Jewelery Making Workshops - Weeks Two and Three

Week two of the jewelery making workshop was wire work which was a little more challenging than the introduction. I'm not good at explaining what we did but basically we twisted, bent and cursed at wire until we formed a pair of ear rings and a bracelet.

Week three was ring making level one. We used wire, buttons and beads to make rings. This class seemed to be something you either loved or hated. Luckily I really liked it. The rings turned out really well. I really liked the heart shaped one with the gold wire. Reminds me somewhat of my own. (And yes my heart really does have wire in it)

Belliveau Cove Hat

It's been a busy week and a crafty one too. As well as making some more mini hats I was busy making a hat for a friends birthday. It's a pattern from Crochet Me called Belliveau Cove. It's a shell stitch hat with a little brim. I made it using Kilcarra aran tweed in green and Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in purple. It's a very easy and quick pattern which works up into a really nice hat. I also made a mini version of this hat in cotton for my new baby cousin. It's terribly cute, hopefully I'll get a photo of her it in at some stage. I forgot my camera so didn't get any photos of it as I handed it over when I finished it.

Before my jewelery making class on wednesday I called into the new branch of This Is Knit in the Powerscourt Centre in Dublin's city centre. Damn forgetting my camera! It's a lovely little shop with lots of yummy yarn in many different colours. It's a great location as well, there's a lot of posh shops in the centre so maybe this will help convince people that knitting isn't a chore and only for poor people. These days it's trendy and about designing things you want. I sometimes get odd reactions from people when I say I knit, they seem very surprised. As if a young person couldn't possibly knit.
Anyway I bought some lovely yarn in This Is Knit, some Kilcarra aran tweed to make a hat for the husband. And some Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb to make a cowl to go with the mittens and hat I'm knitting. I really like the look of this cowl. I have an awful weakness for yarns with silk in them, they are so soft and the silk gives the yarn a lovely sheen.

I did some sewing this week. My Mum has a sewing machine which she is going to sell to me when she gets a new more powerful one. So until that happens I use it when I visit her at home. At the moment I'm learning to make curtains. We're decorating our bedroom and the curtains and bed runner will be made by me. Curtains aren't actually that hard to make, you just need to be able to sew straight which I can do most of the time. I find when I get to the end of the material I start to go a bit wonky. I'll put some pictures up when the curtains are finished.

Even more mini hats

Warning: mini hat making can be addictive!

Today I crocheted five little mini hats. Here they are posing on a smoothie bottle.

More Silly Hats! This time mini ones

The wonders of Ravelry eh? One minute you're reading a thread and next thing you've been convinced to spend your Sunday sitting in a park knitting tiny hats. Let me explain... This year Innocent Smoothies are running The Big Knit in Ireland. They want knitters to make loads of mini hats for the top of their smoothie bottles. The bottles with little hats will then be sold in Topaz and for every one sold Topaz and innocent will give €1 to Age Action to help keep older people in Ireland warm in winter.

Stephanie from The Yarn Room who has a stand in the People's Park in Dun Laoghaire every Sunday organized a big knit in. So I decided to go along and make a few little hats. One of the girls from Innocent was there supplying free smoothies for us to drink and put our hats on. A few people I had only met on Ravelry were there too. It was nice to meet you guys!

So then down to the serious business of knitting. A couple showed up and gamely decided to learn to knit and they produced two little hats at the end, well done! Here's a photo of an all too rare sight, a man knitting! Fair play to him.

I decided to crochet some hats as my knitting is much slower than my crochet. My first one was a mini beret.

Gwen from Ravelry came along with her very impressive stash of over 30 little hats! Each one was cuter than the last.

See aren't they adorable?

As the day went on more knitters arrived and more little hats piled up. The one on top of the stack here is my second one.

Eventually there was a little sea of mini hats.

There were beaded ones and fuzzy ones.

People were so creative with all the mini hats that I'm sure all these little hats will sell and make lots of money for Age Action. They're very addictive to make as they only take a short time, I made four that afternoon. Hopefully I'll be able to make more and send them in by the deadline of the 22nd of October.

From The Big Knit - People's Park Dun Laoghire, Oct 2008

The Porterhouse Octoberfest

The Porterhouse Oktoberfest arrived this year to brighten up the autumn and some Irish Craft Brewer members went along to the launch which was especially notable as the Porterhouse has a new brew this year, Alt, which you guessed it is an alt style beer. The Beer Nut went along and gave a good report of the beer. Some ICB members gathered on friday night in the Porterhouse north to sample the new brew.
SBillings and The Beer Nut had some vouchers for a few free pints so of course we went along. First up was some food, I'm very fond of the pizza. Then the serious business of beer appraisal began. This of course meant that the Beer Nut donned his drinking hat. As you can see this was a serious hat from Munich.

Ed got the Gandalf look on in his.

I haven't had this style of beer before. The guys tell me it's an old style of german beer where ale yeast is pitched and the beer is fermented at a lower temperature. The beer is then lagered cold. It produces a beer with a cleaner, crisper taste than is the norm for an ale. I really liked the Porterhouse's take on alt beer. It's malty, sour and crisp.

The staff have even got in on the Oktoberfest vibe and went round with pretzels which were nice but amazingly salty.

It was Sean's birthday which gave him super drinking powers. His pints were blurred such was the speed of his drinking.

More photos here.

Jewelery Making Workshop - Week One

I've always wanted to learn to make my own jewelery. I tried beading before and managed to make a few necklaces which were ok but not great since I didn't really know what I was doing. I find it really hard to follow beading instructions from books and websites so I decided to do a course. I signed up for an eight week course of evening workshops in Beads and Bling in Temple Bar.

The course started last night with introduction to jewelery making. There's a group of eight of us. Our instructor is lovely and very patient with all the questions. We went through beads and findings and the tools.
Then we made ear rings which are amazingly simple to make. Once you get the hang of making the loops for the top then it's easy. I will now be making ear rings to go with everything.

Then we moved on to a necklace and I finally discovered how to put on the clasp properly. I chose an orange/yellow/brown colour scheme which worked out really well.

After this we made a bracelet. I made a simple enough bracelet that goes with the necklace and ear rings. It'll be a nice change to have some matching jewelery. The bracelet is finished with wireguards and a crimp guard so that it looks professional. It's pretty fiddly to do and one of my crimp guards was closed a bit off but it does make it look really well. You can see it in the photo below.

Here's the entire set.

And the glamour shot of the set.

Next week we're doing introduction to wirework. We saw some examples from this class and they look amazing so I'm really looking forward to it.

Finished: Tempting

Here is a photo of my finished tempting from knitty. It's a very popular pattern probably because it's easy to do. It's knit all in one piece in a stretchy 2x2 rib. This means you don't have to be that accurate with the fit and you don't have to do any sewing at the end.
I made a few modifications to the pattern. At the top I changed to green for a few rows before casting off. I then crocheted on a mesh border with a picot trim. I also edged the sleeves with single crochet as it made it look a bit more finished. I added a crochet leaf for autumn but I didn't get a picture of it yet. I really like how it turned out as it fits nice and snug. The sublime merino, silk, cashmere yarn is nice and warm as well, it has a lovely sheen to it as well.
I had hoped to finish this much earlier in the season as it would have been perfect for the cold Irish summer we just had. It's supposed to autumn now but I think the weather has decided to bypass all that and just go straight for winter. So maybe I'll have to wait until next spring to wear this.

So now that this project is finished I'm free to start some others. I think it's hat time of year again. Himself is demanding some sort of earwarmer that will fit under a cycling helmet. I think this pattern by Amy O'Neill Houck might just fit the bill. I also have a new baby cousin so I'll crochet a cute little hat for her.

The session - Beer and Memories

The session this month is being hosted by The Bath Tub Brewery on beer and memories. Is there a beer that reminds you of a specific memory? Here's a few.

Real english ale from a hand pump always reminds me of Yorkshire and caving. After a hard cave a pint of ale and a pie is super tasty. It often reminds me of the trip when I was still a young energetic caver and decided that I would climb back up the 80 metres of rope to get out of Alum pot.

Orval and the other trappist beers remind me of when I lived in Kilkenny and discovered the The Wine Centre. There are so many churches and monasteries in Kilkenny that I'm sure back in the day the monks used to brew interesting beers just the belgians still do. Orval is my favourite trappist beer. I love the yeasty aroma and the slightly leathery taste. The photo is of St. Francis Abbey in the middle of the brewery in Kilkenny. It's the less seen view of the abbey from the back with it's beautiful intact window.

When I have Fraoch heather beer I'm reminded of a trip to Edinburgh for hogmanay. Dave and I went to visit a friend of his and his girlfriend. The trip was a bit of a disaster as Dave's friend had an infection which I also got. We both sat there so sick we were unable to leave the apartment. Dave's friend even ended up in hospital for a while. So the celebrations were a bit muted to say the least. We did get to try this lovely beer while there though.

Hoegaarden in a big huge glass with a slice of lemon reminds me of bicycles and Holland. I lived in Eindhoven, the world's least exciting place, and spent many hours cycling around it on the lovely flat cycle paths on those lovely kronan bicycles.

At the moment I'm decorating the house so maybe the taste of the banana bread beer I'm having at the moment will mix with the smell of paint and remind me of decorating for ever more.

Boozeberies and Ice Cream

Having bought some boozeberries at Septemberfest in Farmleigh I decided to try them out and I discovered a lovely combination. Blackcurrant Boozeberries poured over Maud's Ice Cream in Poor Bears Delight. I got some cheap Prosecco and I think some boozeberries poured into it would make it taste much nicer. This could be an ongoing series I think.