A textile lovers paradise

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It’s that time of year again. Arriving upon the gate of the RDS, the direction was soon clear by the bus fulls of ladys, all towards the same direction. The “click-clack” of knitting needles enticing me forward, to enter a new world of bliss, filled with luscious silks, warm wools and crazy soft cahmeres and angoras. Not only were the wools jumping from every direction claiming “buy me! buy me!” but there was also plenty to intrigue all crafters. It was a textiles extravaganza, with fabrics, threads, dyes, books and notions, leaving out of course the amazing displays by both craft experts and up and coming designers. The above photo is from the Patchwork Societies exhibition. There were many amazing quilts but the blues in this one really struck me.

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Many of the fashion colleges from around the country had exhibitions within the show. Colleges such as NCAD and LIT. I’ve heard of these colleges before but not the Belfast school of art. I really loved what they had on show. It was all so interesting, the photography, the projects, they even had concept books beside, which I near squealed at!2013 Pentax K-5 11 047

These gorgeous pieces are by Oliver Docherty. I’ve been lucky enough to not live with horrible macramé  hangings, I’ve seen them in some holiday homes, so I do know their hideousness. These dresses however, are stunning. The above dress is worked with what I think is some type of leather cord, and the one below is made of straw. I love how unusual the material and tecknique is, it’s almost made me interested in testing out the skill the myself…. For now though I think I’ll leave it to the experts!

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Onto the yarn, you didn’t I could just look, could you?, my willpower to buying beautiful textiles is 0! The first picture is of some testing I’m doing. It’s a mixture of some aran weight charcoal tweed, with some green rowan mohair-ish wool in a cabled concoction. I’m thinking a polo neck jumper for some time in the future, but who knows if that will happen!

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The next piece of wool needed an extra special photo for an extra special brand. Coolree are an irish yarn brand. All of their wools are hand dyed in Ireland. I’ve seen their wools several times before but I never seemed to pick up a hank. I couldn’t let the opportunity of a whole stall of these colourful wisps to go by, this peach piece came how and I’m still trying to figure out what pattern will do it any justice. Any suggestions?

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And last but not least and ball of the tweed. I originally got it to create something colour blocked with the grey but changed my mind after my experiment. Now it will probably become a Christmas gift…

p.s. I wore my wrap skirt to the show, because I have a weird tradition of creating a new garment to wear specifically to these shows.

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Nostalgia’s a’ comin

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My favourite time of day is when the clouds begin to change colour and the sky turns dark, pity its a terrible time to take pictures. With superfast film speed I can tackle it but while still figuring out my new camera its a bit of a struggle…

The whole shoot was something of nostalgia for me as this was one of my early knits, when I finally overcame my fears of cables. The wool was bought while I was in Galway and reminds me a really fun afternoon walking around the town taking photos, when I was still figuring out how all the manual settings worked.

The pattern is a freebee but a goodie. I remember a few issues with the pattern but they were based around the border bit of the scarf. I just did stockinette. The cable pattern was really easy to memorise and the way they sneak and twirl around each other still makes me wear it. If you don’t believe me on how old this scarf is check out the ravelry page.

I promise more photos in daylight (fingers crossed, I make no such promises!) and a proper post on my new camera. If you want to see some more photos by my new device I recently joined flickr too. And it’s holiday time so I can sew and read and sip tea all day long!

Ice cream

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Finally some new projects. I made this before I went to china and it kept my head very warm while I was there. The wool I used is a slik and wool blend, Rowan’s silky tweed which I just found out has been discontinued. I picked up the yarn at a sale I think a year or so ago. I’d been planning a pair of mittens with it because it was so soft but instead I decided to make a hat. I used a very basic rib pattern, which when knitted in the round made the hat make up in no time at all! I did add in a twist though…..

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I added in colourwork! Didn’t I say the pattern used two balls of yarn! I had bought the two with an idea of mixing the colours from the start. I thought that the pattern for the hat was so simple that I should add in this element. I’m super happy with the effect. I’ve been told it looks like a crown,a sun and my personal favourite, icecream. The colour work chart is really simple so for anyone who’s interested I’ll have a photo up on the hat’s ravelry page!

P.s. Just got my photos back from development 🙂

Paris

I’m back from Paris! I had an amazing time. I was away since last Saturday, I spent Sunday organising my fabric and seeing the new bond film. I decided to do another Me-made-holiday. I was much more succesfull this time!.

Day 1: Travel day, no big inovation since we spent the day in airports.

Wearing my coat.

Day 2: My mom and I hit the streets of Paris, We walked around the Mare district for a bit. I even got myself a hat! Wearing my coat and my jumper.

Day 3: (Photo below) I walked around abit again, finaly with some film in my camera. I took a few cool photos. We also saw the seriously busy Gariale La Fayette where there were some poor husbands with little suitcases for their wives/ girlfriends purchases. We also had a really delicious lunch in a little bar around the corner. Later we went to mono-prix to find some seriously well priced cashmere jumpers. €89 for a really warm and soft cashmere jumper….. yes please! Wearing my coat, this top (even though you can’t see it) and a new scarf.

 Day 4:

We walked around some smaller streets where there were an impressive amount of camera shops selling second hand old lenses. I didn’t get one, unfourtuantley. We also had the most amazing shepeds pie. No peas, nice mash and good spices and flavours! It was heaven in a bowl. We also headed into the mare district again to check out the giant harberdashery there. I got some really cool feather ribbon. I eyed up some of their fabric but I simply couldn’t afford it. Wearing my jersey top.

Day 5: I spent the day with my dad. In the first stretch we saw some of his more specialist shops. Later we saw the Arc de Triompe, just as the sun was going down.

Just a note to say that my legs are not actually this long. My dad took the photo from below. In actual fact I think I’m about 5foot 7 and a half.

A little photo of what we saw at the top of the Arc de Triompe.Day 6: Here I am doing my ‘I am french, and I am chic!’ (said in a very ridicuously incorrect french accent!)

Here I am wearing my navy top. We first went to a local market which was opened for a holiday. We also met up with one of my parents friends and had lunch with her in a vegan restaurant. The food turned out to be much nicer then I thought it would be but french cuisine is usualy on another level to everyone else. Later that evening we had a reservation at Bofinger. The one with the bullet hole in mirror. We didn’t get to see it but the photo at the very top was taken after the meal. I’m wearing my maroon dress and of courses my coat which already has several linkings in this post. I’m also wearing a scarf which has not yet been published.

Day 7: I only have my evening photo as you can probobly see, I don’t go around dressing in velvet cardigans! I’m wearing my navy top.

That day was day I found true love. Love that is genuine and true. I found Paris’s fabric shops! I think I may of scared my mom a little by how excited I was. I was beaming for the whole morning. I will of course have to have a post on the fabric shops (which I took lots of photo’s for!) and on the fabric. I’m not a big spender but I do love a good bargain. Later in the day we went out for lunch and then saw a rather cool photoshoot!

If you see anything soon in the same kind of vampire, gothic, edwardian theme/ look can you leave a comment because I would be chuffed to know I was there when it happened. You know the whole loving fashion and how it’s created aspect.

Day 8: My last day 😦 Hence the sad looking expression.

Wearing my this top. First we decided to go to some of the cool markets in Paris. We went to the wrong one unfourtuantly. Really terrible, people moving away their stalls as soon as the police come around bad. We quickly headed back to city centre. We decided to have a nice lunch and stroll around the Mare district after getting a little freaked out by the earlier markets. Later in the day we got to the airport to get home. We almost didn’t make it due to the security, thankfully two nice women in front of us let us through when we were 5 minutes from our departure. We got home to our iceberg of a home to turn on every light and heater in it!

A little shot of Paris in the night from the plane. I hope you all had a nice week while I was away. I have some amazing fabric that I got while I was away that I can’t wait to share with you. I’m also going to do a list of some of the best fabric shops that I came across in Paris.

Why am I smiling….

You may be wondering why I’m smiling, well…. I made myself a coat! Isn’t it cute, I love how it turned out.

I’ve had this coat finished for the past two weeks and then I had sewn up the toggles last week but it was too nice to take photo’s of it for the last week, please Irish weather doesn’t need any provoking.

Anyhoo… It’s made using some tweed that was my grandmothers, really nice quality and to me, free! I loved using it because apart from it being scratchy it was a nice weight to work with on the sewing machine. The whole of the wool has stayflex in it (super soft woven interfacing) and is lined with a green lining. I bought the stayflex while I was in the grafton academy and I bought the lining in studio 54.

I also got the buttons in rubenesque, they were €3 each but they were worth it. The toggles were made by moi out of faux leather bought in the woollen mills, sorry no link, you can read about it here. All I did with the toggles was cut roughly 2cm wide stripes and  hand sew a running or tacking like stitch to seal off the inside of the faux leather. The flaps of the pockets are made of the same faux leather and the top stitching is hand sewn as well.

I’m sorry for my many fashion crimes in this photo, socks with open top shoes, jean shorts with winter coat, but it was the end of the day and I was far too lazy to change. I absolutely love the look of the coat in this picture, the swing in the back of it is fantastic. That is why you cut to the grainline…

This is another of my own patterns, I made it during my last week in the Grafton academy. I actually sewed this up in 3 and 1/2 days which I’m very proud of considering it’s my first coat and full lining! The design was loosely based on this coat, ever since I’ve seen this coat I’ve wanted to make something similar, for a year now I keep on going back to the photos to oogle over it.

I specifically designed it to be loose enough to fit my jumpers and have the shoulders fit so I love the look and it’s practical!

Here’s a photo of the collar while it’s down, I think I  the collar up even though that wasn’t the original design. Well that’s my coat, I’m really happy with it.

Cowl..Finished!

I finished my cowl! The details of which are in on ravelry. By the way I was feeling so ridiculous wearing this, it was so warm today in ireland, I just spent the day with my friend in her garden. It was heaven!

I’m also wearing my new coat, which by the way will be posted tomorrow. Enjoying my barbecued burger right now while i’m soaking up the last of Irelands summer until it’s cold enough to wear my new cowl!