Sunday, June 24, 2012

Knitting Surprises - Yarn Bargains and Blog Prizes!

Thank You Kathy! 
Last week I got a delightful surprise - no, make that two delightful surprises - when I won a blog prize from Kathy B at IrishEyesKnitters Blog , and I found a great yarn bargain in Kinsale.

Firstly the yarn prize came as a complete surprise, as I hadn't expected to win the competition. All I did was post a comment linking to another blog on knitting that maybe needed more visitors and comments, so I trawled a bit and thought of Irish Knitting and Crochet which is a great resource of all the Irish crafty sites, although they don't update too often. Anyway KathyB informed me I'd won and asked for my address so she could forward my prize. So I sent it off and forgot about it till a box with an American postmark arrived during the week. I had to think what it might be and wondered then if it was my prize, which it was - all the way from Illinois! I had missed the blogpost that showed the prize, so it came as a real thrill to see all the lovely yarn! I got 2 x 50g skeins of Berocco Denim Silk, which I'd never heard of, and 3 x 50g balls of Tivoli Cotton and Linen slubby boucle yarn in a nice creamy colour.

My lovely prize from Illinois! 
The irony of the airmiles undergone by the Tivoli didn't escape me as it started life in Cork about 50 minutes drive away from Lismore! In fact my son and his family live in the suburb of Tivoli, near the original woollen mills. Sadly now most of the yarn is made in Turkey but still marketed out of Cork as one of the oldest most regarded Irish knitting brands. Thanks KathyB for making my week a  lot brighter - especially given the foul weather we're enduring in pursuit of our Irish Summer, which is making a mockery of us! I have yet to decide what to make with this fab prize but I'll let you know in good time! This yarn is now discontinued so I will make sure I use just enough!

Beautiful Silk/Wool blend Sock Yarn
The second surprise which actually preceded the yarn prize, was this find of a ball of 100g Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn Colour 301 in Vivi, a lovely crafty shop in Kinsale where I went last Saturday. I wandered around the pretty seaside town while hubby Jan attended a town councillor's national meeting in the Blue Haven Hotel, and as I'd never  been to Kinsale before I figured I'd make like a tourist and do all the touristy trail things. Like wander the narrow streets, visit the shops and go down the quayside to the plummy Kinsale Yacht Club and gawp at all the recession-busting yachts in the Marina, which were the ship equivalent of bumper-to-bumper (stern-to-stern?).

The Yarn shop in Kinsale
Kinsale Marina
A colourful Kinsale street

Along one narrow winding lane I saw this shop which was manna to any knitter, and I browsed covetously for a while, like I do in bookshops, not buying but loitering with guilty intent. I had taken my stash-busting pledge seriously, or maybe I thought I had; well I had told hubby not a drop ball of wool would enter the house till the stash was diminished to virtually nothing, but like any self-respecting knitaholic, I was only one  ball away from falling off that wagon, and the temptation of a lone ball of Noro was too much, and I caved in. The real lure was the price tag - a fiver, that's 5 Euro or about $6, or £4, anyway about a quarter of the normal price. Seems it was the last of the lot and the saleswoman didn't seem to make much of my enthusiastic reaction to my find, as she told me she wasn't a knitter herself.

I have spent the past week deliberating over what to make and while it's sock  yarn,  all 300m of it, I think it's far too pretty to hide in my boots, so I'm going to make a scarf/shawl in a chevron pattern that'll show up the stripes beautifully. I know it'll have a right and a wrong side but I don't think that'll matter as the reverse stocking stitch will be lovely with the lacy design. I have decided on a pattern I found in Pinterest, as it's simple and easy.

Source: via anemone on Pinterest

I think it's very delicate and hope it does the Noro yarn justice!  It's also on Ravelry as a free download.

Right now I don't have time to work with complex charts as I've a wedding in a week and a bit. Our eldest son Shayne and his fiancee Jany are tying the knot after 4 years together, and regular blog readers will know they have two beautiful daughters, Sofia and Livia. So I have a cake to bake and decorate, albeit simply, and a frock to find, again not getting too stressed about that, as I'm not going the whole mother of the groom thing with hats and shoes and bag matching a serious rigout. More like a summery frock and a shawl or bolero and I'll be grand. I got nice white sandals in New Look in Cork today so that's a start!

Enjoy the photos and be sure to visit Kathy's blog and all the blogs people in the competition recommended to her and thanks again for thinking up a lovely surprise to make my week!


Joyful said...

How wonderful that you got some fabulous gifts of wool. I can't wait to see your shawl. I love your approach to your son's upcoming wedding too. There is no point in being stressed about what should be a happy occasion.

BTW, I hope this comment appears at the right post. When I tried leaving a comment, different posts kept appearing after the comment box would appear. The latest one is from December 15, 2010!

Stephanie V said...

A lovely journey the Tivoli yarn has had! And I can't wait to see your Noro shawl. The colors are marvellous. Isn't it weird when non-knitters sell yarn? They just have no enthusisasm - nor can they share yours.

Cheers for the upcoming wedding. Hope your Irish summer arrives in time. Ours is certainly lingering somewhere near Hawaii I think.

Mereknits said...

Hi Catherine, so glad you found me so now I can find you. First a big congrats to you on your son getting married, I bet you are thrilled. Kathy B is one of my favorite bloggers, I am so happy you won her great yarn give-away. She is such an amazing person. Love your blog and I am a bit of a Noroaholic so I understand why you couldn't pass that up.
have a great day

kathy b said...


Thanks for the great post about me and the yarn. Awwww, shucks. Im blushing! I LOVE that NOro and the pattern you've chosen is so lovely.

More soon!
kathy b

kathy b said...

so happy you love your prize yarn!!!

Val said...

Well done! I love the colourful Kinsale street, how cheerful.

Catherine said...

Hi All, thanks so much for your kind comments, sorry I didn't respond before now but I am very busy with the forthcoming wedding, in fact it is now today the wedding day! So I will be back to normal (relatively) next week. Tomorrow will be a big day in the family, and I am so happy for them all. As for my knitting, I've set aside the Noro shawl, have made a lovely crochet bag for the wedding with a pattern from The Happy Hooker, a Stitch'n'Bitch book, looks great. So I'll post that pic soon too.
Take care, no individual comments this time I'm afraid but you know I love all the knitters out there!
Catherine xxx