May 29, 2006

37 Pink Ribbons

Tomorrow (May 30th) is my 37th birthday. And you know what would be the most awesome birthday present? If my little sister and I could both reach our fund-raising goals for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer by the time I get home from Ireland (we touch down in Sacramento on June 3rd). My older sister's already reached her goal, but my little sister and I still have about $2,100 to go between the two of us (and the system unfortunately won't let us transfer funds between walker accounts).

So please consider sponsoring either me or my little sister for the walk, and pass this around to anyone you can think of. The money goes to a really great cause (you can read all about what the Avon Foundation does here). Plus, I will toss in a little extra incentive. I'm going to be making pink socks with the breast cancer ribbon symbol for my sisters and I to wear on one of the walk days, and I should have enough extra yarn to make at least one more pair of socks (possibly two - I won't know until I get back home and start knitting). So if you email me with confirmation of a donation to either my account or my little sister's, I'll toss all the names into a hat and one (or two - depending on yarn amount) lucky people will get a pair of pink ribbon socks made just for them! Names will be picked at random by some unsuspecting friend or family member once both my little sister and I reach our $1,800 fundraising goals. If I ever do track down sock yarn here in Ireland there might be more socks (or yarn) available for incentives as well.

So how about helping us out? Give me an awesome birthday present by making those little red status bars hit 100% and you might even get a cool pair of handmade socks out of the deal.

Posted by Jenipurr at 11:50 PM | Comments (1)

May 27, 2006

When it rains, it pours

It seems that now that I have finally found one yarn shop, all the others are coming out of hiding. We tracked down a little store called Traditions in Galway today, which mainly sells handknit sweaters, but also had a nice selection of wools. Naturally I had to buy another sweater's worth of wool, this time in a tweedy sort of dull forest green. There was more yarn to be found in Hickey Fabrics, which is located in the Eyre Square Center. Not a very inspiring selection there, but since I'd found the shop earlier, I didn't mind.

Not much knitting content to report, but I suspect I'll get some time to work on the second sock this evening. Tomorrow we're off to the Aran Islands, which, as the name indicates, is where I am hoping to find sweaters from which to draw inspiration for all this wool I've been buying.

Posted by Jenipurr at 04:59 AM

May 25, 2006

Yarn at last!

Thanks to the list of yarn shops provided by the marvelous Carrie, I found a yarn shop in Killarney! We went this morning, and not only was it actually open, I found yarn. Yay! A 1 kg bag of gorgeous 100% pure Irish wool, in a deep purpley wine color. The sock yarn selection was pretty teeny, but at least I have found yarn. Yay! I suspect I'll be pouring through books of cable patterns again in the near future (once I get back home), since this wool cries out to be another lovely Aran sweater. I've scribbled down a lengthy list of other likely candidates for more yarn, especially once we get to Dublin, because I am still hopeful of bringing home some Irish sock yarn as well.

Speaking of Aran sweaters, I would like to note that it is a good thing I made that cardigan because I have worn it pretty much every single day we've been here. On cold wet days it's a wonderful inner layer under my jacket, and on warmer days it's been the perfect thing to keep me comfortable. Thanks again to Janet Szabo for putting together the Follow-the-Leader Aran-along, which inspired me to get this thing done in time for our trip!

Posted by Jenipurr at 02:52 AM | Comments (2)

May 22, 2006

Sock in the twilight

Despite the driving and the viewing of ruins and the rain and all the rest of the vacation, I've managed to sneak in a bit of knitting here and there; enough so that yesterday afternoon I finally finished my first Jaywalker sock for the SYAC sock swap.

Just to show you where this sock was completed, here's the sock silhouetted against the view from the window in our room (hint - we're in Cashel).


And here it is in all its striped and swoopy glory.

Still not much luck tracking down any yarn. We swung through Blarney and wandered through the Blarney Woollen Mills, a place one might expect to find yarn. There was a small table of it, true, and the price was fantastic - $16 Euros for a bag of 10 skeins of DK yarn in tweedy colors. But it just didn't speak to me, nor did I want to buy yarn just for the sake of buying yarn, because I've already got far too much yarn like that in my stash as it is. So I left it there, and am hopeful that perhaps we'll still find a yarn store somewhere in this country in the remaining two weeks of this trip.

Any Irish knitters out there who might want to help me out? Internet time is extremely limited, so doing lengthy Google searches isn't really feasible these days (all pictures and journal entries are compiled and edited, such as they are, offline, before we're uploading stuff, because they sometimes charge by the minute, depending on where we've been).

Posted by Jenipurr at 12:28 PM | Comments (1)

May 18, 2006

For a country with so many sheep...

...there are surprisingly few yarn shops to be seen. In fact so far I've only found one - a very tiny little one in Trim. It is so tiny, in fact, that it is exactly one cramped little room. There are shelves and drawers lining two walls, but they were nearly impossible to get to behind piles and boxes and randomly hung knit or woven garments and such. Not exactly the sort of place to inspire a knitter. But there's lots of Ireland still to see, so I might find yarn somewhere else!

Lengthy updates, and links to pictures, can be found here.

Posted by Jenipurr at 02:38 AM

May 15, 2006

Ireland - here we are

Quick note to say that we're here in Ireland (Trim, to be precise). I've tracked down my first wool shop (of course) and intend to stop in just to see what they've got. I will wear my lovely cardigan when I go, just for fun. I started two pairs of socks on the trip over - a pair of Opal Tiger socks, and a pair of Jaywalker socks (the jaywalkers will be for my SYAC sock swap), and turned the heel of the first sock this morning.

Full updates of our trip, including pictures, will be posted here, so feel free to check in there. Aside from the excitement (ha ha!) of driving on the left side of the road and getting hopelessly lost, we're having fun!

Posted by Jenipurr at 02:07 AM | Comments (1)

May 11, 2006

Recipe for Baked Cables

Baked Cables (serves 1)

1 pattern for basic structure
Denise interchangeables, sizes 7 (for body), 6 (for ribbing), and 9 (for binding off)
6 skeins wool in Iris
1 book of Aran Stitches
6 silver buttons with celtic knots
darning needle


  1. Swatch for cables. Swatch for cables again. Keep on swatching. When you hit half a dozen swatches, stop.

  2. Find yarn and buttons. Order them. Get more and more antsy as you wait for yarn to arrive

  3. Begin knitting. Get cocky about cables. Don't bother checking if you're doing them right until you have to rip out at least 30 rows. Do a lot of swearing under your breath. Rip it out and try again.

  4. Get distracted by other things: Computer games, Sockpal000za socks that need to be done, socks for husband, lace shawl

  5. Get smacked upside the head by a big dose of reality check because you only have four weeks left and you are not even halfway done. Begin knitting on sweater non-stop.

  6. Despite misgivings that stitch gauge has changed enough to be a problem when switching from Denises to DPN's on the sleeves, finish and bind off both sleeves. Do not bother to count cable repeats to make sure both sleeves are same length.

  7. Decide to redo sleeves later, in the hopes that maybe they will magically fix themselves. Ha ha ha.

  8. Finish body. Add collar, button band, and buttonhole band. Redo at least two of those.

  9. Rip out both sleeves, despite obvious lack of time. Tell yourself that sleep is highly overrated anyway. Remind yourself that you can sleep on the plane.

  10. Fly off to Portland for a day on a business trip. Get delayed in airport coming home. Stay up until 1:30 am to finish sweater after flying home (even though you've been up since 4am that morning).

  11. Drink more coffee than should be humanly allowed. Weave in all ends.

  12. Wash sweater to remove copious amounts of cat hair. Do not remember until AFTER sweater is dripping wet that you have no clue where you can lay it out to block it that is free from cats (indoors), gardeners, birds, or more cats (outdoors).

  13. Wander aimlessly around the house with extremely damp sweater in arms, mumbling to oneself.

  14. Drink a lot more coffee.

  15. Just before you begin to fully panic, remember that your office parking lot is very sunny and that cars parked in sunny places become little ovens.

  16. Spread sweater out in back of car. Drive to work. Park in prime sweater-baking location.

  17. Leave sweater in hot car all day. Turn every few hours until fully baked.

  18. Revel in completion of sweater.

  19. Serve warm.

Ireland, here I come!

Posted by Jenipurr at 08:39 AM | Comments (18)

May 09, 2006

Crunch time

The body of the FLAK cardigan is finally done and I am very happy with it. The collar is done and I am happy with that as well, after I ripped out the top half and redid it to add in some shaping decreases on the edges. The band for the buttons is done and it only took one try. Buttons are attached, but just barely (and the number of ends I am going to have to weave in just keeps growing and growing - wince). Buttonhole band was ripped out and redone last night, this time forgoing the 'just wing it' philosphy that worked so well on the button band, but *not* the first time around on the buttonhole band, and what do you know, it actually looks better when I take careful stitch counts and make careful measurements.

So now all that is left is to redo the sleeves. And to make sure that I would truly feel the urgency, I ruthlessly ripped out the bottom third of *both* sleeves at once, just so there wouldn't be any confusion about where to start and what to do. The first sleeve is nearly done - I'd hoped to finish it last night but started falling sleep in mid stitch - and even though I am getting really nervous about how much time I have left, I am glad I decided to redo them, because this first one is making me much happier now.

It may seem like I have just oodles of time left, considering that we leave on Saturday morning and I have a full four days left to weave in a pile of ends and finish up the sleeves. However, I figure I need to factor in a full two days for drying time because I intend to give this thing a complete bath to soften the wool and remove large quantities of knit-in cat hair, which means that I actually need to have all the knitting done by Thursday morning. No problem, you say? Ah, but Wednesday morning I catch a 6am flight to Portland for a business meeting and do not get home until close to 10pm (it's going to be a very long day) and cabled wool cardigans are not exactly the best sort of airplane knittng, so the chances of my getting any work done on it tomorrow are pretty much nonexistant.

So what this all boils down to is that I have exactly one more evening of knitting time left on this sweater, and that means I have now stepped into the first stages of knitting panic. Not quite as bad as last year at about this time when I ripped out and redid a sweater for my mom in one week, and also not as bad as last Christmas, when I scrambled through a lace doily with minimal sleep in only a few days, but knitting panic nonetheless.

I can do this. Sleep is highly overrated, after all. It's just about half a sleeve left, which, in the grand scheme of the sweater, will be a breeze. Deep breath. I can do this. I'm sure I can.

Posted by Jenipurr at 09:06 AM | Comments (4)

May 05, 2006


Look what arrived today!

A very colorful pair of stripey slouchy socks from Julia (along with a pile of other goodies - chocolates, pecan candies, a sachet, and a magazine about Julia's home state)!

Of course I immediately had to try them on.

and they fit perfectly. Aren't they fun? These are seriously cool socks. I am going to wear them to First Friday craft night tonight so I can show off my gorgeous new socks to everyone.

Thank you, Julia (and thanks for all the other goodies too - I've already started reading through the magazine, and I am debating whether or not Richard even needs to know about any of the candy - grin).

Posted by Jenipurr at 05:28 PM | Comments (3)

May 02, 2006

And they're off

I dropped my Sockpal000za socks into the mail this afternoon on the way home from work. Miraculously the ball band for the yarn emerged from hiding, so I used that as a sock band, figuring that way my sock pal will know exactly how the yarn wants to be cared for. No postcard was included in my little package, but that is because I discovered quite some time ago that there are no postcards available for my little town. Not, mind you, that this came as any big surprise, but that does make things a bit difficult sometimes, because while Sacramento might be the closest 'large' city, it's not even in the same county. So I slipped something else in with the socks instead and hopefully my sock pal will like it.

One down, one to go, because this is not the end of the sock swapping for the year for me. I've signed up for the sock swap for the Sock Yarn Addicts Club. The socks are to be mailed the day before we get home from Ireland, which means my socks are going to either be sent from Ireland because I was a good little kntter and did them early, or (the more likely scenario) my socks will be mailed a day or two late because I will be frantically knitting them on the flight home.

Posted by Jenipurr at 05:22 PM | Comments (2)