Knitting Club has Come to an End

Knitting Club has Come to an End

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As you probably know I started and ran a knitting club with the help a few beautiful assistants, Ros, Katie, Claire and Lianne. We five and a lovely bunch of girls got out the needles for a session of bitch and stitch once a week for six weeks…well we did most of the bitching and they did most of the stitching.

My plan was to blog weekly about the trials and tribulations of the knitting club…however I was, a. Too lazy and b. Too busy to fit it in…but mostly too lazy. So here I am letting you know what’s happened over the past six weeks.

Admittedly the first session was not a roaring success. The girls struggled with the idea of casting on and it may have caused one or two tears (mine) So in preparation for the following week I cast on and knitted three rows 15 times, one for each student. That was a task And a half! However it was very appreciated by the girls which gave me quite a boost.

Over the next 3 weeks the girls practiced garter stitch and all of them at some point managed to knit more than one row which I felt was a great achievement for all of them. Week 5 saw them choose the colour wool of their choice and begin to knit their project which they would take home with them (and yes I casted on 15 pairs of needles) the girls all managed to knit at least one row of their project which I then finished knitting for them.

The girls were very pleased with this and I was told I was their favourite teacher (FYI not wise to say in front of other teachers…it causes friction in the staff room)

The girls then casted off their own projects which they had some difficulty with but they all managed to do at least three stitches themselves. I felt this was a great achievement considering that casting off is one of the harder basics to learn the same as casting on.

After they had sewn up with edges of their knitting to make their bracelets they went on to knit on buttons…however…the needles may have been too chunky to fit through the eyes of the buttons (probably should have checked that one out) Thankfully my beautiful assistants got creative and decided to make bows out of contrasting coloured yarn and then hand thread a button onto each bracelet.

The girls were extremely proud of their bracelets which was a real boost to end the session on.

Whenever I walk down the corridor or walk to the shop and see one of those students I hear, “That’s my knitting teacher!” and I have to say that is one of the greatest titles I have ever been given.

So to conclude this extraordinarily long article I want to say a big thank you to the ladies that helped me teach 15 girls to gain an interest in knitting which they will hopefully carry on in their lives. So if you are thinking of starting a knitting club I highly recommend it as it is a rewarding experience to watch the skills of the children grow, I would recommend doing a club for longer than 6 weeks though.

Happy Crafting!

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What’s in store for Christmas?

What’s in store for Christmas?

Model: My Mammy

Bear with me as this article is going to be a bit longer than the usual. This one is FINALLY going to be dedicated to what creations I have made as presents for Christmas this year (not all of them otherwise this article will become an essay) I took these photos a couple of months ago with the enthusiastic thought of getting this article done…as you can tell that didn’t come to fruition, but nevertheless we are here now.

Just a quick note to say that my creations have been modeled by me and my long suffering mother. She has put up with my wool cluttering the house, my WIPs being everywhere and me getting her to pose in different ways so that I could show off my projects in the best possible light with my amateur photography. So on with the article!

Ok, so this first piece is technically a cheat because it is from a few Christmases ago. So, do you  remember when I said that I had made myself a cardigan and then gave it to my Mater…well I’m gonna talk about that. One reason being it was in fact a Christmas present (all be it that it did not intentionally start that way) Secondly, it’s been a few years now so I wouldn’t be able to write a whole piece on it.

This cardigan, was knitted in a cheap wool and I can admit that now (now that I actually have more of an idea what I’m talking about!) Therefore it is not luxurious to wear, it is a very simple pattern and I can also admit that it is not the neatest bit of knitting you will ever see in your life (not the worst either, if I do say so myself) For me the biggest problem is that I did an incorrect increase on one row and therefore it looks like I have dropped a stitch on the back piece of the cardigan when in fact it is just a hole created by my not having bothered to look up the correct increase.

The colour I love which is the main reason why I bought that yarn (so much so that I still have some left) This, unsurprisingly, took me a while to knit as it had to be knitted in stages so inevitably I got bored and started other patterns. However, for the first piece of clothing that I made to fit an adult I am still pretty damn proud of it!

The next piece is a crocheted piece. It was YET AGAIN a piece that was intended for me and I have admittedly worn it once or twice, however it was just sitting in my wardrobe and I wanted to use it to give as (what I thought would be) a pretty impressive present! It is a shawl in the most beautiful blue (as I am  sure you can guess there is still plenty left in my stash) However, I got too lazy to crochet the embellished edgings that were part of the pattern.

I did however decide to do this for the Christmas present because we can all admit it would have been pretty lazy not to considering someone is going to get this for Christmas (I hope the lucky duck who is going to get this for Christmas is not reading this article if you are…it is all meant with love!) I chose a very bold striking pink for two reasons, 1. It contrasts nicely with the rich colour of the blue and 2. It was spare wool that I knew I didn’t have enough of to do a whole project and with it being pink it is not my colour!

I sits just on the shoulders and can be tied at the front with the thinner ends of the shawl. With the embellishments around the edge, the shawl has a lovely curl to it.

Next is a pair  of crocheted wrist warmers/finger less gloves. I know your probably thinking when is she going to change the tune? Well these wrist warmers happen to be quite different besides the obvious i.e. they are crocheted. The pair also have the thumb crocheted as well. Admittedly these are very snug and that is probably because I crocheted them a little too tight so if you have bigger hands you won’t be getting these otherwise you will lose the circulation in your thumb!

Also the added difference to these is that there is a frilly cuff around the wrist as a final embellishment. I made these in a dark grey wool (I spotted it in a charity shop and instantly knew I wanted to do this pattern with it) with the cuff in a striking blue contrast (coincidentally the same blue wool that was used in the shawl) Though snug these wrist warmers really do the job and keep your mitts nice and warm!

(I’ve just realised that all except one of these patterns is crocheted, that was not the intention but it’s good to mix things up a bit!)

Right, I’ll leave it there otherwise you’ll never come back to read again! Congratulations if you lasted this long, I much appreciate the support and commitment you have made to becoming an Und Grannier. Unless you read this far just because you were bored and you needed to do something to pass the time or to avoid conversation then I’ll say your welcome, I hope that this blog piece has done something to alleviate you problem.

Happy Crafting!

Another Project Bites the Dust

Another Project Bites the Dust

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Autumn sunsets and crispy leaves are what these colours say to me 

No surprises I have finished another project whilst being here. This time it is a gorgeous hat. Again this pattern was from my new book about chunky wool, but it is the wool that does all the talking in this piece.

It just screams Autumn! Possibly my favourite season, this hat encompasses everything that I love about the season. Snuggly woollies and blazing colours. It caught my eye instantly and I just had to have it.

It is possibly the simplest hat I have ever knitted, and I am not complaining there is nothing I love more than a simple pattern. Knitted in garter stitch it is simply a piece of fabric that gets folded in half and sewn on two sides, with the third edge being the hole for your head, it couldn’t be more simple.

This is the perfect hat if your are trying a chunkier yarn and needles then you are used to because all it requires are your basic skills. I will be the first to admit all I have are the basics. The wool is delightful to knit with, Hayfield Colour Rich Chunky, similar to James C Brett Marble Wool (coincidentally that is the wool that I used to knit my Dad’s scarf in) The colours are vibrant and you get a lot of wool for you money (happily it was on sale when I bought it)

Since I have so much wool left over I am making a matching scarf…whether this will be for me or as a Christmas present is anyone’s guess at the minute! I am knitting it in a simple garter stitch to match the hat so again it could not be simpler…I might have to employ this method more often.

Have a look in the Photo Gallery to see this yummy hat from various angles, which is beautifully modeled by myself…..moving on. So keep a look out for this wool I would recommend it to anyone!Garter Bobble Hat.jpeg

Happy Crafting!

The One You Have Been Waiting For

The One You Have Been Waiting For

Admittedly one is better than the other but this is the first time I’ve made these 

You will all be glad to hear that I am quite recovered! Health is with me again so I can get back on track with studying and crafting and general Und Granny activities

So the teaser I left you with was about a pair of something. Some of you will already know as I have been talking with you since I have been away. Some of you may have guessed and most I hope are on tenterhooks awaiting the big reveal. Well I can tell you that I crocheted a pair of…mittens. These things are some of the cutest mittens I have EVER made. I found the pattern in a book I bought from Vibes and Scribes (you know…Nirvana) all to do with knitting and crocheting using chunky wool. This is the part where I tell you that my absolute FAVEY yarn to knit and crochet with is chunky, from just chunky to super chunky (super chunky being my fave favey)

These mittens were super easy to crochet and are so snuggly warm (you know how much I love snuggly warmness) They are longer than your average mitts coming past the wrist by about 8cm. At first I thought I had done them wrong because the picture in the book doesn’t show the full length but when I completed the second one and it was the same size I gathered that was the intention. No chance of getting a chill on your arms with these bad boys.

I went for a very neutral coloured yarn, which is not me at all for those you are aware of my colourful yarn collection. But there is something…classy and feminine to this colour that made me want to use it. That and there wasn’t as large a selection of colours in the super chunky as I have seen in other places. But then again chunky yarn can be a little more expensive to buy and use in projects so that could be why more colours are not stocked.

Nevertheless these mitts are one size and will fit most hands. I would definitely say that these mittens were meant for women, however I have also made mitts that fit men and will put them up soon.

So there you have it, the one you were waiting for and yet again they were mitts…just a different style.

Happy Crafting!

Struck Down

Struck Down

Tea fixes all…yes this has been filtered

It has finally happened to me despite my best intentions…I am ill! For weeks I have anticipated this fateful day, with germy children and people coughing and sneezing around me. No amounts of antibacterial gel have helped and the day that I started taking cold and flu tablets because I felt the first throngs of illness I get full frontal illness the next day. I soldiered on as it was knitting club and I had a group of eager young knitters awaiting the fun that was to unfold. However when I got home that night I can could guarantee that I was not going to be able to enter the building of education the next day!

So here I am lying in bed, watching YouTubers such as the marvelous Louise Pentland aka Sprinkle of Glitter and the delightful Zoe Suggs aka Zoella. I’ve also been reading the brilliant blog by my talented friend Blend It Like Saza http://blenditlikesaza.blogspot.ie/ (here is the link so be an angel and give it a read)

This article isn’t about knitting exactly more me moaning and looking for sympathy (I can hear the collective aw’s from here)

I have been knitting today however and I will show you the other WIP (work in progress) that I have started since I began my adventure in Ireland. I have however, and you will be proud, completed a project whilst I’ve been here (crowd applauds) it is a gorgeous  pair of…you’ll just have to stay tuned and see (mwahaha) I will be uploading a couple of pieces as I have a few things to chat about as a couple things have been made and started.

So do think of me, or if you are suffering from illness yourself my thoughts, sympathy and understanding are with you. Strive to create during your current bout of illness as a little sense of achievement can go a long way during the path to recovery!

Happy Crafting!

Nirvana

Nirvana

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The beauteous building that holds the stuff of dreams

Apologies for my absence, I have been a very busy bee with work, studying, knitting club and doing a little knitting and crocheting of my own. However, I have finally gotten around to writing up about Nirvana. Many of you who are reading this should know what I am talking about because by now I would like to hope that you are faithful Und Grannier’s who are following my random yet creative train of thought, dare I say it…choo choo (sorry)

If you are unfamiliar with Nirvana, I happened to come across a magical manifestation of it in the form of Vibes and Scribes here in Cork. It is a paradise dedicated to crafters of all walks of life from knitting, to cross stitch, to sewing, to card making. It is a sanctuary that awaits those with busy fingers and a desire to create. However it gets better (I know how is it even possible) This version of Nirvana is also dedicated to books. Loved second hand books and new books. Books on all topics with pages that speak to people from all walks of life.

It really is a haven that brings people together without fear of judgement or prejudice. This slice of paradise nestled on a hill in Cork City invites people to succumb to their deep desires (or obsessions, it depends how long you’ve been at it I suppose)

If you live nearby or are visiting go along to Vibes and Scribes and walk into the warm embrace and lose yourself in Nirvana. They are at 3 Bridge Street if you want to indulge in your crafting fancies or they are at 21 Lavitt’s Quay if you want to lose yourself in the words of many from over the centuries (however crafty books can also be purchased alongside your crafty materials) However if you are not lucky enough to embrace Vibes and Scribes physically you can spiritually…well virtually at http://vibesandscribes.ie/

What are you waiting for? I don’t need to tell you anymore!

Happy Crafting!

Christmas is a Callin’

Christmas is a Callin’

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Snuggled under a chunky fleecy blanket crocheting this cutie 

I just couldn’t help myself…my fickle ways got my fingers itching…I’ve started another project. A crocheted cable scarf! This is a completely new endeavor for me, I had no idea you could cable with crochet but there you have it and I am giving it a whirl. It also arose from the stirrings of my Christmas fever, if you hadn’t guessed by now I am crackers about Christmas! It is…”The most wonderful tiiiime of the yeeeear!” (sorry I couldn’t pass up on that opportunity) I have no idea if this scarf will be for me or inevitably…for someone else as a present for Christmas.

The nights are getting darker earlier, the chill of Autumn is creeping in…and there is rain non-stop (Welcome to Ireland or Failte go hEirinn) But for some mystical reason the buzz and sheer joy that I feel started to creep up inside me the other night (I hope my buzz isn’t peaking too soon!) It could have been the red wool, or the fact that I have been doing my Christmas shopping, both online and in the shops as I hate shopping in December I just get all flustered and end up having a panic attack. Confession time however…I think my shopping is nearly complete, that could be a good reason as to why I might be peaking a little too soon.

Nevertheless, I intend to hold onto this feeling as I think it just adds a slight sparkly spring to my step and rubs off on others around you. Anywho back to the scarf (told you I waffle)

This scarf is something that I have fallen somewhat in love with! It is so very different to anything that I have ever attempted before, as a matter of fact I don’t think I’ve ever crocheted a scarf before?! I started this new adventure snuggled under a fleecy blanket enjoying the sound of the rain with a nice hot cup of tea…hot chocolate would have been better but there was none in the house.

It was a pattern that I got free online, yes you heard me correct FREE ONLINE! A word to the wise though, get to grips with how to either knit or crochet first because you’ll be able to spot any patterns that are, shall we say…below par? This pattern however is turning out to be quite a treat.

It is a chunky cable but I think that adds to the robustness of the pattern, pretty ideal for a chilly winters day don’t you think? As I’ve said before crochet makes for a stiffer fabric then knitting so choose your wool wisely otherwise you are going to end up taking a layer of skin off your neck, not a pretty picture. Back to cheerier matters shall we?! It is a simple pattern to follow and you just repeat the same series of steps over and over until you reach the desired length of scarf.

I can’t give a final verdict on this particular scarf but I will keep you up to date on my progress! Go on then what are you waiting for…GET CHRISTMASY!

Happy Crafting!