It's amazing, I thought being off work for a few weeks would mean I had loads of time for things like knitting & blogging. Not so!
I'm busier than ever!
I've loads to report in this post, so settle down with a coffee and read on.
First item of big news, I bought an iPad!
I couldn't help myself. They went on sale here in Ireland on July 23rd, and somehow I ended up at the store at 11 that morning. Before I knew it, I was walking out with one in my bag. I love it. I haven't put it down since!
It came in especially handy on my trip to London last weekend. I downloaded an app for the London Underground that saved my bacon on several occasions!
So I was at Knit Nation last weekend. I had the best time!
I took a full day class with Cookie A on Top Down Design your own socks. It was absolutely brilliant! I learned so much. She's a great teacher, really enthusiastic. You can tell she used to be a math teacher, she's so into maths that it shines through. We went through the elements of sock design, how to put them all together, and then she passed out Japanese stitch pattern books & we got to work picking a stitch pattern & working out our own socks.
I hope to get going on them again, so watch this space for my Cookie A class socks!
BTW, the Japanese Stitch Pattern books are just gorgeous. Some really unusual stitches. I may have to invest in some, but it'll have to be later in the year, I'm completely broke after this weekend in London!
Look what Cookie had with her for the class:
All her sample socks! The original ones! I couldn't believe it. She passed them round the class all the time. I couldn't keep my hands off them. The original Monkey!! It was great.
I brought my copy of Sock Innovation with me and she kindly signed it:
I didn't get a photo with her though :(
During the lunch break from the class, I scooted down to the marketplace to nab myself some goodies. First up was the Wollmeise stall. I had done my homework and knew exactly where the stall was in the hall, so I made a beeline for it first...
And I wasn't disappointed.
These pictures don't do it justice. It was HUGE!
I've never seen the like before. All that Wollmiese. *sigh* It was gorgeous. It was a bit of a scrum, but I managed to get some. I could only buy three, as she wouldn't take credit cards. I was quite annoyed by this, to be honest. Every other stall I purchased something at took it. Why was she so special? I think it was because she knew people would make the effort to bring the cash because of the yarn. Bad business practice IMO. She doesn't have to pay any credit card fees, and I have to pay to convert sterling. Plus, I would have bought more from her if I could have used my card. I didn't want to be carrying too much cash around with me.
OK, rant over, here's what I bought:
I got a Knit Nation tshirt, which I love. It's really comfy.
The Wollmeise I bought:
One skein of 80/20 twin in Amethyst 2. The purple is so rich! It's gorgeous.
One skein of Lacegarn in Pesto. 1717 yards of the most gorgeous green lace!
One skein of 100% Merino Superwash in Tandoori Masala. I had to buy this as I love Indian food, and the shade of reddish brown is the most wonderful hue:
At lunchtime there was a prize draw. This is a sample of the gathering:
Not surprisingly, I didn't win anything. :(
Here's some more stash enhancement:
At long last, I have a skein of Handmaiden Casbah sock yarn:
This yarn is so smooshy! I love it.
I also nabbed some Fyberspates:
This stuff is fabulous. It's called Sparkle. It's sock yarn with real silver in it. It's 65% Merino, 20% Silk, 15% Nylon & 2% Silver. Ooh! BionicLaura rightly predicted that Alice would snap this up for a pair of socks for her. I'll see. I don't know the yardage of this skein yet.
I also bought this:
This is The Natural Dye Studio Blue Faced Leicester sock yarn called Dazzle HT. I fell in love with the colour and the feel of it. Plus, I've never tried Blue Faced Leicester before.
Finally, I got my hands on some Madeline Tosh!
I'm reminded of a blog post title that WendyKnits once used, "Good golly, good gosh, it's Madeline Tosh!" I was so excited to get some of this yarn.
So, that's my haul! To be honest, I think I was very restrained. Although I still managed to spend a fortune. Ah well, what can you do!
I met up with two knitters, BionicLaura and Viola afterwards and we went out for a meal which descended into a few pints too. A great night was had.
I also managed to fit in some sightseeing. I tramped London for the weekend. Every night I was very very footsore but also very happy.
A sample of what I did:
My hotel was literally round the corner from the V&A and the Natural History Museum. How could I not go? I had heard about the knitted artifacts in the V&A so I decided to hit there. Unfortunately, there were none on display. I was told to make an appt to come back and see the samples they had in the archives. Yeah right, like I had the time to do that. I was very disappointed. I decided not to let it get to me, and headed elsewhere.
Off to Westminster with me:
Big Ben. Yipee! I was there when it chimed too. So loud! Plus, check out the guy in the bowler hat. Very like the Dad in Mary Poppins :)
The Houses of Parliament. Gorgeous building. The stonework is amazing.
I also got pics of the Milennium Eye etc, but I figure these are enough pics!
On the Thursday night, I went to Avenue Q. I heart musicals, so I was really excited!
It was absolutely brilliant! So funny! The actors were terrific too. I had great seats, 5 rows from the front., so the view was perfect and I could hear everything perfectly. I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was great.
On Saturday I went to the matinée of Wicked.
Oh. My. GOD. It was brilliant, amazing, breathtaking, insert other descriptive term here. I can't describe how fabulous it was. Even now thinking of the singers & songs, the hairs on my arms are rising up. Rachel Tucker who played Elphaba was incredible. Her voice! Oh! I was in the second row for this one and I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. I was in tears watching it. I'm like that, music makes me cry. I'm such a wimp. But this was probably the best musical performance I've ever seen. If I lived in London I'd be going to this again and again. I'm already trying to get John & Alice to come over with me to see it. They'd love it. If you're ever in London, GO. You have to.
So that's the deets of my trip. I had an absolute ball and came back totally refreshed and feeling like a new woman. Exactly what I needed.
I've finished the sooper seekrit vest too. No pics, I'm going to chance submitting it to a magazine.
I've also started a new design, some café curtains for Alice's new room. We decided to move Alice into the bigger bedroom as I think she's of the age where she needs more space. John spent the weekend painting as I gallivanted in London (heh) and it looks great. We bought carpet on Sunday and it's being laid this morning. I hung new curtains yesterday. I think she needs some privacy without drawing the curtains though, and I don't like net curtains or roller blinds, so café curtains it is. These are half height lacy curtains. I've picked out a stitch pattern and cast on last night. They're 55" wide and 22" long, so I figure I'll be well sick of them by the time they're done, but so far so good!
That's all for now, I think. Sorry about the absence, I'll try harder next time!