So it’s been nearly a month since we got back from Ireland, and I keep meaning to blog about it, but the entire month as been gobbled up by the work / life monster. We have had a bit of fun along the way. Thursday night we FINALLY visited the fantastic High Line park, and yesterday we had our first beach day of the whole summer (now that summer’s almost over)
Back to Ireland . . . After we said goodbye to Dublin it was time to head into the West. We headed out on our wrong side of the road adventure, driving to Galway. David did a great job driving on the left. Here’s a snap out our window.
After dumping our bags at the B & B we decided to head off to Leenane to the Sheep and Wool Museum. It wasn’t long before we had our first, sheep in the middle of the road sighting. Sheep graze everywhere, so they are spray painted (my first clue that these animals are not being raised for fleece!)
At the museum we met the woman doing the spinning demos, who is a local sheep farmer. She told us that they only get 90 euros a fleece and it’s not even worth the expense of sheering. They raise sheep for meat and the great Irish tradition of spinning, dyeing and knitting is all but dead. When I asked her why she explained that in the mind of the Irish people, spinning and knitting reminds folks of hard times. It would not be something people do for pleasure.
Later that evening, we headed into Galway for a night time parade. It was the Arts Festival, and they have an annual parade to usher in Pan. It was really fun.
Days were really long, so this is what it looks like at 9:45 pm
and, of course, great pub music. We went out three or four times in the evening to listen to music, but the night in galway was our favorite. It wasn’t a stage, just some musicians sitting at tables drinking beer and playing music.
Although it rained a bit everyday, our first day of pouring rain came the day we went to the Aran Islands. We took a ferry to Inishmore and it was a rainy, dark day, but we drank hot chocolate and looked at some sweater shops.
By the time we arrived by bus, to the fort, the sun had come out and it was a beautiful day. Here I am standing on the huge cliff at the fort. . . no railings, just common sense stands between you and death!
On our way we saw what looked like a white waterfall coming down the hill. As we got closer we saw it was a sheep dog herding a flock of sheep down the hill. I caught the tail end of the group on video.
The Burren looked like another planet. Somebody said, of the famous rocky land “enough rope to hang a man, but not enough ground to bury him in”
We had a wonderful dinner and a stroll down by the river, we woke up and headed down to the Dingle Penninsula. This area was one of our favorites on the whole trip.
The next few days in the Dingle Penninsula and the Ring of Kerry were filled with too many hundreds of beautiful pictures to post here. A few . . .
With all that driving / flying I did get a lot of knitting done. I made some decent progress on my do over tank top
Here’s a close up showing how unbelievably different my tension is when I pick v.s. throwing. For the strip I was throwing one color and picking (knitting continental) with the other. I then switched every row. You can see that the tension difference make this weird, curvy stripe.
Our garden has not been doing that great, but we have had a few good garden meals. We didn’t have much food in the fridge when we came home. Michelle (my friend who was house sitting), left some mozzarella in the fridge, so we picked some tiny carrots, some tomatoes, basil & zucchino and we had a nice garden dinner.
Now that I’ve caught up on blogging what happened in July, maybe I’ll get around to writing about Aug by October!
Sunday was my favorite type of day, some work in the garden, picking some food . . .
My joyful day was interrupted when I realized that my professional knitting life was to (once again) interfere with my personal knitting life. I had been SOOO looking forward to WWKIP day this Saturday. I just looked at the Calendar to realize . . . ahhhhhh . . . I’ll be in Ohio for TNNA. Why of why is the trade show for the needle arts on the same weekend as World Wide Knit in Public Day?? Big drag. Last year I also missed it, because I was taking a continuing ed, machine knitting class, at FIT.
I did finish Stew’s baby sweater. Turned out really cute.
Nothing says Spring like the Shearing of Sheep. Last weekend I enjoyed two of my favorite springtime Park Slope rituals. . . The Cherry Blossom Festival in Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Fleece Festival at the Prospect Park Zoo.
We started the rainy day at the BBG. Despite the rain, the blossoms were amazing.
I was also inspired by the Knitting Surgeon class I just taught at the Studio, to revisit an old sweater. I was teaching how you can lengthen or shorten a knitted piece and I remembered the cotton boat neck sweater I had whose sleeves always bugged me. So I came home, cut, put it back on the needles and started fixing the sleeves. One down, one to go.
I also got back to some serious spinning. I did about 4 hours on the wheel, and I forgot how much I LOVE spinning. I really want to get through the roving I have so I can get my hands on the stuff I bought at Rhinebeck in October.
I also almost finished Stew’s baby sweater. I’m so loving the LB Collection Cotton Bamboo, and it’s turning out really cute. She better not turn out to be a boy!
I really do love our Brooklyn weekends. After two of the hardest weeks I’ve ever had, this weekend was SOOOOO what I needed. The last two weeks have been back-brakingly hard (yarn is NOT light when packed by the hundreds in cases), so what I needed more then anything was to relax. Saturday it was blustery and wet, so we stayed home all day. I got on the spinning wheel in the morning, and didn’t stop spinning until my pal Nell came over. We then cracked out the wine, cheese and Paul Newman documentary we added to our Netflix cue the day he died.
I’m really happy with the yarn I spun. It’s my very first three ply yarn. One ply is the Cascade Magnum I started spinning when I got sick of knitting with it
And the third ply is a mix of them both. It resulted in a pretty dreamy mix
Much to my shock, although we’ve left it TOTALLY unattended, the garden doesn’t look half bad
Last night David made our (probably) last meal made from our crop. Pasta w/ eggplant, peppers, tomato, basil, green beans. Every bit of it (except the pasta) grown in our own little Brooklyn roof top farm.
Today was sunny and georg, so we headed over to the Fort Greene Halloween Festival. Brooklyn often feels like a small town to me, and anytime we go to these park festivals, I feel like this could just as easily be the town fair in Stars Hallow (Gilmore Girls anyone???).
We got there right at noon in time for the Dog costume show – The Great PUPkin! Here’s a few cuties:
Laverne (of & Shirley)
And my personal favorite, a truly Brooklyn entry . . . Marty “Barkowitz” and Bruce Ratner. For those of you not from Brooklyn, click here
We ended with a late afternoon walk in Prospect Park, and then back home for some knitting. Tomorrow it’s back to hauling furniture & boxes around (sigh)
It’s been ages since I’ve had a moment to blog. I’m up to my (&^% in boxes getting the Studio ready to open. I have managed to get sick for about a week in the middle of it all (yeah). The sucky part was missing the Yarn Harlot when she spoke at B & N in Park Slope. Michelle (who is cool lady working in the Studio with me) even saved me a seat, and I was WAY too sick to go. On a brighter yarny note, I did get a lot of knitting done in my sick bed.
Amongst working sun up to sun down David and I did manage to squeeze in two great weekends. Two weeks ago David and I did our Brooklyn open house thing. I wrote about our Saturday at the cemetery, and then Sunday we did a whole other round. First we stopped at the Montauk club. It’s right down the street from our house, but I’ve never seen the inside. It’s both opulent and oddly run down at the same time. Kind of hard to describe.
On our way to Fort Greene we passed Urban Glass, who was also doing an open house. It’s a really big glass blowing place that has a gallery and they give classes and rent their space to artists. I love that places like this still exist in Brooklyn.
Next we went to the fab new(ish) Brooklyn Flea Market. It was a perfect fall day and the flea market was great. We spent the rest of the day walking around Fort Greene. I must admit, we don’t spend much time there. It’s really cool. The neighborhood has changed so much, and it’s filled with great restaurants and shops. We will definitely be going back for the Halloween festival next week. I’ve always wanted to see the dog costume contest!
After another back breaking week at work setting up the store, I was hanging on to the light at the end of the tunnel . . . RHINEBECK!!!!!!!!! We headed out late on Friday night and got into our B & B around 10:00 pm. We didn’t get to see the amazing grounds until we looked out our window the next morning to see this:
We were staying in a spa / B & B on a ton of land, called Buttermilk Spa. Just like last year, it was bright blue sky and perfect color. . . only difference, about 20 degrees colder then last year.
Our first glimpse of the fair grounds was an explosion of red
We decided after such a killer week that we would take it easy this weekend. I did a little shopping, ran into some pals, watched some Canine Frisbee toss, ate some cheese, and then we headed back to the B & B in the afternoon to go to the spa and walk around the grounds.
My first day’s booty was a pound of this stunning Corriedale roving
After a wonderful dinner, great sleep, great breakfast it was back to the fair grounds. Our pal Francesca was meeting us. She was on hiatus from the Spamalot tour, and we’ve been trying to go to Rhinebeck together for three years, and we finally made it!
We started again by visiting the animals. Why can’t I have a farm???
Francesca went through her budget in the first 10 minutes or so . . . mostly at Brooks Farm. I picked up another pound of Merino roving
Life can be a crazy up and down affair. Sunday was one of my best day in ages, then Monday I got some devastatingly sad news about a friend, Tuesday I felt like crap all day, and today after some, shall we say, return of breakfast, I stayed home sick from work. After a nap and a shower I’m feeling a little better. Tomorrow is another day.
Getting back to Sunday. . . I finished my brother’s freakishly large scarf (just in time for summer). This will keep him warm on the South Pole!
Speaking of the deck . . . two weeks ago we planted our veggies in our amazing Earth Boxes! Check out two weeks of growth:
Soon it was time to head over to Prospect Park for a little knitting outside with the Prospect Park Knitting Group. It was a perfect day. On the way I passed my favorite garden in spring time. There is a house whose yarn is filled end to end with tulips. Gorgeous!
My Feather & Fan Cardigan is to the miles of stockinette section . . . perfect for a knitting group. You can talk and not screw it up!
After a few dreamy hours knitting in the park I came home and decided to dust off the pasta maker. I haven’t made pasta from scratch in over a year. I made a lovely basil fettucini and David came home and whipped up a fantastic spinach pesto. It was a perfect day.
I guess the perfect days wouldn’t seem quite so perfect without the crappy days. I’ve had three kind of not so great days. I’m ready for my next good one.
I’m back in San Fran. I just finished my first day back in the theatre. It was sad to leave Brooklyn. I finished Melissa’s sweaters in the nick of time. Here they are in small, medium and large. The large still has water marks on it from blocking:
My last day in Brooklyn was spent at the Wool Festival at the Brooklyn Zoo. It’s mostly for kids, but of course when you say wool, the Park Slope Knitting group comes a running.
There were the oh so fuzzy Costwolds just dying for a hair cut.
The sheep and goats were all good friends.
The kids really seemed to enjoy the animals . . . and they weren’t looking at them as potential sweaters.
Next it was time for fun with roving. The nice folks at the Brooklyn General had set up a big ole table in the monkey house and filled it with roving and spindles. Our little knitting group descended upon the roving like a pack of hungry wolves (or appropriately enough, crazed monkeys). We started digging in and spinning away: