Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ireland, 2008

I can't believe I've already been back a whole week. It's taken me this long to organize my photos so I could do this post. Ireland was wonderful, and a really great vacation. I loved staying in a small town with people who work and live there, who can tell me where to go and suggest great walks to take. I managed to hit some amazing weather, where it was sunny and warm (but not too hot)--I even came back with a sunburn!

Here's a sampling of my photos, but click here for the full set. Lots of green, of course!
Baltimore is a seafaring town right on the water, separated from the Atlantic by a few islands (many of which you can ferry to or hire a boat). There are a few pubs along the harbor, in which I became a massive fan of Bulmers hard cider. It's far less sweet than anything I've gotten stateside (FYI in the states, Bulmers is called Magners, but it is the same thing). A lot of the residences there are vacation homes for the well-to-do, so a lot of the businesses have only a few months in the summer's tourist season to make their living.

I had the good fortune of staying with my friends' Liz and Tessa's family at The Glebe Gardens, which is a lovely set of gardens overlooking the sea, and where they grow everything from flowers to herbs, and vegetables that are served fresh in their cafe.
I did A TON of walking, Such is rewarded with views like this:
On my second day there, we took a car ride over to Bantry, where Liz and I had lunch and wandered about and explored. We happened across a woolshop! I was hoping to find a place to get some Irish yarn, but I wasn't so set on it that I was going to go out of my way to find it. Liz helped me put out vibes for one to appear to us, and needless to say I was thrilled to find Knitwell Wools (I can't find a website to them, but the link is a review and the address). We walked in and with just a couple words from my mouth, the woman immediately knew I was in search of "typically Irish yarn." Must be the accent (mine, not hers!) She pulled out a couple Aran yarns, and I just loved this color of Kilcarra Aran Tweed from Donegal (I can only find the Ravelry link, but browsing through stashes proves that this yarn comes in an wide array of beautiful colors). Truth be told, that "Natural Feeling" listed on the label, means it's actually pretty scratchy. I love how they turned that into a selling point.
Unfortunately, not much progress was made on actual knitting -- although for some reason I really have a terrible track record with vacation knitting. I did a start on the Lace Ribbon Scarf from the spring 2008 Knitty, but I didn't end up liking it in the Knit Picks Essential. It was just too fiddly and splitty to do those lacy stitches.


  1. Sounds like a lovely trip! Glad you had a good time and are back safe. The yarn looks cool--not only is it "natural feeling," but it's also a "green product." Can't beat that!

  2. Your trip sounds wonderful! I knit a few items with some Kilcarra Aran Tweed I got in Co. Mayo a little while ago and after you wash it, it softens up a lot.

  3. Wow, it all looks and sounds marvellous! I really must get to the Irish countryside myself at some point. I'm so glad you had wonderful weather!

    The yarn looks gorgeous! I fully love tweed, can't wait to see what you'll make :)

  4. Glad to hear you had a good trip! I live in Dublin and am embarrassed to say I've never been to west Cork. Or tried Kilcarra yarn for that matter. But Bulmers, now there's another story...

  5. what a trip!! beautiful photos too. it looks like you had good weather, which always a good thing. vacation photos take so long to sort through - I am in the middle of the same task!

  6. Oh man, your pics are so great...I need to go back! It's been waaayyyy too long. Looks like you had some good weather too.

  7. Your photographs are beautiful! Looks like you had a great trip. Thanks for sharing!