size yarn in the right colours.

I hope I can make more next year, if only I thought of starting in early summer!

Sep 25, 2013

Yarn Bargain Alert: Aldi Special Buys on Sunday 29th September

For my fellow Irish knitters, Aldi Ireland has 4 types of yarn for sale this Sunday 29th September.

It's not going to be the luxurious Alpaca or Merino wool variety, nonetheless, in a time where most of us are strapped for cash and for people who are allergic to wool, Aldi yarn is not to be sniffed at.

Acrylic yarn (as I assume it will be) is also very useful for making accessories like toys, phone cases, bags and what not. Here are quick links if you want to check the offers:
 - Chunky knit yarn: 300g for €7.99
 - Gorgeous Baby yarn: 200g for €3.99
 - Luxury Scarf Yarn (Poodle or Spectra): 150g for €4.49
 - Rustic Aran yarn: 400g for €7.99

Now if I had bothered checking the Aldi app on my phone, I would have found out about these myself, thankfully I have great friends on Facebook and I want to thank Maire from the Nattering Knitters group for sharing the offer.

Now you know where I'll be on Sunday!

Sep 22, 2013

Glittery Fingerless Gloves For My Girls

I made these fingerless gloves using cheap acrylic and glittery yarn my daughters bought from Aldi or Lidl (not sure which one as it's been a few months). These mittens are quick enough to make (about 2 hours each for me but I am still trying to improve my knitting speed), and of course, made using a circular needle as I am not a fan of unnecessary sewing. I only had one hand model available for the pictures as my eldest daughter was gone to a friend's house yesterday, so you can see the red gloves being worn by a 9 year-old girl and as they are knitted, they are stretchy and can easily fit a child from 7 to 12 years old.

By the way, these pictures were taken using my new DIY Light Box, who knew it was so easy to take professional-looking photographs?