You may have followed our jolly jaunt on instagram. We went to Hampton Court to look for Henry viii. We found a little of Henry but a lot of William and Mary. And more George's than you could shake a stick at. Liz very patiently tried to explain which Mary was which. There is Mary who was daughter of Henry viii and Kathryn of Aragon, Mary who was Mary Stuart, the Scottish contingent. And Mary who was wife of William of Orange, or is that Mary Stuart? Our heads were buzzing.
We also went to Kew Gardens. We now feel that Kew is our own. We have our bench where we sat and watched the parakeets.
We went to see Wicked in the West End, courtesy of my friend's daughter. We packed in such a lot, walked for miles and talked ourselves hoarse and drank a lot of tea.
After a whole week home we felt we were ready for another jolly jaunt. This time unfortunately only a day trip, to Whitehead in Co Antrim. We even went on a train, so it felt like a mini, mini break. Rather coincidentally this was the same day as Yarnfolk Festival, N Ireland's very first yarn festival, organised by Lighthouse yarn shop and Fine Fish yarns.
Whitehead is a sleepy sort of place, it was known as the place sea captains went to retire. Genteel and by the sea, not much happening sort of place. I have shamefully poached this photo of the lighthouse on the hill. The Victorian cliff walk has been restored, but it is not for the fainthearted.
The Victorian terrace on the seafront has been repainted in vibrant bright colours.
The yarn festival was spread over three different halls, and it was mostly indie dyers. I had no idea Ireland and N Ireland had as much specialised wool and knitting. It was also gratifying to see so many younger women. The "modern" ravelry, instgram type of knitter is well and truly here.
And what did I buy? Did I indeed buy anything? After all, I am only buying yarn as I need it, I am not stockpiling a yarn stash ....
In ig conversation the night before with greenrabbitdesigns, I was admiring her free your fade shawl. I have had a hankering to knit some sort of fade out thingy. Apparently there is a mystery kal on ravelry, from Drea Renee Knits. You know me, I am sucker for joining in things. I have my yarn, my fade out yarn from Skein Queen and I am ready to go. Although we don't as yet know what we are knitting, literally don't know, we will not be using full skeins. There will be some of each colourway left to use again.
What else did I buy? I loved this bright blue sock yarn from Irish Fairytale Yarns. The young couple who dye this wool are lovely and so helpful. I think this could even pass for a Chelsea blue? There is always a little yarn left from socks, and I think this will blend really well with the Regia Fluormania yarn I knitted socks in a couple of weeks ago. See, I can do frugal!
Next up is some fluffy stuff for spinning, again from Irish Fairytale Yarns. This is some early Christmas shopping, not so secret now it is here.
I also bought another ball of Sublime cashmere dk from the actual brick Lighthouse yarn shop in Whitehead. I used this wool to knit the wee new baby cardigan last week, and I think this dark blue will go with the almost full ball of aqua.
All in all I think I was very sensible. What didn't I buy? I didn't buy the bright loud fingering wool I had my eye on. I didn't buy any of the lovely variegated fingering wools from Fine Fish Yarns. I hope to in the future. I didn't buy any of the lovely yarns from Townhouse Yarns in Dublin. When the rugby season starts again, I might make a detour there, now I know they exist. And I didn't buy any of the tweed Kilcar tweed wools from the new Yarn With Joanne in Newtownards, a hop and a skip from home. So, lots in the offing when I play catch up.
There was one more lovely thing about Whitehead. N Ireland is a small country. Loads of people, or Yarnfolk there I didn't know, but the advantage of a small country is you always bump into somebody you do know. We met a few of my scrapbooking group, some of the crochet group I have been going to (I can't crochet but it doesn't seem to matter). I met some lovely people from the book group I used to run in a previous life, I do miss them. And I met some lovely people I don't know but I do know. The lovely Vivienne of green rabbit designs recognised me. As Vivienne is publicity shy she would have had to carry one of her bunnies for me to know her! Kate from hawthorn cottage crafts and I spotted each other too. And unfortunately Ali of crazydazycreations missed us all.
I stole this still photo from Kate's podcast. Check her out, she has a really good round up of the day and a competition of goodies from the day.