Monday, February 22, 2010

Ireland and Scotland, here we come

We booked two places to stay on the weekend, so we are now in Galway from Easter for a week, and then, after a day or two in Dublin, in Glengariff, Co. Cork, from the 11th to the 17th, or thereabouts. Another couple of days in Dublin, then back to Glasgow for a day or so before flying home.

Turns out renting a car is more expensive than accommodations. Perhaps we should just rent a camper and have done with it? It's almost time to start getting excited, thinking about what to pack (and in what?). Travel from and to Glasgow is by Ryanair, so no checking baggage means that we're limited. It's all OK, though, as our palatial self-catering includes laundry facilities as well as wi-fi. I'm prepared to throw out clothing if I need packing room for things acquired on the trip. I can leave heavier, Canada -type clothes in Glasgow and get them when we get back there. I'm actually wondering about voltage - I will need to recharge my iPod and, while I have a plug-in that will give me the correct charge, I'll need to be able to plug the thing into something in order to plug it in to the wall. Hmmm.

I hear that Euros are slightly less expensive at the moment, so I should go buy me some, real or in travellers' cheques form.

There's hardly time to knit, I'm spending so much time on the internet looking up stuff. Not strictly true - I should be able to finish the Olympic Multnomah in a day or so (no more patterned rows, just a couple of garter rows and then bind off! And the arrowhead is coming along too - I have 4 rows of pattern for the edge left (and four rows of purl).

I plan to take a break from shawls after that!

Friday, February 19, 2010


We had another storm day on Wednesday - schools, uni, college closed, no mail, etc. Great day for staying home and knitting! I have two shawls on the needles. One is JUST for Olympics watching, so I keep it upstairs where the TV is. It is Multnomah and I'm making it in a hand-dyed yarn which I won a long time ago in a sock-a-month competition on Ravelry. The colours are, shall I say, not ME, being orangey-red, purply-pink and brown. However this pattern seems to look good in the wild variegated yarns so I'm giving it a go. It's garter-stitch with a feather-and-fan border, and the colours do look better together when you get to the border part.

Travel plans are coming along. It looks like we'll stay in Galway City for the first week (with J. and E. and maybe Steve!) and Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, is looking good for the second week. We've been emailing about a gorgeous 3-storey townhouse with 5 bedrooms!! The place in Galway is an apartment.

Two years after finishing a Luna Moth shawl in Pixie Floss from VV, I dyed it (it was a hateful pale yellow). I used butternut husks we gathered last October. The colour is a beige more than a brown. I do like it better than the yellow. It's blocking now, so I'll see how it looks unpinned. I just have SOO much beige yarn! Why do I do it?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

All shawls, all the time

I wish work wouldn't steal so much of my knitting time. It's hard to complete all the shawls I want to make when I have to do work things! I would knit when I do my daily walk (all at the gym now because the outdoor walking is so treacherous) but it's hard to manage my music (actually I listen to podcasts, MUCH more interesting and amusing than music) and my lap counter. Don't think I could manage needles and yarn as well.

Today I was listening to Gardener's Question Time (GQT) and learned two valuable things: 1. honeysuckle is out NOW in Britain; and 2. Gertrude Jekyll's last name is pronounced GEE kl. Who bludy KNEW? Reminds me of the time I was talking with a friend about a Cotoneaster hedge (pronouncing it 'COT ton easter') and we had someone come over and say "actually it's 'cot O ne aster'. Gee, thanks. Well, really, thanks. It's a mistake I haven't made since.

Back to the shawls: I finished the Bitterroot (I love this name: it's ANOTHER word with three pairs of double letters, like bookkeeper) and posted it in the January thread of 10 Shawls in 2010. Now I'm working on "Little Arrowhead" with the Fleece Artist Italian Silk I got at the Northern Traditions yarn store in North Rustico last fall. I also got out my file of shawl patterns, and looked at my stash, and came up with a few pairings. I've zipped them into plastic bags, the pattern and the yarn, that is. I also changed my mind about a pattern: Multnomah. It's garter, plain, with a bit of a 'Faeroe' thing down the centre back - just a strip of five stitches, between paired increases. Then it finishes with a few rows of 'feather and fan'. Shooting fish in a barrel, I thought. Then, in my stash diving I came up with this stripey hand-dyed skein of "Perfect Day Yarns" sock yarn I'd won in a Sock Knitters Anonymous competition 'way back at the beginning of the sock obsession. It's orange, brown and purple...not exactly MY colours, but the Multnomahs people have been posting are made of wilder mixes than this, even, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I should keep it for Olympic knitting, but since I probably won't see any of the Olympics, there's not much point.

I do have an Olympics app on my iTouch, though, it's apparently to tell you what's going on where and how to get there, etc. I don't know if it will include results. I met Doug Gallant at a party Saturday night and he has an 8GB iTouch too; he's mad for apps so I tried some on his recommendation. The Penguin Catapult is fairly amusing, although I DO feel sorry for the poor penguins with ME at the helm of the catapult. And the sheep launcher has turned into a cupid for Valentine's, which is not nearly so much fun. I did download App Miner too, which is a great source for free and cheap apps to try out. Thanks Doug!