Wednesday, 27 May 2009

I just wasn't meant to fly!!

I'm back in one piece from Ireland! Although I nearly didn't get there, on account of a small surname problem. Not as tiny an infringement as the Yarn Harlot's but an infringement nevertheless. A classic: my maiden name is on my passport, and my ticket was in my married name! And yep, I left my marriage certificate at home...Now to me, I'm both people. But to Ryanair I am not both people. I am actually a Security Risk (or some floozy Gibbins woman masquerading as Mr Hamnett's wife, who knows what they thought?!). Now then folks, do you think I was more of a risk than a) taking your cucumber sarnies wrapped in foil, with a banana, on the plane; b) taking your knitting on the plane; c) taking a thermos of tea onto the plane; d) taking an inhaler onto the plane; e) taking a bottle of pop onto the plane? But risk I was, so we had to change my name on the ticket, and be grateful that they only wanted 3,000,000,000,000,00zillion flanian pobble beads, (and that's a low estimate) for that little service. Gah.

Anyway we got there, and this is what we saw. Pull up a chair. Got nibbles? Drinkies? We'll start the projector then and show you my amazing crop of slides wot I took on my holidays. Skip to the end for the knitting content if you're allergic to holiday snaps :)

We were in Clare, and obviously there are plenty of pubs (which look like people's houses!)


And even a pub that doubles up as an undertakers, which is handy (and more for the comfort of the living than the deceased. Although my Dad might have liked that I think);

Bar undertakers

We didn't drink in that one, but we did have the obligatory Guinness in a Tavern:

Me and guinness

We needed lots of Guinness for strength against the prevailing wind and rain. Look at these clouds...

Dark sky sea

Wet beach

They really make everything look so green in contrast! Lots of colourful inspiration for new dyeing, even if the skies did bring rain...
The rain held off for a little while, long enough for us to meet a stray dog and throw stones for him (no not at him!!! it wasn't some weird local custom!!) to play with:

Leon dog

It was lovely to borrow a dog for an hour or so, as we really missed ours!

Dog beach

Ireland is a bit more expensive than the UK, or it seems that way. A sure-fire indicator of inflation and the economy (Evan Davis eat your bike helmet) is a country's own version of a pound shop. This was Ennis's pound shop:


That's TWO Euros, if you can read it. If you put the exchange rate as really being one pound to two Euros...I think you just about have it!

As it was raining a lot, we spent a lot of time in our cottage, which was unfortunately one of the most cold cottages ever. And a lot like Craggy Island Parochial house, without the inhabitants (well, by day two I was beginning to resemble Father Jack on account of the nerve-steeling Guinness and general irritability). We eventually decided to move to a hotel instead, and spent the last day in glorious sunshine, as sod's law would have it!

Sunny beach

We managed to explore the nice beach but it wasn't flip-flop weather (hey, it's always Doc Marten weather as far as I'm concerned!) and it was a bit blustery (angle of head indicates Trying to Keep Wig On hahahah) -

Me on pebble beach

Aside from the name change, the freezing weather, the cold cottage, the hire car breaking down during our holiday and a snotty cold...well, it was quite lovely :D

When we got home I thought I'd treat myself to some new knitting. (shock: I never knitted during the holiday. It was too bloomin' freezing!) No new yarn; I'm currently experiencing the joy of Stash in the Attic. Some Debbie Bliss Cathay, which I have so much of it's already done me one purple cardigan. Since that cardigan had holes in it, there was yarn left over, see! (holes in cardigans = percentage more cardigan proportionate to size of hole. Perhaps there's a scientific research post connected to ironing this out?!) This time I'm making another Liesl (I could knit this in every colour...I love it!)

Purple liesl

Apart from that, I'm planning some dyeing this weekend, and maybe a spot of bag making. Football being on tonight means I have ample sewing time in my little room...huddled from the weather we seem to have brought back from Ireland with us!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Woman, 35, in knitted pants horror

I'm knitting a shawl. A perfectly pretty shawl. It's Lehmus and you'll notice it looks beautiful on the designer's blog. But mine looks like this so far.


It looks like a pair of frilly knickers. Well, I mean, probably not the sort you would have in your underwear drawer of course. But a pair of BIG, LACY PANTS nevertheless. Got to love lace knitting, haven't you? For the pain, frustration and utter helplessness you feel in its holey little hands. Dear Lace, please stop torturing me and turn into something beautiful. Now. Before I lose the will to knit...


Hmm, okay. A bit more like that and I might consider picking up the needles again. Lace. It's not for the terminally lazy. I like a garment that I can knit, iron (yes, IRON) to the right proportions and then wear. Lovely lace. It likes a lot of hard work. Spraying and blocking, with special fancy-schmancy pins and a spray bottle (last seen in this house when the steam iron stopped steaming). Lace, O, demanding lace. Lace whose intricacies I only just learnt to keep track of by using stitch markers:

Stitch markers

(thanks for the tip, Rosee, it's saved me a lot of headaches). O Lace! I curse thy holey knitted face of horror! ahem. Cup of tea, anyone?

The dog finds the whole thing very uninteresting.


He was more interested in what he'd spotted.


A teeny-tiny toad in the garden. A baby I suppose. A toadlet! Look how small he is. And I don't have gigantic hands, in case you were wondering.


Toads, lace knitting...and here are some pretty forget-me-nots and a dandelion for your viewing pleasure. I love my forget-me-nots as you know. I like how my patch of them looks like a fieldful...

Forget me nots


Hey, who said "weeds" at the back?!!

In other news: YARN! I've dyed up a few skeins which will go into the shop this week, with more dyeing planned next week. I'm also busy making some bags - they're sold out at the moment, so I'd better stop gallivanting around in the forget-me-nots and get back to the Singer! I hope you are all having a lovely bank holiday weekend :-)