Posts tagged ‘crochet’


The Blooming Bunting Project


Blooming Bunting, is an experimental venture; trusting in community spirit and inspired by a belief that everything we do has an impact on our environment, Blooming Bunting has invited The Dublin Knit Collective to participate and help create the Hanging Gardens of Dublin, as part of Bloom Fringe 2015.

The intention for Blooming Bunting is to unite communities, by providing a platform: and presenting a project that everyone can take-part in. Blooming Bunting believes in building a true connection between ‘Human-Nature’. It celebrates biodiversity, sustainability, creativity and community spirit.

More about the project:

The Dublin Knit Collective is putting a call out, and asking knitters, crocheters and other fiberistas to join in and create a garden inspired item that will be included in a Nature Inspired Bunting to help turn a dreary lane at Dublin Castle into a bunting filled, nature inspired hanging garden.

I am looking for donations of a handknit/crocheted flower, flowers, leaves, bees, trees, fruits….basically anything you would find in garden.

I need your item(s) before or by Saturday 23rd May. It’s a short lead in time I know, but nothing is impossible, and I do believe in miracles!

This is Knit and The Constant Knitter are our City Centre Drop Off Depots or please contact me if your wish to post it.

The Blooming Bunting organisers aim to have the garden hung by Thursday 28th May, so its up and ready for people to enjoy during the BloomFringe. It’s a short lead in time I know, but nothings impossible…and I do believe in miracles!

I really hope you can join us! It would be an honour to have such creative and inspiring people involved! This project is for everyone! Without participation this project / hanging garden will not be able to grow.


Meet the Dublin Knit Collective

Meet the Dublin Knit Collective is a new series of articles of who’s who in the Dublin knitting community.

Handknit Handcrochet Socks (Part 2)

The DKC Sock Club is not exclusive to knitting socks. A search of the Ravelry project pages took me to two Dublin knitters, Bioniclaura and Undermeoxter who crocheted their way to make a their own pair of Adirondack Socks by Patsy Harbor .

Bioniclaura and Undermeoxter are active and well known members of the Irish knitting community on the popular social network forums, Ravelry and Twitter.

Bioniclaura  learned how to knit and crochet during her elementary school years. As a child she was not too keen on crochet, mainly knitting toys and clothes for her dolls, then giving it all up to live the teenage lifestyle.  Now, an adult, she started knitting again and decided to learn to crochet again about three years ago.  Today she blogs on Aran Brew and enjoys an eclectic tastes in knit, crochet, fibre dyeing and spinning.

Undermeoxter has been knitting and crochet since her first decade of life. At the young age of ten years she was also making soft toys and clothes for her dolls. As one of Dublin’s fiberistas, she blogs many of her fiber adventures on Under Me Oxter.   She was the envy of all, when she made the pilgrimmage to Rhinebeck last year.  She mainly thinks of herself as a knitter  because she can knit without looking at what she is doing,  whereas with crochet she has to glance down at her work to make sure the crochet hook is in the right part of the stitch. She commented, “I look back at things I’ve made for my own wardrobe and they are mostly all crocheted!”
With the arrival of the Fall 2009 issue of Interweave Crochet, both these women spotted the Adirondack Sock pattern.  For undermeoxter, it was one of those serendipity moments; the arrival of a skein of Shoppel Wolle Zauberball at the same time, she was immediately struck by how this pattern would work well with this yarn and “cast-on” that afternoon.
With the popularity of handknit socks, Bioniclaura had previously tried to knit socks twice. She tried toe up method and got as far as turning the heel, then she said, “I gave up due to boredom.”.  Then she tried the cuff down method and gave up again.  She decided to go for the handcrocheted socks after admiring Undermeoxter’s pair and being assured that they were easy and quick to make:

Yummy Blackberries

Using a self-striping Regia sock yarn, Bioniclaura was quite pleased with her results:

The main difference is that crochet socks don’t have the stretch of the knitted socks so you have to be more careful when putting them on and off.  The only slight problem is that the cuff on one of the socks is a little tight but that should stretch with wear.

Crocheting in a spiral meant it was very easy to loose track of your progress, sock knitters do not bother with a stitchmarker since the beginning of the round is easy to identify, however, Undermeoxter recommends using a marker to keep track of you are.   She learned by experience by messing up the gusset increases ever-so-slightly on the first sock.

These Adirondack Socks were the first finished pair of crocheted socks for both Bioniclaura and Undermeoxter, who agree that handcrochet socks are built for Speed!  The joys of crochet…quick and easy. These crocheted socks will definitely not be the last. These two women will be back…with another pair of handcrochet socks in no time.
Thank you to both D and L for agreeing to be interviewed and permissions to use their photos of their Adirondack Socks.


Scrumbling for Ireland

Scrumbling for Ireland

by Bairbre Guilfoyle

© Prudence Mapstone

Recently my sister, Eithne, and I set off for Mulranny in Co mayo to attend a week-end workshop in Freeform Knitting and Crochet (FKC) Neither of us really knew what FKC was but it was a week-end away and we were both excited to find something new to learn. The workshop leader was a lovely Australian lady called Prudence Mapstone. While Prudence doesn’t claim to have ‘invented’ FKC she is definitely an expert in it and has published more than one book on the techniques involved.

The workshop was being held in The Essence of Mulranny Craft Retreat,  and a few weeks earlier, Cheryl, who organised the workshop, sent the participants a list of supplies to bring along – needles and crochet hooks between 3 and 5mm, and small quantities of yarn in a variety of weights and textures. And while we were told to bring about 15 different yarns, it was suggested we decide on a particular ‘colour palette’ rather than a hodge-podge of colours. I, of course, just shoved about 30 different half balls of yarn into a bag and hoped I’d be able to sort out a ‘colour palette’ when we got there. Eithne, being far more organised than me, arrived with her yarns divided neatly up into bags of, not only different colours but different shades of colours. You’d never guess we were both Virgos.

So what is FKC? Well simply put, it involves the creation of random shapes or ‘scrumbles’ of knitting and crochet which are then joined together to make garments. The scrumbles themselves are made up of smaller patches of knitting and crochet of various colours, yarns, stitches and styles.

1)  To create a scrumble, you start with a small piece of knitting or crochet a maximum of 10 stitches wide and 12 rows in height.

2)  Stitches are picked up along one side using a different yarn, stitch and maybe discipline, and another patch created.

3)  More stitches are then picked up and another piece added

4)  And another

5)  Occasionally you fill up a corner with a scallop of crochet

6)  Or add edgings in a contrasting yarn

7)  And a circle for variety

8)  Until you end up with a scrumble approximately the size of your hand

Scrumbling doesn’t require anything but the most basic knitting and crochet skills – which is just as well since, although I’m an experienced knitter, my crochet skills are non-existent. Prior to the workshop, I’d only ever crocheted hideous granny-squares as a young child, holding the yarn in the wrong hand and knowing only one stitch. Heading to Mulranny I couldn’t have told you the difference between a double crochet and a hole in the wall and, to be honest, I didn’t really care. My thinking about crochet has always been, it’s great for edgings and embellishment but lacks the drape and versatility of knitting when it comes to creating larger garments.

Having done the workshop and learned the difference between a double crochet and a hole in the wall, I have a newfound respect for the craft. But I still think it’s best suited to edgings and embellishments (I know, I know – crocheters want to take me out and shoot me).

So, on to the workshop. The first evening we looked at gorgeous sample garments and talked about basic garment construction and colour palettes. As I rooted around in my grab-bag of yarns I was astonished to find that I’d unconsciously selected a colour palette when packing the night before as what I had with me were mostly pinks, purples and blues. Shoving the odd balls of cream and red back in the bag I set about constructing my first Freeform masterpiece.

Over the next two days, in between gorgeous meals and walks on the stunning local beaches, I learned how to do singles, doubles and half doubles, crabstitch, scallops, bullions, rings and half-rings, spirals and corkscrews. I learned how to fill in corners of varying angles and how to create raised edges to give depth. I learned that you never have to rip out a scrumble as everything can be used or amended later on. That last bit was a relief when you consider some of the monstrosities I managed to put together.

Here’s one I prepared earlier ☺

While there are no ‘rules’ as such with FKC, Prudence did give us ‘suggestions’ for successful scrumbling – the careful use of contrasting colours, and light patches against dark, avoiding stocking stitch patches because of the way they curl, doing scallops of crochet from the wrong side. She also suggested sewing/crocheting in the ends of yarn as you go to save a mammoth job at the end AND to make it easier to work the scrumbles.
I have to mention my fellow-scrumblers, the majority of whom were on a ten-day trip over from the States, organised by Cheryl of EOM. They were a delightful group of talented, friendly and entertaining women who were very welcoming to the five ‘locals’ who piggy-backed onto their workshop. They came from all corners of the US; from Alaska to California and were so pleased to be in Ireland. They complimented everything and didn’t even complain about the weather!

Having said that, the weather WAS spectacular that week-end and you couldn’t have found a better place to spend it. Mulranny, if you don’t know it, is on the road to Achill and overlooks Clew bay. Each morning, when I opened my bedroom curtains, I was greeted with a stunning view across the water to Croagh Patrick. It’s the best way to start a day.

The Essence of Mulranny Craft Retreat also deserves a mention. It’s owned and run by Cheryl Coburn Browne, who’s originally from SA but is married to an Irish man and has been a long-time citizen of Ireland. She opened the centre as a place for craft groups, local and overseas, to come and stay and practice/learn crafts. She herself is a keen craftswoman and took the workshop with us.
The accommodation and food are top-class and the custom-built studio space is every craftsperson’s dream

view from the garden

So how did I feel about the workshop when it was over? Talking about it with Eithne on the way home, we both agreed we couldn’t find fault with a single aspect of the weekend; great location, great accommodation, great food, great company, great teaching. As to whether we’ll ever scrumble again? I’m not sure I will. It’s obvious to me that I have the sort of brain that likes order and FKC is just a little too disordered for me to feel comfortable with it. However, I always enjoy learning something new and even if I never make another scrumble I know I will use the crochet stitches in other ways. Eithne, however, has already made a few more scrumbles, and while she’s not sure she’ll ever make a full-sized garment, she can certainly see herself making a bag or small throw.
So at least there’s one person who’s happy to scrumble for Ireland.

Bairbre Guilfoyle is a Dublin based knitter, who enjoys a coffee and knitting in Dublin’s cafes.

Copyright 2010.  Not to be reprinted without permission of the author, Bairbre Guilfoyle.