*** WARNING: PICTURE HEAVY POST ***
After a few days in Dublin, Mike and I made our way to England. Admittedly, I was most excited for this portion of our trip. At the risk of oozing mellow drama, I felt I'd been waiting my whole life to go! I spent my entire childhood and early adolescence lost in the literature of Louisa May Alcott, J.M. Barrie, Lewis Carol, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Jane Austen, George Eliot and the Bronte Sisters, to name a few, and I couldn't wait to experience the the country that produced, inspired and fueled my fantasies.
Similar to our time in Ireland, Mike and I took a very pedestrian approach to our London sight seeing and attempted to conquer the city on foot. We managed a good, many miles before testing the tube system, which is simply STELLAR!
We saw and did a lot of things we were "SUPPOSED" to:Changing of the guards, St. Paul's Cathedral, The Globe, Piccadilly Circus, Harrods, St. James and Regents Park.
London is a bustling and busy place. And, it's MASSIVE. We could have spent weeks and not seen it all.
In addition to our time in London, Mike and I managed to get outside the city and into some of that countryside I've dreamed about. We took a drive through the Cotswolds. We romped around Warwick castle. We spent some time at the residence of our pal William (Shakespeare). And, we explored Christ Church College at Oxford.
It was... breathtaking. I cannot wait to go back and venture into new areas and continue exploration.
Back in London, I made it my personal mission to visit as many fabric/yarn shops as I could. Londoners, I hope you realize how incredibly fortunate you are to have so many amazing resources! While most of the shops were somewhat small and limited in selection, the QUALITY fabric in the stores I visited was outstanding. It's completely possible I fondled every piece of fabric in the London Textile Co.- I don't think there was a non-wool/cashmere/ linen fabric to choose from.
I really shocked myself that I left London without a cut of Liberty of London fabric. It felt, almost, wrong. But, I sort-of spent a mint on some two-sided tangerine silk from Silk Society, and I didn't fall in love while I was in Liberty.
For some reason, I failed to snap a photo of I Knit London, the shop where I indulged in yarny goodness...
When I saw this neon pink/sparkle sock yarn, I wanted it. When I saw that the neon pink/sparkle sock yarn was called Ziggy Stardust, I had to have it. It fit the bill for a "British" yarn, since it's dyed by the store owner. Which is good, because the fingering weight alpaca I also bought doesn't... but it was so squishy... and so pretty... I made an exception
And that, my friends, wraps up the English bit of our trip- Edinburgh bound in the next post and, hopefully, back into a more regular schedule soon!
**WARNING: PICTURE HEAVY POST!***
I'm going to do my best to consolidate the past month(s). I wouldn't typically cram vacation photos, an FO, and fabric/fiber acquisitions into a single entry; then again, I typically am a more efficient and expeditious blogger... on with it.
Our first stop was Dublin, Ireland. Immediately upon arrival, we took a guided drive and got acquainted with the city. We were pleasantly surprised to discover, despite the absence of a grid street system, Dublin is very walk-able and easy to navigate.
We spent the majority of our time on foot and enjoyed wandering and admiring the beautiful elements of downtown Dublin: statues, mosaics, Georgian architecture, and artfully designed green space.
A little bird tells me this harpist has been a staple among street performers near Trinity College, for some time.
In addition to meandering, we did manage to make REAL tourists of ourselves. We joined in on a pub crawl highlighting the favorite watering holes of some of Dublin's finest literary figures. We took a peak at the Book of Kells and drooled over the magnificence that is Trinity College Library.
We tested the public transportation on our way to the old Jameson distillery.
We took tours though the distillery and Guinness.
And, we had beers in the Gravity Bar
The weather during our time in Dublin was, well... perfect for giving my latest sweater a spin.
Pattern: Serina Cardigan by Gretchen Ronnevik
Yarn: Dream In Color, uneven sock yarn, purchased at their warehouse sale
Needles: US 4 Addi Click Circs.
I love this sweater (x infinity)!!! I knit to the specifications for the"34 bust, but upped my needle size to US 4 instead of 3. I, literally, finished this sweater the morning we flew to Dublin, so I didn't have the opportunity to properly block it; however, it fit beautifully off the needles.
I absolutely adore the lace detail over the shoulders. I think it adds a nice spice to the sweater without creating too much distraction. And, I really like the increases over the the front panels. This is going to be a great all-purpose sweater come early fall!
Finally, no trip, of mine, anyway, is complete before seeking out fiber and, recently, fabric!
My options were a bit limited, shockingly, but I did find cute fabric and yarn shops to snatch-up some souvenirs.
And, I brought home some gorgeous printed satin and some bona fide Aran Tweed.
Phew. That was a lot. Too much? Overstimulating? It's been fun to recap, so thanks for putting up with me. I'll be back with another heaping helping soon, but first, some time to digest.
"Ten little fingers, Ten tiny toes, The sweetest of smiles And a cute little nose. All these add up To a very special thing -- A BABY The greatest of gifts That life can bring"
On the subject of small, do you see how itty bitty those stitches are? DK yarn on size US2 needles! I don't think I've ever put so much time/work into a baby knit, as I did on this project. But, Makai and his mommy are very special to me. I met Sarah at her second birthday party, and we've been friends ever since. 26years. The things two people experience together in that amount of time.... let's just say, each of us knows far too much about the other to not be friends, and we wouldn't want it any other way.
Because this project was especially personal, I decided to monogram Makai's initials on his sleeves, to which Mike observed, "So, this kid is going to be an MFer, huh?". For Sarah and Kacy's sake, let's hope not.
If you're interested in adding embroidered touches to you're own projects, you might like to check out this video. I found it very helpful.
I followed Drops' "McDreamy" jumper pattern, and improvised alternating between white and blue through the raglan, for fun. I really love the button down raglan incorporated into this pattern. And, I think there is somethng considerably more sophisticated about the style/details in this design compared to a lot of other baby knits.
On my plane ride(s) between Chicago and Casper, I knit a coordinating hat to complete the ensemble.And, it topped off the finished look nicely, if I do say so myself.
Sweater Pattern: "McDreamy" by Drops Design Studios
Hat Pattern: Cabled Baby Hats by Julie Hentz
Yarn: Swish DK in Big Sky and White
Needles: US 2
6 weeks... and counting, Mak. :-D
Picking Up Where I Left Off.
Hello! It's been a while. I'm sorry for abandoning my (self-imposed) obligation to the upkeep of this site. Turns out, I'm not nearly as efficient at mobile blogging as I thought I could be. I do, however, have a bunch of blog posts rolling around inside my head, so I hope you won't mind an equal, opposite reaction to the silence I've demonstrated over the past month while I get caught up.
Where to begin... Ah, yes. The last time we chatted, I had just returned from Wyoming and I promised you pictures of certain little sweater (tomorrow? maybe?). Almost immediately after I landed back in Chicago, Mike and I boarded a plane and took-off for two weeks in Ireland and the U.K.. There was sightseeing, food, libation, and, of course, fabric and yarn to be consumed in excess. Indubitably, with all the sky time I clocked, there was knitting; as a result, I have a few projects ready to reveal.
I had grand plans to share my adventures immediately after our return, but "the best laid plans... so often go astray". Mike and I both managed to acquire a heavy handed cold/flu on our return trip and, during our infliction, were basically worthless.
While we worked to reclaim our health, summer sneaked in and officially started, as did evening knitting and picnics at Jay Pritzker, festival season, movies in the park, etc... then I celebrated my birthday...there was more baby related knitting... and, well... Like I said earlier, I have bunches to share.
Please forgive the bombardment of posts to come in the next month. I'll do my best not to bore. I hope to be ready to start my recap tomorrow. As for now, I have a sweater calling my name and a Big Adventure of a different variety to attend to.
"I know you are, but what am I?"