Well, so I promised to post this last week. And I didn't.... I think I'm still dealing with jet lag, what can I say?
I've decided to talk/blog about our trip chronologically and this means the yarn will come up chronologically as well.
We started out from Chicago's O'Hare on June 12. Here we are, looking appropriately cheesy--including the little pins that we had made for the guests at our wedding which we are wearing that you probably cannot see (husband busted them out of his bag just as we arrived at the airport). I don't remember if I made this clear or not, but besides traveling to celebrate our birthdays, this trip was our very belated honeymoon!
Please note how little luggage we had with us -- we were going for 3 weeks!! We took those two bags/backpacks and one carry on per person (my purse and husband's messenger bag). We were very proud of ourselves for traveling so light. We decided to follow Rick Steve's recommendations and just take a minimal amount of clothing so that we would have less to carry. Seeing as how there was no way we could carry 3 weeks' worth of clothing with us, this seemed reasonable -- we'd just have to wash clothes as we went along.
Besides many delays, our traveling was pretty uneventful.
The first moment I realized I might have a problem with my packing (after we FINALLY got our luggage, which of course had to get separated from us) was the instant I opened it and saw:
Do you see the problem? Half the contents of my bag is yarn!?!?! How did I let it take over my brain like that? You see in here the Noro book and yarn that I have for the sweater I wrote about quite a while ago. Also included was the sock kit I got from Blue Moon Fiber Arts which I wrote about quite a while ago as well. I figured I was going to have time on trains so I should probably bring some knitting along.... Am I the only one who gets this over zealous? Not pictured here is the pair of socks that I was already working on for my husband. Let me just warn you now: the yarn to clothing ratio did not improve on the trip....
But let me explain something. I thought that we would find hoards of yarn shops in Ireland because of all that I've heard about Irish Knitting. We did not. Not in Dublin, especially. We went to a Mills store (I can't remember which) that was just on the north side of the Ha'penny Bridge expecting yarn galore and didn't find much there. We found some pre-made sweaters. We also saw some sewing notions and a handful of yarn -- most of which looked to be acrylic, which was not what I was looking for. I'm pretty sure this was the Dublin Woollen Mills. Disappointing, to say the least.
Then we went to Hickey's which was recommended on this site. Hickey's is a fabric/home decor store, as it turns out. The Hickey's on Henry St. had some yarn downstairs, as promised. However, there really wasn't much. I would not bother going there unless you're ONLY going to Dublin, you HAVE to have souvenir yarn, and you can't get anywhere else. Oh, and do NOT go to the one at St. Stephen's Green, as they don't have any yarn. I didn't get to check out some of the other shops that were listed on the site I mentioned above. I really wanted to go to the Springwools shop because it looks good from their website AND my grandfather's last name was Spring (as is my mother's). So, it would have been a fun homage. However, we couldn't make it to that store. We were in Dublin for such a short time!
Alas, we left Dublin without yarn and I have to admit that I thought that I just might leave Ireland without yarn! I mean, if the big city doesn't have it, who will??
We did manage to get a little sightseeing in besides the yarn shop. Among other things, we walked along Grafton St. Here is a shot of that:
It is a pedestrians-only street for shopping, which is pretty cool. And, yes, we had our obligatory Irish rain.
Even the agony of the rain and the yarnlessness were soothed by a stop into The Foggy Dew which was in the trendy Temple Bar area (picture includes husband, who hates having his picture taken). The bar was quite lovely. It was dark and cozy and a welcome retreat from the rain. We were also feeling quite jetlagged still at that point, so it was nice to have a pleasant, mellow place to duck into.
We found it fairly well populated by people who seemed to have stopped in after work to hang out with friends and let the stress of the day fall away. The inside was all covered with rich wood paneling and on the walls were album covers for English bands. I thought this was a little odd given that we were in Ireland, but who doesn't feel respect for The Who, David Bowie, etc.??
And, of course, we had our very first real Irish Guinness. Look at this baby. I don't normally drink Guinness at home, but I had to have it in Ireland (I had read that it's actually much better in Ireland, as it is very fresh). It was very smooth and nice. The bartender took forever to pour it, just as we had been told they would. Nothing gets poured like a Guinness -- they don't take that long for other beers (I watched). Somewhat surprising was the fact that it was cold. I had heard that beer isn't served cold there, but this was not what we found over all, actually. Maybe it was that we were frequenting places that Americans turn up at all regularly and they complain about warm beer, etc., but The Foggy Dew didn't have anybody else who was obviously American (we found them elsewhere on our trip and then some!).
Oh, and the glasses our Guinnesses came in might have made it home with us . . . . Darn you, Erinn!!
Well, that's the sad story of Dublin and no yarn. It was a lovely city, though, and it would have been nice to have more time there. In no way could it beat the countryside, however, which I will write about next.....