Tuesday, December 25, 2007


At school this year, the children made decorations from recycled materials. DD chose the milk jug and used printer paper. Accesorized with plenty of glitter glue and a bit of tape. Have to say, it's very cute and she's thrilled to have done it all on her own.

DS did a fantastic Christmas tree (not pictured) from a toilet roll with another (Santa) tucked inside. Pull the star at the top of the tree and Santa pops out.

Hope you all are having a Happy Christmas today.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Christmas

Well everything is done. Pressies are wrapped and under the tree. PS2 is wired for Europe from US. Bit of a worry there. No telling what we'd have to pay for a different one at this point. Whew!! No worries!

Milk and cookies are out for Santa and Rudolph gets the marshmellow.
Nice note from the kids wishing him a Happy Christmas from all of us.

Stockings are stuffed and over flowing. Fun stuff for all.

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas. May you all have a joyful day and season. God Bless.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Tis' the Season

Sometimes I think this would be a great job. Drive the van around with the festive bun on top. Sort of like the hot pink mini's in groups of 3-4 all painted with whatever radio station it is. Getting paid to sit in traffic!! Most days, I'd pay not to be in it.

Anyway, this chap lives in the neighborhood and the new family car arrived December the first in the drive! Wonder how long it will stick around after next week?

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Another Hat

Well it wasn't a last minute thought, but I needed to get a Christmas gift to the US. This is an easy and good looking hat. Knits up fast and with the progressive increase in stripes, I like the way it turned out.

Debbie Bliss and Rowan something. 5mm needles and away you go. It's as fast as this post!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Summer Jewels

Ok. Since I've not blogged about anything new in a month, I'll blog about something old. This was the start of the beading thing for me. I had these great earrings, but nothing to go on the neck. Since my hair covers the lovely earrings most of the time, I wanted a little something visible.

I had a chat with a couple of beader friends from the US when I arrived back and they lead me astray, to a lovely little shop in the
village of Winona Lake. Canal Street Gallery. Jewelry and beads. YUM!! How could I go wrong. I'll just make the one thing! HA!

I'm hopeless with the stone types, but it's aqua and matches perfect. Copper spacer beads, Swarovski Crystals and the large tear drop of the same stone. It's perfect for me. The great thing about this bead shop was the service. I bought the copper beads and they were a bit bright and new. "Shall I age them for you?" she asked. What? "Yeah" "Can you do that?" and off she ran to dip them in sulfate of liver or something that takes the newness right out of it! Great!!

So I was hooked. At the moment I'm surrounded by piles of beads, wire, magazines and tools, wondering why I can't find the perfect beads to complete the projects for the school teachers for Christmas. I'm sure what I have is fine, but I just want something that's a bit unusual in shape without being to bulky. Of course I need it buy next week, so I'm off the Bray tomorrow on the train to see what is available.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Plum and Berry

I really liked the way the first crocheted necklace turned out so I did another.

This one is with dark purple wire. 28 gauge, big hook, size J, variety of iridescent seed beads, fresh water pearls, 2 types of Checkoslovakian glass beads and disks of brown polished stone.

It takes 6 lengths of wire, each 6 foot long.

Start off with a simple slip knot. String the beads on the other end and crimp the wire so they don't slip off. Chain 3, slide the bead into the next chain, repeat based on how far apart you want your beads. Alternate the beads so that they don't all end up at the same spot on the neck.

Gather your ends together and twist them together at one end. Trim. Do the same to the other end. At this point, you can put on any closure that you like. I prefer the cone that covers the wire twist, but it's not neccessary.

With the extra beads, I made a pair of ear rings.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from the land where it all began. Here is a fantastic link on the History of Halloween and how it got to the US.

Hope you all have a frightfully good evening. My little ghouls were up at the crack of dawn, buckets in hand and ready to eat mass amounts of sugar for breakfast. "No, no" I say, wait until after breakfast!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Blue Faced Leicester

The last 2 days have been dyeing days.

Fibre of choice was Blue Face Leicester. This was pre-spun and fantastic to dye. Used food colouring, Kool-Aid and chemical dyes.

The fibre is also Blue Face Leicester and spins up beautifully.
Mostly chemical acid dyes on these. Tried to use up the bits left over from the first dyeing session.

Random dye pattern. Stripey, splashey, squirty and then some. DD helped out with the colour choices, so we have lots of brights and red/pink/purple combos.

I really like the dark one. It's dark brown, burgundy and gold nugget. I'd like to see how that spins up. It's always amazing how the twist effect the colours.

These are for the Knitting and Stitching Show that starts on Thursday. A mere 8.00 euro for 100 grms.
What a bargain!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I love birthdays and tomorrow is a great friends special day! So I decided to lay down a little felt project. Hopefully the internet is still down at the house so she won't read this before I give it to her. Bit of a risk!

She's a fan of warm drinks and has just moved into a new house. Coasters!! You can never have enough coasters. Well may you can, but not really cool looking ones. They turned out really good.

I like the hand spun intertwined with the store bought yarn. Photos aren't great to show the colours, but the oranges, greens and browns are yummy.

I used a Norwegian wool as the base that really felts up to a good thickness for a heat barrier. Started out with one large sheet and then cut it into 4 x 4 1/2 inch slabs. Felted them a bit more to soften up the cut edges and stretched them back into shape.

Hope she likes them.
Happy Birthday!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

All That Glitters

It all has to start somewhere. "All That Glitters" is the theme of the Feltmakers Ireland booth this year at the Knitting and Stitching Show. It takes a little nudge sometime to get out of our comfort zone. I would not be overly glittery. A bit of sparkle here and there, but not over the top.

In terms of yarn, I like something interesting if it's a novelty. This is to be used with a felt bag project that has been in the back 40 of my brain for a year or more. So, when looking for inspiration, just start digging. Without beading and adding lots of sparkly fibre, I was wondering how to get a project by the screening process. Time is in short supply for me.

I'd tried to do some stamping and embossing last month, really like the effect but, I blew up my heat gun. Wattage change from US to Ireland. Ouch! Smelled awful after I put it under the temperamental broiler for just a second or two. Maybe metalic paint and stencil, how about Gold Leaf. May just work. Now the challenge of finding it! Craft shops are few and far between on the island, similar to yarn shops. To bad, cause I've already started formulating ideas.

Found it and it was minutes from my house!! Great, zip over (relatively speaking) buy it and start the samples. This is the result.

Did a bit of playing with Fimo clay for the buttons and glitzy bits. Hadn't worked with it before. DD was enthralled, I was too! Fun stuff and quick results!

This is the begining layout. Silk chiffon with resist in the middle. Wisps of fibre over the top. Yarn arrange sporadically. More very fine wisps to secure the yarn.

The silk will create the Nuno effect I want and give the bag strength on the the inside. Fragile, yet durable. Is that possible. Yes!

Final Project!

Monday, October 08, 2007


I'm knitting another pair of socks. I got the yarn in the US this summer and loved the colours. Seems everything in my life right now goes with the socks in progress. The orangish shoes I got this summer, the plaid dress that is exactly this, only a tad heavier on the burgandy. I was sitting on the bus the other morning and realized that it went with the burnt orange dress I was wearing. It's hard to escape it. I was telling DH this morning about the weirdness of it when my smoothie comes to the table. Yes, it also matches the socks. Not the green bit, the orange/peachy. I also got these really cool silicone muffin liners. Notice the colour? I guess it's just that time of year. I'd better hurry before the Christmas theme comes in.

I'm doing the magic loop with both socks at the same time. That way if I make a mistake, it will be the same on both feet. The yarn is Merino and Bamboo. Should be good! I'm trying to overcome the "Thing" I have with hand knit socks. I love them. I've only knit one other pair. They sit in the drawer and look lovely. They go well with many things in my closet. The "Thing" is, I don't want to wear them out! I've worn them maybe 3 times now. So I'll knit another pair to have on hand. Then I'll knit another and so on until I have no choice but to wear them more often. Crazy, I know!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Aaahhh, I Think

Well, it's been utter mayhem since returning from the US in late August. Can't even fathom the load of events and planning that has taken place since our return. Several Birthday cakes, spinning demos and workshops, reorganizing, reading which takes the place of crafting for me, Feltmaking Exhibition, new school, new after school activities and trying to catch up with friends. Whew!!

First cake is the wheat free, egg free, at home birthday party. DD turned 8 and is insane over the Littlest Pet Shop stuff. You have to have a girl 5-9 to understand. Little plastic Bobble Heads with the gigantic Precious Moments type eyes. They're cute, harmless, innocents and that's fine by me. Also to big to be sucked up by the vacuum sweeper!

The next cake was the regular wheat, egg variety that all the girls could eat and would eat at the party the following week. She wanted a quilt type cake, so that all of the pets could have their own land. This is the result. She got to pick the colours and sprinkles. Squeals of little girls as the cake comes out makes it worth it. The wrestling over who took what animal home was altogether amusing!

Done with cakes for the next 6 months. Knitting to follow.

Monday, September 10, 2007


More catch up from the summer. I went to an amazing bead store this summer. It's the Potomac Bead Company. Located in Hagerstown, MD. Besides the impressive inside, the amount of precious and semi-precious stones was utterly fantastic. Huge bookshelf size spaces hung with beads in like colours and stones. Everything you could think of. Beautiful sterling beads and closers. I find those hard to find in the youth of this hobby. This is the store I got the fresh water pearls and green stones for the Crocheted Necklace. Good prices and huge selection. I could go on!

Anyway, this is Jade. Leaf cut and round beads, spaced with silver glass beads. First double strand that I've done. Lost one of them as I was putting the toggle on. Ooops!! Bit of a mess, but got it back together. It's a 16" and an 18". It looks nice on the neck.

I picked up some other beads, but I'm unsure of the project yet.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

On the Way to the Airport

This is more of a catch up since I've really been doing no knitting to speak of, over the past several weeks. I'm still unpacking and trying to remember were I've stashed things. Anyway, I started this bag before we went to the US and I took it along to find lining for it.

Success!! And I don't think it could have been closer unless I dyed it myself. Not really, I'm not that good. Lucky is more like it. As we were rushed for time near the end of our visit I had to prioritize. Crafting took a back seat because family always wins out. So, the nearly complete bag was finished in the van on the 3 hour trip to Chicago.

It's a basic 2 x 2 rib with Colinette Point Five and Ribbon that is fairly close in colour. I only had 2 100 grm balls so it needed to be a mini project. It has a 2" cuff around the top and an I-cord for the strap. The colours are amazing in this yarn. Olives, celery, mauve, plum, mustard and oysters. Sounds like a good meal. Really deep and rich.

I also found it hard to get a good shot of it. I found that I couldn't really have the driver hold it up cruzing down the Dan Ryan Express way. No go. Safety first. So we have a lovely shot of the gray seat and what's that? Oh a bag dangeling down below.

The next is one on my lap. Also not a great shot, but I had hoped to get the texture and colours in there. Hard telling.

All finished up with an hour to spare and an outside pocket to stash the scissors and needles in. I have another couple of balls that I may do something a little different.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Christmas Gifts

Well, I have to say I was busy this summer, but mostly I was busy on making Christmas gifts. All are done and left with my mother back in the US.

We landed back in Ireland on Tuesday and I am still suffering from the jet lag. So we dug into the boxes that we left behind and have begun to make a good size dent. What a good feeling to tear down boxes and get rid of even more stuff.

Back to the real world and school can't come soon enough. The kids really need something to do and I need for them to have something to do as well. Monday... How many hours is that???

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Crochet 101

This is the first Crochet project I've ever finished. I found that most people either knit or crochet well, but not both. There are exceptions... you may be one.
I have mastered the simple chain stitch and that's about it. It's probably the pattern reading. I loose track of where I am as soon as I put it down. Anyway, this is the project. Jewelry and needlework!

I used sterling wire. 28 gauge and a large J size crochet hook. Dyed fresh water pearls in celadon green and peacock. The cubes are a gemstone of some sort. I was distracted by the colour. Yummy!! There is also a smokey crystal that's hard to see in the photo, but it adds a hit of sparkle.

5 strands of wire at 6 feet each. Leave 2 inches. String 15 beads on and chain 3. Slide a bead down and chain three more. Work until the last 2 inches. This makes a 16 inch necklace. Do all 5 the same. Twist all the strands together and fasten off however you choose. I used a cone with a hook closer.

Really fun with great results. I will definitely make more of these. I may even put them on the Etsy shop if I ever get around to posting stuff up.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wool Hat

Hard to believe this is 100% Wool. Amazingly soft. I may need to go off the yarn diet for a bit of this.

It's Berrocco Pure Merino. Low shrinkage and did I say how soft it is. Man!! Pretty good colour range as well.

This is present #4 completed. Easy pattern with a good result.

I like the way the top makes such a nice effect with the decreasing.

Reminds me of a quilt block of some sort. I did the larger size on bigger needles to accommodate the head size of the recipient. Fits the sons head without much stretch and the wide cuff is adjustable.

Yikes!! New Look

Ok, I had to try it. Customize your blog. Took a few hours and lots of redos, but I got it to a point that I like.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Wide Striped Bag

This is from the stash as well. It's really working out well that I have so many small amounts of yarn. Again, Lopi (orange), Manos (yellow and red), Lambs Pride (pink). The pattern is made up as I went along. I wanted something different in the shape, so I short rowed after about 50 rows.
I embroidered the lazy daisies on before the fulling.

The blue is from a yarn swap and I think it's Berocco. The multi coloured yarn picks up the other four. When for the square button and set it at an angle.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Stripey Bag

Here is the next Christmas gift done and dusted (Fulled). I used Lopi, Manos, and Craftspun yarns from the stash. I have a niece who is mad about purple. I had no ideas how furry the Lopi was when fulled. It was a small hairy animal that I pulled out of the washer. It was a little bit frightening, not what I expected at all. I have brushed it many times and still need to pull some of the pills off, but she'll really like it.

The pattern came from Felted Knits by Beverly Galeskas. It has lots of pattern to choose from and a wide variety of projects. I still have a lot of yarn to knit in the next 3 weeks before returning home. Yikes!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mohair Shawl

Not a great picture, but this is the shawl after blocking. Started out with 5 stitches and increased 2, then did Garter Stitch for several rows. I continued increasing on both ends and on either side of the center stitch on the front side. It was odd working from the top down. It was a knit experiment thing.
Couldn't quite figure out which end was the top and what was the bottom, but it really like it. Hard to tell, but it has 6 rows of garter stitch every 4 inches. It will be warm and fluffy this winter. It's not itchy either. I bound it off with Collinette Ribon and it adds a nice touch to it.