My Ireland, a Celtic Cape knit along.

Just about a year ago now, I received an invitation to join a group on called 'Ryans Eejits and those that fit in' ..... I accepted the invitation and found a family.

Then last fall, Meagheen (hereafter called Meggie!), asked who among us might be interested in knitting a Celtic cape. I think she might have been overwhelmed by the resounding response she got!

There are now over 100 of us around the world knitting the Story of Meggie's Ireland. Not all of us have Irish in our backgrounds but we all love Ireland's legacy of Celtic knots.

This blog will be my journal of that journey - My Ireland. As I knit my cape, I will post pictures of the patterns Meggie has designed and tell the stories behind those patterns - the story of an Irish lass and her family and the country they come from.

For myself, my paternal blood-grandmother was Irish - I'm told she had red hair and green eyes. I've never seen a picture of her, don't even know her name because of family dynamics but somehow some part of that Irish blood lives in me.

Eventually, the pattern for the cape will be available for sale. When that happens, all proceeds from sale will benefit yet another charity. Each pattern Meggie puts up for sale has a designated charity which receives the proceeds from all sales of that pattern.

To see more of this incredible artist's work, please check out Meagheen's Ravelry Store on

Monday, January 31, 2011

The hood ....

Ah, our Meggie likes to make us look at ourselves and make choices, she does! The hood has two styles - one is knit with boxes and has a seamed back. The other option is plain .... in front. But the back features an angel, a protector. Will have to choose just one .... which one? I am leaning towards the angel. Meggie is honoring her own parents with this angel but mine would honor my mother.

I'm thinking it will have to be the angel ........

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Other Celtic Journeys.......

Not all of those knitting this cape will be doing online journals. However, some will be. I have listed those who are sharing this journey by journaling online in the side bar.

If you want to read the story of how this cape came to be, then you'll want to read 'A Year of Meaning, History and Thought'. This journals the thoughts and feelings of the designer, Meagheen Ryan. Born in Ireland, educated in the United States, Meggie's own story is as fascinating as the story of her family. It is, however, her story to tell.

My yarn is not here yet, and we've already gotten all the parts of the hood pattern as well as the pattern for the socks. I'm getting antsy waiting for my yarn to arrive!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The beginning of a cape ....... looking back

Thursday, Jan 27, 2011 ......

Such excitement last fall! Meggie asked who might be interested in knitting a Celtic cape. Well! ::grins:: I guess I ran my mouth a bit on some of my other groups and pulled a bunch of new folks over to knit what will become an heirloom cape.

Few of us have ever done a project of this size and complexity. I've done sweaters, from newborn all the way to 'king-size' adult size!, pillows, throws, and even twin-size afghans (knitted in blocks, then sewn together) - nothing I've done before has been anything like this project. And socks! LOTS of socks!

The cape will be knitted in a single piece, starting at the front of the hood and proceeding down to the finger-tip length hem. It will have Celtic knots and the Ogham alphabet amongst the design elements.

After talking to Meggie, my cape will done in grays, to echo the color of the stone Celtic crosses which inspired part of the design. Which is a surprising color choice for me - I love colors, saturated colors, not neutrals! But the gray will go with all the colors I love and not make me look like a clown when I wear it. And I want this cape to be something I can wear all the time, not just for 'special occasions'.

My yarn is being hand-dyed for me by another friend (I've found so many friends since I joined Ravelry!) Originally, I asked her to dye all of it a 'silvery charcoal gray' - a very vague color description! When the first two skeins came out of the dye pot and dried, they were much darker and closer to charcoal than we had discussed, so another conversation ensued and she is now working on doing the rest of the yarn in a series of graduated grays. This is going to make the knitting of my cape quite interesting, beyond the adventures I can see ahead of me with the patterning.

Yet another new friend sent me the circular needles we're told we will need for this cape - there will be far too many stitches when we get to the cape itself to be knitted on straight needles, so I will be forced to use the circulars that I do not like.

Right now, I (im)patiently await my yarn, which my dyer tells me is drying ....... I want it here so I can fondle it, play with it, pet it and decide if I want to start with the darkest shade or the lightest shade .... and to see what all the shades actually are!

Some of the others already have their yarn and have started (and even finished!) the hood of the cape ..... I want to start mine!