knitting it up in a big way

Monthly Archives: October 2012

sorry about the radio silence, guys! life, busy, blah blah blah. you know.

but halloween!

halloween!

we’ve been watching up a storm (hocus pocus, attack of the 50 foot woman, village of the damned, and walking dead season two at the moment!), eating candy, carving pumpkins, and generally getting into the spirit!

hope you guys have a fantastic halloween.

trick? or treat?

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if i had to pick my absolute favorite part of the trip, it would be really really difficult. but our day in bath was absolutely 100% start-to-finish fantastic.

we took the train from bristol, because it’s a very easy jaunt, and wandered through the shops at the beginning.

bath abbey
bath abbey. this is actually about the most we saw of it. but is very pretty, yes?

we went to the pump room, where i suffered a bout of glee from doing something so very jane austen-y:

the pump room

witness the glee! cream tea (scone + devonshire clotted cream + strawberry champagne jam), cheddar + chive scones, and rarebit are all visible, and were all deeeeee-licious.

^_^

since it was connected, we popped over to the roman baths afterwards. i kid you not, this might be the best experience i have ever had at a museum. and i love museums. it was so well curated, so interesting & fun, and, as an additional cherry on the proverbial sundae, bill bryson contributed to parts of the audio tour.

the roman baths

so very very very cool. we walked around a bit, enjoyed some of the copious lovely views:

bath

and ended up at mr. b’s emporium of reading delights. i love book stores anywhere, but especially in foreign countries. different titles, different covers, what fun! (plus certain books by british-based authors that are released earlier in the UK than USA…) the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful, and they do the best gift wrapping!

mr. b's

some more aimed wandering led to the royal crescent:

royal crescent

and i became slightly obsessed with attempting to photograph this beautiful rose, fought with my camera, and in a fit of pique, handed the camera to jake, who obligingly captured its image for me:

rose

and as the sun set, we ended the day of tourism and walking with a sublime visit to the thermae bath spa, where we floated around in the very warm open air rooftop pool, enjoying the nighttime views of the lit abbey and cathedral, and the twinkling residential lights in the surrounding hills. if i could end every day of walking and tourism this way, i would be very happy indeed. they didn’t allow photography in the spa, which is a-okay with me, as i was too busy enjoying myself, but you should definitely clicky-click on the above link to the spa (or this one right here for the photo gallery) so you can get an idea of the place.

if i could impart one key thing to you, gentle readers, it would be this: if you get the chance, go to bath. it’s pretty great.


at the clifton downs

at the clifton downs

at the clifton downs

copper nails

at the clifton downs

at the clifton downs

target trench coat, white tee, little boys boat shoes j crew thrifted camel sweater delia’s thrifted black jeans thrifted bag of unknown origins

this outfit is half thrifted, and half target.

i originally wanted to do a mini remix for this trip. an 8 in 8 was what i was thinking. we did pack quite light, as jake and i shared a suitcase, but ultimately, i did end up with more than 8 pieces, although some of them were unnecessary (i packed a pair of comfy heels, but still never wore them. i should probably learn from this, as i don’t mind swapping heels for ballet flats or oxfords in a nicer dressed situation, both of which weigh less/take up less space, and there were two items that i only wore once).

i keep expecting this white tee to die on me, as white tees have such a limited life as truly white tees. i thought this day would be it’s last as i managed to express my indian food onto it at dinner, but then! it came out in the wash! the white tee lives on. other outfit notes: i love copper nail polish! but this particular nail polish (china glaze) takes like 5 coats, and was tacky & moveable for 24 hours. after that it was hard as rock, and wore like a rockstar! also, i stole the red lips + camel sweater idea from audrey.

i took a comprehensive amount of pictures at this location (clifton downs), including a panorama of the view, which i am trying to wrestle into a gif with photoshop. it’s going to take me a little while, as this is my first try doing it this way, so:

i o u
(plus many more posts about this trip ^_^)


loop london

i did some research in advance of the trip, to figure out which yarn stores i ought to hit up. as it turns out, there aren’t many yarn stores of note in bristol, although in london, one store became the quite obvious choice for me: loop. since i had no real plans to visit any other yarn store on this trip, i made the scary decision to give myself a free pass to not budget my spending. (do you guys do this? i always always always go into shopping trips with a budget in mind. i find that it helps me a lot…)

loop london

as we arrived in camden passage, i felt the onset of slight grumpiness, which came from finding a neighborhood that looked fantastic, that i wish i had a day to explore, but instead i had a measly half an hour, which my inner fiberphile dictated MUST be spent in the yarn store. and honestly, most of the rest of me agreed.

loop london

once inside i basked in the fibery utopia. oh, excuse me, i’m waxing poetic.

loop london
downstairs

the store is two floors, with a lot of really lovely yarns. their selection is skewed towards the discerning knitter, who cares less about the price, and more about the other qualities (types of fibre, color/dye, where it’s sourced). i find myself wanting to re-use the phrase ‘well curated selection’, both because they have that and that’s what i really look for in a yarn store.

loop london
upstairs

they had a good selection of brands i was very familiar with (i was this close to buying some malabrigo lace weight in frank ochre, just because it’s so dang pretty), but i was more interested in the selection they had that i’d never seen before. a very kind lady who worked there helped me find a good selection of UK based yarns, of the artisan variety, as i was feeling a little pressured about the time restrictions.

loop london

as we left, i felt the ghost like presence of my inner child, being dragged by one hand, looking back towards camden saying ‘but, but, but, but!’ we were running late, though, with 45 minutes to take the tube (with one transfer) back to the hotel, grab our luggage, and scoot over to catch our train. we did make it, with 10 minutes to spare, no less, but there were a few times when we weren’t 100% that we would.

can i just say, though? london’s tube system is great. everything is clearly marked, there are signs everywhere, maps of the system are clear. while i wouldn’t say we mastered it in our 30 london hours (that would smack of hubris), we were also never left feeling adrift, with no idea which tracks/direction/line we wanted for our destinations.

anyways… would you like to know what i got?

shilisdair luxury dk
4 skeins shilisdair luxury dk in uig sea-green (they make note of what natural dyes they use, which i think is super cool! this is indigo over tansy)
approximately 1488 yds (sweaters worth!), 40% angora, 40% wool, 20% cashmere
in person this yarn has a more kettle-dyed color-variation than is evident in these pictures, and has a soft but crisp feeling that i especially love.

uncommon thread
the uncommon thread dk in toast
246 yds, 100% wool
dyed exclusively for loop. i’ve been trying to be more careful in my color selections, get things i can really see myself wearing, as opposed to things that i am simply drawn to in skein form. this is actually falls into both of those categories.

artisan yarns silk and baby camel
artisan yarns silk and baby camel fingering in logwood grey
437 yds, silk and baby camel (!!!!! i’ve been wanting to try camel yarn for several years! but generally speaking i find the cost a little prohibitive. not when i’m on vacation, though!)
i wish you guys could feel this. for real. so very silky soft.

juno fibre arts alice sock
juno fibre arts alice sock in corn dolly
437 yds, 70% alpaca, 20% silk, 10% cashmere
this also feels dreamy! they had several gorgeous candy colored skeins, but i went for the safe color: a muted yellow with some mustardy tones. how pretty is that ball band?

london haul

in case you’re interested, everything they stock is available in their online shop!

mmmm…. pretty. have any of you ever been to loop? what is your favorite yarn store? did any of these skeins make you think immediately of a specific pattern they would look ah-mazing in? talk to me!


i mentioned a meetup very briefly yesterday. for those of you who know about me through solely knitting venues, i’m also heavily involved in the creation of a webseries, the platoon of power squadron. we have a smallish (by youtube standards) but fantastically loyal following. when we were in london, we had our first meetup ever, which was kind of scary (beforehand), and pretty fantastic (during and after).

anyways, it doesn’t frequently happen that PoPS world and my knitting world overlap, but one of the girls who came to the meetup brought me a lovely fiber-y present!

she brought me a skein of her own handspun! (i’m thinking rikke, perhaps? i definitely want to do the handspun justice!)

a gift from a friend!

we had a mini tweet conversation a couple weeks ago when, as you may remember, i accidentally tore a hole in a freshly finished cowl, and i tweeted my frustration and self-pity, and she discovered that i do not own a darning mushroom.

gift from a friend!

thank you, kim!!!

in case you’re curious, she has a blog: art equals happy, and she sells her handspun and some of her illustration work (i really like her postcards!). check it out!


warning: photo-dump!

tower bridge, london

london cityscape

like i said yesterday, we were in london for a total of 30 hours, so it went pretty fast… shamefully, i went to starbucks three times. three! in my defense, for two of those trips, the restroom was my primary reason, though i bought my dutiful cup of coffee. a tourist does what she must. actually, those coffees were a pretty good idea. we had a red eye flight, where we tried to sleep in the tiny-uncomfortable-you-call-that-reclining airline seats, which needless to say wasn’t ideal. and we hit the ground running in england, taking a train into paddington station (so so beautiful, pictures later), finding our hotel (one small step above a hostel), picking up a disposable cell phone (highly reccomend! we got one for £25 from vodafone in paddington station, and it was great for coordinating with people we were meeting, and just for feeling a little less adrift) getting oyster cards and navigating the tube, all within the first couple of hours.

tower bridge, london

tower of london

we poked around picadilly circus*, walked down to st. james park, and mosied back to meet up with charlie and bryarly. several people had recommended that we take a bus tour of london as a good way to see the sights. at first i was adverse. i thought ‘why just tease myself by seeing all of the things i don’t really have time to explore’? but as the trip came closer, i began to see the logic in it, so we hopped on a bus tour. and you know what? it was delightful! no regrets here.

london

big ben

we got to see a lot of the major spots, and the tour guides were great. they were very informative, and really relished the macabre history of their city, which jake and i enjoyed. we popped by tower bridge, london bridge, big ben (technically elizabeth tower), westminster abbey, globe theatre, trafalgar square, tower of london, etc. many of these i would happily explore further, given time and resources. we hopped on and off as we pleased, which was also quite cool. we didn’t get to do the full round, and honestly, if we went back to london, i would absolutely buy tickets again to finish up the circuit, and maybe try one of the other routes.

westminster

london cityscape

we hopped off the bus at a couple of points, and i surmised we could walk a few stops, which ended up being a leetle bit longer than i had anticipated. but it resulted in a nice walk along the thames, and we eventually made it back onto the tour, which we took to the stop closest to our hotel.

paddington

paddington

at this point we were utterly knackered, and our hotels advertised internet was nowhere we could find, so we set out to find a place to eat dinner the old-fashioned way. we poked our heads into a couple of likely looking pubs, and the third one felt like our speed for the evening; small, family oriented, fairly quiet.

paddington

paddington

sunday morning we had a little meetup at the albert memorial, and walked through some of hyde park and kensington gardens to get there. we popped over to loop london, where i bought loads of yarn (more on that tomorrow!). we had fairly limited time there and then had to run back to retrieve our luggage and speed over to paddington station to catch our train to bristol.

paddington

most of these pictures are from the bus tour, and the whole two minutes of free time we had at paddington station, because other than that, we were too busy to remember to pull out the camera.

*did you know that in this case the word circus means ‘circle’ as derived from latin? i just found that out! before, i just thought london just really liked their circuses!



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