I'm continuing my armchair travels, meandering about aimlessly and enjoying my little escapes from real life immensely. I've started to miss Ireland quite a bit. I haven't been there in close to 14 years, believe it or not. That's a far cry from the 1-3 trips a year I used to take, but real life and children tend to tame the wanderlust a bit.
I made some brown bread (with Guinness) using a mix that I found on one of my grocery shopping adventures. My local stores don't carry it, nor do they carry that wholemeal flour you need to make good Irish brown bread. I can find it online to be airmailed here, but the cost of shipping flour is a bit prohibitive, as it weighs a lot, certainly a lot more than yarn, my usual airmail purchase. Does anyone know where in the USA I could get this?
The funny thing is, everyone in my household hates this bread, as in they won't even try it. I toasted a slice and had it with butter for breakfast this morning and it was heavenly, and I'm not a bread and butter eater. I grew up with Wonder Bread. My brother loved bread and butter. I couldn't stand it. Then I got to high school and started eating three meals a day at school and discovered that I did like bread with butter on it, real butter. It turns out my mom had always bought margarine in stick form, so what I thought was butter was actually margarine. Yes, I am naive enough that I made it to 15 years of age without knowing that margarine came in stick form. I always thought sticks were butter and tubs were margarine. In any case, I started to eat bread and butter, but only good bread and only real butter. Brown bread is the best for this.
The bread didn't assuage my longing for Ireland. It's only made it worse. Here's a little sheeptical illusion from 1992 in Ireland:
I took this while stopped for some sheep crossing the road.
And here's another cute animal:
Senor Ardilla is done, lining and all. At present, I have no stranded knitting on the needles, which is a new thing. That situation won't last for long. I've got some yarn heading my way from Jamieson & Smith. I've also got the new Kate Davies book, Colours of Shetland, on the way. In a moment of madness/brilliance, I made myself a spreadsheet of the yarn requirements for all of her designs, for ease when shopping, as many designs only use a little bit of one color or another. I'm working with a moderator on the Kate Davies group on Ravelry to get the info there, but until we deal with the technical issues, here it is in Excel form:
It is up to date through yesterday, with the most recent pattern being A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (Toby's Coat). So, we've been to Ireland, Shetland, and Scotland so far in this post, and we are on to Wales and England.
On Sandy's recommendation, I picked up a copy of Ken Follett's Fall of Giants. I should say I hefted it up - at 985 pages, it is a monster. No wonder I was in bed knitting with the heating pad on my back last night! (Actually, that is more to do with the hefting about of yarn stash and patterns as I continue on my quest to catalog all yarn and projects on Ravelry.) I've started it and it is quite good. It starts out in Wales, and I'm at the point where King George V is visiting. It is set during the second decade of the 20th century, something that Sandy and I agree that we know far too little about, so expect some blog posts about that time period in the future. I'm really loving this book, and I encourage you to click through and learn more about it. That is a Goodreads link - I am going to start using those for books now, as you can read more about the book, peruse reader reviews, and also find the book for sale or borrow via links to local and online bookstores as well as libraries, and I like having that option. I picked my book up at a local shop. I still shop at Amazon, but it's nice to support local business and it's also nice to have options.
Sandy says that she tends to imagine the estate in Fall of Giants as similar to the estate on Downtown Abbey. I missed this week's Downton Abbey, but I DVR'd it, and I'm going to have to get moving and watch it before Sunday night's new episode. I haven't started the Downton Abbey KAL yet, and I'm not sure I will because I might prefer to use the yarn for something different, but I do have good news. According to Jimmy Beans Wool, the Christmas at Downton colorway has been so popular that Lorna's Laces will be adding it to the regular roster of colors and it will be available in many yarn bases at many knitting shops. So, if you missed out, you can get yourself some. I already have it in Sportmate (for the KAL) and Honor (for another project), and it's going to take a huge amount of will power to not buy it for socks. I just love the colorway. However, as I've been looking at my stash, I see way too much sock yarn so I'm going to try to curb the sock yarn purchases. Hopefully, this colorway will be around for a while so I can knit up or sell or gift some of my sock yarn stash to make room for it.
And that, my friends, concludes today's travels around the British and Not-So-British Isles.