Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Marching On

It was that time of year again, when we board plane for Dallas and seek out a preview of spring at the North Texas Irish Music Festival.   They were kind enough to arrange some nice weather for us.
Fair Park, where the festival is held.
It was beautifully warm and sunny, by our standards- mid-60s (17.8 C) on Saturday and over 70 F (21 C) on Sunday.   And they had green grass and early flowers blooming and it was very much not like having a foot-plus of snow on the ground and a chilly wind cutting through your mittens.  In fact I didn't even bring mittens.  And walked around without a coat.  It was lovely.  Not that we don't get this kind of weather- it's just that it's still a couple of months off in New England.

Though the festival is called Irish, it's pretty inclusive.  Alongside the Irish stew booth, you can get Irish cheese steaks and bratwurst, mini doughnuts and kettle corn.   The local Renfaire crowd turns out in costume and kilts abound.  Also bagpipes- these are the North Texas Caledonian Pipe and Drum Corps.

One of the local customs I find charming is that dogs are welcome in Fair Park.  A number of various rescue organizations as well as the humane society had booths at the fair.
This handsome  fellow was clearly happy in his work.
And while I'm speaking of dogs- my husband took this amusing photo in Boston:

And of course there was music-  This was a group of young musicians called Troen, who did their high-energy finale standing on their chairs.   

There were of course many other fine musicians and groups- we went to two superb sets of the excellent group Sliabh NotesWe heard songs from Glasgow by Ed Miller, a perennial favorite.  We went to a set by Brian McNeill, an extraordinary Scottish songwriter, possibly best known for his work with the Battlefield Band.  We watched dancing and left the park every night with our brains buzzing with music. 

In short, it was yet another fabulous festival, and well worth a trip to Dallas if you enjoy Celtic music.  

Naturally I worked on socks while traveling, but since I haven't photographed them yet, I'll show you the projects that I left at home instead.    These are sadly destined for the frog pond, I think.  I thought I'd try some socks out of cotton, but  both my own sense of the emerging sock and some comments from other knitters lead me to believe these aren't going to work well.  Other knitters have told me that all-cotton yarns- even when knit in ribbing- tend to stretch during wearing, and wind up saggy.   Since I've noted the same tendency even in cotton blends, and since I can feel the lack of elasticity even in the partial sock, I think I'm going to be giving up on this and using the yarn for something that doesn't need the elastic properties that socks do:

 The Wasabi hat, on the other hand, is an enduring delight.  It continues to demonstrate a crisp and lacy elegance as the pattern emerges.   It was rather a wrench to leave it, but I don't have any wooden needles in this size, and I wasn't willing to take metal needles and a metal cable through security.   I'll be getting back to it this week though. 

Now, naturally you're wondering about the cats, and whether we're getting the kitty cold shoulder after abandoning them for the weekend.  In fact, we had a friend come over and feed and play with them, and they were quite startlingly nonchalent about our absence.  When we got back it was, 'Oh yeah, you.  Yawn.  How about some food then?'  

We've had some nice cuddling and lap-sitting, but nothing out of the ordinary.    

In fact, our return was hardly worth staying awake for.  

And speaking of awake, I shouldn't be.   Must go fall down now.   There is work tomorrow, socks to photograph and cats to entertain.  (Not to mention figuring out what Blogger is doing to my formatting.  Argh.  A problem for later.)


  1. I'm very jealous of your warm getaway!

    Oh - your cats crack me up. I left Rocky for 14 hours the other day (with plenty of food and water) and I'm still hearing about it! You'd think I abandoned him!

  2. Although wouldn't it just be a hoot to see security people try to figure out what a circular knitting needle was? Unless, of course, it earned you the special pat down........:)

  3. According to Stacey at FreshStitches, knitting needles are allowed on airplanes and it is listed in the TSA's list. I think International flights have some funky rules but in the US you should be able to bring your knitting along, metal needles or not!

    1. That's correct, they are on the official TSA 'allowed' list. But they also say that the final decision rests with the TSA agent at the gate, and even if an item is permitted, they may decide not to allow it on. I prefer to play it safe and make sure that what I'm taking on is so inoffensive, no one can seriously consider it a threat, if they even notice it at all. Sticking to wood needles and wood/nylon circular needles, I generally don't even get any questions. It's worth a little extra trouble to me to ensure that I will be able to knit on the plane, and won't have to track down replacement needles wherever I'm going.