Crafty Miscellany

Inside the Crafty Market

For my birthday treat this year my knitting buddies suggested a trip to visit The Constant Knitter and to fondle her wares. When we realised Rosemary – the Constant Knitter – was setting up a stall with Diane at the Crafty Market the date was set and the plan hatched.

On the first Sunday of every month the Crafty Market convenes in the most unlikely looking venue. From the outside you’d be forgiven for thinking you were on the set of a gritty gang-land movie where a drug-deal was about to go down. Of course, you’re not far wrong about the drug-deal because that’s exactly what’s going on inside:

There are so many stands to oogle and crafty delights to fondle, every where you look is a treat. We had lunch planned at the Mermaid Restaurant, otherwise I could have happily spent all day there.

I’ve shown you before all the purchases I made from on the day, but they’re worth flaunting again:

 

Merino / Tencel blend pencil roving from Diane (left), 3 balls of Kid-silk by Drops from Rosemary, The Constant Knitter, (2 shown, centre) and felted mobile phone cover and shamrock badge from Hazel Donnelly (right).

However, despite all the visual delights and the delightful stash enhancement, I realise the thing that really makes me hanker to go back is the coffee and the cakes. The barista and bakers are artisans too.

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WIP-ette

On the last Sunday of February I finally got the chance to join up with other spinners at the monthly Sunday’s Spin-in at Powerscourt. I brought with me the only spinning accoutrements I possess, a beginner’s drop-spindle and some dyed roving that I’d started on the Irish Knitter’s Retreat back in October 2008! I started the afternoon not being able to remember a single thing from the lesson Chicwithstix had given me way back then. However, thanks to the generosity of time and knowledge on the part of Kneehigh, Chicwithstix, DubSpinner, Deimne, Flick and Claire42 it started to come back to me. 

I was determined to finish spinning the roving I had and I learned a few things in the process too; such as dyed roving is more prone to felting and leaving it stuffed in a plastic bag for 18 months is not conducive to easy-spinning. However I did  finish up with this. Art/Novelty-yarn-esque as it is, I’m proud to have got to the end and for learning all that I did. 

Very nice dear.... but what is it?

I had the “yarn” on separate toilet roll centres, all ready for meeting Chicwithstix at the Crafy Market last Sunday, so that she could give me pointers on how to ply them together. And then… I met her scribble lace scarf, knit using beautiful blue hand-spun of her own for the accent yarn. So now my “yarn” is not going to be plied but – with the able-bodied, enabling of Bootie and Clarabel – got partnered with some Drops Kid-silk in beige from The Constant Knitter

When I grow up.... I'll scribble!

I’ve received excellent advice from all the spinners I’ve met recently. The advice I like best of all is from BionicLaura: “spindling for 5 minutes a day will teach you more than an hour once a week” because it means I’m going to have to invest in a whole lot of roving. Roving is just perfect to tide me over while I’m on this strict yarn diet, isn’t it? With this in mind I got 100g of pencil roving from Chicwithstix at the Crafty Market. It’s a Merino Tencel blend that I’m going to spin, dye and then ply. Until then, I just content myself with burying my face in it an inhaling. Aaaah! 

How do you catch a cloud and pin it down...

Oh! my strict yarn diet… I completely forgot! (tee hee!). The main reason we went to the Crafty Market in the first place was to get a chance to see The Constant Knitters’ wares. She did not disappoint and these two balls of Kid-Silk by Drops were purloined with a lacy wrap from Knitting Brioche in mind. 

Planned for "Herfst avond scarf" by Nancy Marchant from "Knitting Brioche"

Choosing Temptation

I love making lists. I guess you might have noticed. Making up a list is my first step towards getting things done. My next step is similar to many people’s approach to getting exercise, especially if their first step was to buy an exercise bike. We all know what happens to exercise bikes, don’t we? Yes, they gather dust  in the garage / spare room / under the stairs. Similarly, with my lists. The effort of making one is so great and so self-satisfying I blithely assume that somehow the stuff is getting done – by someone, somewhere!

Making lists is one thing. Sticking to them is quite another. Ignoring all the shiny distractions that have nothing to do with the list  – such as… oh… joining Sock-a-Month KAL 9 – takes much determination. I mean, you’d have to be bloody-minded and stubborn – to always stick to your guns like that.  Does that sound like me? Don’t answer that!

Should I stick to the list? Do I have the will-power to resist temptations? Such was the little debate I started with myself when I read Zonda’s blog and realised that invites were open for Sock-a-Month KAL 9, which runs from January until June 2010. And then I realised: what if the shiny distractions and the list can meld in some way? After all, I’m planning to complete my Adirondack Socks in February during Ravelympics. Plus I’ve a pair of socks that just need the legs done – they could be my January socks without impacting on my plan to complete GlenvarAgin. My planned projects in March, April and May are all small – for my kids or a cropped cardi for me. I might have a problem with June, though. It may not be feasible to knit a present each for two teachers in four weeks as well as a pair of socks.

Then Diane (a.k.a. Chicwithstix) posted on Ravelry that she’s setting up a Sock Club for the Dublin Knit Collective. You set your own goals for the year. That sounds more like my cup of tea. Let’s not forget, I want to knit DH two pairs of socks before his birthday in August. I’ve decided to aim for literally a sock a month i.e. 6 pairs. That’s do-able.

Of course, I’ve also sent an email to Zonda to see if I’m not too late to sign up for SAM9. Shiny-shiny!