Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Gone shopping

We drove DS up to Oxford yesterday (just over an hour's drive) to drop him off at his college.  He has a nice room in a 70s concrete barnacle tucked into a courtyard between two wings of 'dreaming spires' of his ancient college.  We emptied out the multiple suitcases that we had brought his things in, then left him to it.   I don't think the whole 'empty nest' thing has hit home yet, I'm still expecting this morning to hear him moving around upstairs.

After dropping him off, I felt like I had earned a reward so I got DH to drive me to two of Oxford's yarn shops.  I think they are both fairly new, and they were both attractive little stores that I enjoyed visiting.  Here's my haul:

The Schoppel-Wolle Fliegende Untertasse is the cylinder of hand-painted yarn, two strands dyed at the same time so that you can knit two identical patterned socks.  I bought that and the pattern 'Mint' by Sue Hanmore for a lovely vest in Manos Serena at Fibreworks, on Cowley Street south of the town centre.  The shop is on a corner and filled with light, the better to see all of the colourful goodies spilling off the shelves.  It was nice to see several colourways of Jamieson's 2-ply jumper wool (instead of trying to choose from their website), and there was a nice mixture of familiar yarns (Debbie Bliss) and not so familiar yarns.  It's all good quality stuff, no brandname acrylic baby yarn here.

Also full of good stuff was The Oxford Yarn Store, on a little road called North Parade, off the Banbury Road north of Oxford. This felt like a smaller shop because it is only lit from the street windows, but it was probably about the same size and may actually have had more stock.  Again a really good mixture, and again a good spread of Jamieson's yarn, this time their Spindrift.  I bought two skeins of Auracania Ranco Multy for a potential shawl, and I couldn't resist a skein of Rowan Tweed which cries out to be knit into a Halloween pumpkin (so then I had to buy a second skein for stems).  The owner was very nice and gave us directions to walk over to the Jericho area of Oxford where we enjoyed a delicious lunch in a Greek cafe.

We had the whole day so we used the afternoon to drive up to Northamptonshire and look at a couple of houses and register with more estate agents.  One house we saw is almost a polar opposite from the one we were trying to buy.  Instead of all mod cons and a gorgeous country view, it is right in a town centre and over 100 years old.  It's a lot noisier and the garden isn't as private, but it's huge inside and very convenient for shops and the station.  This is such a hard decision to make, too bad you don't have a 100-day return policy when you buy a house, so you can try it out and see if you like it!

1 comment:

Katie Flanagan said...

Are you going to fill his empty room with yarn?! The house sounds potentially nice though.

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