Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Home At Last

Finally, I'm back and ready to start posting again. Sorry I couldn't make any entries while I was away but the technology was not as available as I thought it might be.

I had a lovely holiday, which was for the most part very relaxing. I had a fantastic visit with my Grandma and my Aunty Gillian in Brixham, England. They made me feel so very welcome and very spoiled while I was there.

Here's a photo of Aunty Gillian and me and one of Grandma with their cat, Petal.

Me and Aunty Gillian on the quay at Brixham!

Grandma and Petal, the lovely ladies!

Grandma and Aunty Gillian live in a beautiful little cottage overlooking the marina in Brixham. Here's a picture of the view from their cottage window.

Brixham Marina

In the middle of my visit with my family, I visited the Aran Islands to do an Aran knitting workshop with Mairead Sharry of Inish Oirr. She taught me how to read and knit Aran patterns, how to design my own Aran panels and how to weave. In addition to making an Aran hat and an Aran panel, I made a crios, the traditional woven belt of the men of the Aran Islands. I've never done any weaving before and I fell in love with it.

Mairead at her spinning wheel!

I got to try the spinning wheel, too. I didn't fall in love with it quite as quickly as the weaving, though. I don't think I have the patience to spin. I just want to get on with the knitting and weaving! But I did feel very successful with the Aran knitting.

Aunty Gillian wearing the Aran hat I made! Aren't they gorgeous?!

Another view of my handywork.

Mairead is a warm and generous woman and a joy to work with. I so enjoyed my time there and I recommend a workshop with her to anyone who is interested in combining travelling and knitting. You can reach her via the internet at www.aranknitting.com. She has an email address there so you can contact her to arrange your own workshop. I know you'll have tons of fun!

Here are some views of Inish Oirr. It is incredibly beautiful!

Mairead's cottage where the workshop takes place on Inish Oirr

O'Brien Castle

Chapel Village Church

Well, I've been home for a few days now and am trying to get ready for school. I'm taking two classes to finish up a degree I've been working on for a while. All my requirements will be finished by Christmas and then I'll have a science degree along with my teaching degree. Then who knows what I'll try next.

In addition to my studies and working, I need to keep up with my knitting projects. I've already started on my list of Christmas presents and can only hope that I can get it all done in time. (Yes, I said the C word. I know it's only August and I'm already thinking about Christmas, just like every good crafter.)

Now that I'm thinking about everything I need to get done, I guess I better sign off and get busy. Until next time, take good care, M

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Projects Past

These are some of the projects I made over this past winter while living up north. I was very inspired by the winter weather and by the enthusiasm of the kids in my knitting club.

Specialty Mittens!

These mittens were made for my friend, Terry, who has very small hands. I modified the pattern so the wrist, the thumb and the length were all just right for her. I also had a blast working with the boa in the mittens. They are very soft!

I've also made a specialty pair for Scott because he has very large hands, though his mittens are not made with boa.

Maeg in her Caribou Hat!

This is Maegan modeling her hat. It only took me a day to make and I love the shape of it. Although the pattern calls it a reindeer hat, where I was living last winter, it is unmistakably a caribou shape!

Mussy's Christmas Sweater

This is Terry's dog, Mussy, showing off the sweater I made for her. It was a pretty hot day in July when she was modeling it so she looks less than thrilled to have it on. However, I'm not sure she likes to wear any kind of sweater so she may never look thrilled to wear it.

Nordic Socks for Gloria!

This pair of socks is for my friend, Gloria. She asked for a pair in these colours (blues and grey) after she saw me making a pair for my brother in greens and blues. I was honoured that she asked me to make something for her.

A Dozen or So Scarves!

I love the wonderful boa, fun fur and eyelash yarns (among others) that are around these days. They knit up so quickly into scarves. I think I made one for everybody I know just so I could work with the fantastic colours.

I'm off to England and Ireland tomorrow to visit with family and to do an Aran Knitting workshop on the Aran Islands. I hope to have access to a computer so I can post and maybe even upload some pictures. Just in case you don't hear from me for three or so weeks,

Take good care, M