First: I couldn’t have said it better. Go read Panopticon and watch the video.
(Although, personally, I have pledged to myself to never promise to knit anyone anything at any time — too stressful. This does not mean that handknits are not gifted. It just might not match the season or event.)
Second: It is Nov 1st. (Yes, yesterday was Hallowe’en.) The Harlot’s furnace war is over for the year and Dude turned on the heat. (The two actually have nothing in common – it was getting cold in here and tonight should be frosty.)
Nickie thought it was way overdue.
Third: Random photo from Ireland: a map rock.
(hmmm … if you click on the photo, it will embiggen. It’s hard to see when it’s small.)
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.)
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).
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).