Wool Maker Lane

knitting, spinning and life with alpacas


Introducing The Barley Twist


Today my sweater, The Barley Twist, is ready for presentation and I have to say that I am extremely pleased with it.  I wanted to knit a jumper using aran wool that gave a nod to aran design without being overcome with a pattern that was so dense with stitches that it was too heavy to wear.  It’s a very simple shape with a roll neck, cuffs and base.  The cable design, which goes up the front side,  meets the same cable from the back of the jumper at the shoulder.  I had been tempted to put a smaller cable up one of the sleeves but I’m glad now that I didn’t.


I used Blarney Woollen Mills Aran Handknitting Wool which I bought in Bunratty last November.  It’s a beautiful shade of creamy white and as a wool it is very strong.  On a scale of softness from one to ten I would give it a six.   The jumper was knitted on 5. 5mm needles so I do expect it to keep its shape and hopefully it won’t pill so easily as can happen with softer wools and looser knits.

I thought that I would have this jumper completed quickly but as I was knitting from scratch I had to be meticulous with measurements and numbers so it took a lot longer than anticipated.  Luckily I’ve kept good notes so that if I wanted to make another it would be a much swifter affair.   Alongside this creation other events requiring a quickly knitted hat or baby cardy kept coming up and so the inevitable diversions occurred.

I chose the name Barley Twist because the colour of the wool resembles growing barley and, of course, the twist part refers to the cables.

I’m really looking forward to wearing it on a cool evening.



Bootsy admiring my finished jumper.  


Dublin 7 Yarn bombed!


I have always been ambivalent about the concept of ‘yarn bombing.’  Part of me was concerned about the use of yarn to cover an object that, functionally, doesn’t really require it.  Yesterday, however, my mind was changed.  I found myself driving in Phibsborough in North Dublin which is a very old Victorian part of the city full of red brick houses.  During the day it is usually a bottle neck full of stationary traffic.  To a driver Phibsborough just means a boring traffic jam.  NO LONGER THOUGH. People suffering at traffic lights merely need to take a glance at the pavements for a visual treat:


(Bohs is the abbreviation for the local soccer team ‘Bohemians.’  )

At the moment I find myself driving almost daily through this part of the city and I have to admit that my mind has so changed about using yarn to decorate a place and to bring joy  to the people in an area.  I don’t quite know the background to the community of people who created this but I am so glad that they did.   I now look forward to the traffic lights going red so that I can enjoy these pieces of pavement art.  A big thank you to all involved.