These Islands: Knits from Ireland, Scotland, and Britain book launch will be held at Knit Midleton TONIGHT, Thursday, April 9th at 7:30pm: 4 Main Street, Midleton, Co. Cork. Space is limited, so please call ahead at 085 157 8969 to reserve your spot.
Attendees will be greeted with a drinks reception, have the opportunity to meet the authors and have books signed. We will be showcasing the projects from the book and providing featured artisan yarns for purchase. We will also be kicking off a Knit along (KAL) of the lace shawl pattern featured in the book. A limited number of KAL kits will be available for purchase on the night.
Ticket holders will be entered into a raffle for a special craft hamper valued at over 80 Euros (must be present to win, 18+ only). This hamper features limited edition hand dyed yarns, and some special new brews generously donated from local Cork-based craft brewers.
This 62-page, full-colour instructional knitting book appeals to all knitters, from beginners to those who want a new challenge. Seven original knitting patterns and one weaving pattern are written and illustrated with step-by-step instructions. The book goes beyond the basics with 77 stunning photography of the finished objects, the yarn, and even the sheep. The original patterns include: Óg Preemie Baby Hat, Hop Head Hat, Crossthatched Cowl, Beaker Folk Lace Shawl, New Frontier Shawl, Moderne Woven Shawl, Happy Out Mitts, and Coirceog Boot Cuffs. Each pattern was inspired by and created with locally-processed wool made from the fleece of Irish, Scottish, or British sheep with names. The patterns are designed by Sara Breitenfeldt, Suzanne McEndoo, and me. The book is published by Anchor and Bee, my small Cork-based publishing company, and printed in the United Kingdom.
This book explores two sources for wool in Ireland which embrace the slow revolution with ethically-treated sheep, fair-trade wool, and local milling. A step away from the mass-produced acrylics and imported wool blends from other continents to focus once again on knitting with local wool. There are a variety of breeds of sheep being raised in Ireland and Great Britain, each breed with its own special characteristics. Each of these varieties of wool brings a new level of uniqueness to a knitter’s work. It is time to allow conscientious small-batch artisan producers to guide us to the very best of what these islands have to offer. If we’re so focused on having our eggs be fair-trade and local, why not our knitting wool?
Breitenfeldt has been dyeing locally-sourced, ethically-raised, fair-trade wool under her label Smudge Yarns. Her passion for flock to fleece sensibilities is at the forefront of the slow wool movement in Ireland. Edinburgh-based McEndoo is from Dublin and has lent her expertise to previous projects, including my own Bake Knit Sew, and These Islands features her first published pattern. I’ve designed numerous knitting patterns and released my own collection last year in Bake Knit Sew: A Recipe and Craft Project Annual and you know this blog was awarded the 2014 Best Craft Blog title from The Blog Awards, Ireland. So this latest project is a project worthy of my passion for buying local and supporting craft artisans.
These Islands: Knits from Ireland, Scotland, and Britain is available at Knit Midleton or online through the publisher, Anchor and Bee. It is also available from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and Barnes and Noble.