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…]

Christmas Letters

Christmas Letters is the fourth in the Blossom Street series by Debbie Macomber. Katherine O’Connor likes Christmas and writing Christmas letters for colleagues in a Blossom Street cafe. She is faced with a dilemma, therefore, when she meets a man who has fundamentally opposite views but whom she also finds irresistible.

Christmas Letters Debbie Macomber

Katherine O’Connor (or K.O. to her friends) leads a busy life at Christmas time in Seattle. Not only does she transcribe medical texts, but she also has a holiday sideline writing Christmas letters for people who are too busy to write their own. K.O. spends her mornings in the French Cafe on Blossom Street using her laptop to create a more exciting and interesting story out of people’s lives. [Read more…]

Fleece Navidad

Although Kelly Flynn is a relatively new knitter, she is keen to join her friends with a charity knitting project, in Fleece Navidad by Maggie Sefton. Kelly also must solve the unexpected death of one of her knitting companions, in the sixth of the Knitting Mystery series.

Caffeine addict, Kelly Flynn lives adjacent to the House of Lambspun in Fort Connor, Colorado knitting shop. This Christmas, Kelly and her fellow knitters are working on charity knitting projects. The local librarian, Juliet Renfrow, is organising the season’s good will venture to create knitted gifts and all of the regulars are helping out.

Fleece Navidad By Maggie Sefton

Juliet Renfrow is a quiet “little brown wren” of a woman who is known for her stunning handmade capes. Her creations have been in great demand in the lead up to Christmas. But Juliet also has another reason to be happy; she is in love! Juliet’s beau is Jeremy Cunningham, a retired university professor. The couple are the perfect match and are so sweet together. [Read more…]

Purple Ripples Hat

Hand dyed sock yarn is truly beautiful and we’ve all fallen in love with that perfect skein and brought it home with us. I love to use up all of my left over hand dyed sock yarn. Small quantities of less than 10g are destined to become mitred squares.

Rippling Purples Hat

Regular visitors to the Knitting Squirrel will have noticed that I love knitting socks. When I knit a pair of socks for my mum, my sister or myself, I normally have between 30-35g of yarn leftover. This isn’t enough for a pair of fingerless mitts as they take about 50g of sock yarn. [Read more…]

Touch of Elegance Socks

Touch of Elegance Socks were designed as an elegant choice for using a skein of my hand dyed Merino Cashmere Nylon sock yarn in a rich Old Gold colour. For this luxurious yarn I wanted to add a touch of texture to the sock.

There is nothing quite as beautiful as a skein of hand dyed yarn. I love hand dyeing sock yarn. There is a touch of alchemy about the dyeing process. Part of the joy is that the depth and richness of the colours will still surprise you even if you have an understanding of colour theory.

Touch of Elegance Socks

The Merino Cashmere Nylon sock yarn takes the dye amazingly well. Hand Dyed Merino Cashmere Nylon Sock Yarn is a wonderful squishy soft yarn perfect for knitting socks, scarves, shawls, gloves and many other projects. The nylon content adds strength while the cashmere adds an element of luxury.  [Read more…]

Noro Dotted Rays Shawl

Dotted Rays Shawl is designed by Stephen West of WestKnits. I just love Stephen West’s gorgeous shawl designs. I’ve watched his Craftsy class Shawlscapes several times. I’ve bought several of his patterns although I haven’t knit all of them yet. Oh, I do love to have a few patterns on hand that I’m dreaming about casting on!

Noro Dotted Ray Shawl

Dotted Rays Shawl is a curved asymmetrical shawl. The garter stitch short row wedges gradually increase in size. While the yarn overs create beautiful rays between the wedges. [Read more…]