Monday, March 19, 2012

A brand new FUNdraiser!

I always did like maths.

last night I sat down and worked out that, if we take the €85 raised so far since the project began, that I wasa going to be about €160 behind by the end of the year.

Now, the Guinness people rejecting the World Record Attempt (on grounds of being "too specialised", which is fair enough) meant there was one less fundraiser this quarter, but even so, behind is behind.

As it stands, I worked out that I need to be raising €10.93 a week for the rest of the challenge period in order to hit the target. That's an achievable amount still, but I'd rather get ahead fairly quickly.

I do have a small, quick FUNdraiser in the works (more on that when it's ready to go - don't want to spoil the surprise!) but in the meantime, we've kicked off a larger-scale project that's going to last until June.

We've managed to secure permission to "Yarnbomb" a building for Worldwide Knit in Public Day (Tuesday, 12th June)

In keeping with the spirit of more traditional 'yarnbombing' the location will not be revealed until the time, but, as we're doing this to raise money for good causes, we have made particularly sure to get permission of the current building manager.

This is a chance to get involved and help to fantastic causes: Dogs For The Disabled, Ireland & The Cultural Quarters.


Here's how to play:

* Knit, or crochet (or any other yarn-craft for that matter - we already have a needlefelter on board!) a piece (or as many pieces as you like) - squares, triangles, and rectangles are good shapes, but we'll take all comers (and all levels of ability)

* Measure your piece and donate 10c (€uro-cents) per square inch of work that you'd included. (Nearest metric equivalent would be 20 €uro-cents per 5 square centimetres) - ideally to the PayPal account we have put by for the project, but if you can't do PayPal, we'll sort something.

* Send in your piece(s) by Friday, 8th June for inclusion in the piece. (Message me for posting address). Remember to include a note with your email address on it.

What you will get out of it:

* A certificate of participation after the event and a photo of your work in-situ emailed to you (include your email of choice with your submission).

* A name credit online publicly thanking you for your participation.

* A warm, fuzzy feeling from helping two very deserving causes!

If you'd like to join in, you can join us:

* Yes, there's an event and a group - it's confusing I know - and that's my fault I'm afraid. I set it up as an event, but it's actually going to need a group to enable us to converse properly, add photos and tallies etc. - Sorry about that!

We're open for submissions as soon as you like, so come on in and join the fun if you can! - If you don't yarn craft, then please spread the word (and the group link) to as many people as you can think of - it's a pretty big building!

February & March-to-date round-up

A lot of things happened through February and March - for one thing, we both had flu, followed by a big audition each. (Turns out Christophe was too tall for his audition and I've not had the result of mine back yet) So a lot of things have got so that I can't keep an accurate tally on individual projects and crafts and that is why they're no longer being kept track of in the sidebar.

However, the Murder Mystery became a big focus for February and March, so I thought you guys would like to see a photo of the wonderful cast:

The evening was a great success and raised €80 each for The Cultural Quarters (who also kindly hosted the rehearsals and performance) and D4D.

We were very lucky to have a personal appearance by some of the Melia family who's elder boy, Luke, is already in a partnership with D4D's Aidan, a five-year-old Golden Retriever.

Here we see both Luke and brother Oisin solving the crime in the "buffet car" of the Disoriented Express.

While we're about it, in case you're not already familiar, Luke and Oisin have been excluded from school since January because of Luke's partnership with Aidan.

You can learn all about the story of this idiotic, unnecessary and UNJUST case (in my humble opinion it boils down to certain adults bullying this child on the basis of his disability - but you should read and make your own minds up) by checking out:


...but, to better things - Two new FUNdraisers are beginning to take shape. More on this shortly!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

"Rumours of my death have been hugely exaggerated!"

Well, I bet you thought I dropped off the planet didn't you?

No no - things a-plenty arer happening this end. It's just been SOOO busy that I haven't had a chanc to update.

I'm gathering piccies etc though and will be updating the blog and photo album soon!

Are you guys ready to start Summer? (Vernal Equinox in 3 days) It's promising to be a fantastic one already!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Saturday, 14th January: Day 14 & Week 3

Well, what a funny week it's been! - We've had the dreaded lurgy in our house. I don't know if any of you have had a dose of this that's going round, but I really hope you don't get it!
Whatever it is this viral thing, it manifests in an odd way. When you're sitting down and quiet and resting, you're fine, but the minute you stand up or get too active, you get very, very hot and dizzy. Fortunately both of us got rid of the guts of it pretty quickly, but unfortunately it did trigger my vertigo for the past few days, which has been most unpleasant and led to my taking a tumble down our stairs yesterday. So all in all it's been a pretty frustrating week with not as much productivity as I'd like, but then, it could always have been worse - so we have been very lucky!

First up this week, was a draught excluder for the main door of the Cultural Quarters. There is a bit of a gap there and Tracy's keen for us to make it even more warm and cosy now that the door opens in to the tearoom.

For draught excluders generally, I tend to favour the 'swiss roll' method, from one single piece, but Glenn found some old, reclaimable foam in the back shed, so the task has become to put a sort of 'sleeve' on it, with wings at each end so that we can nail it to the back of the door, so that it doesn't have to be lifted whenever anyone comes in or out. Per a suggestion from Janet, we may also add cotton-reel wheels.

Here's a picture of the work in progress:

These two next images are lacy, fingerless hand-warmers I made for Olivia, to go with the amazing hat she made last week.

The lacy effect comes from knitting DK Yarn on oversize needles (in this case, 8mm). This rainbow yarn lent itself very well to this style.

I'm happy enough for this pattern (which is my own) to be used for personal purposes, on condition that anyone who wishes to use it should please make a donation to Irish Dogs for the Disabled here:
The pattern will be available in my etsy shop and on from later tonight.

On Wednesday, we had a stroke of VERY bad luck. - In a bizarre administration error at their end, the telephone company managed to take over ten times the amount we were paying on our transaction this week.

Fortunately for us, they acknowledged their mistake the same

day and are going to pay us back our money. Sadly though, this will take them (depending on who you talk to up there) either "2-3 working days" (Thursday) or "3-4 working days" (Friday)

As if proof were ever required of the Law of Attraction in operation, wee Olivia was showing a customer her hat on Thursday afternoon and he commissioned a similar one for himself on the spot. Wee Olivia of course, is getting 10% as a commission for herself, as she was effectively the reason for the sale and €5 from it will go to Dogs for the Disabled Ireland, so hooray! - that's the first 1% towards this year's target for fundraising - I'm almost dancing with glee!

The two images to the right are from this project.

The top one of the two, I took to show you how I come to decisions when working with blended wools. In this instance, the gentleman wanted "blues - something bright, but not too bright" and I happened to have some of the royal with me at the time and he said that he'd go for something that bright, but mixed with something else to tone it down.
Before I start knitting, if I want to check if the other shades I've selected will work, I pinch all the ends between my thumb and forefinger and then wind
the yarns (all at the same time) around my fingers as shown. It gives you a fairly accurate idea of how the yarns will behave and lay down while you're working them.

The second picture shows the completed piece (being worn at a fairly odd angle, but you can get the idea at least).

To finish up the week, here are two new stock items in my shop. Firstly another copy of the gents/unisex wristies/hand warmers that I made for Christophe and then for Sister's boyfriend...

...and then another hat I made just because I was enjoying the colour blend so much.

This one is deliberately asymmetric - the advantage of the band at the back allows either for better protection from the wind on your neck, or to accommodate 'hair up' styles easier.

This coming week will be another exciting one too!
First off, there's the Knotty Knitters next meeting on Tuesday from 11 at the Library, then, at the Cultural Quarters this week, as well as having a carpenter in volunteering his time, (for which we are incredibly grateful!) we have Burns' Night and our Comedy evening on Wednesday, featuring talents from as far afield as Buffalo, New York and as close to home as, well, Ballinamore.

...and then on Thursday, as well as the Cultural Quarters Knitting and Crochet club from 14.00, we're hosting a local Craftsy Meet-up for International Crafters Day from 10.00 running all day. (I'll post the poster up tomorrow).

Friday sees the inaugural meeting of the new "Sew and Tell" classes, also at the CQ and we round the week off with the Saturday Flea Market, before kicking next wweek off to a flying start with Al's Italian conversation classes, which start on the 30th.

For more from the Cultural Quarters, go to their blog at:

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday, 13th January: Day 13

Another splendiferous day down at The Cultural Quarters. Started work on a custom draught excluder for the main door. After which, I'm going to attempt a scarf in the O'Rourke tartan for Al (he's going to find a picture for me to work from.

At the same time, over the next few days, when I get my 8mm needles back (Olivia is borrowing them for the weekend - graduated to completely knitting on her own this afternoon, across the room no less!) I'm going to start work on an Aran Style jumper in machine washable (mixed fibre) yarn as a reward for our "Fund It" entry.

Will post pics of the draught excluder in a wee while.

In other news, I'm pleased and proud as punch that my suggestion of a name was one of the ones picked up for Irish Dogs For The Disabled's latest litter of puppies!

Meet Farah, three weeks and one day old today:

(this image belongs to Irish Dogs For The Disabled)

...namesake of Farah, who will be 12 next Tuesday:

(and this image is mine.)
This one was taken last Dec 25th.
Farah is herself, a retiree from the UK Guide Dogs programme, where she should've been a brood bitch, but was retired early due to a medical condition.
Her smile is in anticipation of getting to unwrap her present (pigs' ears)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thursday, 12th January: Day 12

Well, what a fabulous day we've had today!

We started on a high - an email from the Open University to say that Christophe will get the full amount of credit transfer from his old university when he starts with OU next month.

Today also saw the inaugural meeting of the new, supplementary knit & crochet club at the Cultural Quarters today. (by the way, I think I gave you the link to the blog wrongly in a previous post, that link again is:

The Knotty Knitters (Tuesdays from 11.00 in Ballinamore Library) are still going from strength to strength, but with the advent of the supplementary club on a Thursday afternoon, anyone who goes to the Yoga class, or who has teenies in toe etc, now also has the option of the drop-in/out on your own schedule sessions on a Thursday afternoon.
Don't let a lack of needles/yarn slow you down either - we can loan spares to beginners.

Here's a shot of our newest (and youngest) member, Olivia, daughter of our lovely Project Leader, sporting the hat she made this afternoon (She made the band of the hat herself and had minimal help with the crown) when she tried out knitting for the very first time today.
The colours are of her own design too - she worked in four colours over 8mm needles, with contrasting stitching in lilac and the tassle in black.

Well done Olivia!

Wednesday, 11th January: Day 11

Well, a day of slow progress in all areas today (a bit like walking in custard really) but progress nonetheless!

I haven't anything to 'show' per-sey for today yet, but some important groundwork has been done.

Today's achievements:

* Applied to the Guinness World Records to see if my record attempt idea and fundraiser are something they want to support (VERY scary process, but worth an ask - worst they can do is say 'no' - but I'm hoping they'll like the idea as much as we do!)

* Began work on my dream board.
This is something I've been too long thinking about and now must absolutely become physical.
I had THE most amazing experience last month - a (free) one hour workshop in self-discovery with the wonderful Helen Collins (Which I would whole-heartedly recommend to absolutely EVERYONE!) and the dream board is something we identified as an exercise that will be good for me.
It's an exercise that locks in with the "Law of Attraction", the principal of which is discussed in the very excellent movie "The Secret" which can be streamed online for free (Megavideo carry multiple versions and we've always found them to be very reliable and use them regularly)

* Began a poster for the new, afternoon knit club and another for the crafters day
(both at the Cultural Quarters, Thursdays from 14.00 and January 26th respectively)

...and for a final offering, I managed to snap, by chance, this very cute picture of Kleo and Christophe watching a documentary together earlier on.