An Unexpected Sweater Journey

What are my WIPs at the moment? Mainly sweaters. Which seems utterly extraordinary to me. I cannot really fathom it. I started 2017 with the aim of knitting one sweater this year. I haven’t knit a sweater for myself before although I have knit many Sasha doll sized sweaters. I’d never really been interested in knitting sweaters. They are a large project that take a lot of yarn and time to complete and not a project that I ever considered to be particularly portable. So I surprised myself when knitting a sweater became my New Year’s Resolution for 2017.

Joyride Jumper by Drops Design

Joyride Jumper by Drops Design

At the start of the year, in January, I was going through a pile of knitting magazines, tearing out any patterns that appealed to me when I came across the Joyride sweater designed by Drops Design. I ordered the Drops Karisma yarn online from Purple Sheep Yarns. And by the end of January I had almost finished the body. When it was set aside. [Read more…]

Yarnfolk Festival of Wool Part 3

The third part of our visit to Yarnfolk Festival of Wool in Whitehead. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

I was looking forward to visiting Lighthouse Yarns. I used to enjoy going to Lighthouse Yarns when it was in St Georges Market and had always intended visiting the new shop when it opened in Whitehead. It is a lovely cosy shop full of yarn, notions and gifts. I’m looking forward to a return visit when it isn’t quite so busy, which it was on festival day, with a busy workshop going on and full of festival visitors.

Yarnfolk Festival of Wool 2017 [Read more…]

Jujuy Shawl

The Jujuy Shawl designed by Joji Locatelli is a crescent shaped shawl which is one of my favourite shawl styles. They drape beautifully when you’re wearing them.

Jujuy Shawl by Joji Locatelli

I always bring a knitting project with me when I go on holiday, although usually I think I’ll have more knitting time than I do, and invariably bring at least one back up project too many. [Read more…]

Yarnfolk Festival of Wool Part 2

This is the second part of our visit to the Yarnfolk Festival of Wool in Whitehead. Find part one which is all about the beautiful yarnbombing of Whitehead here.

One of the wonderful things about attending a yarn festival like Yarnfolk Festival of Wool is the opportunity to chat to people, both visitors and vendors. I enjoyed chatting to Kate of the Hawthorne Cottage Craft and meeting Bernie and Eric of Bear in Sheep’s Clothing (both of whom have podcasts that I listen to).  The Belfast SnB group had a relaxing seated area on the stage in St Patrick’s Parochial Hall and if I’d been coming to the yarn festival with other knitters or on my own, I’d probably have brought a sock wip and spent a while taking in the atmosphere, but I wasn’t and I wanted Neil and Maya to really enjoy the day too!

Yarnfolk Festival of Wool 2017

Of course, if you are going to attend a yarn festival, you usually want to be wearing one of your own knitting projects. This is my So Faded sweater which is the first jumper I have ever knit for myself. At Christmas, my New Year’s resolution was to knit a sweater for myself during 2017. This is mine! I used 6 colours of my own Knitting Squirrel hand dyed yarns and the project was a pleasure to knit. I saw a few other So Faded sweaters as I walked around the show. [Read more…]

Yarnfolk Festival of Wool Part 1

Whitehead is a seaside town that was a popular holiday destination in Victorian times. Although it isn’t very far from Belfast, I’m ashamed to say, I had never visited Whitehead before, which is odd because I do love a lighthouse!

The festival was spread over 4 venues: Whitehead Community Centre; Church of Ireland Parochial Hall; Methodist Church Hall; and, Lighthouse Yarns. This actually improved the day as it was lovely to walk around the centre of Whitehead and to wander between the venues.

Yarnfolk Festival of Wool 2017 [Read more…]

World Wide Knit in Public Day, 2017

I spent Saturday afternoon with the Belfast SnB group for the World Wide Knit in Public Day 2017. They’re a wonderfully welcoming group of ladies and so much fun to knit and chat with. This is a very talented group of crafters with knitting, crocheting, embroidery and spindle spinning all taking place.

The Dock WWKIP Day 2017

They were meeting up at the Dock Cafe near the Titanic Building in Belfast at mid-day. It’s a very exciting year for this fun loving group of friends as they’re celebrating 10 years together. [Read more…]

Back on Blossom Street

Is love enough, too much or is it time to leave?

In Back on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber, Lydia Hoffman’s new knitting class brings together women facing very real problems in their lives. They find the solutions when they share their hopes and fears whilst at the same time taking part in a little bit of knitting.

Back on Blossom Street 3

Lydia is a cancer survivor who recently opened a new yarn store called A Good Yarn on Blossom Street in Seattle. Margaret, Lydia’s sister, also works at the yarn shop. Her daughter Julia has recently learned to drive and when Margaret lets Julia drive her brand new car she is shocked, to find that she has been the victim of a carjacking. The culprit had escaped and left Julia in hospital and the family is understandably upset and emotional. But Lydia is astonished when she discovers her sister’s reaction to the incident. [Read more…]

Twenty Wishes

Can a wish change your life?

Twenty Wishes 8

In Twenty Wishes, by Debbie Macomber, a group of four widows contemplate their deepest desires and set about changing their destinies. [Read more…]

While My Pretty One Knits

When Maggie Messina is accused of a rival shop owner’s shocking murder, the Black Sheep knitters are formed to defend their friend. The peaceful town of Plum Harbor, Massachusetts is the setting for While My Pretty One Knits, the first of Anne Canadeo’s Black Sheep Knitter mysteries.

While My Pretty One Knits 1
A group of keen knitters meet every week in the little New England coastal village to knit, gossip and catch up on local small town news. There is Maggie the owner of the Black Sheep, Lucy a divorcee graphic designer, Dana a psychologist, Suzanne a mum and estate agent and Phoebe a funky college student who is also Maggie’s tenant. [Read more…]

Isn’t Life Amazing?

Thank you for all the kind messages asking me how I am.  It really has meant a lot to me to know how much you care.

Isn't Life Amazing 3

The nicest thing of all though is being out in the fresh air on springtime walks with Bene in the park and at the beach.  We really don’t care if it is raining! [Read more…]

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2017 – Part 3

After arriving at the festival bit late on the Friday (due partly to our plane from Belfast needing to be replaced due to “technical difficulties”) I decided to get there early on Saturday morning.

Outdoor Seating AreaOutdoor Seating Area

I had a lovely chat with a lady from Montreal as we waited for the doors to open at 10am. I told her my mission to buy a skein of Hedgehog Fibres yarn for, my wife, Nicolette and my concern to get the right colourway. She justifiably commented that I couldn’t go wrong with Hedgehog Fibres. But, she added, it had been so busy on Friday that some ranges were close to selling out by the end – I think Jamieson & Smith were one mentioned. [Read more…]

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2017 – Part 2

One of my Scottish friends, on hearing that I was visiting a yarn fest in Edinburgh said “well I suppose they have festivals for all sorts these days.”

Well, yes they do. Especially Edinburgh, which seems to be a bit of a festival Mecca. But the Edinburgh Yarn Festival (EYF) is not just any old festival, as far as Nicolette and I are concerned.

Edinburgh Corn Exchange with queue

Although this is only the fourth EYF, it is already a huge event by most standards. There are about 100 contributors, with only the top talent given space for their displays. From Kate Davies, Brooklyn Tweed, Eden Cottage Yarns, John Arbon Textiles, The Threshing Barn, Ysolda – the list goes on. Not to mention Blacker Yarns, KnitBritish, Knitmastery and The Teapot Trust in the side rooms. Then there are the classes too… [Read more…]

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2017 – Part 1

This was to be Nicolette’s long awaited first trip to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival.

My name is Neil and, as Nicolette’s husband, I can remember her talking about going to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival since it first opened four years ago.

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2017 Collage
[Read more…]

Time…

Wolf-Refuge-6

So this is a slightly different post to my usual knitting posts as I don’t really go into my personal life very much on the Knitting Squirrel. I prefer to keep to knitting projects, yarn and a little bit of travel to interesting places. [Read more…]

Norwegian Star Hat

I love giving useful Christmas presents that I know the recipient with enjoy. This is particularly nice when it is a hand knit gift.

In September when we were visiting my sister and brother-in-law in Britanny, I happened to ask if there was something my brother-in-law would like for Christmas, other than the usual socks. [Read more…]

Box O Sox KAL 2016

Box O Sox KAL 2016 – Early in 2016 I was watching one of my favourite podcasts, Yarngasm. Kristin of Voolenvine Yarns who does this fun podcast mentioned her new KAL running on her Yarngasm Ravelry Group.

BOX O SOX KAL 2016…

My ears pricked up. Literally.

I don’t often join KAL’s, well, this isn’t completely true, I join but other projects I’m working on for the Knitting Squirrel to show how beautiful the new yarns look when knitted up, normally take precedence, so I normally don’t finish the KAL in time.

Box O Sox KAL 2016

But, I mean, a box of a minimum of 12 pairs of socks by the 1st January 2017… This sounded like a huge amount of fun. You’ll all know if you visit the Knitting Squirrel regularly, I do love knitting socks. This gave me the perfect opportunity to start 2017 with 12 lovely new pairs of socks just for me… positively decadent! I finished with 14 pairs of socks. [Read more…]