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. A great post – and the weather – oh my goodness yesterday had the most biting wind we’ve had for ages and the rain was awful….and you were out walking in it!!!! Here in Northern Ireland (just across the water from you) it is very windy today as well, wet but the biting wind has gone and it is mild compared to yesterday. Glad you are enjoying some time off.

  2. I’m so glad David got to join you. I’m having the most fun living vicariously through your travels of late. Thanks so much for taking us with you. The travels, the friends, walks, sites, LYS’s, people and sweets all sounds magical. Best wishes for a very happy birthday!

  3. Happy Birthday, Anne! How lucky to spend it in Scotland. My bucket list includes a visit to Scotland. My dad was stationed in England during WWII and would take a train to Edinburgh when he would get leave for the air base. He fell in love with the country and brought back many little trinkets for my mom and tons of pictures. Would love to recreate his trips!

  4. Happy Birthday Anne!!! Sounds like you had the best birthday day in a place you are loving. Enjoy your time exploring with David and your friends!! Still talking about your classes from VK Live!! Happy Birthday again!!

  5. Happy Birthday! My one birthday in Scotland is one of my favorite memories. It looks like I didn’t lead you astray regarding the weather — hopefully it won’t rain the whole time. All of your pictures make me long to return (it has been nearly 30 years since I was there last — hard to believe it has been so long). It was in Edinburgh that I first encountered “Double-Knitting” yarn and was so confused about how that compared with sport or worsted weight. I also remember getting inexpensive Lopi yarn and knit Lopi sweaters for myself and two of my roommates. Ah, the memories!

    Oh, Edinburgh joke: Why is Princes Street just a half a street? Because one side is all gardens and no shops.

  6. Happy birthday, Anne! What a wonderful way to spend your birthday! I would love to visit Scotland some day, but for now I’ll just enjoy your wonderful pictures. I think a sock knitting sidekick would be fabulous, but first, I’d like someone to teach me to spin. ; )

  7. Anne, I must say you look marvelous! Very happy and relaxed. Happy Birthday! What a memorable one. Even the rainy pictures look wonderful and romantic. Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us.

  8. Happy birthday! I hope you enjoyed Scotland even though the weather seems to have become very wild since you’ve been there! It was lovely to have met you on Tuesday! Thank you so much for coming to baa ram ewe! I have started making plans for Knit Nation already!

  9. Thank you so much for a delightful post! WE lived in Scotland for several years and it’s been five years since I’ve been Edinburgh — a beloved place. I’m so glad you are having a wonderful visit (and it looked like a happy birthday too!!).

  10. What a wonderful time you’re having and Happy Birthday. I’ve done that rail journey often but not for many years and I never failed to be amazed by the sea views. I haven’t been to Edinburgh for years but you’re prompting me into a visit.

  11. First of all, Happy Birthday, Anne!!! I loved all the pictures of Scotland–so pretty. I really miss that wintry, overcast European weather :(. Can’t wait to see how David is coming along with his wrap.

  12. Hi Anne,
    Thanks so much for your visit to us here at Baa Ram Ewe! Everyone had a lovely time – I’m so glad you and Cookie and enjoyed it as well. Say ‘hi’ to Ysolda and Sarah and enjoy Scotland! Happy Birthday!
    Gwen

  13. Happy Birthday Anne! Looks like you had a super day. Thank you for the great scenic tour and such wonderful photos!

  14. Happy Birthday Anne,

    It was so nice to see your photos of Edinburgh, my home town is near by. So sorry you got such awful weather, but at least you were well prepared.

    What a gorgeous cake! I am curious as to how they managed to make such a nice piece of knitting with the powder sugar.

    All the best,
    Dawn in NL

  15. Awww, what a nice b-day celebration. What a creative idea that Cookie and Ysolda had with the cake.

    Scotland looks amazing and so historical. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

  16. Thanks for the great evening at Baaramewe. I have cast on Twinings and I am pretty sure that I understand the chart OK. I am glad you enjoyed Edinburgh – wonderful city and such a good place to have a birthday.

  17. Oh, Anne! What a wonderful trip you are having. The photos just carry us all along with you to that magical country. It must be such a joy to be traveling with David and Cookie (I just finished a pair of her “Ornette” socks). I would say you are living a well deserved charmed life at the moment. Happy, happy belated birthday to you, and safe travels. Thank you again for sharing.

  18. Happy Birthday Anne!
    Loved the cake….(Hmmm, what are the odds that my hubbie would make that for me on my birthday?….) Thanks for sharing!

  19. Happy Birthday Anne! What a great way to spend your birthday. The cake looks so good too. Thank you for sharing your trip. I’m really enjoying it.

  20. happy birthday anne! and how wonderful to have a long time travel dream come true on your birthday. scotland looks in your photos just as i might imagine it. majestic and mysterious and gray!! but a gorgeous shade of gray!
    enjoy these last few days and travel home safely.

  21. Happy Birthday and thanks for a great post of a wonderful trip! And I am dying to know how they put that lovely knitting pattern on the cake. Any hints?

  22. Happy birthday to you! Edinburgh is a really fascinating city to explore – so much history there to soak up. Glad the weather hasn’t stopped you too much. I guess you don’t have time to get to the Shetland Isles? A really fantastic knitting heritage there. You’ll just have to come back again! Enjoy the rest of your trip – is David travelling on with you?

  23. It sounds like you are having a wonderful time, Anne. I’m so happy for you. I’m glad David was there for your birthday and that you got to spend time with friends. Enjoy the rest of your time away. We’ve missed you!

  24. Happy belated birthday. Love your pictures of Edinburgh reminds me of my trip 30 years ago. Fabulous place and wonderful people. Looking forward to seeing how it influences your work.

  25. Happy Belated Birthday Anne!
    The scenery is breathtaking. I love drizzly days. I hope you have are having a grand time.

  26. Happy birthday (celebrate all week long) and all the best to you, David and Cookie on your travels! I notice you are wearing your Highland cardigan while in Scotland. I am knitting past the first waist decrease row on mine in Mountain Colors Weavers Wool, color Chinook. Great pattern!
    Sally

  27. Happy Birthday, Anne! Scotland looks beautiful and fantastic–I hope to go one day in the near future.

    I have to ask–is your friend Sarah spinning Hello Yarn Shetland fiber in the Minerals colorway? It kind of looks like it. Though frankly, I’m so obsessed with the color myself, I might be projecting!

  28. Anne, sorry to bother you yet again but I asked my son who travels your train route every week where the little town in your 13th photo down was….I thought it was Alnmouth and he assures me it is…there is a train station there which is the nearest station to Alnwick – an historic little town where the Duke of Northumberland has his castle and beautiful gardens which you would love….in the olden days the carriages from the Castle used to collect the guests at Alnmouth Station. Just a little more information for you.

  29. Happy Birthday! What a wonderful way to spend it. I’m glad to hear you will be at Knit Nation this year. My youngest son is getting his masters at the Univeristy of Bristol and I plan on going over to see him so figure I might as well coordinate it with Knit Nation. 🙂 I’ve never been to England so am loving reading about your trip. I may need to visit Scotland with my son while I’m there.

  30. Happy birthday, Anne! What a wonderful place to spend the day–too bad the weather wasn’t a bit more cooperative. What fun sights to see, too. Just the thought of all that historic architecture…another place to add to my list!

  31. A very wonderful birthday to you Anne! Edinburgh is the perfect place to spend a birthday and it’s wonderful that you were able to spend it with David and friends.

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