Trying something new – moving blog

When I started this blog I just wanted to write random ramblings again.

Then last week i became inspired to try something a bit more focused and new and came up with “Wool Principle“. I will continue my blogging over there regarding anything craft and especially knitting related. https://woolprinciple.com/blog/ 

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Yarn shopping in Philadelphia

As part of the travels I mentioned, I was lucky enough to go to Philadelphia and have a couple of days off strolling around.

To my own shame one of the first two things I figured out was where the nearest yarn shops and cafes were. Coffee and knitting are very important to my well being. 🙂

In terms of yarn shops I picked two to go to.

  1. Yarnphoria
  2. Loop

First we went to Yarnphoria. This shop contained all sorts of yarn weight and also had a little doggy in a knitted or crochet jacket. (I can’t remember now).

I was super impressed with the choice of Freia yarns and have been hoping to see the bulky weight in real life. They also stocked lovely hand painted yarn. All I bought was some orange sock yarn though. I was a bit overwhelmed and jet lagged and also just too excited to be in Philadelphia.

The day before I left I had another day to wander around and we went to Loop. Now what an experience. It was bright and airy and so colourful. A highlight was that they stocked loads of Brooklyn tweed yarns and also Lykke sets and singulars.

I have been looking for some wooden sock needles. The cheap knit pro ones I had snapped unfortunately and the super glue didn’t really work. I hope these will be sturdier but I will find out soon enough. 🙂

Otherwise I also treated myself to a Lykke crochet hook set and some Quarry in colour Slate to make my dream chunky cabled cardigan. Probably for next winter considering the slow rate I am going at the moment.

Philadelphia has even more yarn shops but I just did not have time or money to visit them all. Ha! But I am glad I went to these two at least.

Have you been to Philadelphia and yarn shopped? Any other favourites?

 

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2017

Last month I went to my first yarn festival. I had tickets to go to Unravel but due to personal circumstances I couldn’t go in the end.

When I saw that it is actually possible and affordable to fly to Edinburgh for the yarn festival I made an impulse purchase after realising my friend was going too.

I flew in first thing in the morning and joined a small queue of people who did not have tickets yet. Then the yarn fairy came to me and handed me an armband for the day and said “treat yourself to another skein of yarn instead of buying a ticket” and off I went. Thank you so much to whoever you were! 🙂 I certainly bought another skein of yarn with the money I had saved on a ticket. 😛

The venue is nicely laid out. I am a bit overwhelmed by crowds but Saturday was the better day to go because apparently Friday was way busier. You could actually get through and look at most stalls. There were a few hidden areas with seats as well which helped.

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The cafe area with everyone knitting

At one point I stopped and knitted a bit while waiting for my friend to arrive. There was also a cafe and hall area with tonnes of tables which were filled with knitters. My heart skipped a beat when I saw this and it was so wonderful to be part of.

There were so many samples to look at and squish! I really want to make the brooklyn tweed cardi and the tolt yarns jumper with the trees! Swoon!

My personal highlight was finding out about Uistwool!

Uist Wool runs a spinning Mill & Wool Centre on the island of Grimsay in North Uist, part of the Outer Hebrides an island archipelago off the north west coast of Scotland.”

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Those yarns are amazing and beautiful! I bought 4 skeins of one of their greys and cannot wait to knit a cropped jumper with it. It will be heavenly!

My full purchases are shown in the pic below. I certainly have switched to buying all the greys. LOL. Let’s see how long that lasts. I am very certain I will be back in 2018. This is a must go to event.

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Travel: Manchester impressions

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I really cannot claim to have travelled around Manchester much, but I got to go twice in the last 6 weeks or so due to work related events.

The first time I spoke at a software testing conference which was held at The Lowry located in the media city part.

This was quite pretty (helped by the sunshine) and had a few interesting buildings as well such as Imperial war museum.

My talk was on a Friday and we basically stayed the whole day in the Lowry building. The end of the conference was held in the exhibition part where we could admire the paintings. I liked the rough industrial edge to them.

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Then funnily enough the time we went to Bristol I noticed that my boyfriend’s dad has a print of one of the industrial scenes in his kitchen!

On the Saturday we strolled round the water and and looked at the Blue Peter Garden and tried to find a way into the set of Coronation street, but no luck! 

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We then stocked up on chocolate at the Cadbury’s outlet … not on Cadbury’s mind you! Milka was the real bargain. 🙂

Now the second time that I visited Manchester was this past week and I stayed near the main station. I was in a Premier Inn and there really isn’t much to say about these. They have a decent quality and are normally well located. This one especially was 5 minutes walk from the station and 10 minutes walk from where I attended a mobile testing workshop.

What I really want to rave about though was the cafe I went to in the morning. I am not a big fan of Premier Inn breakfasts or their coffee so had a quick look on yelp and found a cafe with good ratings nearby called Takk.

I know this means Thank you in Norwegian and Icelandic so had high hopes. And I wasn’t disappointed. The coffee was lovely and the breakfast amazing.

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I loved the painting of the Iceland on the wall as well. This is rumoured to get painted over but I am glad I saw it.

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On my way to the workshop I walked past another 3 coffee shops I would have loved to have tried.

Manchester I’ll be back!

Travel: Short visit to Clifton Village in Bristol

This past weekend we went to Bristol to visit family. It was a fast paced mish mash of seeing the hyper active niece, the (unfortunately) teething nephew and eating a tonne of cake with the adults.

As Monday was sunny (but really cold!) we decided to do some sight seeing as well. We went to the Clifton Suspension Bridge and then up to the Clifton Observatory and finally had some tea and a snack at the Boston tea Party shop in Clifton.

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Panorama from one end of the bridge

Clifton Suspension bridge

The Clifton Suspension Bridge, spanning the picturesque Avon Gorge, is the symbol of the city of Bristol. It opened in 1864 and since then has been funded by tolls entirely.

To drive across the bridge costs £1 each way. We decided to walk across on each side to make the most of the views from the bridge. On a super windy day I swear I have felt the bridge move before, but when we went this past weekend it was nice and quiet if very cold!

You can find some more information on the history of the bridge here.

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Can you spot the runner?

Clifton Observatory

The observatory has some lovely views onto the Avon gorge and the suspension bridge. For a small fee you can also see the Giant’s Cave and the Camera Obscura.

The camera obscura was installed at the top of the observatory in 1829 and gives panoramic views of the bridge and surroundings. We found it fascinating as initially we thought it would be a still image, but of course it is not and you can watch the cars cross the bridge and see dogs playing in the park. We were lucky that the sun was out. Without it, it would be hard to see the projection.

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View from the Observatory onto the bridge

The Giant’s cave was a bit of a challenge for a 5 foot 10 person (me) to walk down to, but it is only a short distance and then you have a nice direct view onto the bridge. The history behind it is also quite nice. I won’t spoil it here. 🙂

 

Boston Tea Party

For some tea and a snack we went to the Boston Tea Party shop in Clifton. I have never been to any of these before and I am not sure if they are a chain or not.

The cakes looked amazing, but we did not get to try them, even though the staff was happy to give us tasters for free, but we had cake to eat with the family at home.

We ordered some Roiboos tea and as we just wanted a snack ordered one of the breakfast options, which was their take on a hash with poached eggs and mushrooms. They happily gave us 2 plates so we could share and even offered to split the portion evenly.

The food was tasty and the mushrooms were delicious. Which if you knew me 10 years ago is an odd thing for me to say. I used to not eat mushrooms ever, but now appreciate them in certain meals.

The service was great and they seemed very nice. Their milkshakes and smoothies also looked amazing. We may need to try them in the summer.

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Don’t you just love autumn?

Question: Have you ever been to Bristol? If so, do you have a favourite area, cafe or shop?