Magic Yarn Ball Swap!

Thanks so very much to Alcariel!! This was an amazing swap to take part in - my first in one of this kind. Let me tell you, I will never look at a yarn "cake" the same way again - I had this attached to my ball winder so I could rewind as I unwound - man my arms got tired! The husband helped, the dog helped :)
So when I opened up the box, this is what I found:

A big ol ball of yarn, and a pattern for Stitch Diva's Simple Knitted Bodice and a pattern for a mini sock to go on the mini sock blocker keychain! :) And I can see Mike & Ike's too!
The unwinding began, and continued, and continued! There wasn't just one ball of yarn (Mountain Colors - gorgeous!!!) there was two! You can see the pinkish yarn in the photo below - that's "Meteor" - dyed by Miss Violet and spun by Alcariel, my pal! How cool? Also included were gummy rats (weirdly delish!), samples of "Soak" (been dying to try this!), Cream Savers, the mini sock blocker keychain with a knitted sock, and a little sock change purse (I may use this to hold stitch markers)...Wow!
I look forward to using (and eating) everything!!

Love this shirt!

Georgia - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever


New 'do

New 'do
Originally uploaded by nutmegknitter.
Knitting has been sparse. I don't really want to show the baby gifts in progress, because garter stitch bibs in progress won't look much different than the finished project.

Instead, here's a recent shot of me and Dan. I've got a new hair do - got a chop, and now surprise surprise, I wear my hair down (with goop in it to keep the curls / waves) without clips!

I swear my head is not that much bigger than Dan's - but it looks like it in this photo...



First off, big big big big thanks to my Lime & Violet Secret Sibling Pal - I think I know who she is (am I right, Melissa?) The box absolutely rocked!

There's a ton of sweets (all of which I have been craving! Couldn't find them on the trip!): jelly jolly ranchers, mike & ikes, peach rings, Sponge Bob Crabby Patties, cream savers, pralines...drool! Then there's a great selection of yarn - purple and white cotton (I'm big into the Mason Dixon baby bib's / burp cloths and other baby things now - perfect colors!!), thicker purple /magenta yarn for house socks (maybe thuja??) and Lisa Souza yarn (Red Devil!) awesome! The pattern is "Twist and Lace" - made to use with the Lisa Souza yarn - excellent! There's Burt's Bees goodies too and a chibi (don't have one yet!!) - so so very excited!! There's even a package of treats for Jackson! Thank you for spoiling me so very very much!!

Here's a short sample of Ireland:

Slainte! At the Guinness Storehouse.


Blarney Castle

Cliffs of Moher - my favorite!

At Blarney Castle - I swear this coat was made out of electric blue fun fur!

Ireland (Cliffs of Moher & Bunratty Castle) part 4

On Wednesday, we again drove a bit, took a ferry across the River Shannon. Our destination was the Cliffs of Moher - my favorite part of the tour - absolutely breathtaking!! And it was still a beautiful sunny day - warm even!!

That evening we dined at Bunratty Castle for a medevial banquet and enjoyed the after party at Durty Nelly's Pub - which has been around for 200 years!

Thursday we began our long trip back home to the states...we were at the airport by 10, the flight was at 2, the travel time was 7 hours (we were back by 4)...

Friday and Saturday have been very low key - I'm exhausted and not to keen on the idea of going back to work tomorrow...

I will have to post again to show the fabulous box of goodies I got from my Lime&Violet Secret Sibling - love it all!

Ireland (Ring of Kerry & Skellig) - part 3

On Tuesday, we set out for the ~100 mile drive of Ring of Kerry - absolutely striking - beautiful! This included Gap of Dunloe and Macgillicuddy's Reeks - you don't usually think of Ireland as being "mountainous" - but it is quite rugged and rolling! At one photo stop you could hold a lamb! I missed out though, because my camera battery died! I had my camera on all day - you just want to photograph everything!! We did buy a disposable for a backup at a later pit stop. The only part we didn't like was the Skellig Experience...

We took a Jaunting Car ride through Killarney National Park with a very chatty and knowledgable driver :)

For dinner, we went to Hannigan's - I lucked out again with a good tortellini dish, and Dan struck out with whatever he got :) We strolled around a bit checking out a few pubs looking for Irish music. We heard a bit that was just instrumental, a bit of ballads, and then ended up at the hotel bar and talked with the bartender there.

Ireland (Blarney Castle & Killarney) - part 2

On Monday, we left Dublin and made our way through the countryside. We had a stop for tea and scones at a working farm - delicious! And they had hundreds of sheep and lambs! We drove by Cashel, saw lots and lots and lots of sheep and cows in the fields. Eventually we ended up at Blarney Castle and Blarney Woolen Mills (shopping!). As we dove into the grounds, there was a boot sale!! Didn't have time to go check it out though. I almost didn't go up to the top of Blarney Castle - you have to go up a very narrow sprial staircase - I don't do to well with small enclosed spaces, but Nana did it, so I could do it! The view from the top was worth it! I did pass on kissing the Blarney Stone though!

We continued our drive to end up at Killarney - dinner was at the hotel with the tour. I had a pasta dish which was good, Dan struck out again!

Ireland (Dublin) - part 1

First off, thanks to everyone who left comments / sent emails regarding my Nana. She is a very special person to me and I will miss her tremendously. During our Ireland trip, we had not one drop of rain! I think that Nana pulled some strings on that one, and smiled down with sunshine on us.

Ireland was fantastic! I have over 300 photos, so I won't be overloading this post with them (or even flickr, though I'll probably find a few to share). We went through CIE tours, specifically, the Taste of Ireland tour. It was a true taste - we saw a little bit of everything!

We arrived in Dublin a day early (Saturday). We didn't know if we would be able to check into our hotel room early on in the day or not, but we were! We checked in and immediately took a nap. I wanted to get to the stitch 'n bitch in Dublin, but we were just too tired! After our nap, we took a cab to the Guinness Storehouse - it's all behind walls, like Willy Wonka's factory! We did the tour and enjoy a sip at the Gravity Bar. We had dinner at Foley's - I had lamb stew which was really great, Dan's filet however was less than what he was expecting. We walked back to our hotel and hit the hay for about 12 hours!

Dublin is a neat city, but the streets were confusing to me. They are not in a grid like New York, or main streets leading to a central point like Providence. It's kinda like Boston.

On Easter Sunday, our tour started. We got to tour inside Dublin Castle, very striking. We drove by a lot of places like Trinity College, Doors of Dublin, St.Stephen's Green, President's House, Temple Bar area and more. We had time after the drive by touring, so we took a taxi back down to Temple Bar and walked around a bit. We saw U2's Clarence Hotel, and had a snack at a pub.

In the evening, we went out to dinner with the tour to eat and enjoy the entertainment of The Merry Ploughboys - they were awesome! There was even dancing / step dancing (my favorite!)


When it rains...it pours

As if today wasn't already off to a crappy start. My Nana passed away.

That's an old picture, but really the only one I could find - our house warming party, summer 2005 - back when she was starting to loose her hair from chemo...look at how tiny Jackson was (9 or 12 weeks, maybe!)

She hadn't been doing well for a while. We all knew this. And she stopped the chemo treatments around Christmas. We all knew this. I'm glad she doesn't have to deal with the side effects and not feeling well and all that cancer crap. I'm glad she will be with Grampa again. But it still sucks. We were close. I respect her so much, even with her quirks about leaving appliances on and how much she worried. She was a role model for me - strong, stubborn, independent Irish-American gal. She read, she cooked, she got herself into the digital age (she was on email and netflixed with the best of them!) and was not afraid to have fun or let Grampa talk her into doing something silly.

Services won't be until next week. Nana is a "sponsor" of our Ireland trip - she made it possible, so we're still planning to go. It will be bittersweet. I feel bad about not being there for the services, but I think she would want us to go.

This seems to be the nutmegknitter's blog of doom lately.

Working for the weekend

Vacation cannot come soon enough - Friday night (weather permitting!) we're off to Ireland - and while that in itself is fabulous, I may get to attend an Irish Stitch and Bitch!! My Knitter's Tea Swap pal was Isobel and she's in Dublin! We've been in contact and I think I have talked Dan into going as well - we'll be wandering about anyway since we can't check into the hotel until later in the afternoon, and we could get a bite to eat! I'm sure we'll be dazed and fazed and even more out of it American tourists, but I really think it's such a neat plan!

Today in school, the first five minutes of class, I was told the following:
"If you snatched anything away from me I woulda punched you in the face"
"I aint chewin anything! Get your eyes checked"
"You're racist, picking on us kids" (said by a white girl. I fail to see how, as a white woman I was being racist or sexist even towards her)

Now, I understand kids say things as a defense mechanism or to show to others they are tough, but now this is just harrassment. The same white student who said all three of those quips also has other issues so she was not immediately suspended, but should any other incident happen today she will. I hope she starts her spring vacation early. I'm tired and fed up. Again. (that seems like all I ever write in here anymore.)
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