Sunday, 21 September 2014

Keep calm and Yarn Crawl on

The title of the post was the motto on the t-shirts worn by our volunteer tour leaders yesterday on The Great London Yarn Crawl 2014.  It was a very pleasant day but quite exhausting, having left home at 7am, I returned home at 8:30pm and was in bed by 9:15 without even unpacking my goodies!

And there were lots of goodies to be had.  I was on team Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) and we started in Muswell Hill, meeting up at the excellent Owen's Cafe for a tea and (in my case) a big pastry.  The goody bags were handed out and it was a rather splendid haul, and we got given more at the after-party.

I am very grateful to all the sponsors who made the goody bag and raffle prizes possible.  Our bags included:

  • customised tote bag
  • Ball of Rowan Kid Classic coloured yarn (no ball band so don't know the name)
  • Mini skein of 'King of the Jungle' 100% Merino from Lioness Arts in colourway Iris
  • Great London Yarn Crawl badge
  • sachet of scentless Soak
  • Mini skein of 'The Rt Honourable Ronaldsay' from Countess Ablaze in colourway 'Radioactive Raspberry Jam' and a 10% off code
  • A mini skein from and a 10% off code
  • coupon for a free copy of the Clayoquot cardigan pattern from Tin Can Knits
  • Two bags of lovely beads and instructions for beading from Inspiration Knits, plus a 15% code
  • A tag to identify a handknitted item if lost, from Kettle Yarn Co, and a 10% code
  • a 10% discount code from Sharp Works
  • a 10% off code for the day from Wild and Woolly, plus a special offer on yarn
  • a complete pattern for a lacy shawl, Maighdean Mhara by Ruth Gardia-Alcantud
  • a little badge from Pom Pom magazine, who also sponsored the after party
In addition, you will see a badge from True Brit Knits, like a prefect's badge that says 'Knitter', which was kindly gifted to me by Macca on team BFL when she won it, as she already had one.

Our team started off at Fringe, a very stylish and welcoming shop where there was tea and pastries on offer except I was too full from pigging out at Owens.  Here I bought some more Knit Pro wooden tips in the 3-4mm range because those are the tips I use the most and never seem to have a free pair to use, plus I had snapped one by accidentally putting my weight on it getting up from the sofa.

Travel between shops was by public transport, so we strolled through to Alexandra Park to catch the bus on to Nest in Crouch End. Another stylish shop where I enjoyed fondling much yarn but didn't actually buy anything. We were ahead on time so we enjoyed 20 minutes or so of relaxed knitting in their comfy sofa area. Then we walked into Crouch End itself for lunch in a cafe. Half the team got served right away (luckily it was my half) and the other half waited for about 40 minutes for their food.  So after I had finished my lunch I strolled up and down the high street, never having been to Crouch End before.  It seems like an impressive bustling community and also I found an ice cream cafe for dessert.

Then we were on to Prick Your Finger in Bethnal Green, which I think was my favourite shop because they had the greatest percentage of unusual yarns and lovely things.  Unfortunately it was also all in the upper end of the price range so I didn't buy anything, but I quite enjoyed looking.  

Finally we ended up at Wild and Woolly, a very welcoming shop where there was again tea and cake on offer.  We were late and another group was early so it was quite crowded with both of us in there. During the lengthy wait for everyone to shop their fill, I succumbed to temptation and bought five balls of Louisa Harding 'Noema' in carnival colours (75% cotton, 20% acrylic, 5% polamide) with my 10% off coupon. I was thinking a shawl or scarf.

And while I was paying for those, I fell for the classic 'candy by the till' marketing ploy and started browsing through the basket of badges placed temptingly on the counter.  After I had laughed at several I realised I had to buy some of the ones that rang truest.

DH thinks the 'I get to knit, you get to live' is rather aggressive - I countered by suggesting I wear it to the in-laws on the next visit.

From the last shop, we made our way by train and tube back to King's Cross station for the after party in the parcel yard pub.  We had a whole large function room to ourselves, to house around 90 or 100 knitters.

As you can see, everyone was knitting, and also drinking and eating.  Then it was time for more goodies as door prizes were handed out to many people, a prize to the team who won the quiz (not ours), and the grand raffle prize.  I didn't win this year, but there was a certain amount of prize swapping going on at my table so I didn't feel left out.

All in all, a very good day.  Quite nice knitting all day on my Low Tide Cardigan, which while rather dull is perfect for bus knitting and knitting while waiting.  The only down side to the day was that there was a lot of waiting around, either for people to finish shopping, or go to the loo, or because they lost their ticket and had to go back to the shop, or because my season ticket got stuck in the turnstile, plus lots of waiting for buses and trains, etc.  Not the most efficient way to visit London's yarn shops but pleasant company while doing it - it's far nicer to fondle yarn in the company of fellow enthusiasts and talk knitting all day. I hadn't been to any of the four shops before as they are all out of central London.

Another knitty treat this week was my September Knitcrate shipment showing up.  As well as two skeins of indy dyer "A hundred ravens' 100% merino fingering weight in colours Raven's Wing and Mermaid's Tail, both squeezably scrumptious, and in a lovely gauze bag, it included two bubble gums (not in picture because we ate them immediately), a pattern code for Fleckle hat, cowl and mitts by Estella Haines, and a sturdy see-through knitting bag by Chicken Boots.

A final crafty treat this week was my order arriving from Sewing Online of 'Button It' products.  When I bought my sewing desk from them, they gave me a 10% off code so I went back to see what else they had and fell in love with the clever and well made 'Button It 'line of sewing baskets and accessories.  I ordered a present for m-i-l, a birthday present for me (not until next month) and this clever swiveling tripartite notions basket which I am using for knitting stuff.

House update

This week the study was painted, and then Thursday the kitchen fitter came and put together our 'poor man's fitted bookcase' from the secondhand IKEA units.  It doesn't bear close scrutiny, but I spent Friday night and all day today filling in nail holes, caulking gaps, sanding and varnishing, and it doesn't look too bad. If we ever win the lottery then we could get it done properly.  DH is busy unpacking boxes of books and is very happy at finally getting the library that he's always wanted.  There are two more bookcases to the right of the camera, on either side of the fireplace.  The wood stove that will go in this room was also delivered after being back ordered for a good month, but I need to get the installer in to hook it up.

We also went out today and ran ethernet cables from the window in the picture above, around the house to DS's room, up to the machine knitting room in the attic, and started off another one that will eventually go to my dollshouse room once the scaffolding is down.  It's much easier to nail cable to the house while the scaffolding is up, so even though I don't know if I will need wired-in internet in the loft, at least the cable is there if we need it.  Drilling through the window frame was a bit nervewracking but I managed to do it without cracking the glass panes in either room.  So tomorrow orTuesday I get to to try wiring up the ethernet cable to a jack that will be screwed to the window sill.  Then DS can plug in to the jack on his sill rather than the current arrangement where a 30m ethernet cable is permanently on the stairs running down and across the hall into the study where the router is.  I will also be able to move my office out of the dining room and back into the study - hurrah!

I haven't done anything more on my sewing room because I decided I need a 40cm wide IKEA bookcase for the bend of the U-shaped fabric storage area I am building, and DH needs to go pick that up after work this week.  The bookcase that I decided not to use is wider, and it's gone up to my machine knitting room so I will be able to finish unpacking my boxes this week of all my patterns and magazines.

It's starting to feel like a house!


swooze said...

Looking good! More painting in the future or are the renovations done for now?

PixieMum said...

Was reading blogs about last Saturday's yarn crawl when I recognised yours as on my blog list. Wish I had realised before, would like to have met you in person, also I recognised Whitehart from her blog but she zoomed off immediately after the formal part of the party was complete.

Am I right Sally was one of your leaders? I go to her monthly knitting group at Hampton community centre.

If I can go next year I will announce it on my blog to give me an opportunity to meet online friends if they wish to make the acquaintance of this old bat.

Daisy said...

It looks like you had a great time.

Miniature Collections

Miniature Net Ring

This site is owned by

Want to join a
Miniature Network Ring?

[Next] [Previous] [Random] [List Sites]