Sunny, hot, humid.
I realize you can’t tell from that picture, but sunset of an even hotter, more humid July day.
(Albeit with interesting clouds.)
In between, thunderstorms which only served to put even more humidity in the air, I swear.
The Saturday before, a little different. While friends and family back home were sweltering and sweating, this is what I and my elder daughter the RockStar were experiencing:
Rain most of the day, with a high temperature about 21 C (70 F for us Americans), with lows in the low teens (50s F):
(These grey skies are over Holy Trinity Church, next to the Imperial College Union on Prince Consort Road, South Kensington, London, England.)
But I didn’t mind the rainy out-of-doors, as Saturday was a Knit Nation day! Knit Nation was held at the site above, Imperial College, a great venue to stay, learn, knit, bond, and shop.
That day, while my teenager who was with me in London (or, more accurately, I should say that I was with her) was off with her English friend, I took a class from Merike Saarniit called “Spinning to Knit”, in which I officially learned how to use my drop spindle (essentially self-taught spinner here), and most especially learned how to ply, which I’d never done, ever. Very appropriate for the Tour de Fleece (spin-a-long) which was going on concurrent with the Tour de France!
First plied spindle-spun handspun, and it’s knittable! It’s a sampler of different types of fiber, so I wouldn’t really knit it, but still….YARN! And I made it!
Speaking of yarn, I subsequently ran through the marketplace (and didn’t even buy anything — well, not then) — it was amazing, but I was there to scope it out given limited suitcase space, and to see the lovely Emmms! Some of you knitters have loved her socks, but she is herself just as lovely.
She was there with her partner in
crime craftiness and creativity, Lou, with their super bags, Made by Loumms, and in the shop of an amazing dyer, Pippa of Sweet Clement.
I disrupted business for a bit as we chatted, and I gave her a mustache mug that I thought she would like (I was right), but then I did have to let her get back to work (after taking advantage, granted, of the opportunity to buy some lovely yarn and bags, but I don’t have pictures of those all yet, so perhaps I will show you at some future date). We didn’t have the chance to get together outside Knit Nation, as we kept missing each other. Guess I’ll have to come back….
The day before, I had taken a Knit Nation class with Franklin Habit about introduction to lace knitting techniques and history. Though I am not a lace beginner, I am fascinating by the history of knitting, and don’t pretend to know everything about techniques, so I thought it would be interesting. Which it was, naturally. Franklin is a wonderful speaker. Plus, as a bonus, we were able to fondle some of his lace.
The Anna Shawl, hot off the needles. It’s lovely, delicate but sturdy-feeling. So cool to see it, and other Franklin lace, in person!
Back to Saturday: the RockStar being off for the day meant that I could hang out in the Knit Tea salon, where I ran into my old friend Carole whom I had met at Sock Camp (she had a short break from her duties as Knit Nation crew), and she introduced me to her friends Alison & Claire who lived in England, who were awesome.
The rain had stopped by dinnertime
The Queen's Tower, Imperial College, London
and we walked to the student pub, where we ordered a variety of starters (appetizers) for a light meal, and I was introduced to the joys of Pimm’s.
There are cucumbers and strawberries in there. It’s awesome. I loved it. No, it’s not beer; it’s a gin-based liquor, which in this incarnation is mixed with fizzy lemonade. And strawberries and cucumbers, and orange, and mint, if I recall correctly. I might have been getting a trifle fizzy myself after a couple. Plus, when our food was greatly delayed, the bar gave us a round of drinks: more Pimm’s!
Then we went and played bingo with knitters for charity.
BTW, British bingo is different from American bingo. And we missed the announcement of the rules since we were late because our food was so late. Thus, picture me trying to figure out what constitutes bingo (hint: it’s not five in a row), under the influence of several Pimm’s, with the additional factor of delightful but confusing traditional British bingo slang.
Funny, I didn’t win anything.
Still, it was serious business for some of us.
(ignore the wine bottle. Srs.)
Well, maybe not so much.
The amazingly talented (and also charming and adorable, not entirely fair) Ysolda with Carole, listening to a story which I shall not repeat.
Alice/Socktopus, fearless leader of Knit Nation hearing the same story from Claire, I think.
At the end o’ bingo, Cameron, the intrepid young bingo caller (15! and quite self-assured), Cookie A on the left, Alice, and – I think – Cameron’s mother, on the Knit Nation crew, whose name I never caught (I can almost make it out when I enlarge the photo, but not quite). She and all the crew were awesome, and seemed to be having a good time even as they worked hard to keep things running smoothly, as they did.
Thus, at the end of a lovely evening, replete with Pimm’s and giggles, I toddled back to my home away from home (the Imperial College dorms, a great place to stay in pricey London, and such a great location) to meet up with my daughter and her friend who had had their own wonderful day in Covent Garden and Camden.
Next blog post: The moors which followed the above…(and the sea!).