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!

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