Friday, February 25, 2005

Aran Knitting

Thanks to those of you who left a comment! I will have my daughter draw the winner out of a hat this weekend and post the results Monday. Then, a lovely skein of Noro Cash Iroha will be on its way to you! I will draw the winner from those of you who guessed Ireland, as the pictures were from our trip to Inishmore, the Aran Islands, Ireland. What a lovely trip and amazing weather we had! We flew into Dublin and spent a few days. Here's my husband's artsy shot of me in St. Stephen's Green.

Then we headed to the west in our rental car. This has to be the smallest car we have ever driven:

My Ph.D. work included a section on the Famine Irish immigrants to Boston, so the west of Ireland, where most Famine immigrants came from, was where I really wanted to spend time. We headed out to the Aran Islands for a few days. I could have spent another week on the island. We stayed at Kilmurvey House, biked and walked, enjoyed the sunny weather, shopped for sweaters at An Pucan, and drank Murphy's and Guiness. And, the pictures that I included in the last entry show Dun Aengus, a prehistoric structure on the island.

I dug into my closet and found the sweater I bought from Mary O'Flaherty in a small crafts shop near Kilmurvey house. It is so very warm:

I haven't worn this sweater very often because it really is too warm for Texas. It still has the very faint odor of a peat fire--Apparently Mary knits all winter in a house where they heat with peat fire. I did find two little places that need to be repaired. I'm not sure how to go about fixing this sweater, but I will see if I can find some yarn that will let me stitch the two tiny holes together. This sweater should really last years.

While the relaxing Aran Islands were the highlight of the trip, I also loved our time in Sligo, Mayo and Achill Island. Achill Island was very interesting historically. We visited an abandoned village on the island:

This was a formerly thriving village that was decimated by the Famine--both by numbers who died from starvation and disease and those who left for other places. You can see the bumps in the earth from the lazy beds--the beds in which the potatoes were planted. When the potatoes were blighted, the Famine, and all of the political and historical ramifications, began. Strokestown Park's Famine Museum in Co. Roscommon, which we visited, gives a good overview of the Famine and the Irish Famine site gives great materials as well.

So what prompted this long post? Well, my interlibrary loan book, of course: Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting:

This is really a great book. So many of the designs are absolutely gorgeous. Here's two that I am considering:

Gallery of Finished Objects

Gallery 2007
Gallery 2006
Gallery 2005
Gallery 2004

On the Needles

Cable Cardigan

Faroe Island Sweater

Rowan Denim Seahorse


Future Knits

Lisette from Rowan

Lorna's Laces Socks

Backyard Leaves Scarf

Eloise from Jane Ellison


The WeatherPixie


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