One of a series of posts introducing some of the places and people we’ve come across since moving to Scotland. Some you may already know but, more often than not, they will be new to you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do…
I was lucky enough to make a trip down into England last week to catch up with two great friends last week… I first flew to London to spend a brief but very lovely twenty-four hours with Felicia, of which I have no photos at all to show you- but there was lots of walking, talking and hatching plans, as well as dinner with old and new friends! Felicia is full of excitement and enthusiasm about life and so the time we shared was a real treat for me- although I’m getting to know some great women here, I spend quite a lot of time working at home and so I treasure time spent with people I can talk to about my crappy day or ideas I have and who I know will both listen and be honest in their response- that kind of friendship takes time! Thank you Fel!
I then headed up to Yorkshire to spend a few days with local lass, Mel, who I’d met in Melbourne during the nine years she spent living there with her family. She escaped the Australian heat last year and has now happily resettled in Yorkshire, albeit with perennial itchy feet- but more on that in a coming post! First stop was baa ram ewe, a yarn shop I’ve heard about for years, mostly for Titus, their beautiful 4ply yarn made from a classic Yorkshire blend of Wensleydale/ Bluefaced Leicester/ alpaca yarn that is soon to be joined by their new Dovestone DK (with Yorkshire breed Masham in place of alpaca). It was lovely to see and feel Titus in the flesh and especially in their sweet in-house kits:
Ella Austin’s Dashing Dachshund
Little Fella, inspired by the work of L.S.Lowry
These women know their yarn and their community well. Their range is almost entirely British in origin and covers all the bases from rustic (the first shop I’ve seen to carry both Jamieson and J&S!) to luxury (Toft, Rowan), as well as patterns and books from independent and more well-known local designers. It was a real pleasure to spend an hour or two there, chatting about yarns and the industry, and it made me hanker a little for my time at Sunspun!
New Lanark Chunky
Jamieson’s Aran Heather in Broch- I’ll definitely be bringing some of this home from Shetland!
After a day pottering about Mel’s house (seeing more of her heavenly handspun yarns, trying gooseberry cake and samphire for the first time and just hanging out and knitting), we left early in the morning for Edinburgh. I’d mentioned a while ago that I was reading up on British fisherman’s knits for a new class and Mel very enthusiastically and generously said that we must drive back to Scotland via Flamborough on the Yorkshire coast, a place known for both its incredible natural beauty and its fisherman’s ganseys…
We didn’t have long there but we soaked up so much beauty. This is a place for wandering the beaches in bare feet and lying amongst the grasses and watching the seabirds wheeling and the clouds floating by… if there are any.
Sea pinks (Armeria maritima)
A species of Chamomile?
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Unfortunately my camera lens broke on the trip so I have virtually no photos of the small gansey museum and shop that we visited but it was a joy to visit and to see some old and new ganseys- such exquisite work and some myths dispelled and others affirmed so well worth a visit if you’re in the area…
We then zipped up the coast, stopping at the lovely fishing village of Whitby for the best fish and chips I’ve had in years (not sure about the mushy peas though…) and a quick peek at the magnificent cathedral and jet jewellery, before heading on to Edinburgh. It was a magical day and end to the trip!
Thank you both so much both, Felicia and Mel- I’m lucky to have such lovely friends!