June 28, 2013

A good start to Friday

Filed under: Knitting, New York Life — Tags: , , , , — soozeinthecity @ 2:10 pm

Commuting on the NYC subway usually produces a scowl from the passengers – delayed trains, crowded conditions, loud tourists. But this morning I had a smile on my face. Why? The woman next to me sat down and pulled her knitting out. Grey wool yarn, green locking stitch marker, Addi needles and a black KnowKnits project bag. And she could knit without looking at her work.

Don’t worry I wasn’t stalking her – since I work in a yarn store I can identify her knitting stuff fairly quickly. And she helped her concentration by listening to her music. I loved it, loved it enough to write about it and not take out my own knitting 🙂

Happy Friday!!


June 5, 2013

London, the last word.

Filed under: Knitting, Quilting, Travel — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — soozeinthecity @ 10:14 pm

When we go abroad we always grocery shop, take a look in the drugstores, visit book and record stores and visit yarn stores. These places give you a quick look at what residents like and use in everyday life.

However, many items from the British drugstore Boots are available at your local Target and iTunes has just about put the record chain HMV out of business. I didn’t get a chance to go to Waterstone but I did buy a book (titled “Wool”) at Healthrow.

Even with those places crossed off our list we still found plenty to do.

Waitrose has a sheep cake:


Casa Brindisa is a lovely spot in South Kensington with delicious tapas. A little 3 years old girl sat at the table next to us – we were amazed at her ability to eat the jumbo sized green olives. She would have eaten then all if mom didn’t tell her to try the green peppers!


I love the entrance for Liberty, I wish you could smell these flowers:


And after you walk into the store you look up and see this:


I always stop by Liberty to look at the Rowan stock, the entire line. Believe or not, Rowan can be hard to find in NYC yarn shops. I picked up the Spirit pattern book by Kim Hargreaves & some Regia sock yarns (Kaffe Fassett and Kristin Nichols):


You can’t shop at Liberty without seeing their gorgeous textiles. I’m learning how to quilt so I was thrilled to see Liberty fabric hexes for English Paper Piecing. I can hand sew these into something unique:


We didn’t have time to visit Nest. My first and only visit several years ago revealed a charming yarn store that carried mainly British & European fiber – many aren’t available to me in the US.

We did have time to visit to Loop. This is my third visit and I found that their stock overlapped with many other US stores I’ve gone to. I was disappointed that the Wollmeise was basically brown skeins and that each skein was £29 (that’s almost $45 US).
They do carry some UK hand-dyers but again none of the colors appealed to me.

I did pick up some crafty magazines, another Kim Hargreaves pattern book, Quirky and Kate Davies’ Colors of Shetland book which contains essays & patterns:


My last shopping stop was the haberdashery department at John Lewis on Oxford Street. I quickly scooped up this striped Debbie Bliss Rialto DK yarn. To my recollection I’ve never seem variegated yarn from Debbie Bliss. I love these colors and have a project in mind.


That’s it! Hope you liked this little taste of London. I’d love to hear about your travel tales.

June 4, 2013

Things I Noticed – London 2013

Filed under: Travel — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — soozeinthecity @ 4:25 pm

Let’s see, even after 20 or so visits, London still manages to amuse and fascinate me.

The floor leading you to the observation deck at the Shard building is a drawn street map. This caught my eye as we were leaving:


I love the Tube system, they manage to maintain the old & incorporate the new without too much whining:

Old style train destination flip board:


Cheeky ads (not tacky ads):

It’s a Vodaphone ad that features Yoda.

The escalators that take you deep down into the station (no elevators blocking your way):


And mysterious names for rooms – any comments Yankees fans?


But my favorite Tube enhancement is this :


It was £5 for one week of wi-fi (Virgin Media) in the Tube system. This was essential, especially if you run your own business because let’s face it, there is no one else answering questions and finalizing sales. It also meant my teenage pet sitter had a free way of reaching me.

Hmm, lets see.. What else…Food? Well the big British breakfast seems to be disappearing. We did have one at Garfunkel’s. And we had a healthy version ( with freshly squeezed orange juice) at Zack’s Deli near Gloucester Road:


We did our usual grocery run at Waitrose and Sainsbury. My favorite find at Waitrose was apple rhubarb juice:


But at Sainsbury I was perplexed to see hosiery being sold with the wine:


We found a couple of Chinese places near Leicester square that seemed to specialized in hot pot meals. We opted for entrees but we certainly would have hot pot next time.

And I snuck in a scone with cream at the cafe at John Lewis on Oxford Street:


That’s one long post.
All that’s left is to show my souvenir yarn.
In my next post.

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