Thursday, June 23, 2011

CCTV, knit style

Sick of public surveillance? Try out the new knitcam.
Completely obsolete and will not capture any images.

Knit yourself one to go in the corner of your room, or by your front door.

This pattern is for a knitted Security Camera, and includes detailed instructions and templates for making a rigid cardboard frame so the camera can be mounted on a wall.

Tools Needed: 4 dpns size 3.75mm/#5, stiff cardboard and glue or tape, 4 stitch markers, ruler
Material needed: Around 50g each grey, white and black DK weight yarn
Pattern Difficulty: Intermediate.
Includes long-tail and cable cast on, i-cord, knitting in the round and flat, intarsia while making knit and purl stitches. The pattern also has instructions for making a cardboard frame to sit the camera on so that it can be mounted on a wall. This involves cutting out a cardboard template and gluing or taping it together and fitting the knitting over it.
Pattern Style: Written instructions in knitting abbreviations, all abbreviations given

Available in a PDF from Ravelry for Euro 3.50.
Click here for the Ravelry page on the pattern!
The link below will take you directly to Paypal to pay and Ravelry will send you the PDF to download.
Or you can get it from my Etsy shop here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I have been knitting...

...this lovely pattern by a Finnish designer, which I have really enjoyed. It is quite complicated, with an 8 row pattern repeat and a 14 row pattern repeat happening at the same time, and at times had my brain doing a version of cerebral twister while trying to get the moss stitch to line up around the neck - something I later realised was impossible.

A couple of things I've read recently have also put other thoughts into my mind...
One was this article on the Fifty Mile Fibre Diet, the idea being to shop local for your yarn. This is something which is remarkably hard to do in a country with lots of sheep. There are three main woollen mills in Ireland, only two of them actually use wool from Irish sheep, and for one of those it is only in some of their wool. Crazy really.

I've also read The Culture of Knitting, kindly given to me by a fellow knitter. Its an interesting read, certainly thought-provoking, if a bit impenetrable at times and also full of lots of stuff I disagreed with. The conclusion, titled "Is the world full of ugly jumpers?" (Yes it is, in case anyone was wondering...), broaches the subject of yet more acrylic yarn made from petroleum being made into horrible jumpers.

All of which reminded me even more how much what I'm knitting with is important to me.
Anyway, not to get into a massive rant on buying local wool...I actually did find some local wool for this project. From Frenchpark in fact, about 20 minutes away from here. And lovely jacob it is too. (I just wish there were more options!) For once, it was also very affordable - 7.70 euro for a massive skein, of which I used maybe 2-3.
Being Jacob, it is a bit scratchy, so I washed it at 30 degrees to felt it somewhat and soften it up. It actually barely shrank at all and made a lovely fabric when washed. Above you can see it pre-washing on the top and post-washing on the bottom.
There it is, all pinned out.
I still can't believe I knitted a whole jumper in moss stitch without going bonkers though.
I highly recommend it as a pattern, although I would ignore the suggestion to knit with 2" of ease, as mine came out quite baggy..

In other news, I painted the door Insanity Blue. Despite the door being completely disgusting with layers of filth and mould and snail trails on it, and the blue being a massive improvement from that, I still can't live with it. It will have to go.
What were we thinking in the paint shop? Its like having a big brush poke you in the eyes every time you walk near it - its that blinding.
In other news, I am very excited to be working on a new craft kit...I love this one!!!...
and there's a 10% off voucher for my shop for the first person who can guess what it is...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lunar eclipse at Carrowkeel

Barely visible at first...
...but the moon got brighter and brighter as the shadow moved off.
What a lovely place to watch it from.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Peg Loom Workshop

I have a workshop coming up on the 18th and 19th of June in Cleen Community Hall, Knockvicar, organised by Knockvicar Organic Garden. It runs on both mornings, from 10am-12.30pm and is €45. Participants will make their own tuffet to take home. You also get plans for making a peg loom to take home with you. The details are here.

We will be using peg looms to weave tuffets with raw sheep's wool. A tuffet is a thick cushion/rug type thing - made famous by Bo Peep.

First you sort the fleece.

Then put the warp on your loom as below.
Then you weave away on your pegs.Twisting the fleece to give it strength.

Lifting the pegs out.
Et voila! The finished tuffets. They make lovely rugs or cushions for seats. They are especially good for sitting outdoors on - as sheep's wool is such a good insulator and practically waterproof with the lanolin still in it.
I hope to source some lovely fleece from some local rare-breed sheep. Pictured here is some gorgeous Jacob lambswool.

If you are interested in coming, call Knockvicar Organic Garden to book your place.

Advice Hankies opening

Well, the opening was lovely with a nice crowd.
The Ink Spot is the best place to have an exhibition as everyone got lost in the Aladdin's cave that it is and emerged smiling some time later.
The pieces look great scattered about......and there are even postcards available...
...and now, thanks to the inimitable Felix, new badges too.
Here is the piece I had written about the show...

I asked friends and family to give me some advice. It had to be advice they would follow themselves, or wished they did, something they had learned and thought worth remembering, no matter how important or trivial the subject matter. I was thinking about advice, and how easy it is to give it, but likewise how easy to forget it yourself. As one of the responses I got said - "Write down your advice to yourself somewhere as you discover it" - a reminder of how much we forget our own advice. Sometimes I wish I could carry my own advice around in my pocket - take it out to remind myself. So I took what they gave me and embroidered it onto handkerchiefs. I like the idea of a hanky as a multiple-use portable reminder. Now you can always remember your own advice.