Yes, honestly I nearly did! It's on at Alexandra Palace from tomorrow until Sunday and way back before we went on that trip to British Columbia I booked a really really cheap flight across to London so that I could go. The show does come to Dublin next month but it's never as good since a great many of the stallholders just don't bother crossing the Irish sea.
Trouble is, with such a lovely trip barely ended, PLUS the heartstopping excitement of that interlude in Killarney yesterday, I have no energy at all to go to London and push through crowds at Ally Pally. But do I have the nerve not to go? No, I don't think so. I'll get up (very) early. I'll take my camera. And I'll let you know what it was like.
Now remember, you New Worlders, that this is the only chance we get on this side of the Atlantic to enjoy anything remotely approaching the kind of fibre and yarn festivals you spend your lives airily floating in and out of. Every day I read on one weblog or another of somebody attending the Fibre and Fleece or the Yummy Yarn or the Grab Whatever You Like It's All On Sale Show and showing pictures to die for. So I can't afford to miss the Knit & Stitch. Not even if my yarn budget is already gone for the entire year (and next year's has been fairly well eroded too, if the truth were told, but who's up to telling the truth?) It gives me the chance to see lots and lots of Colinette up close, to handle really unusual fibres, see strange practices demonstrated in workshops, see lots of Colinette up close, join with other knitters in coffee stitch-ins, see lots of Colinette up close... It's not that I wouldn't go to Colinette in Wales you understand - I would in a twinkling - but it's so darn far from anywhere that it would mean a three day trip for me and probably the same from anyone living in the UK but not resident in Wales. She lives miles from anywhere except perhaps Shrewsbury (anyone read the medieval Brother Cadfael stories - wonderful!) However, she is unlikely to have a bin of remainders and failures next to her stall at Alexandra Palace, I realise that. I'll have to wait until DH wants to go and photograph red kites in Wales and head right along with him.
Now somebody said I had brought back an unusually restrained stash from the BC trip . Well, yes, it was fairly respectable - but you should have seen previous ones! Even a year ago I was hysterically careering around JoAnn's, hurling 50gr balls into my basket like one possessed. Don't we move on? Now I find I'm into hefty cones and unusual rare yarns that never make it to the public shelves. Yeah, yeah, yeah, like the shed in Killarney. But a year ago I wouldn't even have thought of hunting that place out. It's all this weblogging that's done it. Hasn't it changed you? Come on, how have you changed as a knitter/fibre fiend since you started weblogging?
Angeluna has sent me a pic of Socks That Rock yarns. I have got to get some of that stuff. The colours! She sent me some pictures of her Persian cats too, which have got me yearning seriously. I would so love a snub-nosed Persian kitten. But then, how would the dogs react? And how did I come to have three psychotic dogs anyway? Is it something I did? They were all pretty normal when I collected them as babies, so what went wrong? Angeluna also asked what a jaunting car was. It's a traditional horse and cart large enough to hold several people going out on a jaunt or an excursion. They still use them around Killarney because visitors love travelling in them. Actually I might just disguise myself heavily and go on such a trip one of these days - as long as none of my friends find out. It's not something we're supposed to do, you understand. It's for visitors. But there is this great trip they do through the hauntingly beautiful Gap of Dunloe and then dropping you off to return to Killarney across the lakes by boat - it sounds like fun.
And Peg was sharp enough to spot and enquire after the two cones of grey yarn which appeared on top of the box being weighed at Killarney. These were the two charcoals - the darker lambswool and the slightly lighter mousse-type, both in good big cones. Just for fun today, and to see what difference it would make, I washed a skein each of the aristocratic silk/cashmere and the charcoal lambswool (Plus the Interlacements socks which turned the water really deep blue again, despite this being their second immersion - thanks for the warning on that, whoever alerted me to the bleeding propensities of Interlacements yarn.) The charcoal lambswood softened up quite a bit and fluffed out too, so the Norah Gaughan jacket (already started, to hell with the other projects!) should look pretty nice. The silk/cashmere of course accepted its bath graciously, hung elegantly on the line, and came back looking precisely the same as before, which is what you expect from the gentry after all.
The other Jo asked about my eBay yarns. I have to admit I've been so busy since we got back from our trip that I haven't even got round to listing them lately. (We're still not sleeping properly - the other night we were both in the kitchen tucking into bowls of cornflakes at 3 am because we were so maddeningly wide awake.) But I am definitely getting Samhain (for the great Celtic festival of Hallow-E'en) and Eiri na Gealai (The Rising of the Moon) created and on eBay this weekend; plus of course some skeins from yesterday's hunting trip. (Have to justify my spending somehow...)
Julia offers to bring me some dyes when she comes to Dublin. Julia, PLEASE! I would so love that! Ican't seem to get onto your weblog - email me. And the rest of you, talk to me if you want a skein of something nice from the Killarney hunt sent in exchange for - oh, I don't know, anything I can't get here (that includes bamboo dpns and circulars, Lantern Moon, those little things for holding or protecting needle points, dyes of any kind, magazines, Koigu, Fleece Artist/Handmaiden, Socks That Rock, any shading or ombre yarns, your own productions, you name it...)
Tan plaintively suggests it's unfair I use a professional photographer. It's not unfair, it's just luck that I fell for a gorgeous man who expresses his soul through a camera lens. But the poorer pictures on the weblog are all my own, I assure you. He's not always available.
Wanda of Fiberjoy says the shed reminds her of:
'the huge box trailer, where I worked once upon a time, that is filled to the brim with chocolate covered hazelnuts of all flavours.'
It's no coincidence, she observes sagely, that some of the best finds in life are stored in ugly receptacles. Yeah, yeah, but just exactly WHERE IS THE TRAILER, Wanda? Map directions? GPS coordinates? Come on, come on!
Yo all you knitters in Canada, we've got one of your residents over here and raising quite a kerfuffle right now! A tiny little Canada Warbler is currently residing at Kilbaha on the West coast and birders have been driving, flying, hurrying by the hundred to see the little creature, one of the rarest sights ever in our country. Here, I'll even give you the URL for an Irish news clip on him: http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/1010/6news.html
I wish him luck, whether he stays a day or a year. I never enjoy seeing them off course since I feel their chances are slight; but you never know, he might meet a gamesome Irish lassie bird with a gleam in her eye...
OK, got to go to bed now and try to sleep. It's the joys of English airports tomorrow. Measuring my stash bag as we speak to ensure it's within the stringent guidelines. And I've especially bought a lipstick-type gloss so that I can take something to avoid cracking drying lips during the day (they're still forbidding tube glosses and gels in England) Do I dare to bring back powder dyes in my hand luggage? Do I dare not? Will tell you about Ally Pally tomorrow night - if the flight isn't delayed!