Heuston Hat

The weather in Ireland is still cold, cold cold. Especially at night, when the temperature is surprisingly close to zero. Basically, it is still hat weather. And it’s never too late in the season for a new hat, right?

harcourt hat

Heuston is a cosy, comfortable hat with a cushy cable and rib pattern that will stretch or relax to fit most heads comfortably. Knit in the round with DK weight yarn, the hat’s ribbed brim is folded over to give extra warmth around the ears. Perfect for yourself during a cold snap, or a quick gift for someone who deserves some extra warmth. I’ve knit many of these . At this stage most of the family have one, I just need to make my husband one for a full set!

But we aren’t the only people with cold ears. I’ve decided to donate the proceeds of this hat until the end of March to the Dublin Simon. The Simon Community are a charity who work with homeless in and around Dublin. They support homeless people and work with them to get them out of temporary accommodation and into permanent homes.

And to add to the fun, there’s going to be a Dublin Knit Collective knit along for the Heuston hat. Cast on is the 6th of March, and the deadline is April 3rd. If you finish a hat in by that date you’ll be entered into a draw for a skein of Dublin Dye Merino DK in the colour of your choice!

So a new hat, helping a charity, and maybe some new yarn too! I hope you’ll join us ๐Ÿ™‚

Ten Day Challenge

I usually don’t knit many (if any) Christmas presents. A few things over the years for my immediate family, but never for the in laws. Until now.

As part of the complicated Kris Kringle type draw the in laws do, we got two of my sister in laws (there are 4 total) and their husbands. We quickly decided that dinner vouchers and baby sitting promises would be the best presents for both. And then I thought that maybe I should knit some hats, just so they have something nice on the day. That was on the 14th of December of course, so ten days to knit four hats. Nothing like a challenge.

I did the girls hats first, some Drops Alaska to knit some cabled, pompom hats.

cabled hatsI wasn’t sure if I’d have time to do boy hats as well, but it turns out if you knit constantly for a full day you can knit a hat, even in sock weight. Thankfully my work was very quiet Tibbs Eve, and my boss wasn’t bothered by a bit of last minute Christmas knitting.

plain boy hats

These two are Indigo Dragonfly sock yarn (green) and Malabrigo Finito (grey).

No patterns for any of these hats, that would have been just too easy. And that resulted in me knitting 5 hats in the 10 days… the first hat I started, in some left over Malabrigo Arroyo, was inadvertently child sized. But I finished it as well, and it’s gone to the little boy.

andrew cables

And finally, I cast on hat number six on Christmas Eve! I’m using some Malabrigo Finito that Jenbeardublin gave me last year for Knitmas. As soon as I started making hats I realised this yarn would make a perfect soft warm cabled at like the first two… but since the yarn was a gift the hat has to be for me. I can’t wait to wear it!

hat for me

I hope everyone else had a lovely Christmas with thoughtful presents, happy children playing quietly (as they are here, for the moment at least!), good food and lots of rest.

Stripes

My five year old is starting to prove herself useful for yarn photography. Her feet are too small to fit in my stripey socks, but if I set up a camera for her, she can press the shutter button over and over again ๐Ÿ™‚

stripes behind

Not every photo is perfectly centred, mind you, but it adds some charm, right?

I finished my stripey test socks, and I really love them. I made them a small bit bigger than usual, and they’re just super cozy and comfortable. I know striped yarn should use an afterthough heel or something similar, which doesn’t disturb the stripes, but I really prefer a gusset so I went with that.

striped socks

A little more attention to detail and I could have started the heel a few rows earlier, and made the blue and green stripes on the front match better. But I still love the socks, I think they turned out beautifully.

I have to admit, after the Knitting and Stitching show (which went well by the way, thanks for asking, and thanks to all the many people who came by the stand) I’ve been in a dyeing slump. My mojo is just gone, so I dyed some yarn for This is Knit and now I’m taking a little time off. Nothing to serious, maybe just Christmas… I’ve got to get working on the Irish Yarn Club afterall. Speaking of, sign ups close next week, are you in?

But my knitting mojo, that’s alive and well. I’ve got two new projects on the go, I’ll share them with you soon!

Kaeling

My Painted Woolly Topper hat needed some matching mitts. And coincidentally, I was extremely curious about a new pattern from Ysolda (Kaerlig) which seemed like a perfect match. So I quickly gave in and bought Knitworthy 2.

gloves1

Yarn: Dublin Dye Swing Sock in Malice

It’s the unique construction of these mitts that really got me. They’re knit side to side on the hand, and it wasn’t something I could quickly figure out on my own. Knitting them I did have some worries about the hand size, but I think that’s because I should have cast on for the large instead of the medium. To compensate, I knit the hand section bigger, and as a result the thumb smaller. But since I thought the thumb was bigger than I usually like, I was happy with this change. I ended up with what is (for me) the perfectly sized snug thumb.

glove2

I do love the palm and thumb gusset, it’s very comfortable.

It’s Monday, soย another Knitworthy pattern is due in my inbox any minute now! Hopefully something pretty to cheer me up at the beginning of what looks like a windy and wet week. ย and as I was writing a new Knitworthy pattern arrived! Saudade, it is indeed very pretty, and maybe someday I’ll conquer my fear of colourwork ๐Ÿ™‚

Don’t forget the Knitting and Stitching Show starts this Thursday. I’ve been working away, getting everything sorted for what will hopefully be an amazing weekend. I hope to see you all there!

Painted Woolly Toppers

Earlier in the year I got a copy of Painted Woolly Toppers from the talented Woolly Wormhead. It’s a collection of hat patterns designed specifically for hand dyed yarn… what better book for a hand dyer to have on hand? It did sit for a while because the weather thankfully did not need hats! But with the cold autumnal weather upon us, I pulled out the book.

I had a hard time chosing, but really it was down to three Quoin, Risalire, and Vortice I even cast on. In the end I chose Vortice because I didn’t have any hand dyed aran weight for Quoin, and I didn’t want to knit garter stitch in the round for Risalire. I was looking for something not mentally taxing, and Vortice did that for me.

minion in a hatYarn: Dublin Dye Swing Sock in colour Malice

I enticed a little (minion) human to put it on for me. It didn’t fit ๐Ÿ™‚ This hat is knit side to side in short rows. I made my usual adjustments to the pattern, and it turned out to be a fatal mistake.

vortice topI staggered some of the rows at the top when I shouldn’t have, and it resulted in the hat losing the bias effect of the original. Of course I didn’t realise this until it was finished. Entirely my fault, and I may have to knit another one to do it properly. Still, it’s a lovely hat and garter stitch always looks great with a hand dye, it’s one of my favourite knitting things.

Once I finished, I promptly cast on some fingerless mitts with the remaining yarn which I think will match perfectly. But more on them later ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I think I need to go back and knit Risalire as well, I think the style would suit me.

Blue Stripes

I had last week off the day job and lots of knitting time, enough time to finish a pair of socks. Critical to this was my husband also having the week off… so I actually got to sit occasionally, and not just run after children all week. Bliss. I read a whole book in 3 days too:)

Last year I knit a pair of socks for my Aunt, the family matriarch. When I saw her in July she was very complimentary of her hand knit socks, and (kindly) asked for more. When I asked what colour she’d like, she said ‘any’.

stripey bluesYarn: Dublin Dye Swing Sock

I think blue qualifies as any, so these are going to her. She’s visiting me this month, and it’ll be nice for her to have a fresh pair of socks before winter really sets in. Pattern is the usual, make it up as I go along. This time toe up, the exact oposite of the traditional top down sock with a slipped stitch heel. I could easily have done these top down, but I thought black toes made more sense than light blue, and that’s as good a reason as any. I’ve probably got enough yarn left for fingerless mitts, she may get some to match if I get around to it.

That is the same wall I took last year’s sock photo against. Apparently the ivy is not so slowly taking over. And here we thought we were winning the battle.

Experiment results

I’d been thinking about this one for a while, but earlier in the week this skein finally went into the dye pot. It looks pretty normal in the before picture.

experimentingBut with a little work, I’ve got some beautiful self striping yarn.

gradientIt goes from dark to light and back again, all in the same skein. And it wasn’t as hard as I worried it might be, although to do it again I’m going to have to work out the winding a bit better. My plan is to make toe up, two at a time socks. One from the outside and one from the middle. That should give me two exactly identical striped socks.

two at a timeBy plan, of course I mean I’ve cast on already. I think I’m in love.

When knitters travel

They (or at least, I, and Yarn Harlot, and others I’m sure) cast on socks. Preferably socks that don’t need a lot of thinking, so they can be knit on airplanes and airports and everywhere in between. So for my three weeks away, I cast on and knit socks. I finished these the day I got back home.

travel socks

Rarely do I want to wear knit socks in the middle of July do I want to wear knit socks. But a few times while I was knitting these I was hoping they’d be finished soon. But summer seems to have been poor on both sides of the North Atlantic this year. I got a few warm days in Ottawa, but not much else.

travel socks2Yarn: Dublin Dye Swing Sock in Kaleidoscope

Back in Dublin, I may be wearing these this weekend! For now, the etsy shop is open again, and This is Knit got restocked. Next week I’ll be dyeing for online, keep an eye out for the update next weekend.

White is boring

I went outside on the back step to take sock photos, because it was too late in the day for inside photos. I brought a white board to put the socks on, while the cat watched. I think her expression tells you all you need to know:

bored catBored cat is bored. I then distracted myself with twitter where I realised it’s ‘Tarmac Tuesday‘. Well, the front of the house does get more light at this time of day.

tarmacAnd it gives a slightly more interesting background.These are for my mother (who’s foot is a good bit smaller than mine) so sock blocker photos are required. I borrowed the blockers from Cathyqtpi for the Yarn Festival in March, and they are quite nice. I must find out where she got them (or if you’ve come to visit Cathy, you can leave a comment!)

tarmac socks2Yarn: Dublin Dye Swing Sock in Clear

I’ve knit a top down heel flap sock so often now that I no longer need a pattern. But I always credit them to Charlene Schurch, since her Sensational Knitted Socks is my go to basic sock resource. I think I got given the book by a friend who was moving back to the US, maybe 7 or 8 years ago? But it’s a really handy resource for sizes and standard patterns. Definitely one of my most frequently used knitting books. These are the Basic top down with a heel flap socks.

In dye news, there’s a new page over there on the left. Now that I’ve got more than one shop stocking my yarn, I can start a list ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Dublin Bay Knitting in Oregon is now stocking Dublin Dye Swing Sock yarn, the first on the other side of the pond… Hopefully the first of many!

Not my colours

I’ve cast on two new things recently, for other people, and they aren’t colours I would usually choose. First, I recently knit a vest for my son, and now my daughter wants one as well. But she wants pink. Cotton Candy pink. daughterly vest

Yarn: Dublin Dye Swing Sock in Cotton Candy

(the bag in the background is the one I bought in Edinburgh from KnitRunDig) I only cast on a few days ago but I am getting a bit bored of the pink. So I decided I should cast on some socks, since I’m sponsoring the Solid Socks group in Ravelry this month. But I don’t really want solid socks in any of the colours I have at the moment, so I cast on some socks for my mother.ย  I’ve never knit her socks before, and she’s spent the week minding my kids, so it’s only fair.

motherly socksYarn: Dublin Dye Swing Sock in Clear

Something in me is itching to cast on something dark and moody, but I need to finish these projects in the near future, so that will have to wait I think. And although these colours aren’t me, they suit the season and the day perfectly.

Happy Easter!