Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Favorites

I'm going to try something new. As I've been catching up on my blog reading the past few weeks, I've come across a few blogs that do monthly "favorites." Sounded fun to me, so here you go....

July favorites, in no particular order :)

{favorite books}

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

I devoured this book over vacation, finding it hard to put down. But when I finished it, late at night, it did give me some "nightmares." Couldn't get the last few chapters out of my brain I guess.

Before I start Dark Places (another Gillian Flynn book) I needed something a bit lighter.


I picked up The Sweet Life in Paris when we stopped at Maisie Blue on the way home from vacation. I just love that shop.....yarn, cookbooks, books, stationary....and it is right next to a cupcake shop!  Anyways, the Sweet Life is just what I needed! I'm halfway through it and loving it!

{favorite knits}

Blanket flat

This is a picture from Disco's blogpost about her Beekeeper's Quilt that she is making for a lucky winner! I love it because it represents so much of her hardwork for a great cause, in memory of her brother, and because each time she tweets about her runs and half-marathon training, she inspires me! She wasn't a runner when we met. I still remember her trying to do the Couch to 5k.....look at her now! So proud Disco!! Oh, and lots of my STR leftovers are in that blanket!  For every $5 donation, you're entered to win it!

{favorite places}


Aran Islands

Crazy. Get Back from the edge!

Aran Islands, Ireland. I was there over 10 years ago and loved it. I'm living vicariously this week through my brother, sister-in-law, and Lil Guy, who are there! (Disco, look away from that last picture! What the heck are they thinking letting Lil Guy that close to the edge?!?!)

Blue Lake Springs, Arnold, CA

{favorite pins}


From the lovely Allyson at The Sweatshop of Love. Now I know what to do with all my swatches! How lovely are these?!

And I know you guys have been waiting patiently to hear who won a copy of The Knitted Home. Looks like there are a lot of us who want to knit those fruit bowls!  Congratulations to Debbie4! I've messaged you on Ravelry :)

Do you guys have any favorites for the month of July? Favorite yarns? Patterns? Movies? Recipes? I'd love to hear :)

I can't believe it is going to be August already! But that means we are a bit closer to football season and fall!!!

Happy knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Sunday, July 28, 2013

52 Weeks of Happy (25/52) The Vacation Edition








  • lazy days at the lake
  • inner-tube water polo
  • painting rocks (I was definitely the arts and crafts counselor/coordinator on this trip!)
  • Harry Potter Marathon for 3 children that began vacation as muggles, but aren't anymore!
  • remembering childhood memories and knowing you are creating those memories for the little ones now :)
  • the fresh air smell of those trees
It was an absolutely perfect week at the cabin, filled with lots of happy! Hopefully yours was too! What have you guys been up to while I was away from constant wifi?!?!

Happy knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Now this is summer!


A perfect day! And we have three more!
Xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Interview with the Knitspot Team

We're trying something a bit new here. My first ever guest post interview. I've loved being a member of Knitspot's Fall in Full Color Club the past few years that I asked the Knitspot team if I could do an interview about the club (since you all aren't at my knit nite where I go on and on about how amazing it is!). So grab a cup of tea, sit back and read a bit...I hope you enjoy it! Oh, and some other fun things at the end of the post too!

Hi Knitspot Team! Thank you so much for stopping by the blog to tell us more about your upcoming Fall in Full Color Club. Let's start with an easy question for those readers who haven't yet heard about the Fall in Full Color Club.  Can you tell us a little about what this club is all about?

thank you carrie for asking your readers what they wanted to know about FIFC. my name is erica and i am anne hanson's majordomo. for those of you not familiar with the term, it's a person that speaks, makes arrangements and handles a lot of daily tasks on behalf of another person. majordomos were common in europe and responsible for the management of a large household. so, in short, i perform a lot of tasks for anne and work very closely with her on many projects. one of which is Fall in Full Color! i get to plan every bit of it with anne and it is one of my favorite parts of my job.

2013 will be our 3rd Fall in Full Color club! we have some really amazing fibers and colors in store for this year. i think this is my favorite club. haha i think i say that for EVERY club. but really, this one is fantastic! the club runs from August until January and is 6 months of exclusive hand dyed yarn from amazing dyers paired with club-only accessory patterns from knitspot. the patterns come in the form of an ebook chapter that is delivered on the 17th of each month. the chapter includes beautiful photos of color inspiration, design notes and lots of pattern photos. the yarns vary in weight and intriguing fibers. more details on the club (, along with signup info (

though all the projects are a monthly surprise, you can get an idea of the club's accessory projects by watching a slideshow of 2012 projects on flickr

we also have a fabulous swingin' clubhouse in ravelry where clubbies chat up the yarn/projects monthly and encourage everyone along in their projects (

**the above collaboration is all the yarns and projects from 2012**     
All photos courtesy of Knitspot and used with permission

One of our readers, LesleyBadger, wanted to know  where Anne gets her inspiration for her designs. What is the inspiration for this club's designs?

anne is constantly inspired, a lot from her observances in nature while walking or running. she also is inspired by art and architecture. anne first decides on a palette of six colors for the club. she spends a lot of time deliberating on what colors speak to her for the season and what she thinks will inspire the club members. then she approaches dyers with her ideas of colors, sometimes sending them a color board of digital pictures or even tactile objects. often in just a conversation with a dyer about color, he/she nails the color on the head without even getting a physical image from anne. it's amazing to see a dyer birth a color from just an idea to sample skeins to the final order of hundreds of skeins for clubbies.

and it's even more fun to keep each color a surprise until every member gets their coveted skein in the mailbox each month. we love when everyone starts chatting about them in the spoiler and non-spolier threads in the ravelry group. we love all the mailman stories too! 

anne has a pretty good idea of what color and fiber will become a certain accessory. anne has an amazing eye for style from her previous life in the fashion industry and loves to create beautiful, classic, timeless designs that people will treasure and wear for many seasons. this year she has a couple surprises under her hat that i am truly excited about. wish i could share! but you'll just have to see...

I know this club features yarn by some of our favorite indie dyers. I know you can't tell us who the dyers are for this upcoming club, but can you tell us about some of the dyers that were featured in previous years? Is there a chance some might be appearing again??
well aren't you inquisitive carrie! it's a great question. i'll list previous years below, but i have been sworn to secrecy on 2013 dyers. 

2011 - Spirit Trail Fiberworks, Shalimar Yarns, Briar Rose Fibers, String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn,, New Hue Handspuns

2012 - Knitting Notions, Hazel Knits, Studio June Yarn, Fleur de Fiber, Spirit Trail Fiberworks, Miss Babs
Knitters have many options to choose from when it comes to clubs. What do you think makes this club different from others that are out there?  How does it stand apart?
I think the ebook really makes this club stand apart. I've been in MANY yarn clubs and anne's in-depth chapters she produces each month just blow me away. by the time you get to the end of the chapter, your fingers are itching to cast on. i also like that there are a variety of accessory projects to keep a knitter's interest. i also like the timing of the club, because many people use FIFC to schedule their Christmas gift knitting. plus, there is a "double dip" option in the club where members can initially sign up for a second serving of yarn. this way, many knitters knit a project as a gift and use the second skein to knit another for themselves. or, anne often includes multiple project ideas or additional sizes in the ebook chapters so the double dippers (or as clubbies have nicknamed themselves "DD") have options. unlike other clubs that have six designs to go with the six yarns, knitspot clubs often end up with 11-14 designs in six months. 

I've knit a few of Anne's sock patterns and I'm working on my Hazeline shawlette from the first FiFC club and love how straightforward Anne's patterns are. One of my readers noted that she has a few Knitspot shawl patterns but hasn't knit them yet because they were "gorgeous but oh-so-scary" in regards to how intricate they look. First, how do you help knitters get past that "it looks too hard for me to knit" stage?  Second, what range of difficulty are the patterns in the FiFC club?

anne prides herself on very straightforward both written and charted patterns. she loves intricate looking designs that are easily memorized and flow off the needles in a fast, fluid and delightful manner. anne always says to me, "i like to design patterns that i would knit myself. i like to knit designs that have stitch patterns that i can memorize in just a couple repeats. but i also love the look of intricate designs, so i strive to the best of both worlds in my designs. i want people to finish one of my designs and feel proud of what they've knit." and over and over and over again, people write to us to say they were at first intimidated by knitspot designs and we're waiting until they were more skilled of a knitter to try them. but alas, they should not have waited because as a beginner they could have easily finished the designs with ease. we also get lots of emails from people that they tried lace or socks for the first time because of knitspot clubs. if it weren't for being in the clubs, they would have never tackled that type of project. due to anne's great pattern writing they feel brave to tackle new types of projects and stitch work.

FIFC 2013 is a series of intermediate fall and winter accessory projects. but as many clubbies can attest in the ravelry group, they could easily work up the pattern even as a beginner. the fellow clubbies in the ravelry clubhouse are an amazing support group giving out tips, too.
What has been your favorite design from the prior Fall in Full Color clubs?

my favorite is Kiltie. i LOVED the name of the pieces because the flirty kick pleats do remind me of a kilt. but the BEST part of that december shipment was the surprise goodie - coordinating handmade glass buttons from Moving Mud that complimented the delicious blue yarn. like the club yarns and patterns aren't special enough, anne occasionally throws in a special treat! how cool is that!?
i asked anne what her favorite design was. she said Hazeline
because she loved that month's yarn and she loved all the textures in the design.

If my readers are thinking about signing up, where can they get more information?
see links above.
Anything else you'd like to tell us about the club?
memberships are limited and we will be closing signups very soon. we would love to see some IGK fans join the club. we know carrie is a HUGE fan of anne's ebooks and clubs and she would probably get a kick out of some of her fans joining her in the knitspot club fun.
Thank you for stopping by the blog and letting my readers hear a bit more about this exciting club you have to offer.  Before you go, when can we expect the pattern for baby Knitspot's christening sweater?? You know we are all fans of baby Knitspot around here and he was just too cute in that sweater!
right now there isn't a release date in the near future for padraig's sweater. it is a super cute design! it's a design i truly treasure as an heirloom piece. i am honored to own it and that it was worn for such a special event in my child's life. anne is a gem and a dear, dear friend.

Okay, I can't believe the cute baby above has grown so much! Look at him last month!
That is Erica, baby Padraig, Anne, and Sarah!  Thank you so much Knitspot team for making the blog more interesting today :)

Tomorrow afternoon I'm off for a few days to enjoy this. I can't wait! I'll be bringing my Hazeline for selfish knitting in between two secret projects.


A few quick things before I go....
  • The Knitted Home book review and contest will run til I'm back, so you still have time to enter to win a copy.
  • Want to win your very own Hexipuff Blanket (I mean the Beekeeper's Quilt)? For just $5 you can enter to win, all while supporting a good cause and cheering on my BFF Discoknits! Check out her progress....that is going to be one gorgeous STR blanket!!!
  • Come join our IGK KAL! Well, at least find out about the coupon code (20% off all IGK patterns with it through the end of the month). More details here.
  • Congrats to LesleyBadger and Jocelyn (Jhocy) for winning a Knitspot pattern of your choice (up to $8.00 value)! Please message me on ravelry or email me at irishgirlieknits AT gmail DOT com with your pattern choice and I'll send it to you when I'm back from vacation next week :)  Thank you for your helpful questions!
There isn't much wifi access at the cabin, but I'll do my best to get some pretty photos up while I'm gone! I hope you guys have a great week.

Thank you again to the awesome Knitspot team!!

Happy Knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Sunday, July 21, 2013

52 Weeks of Happy (24/52)







  • bottomless mimosas, brunch with good friends, and absolutely delicious poached eggs
  • laughing at knit nite :)
  • knitting by the pool
  • Harry Potter marathons 
  • memories of Yosemite. I still can't get over how spectacular it is and what a great weekend we had!
I hope your week was filled with happy....anything you'd like to share?

Happy Knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Good Things.

Just wanted to share a few good things.

1. I spent most of TNNA in a booth with Hilary and I loved seeing her wear this shawl, Shadow & Glow. She just released it this weekend, so now you can knit it too.


2. Another fun pattern that was released this week is Knitterella's Ripple Effect Fingerless Gloves. These are perfect for fall and Christmas knitting.  She has a coupon code in the notes of the pattern page on ravelry, be sure to use that! It is good through the end of Plucktember, I mean September :)

3. Plucktember is coming!! A celebration of all things Plucky Knitter in September! Check out the Plucky Knitter Ravelry Group for more info and they are nominating and voting on specific KALs this weekend if you are interested.

4. I've been meaning to share this lovely Dancette that Jocelyn knit up in one gorgeous skein of Wollmeise. You can read more about her mods on her project page. Isn't it lovely?!

5. Have you joined our IGK KAL for this quarter? The theme is awesome and giving us a bit of a kick in the KAL thread! All credit for the theme goes to our lovely moderator, Jocelyn! From now through the end of the month, I'm having a 20% off sale (any IGK pattern valued at $6 or less) with the coupon code: chopchop

6. The SF Giants have won 2 games in a row since the All-Star Break! Woohooo!! Keep it up World Champs!

7. Have you seen the new season of The Killing? Love this show.

8. I haven't made this, but doesn't it look delish?

9. Knitting progress. Still loving Anzula's Cricket yarn!!


10. Monday will be here quickly, but after work Tuesday, I'll be heading here for a few days......yay for summer!!

Any good things you have to share? I'd love to hear.

Happy Knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

P.S. Book review and contest is still open!

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Knitted Home

I love this new book that I'm going to share today. I'll not only be sharing my review, but the book will be going to one lucky reader (see how at the end of the post).


The Knitted Home: Creative and Contemporary Projects for Interiors by Ruth Cross


I want to knit practically everything in this book in the hopes that my home will look as lovely as these pictures evoke. From the pillows/cushions to that lovely blanket!


Garter stitch is such a classic to me. Who wouldn't want to snuggle in that blanket?


Throughout the book there are complete patterns for you to create these beautiful projects. But Ruth also encourages and gives advice on how to experiment for yourself to produce your own designs. For the vases shown above, she gives guidelines for ways to create your own. How fun would a bunch of different sized mason jars as vases be?


If I ever have a craft room or studio, I would love to do this for some of my swatches. I love the gray palette she uses here too.


As she goes through the book, she shows how you can adapt these patterns to different sizes, scales and shapes so that they can be widely applied around the home to create completely personal pieces.


Another one of my favorite designs....simple, yet classic, but also a bit creative. Who would have thought, but now I want a knitted fruit bowl, right?


And a bit of trivia, Ruth was responsible for designing the now iconic mittens worn by Bella in the Twilight Saga.

Here's where you can find the book...

 (US release has a slightly different title)

(UK version available in the US or here is Amazon UK link)

You can find more information, as well as quite a few other great books, at the publisher's site. I'm so glad that they shared this review copy for me as this is quite a lovely book. And now, I'm going to share it with you. One lucky reader will win a copy. Have you knit items for your home? Anything on these pages inspire you to think about it? What would you knit first? Leave me a comment and a way to contact you if you win (e.g., ravelry id, email).

Happy Knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

P.S. I know I've mentioned how I love some of the Craftsy classes that I've taken. There are having a big summer sale this weekend, so I thought I'd enable you guys a bit :) Click the link below.