Today on the blog we welcome Eimear Early aka Playing with Fibre as she introduces Móin from Cosy Knits . Eimear is an Irish designer and you may recognise her name from the latest Knitty release and that gorgeous Banrion shawl. Formerly a craft design student who worked with molten glass, she now gets her creative kicks from knitting & spinning wool – much more practical pursuits. Eimear is infatuated with prehistoric Irish gold artefacts and is inspired by the notion of translating highly ornate ceremonial objects into everyday woollen items. Her designs are crafted with this aesthetic and I’m sure that you will love her Nua worsted cowl, Móin.
Móin (the Irish for peat) is a cowl worked in two colours, with a cable motif worked over a striped garter stitch background. The pattern is worked in the round and is perfect for some colour play. The cable is inspired by classic rope cables that often feature on Aran designs.
Can you tell us about your inspiration for Móin and how it translates to your finished piece?
Móin (the Irish for peat, singular) was inspired by the warmth and comfort of an open fire; something a lot of us gravitate to when the weather cools down. I think it’s most accurate to say that I attempted to recreate the Bord na Móna ads from the 80s but in knitting form! For anyone,not familiar, think of images of blazing fires, and people of all ages and pets settling in by the warmth of this fire, all to the soundtrack of the Marino Waltz, and sprinkled with a little childhood nostalgia for good measure.
I started by looking at the details of fire; the shape of wood logs, wood grain, flames, lumps of peat, and combined this with another Irish tradition; Aran knitting. Or more specifically, cables. The cable motif used in the pattern is a reinterpretation of a classic rope cable and is reminiscent of cartoon flames. The cable is worked over a two-colour garter stitch background. The pattern only uses one colour per round, and the cable motif stitches are slipped when working the contrast colour.
What drew you to your colour combination for Móin?
I wanted to work with a monochrome colour combination, with fairly subtle contrast. The shades available in Nua Worsted work so well together, it was hard to select just one; but luckily Carol was able to offer advice!
Do you have any advice/tips for knitters before they knit Móin?
Use stitch markers to indicate motif placement, and have fun picking colour combinations!
If you could choose other colour combinations for Móin in Nua Worsted, what would you choose?
I am completely obsessed with the shade Cerebellum; I would love to combine this with Chalk & Plum, or Dare You.
Could you share a favourite knitting story with us?
This is mostly an ode to my LYS, This is Knit, here in Dublin. There was that time I turned down a job offer from This is Knit, when facing a redundancy, because I thought the boss was joking. Also revolving around This is Knit: when my first little one was tiny, I used to love visiting the shop, as I could hand the baby over to the staff for cuddles, and touch all the lovely yarn in relative peace. And now I do actually work there, on weekends; it’s a great reason to make myself slightly presentable and to speak to real live people who aren’t children! The management are so very supportive, and are directly responsible for so many social connections in the Irish knitting world
Who or what inspired you to pick up the needles?
I first learned in school at about the age of seven. Various family members knew how to knit, but just didn’t (I can remember my mother sewing dresses for me, and my grandmother darning socks for family members, but I have no recollection of anyone actually knitting). I dabbled with it on & off during my teenage years. I took it up again, with a passion in my 20s, after moving out of my parents, and into a house-share: I had been experiencing doubts over creating things for their own sake, as opposed to creating items that also had purpose. Around that time, I also heard of Ravelry, and This is Knit (an LYS based in Dublin), started to meet a whole bunch of other Knitters, and I just haven’t put the needles down since.
Where are we most likely to find you knitting?
If I’m doing it right, you won’t find me at all!! I tend to knit everywhere I can find a moment: if I’m alone on the bus, or on the sofa after the children go to bed, or in the kitchen while the dinner is cooking. Sometimes even standing out on the road while keeping an eye on the children at play.