Monday, December 29, 2014

Getting Ready for the New Year: Organizing Yarn

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. We've enjoyed all the happy activities that were shared in the comments. I can't believe it is almost time to ring in 2015.

Congratulations to our contest winners:

Debbie is the winner of the pretty Plucky yarn.
And we decided to choose two more lucky knitters to receive an IGK Pattern of their choice.

Congratulations Marcy and Kelly-ann!

Please private message Irish Girlie on Ravelry to arrange for the prizes.

Taking time to fill out a new calendar and think about the year ahead always gets me excited about all the possibilities. Right now I have visions of an uncluttered and organized craft space of my own. First on the agenda is to get a handle on my yarn stash.

I did a bit of poking around and Webbs ( has a whole series on organizing yarn with wonderful tips on destashing, organizing patterns, and (my favorite) organizing yarn.

I'm leaning toward putting yarn together by weight rather than color or fiber. It seems when I dive into the bags o yarn that I have, it is in search of something pretty to go with a pattern / project.

I've started a pinterest board for yarn organizing ideas and while I'll never have space the size of a yarn store, a knitter can dream.

Lucky Hanks "Yarn Office"

How do you organize your yarn? Does every skein have a project and every project have a place?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday Magic

I may not have any presents wrapped yet, but I made cookies today. The most delicious crispy, chewy  gingersnap cookies from In Jennie's Kitchen. I've had a thing for gingerbread all holiday season so I'm glad I finally had a chance to make these.


They were delicious. Next on the list I want to make these and gingerbread coffeecake once my copy of simple scratch cooking arrives this week. 


More freezer jam. We'll see how this one tastes tomorrow. 

Baking and catching up on sleep has been how I've spent my first few days of holiday vacation so far. The next few days will be spent enjoying the holiday magic with family. I've loved seeing how our sweet little Magpie is experiencing the holidays this year.


She already knows the tree is just for looking :)


And loves reading with her big cousin.


That smile melts my heart every time.


We also have an extra family member visiting this week. Bailey and Puddy don't seem to mind sharing the couch with my mom's sweet dog, Maddie.

Baking, sleeping, relaxing, family, and .......knitting (and writing about knitting, as in those patterns). That's my plan this vacation. Speaking of which....

Pattern photos by Tricia Soto, aka Cheekyattitude

Shown in The Plucky Knitter Primo Sport, colorway Decorum Dictates

These fingerless gloves are so versatile. The pattern is written for either sport or worsted weight yarns, and the worsted version is a quick gift knit too! The cables pop in a variety of yarns and will look good on everyone in the family. 

Shown in The Plucky Knitter Scholar, colorway Strawberry Wine (worsted weight version)

Suggested Yarns:  ~155 yards for sport weight version such as The Plucky Knitter Primo Sport, Bare Naked Wools Stone Soup DK, Anzula Cricket, Knitted Wit Victory DK
~185 yards for worsted weight version such as The Plucky Knitter Scholar or Primo Worsted, Anzula For Better or Worsted, Big Bad Wool Weepaca


Sorin Fingerless Gloves are on sale for $5.00 through Dec. 28 BUT use coupon code: HAPPYHOLIDAYS to receive an additional 20% off this pattern and any other Irish Girlie Knits Design pattern $6.00 or less (through January 4, 11:59pm EST) 


I certainly haven't gotten very far on the tween's Sorin Fingerless Glove. One is almost done at least. I'm looking forward to getting some knitting done tomorrow.


Oh, Cheekyattitude and I have a present for one lucky reader that doesn't need wrapping. Contest time!!

Time lovely skein of Plucky Knitter Primo Sport would be lovely for a pair of Sorin Fingerless Gloves, but it could be anything you want it to be! Just leave a comment on this post with what you have planned for the week ahead....will you be baking, relaxing, knitting, entertaining family? Anything special? Have you wrapped all of your presents? Are all of your holiday gifts knit? Will you be casting on something special for you soon? Be sure to leave a way to reach you if you win (e.g., ravelry ID or email).

Oh, and our relatively new family tradition the past few years...tomorrow night we are seeing the Nutcracker. I can't wait.

Happy Holidays!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

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.