31 January 2011

In other news

I have found out where nominations for your favourite crafty blogs should go.

Apparently, all us fibre-bloggers are to be included in the "LIfestyle" category. So! Now you know.

On another awards front, the Crochet Liberation Front Award nominations are also open, over on Ravelry. Have you seen a lovely pattern this year that just blew your mind? This is where you go to make designers super happy.

27 January 2011

Oooh, Awards Season!

So, Awards Season has come around again, and I for one am excited!

Irish Blog Awards 2011 Nominations are open. Last year I was among a host of great crafting blogs who were lucky enough to be nominated, and I urged everyone who read my blog to take the time to go to the Awards site, look through the categories and get all their nominations in.

I read a lot of Irish blogs, and I'm already looking through my bloglist to see who deserves my nominations. It's gonna be difficult, though... With so many active, Irish blogs to choose from, narrowing it down may be more difficult than you think!

Now, I'm actually not sure where crafting blogs should go. A friend has asked the guys in charge where we should put our choices, so stay tuned for more info!

25 January 2011

Cats with good taste.

There are few things in life that I love more than animals and crochet, but, combining them has always seemed like a bad idea.

In past experiments, the animals usually come out ok; the crochet usually emerges worse for wear.

Until now.

Cat + Crochet = Cute as hell.



This is Lily, the chatty cat. She mews to get in, she mews to get out, she mews for food, mews for a rub, mews 'cause she likes the sound of her own mew, and mews (it appears) to let me know she's settled down, very happily on my crochet.

The crochet in question is my Etain shrug. Personally, I think it looks better on her than on me.

24 January 2011

January Joy

It is almost impossible to believe, with the dark nights, and even darker days, that Spring is almost upon us.

But, the end of January, and the dawning of February is, indeed, the start of Spring here in Ireland. The good times are just around the corner, and I'm glad to say, I'm seeing signs of it already.

It's one of the many things I love about my little island, the westernmost outcrop of the European Union (Or, the European Onion, as I've been calling it, as it seems to be making most people cry!), and arguably its most troublesome member these days. We currently seem to have no money, no government and no idea how to lift ourselves out of the funk into which we have descended.

Still, I for one am taking my queue from nature.



On a walk today, with the doggies, I spotted sign after sign of renewal, growth and tentative colour returning to the drab beauty of the Irish winter. Even though the leaves on the ground seem only to have fallen in the last few days:


Buds are appearing on trees:


Veg is beginning to grow:
mmm, rhubarb

Grass is getting greener:


and the light shining on everything is starting to take on more of a glow. The world may appear to be tumbling down around us, but as long as there's growth somewhere, we'll be OK.

20 January 2011

You can't keep a good thing down

And so, I have decided it's high time this little gem of a scarf saw the light of day. This is my Friendship Scarf, a pattern which has been long in the making.

It'd be perfect, I think, as a thank you gift to a special person, or as a token of affection to a far-away friend. We all have one of those these days. It's made with ONE skein of deliciously soft Mirasol Miski, and only takes about an hour to complete... just don't tell your friend that!



19 January 2011

43rd Best Crochet Blog?

You betcha!



Sometimes, I like to look at who has been visiting my blog, and where they were linked from. Often this just tells me which of my patterns on Ravelry are the most popular week by week, but sometimes, like today, I spot something which makes me go "Squeee!"

According to this lovely site, I am crochet blog, Numero 43. And you know what? I'm flippin' delighted!

Who knows? Today, 43...
Tomorrow...42?

11 January 2011

Opinion Tuesday: free-pattern websites

I recently made my feelings known on the topic of free-pattern sites.
I know this is quite a contentious issue, and one that needs to be tread upon lightly, but I just can't accept the perception difference between crochet and knitting which is bolstered by these sites.

For me, crochet is a growing, vibrant and flexible art. It's worth just as much as knitting, and sites which do nothing but promote "free crochet" do so much damage to the image of crochet:

Firstly, they lead the public to assume crochet isn't worth paying for. Good design, whether it be knitting, crochet, tatting, or whatever is ALWAYS worth a few bob. The time, thought, talent and experience which goes into a good pattern is huge. To lead people to believe it's "just" a pattern is, to me, terrible.

Secondly, the patterns usually available on these free sites are going to be of a less than fantastic quality. So, people browsing them will only see the lower end of the creative spectrum. This, in turn, I believe, strengthens the argument that crochet is all cheap yarn, ponchos and place mats.

And that is so sad!

Talent should be recognised, in every field, and I for one promise not to undermine my fellow designers' time, effort and skills by submitting to free-pattern sites.

But, how about you? Have you found anything worthwhile on free sites? Do you submit to one yourself? Do you agree or disagree?

10 January 2011

Happy Christmas to me!

Time for a present.

So, what with 4 patterns confirmed to be published this year, I thought I deserved a little present to make my life as a perpetual crocheter a bit easier. So, today, on a trip in to my LYS This Is Knit, I bought myself a swift!



Isn't it lovely?
It goes round and round and round, and the yarn doesn't tangle. Genius! So, so much better than the bockety, rickety, half-broken clothes horse I've been using up until now.

09 January 2011

New Year, same 'ole stash

Well, I dunno about you, but I'm a bit burned out after Christmas.

I made most of my presents (including two, very lovely tea cozies I completely forgot to take photos of!), was working on a few patterns which will crop up in magazines in the coming year, have been searching for an editor for my very own, have featured in a magazine, and now on The Dublin Knit Collective website as one of the designers in a series on socks.

Between that, all the turkey (sandwiches, soup, curry, more sandwiches...), and all the snow we were blessed with, I think I can be forgiven for hiding away for the first week of 2011.

I have few resolutions this year, apart from the usual (lose weight, crochet from stash, teach my aunts to crochet...), mostly because I end up not keeping them, and then feel bad. I fail because i can't say no to chocolate, or new yarn, and my aunts just do NOT want to learn the art of the hook. So, what's a girl to do?

Stay in, eat everything, order yarn online and relax, that's what!

Still, Happy New Year, everyone!

Let me know how you have faired so far in 2011. Any resolutions?

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