Sunday, April 1, 2018

Belated London Part the Fourth

As I was recently reminded, the blog has been sadly neglected of late.  So, let us return to last year and the last set of photos from our English travels.

Having seen the Cutty Sark in our previous ramblings to Greenwich, we decided to go back and actually see the boat, something we hadn't previously managed despite several previous trips to Greenwich.
Our visit coincided with that of a group of school children, and while they all rambled about, there was one who seemed to have enough energy for several children.  Approximately every 30 seconds, we'd hear an exasperated teacher saying, "Amelia!  Get down off that."   Or "Amelia, stop climbing over the rail".   My suspicion is that young Amelia would, given ten seconds out of adult scrutiny, would have been halfway up the rigging.

It's a beautiful boat, and makes it easy to see the romance of the tea clippers.

Afterward, we headed over to East India Wharf to Kerb, the food truck market (very popular).   This is another instance of the food truck gathering that's up near King's Cross station.

And we took a leisurely walk back along the river, taking in the various wharves and river views.


I found this rather jarring composition of the two modern buildings known as the 'Walkie-Talkie' and 'the Gherkin' behind the Tower of London amusing.  I expect the past Kings and Queens would have been nonplussed.

Later, we ventured upriver to the Imperial Wharf, which gave us striking views of the new construction on the opposite bank.


The next day found us on a train to Stratford-on-Avon, where we strolled around and skipped most of the various tours of places Shakespeare allegedly frequented.

Instead we got tickets to see Julius Caesar, performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company.   It was fabulous.  It was stunningly well acted- there was never any point where the antique language had the audience groping for the meaning- it was extremely clear from the expressions, gestures and movement on the stage what was going on.  As JT commented, "It's a political thriller."  (I will note that the Royal Shakespeare performances are filmed and shown in various theatres in the US, so it's not actually mandatory to go to Stratford to see them.)

We took a walk before the play started along the somewhat redundant River Avon (Avon is the Celtic word for river, and there are a bunch of Rivers Avon in England).

We stopped by the Holy Trinity Church, where the Bard is buried.

And we grabbed a quick dinner before heading back to the train station.  This structure turns out to be a monument, and not as we first thought, the steeple of a church that had sunk into the ground.

Our last couple of days in London turned out to be over Cavalry Day- we heard some terrific military bands playing in the park.

There were our traditional visits to bookstores, some further strolling about as we said goodbye to the city.

And then we headed back to the airport, homeward bound after another lovely trip to England.

Click here for the complete photo-view of our trip. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Knitting Round-Up


So.  2018 already.  It's been a busy fall season for me, and that has affected knitting as well as blogging.  But I did manage to take a few photos of what I've been up to lately (in addition to the obligatory cat photos!).  So:  When I last posted about general knitting stuff in July(!), I was working on a suitably patriotic pair of socks that were gifted at Christmas:

And the last pair before the holidays was another pair gifted for Christmas:
Aren't those cheery?  The yarn was a skein of hand dyed yarn from a local dyer (Fish Belly Fiber Works), in the colorway is Malificent.  The pattern is a changeup (to make it toe-up) on Undine, from Wandering Cat Studio.

I knit two pair of socks from navy yarn before these- here's the FO shot of the second pair:

- and a third one with navy accents (which constituted more than enough navy for a while).  But it was handy because it let me use up a couple of partial skeins my mom gave me that didn't have quite enough yarn for a pair of sock in the usual sizes I knit.

It's always so satisfying when you can use *all* the yarn!  Speaking of which, there was the usual flock of mittens:

Not quite as many as usual, but with the adult size pairs I donated earlier in the year, a fair number.   It also ran me quite nearly out of worsted weight yarn- the last red-and-white pair are sport weight paired with a fingering weight yarn to get it to a heavier thickness.   This year coming year I have some projects in mind to help reduce the sport weight stash!  (Also, if I finish a couple of sweaters there will be more worsted weight to replenish the worsted stock!).

Speaking of using up sport weight, I have been working on my crochet skills, and (after only 20 or so false starts) turned out a fairly credible version of the Madeline Triangle Scarf.

The last project of the year that I finished was a slightly overdue Christmas cowl for my mom.   Note to self- beaded projects should not be attempted on tight deadlines.  Also seed beads are ^&%%#%^ing slippery!

The pattern for this is the Sojourn Falls Scarf, and the super-alert will notice that this is not a pattern for a cowl.   I adapted it by starting with a provisional cast-on, skipping the border rows, and then at the end, grafting the ends together.  In pattern.  With beads in the row.   Yes, I did question my sanity there for a bit.  But it all worked out in the end.  (There may have been some vigorous language used during the grafting phase...)

Some of the knitting (not the vigorous language part) was enlivened by company.  Here are Kali and Karen from the local knitting group.  They are a constant inspiration.

It must be said that they are also a great deal more helpful than my other knitting companions:

And so we have a boxed set:

And now the WIPs- in other news, I'm still working on the fall lace shawl, which got sidelined for Christmas deadline projects:
I pretty much knew when I started it, that it was not going to be finished for the KAL deadline, but it was an excuse to start something new, in a yarn I've had around for a while.

I liked the stitch used in the Madeline scarf so much that I started a new project using it in a square- a baby blanket.  This will give me a start on using some of the large bag of baby yarn I was gifted in December, as well as restocking the gift bin, which is currently completely empty of baby items.

Last but not least, the current sock.  Because there is always a sock!  This one is the Corded Rib sock from Sensational knitted socks in the Sonder Yarns Fingering in the colorway Comfy Jeans.

Wishing everyone a crafty and fun 2018!  Anyone got any good resolutions suggestions?