Looking forward

2014 was a great year for Dublin Dye. Lots of things going on, lots of yarn dyed, even a few patterns published.  It went from being a teeny, tiny spec of a ‘company’ to something with a bit of a presence. Personally, I feel I’ve accomplished something and am proud of that.

As for 2015, it is already looking even bigger and better.  There are lots of things planned, and I’m looking forward to new challenges. The year is starting out with the Irish Yarn Club, I’m currently neck deep in a new base and a new colour which will be going out to club members soon. Then in March I’m heading to Edinburgh Yarn Festival for my first ever yarn show.  This is huge and it terrifies me, but you’ve got to do things that terrify you sometimes, right? If I’m going to Edinburgh, then I’ve got no excuse not to do the Knitting and Stitching Show in the RDS. There are more patterns in the works by me and some other Irish designers. And I’m sponsoring a month in the Solid Socks Ravelry group. There will be prizes 🙂

I finished off 2014 at home (two small kids, babysitters aren’t worth it for a night out) trying to finish off a project. No reason for the rush to finish it other than I wanted it off the needles. It was annoying me. I’m still not entirely happy with it but I’ll share it anyway once it’s dry. I hope everyone else had a lovely New Year as well, and is looking forward to a great year to come!

Handmade Christmas

tree.

No, I’m nowhere near a handmade Christmas. I didn’t knit anything for under the tree this year. I did think about making Christmas handknits a part of the kids present, but just didn’t have the time.

But I love handmade ornaments on the Christmas tree. Many ornaments on my tree have a history and a story behind them, whether they are handmade or gifts from friends and loved ones. I’m not ever going to have a perfect tree, but I love it in it’s imperfection. To me Christmas trees are about the stories.

handmade ornaments

The red felt ornament was a gift from Crafty Tails as a part of this year’s Knitmas exchange.  I’m not sure if she knew I was an ornament lover, but it is perfect, handmade and a story behind it.

At the top of the photo there’s a beaded candy cane made by my son the other day. He’s 2, so colour and patterns aren’t his thing yet but it’s sweet partly because of that. Then there’s a hand painted gingerbread man and a painted glass bauble. I made those two for my first tree after I moved out of my parents house (hard to believe that was almost 15 years ago). I guess most people buy ornaments for their new tree, but I couldn’t just do that, and at the time my mother worked in a craft shop so supplies were cheap to come by.

But with all the ornaments on my tree with stories, there’s nothing there that’s been knitted. I think sometime in the next year I will have to change that.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas full of good food and good company and a little something special under the tree. Merry Christmas!

Zip it

I’ve been doing a lot more sewing in the last year, ever since I got the quilting bug at last year’s Knitting and Stitching show. I made two (only slightly wonky) quilts for my kids, and recently I decided I wanted to figure out how to make a box bag. This might also have been a result of the knitting and Stitching show actually, they were running a box bag course which I didn’t get around to taking.

The big problem with making a box bag was inserting the zipper… this wasn’t something I’d done well before. But I figured out my zipper foot on my machine, and I’m pretty happy with the results.

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When the kids saw me pulling out fabric and realised what I was up to, they requested bags too. The oldest has designated hers the marker case, and her brother’s is the crayon case. Very organised, my little girl, she must have got that from her father!

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I used this tutorial from DragoKnits, with some modifications.  I didn’t use interfacing, mainly because I didn’t have any. And I made my straps a different size. And *my* brown bag is big. Big enough to hold my spindle. I did that one with a 14 inch zip and 14*19 square of fabric. Mine is just big enough for my current ‘project’, some spinning. I got a spindle from Hilltop Cloud recently and I’ve been working on some yarn for a hat. I’m nearly there!

Warm up for Winter Sale

It feels like winter is coming fast in Ireland. We had a lovely September, not a bad October, and a rainy wet November. Going to and from work (the day job) in the dark isn’t helping. I haven’t even got any yarn photos to share, because there’s not enough daylight. Maybe next weekend, last weekend when I was home it was too rainy for outdoor photos.

So to make the Winter seem a little more appealing, there’s the knowledge that hand knits come into their own in the winter. The lovely yarns become warm hats and scarves and socks that make the winter brighter. To help out with that, there’s 15% off all Dublin Dye orders on Etsy using the coupon code WinterWarmUp (it was going to be WinterIsComing, but it looked too ominous in all capitals) until 30th of November. That should help us all stay warm in this weather!

Penrose Tile

Carol Feller released a pattern today, Penrose Tile!

penrose tile 2

Photo Joseph Feller

This beautiful shawl is knit with two skeins of Dublin Dye Swing Sock. Carol used Mustard and Ripple for hers, I’m thinking of Black Cherry and Charcoal for my own, but I’m changing my mind every day. Carol is offering a discount on the pattern for the first week and when you buy the pattern you get a discount code for Dublin Dye as well!

To go with the pattern, I’ve done a massive update of Swing Sock in the Etsy Shop. I have been avoiding the computer a bit but the dye studio has been busy and I’ve finally put all that yarn on to the website 🙂  What colour will yours be?

Blackrock Vest

Blackrock VestLast year I knit my son a vest for his Christmas Day outfit. I also made one for the This is Knit baby.  And now I’ve finally (8 months later) finished the pattern and put it up on Ravelry!

This vest takes only a skein or two of Dublin Dye Sock yarn and is knit in one piece from the bottom up.  Three needle bind offs and picked up stitches mean this is my favourite sort of pattern – one where all you have to do after you finish knitting is sew in your loose ends.

If you know a little boy or girl would like a little vest, for Christmas or any other time, then you can get 25% off the pattern for the month of August with the code ChristmasinAugust.

Stepaside

I’ve been trying to catch up with myself all week, but I think I’ve finally got there.  I was very productive last night while the husband was out – kids got fed and washed (some days much more of a struggle than others) some yarn got dyed and others got labeled, I got some knitting and TV time as well.  And I finished final edits on a pattern.

stepaside sock

Stepaside Socks in Dublin Dye Swing Sock

This is the first of three patterns that I’ll be publishing in the next few weeks.  I’m rather excited because it’s my first ‘Dublin Dye’ pattern.  This is also the first skein of Swing Sock that I dyed.  I’d put it up on Ravelry last night, and this morning I woke up to this:

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Apparently the ‘I’ll just quietly put this hear til the morning’ approach doesn’t work well when you start the pattern with ‘this is free for July’.  So go, quick, and add it to your Ravelry library while it’s free for July!

Special mention goes to UnderMeOxter for all her editing help, @jewelandarlin for the photos, WoollyThinker for her layout design skills and several test knitters.  WoollyThinker’s just published her own beautiful pattern, the adorable ElfBaby Hat that I am definitely going to have to knit!

Oh, Canada, Sale

Not everyone knows, but I grew up in Canada.  I’m Irish too, but I like being Canadian as well.

Very few Irish people realise that July 1st is Canada Day. It’s our national holiday to celebrate when Canada became a country (in 1867, with the British North America Act). It gets a little overshadowed by it’s equivalent three days later from that Country just below.  What can I say, we’re still an understated people.

But I want to spread a little Canada love with a little Canada sale.

canadian yarnAll full price yarns on Etsy has been reduced.  And, for my Canadian friends, free shipping to Canada.  The sale will last until Sunday the 6th, or until stocks last 🙂

I probably shouldn’t steal from a nun

My aunt saw me working on some socks for my daughter while we were visiting a few months ago, and requested a pair. So I showed her some yarn, and let her pick some for a pair of socks as a birthday present for her. I don’t usually knit for people other than immediate family… but who would say no to the head of the family, who just happens to be a 70 year old nun?

Stone wall socksMakey upey graduated rib pattern using basic top down heel flap sock instructions from Sensational Knitted Socks. Yarn is Dublin Dye Swing Sock, colour Stone Wall.

But I really love these socks. I want to keep them, even if they are just a little big on me. But they’re my aunt’s socks, knit in the yarn my aunt chose. Keeping them would be like stealing from a nun, and that’d be wrong, right?  I must get my aunt’s address and get the socks in the post sooner rather than later, or she may never get them.

Would you believe?

I had a feeling this morning, an inkling of a memory. A little dig through the This is Knit blog told me that Dublin Dye has been around for 6 years now, as of last weekend!  I was thinking it’s been 5, the time has flown by…

YarnAndTheLiffey

So wander over to the This is Knit blog to read about Dublin Dye’s first outing at the Dockland’s festival in 2008.  I think we’ve come a long way since then!