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!