Friday, May 29, 2015

Tea Cosies by Gran McCann

Tea Cosies

Gran McCann
Handmade Crafts

''Buy an heirloom – a magnificent piece to be passed on through generations''

Tea cosy, irish made, handmade, knitted, tea, teapot, aran, craft

These beautiful handmade tea cosies are crafted by the woolshops own Bernadette McCann.
Each tea cosy is crafted with a spectacular blend of colours and designs. These pieces are a perfect match for any kitchen decor.

Tea cosy, irish made, handmade, knitted, tea, teapot, aran, craft

The creation of each item imparts unique and individual qualities to that piece of handcraft. The person who creates your heirloom piece will have inherited their skill from family and community, where these skills are passed from generation to generation. By buying an heirloom piece you are receiving a crafted piece of our community, which you can pass on to your family. You are also supporting a more ecologically sound way of life where people are working in their own homes and connecting with the world through the wonderful technology of the World Wide Web.  

Tea cosy, irish made, handmade, knitted, tea, teapot, aran, craft

A Tea-ny bit of history......

Tea was introduced to Britain in the 1660s, but the first documented history of the use of a tea cosy in Britain was in 1867. The Duchess of Bedford popularized afternoon tea as a light meal before dinner and an activity to occupy the time of affluent women. Afternoon tea was the time for networking and keeping up to date with aristocracy gossip and topical news. With all the chatter at teatime the teapot would get cold, which would have at times cut short some tea parties. And so, the tea cosy came about.

Tea cosy, irish made, handmade, knitted, tea, teapot, aran, craft

Tea cosies then flourished during the late 19th century, where they appeared in many households across Britain, motivated by the obsession of decorating and covering objects characteristic of the Victorian era.

Tea cosy, irish made, handmade, knitted, tea, teapot, aran, craft

Tea cosies started to be used in North America in the same period. Newspapers of the time reveal that tea cosies enjoyed "a sudden and unexpected rise in public favor" among women who hosted tea parties. Newspapers of the time included advice columns on how to make one: "Some very handsome ones are made of remnants of heavy brocade but linen is generally used, embroidered or not, according to taste, as these covers are washable.

Tea cosy, irish made, handmade, knitted, tea, teapot, aran, craft

Hope you enjoy browsing through my hand knitted tea cosies and fall in love with one!
Buy an original vintage tea cosy, there are no two alike!
Visit our store here:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Louie The Elephant By Peeko Crafts

Louie The Elephant By Peeko Crafts 

peekocrafts, kitted toys, knitting ideas

Meet Louie the Elephant! Louie’s favourite things are loves and lollipops. He’d make a great little buddy for someone who’s also a fan of loves and lollipops (and super cute elephants)

The initial idea for Louie was born out of my own love for adorable baby elephants (you can expect a lot of little amigurumi creatures appearing because of my obsession with just about all baby creatures!). Like Bing, Louie is made with Rico Creative Cotton Aran, which is a 100% Cotton yarn. You really can’t go wrong with cotton when it comes to making something for cuddles. :)

Louie’s over-sized ears and limbs really add to his cuteness (and squishability) and who could say no to those eyes?

Soon after I made the original Louie I had an order for a pink Louie, who I named Lola (just so Louie wouldn’t be having an identity crisis) I’m looking forward to creating some more colourful elephants soon – yet another reason I love Rico Creative Cotton, the range of colours is absolutely wonderful!

The finished Louie and Lola toys are available from the Etsy shop since last week and the pattern has just been released today! You can purchase it from Etsy, Ravelry and it will be available on LoveKnitting in a few days. Here’s a couple of photos from my wonderful pattern testers who’ve already made their own Louie the elephants!

Thanks to Aimee for sharing her lovely blog. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Wendy Four Legged Friend Scarf Kits

Wendy Four Legged Friend Scarf Kits 

Wendy four legged friends knitting kits at

This scarf kit comes in a lovely blend of colour ways with easy to follow instructions. The head, legs and tail are already made up, just ready to sew on when the scarf is completed. 

Wendy four legged friends knitting kits at

The amazing thing about this kit is if you start to knit from the outside of the ball of wool you will get one effect, if you work from the inside of the ball the effect is different. 

Wendy four legged friends knitting kits at

There are four different colour ways available. An ideal gift for child or adult and these kits, which come in presentation boxes, are suitable for all level of knitters.   

Wendy four legged friends knitting kits at

Wendy four legged friends knitting kits at

Wendy four legged friends knitting kits at

This scarf kit contains: 

Knitted Head (stuffed)
Legs and Tail (stuffed)
1 x 100g ball of dk acrylic

5mm needles not included
Deminsions: 20cm x 10cm x 10cm

Wendy four legged friends knitting kits at

Easy and simple to knit, these kits (€14.95) are available to purchase at

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Knots In Yarn - We Talk To An Expert

Knots In Yarn  

So you are in the middle of a row of knitting and you come across a knot in the yarn!.
What now?

We hear this frequently from knitters ''why is there knots in my yarn?'

We decided to look a little deeper into this. Knots in yarn are a natural occurring problem. This is mostly due to the length of the staple. During spinning there is a process for joining fibres together called the weavers knot. As you can imagine during the process of spinning the fibres will naturally thin out which means this particular 'knot' or 'joint' is then used to reconnect the yarn.

To find out a bit more on this subject I spoke to Mr Frank Malone from Tivoli Spinners an Irish yarn company based in Cork. Tivoli has been serving knitters with top quality yarns for years. Tivoli Spinners was established in 1973 and is one of Ireland's best known yarn manufacturers.  

''Tivoli offer a variety of yarn qualities from 100% pure wool, woolblends, 100% cottons to man made fibres. Their yarns range from Double Knitting, Aran and Chunky through to Super Chunky.

Frank is an industry expert in yarn manufacturing having used a spinning machine himself, you can take it from us he knows what he's talking about.

Q). 'Is the problem with knots in yarn natural or a mechanical fault?'

A). 'It is a natural occurring problem, the wool goes through about five processes during spinning. During the spinning process the wool will go through up to five machines and each machine operator is trained in a skill called 'the weavers knot'. Theoretically this knot is supposed to be very small and perhaps unnoticeable. To give a better idea on this specialised joint take a look at this video:

Q). What would be an acceptable amount of weavers knots in terms of industry standards?

A). You could have ten balls of yarn that will not have any knots. An important point is that knots do not occur in every ball. The industry standard is up to three of these knots.

Q). What should a knitter do if they discover one of these knots?

A). All knitters are going to have knots anyway when joining a new ball, some will cut out the original knot as they may be very good at their own weavers knot. It should be pointed out that its a good practice to learn this joining process.

Q). Is it possible to ensure a customer a ball of yarn will have no knots at all?

A). If we could guarantee each ball of yarn knot free, then that would be a very costly ball of yarn. So in reality there is no guarantee'.  

So to all knitters and crocheters out there, knots are here to stay!
 A lovely conversation I had with Frank from Tivoli Spinners. Some really interesting points about the whole knots in yarn topic.
I hope you find this useful in your understanding of the yarn spinning process. 

Thank you to Mr Frank Malone for taking the time to chat to me.

Visit Tivoli Spinners here :

Visit us here: 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Cashmere Yarn - The King Of All Yarn

Cashmere Yarn 

Have you ever wondered why cashmere clothing is so expensive?


Here's why...

Cashmere yarn is mainly imported from China and other Asian countries. China is the largest supplier harvesting up to 10,000 tons per year. Cashmere is collected during the spring moulting season when the goats naturally shed their winter coat. The process of taking the wool from the animal to the finished product is categorized in steps which are....



The wool is collected from the animals natural shedding period once a year. 


This is when the wool is separated from soft to coarse, the soft wool is used for cashmere. 


This process removes deposits such as dander and vegetation, it is then washed and ready for the next step. 


The wool is spun into yarn which is then sold for knitting and weaving.


Cashmere is the undercoat or fleece from a specific goat from Asian countries. Types of goat producing cashmere are the Pygora, Nigora and the Angora goat. The texture is extremely soft and dense which makes an excellent insulator against the harsh climate in which the goat lives. 

It has been said attempts to raise this breed of goat in other regions has failed, making this a thriving business in Asian regions of the world. This wool is harvested only once a year which makes this wool expensive, for example a lady's jumper may require the wool from three to four of these goats increasing the cost of an item crafted in this yarn. 


Cashmere can be used in various products such as scarves, hats, jumpers and coats.
Yarn from Cashmere usually is harder to care for than regular yarns such as sheep, washing instructions are recommended to be delicate. 

So the next time you are considering purchasing cashmere remember how rare this fiber is. 

''Although expensive, many farmers from these areas benefit greatly from the worlds demand for cashmere wool''

Here at we stock a beautiful 100% cashmere from Lotus yarns 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Fuchsia and White Baby Blanket - Margaret Power

Fuchsia & White 
Baby Blanket  

James brett yarn,flutterby,baby,chunky,blanket,handmade,crochet,cuddly,gifts,christening

Following up from my Daffodil inspired baby blanket, I decided to do a new design which is simple but yet is still very cute and made from a fantastic blend of yarn called Flutterby Chunky by James Brett. This yarn is so soft and warm it was lovely to work with. I Incorporated a fuchsia pink ribbon just to give it an extra bit of cuteness.  

James brett yarn,flutterby,baby,chunky,blanket,handmade,crochet,cuddly,gifts,christening

I edged the outer part of the blanket in an acrylic yarn I had around the house, always great to have cheaper yarns especially for smaller stitching jobs like edging.

James brett yarn,flutterby,baby,chunky,blanket,handmade,crochet,cuddly,gifts,christening

I don't know what it is about this time of year but lots of baby's are expected in the spring to summer months so I have a perfect gift ready to go should anyone give some good news.

James brett yarn,flutterby,baby,chunky,blanket,handmade,crochet,cuddly,gifts,christening

The stitching is basic doubles which are a closer stitch giving this warm yarn a lovely thickness. Mostly, some of the blankets I make are for decorative purposes like an over blanket on a basket or pram. But this yarn is so cuddly its a perfect blanket to have as a main one. The yarn is dense and thick and the softness is really lovely. There is two stitch details in the blanket, the fold down top has a wider more loose stitch which gives a nice texture and adds interest to the design.  

James brett yarn,flutterby,baby,chunky,blanket,handmade,crochet,cuddly,gifts,christening

As you may know from my last blanket I love to do a matching hat which I also did in this yarn. I added some crochet flowers to the front and a pom pom which is very in at the moment in crochet and knitting. I crocheted a tighter stitch in the center of the hat so as to act like an elastic to keep the hat on leaving the top and end in a looser stitch. 

James brett yarn,flutterby,baby,chunky,blanket,handmade,crochet,cuddly,gifts,christening

For this blanket I used:

100g ball of Flutterby in white
fuchsia acrylic yarn (cheapy)
30cm Fuchsia pink ribbon  

I have lots of projects coming soon which I will be adding to the blog so stay tuned for more lovely creations.



Saturday, March 21, 2015

Stylecraft Malabar Aran - Easy lace knit pattern -

Stylecraft Malabar Aran 

Cardigan Pattern 

Malabar Aran

'Malabar Aran which is a rich blend of silk and cotton in an Aran weight. The natural fibres give this yarn a wonderful drape and the rich colour palette of intense shades makes this the perfect yarn for summer knits and crochet accessories'.

Styecraft malabar aran, cardigan, knitted, handmade, pattern, cotton silk

At we try to bring knitting to a whole new generation of people interested in creating their own clothing and styles, this pattern gives a perfect finish using Malabar Aran. It feels rich to hold, enough weight to feel like you have a quality cardigan. The fit is really good, also there is a little bit of a stretch to the yarn so its very comfortable to wear. The soft finish to the cotton and silk yarn gives a touch of coolness making this cardigan perfect for summer evenings.

Styecraft malabar aran, cardigan, knitted, handmade, pattern, cotton silk

We decided at we would re-shoot the photographs and show you how trendy this cardigan can be. Not that there's anything wrong with the original photograph of the cardigan but just to show you the cardigan in a different setting. So rather than just looking at the pattern picture, we thought you are missing out on just how great this project can look in reality ''so to speak''

The knitting of this cardigan pattern was pretty easy to follow using 5 malabar aran 100g balls, the yarn is very nice to knit with on a 4.5mm (USA 7) 5mm (USA 8) set of needles for this particular project. The sizing guide is pretty good but keep in mind there is that little bit of stretch as we mentioned before.

You can find the pattern and sizing guide here:

Our after thought.......

Malabar Aran Headband 

Shortly after the Cardigan was knitted we decided to try something else with this great yarn. we wanted to give you an idea on how vibrant the shades are. We took an idea from a cowl pattern also Stylecraft Malabar Aran and modified it from a cowl to a head band and from crochet to knitted. 

The colours are very bright as you can see in the picture below

Styecraft malabar aran, cardigan, knitted, handmade, pattern, cotton silk

The yarn has great stitch definition. I am not as familiar with crochet as I am with knitting but this cowl really took my fancy. I decided I would try something similar with knitting and try to work in the stunning colours together as with the crocheted version...but as a head band. 

Styecraft malabar aran, cardigan, knitted, handmade, pattern, cotton silk

Here's the how to.......

Cast on 132 stitches

(colour a)    Knit 2 rows

(colour b)    Knit 5sts, Slip 1st, continue to end of row.

(colour b)    As above but Slip 1st purlwise.

(colour c)    Knit 2sts, Slip 1st, Knit 5sts, Slip 1st, continue to end 
                    of row Knit 3sts.

(colour c)    As above but Slip 1st purlwise.

I have used 8 colours and continued the pattern as above. 16 rows in total, 
casting off in the colour I started with.

''We hope you like what we have created with Stylecraft Malabar Aran''


Model: Charlotte Power

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Daffodil Day 2015 & Spring Inspired baby blanket by Margaret Power

Daffodil Day 2015

Supporting Ireland's Longest running charity

Free pattern

Daffodil Day is the biggest and longest running fundraising day for the Irish Cancer Society, Ireland’s national cancer charity. On Daffodil Day thousands of volunteers around Ireland sell daffodil pins and flowers (on streets, in businesses, homes and shopping centres) to raise money for the Society’s free, nationwide services for those with, and affected by, cancer in Ireland.

Enjoy this free pattern from Sirdar & 

 ''Support Daffodil day 2015''


Click on the Pattern to view Larger image 

Spring Baby Blanket

''inspired by Daffodil Pattern from the and Sirdar''

I was very intrigued by the free pattern for daffodil day 2015. This is a great cause and also a lovely pattern. I am not a knitter by any means I never took to it as I find it goes on forever and time is something I don't have with all my other crafts I have popping out of my head. 

I started crochet when I was 12 in primary school I knew it was something I would always do throughout my life. When my son was born I took advantage of crocheting baby wear and blankets, some elaborate designs to quite simple but still beautiful patterns.

Crochet is a fast craft, I can crochet a blanket in no time at all while watching the TV or just relaxing in a quite room. I find it so nice to start a project from choosing the materials to the design. Unfortunitly I am a crochet crafter who never learned about graphing patterns or putting them on paper all my ideas are in my head and I work always from my mind. Its something I should start learning to do but I have been going years now without problems so I'll continue as I go.

I use colours and designes based on the time of the year and what exactly I'm crocheting it for. In this case, I wanted to work around a crochet design based on the daffodil day pattern, which took me to the spring time baby blanket I came up with. How lovely it was to design a very in season blanket and raise awareness at the same time. I mostly used the visual of the pattern to crochet my own daffodils as you can see in the pictures.
I also made a hat to match, I love the old style baby bonnets and hats with the woven ribbons like I had as a baby.

I choose the same yellows in the pattern from Sirdar hayfield bonusDK. For the main parts of the blanket I used a cheap and cheerful acrylic yarn I had lots of in a store box. It was interesting to use because it had a sparkle strand running through it ,for some reason it symblised springtime so much more.

I hope you enjoyed reading and taking a look at my crafting of this blanket and hat set, perhaps you will be inspired to create something that not only is beautiful but will raise awareness and support an excellent charity as we have all been touched somehow by cancer.



Daffodil Day 2015: