Friday, October 2, 2015

Socks and more

While we were in Ireland I wore hand knit socks every day---what a treat. We walked and walked and walked and my Fitbit was very happy with me and smiled every day. Usually it frowns. Judgey Fitbit.

We live in the south, so warm socks aren't much of a necessity most of the year. When I came home from the trip, I finished the Soumak, phew, and because that had taken so l.o.n.g to knit, I have concentrated on quick projects, among them, SOCKS! I am making these from what I believe is called a sock flat, yarn that has been machine knit flat, then hand-painted with dyes, and then stamped with designs. The completed sock is a totally unpredictable pattern of colors. One down, one to go.

I can't find the tag that came with the flat, so if you wanted to knit the same sock, you CAN'T!

(sorry)  (Actually, now you can!  It's Gale's Art Sock blanks on Etsy.)

My second current project is a pair of Honeycomb Wrist Warmers (fingerless mitts) and I love the Malabrigo Rios yarn I am using. Soft, soft, soft. 

And, at the SAME TIME, I am making the Lost Banner Hat from the Donegal Wool my daughter brought me from her trip to Ireland last year. It had not told me what it wanted to be, but after spending time in Ireland, seeing all of the knitwear people there wear, I realized the yarn was meant to be a hat. A hat it shall be.

And again, at the SAME TIME, I am making the Pure/Aran out of the softest non-cashmere yarn ever, WOOLFOLK FÅR.  

AND, I am making, at the SAME TIME, The Joker and the Thief. How can I keep all of this straight, you might ask. I must be a genius, you say. Why thank you! I must be then!

And since we were talking about socks and walking, and I was, a while ago, here is some walking.

These are the Cliffs of Moher, and they are spectacular. You can walk for miles and miles along them, and the National Trust has put upright slabs of rocks along the path, about ten feet or so from the edge of the cliffs. However, the brave or the crazy, I'm not sure which, choose to walk on a well-worn path on the cliff side of the rocks. It is really windy up there, and I wonder how often someone gets blown over the edge. It must happen, just based on the odds with so many people walking on the wrong side. 

Not MY thumb.  I'm a better photographer than that!

Odd how the publicity for the place doesn't mention the falling off the cliffs death toll. 

There are warning signs, but clearly, people disregard them.

And more walking---this time to get to the Carrick-a-Rede bridge. This is a better photo of it than mine was.

This is just a part of the long walk in to the bridge:

And THIS is the climb down to the bridge. It was scarier to climb this than it was to walk on the bridge itself.

Carrick-a-Rede is at the very northern part of Northern Ireland, and while we were so far north, we went to a couple of towns, including Belfast. Kind of a strange place, Belfast. It's an industrial city with a huge focus on its past, primarily its wars. 

This street is locally known as RPG street because of all of the rocket-propelled-grenades launched at it by the British, during the Troubles. The Troubles come up a lot.

And this photo is of the wall that separates Protestants from Catholics (? not quite sure how this all works out) at night. During the daytime, the gates are open so that people can go to work, school, run errands, and shop, but voters keep choosing to close the gates at night. Just in case???

This is one of two huge structures that were used during the ship-building era in Belfast. They aren't in use now except as a tourist attraction (? not that exciting, Belfast) since ship building has given way to the construction of wind turbines. Belfast is unaccountably proud of the fact that the Titanic was built there. Every tourist shop, every post card display, has souvenirs stating in some form or another:  Belfast --- Home of the Titanic. 

And now, for something completely different, but potentially not more cheerful than wars and deaths from falling off of cliffs, a sign in a tiny cemetery in a tiny town somewhere in The Republic of Ireland, aka (according to me), Southern Ireland.  

I think it's a DIY cemetery! Based on what I saw of Irish tv, the residents are really fond of reality tv.  Maybe this place will get its own show.  
Probably not.
I hope not.

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