Local Yarn Shop Profile: The Constant Knitter

Today, we’re visiting a local yarn shop in Dublin, The Constant Knitter, and meeting its proprietor Rosemary. So, pour a cup of tea and get comfortable as we learn about the woolly wonderfulness of The Constant Knitter in a post on my main blog, EvinOK.
The Constant Knitter
88 Francis Street, Dublin 8
353 1 515 2879  /  087 996 7197

The Wind Up – What is a Hank, Skein, Ball or Cake of Yarn?

Yarn comes in many colors, thicknesses, shapes, and yardages. Most commonly, when you purchase yarn it will either be in the form of a skein, cone or hank. So, what do those mean? I’ve written a detailed post to explain it as best as I can over on my main blog, EvinOK. See you over there, I’ll put on the kettle for you.

Potion Hues

Winding yarn from hank to cake in a pub

 

Quantum Circus

Last year, I was looking for a fabulous birthday present for an awesome (understatement) friend. She spins, she knits, she crochets, she does physics and maths that boggle my mind. This gift had to be reallllllly thoughtful. I decided to coordinate with a dyer (MandaCrafts) on Etsy to have a custom color way created through space-dyeing soybean-based fibre. The result was Quantum Circus, a one-of-a-kind color way designed by me (I’m rather proud of that since I don’t spin so it was a leap of faith). The process was a delight and very exciting to be able to create something unique and out of my imagination. I sent Amanda ideas and she gave me feedback based on how soybean fibres would take certain colors. Back and forth a couple times and after I sent a color palette of sorts, it was ready to become a reality. And best of all MandaCrafts is based in the UK so she shipped directly to my friend, saving me a trip to the post office while carrying around my big old pregnancy belly. The gift was well received and an instant favorite. Here’s a photo of it with a color palette.

Quantum Circus©

Vibes & Scribes restarts its Knitting and Crochet Group in Bridge Street location

Vibes & Scribes Knitting and Crochet Group is starting up again on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. in their new craft & fabric store on Bridge Street. The same store location also hosts a group on Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. Seasoned pros and total beginners welcome. Please note that these groups do not meet year-round so it is best to ring the store to confirm it is taking place before you go: 021-450-5370.

Previous posts on this blog related to Vibes & Scribes (those in bold are updated regularly when information changes because they receive so many visitors):

Contemporary Irish Knits by Carol Feller

Address Book

The Pink Auction, Creative Textile Fundraiser for Action Breast Cancer

Where I’ve Bought Yarn Lately

Knitting in the City

Dyeing Wool with Kool-Aid

Vibes & Scribes Expanded Yarn Options

Where to Buy Yarn in Cork City

Vibes & Scribes Hosting Knitting Night

My First Pattern Book

New Yarn from Vibes & Scribes (Cork City)

Where to go and what to get

Dalkey Cowl and Fingerless Mittens in Dublin Dye Company Raspberry Merino Sock

Putting Together the Perfect Care Package for a Crafty Friend

This month, I’ve been working on a care packages for a few knitter friends. So, what do you give an accomplished knitter who also happens to be an intelligent women and thoughtful friend?

When considering a gift for a knitter, cook, or crafty person, should it fuel her creativity with supplies or pamper her with something made especially for her? I opt for a bit of both. My formula is to give one part handmade, two parts supplies, and one part something else entirely.

Creating a care package is something done from the heart with care and consideration. You choose items to include as if you were in a field of flowers hand selecting daisies for the kitchen table. The items do not all need to coordinate on their own because the fact that they cater to the recipient’s likes makes them go together. Here is the story of one of the care packages and what went into it…

For Suzi, a knitter, crocheter, theoretical physicist, and kid at-heart, it was important to embrace whimsy and color, but also warmth and practicality since she lives someplace with a biting winter chill. This is a combined graduation/new job/moving gift so it had to be big and the knitting group helped make it happen. I even tracked down a cute congratulations card and we all signed it!

• One skein of silk merino lace weight in Spell Light from Hedgehog Fibres, which we passed around one night at the pub and we each hugged the skein so when it got to Suzi, she’d get our hugs too.
• One skein of sock yarn in Jezebel from Hedgehog Fibres
• Red merino cable knit hat and gloves set from Lands’ End
• A Wham Bam Thank You Lamb neckwarmer I knitted for her
• One cake of Noro Kureyon in 161 C
• One ball of rainbow-colored cotton yarn
• Hand-sewn drawstring project bag I made from yellow and purple flowered ladies handkerchiefs
• Phaidon Wallpaper Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland
• Barry’s Tea for a taste of home
• Assorted candies
• Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Moisturizing Hand Lotion in Midnight Pomegranate

Care Package for Suzi

For your knitter friend, you could give a combination of supplies to encourage and inspire. I’ve received three amazing care packages from knitter friends that included yummy yarn, practical tools, and non-knitting treats (such as gourmet chocolate, candy corn, tinned pumpkin puree, book, and wall calendar). Some of my favorites are:

The Knit KitTSA compliant foldable scissors, crochet hook, stitch markers, stitch counter, tape measure, thread cutter, point protectors, and darning needle, $19.99 from Amazon.com

GoKnit Pouchlightweight rip-stop pouch with yarn guider loop and loop to attach to your seatbelt or beltloop so you can knit anywhere, from KnowKnits.com

Interchangeable CaseZip Pouch, or one of the other amazing handmade knitting & crochet organizers – keeping fibre lovers organized, from Madbird on Etsy.

The Knitter’s Bible Stitch Library by Claire Crompton or your favorite knit/stitch dictionary or reference guide

A Knitting Magazine or pattern

Woolly treats in amazing colors and decadent textures, a coveted gift for any knitter or crocheter

Hedgehog Fibres
Little Island, Co. Cork, Ireland
Website: http://www.hedgehogfibres.com/
Blog: http://www.fly-along.blogspot.ie/
Shop: http://shop.hedgehogfibres.com/

Sea Three yarn

Gaia’s Colours yarn

Punta hand-painted cotton yarn

The choice is ultimately yours. One way to decide what to make your friend or what supplies to give is to evaluate whether she already has a vast stockpile of supplies. Ravelry also makes it easier because you can sneak a peek at a friend’s Queue to see what she wants to make then either make it for her, buy her the perfect wool for the project, or gift her the pattern to make it herself. Of course, peek at her Wish List to see what patterns she desires otherwise you may be gifting patterns she already has. Be weary of this as your only resource though as some Ravelers don’t keep their Queue priorities in order so look for trends in her yarn stash, Queue and Projects. You may just see she has Queued or Favorited a dozen cowls or scarves and that’s a shove in the right direction for something you could make her.

The Knitting and Stitching Show in Dublin

Autumn seems fairly magical already with ember-hued leaves falling around us and giving us a golden path on which to walk. Slipping into a warm sweater to ward off the chill or donning that favorite handknit hat just adds to the magic. But when there is an entire workshop extravaganza focused on knitting and stitching, it transcends magic and it downright dreamy!

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Where I’ve Bought Yarn Lately

Here is a list of places where I’ve bought yarn in the past year with links to my original blog posts about the experience and purchase. Also, I have a post listing stores to purchase knitting supplies in Cork City. In each notations below, I try to include what I bought and a link to a photo of it on Flickr. It’s just one of the many little things I do to make your reading experience all the more enjoyable.

ONLINE YARN STORES

Hedgehog Fibres, Online, but based in Cork City (Ireland). Was given a hank of silk/merino in Opalite and one of pure silk in Swamp. Earthy colors, addictive textures, knowledgeable hand-dying.

Where to Buy Buttons, Zippers, Yarn, and Snaps? The Cork Button Factory, Of Course

Don’t be fooled by its modest exterior, the Cork Button Factory has as many buttons as you may ever need. We’ve mentioned this shop before in our Where To Buy Yarn in Cork City post, but this time it is featured all on its own because yarn is just a tiny portion of what makes this place a local treasure.

From floor to ceiling, the main section of this Pope’s Quay shop is organized by color and style with buttons in plastic tubes with one sample affixed to the outer-facing end. If you ask, they also have thread, zippers, and other fastening supplies. Essentials such as Velcro, acrylic ‘wool’/yarn, crochet hooks, knitting needles, jeans’ buttons, dressmaker pins, and measuring tape are available by the counter or if you ask. Belt loops are in the mix with buttons. Rumor has it, the little-shop-that-could supplies to the city’s tailors and seamstresses.
As I have experienced, if you bring in the item that lost its button, someone will kindly help you find a replacement. It may not be the perfect match, but some of the buttons are so detailed and beautiful it makes me almost want to change out the buttons on all your boring cardigans! I did give in and change out the buttons on one shirt from plain black to ladybugs and it made a ordinary yet classic top into something with personality and a summer feel.
Tips for Success:

• Some buttons have been here for eons so if a color isn’t exact on the outside sample, take a peek in the tube since fading occurs on the outside one.

• Ask for help if you need it.
• If you are looking to match a button to an existing piece of clothing, bring the item with you.
• They are open on weekdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (they stay open during lunch), but are closed on weekends. This may be frustrating, but just remember that they work hard and need to take care of their own messages, errands, and lives come Saturday and Sunday.
Cork Button Company
4 Popes Quay
Cork, County Cork
TEL: (353) 021 450 2730
FAX: (353) 021 450 2746
ONLINE STORE: http://www.corkbuttoncompany.ie/
corkbuttonfactory
A view of the inside of Cork Button Factory, 4 Pope’s Quay, Cork City Centre

Vibes & Scribes Expanded Yarn Options

Cork City knitters, rejoice! Vibes & Scribes’s Lavitt’s Quay craft-focused store has expanded its yarn selection. Still mainly luxury, colorful, and decadent options, but much much more of them!

Previous post about buying Aran wool there.

Where to Buy Yarn in Cork City

Leesiders love their knitting, as shown by the multiple fibre craft groups meeting every week. The passion for all things woolly and wonderful extends beyond just making things to being a community. Even if you are just starting out, this is a wonderful way to meet friends, hone your skills, and get out for a bit of good clean fun. Here are a few of the shops selling yarn in Cork City…
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