Wool Maker Lane

knitting, spinning and life with alpacas


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Way home Knitting

 

Every evening, on my way home from work, I drop into my mother’s house.  This is our time to have a catch up chat about how the day has gone and to get on with our knitting.  My mother is currently making me a navy pullover which is very close to the end.  She’s working on the collar at the moment and I am so looking forward to it being finished.

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By contrast I am working on a small jumper for my cousin’s little lad Diarmuid.  I leave this in my mother’s house and pick it up every evening to do a few extra rows.  It’s really knitting up very quickly.

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Please note the funny faces on the needles.  These were the only pair of 4mm needles in the house but they work perfectly.

 


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Meet the Olympia Cardigan…the Olympic race that finally saw the finish line!

Early in July, during a weekend in Bristol, my husband and I decided to go to a sale in John Lewis to look at shirts…..Whilst perusing the menswear section it came to my attention that there was a sale on in the haberdashery area so I needed to investigate.  I was in so much luck as there was a large area brimming with various yarns and wool all with discounted labels.  A few of them had been bagged up as job lots.  This is where I came across the beautiful pinks and greys in the Debbie Bliss Elektra yarn…all ten balls of it (each of 50 grammes).  There and then I had to have it as I was sure that I would get a complete garment from it.  This was going to be my new project to accompany me during my Olympics viewing.

I knew that I wanted to make a large, cosy cardigan for the chilly evenings to slip over whatever I happened to be wearing.   Following a quick swatch using 6mm needles (the label suggests 8mm) and a few rudimentary measurements I got started.  I must say that this was the most liberating project.  No pattern was used other than a basic idea in my head of how I wanted the cardigan to look.  While the games on the telly got underway so did I.

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As everyone knows ‘Life is what happens when you’re making other plans’ and on a number of occasions both my cardigan project and my Olympic watching were interrupted with more pressing matters at work and home.  I was able, though, to pick it up easily and carry on when I was able to snatch a half hour here and there and it just grew and grew so quickly that it was very gratifying.

I knitted it all in one piece from the bottom up.  I split the stitches at the armholes for the back and the fronts and continued in stocking stitch up to the shoulders.  Next I sewed up the shoulders, picked up the stitches from the armholes and knitted the sleeves from top to cuff.  Finally I picked up and knitted the stitches around the collar using garter stitch and did the same for the button band.

I managed to finish it this week just when the Para Olympics started  (so I am still within the  Olympic timetable) and I love wearing it.

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Annual Visit to the Royal Meath Show

Well the first Sunday in September has arrived and wow what a splendid day it has been …starting with some decent weather and all the fun of the Royal Meath Show.  This is a yearly event when the farmers of  Meath (and indeed further afield) come with their precious animals to see if they can win a rosette or even a trophy or two.  For each winner of a category there is a token monetary prize which usually covers the cost of the initial application.

One of the loveliest aspects of the show is that in many of the cases the farmers’ children are encouraged to show off the animals and walk them around the ring.

Sheep

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This year there seemed to be less sheep which had been dyed yellow.  The sheep above were in a holding pen while those in the pictures below are of the animals in the ring with their owners making a great effort to keep them still while they waited for the judge to come down to their end of the line.

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Cattle

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Above is Henry the Highland bull.  He was on display along with his pal Hamish but as there were no other Highland Cattle they weren’t in competition.   I find this chap’s horns formidable and I couldn’t imagine what it must be like trying to carry out certain husbandry activities on him….alpacas are difficult enough to subdue when necessary!

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This young bull belonged to two brothers and he was just about to be brought into the ring.  One of the lads is busy with the last minute grooming which involved sprinkling a load of ‘sparkle dust’ onto the animal’s coat to make it glisten.  It’s incredible the length that the people went to to get the ‘edge’ on their fellow competitors.

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This lovely young girl brought her cow Christabel along to the show.  She did so well for her first time out by coming fourth and I have been informed that she is definitely coming back next year.

 

Other animals 

Horses formed a large part of the show and were competing throughout the entire day. There were also classes for goats but alpacas, being kind of rare in these parts, were just on display.  These beauties were from Trim Alpacas.

Donkeys and snoozing piglets were also on view.  Trim is synonymous with donkeys as there is a field of them beside the castle.  It is a popular past time for families to go into town to feed the donkeys.

Gardening classes

There were a number of vegetables on display but by far the most beautiful gardening category for me was the dahlias.  They were in plentiful supply and added great colour to the marquee.  You can see that marrows aren’t too popular..only one in the category which, naturally, turned out to be the winner.

Crafts

Many crafts were also on display but as usual for me it was the knitting that caught my eye.

Doll’s dresses seemed to be popular while there were some soft toys.  Of course there were also garments in the competition:

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As there was a barrier about a yard in front of the display tables it was very difficult to see anything in great detail but it seems that the winner was the beautiful Aran Cardigan.

These ladies were discovered in the Craft Tent selling knitwear.  They are from the Trim Library Knit ‘N’ Natter group which meets every Thursday morning.  They were very warm and welcoming and maybe if I find myself free one Thursday I may just head down there.

All in all it was a great day and I’m thinking that if I could get organised a little more next summer I could possibly submit something to the knitting category…we’ll see!