Mon, Jun 5, 2023
Summer has truly arrived in Ireland - certainly in the West, with a sunny spell lasting *two weeks*!
Even though I sometimes feel like knitting less in hot weather, I had a few new designs created in the cooler weather which will gradually make an appearance here : )
First up is the hat pictured above, the Doolin Beanie. I think of this as a sister pattern to the Aran Watchcap, as it features such a similar cable, but the cable is one stitch wide instead of two stitches. It creates a cable with less bulk, and allows for some more repeats - I like both of them, I must say, and love that both are unisex designs. I was running short on inspiration for the name, so I had a little competition on my Instagram & Facebook pages to name the pattern; I thought Doolin was a great choice, with Doolin being the ferry point closest to Inis Oírr. FYI - I try to have slightly different content on all my social media channels, so that you can follow more than one and not just see the same on each one.
Thu, Apr 6, 2023
Spring is definitely in the air, with the Easter long weekend very close. I hope you get the chance to recharge the batteries a little, whether you celebrate Easter or not.
It feels like I've been mentioning the Aran Watchcap for such a long time, but the test knit call was issued over a week ago, and some wonderful examples have already been shared with me. The pattern will be out soon, and I am so glad to be at that stage! Thankfully very little re-editing will be needed after the test, and then it will be on to new ideas : )
It's not the Aran Watchcap pictured above though, but a hat pattern of mine which was originally published last December in Knotions online magazine. It's actually quite a good knit for this time of year too, as it is nice and light.
Mon, Mar 13, 2023
I'm happy to say that I am again part of the Irish KAL (Knit along) this year, which is being organised by Sionnach Yarns. Sophie is a wonderful dyer who lives in the Burren, and for whom I have created two designs in the past, the Moher Beanie (pictured above) and the Burren Beanie. As Sophie says about the Irish KAL: The idea is to either use yarn from a dyer based in Ireland (ROI and NI) or a pattern, knitting or crochet from a designer based in Ireland. Or both! Casting on takes place on March 17th and ends on June 3rd.
Fri, Dec 16, 2022
The Craft Fair was a great experience - it was SO LONG since I had done a craft fair that I really didn't know how it would go, but I had such lovely visitors to my stall that the weekend flew by. It was also great to chat to other local crafters; and I got wonderful help from several of them in setting up my stall (I had put too much faith in command strips, which are supposed to support pictures etc. - maybe a flexible partition wall is not their ideal surface!)
One of the offers I had for the Craft Fair was a discount code for my knitting patterns, and of course, it applies to my dear subscribers as well. If you would like 20% off my knitting patterns, use the code LOCAL at the checkout (you should see a box with the option of entering a coupon code at the checkout). The code is valid until (checks notes) the end of Sunday Dec 13th GMT.
And now for news relating to the fancy photo (sneak preview) at the top of the newsletter - I will have the cream coloured hat (bottom left in the photo) in the upcoming issue of Knotions online magazine. The Aer Beanie is a 1 skein knit, using fingering weight wool, and is a fun, quick knit featuring cable 'bubbles' which gradually rise towards the crown. It will be out towards the end of this month; I will mention it a LOT more on my social media closer to the time, but I wanted to give you the sneak preview before it became old news.
As always, thank you for subscribing and reading this far - and if you have enjoyed it, please feel free to forward it to any friends you think would enjoy it. I will be back in a month's time, which will be in a whole new year, crazy as that sounds to me (is it just me, or did 2022 pass by at a faster speed than usual?!)
Tue, Nov 8, 2022
Two new patterns available (mittens and chunky beanie), and news of an upcoming Craft Fair : )
Mon, Oct 3, 2022
We are really into autumn now, and I don't know about you, but the knitting mojo returns for me after fading a little in the summer months! You saw my new beanie design in my last post - the Ballybrit Beanie. I'm happy to say it has since been released - with such helpful input from my test knitters. They really are such a valuable part of the knitting design process, and I have been blessed with the different people who have volunteered their time over the years.
Wed, Aug 31, 2022
I hope you've had a lovely summer, and are ready for one of the best things about autumn - the knitting! I've been working on a new beanie design - the Ballybrit Beanie. It has some similarities to my Salthill Beanie, but has another twist in each cable, and quite different crown shaping. It's knit in the round using Aran weight yarn - but the orange sample here was actually knit using two strands of fingering weight yarn (which results in Aran weight yarn). I used some of my favourite yarns in these samples - two yarns by Donegal Yarns (Soft Donegal & Donegal Wool Spinning Co.), Quince & Co. Lark, and Brooklyn Tweed Shelter. I will be issuing a test call very soon on my Instagram and Facebook pages, so please keep an eye out if you're interested in being a tester : ) The hat will be a one-skein knit using Aran or worsted weight yarn, knit in the round on two sizes of circular needle (4.5mm and 5mm, or US 7 & 8).
Fri, Aug 5, 2022
The Beirt Aran Beanie has officially been released - maybe in time to get a head start (pun intended!) on autumn and winter knitting! The Beanie pattern also includes instructions on creating a matching cowl. There were some beautiful versions created by my test knitters, which I included in a Reel on my Instagram page.
I've got a new hat pattern which I will be testing in the next week or so, a lovely cabled beanie (which is still nameless). I will be issuing the test call on my Instagram and Facebook pages, so please feel free to follow there if you are interested in taking part. It will be a one-skein knit using Aran or worsted weight yarn, knit in the round on two sizes of circular needle (4.5mm and 5mm, or US 7 & 8).
I also received some more Aran jumpers from my mother, which I am gradually adding to the shop. Not yet listed are a light grey cardigan and rich purple sweater - but they will be added soon. The funny thing is that photographing knits works much better using natural light on overcast days - so while I do enjoy the sunshine, I can get held up waiting for a cloudy day to take good photographs!
Thu, Jun 30, 2022
It's officially summer, but someone hasn't told the Irish weather yet! (Although it is actually closer to a typical summer to have sunshine, clouds and showers than it is to have bright sunshine). (And it's also typical for an Irish person to mention the weather nice and early in any correspondence!)
As I mentioned in my last newsletter, I have been working on an Aran weight version of the Beirt Beanie, which I previously had available in double-knitting weight. It is finally ready for test-knitting - I just announced the call on social media, so you are definitely in time if you are interested in participating.
I knit the hats pictured in Donegal Yarns Soft Donegal, and Aran Tweed, Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, and Quince & Co. Lark. Any Aran or heavy worsted weight yarn should work well with the pattern, and it is a one-skein knit for the yarns mentioned. The beanie is knit in the round, on two sizes of circular needle (4.5mm and 5mm, or US 7 & 8). I re-worked the crown from the previous pattern three times in total, but I am quite pleased with the final version. I had a little vote on my social media platforms as to which (of two versions) to go for, but I think I'll provide both versions to my newsletter subscribers in the future.
I've continued to make a few knitting tutorials on Instagram Reels and on TikTok; the latest ones were on weaving in the end of a top-down sweater, and weaving in the end of a hat. I will keep adding to these as I go along - although my cat is doing her best, in various ways, to stop me!!
Wed, Jun 1, 2022
In this past month, I finally reworked some previously published patterns of mine to make them available for digital download for the first time. They were both originally published in 'Your Crochet & Knitting' magazine, and were designed to work with yarn kits and knitting needles which came with the magazine. Both designs are worked flat, using fingering or 4-ply weight yarn, and are perfect for using up smaller amounts of those yarns.
First up is a baby & toddler hat, which comes in 2 sizes. One of my favourite things about this design is that the black and white chevron stripes allow any other two colours to work together above and below them. Having said that, it would be interesting to see a version where someone used completely different colours for the stripes too, but so far I haven't seen that! (Don't forget to tag your finished knits #aranaccessories if you like to share them on social media).
Also newly published online is a sweet little seatpad, which is a great introduction to colourwork. It uses slip stitches so that you only ever use one colour at a time, a technique which is also called mosaic knitting. In fact, I liked this technique so much that I used it again in the Easy Tweed Beanie knitting pattern!
I have also been working on my Beirt Beanie hat pattern to make the design suitable for Aran weight yarn (it currently uses DK or double knitting weight yarn). It is nearly ready for testing, but I want to make the crown decreases work in a more pleasing way than they currently do. It's one of those things that will probably be easier to work out on a hat, than on a knitting software programme - but I'll have to knit the rest of the hat first to get to the crown ; )