Wednesday, December 17, 2014

In Good Company

A quick post as I get caught up in all of the holiday hubbub. Last night at knit night we talked about what we do while knitting at home. These days I am doing a Downton Abbey rewatch and find it perfect for the late nights.

I also enjoy podcasts and just got caught up with Kim Werker's new Podcast "Compulsory." She speaks with various creative types about our compulsion to make things. Quite a smart and fun listen.

I also like "This American Life" and "Pop Culture Happy Hour."

I'm also looking for a good audio book. One of our knit night regulars reads on her Kindle while knitting.  I can't seem to do that well. I end up either having to re-knit a row or re-read a paragraph.

What do you all enjoy while knitting? Any good audiobooks or podcasts you recommend?

Friday, December 12, 2014

1000 & Blogiversary Special #3

1000 posts! That is crazy to think about. As I looked back through some of my older posts I found these sets of pictures and they summed up what this blog has meant to me!



Thank you guys!!! I think I'll have to make an updated friend photo collage for an upcoming post.

So our next blogiversary special is all about quick gift knits. I can't believe it is less than two weeks until Christmas! I definitely am not as organized as the Yarn Harlot with her spreadsheet. In case you are like me, I've picked some of my quick knit patterns on sale for this special.

From Dec. 12-15 (11:59pm PST), receive 50% off the following IGK patterns:

Alpine Lake
Miles to Go
Naylor Street
Sweet Baby Kate
Winter Wonder

IGK Quick Gift Knits Blogiversary Sale #3

All of these patterns require just one skein of yarn. Ok, well, not Alpine Lake, but it is knit out of bulky yarn and it knits up quickly, I promise. And if you don't have any bulky yarn, mix those bases. Take your favorite worsted and sport weight and knit them together. The cowl can be oversized!


There is a smaller cowl version of Winter Wonder that takes just one skein and would make a perfect gift. Erica knit this one above a few years ago. I think it would look great knit up it the yarn I just ordered from Bare Naked Wools, Kent Worsted.


So a quick update on my gift knitting. It isn't going that well, and I really only have two or three gifts to knit.


The tween's fingerless gloves are moving along slowly because going back to work full time has kicked my body's butt, literally. I was exhausted on Saturday. And this week in a lot of pain again. Ugh. But I'll have time off over the holidays soon!

And I know I mentioned the glove pattern would be done soon. Next week....I promise! They are super quick!


Then I need to knit this cutie pie a little something. I'm thinking a stuffed animal maybe. We'll see. She's not tolerating hats too much lately. Hmmmmm.....

How's your gift knitting going? Any last minute deadlines?

Oh, and speaking of gifts. Our contest winner is Renee Anne! Congrats Renee!!! Send me an email or message on ravelry with your address and I'll mail them out to you. I hope you and the boys survived the nasty storm we've had here in the bay area this week.

Lots of rain today......Puddy was a bit wet after her walk tonight.


Happy Knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Let's Spread Some Cheer!

Wow! Time is sure ticking away quickly and the holidays will be here so very soon!

I am loving all your comments. Thank you for sharing your traditions and for your support of Irish Girlie these past 8 (!) years - I'm so thrilled to be a part of the team.

To answer Irish Girlie's query about holiday traditions - I'm all about the food. Especially tamales! If you've never made them, they are very labor intensive so they are traditionally made during Christmastime.

Tamale making day

I also love Christmas music. I can't let the season go by without listening to my favorite albums: A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector and Elvis Prestly's Blue Christmas.

Here's a Christmas Mix I made a couple of years ago with a bunch of my favs:

On my needles right now is December's pattern of the month a lovely Pont Neuf. My knitting bag is from Slipped Stitch Studios. Recognize the fabric?

If you do you're a true Disney fan. It is the wallpaper from the Haunted Mansion! I had to snatch it up when I saw it.

Keep those traditions coming over on the contest blog post!

And don't forget about the sale on popular IGK shawl patterns.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Blogiversary Special #2: IGK Favorite Shawls

First, I'm so glad that so many of you took advantage of the blogiversary specials this past weekend! There's still time to enter the contest too.

I think you'll love this next group of patterns. I sure do. Take all those single skeins of sock yarn and bam: color color color! And if you aren't quite ready for that, there are one or two favorites that require just one of your favorite skeins.

IGK Favorite Shawls Sale

From Dec. 9-11, the following IGK Favorite Shawl patterns are 50% off, NO COUPON NEEDED: 

This year's favorite has definitely been Glacier Point.


Shown here in Anzula Cloud, such a lovely yarn. You should also check out these lovely Plucky Knitter versions.


Which shawl is your favorite? Have you knit any of them already or have any of them planned for your January once the gift knitting is done?

We'll have one more group of patterns on Friday and they'll be perfect for last minute gift knitting and hopefully a new one for gift knitting too! 

Happy Knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Monday, December 8, 2014

Beginning to look a lot like Christmas


It may not be decorated yet, but I love having the tree in the house.


Cranberry orange muffins. Now we are ready for the holidays. Something about cranberries just mean Christmas to me. Here's the recipe. And in a pinch I've used orange juice in that recipe and they still taste perfect :)


And some Christmas socks for me. I probably should be working on the gift knitting, but Saturday I was exhausted and needed some comfort knitting. My friends often tease me for having matchy-matchy project bags and yarn, but this yarn was specifically dyed to match this fabric! Yarn is from Canon Hand Dyes and I'm loving it!

Today is the last day to take advantage of the first blogiversary sale!

IGK Favorites Accessories

More details in the last post. I'm also loving your holiday traditions comments in the contest too! Still time to enter that too.

I hope your week is off to a good start. We'll be back tomorrow with the next group of patterns on sale!

Happy Knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Saturday, December 6, 2014

8 Years.

8 years of blogging! You guys rock for still stopping by this space- whether from the start, a few years ago, or just recently. It might be every few months, just to look at the pictures, it might be through a blog feeder (is that what they are called) or quickly on a break at work so I understand if the comments aren't as frequent. The main thing is that we have created this awesome knitting community through blogs, knitting, ravelry, twitter, instagram, LYS, retreats. You've become my friends, many in real life, and many more virtually. So thank you!!

The past few years we've celebrated here by putting some of my most popular patterns on sale for 50% off. This is the only time I do this, so please spread the word and take advantage! And since Tricia, aka Cheekyattitude, is on board this year as part of the IGK team and will be helping out, we are making this EXTRA fun! There will be three separate groups of patterns on sale over the next week or two, but they'll be a surprise. Plus we have some other fun things planned. It is the holiday season after all!

First up..... IGK Favorites: Accessories! All the patterns shown below are 50% through Dec. 8, NO COUPON NEEDED.

IGK Favorites Accessories

One of the most popular IGK designs this past year has been Fiar. It saw a revival this past year with the lovely gradient yarns, especially those of Black Trillium Fibres.


I also released a new sock pattern this year, Contorta, in the lovely Bare Naked Wools Breakfast Blend fingering. It had been awhile since I had designed a sock pattern so it was nice to see so many of you respond so positively to it. Thank you!

The Sleepy Hollow Collection, San Mateo,  and Cotty Socks are also on sale.

Summer Wind.ts.3

And of course, my most popular pattern by far, Summer Wind. This one and Cotty really jumpstarted my design career. But this infinity scarf (and San Mateo too) continue to be "potato chip" knitting! You can't knit just one. It also featured my fabulous duo of Thayer as my model and Tricia behind the camera, with one of my favorite yarns Plucky Knitter Primo.

Any of these would make great holiday gifts if you started now too. By the way, how is your holiday knitting going? Don't forget about our IGK fall/holiday KAL over on Ravelry. My holiday knitting is slow going while I finish prepping the new pattern that Tricia showed you in the last post. But our holiday celebrating did start last weekend with our annual trip to the Dickens' Fair.



Magpie is awake for tea this year!


And she didn't quite know what to make of Father Christmas.

Next on the holiday list is to get our Christmas tree this weekend. I'd love to hear how your holiday plans/knitting/merry-making is coming. Are you in the holiday spirit or is this time of year a harder time for you? If you don't particularly celebrate the holidays how is your December going? Any special knitting?

I did a little Black Friday shopping for you guys from Knitterella. Leave a comment sharing something about your holiday plans, traditions, knitting, etc. and one of you will win the prize below. And if you mention in the same comment that you'll spread the news about the contest or sale (e.g., twitter, instagram, ravelry, Facebook, on your blog) you'll be entered twice. Be sure to leave a way for us to contact you (e.g., rav id).


Oh, and one more sale I have to tell you about because you know I LOVE all things Knitted Wit. Lorajean's birthday is Sunday and she is celebrating with a birthday sale. Everything in her shop is 34% off with the coupon code: birthday34  More details here I'm definitely getting some Sassy Santa!!

Have a  great weekend!!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Few Favorite Things

Thank you all so much for your thoughtful responses to my cast-on question. Thanks to you, I'm using a cable cast-on to do the longer version of Pont Neuf, December's IGK Pattern of the month. It seems a good choice for a large number of stitches.

Pont Neuf Infinity2      Pont Neuf cowl

But the shorter cowl is nice too don't you think.

Irish Girlie's list of Cyber-Monday deals got me thinking about my own favorite things for knitters:

I'm a sucker for cute project bags and A Needle Runs Through It always has fun fabrics.

Did you see "Big Sky," new yarn from A Verb for Keeping Warm? It looks so lovely and lofty:

This row-counter stitch marker is genius! I have two and when I pick up projects, I immediately know which row to start back up on.

You can get them from the Knitifacts Etsy Shop

And a new favorite is coming soon to the Irish Girlie Designs collection.


 A seriously swoon worthy design I got a sneak peak at during a photo session today.

Keep a lookout for its release as well as some upcoming specials because it is BLOGAVERSARY Time!

I'd love to hear about any of your favorite knitterly things.

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Knitter's Kind of Cyber Monday

It's late Sunday night, so I can't really imagine saying Happy Monday, especially not after a lovely long holiday weekend. So instead, I hope your Monday is kind and gentle. Happy December though! Let the holiday celebrating begin!


I hope you had either a happy Thanksgiving weekend or a lovely weekend. Mine was lovely and filled with lots of family time, until today where I ended up in bed with a sinus infection. But after lots of sleep, I'm starting to feel better, and now can't sleep. Isn't that how it goes?

My Black Friday was spent in jammies buying some yarn from the Plucky Knitter update. I don't have too many gifts to buy this year, but the ones I do, I think I have under control. A few to knit I am finally starting. But I thought I'd share with you guys the Cyber Monday deals that us knitters are interested in....just in case you need to do any shopping for YOU this year!! I'll be honest, I bought some for me already!

But first, I need to answer Tricia's question from her post over the weekend. It was a great question about casting on and how long is too long, in case you missed it. First, I prefer to use the German Twisted Cast On Method. We learned it from JC Briar from her Cast On Class at Sock Camp (highly recommend any of her classes if you ever get a chance to take any of her classes). And I use a general guideline of about how much yarn to set aside when casting on by setting aside about 2.5-3x the amount of the final project measurements. So if these gloves should be about 8", I would set aside 24" (but I probably set aside more because I'm a generous guesstimator).


But this amount of tail leftover wouldn't bother me at all.


And this is why. I'm a end weaver. I try to weave my ends as I go along. ALL. THE. TIME. They bug me. And yes, these are matching fingerless gloves to go with the Sorin hat. You guys have seen these and I'm keeping my promise on not casting on new designs. These are a gift. I'm just finishing up the pattern and hoping to get them released in the next few weeks. The worsted weight version knit themselves practically! This was my progress today.....sick, asleep most of the day, and in bed.

Ok, so back to Cyber Monday!

Today receive 25% off all IGK patterns AND ebooks (this is the only time already discounted ebooks are included in the sale). NO COUPON NEEDED.


Reminder, my new design, Sorin is on sale for $5.00 through Dec. 7, but the additional After-Thanksgiving sale continues through today.


And since it is December, our new pattern of the month is Pont Neuf, which will be on sale for $4.75 the entire month. (so today take advantage of that extra discount!!)

Pont Neuf Infinity3

But there are plenty of other places to do some knitterly shopping. MarlyBird has a great list with TONS of Cyber Monday deals.

A few highlights from that list....

Knitterella is offering 25% off all of her patterns (on ravelry) AND products in her shop with the coupon code BETHANKFUL  I stocked up on a few things, but especially these holiday gift tags for gifts.

Bare Naked Wools and Knitspot are offering a few discounts. My favorite though is that the previous Fall in Full Color Club ebooks and Bare Naked Wools Club ebooks are 50% off! They include up to 17 patterns each and are over 200 pages practically! I love the ebooks that I already have so completed my collection this weekend. They really are stunning and a steal for 50% off. A separate deal is Cyber Monday is free shipping with purchase of $75 or more.

Also, Jennie the Potter is having an update at 11am central time! Yay! And she's also doing a special collaboration with Miss Babs and that update will be at 12pm Eastern on Miss Babs site (double yay!).

Any other places I should spend my paypal money today??

As I mentioned, my weekend was filled with lots of family time and I have to say, I love being able to hang out with Magpie so much. She is definitely out of hat wearing practice. We had to take a gazillion pictures just to get these few of her wearing a mini-Sorin hat. Here are a few to make you smile.



Happy December! Let the holiday knitting continue!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits