Well, March was gone in a flash! Our trip to the UK was wonderful, full of good times with friends, food, spring flowers, and yarn. Danny and I visited three main places: Edinburgh, Kendal, and London.
The day after we flew into London, we started on our train journey to Edinburgh, which was a little eventful. Our train broke down for three hours! Bethany and I got in plenty of knitting time on the train while we waited to get going again. I also made an acquaintance or two: some fellow knitting pilgrims on their way to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. Once our train got towed into York station, the three of us got off the dead train and had a nice little evening in York. We wandered around to stretch our legs, took pictures, and had a nice dinner nearby.
Eventually, we boarded another train in the evening to finish our journey to Edinburgh.
Oh, Edinburgh, such a beautiful, fascinating city. I found it eerie and full of history, yet still quirky and touristy.
Bethany and I had a lovely time at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival!
It was overwhelming to see so many vendors and EYS goers. The Edinburgh Corn Exchange was really bustling and close to bursting at the seams.
Oh, and the yarn. Just so many beautiful British yarns to see and squish. And there were many knitting pattern designers with stalls, too! There were over 100 vendors, and I tried to take pictures in the midst of the crowds and odd lighting. I know that I could have taken more, but here were some of the highlights. Many of these vendors and designers were completely new to me.
After our weekend in Edinburgh, Bethany headed back to London, but Danny and I made a detour to Kendal in the Lake District for a couple of nights. I was able to show Danny the area where I called home for a year in 2010, and I was able to see and catch up with some good friends, too.
After we left Kendal, we returned to London to do some sightseeing and to have some quality time with Bethany and her husband.
It made me very happy to see signs of early spring in the city.
I Knit London is a real gem, and very easy to get to. I decided to walk from where we were staying in the Elephant and Castle area. I went on a weekday, so it was pretty quiet. I was the only one in the shop for most of my visit. I loved all of their fun I Knit or Dye yarns that they dye themselves, and they carried some Wollmeise sock yarn, which I’ve heard a lot about online.
Bethany and I made a quick stop at Loop one afternoon before a dinner reservation, but I was so in love that I went back again on my own the next day after visiting I Knit London. Loop is located north of the Thames in Islington, so I took a bus to get there.
Two floors of absolute heaven.
Camden Passage, where Loop is located, is pretty amazing in itself. There are all sorts of cute cafes, vintage clothing boutiques, and antique shops. During my second visit, there was an antique market set up full of treasures. I actually managed to find a couple of unique birthday gifts for Danny while perusing.
And, in case you were wondering, yes, there was a yarn haul to bring back to the States with me. Yarn from EYS, Loop, I Knit London, and the duty-free shop at our connecting airport in Reykjavik.
And here it is. My yarn mountain. In all its glory.
Top row: 4 balls of Lett Lopi Icelandic Wool (from Reykjavik Airport)
Third Row: 2 skeins of Blacker Yarns Samite 3 Ply (from EYS), 2 skeins of I Knit or Dye handdyed sock (from I Knit London), 1 skein of Eden Cottage Yarns Bowland DK (from Loop), and 1 skein of Shilasdair Luxury DK (from Loop)
Yarn is the best kind of souvenir, don’t you agree? I can’t wait to start knitting with some of this wonderful yarn. I allowed myself to be able to splurge during this trip since it was a special occasion and these aren’t yarns that are easy to get in the US. From here on out I really want to stick to my resolution of using up the yarn that I have in my stash this year. So. No more stash acquisitions needed this year.
We’ll see. 😛
I’m sad to say that I wasn’t able to finish my Swing Dress in time for the trip and EYS, so that project has been put on hold for a while. My project for the trip was a pair of socks, which I just finished up this week. I have a couple other small projects to finish up, and then I will be able to get back to the dress. All that’s left to knit is the top portion of the torso, front and back, and the shoulders. I’m hoping to be finished with it by the end of April for sure. It’s sad that my dream of wearing the dress to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival didn’t come ture, but I know there will be plenty of other local fiber events this year that I’ll be able to wear my dress to.