rolling stones

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, designing, projects

the last few days have seen us in constant motion, starting with david’s arrival in the UK, first thing tuesday morning.

we picked him up at the airport and whisked ourselves off to the train station where cookie, david, and i boarded a train for leeds.

he was such a good sport about it, considering he’d been flying all night (we made sure he at least got a nice lunch before the train).

and cookie tweeted a good deal (but is doing less since we got to scotland, i think).

in leeds, we made a quick stop at our hotel to dump our stuff and then headed out on foot to baa ram ewe, the LYS where we were to give a talk that night.

our three-mile trek brought us through one university neighborhood after another; the evening was mild and we enjoyed the long walk quite a bit (so much so that we opted to travel back on foot afterward, too!).

baa ram ewe is an adorable little shop that specializes in british wool yarns, many of them produced very close by. the shop is fairly new to the college neighborhood in which it is situated, but already has an enthusiastic clientele. we were greeted warmly by patricia and gwen and coddled with hot drinks and cookies (we’re suckers for cookies, haha).

before long, a group had gathered for the evening get-together and we talked and answered questions for about an hour, then signed patterns. several attendees had knit a sock or two from cookie’s books, so david got some pictures of those.

it was really fun; i’m so glad we were invited to be there. afterward, we ate dinner at a local thai place and walked back to the hotel, where david was finally able to rest his head. i’m so happy he’s here—what a treat to have him arrive halfway through our trip.

the day day we hit the rails bright and early for the next leg of our journey—we were heading for scotland at long last. many of you know already that i have an unreasonably romantic love for all things scottish, but i’ve actually never been; it has been my dream for some time to visit.

we dressed in our warmest sweaters and comfortable pants for the long trip. after a small mishap with david’s ticket (it got lost in the turnstile and he almost got thrown out of the train station, oy!), we settled in to our seats with knitting and coffee, just seconds before the train departed.

the rest of the trip was uneventful except for some clever weedling with conductors about david’s missing ticket (they were all really nice about it, since we did have a receipt).

the day tarted out with some clouds and drizzle, but as we traveled north toward scotland, the skies cleared and arranged themselves into more stunning cloud and light over the coastal landscapes.

about halfway there, we crossed over the border just at the point where we got our first glimpses of the sea.

from this point, it was in almost constant view as the train veered closer to the water, then away slightly from mile to mile.

isn’t that just incredible?? believe me, it was very exciting . . . we even began to see castles and fortesses here and there

before long we were hoving in to the outskirts of edinburgh, our final destination, where we were to visit with ysolda for a few days.

(i’m actually not quite sure if that photo was taken in the outskirts of edinburgh, or another town, but i think it’s from here . . . and i just love it).

this part of our trip is actually a vacation—just a few days off from teaching to explore and see a bit of the country. not enough time to really get lost here, but maybe we’ll do that another time (i’ll be coming back to the UK for knit nation in july!)

we disembarked the train and made our way to ysolda’s, where shook off the trip with some coffee, tea, and a little snack—she was just putting some scones in the oven, how about that??

afterward, david and cookie rested while ysolda and i went out for a long walk—a bit of a quick study, during i saw a little of everything in about 90 minute’s time.

haha, well, enough that the next day, i’d be able to make my way back to take a closer look. we headed back to the flat, where i worked on a nice dinner for everyone while cookie and ysolda worked a bit. we had roasted potatoes, ginger carrots, and sauteed broccoli with mushrooms. they baked cookies after dinner while david and i knitted (david is making quite good progress on his wrap project; i’ll try to remember to get photos for the next post)

yesterday morning, david and i headed out for a day of exploring while cookie and ysolda worked some more. we began our tour on the jawbone walk, site of this monument, which dates from the 1886 edinburgh exposition

it is the knitters exhibit booth from that fair; it is constructed out of whale jawbones and was completely covered with knitted samplers during the event. today it stands as a monument at the entrance to the walkway, carrying this plaque

we made our way toward the central corridor of the city and the royal mile. we didn’t walk that route since the weather seemed to be turning; instead, we headed for the national museum and national galleries

were we spent some hours browsing exhibits of art and antiquities.

then we walked the streets for another hour or so while a slow drizzle picked up momentum

that’s the monument to sir walter scott, glimpsed from across the ravine where the railway runs through.

we climbed lots of stairs, which are often the best way to cut from one block to another; the old town is full of little and big stairways leading between streets.

(david is getting great good use out of his hat, which makes me really happy)

and then there is the castle, right in the middle of everything—we didn’t go up there to walk around or take a tour this time, but maybe on another trip. i would like to walk the royal mile at some point and go up the hill to arthur’s seat to see the view.

the weather just got too nasty to do it that day. we voted for keeping dry as long as we could instead. which turned out not to be all that long, haha—we got totally drenched on the way home.

once we got in, shook off the wet, and changed into dry things, we sat down at the table to knit for a bit while we waited for sarah to arrive. she was joining us for coffee and birthday cake, which cookie and ysolda made for me in the middle of the night as a surprise

isn’t that just the cutest cake?? i was so touched that they did such a thoughtful thing for my birthday. my favorite too—butter cake with chocolate frosting.

once we had our fill of sweets, we all bundled into sarah’s car to head off to knit night art the tea time cafe

the place was jumping with knitters last night and everyone welcomed us with smiles and good talk. it was a wonderful group

i met knitters who know me from my blog like rachel and melanie (melanie is SO smiley; i love her!)

sarah got the most work done, since she did some spindling while cookie knit on her monkey sock for her. maybe i need a sock-knitting sidekick, eh?

a lovely time was had by all, with hot, perfectly-prepared tea to accompany us.

we ended the evening with a very nice meal at the bombay bicycle club.
back home, we nibbled on birthday cake and gossiped over more knitting; i couldn’t have asked for a nicer birthday.

thank you everyone!

i just realized i did not show you any of my knitting from this week, but i will next time, i promise. right now, i must run; we are heading to glasgow and then to visit lilith—i’ll be late if i don’t go now!

79 thoughts on “rolling stones

  1. Happy Birthday!!!

    My husband and I took a trip to England for our anniversary in 2009. Leeds was one of our favorite cities…your pictures made me miss it so! Also, I went to Edinburgh for a couple days after college – you really should see the castle at some point – it’s beautiful…and quite a hike up the hill, if I remember right. A downpour started while I was up there touring and I got absolutely soaked coming down the hill, so I don’t blame you for avoiding it if the weather was bad!

    Glad you got to enjoy some time off from your busy schedule…can’t wait to see what you’re working on.

  2. Happy Birthday, I love the knitting cake. I’m curious to know how they did the needle with the stitches on the cake. Your pictures of the UK have been just wonderful to view.

  3. Happy Birthday, Ann! What a great looking cake. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. I have never been to Edinburgh and love seeing the photos.

  4. Happy Birthday, Anne! Great pictures and what a splendid cake! Looks like you’re all having a grand time. Must visit there some day and explore my scottish ancestry. Enjoy!

  5. I adore Edinburgh! What a perfect place to spend your birthday – it looks like you made the absolute most of your day. Many, many happy returns!!

  6. Edinburgh looks amazing – and a train trip through the Scottish countryside to boot? *swoon* happy belated birthday!

  7. Beautiful pictures in that post! and Happy Birthday!!!!
    p.s…..got my Knitting at Home book today…thanks again =)

  8. What fabulous photos!
    I grew up in Leeds and the train ride to Edinbugh is one of my favourite journeys ever, coupled with memories of family camping holidays on the Northumbrian coast, this is just an amazing part of your trip!

    Looking forward to seeing you in London tomorrow! 🙂

  9. Happy Birthday and what a great posting! I am fairly new to your blog and I must say I felt like I was sitting with my best girlfriend and chatting about her trip. Love the pictures. Now I know to put the train ride to Edinbugh on my list of ‘to do’. Many blessings to you and continued safe travels.

  10. Happy Birthday Anne!! What a great week you’ve had – I’m envious- it sounds like a perfect combination of experiences! Thanks for the travel log. You always do such a great job of including us on your travels.

    I am soooo curious about your lovely Birthday cake and how the knitting decoration was placed on the cake! I want to do that for a friend! Please let us know!

  11. I LEARNED TO KNIT AT BAA RAM EWE!! It is so exciting to see people I know on your blog. I wish I had been there.

  12. Happy Birthday Anne! Glad to see you are having such a wonderful time on your trip. Thanks for keeping us updated. It’s wonderful to see the photos of England and Scotland, very pretty!

    I started your “Bleeding Hearts Stole” pattern last Friday. LOVE it!!! Can
    t wait to finish it. 🙂

  13. Happy Birthday, Anne! What a wonderful gift – to be someplace you’ve been dreaming of visiting. So glad to see David arrived safe and sound! Happy traveling.

  14. Oh, Anne! It’s just wonderful to read about your trip and see all the pictures. And to see Cookie, Ysolda, Sarah, David, you all having such a relaxing, adventurous, knitterly time. You capture just the right moments.

    Happy birthday – a bit late, I suppose. I was just writing a post about how I don’t like vegetable and then, i read about something you cooked and my mouth starts to water and I wonder if I can get to the grocery store for some broccoli and carrots tomorrow.

  15. Happy Birthday wonderful you ! I am so glad that you are touring Scotland for your birthday – may it be the beginning of an incredible year for you!

  16. Thanks, Anne.

    I haven’t been home in years. Can you just go up to Aberdeen and take some pictures for me – Ha!

    The locals look so healthy. There is something about Scottish complexion despite the diet.

  17. Happy belated birthday! It was great to meet you Thursday – sorry I had to dash. Hope we meet again at a conference sometime – I am determined to get to one – someday!. Hope the rest of your time in Scotland was great!

  18. Happy belated birthday! I am thoroughly enjoying your photos of Scotland. I’d love to visit someday as it’s part of my “ancestral homeland”.

  19. Thank you for the vicarious trip through Scotland, Anne! Knitting, tea, cake, Scottish countryside, and walks with Ysolda, Cookie, Sarah, and David. Amazing. Love that little knitting shop in Leeds. Happy birthday!

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