Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Scotland: Words and Wool

I'm sure all the yarn lovers out there are eager to hear all about my Scotland knitting adventures, especially since I went armed with an entire suitcase of projects. Surprisingly (to me anyway), I only got one knitting project completed on the trip?! Yikes! That is embarrassing. The good news is, that meant I was really on a vacation, and, secondly, it means I have all my fall knitting projects picked out and ready to go. :)

I did have a few knitting adventures while we were gone and today I will tell you about one of them. 

In the past year I have gotten to know Christine over at Writing From Scotland. We became internet friends and when we were planning our trip to Scotland I knew it would be such a treat to actually meet in person. Then, Christine and her family ended up moving to Glasgow at the end of the summer so meeting up could actually become a reality.

So one early morning in September I jumped on the train and headed into Glasgow:

Christine gave me instructions about what street corner she would meet me at and what kind of car she had. At 9:30 Christine pulled up and I jumped in and we drove off to their new home. 

Oh we did have the most wonderful morning and it went far too fast! It was especially nice to meet Christine's daughter, the Dafter. The Dafter suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome and so I feel a bit of a kindredness with her, having suffered many years myself with this. 

We sat in Christine's sun-filled sitting room and talked and talked and looked at knitting books, and sipped tea from a very special tea set, and tried to catch up on each other's lives in the space of two hours. 

I had no idea Christine is such an amazing and gifted knitter! I love her colorway choices and I gaped in admiration at the intricate and complicated patterns she is able to nimbly execute. This kind of work is so far beyond me but looking at it was very inspiring.

Christine was so kind to allow me to come to their house so soon after moving and she even let me have a tour. I loved every bit of their new home and I can't wait to see how Christine transforms her new garden just as she did her old one.

We enjoyed tea from the teaset given to her by a very special older friend. And of course we had to have some Scottish treats with the tea!!! (Tunnock's teacakes, ginger biscuits and Abernethy biscuits)

Christine was wearing one of her lovely creations -- look at the intricate striping involved in this cardigan! It was just gorgeous!

Then we started talking about Alice Starmore and knitting of that genre and Christine pulled out a long cardigan she had knitted many years ago. Oh the colors!!! They were all the colors of Scotland, every single one that I saw in the landscape while we were over. If only I had the patience for this kind of knitting!!!

It was hard to say goodbye knowing this would be our only visit in person for perhaps many years. It would be so much nicer to actually take tea together in person on a regular basis! Oh well. This is what the internet is for -- making possible relationships that otherwise wouldn't be.

Christine saw me to the train and I found my way back to the city centre with a little bit of time to spare for some shopping. I had to stop by Merchant's Square and see if this statue still had an orange cone on its head. Some things never change.

Merchant City is one of my very favorite places in Glasgow.

This arch being my favorite architectural detail in the city.

Cath Kidston was my first stop. I'd never been into an actual store before and it was very overwhelming.

What do you do in a store where you like EVERYTHING? Perhaps it is fortunate that the prices prohibit the purchase of nearly everything, otherwise I may have needed many more suitcases for the trip home. I did enjoy all the beautiful inspiration though.

I had just enough time to grab tea and a baguette before catching my train home. Oh it was a good baguette: white cheddar, cress, sun dried tomatoes, plum chutney and butter.

The weather was beautiful and the train ride quite peaceful when riding on one's own.

And now for the one book!

September by Rosamunde Pilcher turned out to be a great choice for our trip since it takes place in Scotland, in September. It centers around a ball to which many interconnected people return home for or are involved in. It won't be my favorite Pilcher book for some of the relational messes she has people get into, but it was ideal for getting another little glimpse at life in some parts of Scotland during the very season we were there. As always, Pilcher is "cozy up on the couch" reading.

For more ideas on knitting and reading, visit Ginny's Yarn Along.

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Rachel said...

Oh, how fun!!! How wonderful that you got to meet a blog friend in person. I'm loving seeing your holiday through your pictures and words. Sounds like you had an amazing time. It makes me want to get on a plane and go there too.

Anonymous said...

Heather, it was absolutely delightful to have you over to tea. As so often when meeting blog friends, I felt as if we had already met several times before. And my daughter really loved meeting you. Thank you also for the beautiful gifts made by your own hands, which you modestly left out of the account!

The biscuits were Abernethy biscuits :-)

I'm really enjoying reading about your trip here. It makes me enjoy Scotland even more than I already do. And yes, why is it that the Duke of Wellington always has a traffic cone on his head? I suppose the police have given up taking them off, or perhaps it's just accepted as a Glasgow tradition.

Sarah McKelvy said...

That was fantastic that you were able to meet your online friend.

When I go visit my parents in PA, I always have these grand intentions of knitting five projects, but I'm thankful if I only complete one.

Reneelynn said...

Did you get to any yarn shop there?
Sounds like a wonderful trip!!