1. Adventures in Travel:
Dude and I are both home (weary, but home).
We spent the weekend prepping dog food and doing laundry – before leaving again. (For the first time, as I was folding laundry, I just dropped it back into the suitcase for the next trip.)
1a. We leave again on Thursday. At least, that is what the ticket says. I believe it may be too early in the morning to count as Thursday.
2. Adventures in Home Ownership:
Dude put up a new screen door. (The old one was broken in more ways than just the missing latch that Ned took advantage of for his personal adventures.) (It might be too cold for a screen door – but it is actually in direct sunlight and quite toasty warm … and Nickie loves impersonating a solar collector.)
2a. Ned has been body slamming testing the new latch.
3. Adventures in Cooking:
I made banana bread today. (How domestic of me, I know!)
3a. The microwave may be haunted: I put some butter in a dish to melt – it did. And then it turned off. And then something tipped the dish over onto its side and spilled the melted butter all over the microwave.
3b. Nickie promptly hopped in to do clean up duties.
3c. Aurora protested. I told her she didn’t fit in the microwave.
3d. Why did no one mention that the frozen bananas have to thaw before I can cook with them? (I was afraid to microwave them. They might explode. Or something. See 3a.) How is it that this is the first time I noticed?
4. Adventures in the Time-Space Continuum:
Dude insisted: we hung a seasonal flag, popped a jack-o-lantern outside, and bought some candy. (I think he just wants the leftovers.)
Now we’re using the new screen door to give out candy without giving away Ned. Excellent. (Top half slides down leaving 1/2 of door open.)
b) I have exactly 36 hours between returning and leaving again for the Knitter’s Review Retreat. (I’d squee but I’m much too tired. At least I get to spend the next few evenings pondering the yarn stash and books and whatnot in preparation for the Stash Lounge.)
5. Adventures in Reading:
I finished my first book in the 12 in 12 series. Alas, I have not written the review. /sigh It’s about writing – it deserves a proper review.
6. Adventures in Knitting:
a) I found the yarn:
b) I restocked my emergency sock knitting. (See, I’ve all ready started reviewing the stash.)
c) I have not progressed on the sleeves. (Maybe a desert island would help.)
d) I figured out a pattern for the Red Scarf Project:
Somewhere along the way (actually, during the entire lengthy minimalist non-planning process) I got the idea that I should wear something handknit to my legal interlude. (That’s what we called it. The term wedding, seemed to me, to hold too many preconceived notions. ) (That’s me trying to politely Not have a Feminist Rant.)
About the handknits: I have this finishing issue: It’s not on time or I don’t like it or I am distracted by some new technique/yarn/better weather-suited project. (Mental note: It is a bad idea to use your own wedding as a carrot to convince yourself to be better disciplined.)
Then I read the entire Fit to Flatter series and decided that a bolero was not my style. (Excellent series; check it out.)
A dear friend found the yarn (and the ribbon).
She brought supplies into work.
I cast on.
I knit my 14 rows.
I purled a row.
I knit some more.
I went to turn up the hem and …
It was twisted. (Big Giganto Rookie Mistake.)
(I dissolved into tears – the only thing that did that to me: 6 days before the event.)
I couldn’t stand to look at it so I frogged the entire thing, tossed the yarn, and the ribbon, somewhere.
Dude, noting my distress, helpfully suggested that I knit a couple of small squares that we could carry in our pockets and later be incorporated into a blanket or a hat or something. (Excellent idea. Love that man.)
Fast forward a few weeks: for recent emergency travel, I was searching for emergency knitting.
(Not the sweater I have to show you, or the current socks on the needles, that one extra project just in case.)
(I have never, ever, touched my emergency knitting.)
I grabbed the used skein and the needles and even remembered the pattern and tossed it all in the bag.
And then, for a variety of reasons, I needed to knit the emergency project.
Now, I can’t find the rest of the yarn. (There are Reasons I called this blog what I did.)
Sure has been a while, hasn’t it?
Before leaving for Ireland, I trolled the internets for news of Irish yarn:
1. Three Irish Girls (Lovely woman, lovely yarn (she used to be local to me – there is No Reason she’d remember meeting me. I think I have some of her yarn (from early days) in stash.)
2. Knitty article (and I agree: the best yarn store I found was in Bray (The Wool Shop)
3. Crazy Aunt Purl (who also agreed with the Bray finding)
I swapped up my search terms, tried multiple links; and found: nada.
I was determined that something existed and I would find it. (That sounds as if I expected to conjure yarn out of thin air. And, in retrospect, after two weeks of tromping through sheep fields, I’m astounded that there is not yarn on every street corner.)
But … first I was in Dublin.
And on the plane, on the way over (with my TSA friendly bamboo knitting needles), I started swatching my travel knitting (more on that later). I decided I needed pointier needles. So, while Dude ran an errand (yup, that’s a story unto itself) I found Aunt Purl’s recommendation: This is Knit.
Lovely shop. Lovely people. I wish had more than 20 minutes to find the place, purchase needles, ask after local yarns, and get back to Dude.
However, they were efficient, knowledgable and pleasant. (And I was successful. And what more can you say about a yarn shop – they sold me yarn? Awesome. And I was back to Dude before he was done.)
So I dropped my new skeins in the luggage, swapped out needles and was off.
After a day of sight-seeing (Dublin in a day!) I dragged Dude to the National Museum to see the bog people.
(I think I heard that EZ had based the Bog Coat on an article of clothing (the oldest known garment?) found on Bog People. So … I heard the National Museum had bog people and I went to see.)
On the way, there was a lovely shop, Cleo Ltd, with sweaters in the window.
But we were running late and the museum was about to close so we strode past with me not taking my eyes off the windows until I was walking backwards and it went out of sight. (I feared they were handknit on machine. Or machine knit. Or NotWool. Or just plain Touristy.)
Fortunately, it stayed open after the Museum closed.
I wandered around, looking at sweaters and woolens and blankets and mittens and hats and toys (and that web site does not do it justice. The work was amazing. ) Dude sat in a hand-made wooden rocking chair and read the newspaper.
In a basket, under a table, in the basement (with the men’s tweed jackets) was yarn (And buttons made from ancient yews recovered from a bog. But I forgot to take pictures of that.):
On the left, unidentified blue sheepy yarn. 200 g. Unidentified yardage. (I’m thinking something for Dude.)
On the right, is a sage green boucle from Cushendale. 70% Mohair, 30% Wool (unidentified sources), 100 g, 200 m. (I’m thinking it will be a scarf.) (This is the yarn I found in Bray, on day 2. I can’t find an web site for the shop but you can’t miss it.)
The Next (and Last) yarn I found was in Dingle.
Studio Donegal. It just happens to be the same yarn I purchased at This is Knit! (10 days earlier. Ahem.)
The larger lower skein is 200 g/320 m. The top 3 are 50 g/80 m. Lower larger skein was not labeled (signage at the store but not on the skein). I did not notice it was The Same Yarn until I got home. Same dye lot (says my receipt).
The smaller skeins are for the Red Scarf Project. (Suggestions? I’ve started two patterns, unsuccessfully.)
That is the Irish Yarn. (Mr Google so doesn’t have the inside scoop on this one.)
(Yes, there’s buttons and sweaters and blankets to go. Oh my.)
Ten ways to enjoy Hallowe’en
1. Jack o’Lanterns (or, if you prefer, pumpkins!)
2. Stock up on candy (preferably non-chocolate), turn on the porch light, and watch the stream of kids in costumes.
3. Decorate the dog. (I think Aurora will be Best Dog this year.)
4. Admire the seasonal decorations.
5. Drink hot apple cider (spiked is good!)
6. Skip the trick or treaters, save the candy (preferably the chocolate variety) for yourself.
7. Make the house dark, turn on a movie and ignore the door. (This is most useful for those with dogs who are terrified of small urchins in costume.)
8. Peruse the web for pets in costume.
9. uh… er… Make Pumpkin Whoopie Pies!
10. Stalk the stores for the post-Hallowe’en candy sales.
I read How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill ages ago. (It’s been out for 15 years.)
That meant, while in Dublin, I had to go see the Book of Kells, housed at Trinity College in Dublin. (Love that door. Loved the exhibit, and would have taken notes on some of the poems/quotes – but figured I’d find them in the gift store. Not so.)
Which, of course, led to a fabulous morning wandering around campus:
(Love the doors!)
An actual playing field.
Yes, I take pictures of trash cans. (Embiggen it.)
And this last sign is for the locals in my life.
No words. Just Pix. These are from Bray (Ireland).
(O.k. as if I can remain speechless: We walked in among more sheep, sheep fields, sheep poo than I have ever seen in my life. All Sheep and Wool festivals combined. There were always sheep. (Which, I kind of like. But it was a surprise.) At the end, US Customs wants to know if we visited a farm. Dudes! The whole country is a grazing territory as far as I can tell!) (Also, I hear rumors that if you answer ‘yes’ to this question, the Very Nice Customs people will take your boots from your feet and clean them. I did not experience this hospitality.)
(So, we’re out walking. And we come to this path. Miles of boards – each with hundreds of nails/staples and chicken wire (for traction). Either side of the path was boggy/wet. The attention to detail was astounding. Also, someone counted 752 steps on the way down.)
p.s. I think Dude took all of them (because we trading off camera and sherpa duties).
I love this little goof-ball. When he’s not annoying the hell out of me.
Nickie has a routine. Every morning, I get up. Let them out of the basement. Get coffee. Sit and drink coffee and read email. Nickie waits for me, on the stool next to my computer at the kitchen island.
When I settle, she crawls into my lap and snuggles and purrs.
When the coffee is done, so is she. And she doesn’t try to snuggle more (unless I’ve been away). She’s interactive and requests stuff (Open the door! We’re out of water! Make Ned stop!) but she’s not needy. Sometimes, if the birds outside are boring and we’re watching a movie, she’ll snuggle on the couch.
Ned, on the other hand, has an on/off switch - Mr Don’t Touch Me! has a soft side.
He’s starting to snuggle – snuggle hard, insistently, needily. He crawls into my lap and circles 3 times and kneads endlessly and then settles down and purrs.
And somehow, he gains about 3 times his weight when he finally falls asleep.
Yesterday, I realized that Dude, rightly, had all the pix with him. Yet I had all the photo editing software.
For the last hour and a half, I’ve been sorting (surprisingly incomplete) backups – to edit for blog posts.
Now I’ve got to get on the plane.
In ALL of my (extensive) travels, I have never seen this sign. (Of course, I tend to go places that don’t have cars.)
when the opportunity presents itself.
It has not presented itself. Just sayin’
Look: Dursey Island:
Of three small villages, only 5 or 6 people live on the island full time. But it is still farmed by people reaching it by Ireland’s only cable car:
(Fierce currents in that channel and submerged rock.)
This particular day, we experienced all of Ireland’s weather. At least twice.
And just in case we needed a point of reference:
I loved the signs. And the doors. And lampposts (where there were lampposts).