Free Yarn!

Now that ought to get everybody’s attention! First, though, thanks to everyone who sent fine birthday wishes, and also for putting up with the endless travelogue in the past few weeks. We made it home safely, though I’m still not quite recovered from the time changes. Even the switch to and from daylight savings time messes with my head, so an eight-hour change is really doing it to me. I’ve been waking up at 4 AM, which wouldn’t be so bad, but I’m a zombie again by about 6 PM.

I just downloaded all the photos off my camera this morning (after I woke up at 4 AM in the middle of a Halloween-slasher kind of nightmare). There are over 700 of them, and all I can say is thank God for digital. John has his own camera, and I suspect an equal number of photos. He’s in charge of photo selection and album content, and once he gets them weeded down to a reasonable number, I’ll provide a link to the online version for anybody who hasn’t seen enough already. I might post one or two here and there, just because I can.

OK, here are a couple before I get down to the business you are all really interested in.

One last Guinness:


We found this building in Kinsale. Read the sign over the door. I might need to join after 16 days of Guinness, wine, and Irish whiskey. Click to make it big enough to read.


Here’s that sweater that several of you asked about. As we rounded Slea Head on the Dingle peninsula, we had to make a stop for the “facilities”, and found a nice craft shop. A lot of the “craft” shops in Ireland are full of cheap trinkets, what I like to call “rubber tomahawk” shops, but some are quite nice. They had some lovely Aran sweaters that were labelled as hand knit, and were pretty inexpensive if they really were handmade. I couldn’t resist. John thought it was pretty hilarious buying a wool sweater when I’m a knitter, but I was cold, hadn’t found any yarn as of yet, and there it was.


It’s quite warm, too. I more or less wore it for the rest of the trip.

OK, now the moment you’ve been waiting for, the free yarn. I found this in a craft shop in Leenane, which I blogged about while we were on vacation.


As the label says, it’s Aran weight tweed, 100% Donegal wool, in a lovely blue color with little tweedy speckles. There is no weight or yardage listed on the labels, but it’s all one dyelot, and each weighs 50 grams. This would be enough for a hat, and perhaps hand warmers as well. It’s labelled as “A Green Product”, and “Natural Feeling”, which I find amusing. Once again, click to embiggen and get a better view of that electric blue.

One of my lucky readers will win this yarn, along with perhaps a tiny surprise or two. This is simply shameless promotion on my part. Since I moved the blog, my RSS subscribers have dropped from over 700 to 38. The competitor in me finds this a bit demoralizing, so one of the purposes of this contest will be to get you to subscribe. Just hit that button over there that says “subscribe”, pick your blog reader, and Bob’s your uncle. Of course, I won’t really know which ones of you are subscribing, so here’s how you can get a chance to enter the contest. Leave me a comment on this post, telling me about your absolute favorite place to travel. If you don’t have one, tell me where you’d like to go, if time and money were no object. I’ll let the random number generator pick a lucky winner. The deadline will be, oh, let’s say Thursday, the 15th, at midnight my time. Good luck!


Free Yarn! — 85 Comments

  1. I would’ve totally bought a sweater too πŸ˜‰ And one day I hope to make it to Ireland (and Scotland) and the Aran Isles πŸ™‚

    So I didn’t hit the subscribe button, because I already subscribe through Google reader. Don’t know how that affects your numbers πŸ™‚ But please include me for that fab yarn!!!

  2. I am already subscribed, does that make me a winner? hehe.

    I haven’t had the opportunity to travel much, but so far the winner is Zion National Park in southern Utah, it’s only 4ish miles away but it’s gorgeous! I went when it was still cold here at my house and it was warm, sunny, everyone was so friendly. Awesome mini vacation for me, and I got to go with no kids which is always fun πŸ™‚

  3. I’m already a subscriber, too, through Bloglines. I’d love that yarn!!

    My favorite place to travel (so far) is Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. If you haven’t been, I think you’d love it. The drive around Cape Breton Island alone is worth it. AND you can take the car boat from Portland, ME and play the slot machines coming and going–what could be better!

  4. I switched my feed over (in Google Reader) as soon as you mentioned the change. πŸ™‚

    I haven’t done a lot of vacation-type travel, but my favorite place so far was Ireland. We went for 3 weeks back in 2006, and just drove around the country and tried to see as much as we could. If we suddenly got a windfall of cash and had to pick somewhere to move, Ireland would probably be top of the list, although I do remember that I never did find a proper yarn store the entire time we were there.

  5. Time and Money no object to travel? Hmmmm…. I think it would have to be New Zealand. I’ve heard lovely stories of a wide variety of scenery, sheep everywhere and of course the Hobbit Village.

    Glad you had a great time!

  6. I subscribe. Of course.

    Tough question. Vying with Vancouver, BC, and Barcelona, is Florence and Paris. I would have to say Paris as the all time favorite travel spot, despite the French disdain of Americans.

  7. If I could go anywhere with money and time being no obstacle I would want to tour all of Europe. From ireland to Transylvania. I think that would be awesom.

  8. Wait, I subscribed when you moved – does that still count? I would say my favorite place to travel – or one that I want to get back to – would be England – I just fell in love with it there.

  9. My wish is to travel to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. I am a long time reader though I don’t subscribe to RSS feeds. Count me in to your total number of those who love to read you.

  10. I already subscribe, too, through Bloglines. Changed almost as soon as you mentioned it! Love to hear about your knitting and travels.

    I have loved Alaska dearly, and would enjoy returning, but I’ve an itch to see northern Europe, including St. Petersburg. I’ve followed the Mason-Dixon travel blogging about the northern European cruise and it made me drool. πŸ˜‰

  11. I just subscribed. I am also a long time reader. I would love to go back to England and Italy. Would love to see Ireland in person.

  12. I will sign up to subscribe, I didn’t know I could, as I have your blog on my favorites list! Love that electric blue, loved your travel pics.
    I had a wonderful trip to Paris once, about 10 years ago, and would love to go back. I’d also love to go to England and Italy.Also would have to include a tour of the Carribean Islands, all of them!

  13. I followed you when you moved:)
    I don’t travel very often and when I do it’s with the family and the kids pretty much pick where we go (within a days drive) but I had a lovely trip to Nova Scotia about 15 years ago and 25 years ago my husband and I drove from Massachusetts to California when we relocated for his job. It was quite the adventure.

  14. I’m a longtime reader who uses Ravelry’s friends’ blogs now rather than RSS feeds.

    I’d love to spend a month traveling around Arizona and New Mexico with time to do a float trip down the Grand Canyon. I’d also like to go birding in Costa Rica or Panama, and if I was being truly luxurious I’d like to cruise from New York through the Panama Canal and finish in Vancouver (or why not go all the way to Alaska)… wouldn’t that be a great cruise?

  15. I always update the feed as soon as I see the notice that the blog is moving…otherwise, I’d never find the blog again!

    So I’m one of the 38 you had when you started!

    Gorgeous yarn!!

  16. I would love to go to Canada, Nova Scotia, Alaska, Vancouver. It would be grand! Both sweater and yarn are beautiful!

    I am computer challenged, I read the info about the RSS feeds and it isn’t clicking in my brain how to do it or what feeds to use. I use msn and it doesn’t list that one?

  17. Lorette, I subscribed when you notified us. I enjoy reading about your knitting and adventures.

    As for me, I’d travel about anywhere. Our next trip will be a leisurely RV trek to the northwest and Alaska, then down the coast and back home to KC.
    Blue is one of my favorite colors!

  18. I followed along right away, of course, thrilled at the chance to offer comments! πŸ™‚

    We’d love to do a family trip to Wales (with a “stop” in Scotland, for me). Someday…

  19. I would totally have bought a sweater too – what better souvenir for a knitter (yarn is good too but having something made by an individual from the area you toured is almost better)? As for the hand knit & relatively low price – I think I read that sweaters knit on manually operated frames (like the Ultimate Sweater Machine) can be called hand knit – I’m not sure about ones knit on regular knitting machines that are not manually operated. My 2 vacation dreams are to visit Ireland (& possibly my distant relatives – my mother’s maiden name is very rare so anyone with that surname is related to us, making it easy to find them) & to take a cruise to Alaska. Another biggie is to take the train trip through the Canadian Rockies. I am a big fan of both train travel & mountains so that’s a natural. I also want to visit Utah – especially the national parks in southern Utah. It is one of the few states I haven’t visited. But they will have to wait until my partner retires in a few years. Right now he is using up most of his vacation days when we visit the grands in Palo Alto. I love reading about your travels almost as much as reading about your knitting.

  20. Happy Birthday what a great place to have a birthday. I like to travel back to the place I grew up. I have been gone more then I was there but it still is called home sometimes. Have a great day.

  21. Far from being bored by your travels in Ireland, I have been delighted. Some of the places I have seen myself – ate a wonderful lobster in Kinsale! – but some were entirely new and so beautiful. I bought some lovely bainin (natural coloured Aran) to knit a sweater for my son in his girlfriend’s Mc Carthy clan pattern. And for my lovely grandson Finn, born in Kerry. In fact, if I won, I think I should use the yarn to knit something more for him! I have enjoyed your blog as much as ever since it’s moved, and shall continue to do so. Very best wishes from knitrabbit.

  22. A. No such thing as too many Ireland photos.
    B. I loved that building in Kinsale as well!
    C. The sweater buying makes perfect sense. *Someone* knit it …

    I would LOVE to go back to Ireland, which is the only place I have been overseas. We were there for 10 days, and if I had the chance, I could be ready to go again in 15 minutes!

    If money was no object, I suspect I would spend most of it traveling most of the time, anywhere and everywhere. Le sigh.

  23. If I had my druthers, I go back to the British Isles. I was stationed in Scotland in the mid-eighties and while I did some traveling, I didn’t make it to Ireland or Stratford-on-Avon.

    I had a sweater like that once. I bought in in a little shop in Scotland. Unfortunately someone stole it from my office space 5 years later while I was on what turned out to be an extended maternity leave.

  24. The British Isles, hands down. I’ve been to London and Dorset and Wales. I would love to go to Scotland and Ireland and the Isle of Man and the Orkneys and Cornwall… and back to London and Dorset and Wales, of course.

    Thanks again for sharing your trip with us! I love armchair travels.

  25. I’ve followed your blog forever. Have it bookmarked and visit very frequently. You were so gracious to share your sock pattern with me and it’s the only one I now use – some with ribbing on top and some with the picot. Love it!
    If I could travel anywhere, it would be Japan. I’ve always wanted to go there but my dh doesn’t quite agree with me.
    Can’t wait to see your photos!
    Pretty blue yarn! Would make a pretty scarf!

  26. I’ve just added this to tomorrow’s blog post. πŸ™‚ No need to enter me! Hmm. I love traveling to the Black Hills, Vancouver, Toronto, the Front Range in Colorado, New Mexico… and probably lots of places I haven’t been yet.

  27. I followed you to this new place right away. I can’t get through life without reading what the Knitting Doctor is up to!!!!

    Me – I love traveling around Canada – as we’ve been doing this trip in our RV. My most favorite place in the whole world is England. I would go there anytime.

    Party on…

  28. Alaska, hands down no where, Sitka to be exact. They have a great true craft, small town, foresty, nice, town. LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT.

    Ireland is a close 2nd wish

  29. I would have bought the sweater too. Love the yarn and the color. I’d love to travel to the UK, Wales, and Scotland.

  30. If money was no object I would take a month and explore the US in a RV…….I have wanted to do this since I have been a teenager.

    I subscribed…have always enjoyed your blog.

  31. I followed you as soon as you moved too – I really enjoy your blog. I also love travelling, but I think my favourite place is Australia – the people, the climate, the scenery – I love it all

  32. I followed right when you moved, so I’m not a new subscriber, but on the subject of travel… I really like Nicaragua. Quite a lot.

  33. Subscribed!
    My favorite place to travel is anywhere with my wonderful husband. Across the continent or across the state…together!

  34. I love reading about your travels. My dream is to go to Sweden, where my great grandfather was born. Otherwise, I’ll go south to Oaxaca, Mexico when the climate there is more peaceful.

  35. Hi. Just subscribed. I have been following you in Ravelry Friends’ Blogs.
    I love the sweater. Glad you’re back and that you had a nice time. Hope you had a wonderful birthday!
    Take care!
    Holly (PBnJ)

  36. I’m subscribed to your feed! I read your blog all the time. I read because I’m a knitter and a spinner, and because I’m pre-med and I like to see how the other half lives. I don’t always comment, however. I hate being the one who says the stupid thing.

    Anyways, traveling? I don’t do much, we’re poor. I’m dying to take a tour of Europe, however. If we win the lottery, it will be 2 weeks in the UK, then 2 weeks in Spain, Italy, and France (total). I think it’d be a great experience for both me and my kids. I’ve never been off the continent.

  37. Love your site and visit often, I am a new knitter but in aw of all that you knot and the fun travels you take. Guess I need to subsribe to be counted

  38. Cheating….I’m already a subscriber.
    I love to travel, lots of favorites. I’m still dying to go to the Grand Canyon. And Alaska.

  39. Hmmm…where would I want to go? I absolutely LOVE Franconia, NH (and all of New England, for that matter)! I lived in Hawaii for 10 years so that’s out for a dream trip. Money no object? England first; Ireland (County Cork) second; Nova Scotia third. Shoot! Why not all 3 places in one long trip?!? LOL

  40. My favorite place to travel…where there is someone else to make up the room? On a more serious note, if time and money were not an object, I would love to go to New Zealand.

  41. Pingback: Stumbling Over Chaos :: In which I lament the shockingly short fall we had

  42. I’m glad you had a wonderful vacation and found some yarn too! I always try and find some sock yarn on any trip and then knit up some memories! If I could go anywhere there are two trips I would love to take: England, Scotland and Ireland would be the first and second would be up to Alaska and then home to the midwest via Canada.

  43. I just subscribed to you on Google reader, I am a sometimes reader and often link to you from Chris’s Chaos Blog.

    My favorite place to travel so far is Singapore. Although it is hot and humid, the people and country are wonderful. And the yarn shops are nice and knitters quite wonderfully friendly.

  44. If you contact Bloglines they can move all your subscribers to the new blog feed.
    I don’t think I have found my favorite place to travel to as yet. But, push comes to shove, I’d have to say any National Park.

  45. I would love to drive the Alaskan Highway with as much time for side trips to see everything as needed. Hopefully we’ll be doing that next summer! As of now, I am a subscriber rather than a lurker.