Friday, June 04, 2010

New Site

If anyone was wondering why I haven't updated this site since February, I have moved. The new site is at

Sorry, I forgot to tell y'all! :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Day 3. Today dawned bright and sunny. I prayed the sun would hold out for a while and it did. It was gorgeous all day long. The weather had predicted rain for the rest of the week, so I was really blessed that I had such a wonderful day. And what a wonderful day! I spent waaayyyy too much money on clothes and yarn. Oops! I figured that I was not going to let my natural restraint take hold. I usually talk myself out of buying things for myself (except yarn), but I saw things that I never see anywhere at home. Ok, I don’t look for them, but I bought a fun sweater that was completely impulsive. It was ₤29.99. That doesn’t seem like much for such a cute sweater. I bought boots for ₤40.00 and gloves for ₤9.99. I was looking for the boots and gloves. I also bought 4 pasha mina scarves and a plaid scarf for Rex. I’m going to have to stay away from Oxford Road. I discovered Selfridges, a huge store with wonderful things. The kitchen section had these cool cutting boards and sieves in great colors that fold flat for storage. The same designer, Joseph Joseph made a pump whisk, and a pump potato masher. Innovative! I loved the window displays at this store. Gee, I wonder why? ;)


The yarn shop, Loop, is in Islington, a cute little arts district northeast of the center of town. Loop is a teeny, tiny store. I missed it when I first walked down the street. It was standing room only. Check out the picture from their web site. That’s pretty much it. No comfy couches to sit and knit awhile, unless that’s downstairs. It looked to me like it was the storeroom. Despite that, I got some great yarns and the shopkeeper was great. I heard her talking to another patron about moving in June or July. I hope the new space will give them  room to grow. I loved the way she decorated the shop, hanging handspun yarns in the window and piled on the mantelpiece. I will definitely visit again if I come back to London.

I got 3 skeins of beautiful yummy yarn. Two of them I probably could have gotten in the States, although I have never seen them in person or been able to pet them before. One Be Sweet Magic Ball in the Oceans color way and
Handmaiden Laced Silk in a lovely blue.
The Be Sweet profits go to a good cause anyway.

The other skein is The Knitting Goddess. It is a purpley blue. The shopkeeper asked if I was going to combine the three skeins because all the colors look great together. I hadn’t thought about it, but I might. So far I don’t have plans for these skeins. I know, dangerous. They could sit in the stash for a while before I figure it out. I just couldn’t resist. I also bought a Knit Kit which I had been wanting for quite a while. All your tools in one place. Perfect for travel.

I had to hurry back because we had tickets for We Will Rock You, a musical featuring the music of Queen and a tribute to Freddy Mercury. We had a great time. If you’re in London you’ve got to go see it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cheryl's London Adventure Day 2

Day 2 was dreary and wet.
The morning started badly when I realized that I had lost one of my fingerless cashmere gloves. I t must have fallen  out of my purse when I pulled out my guide book. I had to keep getting my bearings, so it could be anywhere - in Hyde Park or on the train. Maybe even in the lovely pub I had lunch at. Who Knows? Anyway I  spent too much of the  morning planning my route and pouting. I didn’t really want to go out but who wants to spend the day in a hotel room?

I finally made my way to the train station en route to Pudley. Luckily I had the foresight to pack an umbrella. Stash yarns was my destination. I misread where the train let out and got a little confused about where I was. I was able to find my way to the shop though, through the puddles and my hat nearly blowing off when I crossed the Thames. Unfortunately, the shop has been closed down. What a disappointment! I passed a little resale shop on the way back and stopped inside. They had the cutest rain hat.

The next stop was I Knit London in Westminster. That’s a fair distance from Pudley. Completely across town, in fact. I finally got there, quite soggy, with another walk across the Thames. The wind kicks up over the water so I was cold as well as wet. I Knit was on a quiet little street a few blocks from Westminster station. I bought some lovely blue Wensleydale  wool to replace my fingerless gloves. I wear a lot of blue. It’s not cashmere but it is sooo soft. Now I want to go back and get another skein for a hat and maybe some for a scarf for Rex. Perhaps on Thursday.

As I came back from my day of frolicking in the rain, This scene greeted me outside of the train station. The 30th Annual Brit Awards. The crowds were out despite the rain. I suppose we do the same in Hollywood. This is the British version of the Grammy Awards. All the pop tarts - I mean stars were out. ;) 

After Rex and Kiki got done with work, we went out to the Troubadour Club for dinner and some music. This is such a cool bohemian spot for great food and music. Dylan and Hendrix played there. I'm sure many others, but that's who they advertise. Here's the door.
and the ceiling...

Hat Tuesday. Wear a had at dinner and get a free dessert!
Beer anyone? Bud looks different in Britain!

(the) Universal. Cool local music at the Troubadour Club.
psst... This is the Original Troubadour. Doug Weston's got nothing on this one!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday in London

I walked my feet off today! I decided to walk rather than take the tube because there wasn't any rain predicted for today. By the end of the day I found out that I couldn't take the tube anyway because I had left my Oyster card in my other jacket pocket. The weather was great for the most part. A couple of times snow fell, but not enough to make any difference. By the end of the day it rained and I finally pulled out the umbrella. I was glad I had it!

My journey took me down Old Brompton Road, past Harrod's and into a quiet little street where I found Patricia Roberts Knitting. Don't throw tomatoes, but I had never heard of her until I looked up LYS in London. Turns out she's been a knitwear designer since 1962. The shop was filled with wonderful sweaters, scarves and mittens already hand knit. At first I was disappointed because I thought I had stumbled into the wrong kind of shop. I asked the woman at the counter if they sold yarn, and they did have some in the back. Whew! I found a bargain. 20 gorgeous skeins of beautiful lambswool for ₤30. It's in my favorite color, fushia. I see a sweater in my future. Mmmm.... perhaps this gorgeous one that I've been wanting to knit for soooo long?

Then it was across the street for lunch at the Wilton Arms. Shepherd's pie and tea for lunch. It was quite good.

Afterwards I took a walk through Hyde Park. It is HUMONGOUS! I had planned to run there this morning, but I didn't get out early enough. It looks like a great place for a run. If it's dry later in the week I might give it a try.

Tomorrow I'm going to try to find Loop. Maybe I'll hit some museums too.

Hello from London!

(waving the Queen's wave)

We arrived in London yesterday, 2/14/10 or 14/2/10 as they say over here. It was a lovely Valentine's Day spent wandering the streets near the hotel, lunch at the Troubadour, window shopping, then dinner at Imli, an Indian restaurant off Oxford Street. We opted for the Valentine's Day special. I thought it was good, although Rex thought it was a little bland, and Kiki thought it was cold. Oh, well. For dessert, we had waffles at the Belgian Waffle stand. Yum! Then off for a pint at a pub down the street. I can't remember the name at the moment.

The Troubadour Club is the original, unlike it's counterpart in Hollywood. Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix played there among others. It looks like local bands play and they have poetry reading on Monday. I'd like to check it out if we get a chance. The food was great too.

Today I am off to find some yarn shops. Since it's not raining yet, I may visit some of the parks. I'd better get going before I waste the day away!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ravelry Party at Unwind!

On Thursday I went to the Ravelry meetup at Unwind Yarn. I wish I had some pics, but I didn't even think to bring a camera. D'uoh! It was really fun. I got to meet Casey and Jess, and talked to Casey for a while about programming. He's very cute and kind of shy. Go figure, a shy programmer?!

The place was packed when I got there around 7pm. I didn't know anyone there except Stephanie. I was hoping I'd run into a friend, but I guess I should have brought one. My brain just doesn't work that way.

After a while I decided that I just wanted to sit and knit so I took out my RSS (Really Simple Socks). Here's a pic of the leg. It's a little hard to see the detail. Right now I'm at the point of starting the heel. These socks are my own design with a little help from a pair of store bought socks that I've had for years. I've been looking at them since I picked up knitting again and I've been wanting to try the pattern. Well, they are finally wearing through the heel, so I thought I'd give it a go. These are one repeat shy of the store bought ones. The yarn they use is much thinner.

Designing is a goal I have for myself this year. This is the first project, other than the Sky Wrap Scarf that I designed quite by accident. By the way, I have uncovered the directions for the original Wrap/Scarf that I thought just couldn't be what I saw at the store. Attached were directions from the web that I used as a start, but even they are not what I ended up with. I will write up what I did. I remember most of it, but I'll have to make a sample just to be sure.

Back at the Ravelry party, as soon as I whipped out my socks, I got lots of comments and compliments. I talked to Laura, tinkknitter on Ravelry who I hadn't seen for a long time. She works at Unwind sometimes. I met Lucky Penny who I can't find on Ravelry right now, and a couple of gals from a church across town. One of the women was really outgoing and saw that I was knitting two socks on two circulars. She was intrigued by this and asked if she could watch because she had always wanted to try it. Her friend is a crocheter that she's trying to convert into a knitter. As we talked we discovered that we know some people in common. The choir director at our church used to give lessons to their kids and a woman that started the walking group at our church are friends of theirs. Small world, huh?

After the crowds thinned out I was able to move around and bought this beautiful shawl pin and these yarns. I'm trying out the wrap again in this Tough Love sock yarn from sweetgeorgia. The color is just gorgeous! I'm not sure it wants to be the wrap though. I think it may be calling out to be Pomatomus. The colors remind me of a beautiful Hawaiian ocean, crystal clear water and the scales of a fish. We'll see...

I'm not sure why I bought the Manos de Uruguay except that I kept picking up the skein. It's so soft, and the colors... Alright, you got me. I bought it because it was love at first sight. I don't know what I will make with 175 yards yet. They only had the one skein because it is a prototype. I think it might be a spring scarf of some sort.

The shawl pin was complete impulse. Ummm, weren't the yarns too? Anyway, I needed a shawl pin. I have a wooden one, but I never wear it because it needs finishing.

So silly of me. I was telling the ladies that I was trying to use up my stash yarn before buying any more. That was before I saw these wonderful yarns. Also, the entry fee to the party was to be used toward any purchase made that night. I couldn't let that go, could I? ;)

Monday, January 04, 2010

New Year, New Habits

Happy New Decade! So many things to think about. This is the year I turn 50, so of course it's a milestone year and makes you consider creating some new habits.

I have already created the habit of running, although for the last month I've really fallen off the wagon. I've had a cough, a cold, and earlier in the month the winds were kicking up the ashes of the Station fire and creating such an environment that I wasn't thrilled to be outside. But for Christmas I got a Wii Fit and now I can work out in the house. I did work out to DVDs before, but sometimes you just have to change things up. The Wii Fit has so many fun exercise games that it will be a long time before I get bored! I've heard that the hula hoop burns lots of calories! ;)

A habit I need to get back is gardening. I haven't taken it seriously for many years. This house doesn't inspire me to garden because there isn't much room. The back yard is mostly concrete with a small patch of grass. There are borders around the edges which are wild and overgrown now. That's where I will start. I think I will work on flowers and bulbs for spring.

I need to create a habit for practicing the guitar every day. I've bought a few programs and taken lessons, but I rarely think to pick it up like I do the knitting needles. I got a beautiful new guitar for Christmas from DH. It is much easier to play than his Takamine, and it has a beautiful tone. Playing guitar is something I have done on and off since I was 13 or so. Mostly off. I often think that if I had kept it up over the years I would be pretty good by now.

Scrapbooking is another thing that I need to create a habit for. I haven't done it for quite a while, but I keep collecting digital downloads from Gotta Pixel. I do love the digital scrapbooking. I take a long time to do it though. If I do a little bit a week, maybe I can learn what I like and create pages faster.

I definitely have the knitting habit down. ;) After Christmas I finished my Clandestine socks. I finally took a picture of the shopping bag before I gave it away as a gift. I finished Josie's Little Miss Greenjeans Sweater and gave it to her for Christmas.

I also need to create a habit for cleaning up after myself. After eating/cooking, working, knitting, dressing, etc. Yep, I'm a messy person. It's actually much better since the kids moved out. Now it's only my mess! I notice that in the weeks DH is gone, I tend to be a slob. So this year I resolve to clean up after myself.

While I'm at it I could get in the habit of organizing my time better. Calendars and timers might be good. I tend to rebel even against my own rules. What?!? I know... Pathetic.
So this year I resolve not to rebel and teach that rebellious kid in me to stay on track.

I've got lots of stuff there, not to mention choir/vocal practice and school homework - oh yeah - and blogging. ;)

Daily stuff to do would be Bible Study, exercise, guitar knitting, voice, homework, clean up after myself.

Weekly stuff could include cleaning house, gardening, blogging and scrapbooking. Not bad.

Now that I've got myself somewhat organized for the year and spent way more time blogging than I meant to, I'm off to practice guitar! See ya!