happy belated valentine’s day—i would have said it yesterday if i was awake, haha.
i returned home in the afternoon, fell into bed, slept for about ten hours straight, and woke up only in time to watch late-night TV with david—is that wrong or what?
but boy is it good to be here; doesn’t bret’s house look charming, all decked out for the holiday? he doesn’t always do things up for valentine’s but i’m glad he did this year, since it marked my return home to our corner of the neighborhood.
before i get going on what’s new, how about a few last highlights from the end of our UK and NY trip? on our last day in london, david and i got up early and hit the street, to scout for a lunch of fish and chips.
alice’s husband recommended fish! at borough market and it was delicious indeed. stuffed to the gills afterward (no pun intended), we decided to walk along the thames to our next destination—the tate modern.
past the tall ships docked near the market
through the warren of streets near the old jailhouse
along the promenade past the globe theatre
views of the water and sky and the beautiful light
real londoners, scurrying to lunch and back again under the walking bridge
and the walking bridge itself, which leads to the tate—SO cool. i wish we had walked across it, but we came in from the other direction instead . . .
the tate modern has a gorgeous installation of white birches flanking each side of its front courtyard; i love these trees, they remind me of where i grew up. we spent the whole afternoon inside, looking at the permanent collections—my thirst for viewing modern art was satisfied by the end of the day, at least for a while.
further signs of spring greeted us at nearly every turn on our way back to the underground. we headed next to look for a few last-minute gifts for friends, then home to alice’s.
cookie treated us all to a lovely dinner at chutney mary for our last evening in london. the next morning the three of us were off for the states again; david headed home, while cookie and i were bound for NYC to pick up a car and drive upstate toward our last teaching gig in albany.
but first a couple of stops to visit friends in the hudson valley, try to get organized, and recharge our batteries.
at melanie’s, new bulbs were showing signs of life all over the house and some were even in bloom (oooh, looks like those have been augmented with some love tokens from a secret admirer of hers!)
we stayed one night on the way upstate and one on the way back—these gorgeous hyacinths were in full flower when we returned on sunday night; the room we slept in smelled heavenly, mmm.
during our first day there, we caught up on email and other work tasks in the morning. i took photos of all the knitting i’d done near the end of our UK visit and on the plane back to NYC
my second scarf in great northern yarns mink/cashmere (colorway deep forest) is nearly finished now—i decided to make this one into an infinity scarf so i could wind it in luscious rings around my neck and head. the pattern will have instructions for both the straight scarf and the infinity ring (and maybe a cowl; why not?).
plus the hat of course—i wore that every day of my trip, it was the most valuable accessory i packed.
then there is the shawlette i’ve been working on in the mink/milk/merino fingering yarn in a rich, cozy maroon color. i’m all the way through the top part now, ready to start the lace section for the bottom.
i need to chart it out thought, which i haven’t been able to focus on, so it’s been patiently waiting for the next step
and last but not least, i’ve started another inky dinky sweater set—now that the pattern is available, i thought it would be fun to revisit this project to get ready for baby gift giving in the spring (i know a few expecting families i’ll want to make things for)
this project made for very good plane knitting during the last week—i knit both sleeves and got the jacket started during my flight from london to newark (along with a nap or two, hee-hee!)
then, during the trip from new york back to ohio yesterday, i knit almost all the way to the underarm, while my seat mate decided her daughter should learn to knit (haha!).
i thought i might get a blog post doen with all that photography under my belt, but no chance that day
. . . all work and no play makes jane a dull girl, so in the afternoon, we made time for a walk through town. and no, cookie is NOT getting shorter—those snowbanks were really quite high.
the river in town was roiling and that was before the snow started to melt for real.
despite the cold, we took a good long walk that day, hoping to shake off the jet lag that seemed to be clogging up our brains.
at the end of main street, we found hudson beach glass, a fascinating shop/studio combo, where four glass artists work and sell their wares (and those of other artists, too)
as soon as we stepped inside, we knew we found a transitional refuge for our state of mind—the smell of the wood furnace and the beautiful colors of glassware sucked us right in.
i thought, “alice was is SO right about retail therapy . . .”
after we each bought something, we had a new spring in our step and clear heads for the rest of the weekend—is it possible we’re really that shallow??
by then it was late afternoon and time to head further up the river to hyde park, where we were staying with our friends the fischers for a few days. we were to start off our visit with dinner at CIA’s catarina ristorante.
nathalie took the next day off from work to stay in with us and knit—i think we all benefited from her mini-vacation, haha. the three of us took over the sofa and armchair for most of the day, shifting only minimally for several hours.
we did get up to look at the turkey john spotted in the yard . . .
and in the afternoon, nathalie and i went for a long walk in the cold, which was quite invigorating. afterward, we cleaned ourselves up and got ready for dinner, which john was cooking (he’s a wonderful chef). we helped out a little by preparing condiments for the pesole.
we also had birthday cake for me! nathalie was so thoughtful to prepare something special and boy was it good. it’s my favorite—yellow cake with chocolate frosting—the cake is made with olive oil from this recipe; SO good. all of us decided we would make it again.
tummies full, we ambled back to the lounge to knit some more, while john did some spinning. nathalie is working on several projects, but i think we all like this one best
her beautiful leaving cardigan, knit up in woolen rabbit oasis (now back in stock; woo-HOO!). nathalie was smart and quick enough to snag her yarn the morning the pattern was published and managed to get enough of the oak moss colorway to start her sweater right away. doesn’t it look great? she’s just one sleeve and a few seams away from wearing it, too, yay.
before long, we three tired knitters climbed the stairs to bed, leaving john to happily spin away. wait a sec—wasn’t it HE who worked all day, then cooked all evening? why are we the ones who are tired?
the next day we met at CIA for a last delicious lunch before driving to albany. this time we ate in the apple pie bakery cafe, which i had never tried. let me tell you though, the food is at least as good as in the fine dining restaurants.
cookie had an excellent dish of short ribs and potato sticks, while nathalie had the portobello burger and couscous.
i had some aMAZing baked macaroni and cheese with a beet and citrus salad.
we also bough a few more than our share of dessert items—which are SO unfairly displayed at the counter where food is to be ordered.
there you are, hungry for lunch, trying to decide from the written menu and all those goodies are laid out before your eyes—what’s a person to do?
luckily, we had a visit with my mom planned, so a few things were reserved for her.
after lunch, we got the back door tour of the school, which i never tire of—i always see something different with each one. and of course, cookie had never been behind the scenes, so it was all new to her.
young chefs were everywhere, hurrying this way and that to meet their afternoon deadlines. this being the first day of a new rotation at the school, there is a feeling in the air of being a half-step behind most of the time (but that soon passes).
after all, it’s their peers they have to answer to if the food isn’t ready on time . . .
we sadly said goodbye to nathalie outside; we really hated to leave that day, but more adventures awaited us further up the road. i think cookie really enjoyed this leg of the trip; i’m not sure she was expecting upstate new york to be so beautiful or so welcoming. thank you melanie, nathalie, and john; i hope we can get together again VERY soon.
our next stop was albany and the trumpet hill yarn shop, where we were to be treated to an evening of socializing with customers and participants of the weekend workshops.
robena, owner of trumpet hill, always makes an event come alive with beautiful food, drink, and enthusiastic knitters. she sure knows how to fill a room—the place was packed and hopping that friday night.
karin, the dyer behind the periwinkle sheep label, treated each of us to a bag of yarn, which is winging its way here as we speak—i’ll be sure to feature it in a post next week, after it arrives.
johnny and lacey of the new stitch a day site (my new favorite interactive knitting resource!!) were in the house as well
johnny is a sock virgin, but vows to change when confronted by cookie.
aaron was a little put out that HE wasn’t the guy in the spotlight, but he managed to acquit himself nicely with actual sock cred to show for himself.
and our dear friend hattie made an appearance too with baby olivia, just a month old—how sweet is that?? i know all the knitspot ravelers will be thrilled to catch a glimpse of the healthy and happy (and sleepy!) baby.
the rest of the weekend was similarly buoyant—classes were full and fun; i think everyone went away feeling they learned a lot (including us, which is always the best feeling). we got to visit with my mom a couple of times; she made us a delicious shrimp pasta dinner on saturday (thanks mom!).
now i’m home with plenty on my to-do list ot take care of—all those patterns i didn’t write during my trip, all that mail that continued to arrive, all that bookkeeping—i better stop listing things or i’ll get discouraged.
i’m glad to be here though—home really is where the heart is. tonight we are having a home-cooked meal made with food from the garden and i plan to enjoy every morsel of it.