My husband and I have always loved to travel.  One of Gregg’s great pleasures is planning our trips, and he does a wonderful job.  I stay out of his way unless he asks for an opinion, and I have never been disappointed!  On the trip, I happily help carry his camera equipment , and he helps me find yarn and fabric shops.

As it happened, our luggage did not immediately make it to Paris with us, so we had to so some clothes shopping.  As we trolled, reluctantly, with no small about of trepidation and very poor command of French, we did make a delightful discovery: Parisian big box department stores have lovely craft departments!  Yarn, needles and hooks; fabric, buttons and trims; knitting, crochet, and sewing kits. Not many different brands, but the ones they had were lovely, and they had the full line of any particular brand.  There must have been more actual Parisian yarn shops, but we didn’t have enough time.

 

Then we were off on the Eurostar…

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Yup, that’s how fast the train was going 🙂

Here’s the lunch we were served:

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In London, first off, was Loop, Camden Road in Islington. We took the bus because it was pouring, but it was worth it.  The shop is along a narrow pedestrian street set back from the road. The shop window display is knitted cones in different grays and other neutrals.

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I bought two skeins of “Shilasdair” 10% cashmere, 10% baby camel, 40% angora, and 40% merino lambswool, and Schoppfel Zauberball in shades of blue, white, and black that I am currently knitting into Martina Behm’s “22.5 Degrees.”  The one thing I wished I had purchased was some Wollenmeise.  Oh well, an excuse to return 🙂

Our rental apartment was at 45 Cloth Faire, an old (very old) building near St. Benedict’s Church (and St. Benedict’s hospital featured in “Sherlock”).  Ten minutes away was St. Paul’s cathedral.

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One of my favorite places for inspiration is the British Museum.  I love Greek vases.

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The Elgin marbles.

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In Oxford, we discovered, “Darn it and Stitch”, and also what turned out to be a more typical yarn shop, or in local-speak, a “haberdashery.”  In addition to yarns, many of these small stores carry fabric, trims, embroidery and needlepoint supplies, plus books and unusual magazines.  I could really have gone overboard with the trims, in particular, but lacking a specific project, I gritted my teeth and moved on.

 

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In Lewsbury, we found “Bodkin”, which had lace supplies in addition to yarn, fabric, trims, etc.  Each of these stores were small but lovely.

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No visit to England is complete without a Doctor Who reference.

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These Daleks were made from individual clay squares made by over 200 children at a 2009 summer program.  Gregg and I wondered if the kids knew what their squares would be used for!