and this splendid guardian of the woods too, although, as is the wont of trees, he didn't say much, just looked calmly into the distance. You could feel the power coming from him, though.
Now I know there are some of you (fortunate souls say I, who keep separate pairs of wellies by both the back and the front door right now, and a stack of ever-dwindling dog towels by both in a vain attempt to reduce carpet and cushion damage) who actually revel in the idea of wild windy rainy weather. And for you, I give this picture of Muckross as it really does look at this time of year. Reality versus the glittering sunny image that our tourist board would prefer I used (hope they're not checking up on me, I'll never get another commission from them).
It has a lovely crunchy texture while still being divinely soft. 95% merino, 5% nylon for strength. Wouldn't this be perfect in a kimono or Dogi vest? Or any kind of vest. A big scrunchy cuddly one with POCKETS? Or one of those handy little shoulder stoles with pockets. (Everything should have pockets. For seed pods, measuring tapes, rubber bands, handkerchiefs, scraps of ribbon or string... Ought to be a law governing all new knitting patterns.)
No, I'm sorry, I can't help you with that rather quick (and rather sharp) query. For some reason I simply cannot recall where or how that cone of yarn got into my car and home with me. Did it slip quietly from behind one of those venerable woodland trees? Fall off a lorry? Yes, I did find a lorry obstructing my path round by Lough Guitane, now I come to think of it...
Can you see a glimpse of blue-violet round by the back wheel there? No, neither can I. But it must have come from somewhere, because it certainly sat on the passenger seat beside me all the way home, singing softly to itself and chuckling happily at intervals while it peered out at the rain. It's amazing what you can find out there in the wild woods...
I'm going to list some of it on eBay later today, along with some seasonal white and red boucles for fluffy scarves and some NEW DYED MERINO TENCEL SOCK YARNS! I did these over a week ago, but the weather has been so frightful that I couldn't take the usual outdoor pics so eBay will have to make do with indoor
What should I call this colourway? Candy Cane? Cranberry Cream?
Finally got exasperated with my circular needle collection and actually got round to making a needle holder.
I'm quite pleased with this, especially as it used up some of my quilting fabric stash. I think I might make a few more as gifts. At first I attempted to grade the openings to each gauge of needle but that drove me mad in the end, so settled for equal-sized (or almost) openings throughout. After all, I might have several pairs in one size and only one in another, so that will be fine.
Another attempt at making a traditional Irish lace blouse.
This time I tried a blend of two very fine smooth mohairs plus a strand of glitter, but it didn't satisfy. The last time I tried, the motif was too small, now it is too big . You have to get a measurement that will fit into your planned blouse size and this one would have multiplied up either far too large or far too small. Try again. I secured a rather costly little cone of pure silk yarn in about fingering weight (the term 'costly' explains the surprising term 'little' since as you are doubtless aware, Celtic Memory normally goes for industrial sized cones of everything - one never knows, and there might be a crisis or a long winter, or... where was I?) Oh yes, the silk yarn. I had to go to London for a quick day and although it was mostly crowded and drizzling and trying, I did manage to get to the Handweavers' Studio in North London where they stock some excellent acid dyes, fibres and yarns. (They are posting on my dyes, since the airport would have had me locked up if I'd tried to slip them through in the hand luggage and nobody with any sense at all tries to check in bags during the present crisis-laden, queue-ridden airport atmosphere.) I also yielded to the blandishments of Nancy Bush's highly practical spiral-bound sock Bible and a couple of vintage IKs.
The silk is front right, partially shadowed by the reflection of my lens hood, with some little sticks of bright chainettes behind, and a cone of silk/wool in a pale almond green behind that. The silk/wool is slightly crisper and drier feeling than Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool, but will make wonderful Viking Socks. And the horribly expensive pure silk will be essayed in some traditional Irish crochet lace. Heaven help me if I have to buy more!
And hey, there is a Starmore (gosh, did you hear that clap of thunder when I typed that name?) link in both IKs! One has an interview with AS on the publication of Aran Knitting (yes it's that old), and the other introduces Jade S and has a very nice pattern for a jacket by her. So the annoyances of the trip were made up for by the loot. And I got quite a bit of sock knitting done on the plane, thanks to Rho's generosity in sending me a wooden KnitPicks size 0 that wouldn't be confiscated - thanks Rho, my pet. I like that KnitPicks very much - it's tough and able to cope with awkward tight stitches, but smooth and flexible too. And it seemed to match the Addi fairly well in gauge - as we all know, a size 0 is not necessarily the same from maker to maker.
You may recall I mentioned that Angeluna had been clearing out wardrobes and cupboards and disposing of unwanted items (the better to make room for more yarn, yay!) I decided to follow her example and found a frightening number of things about which I had completely forgotten. Large bags went to the charity shop, but I kept two sweaters:
The one on the left is cotton, the one on the right silk, both about what I would call DK and you might call worsted weight, off-white. Being shapeless and unworn for several years, they were on their way to the charity bag when I remembered that someone - it was you, wasn't it, Ms Knitingale? - regularly snapped up charity shop bargains and frogged them to rescue the lovely yarn. I remember I thought at the time that she must frequent better thrift stores than I, since all we ever seem to get remaindered here are acrylics and unidentifiables, but it clicked that this could be an opportunity to try the technique for myself. So they are saved, and one rainy day soon (bwahahahahahah, when have we had anything else for the past month?), I will get frogging. It should be a lot of fun and I adore the idea of rescuing beautiful yarn.
As I look from the study window now, the trees are bending in the gale force winds and the rain is sweeping across the hills.
A busy Sunday afternoon ahead. Yarns to list on eBay, some sock knitting to finish, a small railway to set up around the fireplace in the upstairs sitting room (never said I behaved like an adult, did I?), and the potted spruce tree to drag around from the back of the house to the front steps where it will stay until just before Midwinter (it comes inside for a few days then). May you have a cosy day too.