So let's talk about knitting.
Back in March, I wrote a post about the Olympic Forest Baby Blanket pattern that I was in the process of turning into a Redbud Forest Table Topper. I did, eventually, finish the project, and right now it's gracing the top of my altar. Here's a shot of the a portion of the gazillion freaking French knots, together with the picot border.
So it turned out well, and I'm glad it's over.
When I was preparing for the trip to Ireland, I asked some people what sort of souvenir they'd like me to bring them -- and several said they wanted yarn. This, my friends, is how you know you've found your tribe.
As it turns out, there are thousands of sheep in Ireland, but not nearly as many yarn shops of the type you find here in the States. I did find a really nice shop in Dublin near Trinity College called This is Knit. But the surprise of the trip, yarn-wise, was the shop at the Kilkenny Design Centre, which sold not only finished knitted goods, but Irish yarn, as well. (Note to tourists: double-check the knitted goods for sale in some touristy gift shops. I discovered a lot of them are made from acrylic yarn, and acrylic -- although easier to take care of -- is not as warm as wool, and won't look nice for as long.)
I took a project with me to Ireland, although I didn't work on it much while I was there because I was too busy goggling at the sites. So I finished it this week. It's a cowl called the Olivia, and the yarn is cotton and bamboo, so I'll be able to wear it to work during all but the hottest months of the year.
One would think I'd have had my fill of yarn shopping while in Ireland, but au contraire, mon ami! Last weekend was Maryland Sheep & Wool, one of the biggest wool-related festivals on the East Coast. I only bought a little bit of yarn there, though. No, really. And some buttons made from honey-locust wood. And a small, zippered bag for knitting tools from a Navajo weaver. And honey from the Bee Folks.
My next project, which I've already started, is a shawl called the Pogona. It's by Stephen West, but it's one of his first designs -- before he went wacky and started designing stuff like swants.
What are swants, you ask? Just watch this. (No, I am not making any swants. Ever.)
These moments of swants blogginess are brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell.