Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Nearly Forgot The Knit & Stitch Show!

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:

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!


Anonymous said...

Jo, you always manage to entice explosions of laughter from me. Sadly I've not yet been to a Fibre and Fleece be sure and enjoy some of that for me. Yes, bring home some dyes if you find some. Although I have to admit I have seen quite a bit of Colinette up close and have even a bit hidden in the stash for just the right project. You will adore her stuff. It's very high, price-wise here in the states. I'm curious what it sells for there. Yes, at some point I certainly believe Richard needs to visit Wales and most gladly take you along.
I'd be so on that jaunt to the Gap of Dunloe if I were you, the heck with the local 'rules', it does sound like fun!
Yes, Wanda, just where is that trailer???
I'm off to see Mr. Canada Warbler,
thank you Jo, again you have brightened my day!
How has my life changed due to the web-blogging? It is too amazing for words, I have/am meeting some of the greatest souls on earth..and loving every minute of it...

Peg-woolinmysoup said...

Jo - I am pleased to learn that Cashmere and Silk behaved as yarn of such high breeding should behave! The charcoal sweater will be beautiful and I did go shopping this morning for a parcel to be sent winging its way to Ireland in the very near future. I found a few 'goodies' and then went shopping for books for my family! I decided that I was not knitting gifts this Christmas - besides a shrug, fingerless gloves and leg warmers.

Lynn said...

Check your email, O Sister of the Wool!

Fiberjoy said...

Chocolate Covered hazelhut stash. Head due west, on roads skirting farms and fields, for 20 miles from my home. Take a right then a left. Pass a cherry orchard then a grass field. Beyond the grass is an old hazelnut (aka filbert) orchard. You will see a long red barn on the right. That's where the goodies are packed and sent out. To the north of the barn is the locked refrigerated box car. Wouldn't you know, he doesn't have a website.

No need to disguise yourself Jo! A day outing in the jaunting car is prime for an Irish travel article.

The Ally Pally show will be stimulating. Go for the workshops and like-minded people.

Anonymous said...

Dear lass, you are on a serious roll with the fibers. Have a wonderful day.

Loved seeing the little Canada Warbler. So sad to think he will probably never again see his own kind. Can just imagine how he felt when he finally saw green Irish lands, poor little guy. Can't someone scoop him up and take him to where he is supposed to be? Somewhere south of Canada I suppose. BTW, I actually enjoyed catching up on all the gory news in your part of the world.

And thanks for explaining the jaunting car. Please do take a ride. I lived many years in Paris a short walk from the Eiffel Tower and never went to the top. And ten years in the French Quarter of New Orleans, without riding in one of the carriages that passed my door 50 times a day. I did once take a Bateau Mouche in Paris only to accompany tourist friends...and it was fabulous!!! So do take a jaunting car ride and report back.

Anonymous said...

See my KnitNight buddy Lynn posted about Sisters of the Wool. Well, that's what we call ourselves, and it acronyms out as SOWs. I can live with it.

Anonymous said...

Grrrrrr, anonymous post above is Angeluna, who is so traumatized by those freaky letters we have to type in, that she forgot to enter her name. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Jo, your blog is such a delight to read! I believe I went through that Gap of Dunloe on my first trip to Ireland. I will have to ask my brother. But if I remember correct, from travelling with my parents there, when you see "Gap of" anything, it seems it was quite treacherous driving? (at least for those of us not used to to the tiny roads and of course, driving the "other" side of the road, and the "other" side of the car). But at any rate a jaunting car ride sounds wonderful and very charming! Can't wait to hear of your adventures in London!

gwtreece said...

Have fun at that show. Be sure to check out the website for Blue Mountain, they have a socks that rocks club under the Community tab. I know that sign ups start in Nov. Check out if they will ship to Emerald Isle. I missed the sign up last year and want to get in this coming year.

Another really good sock yarn is Sundra Yarns. She has a sock club. There was someone on the KR that showed the yarn and how it came in great detail. She does ship out around the world.

Erica said...

I don't think I have ever been to your ebay shop, does it go by the same name as your blog?

rho said...

So I will be the pest - are you back yet -- waiting on the report.... :D

Anonymous said...

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Persian Kittens