What was meant to be 2 friends, 2 weddings, 2 dresses turned into, 3 friends, 3 weddings, 2 dresses, 1 or which I made and 1 of which I borrowed off my lil’sis in a panic. Not quite the same eh?! So I’d been planning on making two totally different dresses; the first was gonna be yellow silk with navy lace yoke and fitted, and turned out to be a fail due to a malfunctioning zip and exceedingly fraying fabric which meant I couldn’t replace the zip and still fit into the dress. After a little cry I went and borrowed a dress from my sister. A floor length one at that, which was a revelation, I felt very elegant and glamorous – not normal sensations for me at all!

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The second dress on the otherhand was to be loose, swingy, voluminous, and from an at the time to be determined fabric, possibly wool, preferably jewel toned. I have quite the gr√° for a particular style of Mod-Era dresses that are fitted through the shoulders and then swing out and away from the body. This was the kind of feeling I was going for, one I’ve tried to capture before but never successfully.

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A friend in the office showed me this dress ages ago and it stuck with me. Except I envisaged it less pink, heavier and with more swing! Like a LOT more swing ;-)

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So I got to sketching and thinking and generally mulling everything over – this part takes me quite a while. I mentally draft the pattern and sew it up several times before I ever actually do anything. Is it fear that I won’t do my idea justice, or that once it comes out of my head and becomes reality it’s just not that good? Who knows, but it’s lengthy process nonetheless.

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Its been a funny ol’time to be Irish. We’re a small nation with a troubled history. A divided country. Our two main political parties were formed when the main aim was to regain independence. The catholic church wields an astonishing power. There is corruption and turning a blind eye. These are the big things, the things that will be slow to change, and the things that haven’t helped us over the last while when everyone felt the recession in some way or other… dear friends find themselves without jobs, without hope, leaving the country, already out of the country but not seeing an option to come back. It can be lonely when your people are no longer right here. And then there’s the feeling of being a nation under scrutiny from outside… events like the tragedy surrounding the death of Savita Halappanavar, the recent Panti-gate, and the now less discussed bank crisis draw international attention and political decisions like bank bailouts have long reaching effects for all of us. Hopefully we’re through the darkest days but we’re not out the other side yet, Phantom Fm broadcasting it’s last ever tune before midnight last night is a stark reminder that there are still people losing their jobs shutting up shop, desperately restructuring to stay afloat.

So today, when everyone celebrates what it is to be Irish, and people around the world continue silly traditions like wearing green (and apparently pinching each other, neither of which I even realised was a thing until the Flickr group for Me Made March opened my eyes one year!!) its a good day to celebrate being Irish, and not through getting plastered while wearing a tri-coloured jesters hat… We may be small but we have a creative soul and one of my favourite ways of experiencing Ireland’s creativity is our music scene. Nialler9, an Irish music blogger, asked for nominations, from the last 5 years, for a Modern Green playlist, what resulted is a 5 hour long spotify playlist that I’m just gonna leave here;

 

my personal favourite being number 68;

Come On Live Long – Little Ones (Official Video) from Come On Live Long on Vimeo.

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It was my defacto brother in law’s birthday yesterday. A decade landmark. I wanted to add a handmade edge to his present. What better than a hand-knit Peppa?!

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I followed this womens weekly pattern and if I’d given myself more time to knit this and actually read ahead I’d’ve made some changes, like knitting the body in the round, maybe even knitting the arms and legs in round on dpns as well.

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I’d’ve used icord for her tail and I wouldn’t knit the shoes as separate pieces to be stitched on – they have the same amount of stitches, why not just change colour?
Her dress is sewn from some red fabric left over from dolls I sewed for my niece a few years ago, all seams neatly pressed, top and bottom edges hemmed and with a buttonhole for her tail!  I also stitched on circles for cheeks as I didn’t have time for embroidery.

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She’s a little bit wonky but still recognisably Peppa (once the dress went on!) and went down well at the party. Hopefully she’ll be looked after well in her new home!

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I’ve been knitting along with the Ysolda Follow Your Arrow Mystery Shawl Knitalong. I kept up with the clues each week until number 5 which I’m still working on a few weeks later. One of the lovely Irish Twitter Knitters assures me it gets quicker as it goes because the rows get shorter. All will be revealed in due course!

What’s this, an ACTUAL blog post, goodness where has the time gone?! Honestly, I’ve been having lots of real life fun and less computer time – yay for me!! I have lots to share, new stitchings, of the sewn and knitted variety, tonnes of plans as always, and adventures to recap but for today just a short little post to share the AMAZINGNESS that Solvi pinned earlier on that I can NOT get out of my head. I want it. I am going to have to make this happen… behold;

The pattern is for one size (about 40″ around and pretty long) and the whole thing is knitted in the round, with the sleeves done on dpns and added on for a yoke finish that incorporates the whole lot. I’m thinking a lighter weight, (would sock yarn be crazy?) and shorter, and a bit less roomy, like say a couple of inches positive ease and hitting at my hips/around jeans pocket height with nice long but not too wide sleeves… I suspect resizing and reshaping and well knitting the freaking thing would take some effort, a lot of knitting related maths and possibly make me feel like I needed 8 arms, harharhar, but as the title suggests, I HAVE TO HAVE IT.

Hello peops, in less then 2 weeks time I shall be boarding a plane to take me to visit my dear emigrated friend (and in a nice turn of events, Summer!). I’ll be staying in Melbourne for approx 2 weeks, with a weekend trip to Tasmania thrown in for good measure, before we head over the seas to Auckland for another week, at the end of which I will have to return to real life, work & next year!
Why am I telling you? I would like recommendations for both Melbourne and Auckland… fabric and yarn shopping, galleries, museums, must sees? Sources for merino by the metre, where I can touch before committing (my icebreaker baselayer is starting to show its age)? Is there a particular area I should hit up if I was pottering about in Melbourne? For example if someone was coming to visit Dublin I’d send them to the triangle that encompasses the Powerscourt Centre to visit This Is Knit, Article, Reubens and then across the road onto Castle Market to Murphy Sheehys, and if they had time off up to Kilmainham to IMMA and the garden of rembrance if the roses would be blooming.
So have you been to Melb/Tas/Auck? Any suggestions?

Remember this picture?

wpid-20130608_164305.jpgBack in June I went to a Creative Embroidery Workshop in the space above The  Constant Knitter. I loved it, came away with a little sampler that I had stitched myself of each of the stitches on the sheet Maria had prepared for us all. I went from the workshop to the hairdressers via Reubens for some threads and later that same day I sat down and started on my Shy Girl and Shy Boy cushion covers from Sublime Stitching. I now have both the girl and the boy completed (since taking the pic below) and am working my way around the borders.

IMG_20131027_224914It’s pretty slow going but in that lovely mediative way that knitting is. I varied the number of strands that I was using depending on which part I was doing and it quickly became apparent that I’m rather fond of the chain stitch, but stem stitch, satin stitch, back stitch and french knots have all found their way in there too.

Next step will be to get cushions to go inside and perhaps even a couch for them to sit on!

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