We have a lot of little friends joining our circle these days. And, I see it my personal responsibility to welcome each of them to the world with (superwash) wool.
Pattern: B19-2Jacket with Raglan Sleeves and Turtleneck by Drops Designs
Yarns.: Knitpicks ~600yds Swish DK in Doe, Moss, Honey and White.
Needles: U.S 4
It's been nice to set larger projects aside for the summer to focus on more compact, heat friendly endeavors. It certainly doesn't hurt that these wee little knits are quick to whip-up, relatively speaking.
Prior to departing on our U.K. holiday, I began to worry. I've been flying with fiber since I started knitting. In fact, I look incredibly forward to plane time, because I know I'll have tons of time to knit. I usually pack too many projects and carry multiple sets of needles with me; a porcupine of stiletto point Sigs, as seen through the security scanner. Flying out of O'hare, it's not an issue. Ever. I've had my bags examined in San Diego and Seattle, but they let me pass. In and out of the Dominican, es no problema. Aruba; good. But, apparently, not everybody trusts a knitter on an airplane.
There you have it. Plain as day. Nestled between corkscrews and billiards, sits knitting needles on the restricted items list at Heathrow. My heart broke a little. Did the lovely people of London really expect me to survive an eight hour flight without a WIP? I mean, really.
I sought counsel from a friend and fellow knitter who makes trips to England on a semi-regular basis. She affirmed my fears, but offered solace in the form of a loop hole. While knitting needles are restricted, turns out, crochet hooks are not. She offered-up her copy of the Happy Hooker and a crochet hook to hold me over. I was optimistic.
About a week before take-off, I sat down and tried to teach myself the basics. It took me about four hours of frustration before I decided crochet wouldn't do. I needed figure out a way to take my needles with me. Based on the acceptability of the wooden crochet hook, I concluded wooden double points would be my best bet. I typically knit my socks on circs, but DPNs seemed a fair trade for being able to knit during the flight.
In my heightened state of panic, I hatched my scheme. First, I disguised the needles by mixing them in with my pens and pencils. Second, I divided them between the four pieces of carry-on luggage Mike and I were permitted to bring on the plane. Between Chicago and Dublin-no questions asked. We made it between Dublin and London with ease.
With safe passage on two out of three flights I should have been confident I was in the clear. Instead, I was shifty-eyed and sweaty as we passed through security at Heathrow. I completely convinced myself I was in for a cavity search and full-on interrogation for attempting to smuggle restricted items onto the aircraft. I could see the scene playing out in my mind. Good cop, bad cop-"WHAT ELSE ARE YOU HIDING?! WHO DO YOU WORK FOR?"
Contrary to the depths of my imagination. Security was a breeze. In hindsight, I'm sure unconcealed DPNs would have easily passed muster. I still felt I'd gotten away with something; it's the closest to a George Jung moment I'll ever experience. And, for my efforts, I ended my trip with a completed pair of socks.
Yarn: Berroco Sox- John Moores 1425
Pattern: None, just a 2x1 rib with a 2x2 cable at each side; heel flap.
Needles: US 0 wooden DPNs
After more than a month of silence, I'm determined to resume blogging. I have no valid excuse for my absence; however, the torridity in combination with a stupidly busy social calendar has completely drained every drop of motivation from my vessels. I know I'm in good company. I've seen many of the feeds I follow suffering from similar scarcity. My plan is to continue to try catching-up, starting where I left-off.
Our final, and favorite destination during our May (Jiminey Cricket, where has the time gone?) vacation, was Edinburgh. We departed London from King's Cross Station and boarded a first class coach headed north. We were incredibly lucky to experience Scotland during a heatwave, and enjoyed sunny 75-80F temperatures during our exploits. It was gorgeous. We were reminded of our good fortune as we passed the numerous wool and cashmere shops that lined the streets; the number of them is incredible.
Edinburgh is a really beautiful city. It's moderately sized, boasting a population of ~500k VERY FRIENDLY citizens. The scenic aspects of the city offer a nice blend between historical/modern. Based on our limited exposure, I would be willing to bet that a person could find almost anything she went in search of in this corner of the world. We ate yummy, veg friendly food at Elephant House, David Bann and the Grain Store (however, I was not brave enough to try veg haggis). We consumed our volume in tea daily. We roamed the castle. We appeased our fancies in a variety of hobby and specialty shops. We had a glorious time!
There was also a nice balance between urban and outdoor areas available throughout the city. In fact, once we climbed part-way up Holyrood park, we hardly felt we were in a city. If you find yourself in Edinburgh, I recommend taking a few hours from your day to make your way up to Arthur's Seat. The views are outstanding.
We did a fair amount of shopping in and around the Grassmarket while we visited. Mike and I really appreciate the opportunity to shop at local, privately owned/operated, niche stores. And we particularly fell in love with The Red Door Gallery and Demijohn, which are just up the street from K1 Yarns.
I'm nearly positive every yarn sold in this shop is derived from Scottish producers, which was a treat. The selection was somewhat limited compared to the stores I'm accustomed to, but the yarns are beautiful. I left with a sweater worth of Orkney Angora "St. Magnus" DK. YUM!
For fabric, we trekked to Pins & Needles. This shop is slightly off the beaten-path, but definitely worth a visit. I found some DELISH wool tartan, because, well, I couldn't not buy at least one cut of wool tartan while in Scotland, and I also got some really wonderful cotton/linen laser-cut eyelet. The best part of this shop, the prices. I couldn't believe how reasonable the fabric was priced (It's possible it only seemed so in comparison to The Silk Society fabric I purchased days before...).
At any rate, Edinburgh= AMAZING.