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'Cause sometimes I even surprise the knit out of myself.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Un piccolo gelato per favore

A small gelato please...

Soo I am leaving for Europe on Friday. My parents and I (only child) never went on family vacations growing up. A day at Island Beach State Park in NJ or the daytrip to Baltimore Harbor was vacation. So let's say this is pretty huge for them. The last plane they went on was a DC-9 exactly 40 years ago for their honeymoon (yes it's their 40th wedding present and 60th birdays. Yay for the folks!) We have all kinds of fun to experience then don't we? They have yet to experience the airport security fun that was my life for the last 5 years, or the folks that STAND on the moving walkway on the walking side, the clueless meandering about, and Philadelphia baggage claim. Should be interesting no?

So three of my best girlfriends and two set of parents are going out to play in the Italian Riveria and such. We booked Costa Cruises which is supposedly the leading cruise liner of Europe and yep, it's Italian run. (Wonder if there's Gelato onboard?). There is an Irish pub onboard. Go figure. I'll be rrrright at home then.

Day Port Arrive Depart
09/02 Sun. Civitavecchia/Rome (Italy)
09/03 Mon. Savona (Italy)
09/04 Tue. Barcelona (Spain)
09/05 Wed. Palma De Mallorca (Spain)
09/06 Thu. Tunis (Tunisia)
09/07 Fri. La Valletta (Malta)
09/08 Sat. Palermo (Sicily)
09/09 Sun. Civitavecchia/Rome (Italy)

Out of all the stops mom is most excited about the Vatican, Dad likes the thought of a tapas tour in Spain, and me...well I am pretty enamored with Tunisia. I love the Arabic music, food, the history, and the belly dancing or oriental. Now there is a little known fact about me. I am a Middle Eastern, Indian, and north African dance enthusiast and practioner. (Some of you know I speak some Punjabi and Hindi too). I've been studying the dance aspect for a few years now and I love it. I also like that there are woman of all sizes well-respected in the field.

So wish us luck, send out the good juujuus for good travel, and I promise I will provide the photo sharing. Maybe, although I doubt I'll have time, I will have some good yarn prOn to share. :-P

So Arrividerci, Adios, Ma as-salaamah, Narga naghrak and Ciao Bella!

Burket OUT.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It'''s ALIVE!!!

Look what's back from the depths of purgatory. It's Rogue by Girl from Auntie, Jenna Wilson in all it's cabley, green goodness.

This photo is showing much brighter of a green than it actually is. It's more of a grassy, olivey green.

Believe me, it's not that I fell out of love with the pattern or the yarn, but gosh it's damn hot to carry around in 90 degree weather. And it's in the round. I had started this back in April while I was traveling a lot for my job. It grew quick and the weather got really muggy pretty quick. Sadly, Rogue was shoved to the side to await the FALL! Hot damn bring on the Fall knits. I hate the summer.

Gosh I forgot how much I loved this yarn. Probably my most expensive sweater to date. I bought 20 skeins of Noro Cash Iroha in Color 100 back when folks were mad over the Hourglass sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I was lurking through some pictures debating on whether I *really* wanted to do that pattern that bad and saw someone who had knittied theirs in this very color. I was hooked, but not for that particular pattern. I had owned the Rogue pattern for some time now and was just search for that perfect yarn and perfect color.

Nothing is more perfect to me than a sweater that brings me back the fond memories of the lush green grass in Ireland, and the one place that draws me back, Miltown Malbay in County Clare. It speaks to me like home as do the wonderful people that we still continue to exchange cards throughout the year. It was a place of magic and beauty that can never be erased from my mind. *sigh*. I leave for Europe next Friday, but I think another trip to Ireland may be in order.

You fellow bloggers are smart folks so you know what comes next....on to the sappy retrospect....

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland

Wendy and I (on the left) with our trusty gnome Verne at the Burrens in Galway

The Pirate Queen preparing to sail from Westport to Clare Island in Clew Bay. The boat is named after my hero, Grace O'Malley, known by her children of Ireland as Granuaile. She was the O'Malley clan leader and her people were one with Clew Bay living off of the fruits of the sea. During the British occupation, the British ships would collect all of the produce and meats that the starving Irish famers had raised and would take them back to England to feed their own. Granuaile was apalled at the state of her people and became the Pirate Queen of Ireland. She would wait until the British ships entered the open waters and would pirate the goods to give back to the starving Irish of County Mayo much like a Robinhood. She was the only person ever daring to DEMAND an audience with the Queen of England. The two powers met and no one knows what was said to this day. One thing known is that Granuaile would not bow to the Queen of England as she stated she "was a Queen in her own right".
Mysteriously, the British would never enter County Mayo ever again.
"She was small but what a site
"The men were wrapped around her finger tight
She was blessed came from the West
She could terrify the strangers with the best
With pale blue eyes and long black hair
The sailors fell in love with this corsair
For her they'd jump for her they'd fight
Her name became a legend overnight
Sail sail Granuaile take me away
Through your rough and troubled waters
To your castle on Clew Bay
Sail sail Granuaile and the fleet was turned away
By the Pirate Queen of Ireland...Ireland
-"Granuaile" by Blackthorn ( One of my fave. Irish bands ever
Clew Bay where the Pirate Queen protected her Ireland

Haunting and lovely high crosses on Clare Island as viewed from the Abbey where Granuaile is buried.

"Will you meet me on Clare Island?
Summer stars are in the sky
We'll take the ferry out from Runa
And wave all our cares good-bye
We go dancin' at the ceili
We go kissin on the strand
Take our clothes off in the moonlight
Skinny-dippin hand and hand"
-"Clare Island" by The Saw Doctors (another favorite Irish band)

At home behind the bar with our "Dad for two weeks" Paedar O'Laughlin of O'Laughlin's Pub. Hands down the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.
(Ruth, Me, Paedar and Wendy)

Wow, I never realized how dark this pub was inside. I have red hair but you can't even tell.

In front of our home base, O'Laughlin's Bar and Restaurant. Many, many happy memories here and they weren't even Guinness-induced. Umm ok maybe a leetle. But the memories are fond for the experience of hangin' with the locals.

I think it's time to go Home again........Slán go fóill.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Phildar Cropped Cardie -DONE

Stashbusted. I finally got that small amount of GGH Samoa out of my stash that has been languishing in there for about 4 years. When I first started knitting, I was crazed about the prospect of all this cool yarn. The new LYS I discovered has this on sale and I bought 8 skeins of it for no particular pattern and without regard to gauge or yardage. I finally found something kind of fun and trendy to do with it. I am not a summer garment knitter. I've only knit two things that are truly summer-wearable. Give me wool or alpaca any day of the week and twice on Sunday. The nice thing is I can wear this cropped cardie and the lime green waiscoat (from 8/13/07 post) for the cruise.

The buttons are even although they don't appear that way in the picture. That's the "girls" getting in the way. LOL.

It is super cloudy but bright today so getting good pics proved difficult since I was both the model and photographer today. I have a major headache here. Can you tell??? :-)

Project Details:
Pattern: Phildar Cropped Cardie #3
Pattern Source: Phildar Tendances Spring 2006
Yarn: 8 skeins of GGH Samoa in Black (more like a faded out black)
Needles: Size 5 and Size 3 Addi Turbo circulars
Mods: I changed the method for attaching the neckband. The pattern called for knitting the neckband separately and then doing a couple of rows of waste yarn stockinette to sew on. I don't play that kind of game. I picked up stitches and knit the band.
Recipient- Me
Here is the back view. Please excuse mah big arse.
In other news, I joined the Interweave Tilted Duster KAL because I fell in love with the construction of this sweater. I really really didn't want another project with loads of stockinette, but I wanted the sweater badly enough so there was no fair trade here.
Among other things, I am also working on a christening gown for a dear friend's future little one. She gave me this honor quite some time ago and despite all the problems she's had along the way, we are officially in the clear to start the gown. This is a huge honor for me. More details later. Also, I'm jumping on the bandwagon to knit the Elizabeth Zimmerman's February baby sweater from the Knitter's Almanac. The one that really got my attention was the one that brooklyntweed (Jared) had done out of Sundara Yarns. Ummm breathtaking. The quality of his knitting continues to blow my mind.
Have a nice remainder of the weekend. All of my cruise knits are done. Now it's packing time. Count down 12 days to vacation to Italy and Costa Cruise!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Oh hi there....hi hi hi

Good Lord, it's damn hot today so anything you model wrinkles instantly. Take said lime green sweater, for example. A silk/viscose sweater. I present "Waistcoat in Lime". It's a Sandra Knitting pattern that my SnB group knows I had to re-write the whole lace pattern. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. It's not my style to bash anyone's creativity on my blog although I may have those "how the hell is that functional?" kind of moments when I see some of the 'creative' patterns in magazines recently. I really like Sandra although I was very disappointed that the magazine was not receptive to me letting them know they do have errata on one of their patterns. Oh I am sooo sorry, didn't realize the magazine was perfect. I was really disappointed about that. So folks beware, they have really cute patterns, but absolutely no pattern support or errata. Don't be suprised if you have to re-write cable or lace graphs. This is the second pattern I've done and the second time I've re-written the pattern due to an error in increases versus decreases. Although this, in no way, stops me from knitting the patterns. I do like them a lot.
Pattern: Waistcoat in Rose (Lime for me)
Source: Sandra magazine
Yarn: 6 balls of Gedifra Tiago (Lime with blue flecks)
Needles: Size 10.5 addi turbos
Mods: Let's not go there. A lot of them. I also added puffed cap sleeves as this was a vest in the pattern.
Recipient: Me
Close-up of the front lace
Close-up of the back lace
I plan to move my button a little higher on the neckline and I think I do need to do a crochet edging around the neck.
And this is a finished Monkey sock by Cookie A., available at The yarn is Koigu KPPM in a purple and army green colorway. Second sock is on the needles and just about done.
Cartman says, "Awwww mom, when are you going to stop playing with those sticks and string to pet my sad, pitiful head? I'm LONELY."