So far, so good

Howth Harbour and Ireland's Eye2

Thanks to my war wounds, I haven’t been gallivanting much recently, but my DS was showing a friend from his UCD Kung Fu club some of the sights of Dublin, and kindly volunteered to provide some photos so we can all enjoy the view vicariously. As she’s from Madagascar (now there’s another place on my must-visit list!), the fishing village of Howth, now part of Dublin’s Northside, seemed like a good contrast. Howth village and harbour (on the left, looking north) are situated on a flat isthmus of Carboniferous sediments, which end abruptly at a fault zone, with a steep hill of intensely deformed and much older quartzites on the other side of the fault. Because they are much harder they form the high ground. The island in the background is called Ireland’s Eye, and is also formed of the same tough rocks of almost pure quartz which have been tempered at high pressure and temperature like a samurai sword, wiping out evidence of their exact age and origin- very mysterious, but picturesque!

Beach at Howth, Dublin

Howth beach formed on the weak fault zone, and the cliffs of Howth Head rise steeply on the far side of it.

Ancient Quartzite Cliffs of Howth Head, Dublin

This is a truly lovely route for a walk, all around the Howth coast in an almost complete circle.

Ireland's Eye viewed from Howth, Dublin

The Irish Sea is unusually calm here…

View south from Howth Head

Looking south from Howth Head, past the lighthouse, we can see the Wicklow mountains (Leinster Granite) in the distance, across Dublin Bay. The furze is indeed that intense golden colour in real life, but so thorny that it’s best enjoyed at a safe difference….

Pier, Howth Harbour,DublinIMG_0985

Howth Harbour is worth a closer look, not only because it’s pretty, but also because the best of the catch is on sale in a row of specialist shops at the landward end, and some of the best fish’n’chips ever. This harbour was meant to be much busier, but unfortunately the tricky counter-clockwise currents of the Irish Sea caused it to silt up to such an extent that only small craft can use it. So the atmosphere remains cosy and somewhat parochial, while international shipping business is conducted at Dublin Docks and further south in Dun Laoghaire (Dunleary for English speakers).

And now, as a grand finale to the tour, a panorama composed of five photos:

Howth Harbour, Dublin 1

Thank you, DS, I think that’s captured the atmosphere of the harbour!

What have I been up to? Well, it’s been a quiet week, complicated by a headcold and the on-going saga of getting hot water restored, but I am delighted to report that this week’s session in the school went much better than the previous week- the new selection of kids actually sat down, stopped talking long enough to listen and promptly learned to knit! One of the Mammies came in to help, and having a second adult to demonstrate on a one-to-one basis made a big difference. That same evening there was a large influx of newbies to the library group, so even though I didn’t get any knitting done myself, I felt that the teaching was really fulfilling. Now I just need to find a paying gig- the cost of living has soared again this month, while my income remains static….. Still, I’m working on a couple of ideas, now that my back is getting a bit better.

I used up my Noro bargain stash (a total of 400g in assorted worsted weights, on 5mm needles, made 50 patches).

Noro patches for Applecore Blanket

Once I’d arranged them on the carpet I started knitting them together with transverse patches in Donegal Tweed (Kilcarra or Donegal Yarns, they’re basically the same).

Joining patches with Donegal Tweed

These patches (Applecore Blanket by Frankie Brown, Ravelry) lived on the floor all week, and if either of us wanted to use the computer, well, we had to sit in their midst (hence the chairleg). Par for the course, in this household…

Applecore blanket in progress

See part of my Donegal tweed stash by the wall? I arranged it in a rainbow- yes I know it’s a lot, but the leftovers have added up over the years, and they keep bringing out rich new colours and it’s inexpensive and how’s a knitter to resist?

Donegal Tweed rainbow for Frankie Brown Blanket

I decided that the purple and red end of the rainbow was a good place to start, and as I was knitting I decided to limit myself to that end of the spectrum and save the blue-greens and neutrals for the inspiration which struck about halfway…(yes, there’s another afghan on the way, this time of my own design).

That meant I had to head off through the rain to Springwools, my local tweed supplier, to acquire an orange shade the blanket was demanding. I know I’m not meant to be buying new yarn (my weight is constant, not decreasing), but after all those patches can’t stay on the carpet much longer or they’ll put down roots, and it ‘s just one ball….

Noro on Cushendale cushions

…except of course it wasn’t! I picked up my three Euros worth of tweed as required by my Muse, then was ambushed by a goodie-bag on my way to the cash register. There was a time, Springwools would sell off individual oddballs at bargain prices which was dreadfully seductive and led to my stash getting pretty overweight, I must admit. Then they started compiling goodie-bags containing several balls in generally offputting or downright hideous combinations, which were easy to resist and made me feel thoroughly virtuous. But this week, for the first time I succumbed- two 50g skeins of Noro for 4.95, I ask ye, how could I say no?

P.S. do you like the Cushendale cushion covers in the background- that yarn wears really well!

Are you distracted from my self-indulgence? Good- now look how I’m getting on:

Playing with colours, Frankie Brown design

There’s my new orange, right in the centre. Before I forget, one 50g ball of aran weight Donegal tweed makes 4 and a half patches 19cm/7.5 in ( long axis).

Applecore construction pattern

I intend to crochet the strips together now, because it’s high time some vacuum cleaning was done around here…..

Not to mention spring cleaning, no rest for the wicked!

23 thoughts on “So far, so good

  1. What lovely colours! I can’t wait to hear what you have planned for the blues and the greens! Such an interesting post too. Loved the geology and descriptions of the harbour area!

  2. Well, your son sure does have a way with the camera. I had to wipe my keyboard for all the drool. I really am going to have to see all of this in person, Pauline. And your wonderful posts keep reminding me of that fact.
    As to the knitting project – so very cool! Love the colors, but I just have to say –
    you have the patience of a saint.

      • And I can’t wait!
        I’ll do a post this week to show you my new mad knitting skills. I like to think of you as my mentor – although this may or may not be the LAST time I EVER knit with SKINNY SCRAWNY STUPID LACE yarn again.
        just saying.

      • That was the Cushendale mohair one- it’s only 200m in 100g (nearly 4 oz)! That’s the equivalent of knitting with heavy worsted, I thought you’d like it, boohoo……

      • See? There’s the miscommunication… you assumed I understood what “worsted” meant. I don’t. Dumb it down, Miss Pauline – call it “Sue’s pattern for a chunky wool scarf” and then I’ll get it.
        Now I get it and so I shall print it off tomorrow and give it a go.
        Sheesh- you high faluten knitters!

      • And there was I , thinking I was being horribly condescending as it was…
        Yep, I’ve a lot to learn. Now have fun and keep warm!

      • Yarn snobbery is never a pretty sight. I hope, my dear, that you are suitably humbled – we Vermonters don’t take to no high faluten attitude.
        As to keeping warm? It was 55 degrees here yesterday.

      • I’m sorry. Forgive me?
        To make you feel better (and regain you’re much deserved superiority) – I’m working on a post right now. As we speak. I’m gonna show off my newest lace creation ala Pauline…

  3. There is no way you could possibly say no to such a bargain for such beautiful yarn. And I am sure that passing it up would have upset your Muse as well. And we must keep the Muse happy. Glad to hear that the kiddie wrangling went better. Love the afghan in process pics as well as the tour of Howth.

    • I’m just back from this weeks bout with the babies, and this time went well too- enjoyable for all concerned! I had two assistants this time, which meant that even more kiddies experienced that magical first stitch, and were delighted with themselves, bless them. Now the rowdies from week one are beginning to feel they’re missing out . I am not above taking pleasure in that…

    • Hurray, it’s great and looks fabulous on you! It gives me the warm and fuzzies to see my design reinterpreted so sucessfully, it’s like a baby taking its first steps (you’re the Mammy and I’m the Granny). Go and have a look, everybody, right now!

      • You are so not the Granny. No way! I am like that toddler taking its first steps – and you’d believe that if you heard the cussing when I discovered I’d knitted right around those dang circular needles for one row. That changed the pattern up just a bit, thus the no close up.
        yeah, I know, you can stop giggling.

      • That’s great advice – oh, and as to your new follower – Lori Lipsky? She is a dear sweet blogger – I love her poems. Make sure you check out the one she did fairly recently – I forget the name – it was the one about the sign that said “shut up”. She is sooooo talented.

  4. Pauline, I’m so happy to have found your site. When I’m done here I plan to follow. Found your link over at Sue Bahr’s blog. I am big steps behind (yes, behind ;)) Sue in knitting, but I dream of knitting decently one day. I had one brief lesson last year with my two friends, but they struggled with me because I’m left-handed. Now, it’s time to start again. I’ll never be a master knitter, but I have humble knitting goals that I plan to achieve. 🙂

    • Dear Lori, welcome! May I offer a tip, as someone who was taught to knit by a lefthander? My Mother was strongly lefthanded (e.g. couldn’t even use an ordinary, righthanded, scissors) but was forced by the nuns to knit righthanded (because we all know the devil works through the left hand!). Recent research indicates that, since both hands need to learn new and separate tasks in order to knit, you might as well learn righthanded( no guff about reversing everything), then you’ll be able to learn from books, videos and almost everybody. That’ll make your new start easier, I hope. p.S. It’s also good for your brain!

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