Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Good Things.

There are so many good things to be thankful for this time of year. Especially considering how things were at this time last year. I'm still not quite where I hoped I would be, but I'm grateful that I'm having better days and my doctors are working diligently at helping me figure out the chronic pain issues. And best yet, I'm getting back to KNITTING!

So on to the good things.

1. A new pattern!! A more detailed post to follow, but it is a great slouchy hat and a quick knit. Here is Sorin.      

The pattern is on sale for $5.00 through Dec. 7 (but see below for the Thanksgiving sale that has started for an additional discount!!!).

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It seems fitting to release this pattern today of all days. 172 years ago today, a 28-year-old priest and seven companions took possession of 524 acres of land on a cold afternoon in Indiana. Father Sorin's vision and dream became the University of Notre Dame.

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I finished this hat right before my trip back to my alma mater and I knew it would be the perfect place for a photo shoot. Thank you Erica for taking the photos!

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2. I made Jam. I know, nothing earth shattering, but I've been wanting to make jam for awhile and finally made raspberry freezer jam last weekend. Freezer jam is much easier than regular jam. For some reason I'm scared of making "real" jam. I need either Maggie aka Socksdoc or Candy aka Erica's Mom to walk me through it. Or an entire weekend to just do it.

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But the freezer is stocked with delicious raspberry jam!!

3. Dear sweet Puddy. She had surgery last week and had 14 teeth pulled :(  That's in addition to the many she had pulled a few years ago. The vet said it is most likely genetic and she'll be fine even though she only has 13 teeth left. And she is fine. But you know, a rough week for worrying me mama. Good thing is she is fine and has a cute new little smile.

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Yes. That little tongue hangs out pretty much all the time now.

4. Christmas knitting. The grand plans. I'm making them. Who knows how far I'll get? How about you?

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5. A quick afternoon in the city last week was just lovely. And thank goodness Tartine is not right around the corner from me. I would eat their break EVERY. DAY.

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6. It is time for our annual After-Thanksgiving sale!! And I thought why not start it early. Receive 25% off all IGK patterns and ebook collections (the only time of year I include the collections in the coupon) in my Ravelry Store. NO COUPON necessary, through December 1. 

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Wishing those of you who celebrate it a very happy Thanksgiving, and for those of you who don't, Happy 28 knitting days til Christmas!

Happy Knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Thursday, November 20, 2014

One for me... Two for you: Knitted Gifts and the Holidays

Nephew with his snowman and Santa skull t-shirt


Earlier this year my 5 year-old nephew saw me knitting (not uncommon) and asked me if I would make him something. When I asked what he wanted he replied: "a snowman."
Me: "A snowman?"
Him: "YES! A Snowman" Looking at me like he was doubting my comprehension of the English language.

A few weeks later at a holiday family gathering, I gave him the snowman I made with felted eyes and nose. Thrilled, he posed for a picture in one of his favorite holiday t-shirts: a skull with a santa hat and candy canes.

It was April and we had gathered for Easter.



The holidays are almost here with the shopping and the cooking and the baking and the eating and the gathering and all the craziness that goes with it. I'm tempted to set up a spreadsheet like the Yarn Harlot. Lately, I've been giving knitted gifts throughout the year, as I finish them. That way I'm enjoying the knitting time as relaxation rather than stressing out about the deadline. I'm always knitting something for somebody on my list for a Christmas gift, but I choose carefully. Usually it's for my grandmother, the person who taught me to knit and still knits at 93. My grandmother works on her gifts throughout the year and stashes them away until the holidays. In theory, that sounds great, but it usually doesn't work for me. I'm so thrilled when I finish something that I have to give it right away. I can hold back with purchased gifts, but barely.

How do you manage your knitted gift giving? A database, spreadsheet, or checklist? Any tips for keeping things sane during the holidays so you can enjoy the moment?


Don't forget:

To help with your holiday knitting, from now through November 26,  25% off all IGK patterns ($6.00 or less) with the coupon code: HOLIDAYS

Sunday, November 16, 2014

And then there were none.

I've been slowly knitting away on the last of these fingerless gloves this week.

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I made sure to not make the same mistake as the last pair. Once this pair is complete, I'll be all done with my new designs. I'm forcing myself to not cast on any new designs. NONE. Why? Because it is time to catch up and get them out to you guys! I've got quite a back log of patterns to write up. 

First up, will be the Sorin hat.

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Tracey has finished the test knit and I'm just about ready to send it to my graphic designer to put it together. By the way, Tracey has a fabulous podcast, Moms with Yarn, and I just love it!! She cracks me up! If you are looking for a new podcast to try, I'd definitely recommend listening to her and Sharon.

I have a mini version of the Sorin hat on my needles for tv knitting. It'll be for Magpie. 

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Once that is done, it'll be all about holiday knitting and pattern writing. Speaking of holiday knitting, I think it is going to be easy things on my end. A couple of hats, maybe some fingerless gloves. We'll see. 

What kind of holiday knitting plans do you guys have? Don't forget about the IGK Giftalong KAL on Ravelry. I still can't believe the holidays are right around the corner. To help with your holiday knitting, from now through November 26, I'm offering 25% off all of my IGK patterns ($6.00 or less) with the coupon code:  HOLIDAYS

And Cheeky Attitude still has our pattern giveaway going too! What is your favorite comfort food? Be sure to enter (follow link) soon.

Happy Knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Comfort Food Fingerless Mitts Finished and a Giveaway

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Finished Comfort Mitts
Pattern: Comfort Food  
Finished!

As I mentioned, these mitts were a great travel project and the yarn (Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Chunky) is a dream. This is a speedy knit and I look forward to the cozy warmth they will provide. They'd be great holiday gift, either paired with the cowl or solo (or keep the mitts for yourself and give the cowl to a friend :-) ).

The Comfort Food pattern came to Irish Girlie during a tough time and, like good comfort food should, the knitting helped on a path to healing. Read more about the pattern and the process.




My go to comfort food is often a bowl of hearty homemade soup like this posole (recipe) or Italian sausage soup (recipe).

What's your comfort food? Post in the comments below and I will pick a random number for a free Irish Girlie Pattern of your choice. UPDATED: I will pick the winner Tuesday November 18 11am Pacific Time.

Remember the Comfort Food Pattern is on sale for $4.75 until the end of November.

Pattern: Comfort Food 



Congratulations Linda!!

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Lmecoll
You get to choose a IGK Designs pattern of your choice.

Thanks so much for all the comfort food ideas everyone!



Sunday, November 9, 2014

Go Irish!

Last month I took a long weekend trip to go visit Erica and Padraig and our main event for the weekend....

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going to my alma mater for a Notre Dame football game!

It had been way too long since I had been back to campus and I figured why not fly through Michigan and visit Erica too.  We had such an awesome weekend!

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On Friday, we started with a quick trip down the tunnel the players come out every Saturday and were able to go onto part of the field. Yeah, they didn't let us do that back when I went there!

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I'm not sure Padraig was thrilled about the gold helmet. I was on the other hand!

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We stayed with my best friend from college and it was so great to catch up with her!

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Her two nephews dressed in their Halloween costumes on Saturday and looked so cute posing with the ND Band!

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And it was a gorgeous fall Saturday on campus and there is just nowhere that does college football better than Notre Dame in my opinion. It is such a special place.

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The Golden Dome

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The Library and Touchdown Jesus

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The Grotto

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We squeezed in a quick photo shoot (hello, how could we not?!). New hat pattern coming soon!! And then game time.

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We tried to get a picture of all of our different Knitspot hat's on. Yeah, not perfect at the selfies. I have to admit, for a 2-year old, baby Padraig was a trooper! He loved watching the band and the student section right below us. I think he went the entire day without a nap, poor kiddo. He melted Auntie IGK's heart when towards the end of the game he got the "Let's go IWISH" cheer down :)

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All happy after a close win!!

Bonus part of the weekend was hanging out with Erica's parents! We stayed at their house in Kalamazoo the first night and it was so fun hanging out. Plus, her mom made us this delicious pie!!! So good!

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Plus, Nana and Padraig have this little whipped cream routine :)

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Missing this kiddo and his mama so much now!!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Happy Knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

p.s. Reminder few days left to participate in our Veteran's day pattern sale/fundraiser. More info here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

When in Rome or Florence...


I am so thrilled to be part of the "We" in "We do not have a knitting problem." When Irish Girlie suggested I contribute, I knew exactly what I wanted to post first. And at the time I hadn't even boarded the plane.



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My recent trip to Italy has been in the planning for over a year and there were times when I was afraid it wasn't going to happen. And then it did.

A couple of weeks before departure I started panicking -- What to knit on the trip! It had to be pretty portable (duh!) and I was afraid of losing tiny needles either to security or just because of my own clumsiness. And even though I am a notoriously slow knitter, I have a great fear of being under yarned. And then I remembered Irish Girlie's Comfort Food pattern for fingerless gloves.

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 IGK Comfort Food Fingerless Gloves in Neighborhood Fiber Company Studio Chunky


I've decided that fingerless gloves in a larger yarn are the best travel project. So easy to take everywhere.

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Knitting on the Spanish Steps



Our first stop was Rome where our hotel was located near the top of the Spanish Steps. No need to climb UP the steps, we just walked down and around town from there. Bonus!

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I honestly love this glorious green colorway

We walked and walked around Rome and also spent a day at the Vatican.

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Swiss guards at the Vatican

I was going to ask the guards to pose with my knitting, but decided against it.


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Saint Peter's Basilica
It is so very hard to explain the splendor of the art and the scale of the Basilica. But look at the bottom of the photo above. Those are people - look how tiny they are compared to the columns and archways!

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Outside view of Saint Peter's Basilica
Outside St. Peters they have chairs set up for when the Pope gives his regular Sunday blessing.


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Lemon!
Gelato Break! There was lots and lots of gelato breaks.

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Wine & Knitting
And wine with every meal except breakfast. (Cheaper than water!)

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Morning Cappuccino
And Cappuccinos every single morning. So good I had to stop myself or I would start to get the jitters.



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Not much progress
Lovely day spent walking around one of the palaces - Notice I haven't made much knitting progress. Oh well.

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Meat and Cheese Plate (The wine was there, trust me)
We tried to eat at little neighborhood places where we could get bread, and cheese and meat or a sandwich.

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Train rides are a great time to knit
We took a side trip to Venice and also traveled to Florence by train. It was such a great way to see the countryside.

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Gondolas!
Sights so picturesque I felt like I was in storybook land.


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Duomo, Florence

Craftsmanship both inspiring and intimidating. No CAD programs available in 1446 when construction started on the Duomo.


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Colosseum at Night
A tour of the Colosseum at night was one of the highlights of the trip. (I used Walks of Italy as our local tour guide and we had stellar experiences every time.



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New knitting bag from Italy!
I did end up finishing one of the mitts. But I'm not quite done with the second yet. I love how the cables add interest to the mitts. They also add a little progress happy dance when you get to create the twist.


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Ahhhh, I miss you already Italy. Someday we will be together again.

To celebrate being part of the "We" in "We do not have a knitting problem," we're designating the Comfort Food pattern as "IGK Pattern of the Month."  The pattern will be on sale for $4.75 the entire month of November 2014. 



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