Always Knitting, Never Knitting for Me

by Natalie on May 12, 2014

It is a very strange thing to knit for one’s day job. I knit and knit and knit and knit all day, every day. I couldn’t tell you the number of hats I have knit in the last three months. 20? 30? I am a duplicate stitch master now, we do so much of it. Snoods, scarves and swatches, I’ve done it all. But I have no knitting to show you! When I get home my fingers are tired and my sewing machine calls, or a book, or dinner with my roommates and I maybe get a few rows in on the weekend, but very little knitting has been done for me since I arrived in London. My internship ends next week and I cannot tell you how excited I am to start blowing though some of the stash I brought along.

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First up is finishing this Pomme de Pin that I started way back in October. The sleeves were knit while I visited London for a week, and I managed to finish the body a few weeks ago. However, I quickly realized that some re-knitting was in order. For some reason (I’m guessing because of the lace pattern?) there is no shaping in the diameter of the sleeve. As written you cast on and then just knit. No increases. It fits as in I can get it on my arm, but it doesn’t match the overall ease of the body of the sweater and there is absolutely no way that I am going to be able to fit that sleeve cap into the armhole. Impossible.

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So last night I finally sat down and worked out what needed to be done. I ripped back to just above the cuff and have started re-knitting the first sleeve with added increases. Luckily this one fits in my purse easily and I am determined to be wearing this by the end of the month!

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Where’s Wally

by Natalie on March 17, 2014

 

 

My weekends in London mostly seem to involve running errands and enjoying the sunshine these days. This weekend I started the process of getting a bank account, bought a pair of house shoes (which was surprisingly urgent), celebrated my roommate’s birthday, discovered a park and a charity run, and hung out on a houseboat. Phew! It’s too bad there isn’t another day in there just to recover!

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I am so happy to have a giant park so close to my house. It has a little pond and some fantastic walking paths. I went by specifically as I had heard that there would be a 10k Where’s Wally* race on Sunday morning. The race benefited a literacy charity in England, so the theme worked pretty well. Almost everyone had a costume on while they ran; a striped shirt, hat and glasses. Not surprisingly I had the hardest time trying to find someone that I knew was there after the race. Everyone just blended together in their matching outfits. In the end I had to give up and head out to my next stop.

 

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The next stop was to visit my friends Joanna and Tom, who live on a houseboat in Regents Canal. It was delightful! We sat on the roof and drank wine for the whole afternoon. I knit away on the button band of my Pomme de Pin cardigan, which is almost done. We had a roast dinner with some friends of theirs who lived further up on another boat. In the evening we had homemade damson berry vodka with fizzy water. Delicious!

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I think I have fallen in love with living on a houseboat for at least a week while I live here. I’m not sure that I would want to do it full time, even if it is cheaper than renting a regular flat. The winters sound awful, and there is a lot to manage with a boat that you don’t have to think as much about with a house. Septic tanks and water tanks, coal heating etc. It all sounds just right for a holiday though! I think that this summer will involve quite a few visits down by the water with friends.

* Wally is British for Waldo. As far as I can tell they are exactly the same. Perhaps the name change helps in his quest to stay hidden from the world?

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Liberty of London

by Natalie on March 16, 2014

Yesterday I was downtown doing some shopping and I found myself near Oxford Circus, so I thought I would pop into Liberty and escape the crowds a bit. I have friends at home that are always asking me about the Liberty store, so I thought I would share with everyone.

It is a huge building, 4 floors. It is actually like a really fancy department store, with all sorts of big name designers that I only hear about because they happen to dress presidents and such. I usually just skip straight up to the 3rd floor for the haberdashery department.

 

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The floors are organized around two of these atriums that go right through the building. One of them had this huge chandelier thing in it.

 

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The skylights at the top let in lovely light.

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The second atrium was not decorated, but it does give you a better view of the fabric from the other side! The shelving is really boring compared to everything else in the store, but the contents are gorgeous!

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This was more of a reconnaissance trip than anything. I didn’t buy anything. I did have a lovely conversation with a woman named Jules who works in the Rowan yarn section of the store. I picked out this print as my favourite of the new collection. I’m going to have a hard time choosing which of the three colours to pick for a summer dress! The print is called Heidi Maria, for those of you who will ask!

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It’s Springtime in London

by Natalie on March 8, 2014

I have pretty much settled into life in London. I am living in a house in the east end with a few other people, including one of my oldest friends from Toronto. Our house is a 30 minute walk from my internship, which is pretty amazing in a city this big. I have been here three weeks and am still sorting out favourite spots and making friends, but so far so good!Untitled

Last weekend Liv and I went to visit friends of mine in Oxfordshire. They live in a small village, and their neighbour has sheep! These sheepies and chickens were a little concerned by the puppy we had with us and were not interested in making friends. Another time.

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Liv and I went to an early morning Ash Wednesday service at St. Pauls this week. The space is amazing, and the morning was delightful. Perfect weather.

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Overall I can’t complain about the weather in London at all. Today was 16C! Bare legs in March! I am bottling it all up and sending it home to Toronto where it is still totally frozen over.

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I went to a knitting show, Unravel, on my first full weekend. It was so much fun! They had these fantastic signs to show people the way from the train station to the venue. They were made of wrapped yarn. I suffered from serious camera shyness so don’t really have any other photos of the event, but you can hear me in this podcast by A Playful Day around the 24 minute mark! I was with Tom of Holland and Anna of Sweater Spotter fame. It was such a great weekend to meet people and to get to know some of the local fibre businesses.

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My little Canadian brain cannot compute flowers in February and March. These poppies are so jaunty in there window boxes.

UntitledI walk through a churchyard on my way to work in the morning. They have a few small fields that are just riddled in crocuses. I have to be careful that taking pictures of them doesn’t make me late for work!

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These stacked headstones are from the same churchyard.

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One thing that I am looking forward to is getting to know some of the smaller areas in London. Liv and I have ended up in the middle of town (this is an amazing sunset on Oxford Street), the last two weekends. While the shopping may be convenient, the crowds are insane, and all the shops are the same. There is so much going on here, I’m sure I’ll never see it all!

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Stash Sale

by Natalie on January 22, 2014

One thing you can be sure about on the blog is that if I am quiet, things tend to be going down in my personal life. Like many bloggers, I can find it hard to share all those life details with my readers as they happen.

Luckily for the blog, these life things have mostly sorted themselves out and are now ready for sharing. In less than three weeks I will be moving to London, England! I have no idea what I will be doing when I arrive, short of job hunting, but I am very excited none the less. I have a flat with my dear friend Olivia in the North/East of the city already.

In the meantime I am sorting out my life here. I am getting all my worldly possessions ready to be packed up, donated, sold and pitched out. Yes, this applies to my stash as well. I am really enjoying the opportunity to really simplify what I own, but it is hard to say goodbye to some of it! So, I am hoping that you will help the parting blows and take some of it to new and wonderful homes instead.

I have made a flickr listing of all the available yarn and fabric. The prices are listed on the individual photos, or best offer. First come first serve to my email, natalieselles AT gmail DOT com. Shipping will be $8+$2 for each subsequent item. I will adjust shipping as necessary after the post office run.

Click the photo below to see more!

Artesano 4ply Alpaca

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