Still standing

I’m afraid to even look back to see when I last posted to this blog. It’s been quite a while. But Dublin Dye has still been ticking along, dyeing all the yarn!

Until now that is. For the summer at least, the dye studio is shut down.

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Not all is lost though, I’ve been busy preparing for this day, and have dyed up a storm over the last few weeks. My house has been covered in yarn, for which my family have been surprisingly tolerant. Last Wednesday I turned of the last dye pot and I’m still trying to get it all skeined and labeled. Since then the shed has been cleared out and torn down.

Sad to see it go, but it’s making way for bigger and better. The family abode is being extended, and in the extension plans is a new large utility room which will (all going well) double as a new, indoor, centrally heated (!) dye room.

Once I catch up with the skeining and labeling I’m going to be photographing and getting some new stock up on the website. Keep an eye out on social media, I’ll let you know when things start appearing!

In the meantime, did you see the Irish Dye Junkies Market Night on Saturday? There are lots of beautiful colours still available so why not take a peek?

 

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 🙂

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.

Castleknock vest

I think this idea came into my head a year or more ago. I still love vest on little boys (and little girls for that matter) and the idea of knitting a saddle shoulder in a vest intrigued me. How could it be done, and what would it turn out like? castleknock5As it turns out, it’s pretty cute 🙂  This little v necked vest has a ribbed saddle shoulder, that mirrors the ribs down the side. It is knit from fingering weight Swing Sock merino yarn, so light but warm on a chilly day. And the main reason I like sleeveless knits, easy to get under a coat without adding bulk.

castleknock shoulder

The saddle shoulders are short rows, with a decrease on each end instead of a wrap and turn. Finally stitches are picked up around the neck and the armholes, to finish off with a bit of ribbing.

The pattern is now available through Ravelry, use the discount code GoIreland for 20% discount off all Dublin Dye patterns this week only!

Weave

It was only a matter of time before the Weave Spin Dye Guild got me on the last craft – weaving. It’s something I’d been interested in trying for a while, but I got some news which gave me a push to learn. My grandmother’s 80 year old hand made loom has been dug out of my uncles and assembled, and donated to the local museum. But no one there knows how to work it, so when I go there for a visit, I’m supposed to help them figure it out. A daunting task, but it gave me a push to rent the guild loom for a month.

The first step is the warping board. Round and round the yarn goes, 170 times in my case.

warping boardThen setting up the warp on the loom took quite a while, but I followed the directions and googled occasionally for tips, and got it done.warped loomOnce the loom is properly warped, the weaving part goes pretty quick.

weavingI’m still getting the hang of it, but I’m pretty happy with it so far. I’m doing the stripes a bit random, since I’m not sure how far my yarn will go.

Check out the guild rental page if you’d like to give it a try!

Howth

New socks for me, and a new sock pattern for you! These were a while working their way out of my head. The started off back in October, in a different yarn. But when I got past that point they just didn’t work. The biased rib just didn’t stretch enough to get them on my foot. So I tore them out, and eventually started again. This time in Dublin Dye Swing Sock. A bit of trial and error and some blind luck, and they work. And there was even enough yarn left over for a second (smaller) pair.

howth main photoYarn: Dublin Dye Swing Sock in Water Sprite

My little boy had been wearing his sister’s hand me down knit socks with his wellies, and it was time he got his own pair.

These socks are knit from the toe up, reversing the usual top down heel flap construction. The gusset increases are placed at the top of the foot instead of the side, allowing the biased rib to flow along the side of the foot and a simple ribbed leg finishes off the sock in no time.

The pattern is available through Ravelry now!

Estuary

It’s that time of year again, time for Knitmas! I didn’t take many photos of the parcel I sent out this year… I should have been more observant of the blogging opportunity. I did take some of the shawl I knit, but they’re not great.

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The  photo doesn’t deserve to be any bigger than that, trust me. The lack of light didn’t help.

The pattern is a modified version of Estuary, by Tin Can Knits. My Knitmas recipient is a fan of lace shawls, but I’m not great at following through on lace patterns. I thought a compromise was in order, as the deadline for this one was pretty fixed. Lace on just one side of the shawl worked for us both, I hope.

knitmas shawl

The yarn is Dublin Dye Merino Sock, in a Pewter I dyed for myself but repurposed for Knitmas. Which reminds me, I must dye more yarn. I want to knit Wheaten for myself, when I find the time.

I did like the pattern on this shawl, but I think the lace could have been slightly better planned.  It’s full of ssk stitches, with the odd section of k2togs instead. I eventually stopped doing the k2togs as they didn’t sit the way I thought they should, but I think if the lace were reworked slightly, you’d be able to use k2togs all the way through, which I find easier when they’re every second stitch. And obviously I worked to the first marker and then left the second half plain stocking stitch.

For the rest of the package, I used the title of Evin O’Keefe’s book as a bit of inspiration. There was Baking (Gingerbread), Knitting (the Shawl) and Sewing (a box bag) involved in my parcel… But nothing else got photographed!

Announcement: Guild Dyeing Workshop

Did you see I’m teaching a dye class for the Irish Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers? It should be lots of fun!

The Irish Guild of Weavers, Spinners, and Dyers

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Book your spot now! On Sunday 30 November there will be a Guild Dyeing Workshop run by Guild Committee Member and director of the Dublin Dye Company, Yvonne McSwiney. 40e for non-members, 25e for members. Only ten spots available so email hello@weavespindye.ie to book your place now. Payment is via Paypal and your space is not secure until you have paid in full. All materials provided! This workshop will take place in the Studio above the Constant Knitter on Francis St in Dublin 8.

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Coming up next

It’s been busy around here!  Although the dyeing has slowed down a bit while my husband does some work on the studio (plumbing and insulation, since it was sorta thrown up in the beginning so I could sort the dye club on time) I’ve been hard at work on some patterns which I hope to share with you soon.  And I’ve placed a big yarn order, with some new things!

First up is a new lace, a 45/55 merino silk blend which will be online only for the moment.  It’s thicker than what I currently stock, at 800m per 100g. Gorgeous stuff, really lovely to work with.

Then right behind it will be some DK weight merino. This is the same as the Merino sock, and I’ll be dyeing it in bigger batches to allow for bigger projects.

The new Swing sock has been flying out the door, both online at at This is Knit!  I’ll be restocking both soon as well.  Have you got some yet? What are your plans for it?

Last but not least, did you notice I’ve moved to my own domain?  dublindye.com is my new home! There’s also a new email, enquiries@dublindye.com, although the gmail obviously still works as well.  If there’s a colour you’d like to see in any of the yarns mentioned let me know. I love custom dye requests as well, it’s always fun interpreting someone elses’ requests into a lovely new skein of yarn, some have even become regulars in the shop!

Twinkle Toes

twinkle bonfireTwinkle Toes is being discontinued, but I’ve still got some skeins left around here, about 15 or so I think.  So they’ll be used up over the next few weeks, and I’ll be putting them up on the website as a discount.  Some have already noticed and got in quick! I’ll put them in the Sale section on Etsy, if you want to take a peek. If there’s anything you’d like custom dyed, now is the time to speak!

PS: One more request to answer my quick one question poll 🙂