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It’s been a while since we’ve had a real live FO post here at knitting pretty in dc.  It’s not that I haven’t been finishing things, I have, but many slipped by unphotographed or weren’t especially notable.  But I have for you now my first FO of 2009.

Pattern: Two-Yarn Resolable Socks (ravelry)

Source: Favorite Socks

Yarn: Yarn Nerd, 1200 MHz Merino

& Ella Rae, Classic

Needles: US 3 & 4

Started: November 25, 2008

Finished: January 14, 2009

Find it on Ravelry here.

These were another project born out of necessity.   After wearing a hole in the back of my favorite boots, I found another pair of practical, yet adorable boots that I could actually afford.  The hitch of course was that they were sold out of my size and I would have to go up a size to score the awesome boots.  Conveniently I tend to prefer a little extra room in my boots so that I have space for wool socks in the winter.  The new boots have just a little more space than usual, which is where the big fat boot socks come in.  Bigger and fatter than my other wool socks, they fill up the extra room so the boots feel great.

While looking for patterns to fill this need I saw the Two-Yarn Resolable Socks in the copy of Favorite Socks my parents gave me for my birthday.  Luckily I had the gorgeous yarn Kirsten sent to me sitting in my stash waiting for me to come up with something to do with it.  I cast on while the boots were still in the mail.  The end result is an extremely warm and cozy pair of socks that since being finished have been worn almost as often as the boots (which is more often than I’d like to admit).

Okay today’s post isn’t really knitting related, but I promised more than a few people, more than a few London posts, so I’m just shamelessly pandering to those requests.

My favorite place in London is the Borough Market. It was true when I lived there and it’s true now. Amidst all the amazing things London has to offer, Borough Market still manages to propel me to a state of delight like no other.

Of course the major appeal of Borough Market is the food. There are absolutely delicious things everywhere you turn. But the market is also incredibly pleasing to the eye. There are so many textures and colors, it makes the food as fabulous to look at as to taste.

The location is also fantastic. The market is set up below a bridge, which gives it an old style market feel. Old signs and artisan foods contribute to this sensation. It’s so appealing to go somewhere and witness small batch food products that have never been anywhere near an assembly line. It’s also a pleasure to buy these products from people who know the product they are selling inside and out. Oh and the samples handed out at almost every stall are okay too.

There’s a great range in the products available at the market, but the consistent factor is the superb quality. Everything is fantastic, from the olives to the blended juices; from the sea salt to the baguettes; from the brownies to sausages; and from the preserves to the cheese.

On this visit I managed to munch on a crepe, bag a baguette, score some sausage, savor a pear and mint juice blend, pick up some cheese and take home a brownie. It was only wonderful. And all of it was gone in 3 days. I truly cannot wait until I can return to Borough Market.

The start of 2009 has been a bit of a whirlwind. I’ve already, in less than two weeks, been on more flights than I was on in the whole of 2008. And I’ve only slept in my own bed twice. But I’m home now, after my trip to London and a very unexpected (and unfortunately not under the best circumstances) trip to the San Francisco Bay area.

But I know what you really want to hear about (and see!) is my trip to London, and while I’m sure I can’t fit it all in one post, I can at least get started tonight. There was plenty of general tourist type fun (some of which I’m sure to show you later), but of course for me many of the highlights of the trip were my yarn store visits and stolen knitting moments.

My first shop visit was to I Knit London in Waterloo. It was a nice shop with a number of yarn from British breeds which was what I was largely on the lookout for this trip. One of the highlights of the shop was a large sheep sculpture covered in pieces of knitting all from British breed yarn.

My Mom bought some yarn as well as the book written by the shop owner which he graciously signed for her. And I scored some lovely British breed yarn from Garthenor Organic.

Yarn: Garthenor Organic, Pure Wool Organic Hebridean/Manx Blend

Color:

Dye Lot:

Amount: 2 skeins at 85 yds each

Purchased at: I Knit London, London UK

stashed on ravelry here

The next day I managed to find a spare moment to work on my angle scarf while waiting for our lunch at The Eagle, a gastropub in Clerkenwell. I even snuck in a few rows between bites, although it wasn’t easy as the food was absolutely heavenly. Apparently The Eagle is usually credited as the first gastropub, and they’ve definitely got the whole arrangement down to a science.

After lunch we took a bit of a walk up to Loop in Islington. The shop was really adorable, and very crowded on a Saturday. But I managed to sneak in a few photos around all the customers.

The shop is definitely a haven for brightly colored luxury yarns. And despite my quest for British breeds and a generally tendency towards neutrals and deeper or more muted colors in recent months I certainly fell in with the trend, picking up two shades of GGH Cumba for a planned color work beret.

Yarn: GGH, Cumba

Color: 008 (green) & 019 (teal)

Dye Lot: 8053141 & 8009091

Amount: 2 balls at 164 yds each

Purchased at: Loop, London UK

stashed on ravelry here & here

On my last full day in London I took a moment to rest at Bea’s of Bloomsbury after a rather long walk. I enjoyed a lovely chocolate cupcake and made a little progress on my Swallowtail Shawl.

Before heading to the airport on my last day I managed to make it to the incredibly unique shop Prick Your Finger in Bethnal Green. Things were a bit messy since the owners had literally just returned from their Christmas holiday, but the shop was beyond cool (and who I am to hold messiness against anyone?). And the ladies were so friendly and helpful, as well as super stylish and creative. I didn’t have a ton of time to look around, but I got a feel for the place and picked up a sweaters worth of a rare Welsh breed called Black Welsh Mountain, and boy is it beautiful.

Yarn: Prick Your Finger, Black Welsh Mountain Aran

Color:

Dye Lot:

Amount: 6 skeins at unknown yardage

Purchased at: Prick You Finger, London UK

stashed on ravelry here

That about sums up the knitting devoted bits of my trip. I tried to visit Socktopus on my way to Heathrow, but very sadly it was closed. Hopefully it won’t be another four years before I make it back to London because the shop looked beautiful and I’d really love to check it out.

I’ve got more London fun to share with you when I have another chance to sit down. Hopefully that will be soon!