Sunday, 16 December 2012

Strolling

MrG and I went out for a nice stroll this afternoon, along the Thames from Wapping and its expensive warehouse apartments to Tower Bridge and St Katherine's Dock. We had fun trying to stick to the Thames in Wapping, including turning down a side street heading down to the river to discover steps leading into it. A bit too much Thames for our liking!

Thames steps

Our reason for heading to St Katherine's Dock was a replica pirate ship was moored there and was free to visit. According to MrG it was featured in Hornblower and the crew would try and sell you onions? - can you tell I wasn't paying much attention and was just along for the ride? Anyway, just as we arrived at the dock the ship was leaving so while we didn't get to poke around the galley and splice the mainbrain (or somesuch pirate speak) we did watch it carefully manoeuvre out of the dock back to the Thames.

Hornblower

 We also discovered The Honesty Shop housed in an old routemaster.

  Honesty bus

There was a little bit of British merino yarn, knitting kits and John Arbon socks (I highly recommend these, I have a couple of pairs, they're toasty and wash well) as well as lots of lovely gifts.

Woolly goodies

We then headed over Tower Bridge to South Bank and the We Make London Christmas market. I picked up some tangy raspberry curd and gooey, delicious Somerset goats cheese and stopped by to see my friend Julie and her Tilly Flop Designs stand. I love Julie's work which has a witty take on knitting jargon and the frustrations that many of us crafty folk face with her "Oh how I'd rather be knitting" tea towels and cards.

Tilly Flop Designs

After a good catch up with Julie I spotted these cards which put a grin on my face. There's something about cats being humiliated in headgear.




Cat in figgy pudding festive hat © Jo Clark designs

I bought a selection from Jo Clark Designs for my friends and family who are also cat people. She's got some great prints, including a sloth, which I would have snapped up if I had wall space for it.

We rounded our outing off with some quality coffee and a chilli hot chocolate infused with ginger and cinnamon as well as chilli for a tasty kick.


Saturday, 15 December 2012

Winning

I went to Stitch London's Christmas meet up on Monday night. As well as catching up with old friends and meeting some lovely new knitters there was a raffle.

Now I used to run lots of raffles when I organised p/hop and as I was the organiser I couldn't enter. I din't mind this as the money we raised helped MSF's incredible work, though I did covet some of the prizes we were donated. So it was with some excitement entered Stitch London's raffle buying a few tickets as the money was going to Great Ormond Street Hospital, my old workplace. I'd entered their raffle last year too but didn't win anything so wasn't holding out much hope.

Low and behold my name came out of the hat bag not once, not twice, but a cracking seven times, including drawing my own name three times. While I was pretty pleased by this it did seem excessive so I turned down some prizes when I drew my own name out plus gave one away. However, with some encouragement from Deadlyknitshade, I came home with some pretty nifty swag.

Raffle Swag

First up is this delightful woodpecker badge made by the talented Teasemade, perfect for me as I'm a bit of a closet ornithologist. The colours are beautiful and capture the essence of the great spotted woodpecker beautifully.

Raffle Swag

Next is this inspirational card from Craftivists with this spot on message:

Raffle Swag

And finally the yarn. Oh, the yarn. You might be aware that I've been on a yarn diet this year. While I have indulged in a few items I've only bought one skein of sock yarn all year so this was very exciting.

Raffle Swag

It's from new dyer Trailing Clouds. The yarn is called Mind the Gap and is, drumroll please, self striping! I'm saving this for when I catch up on The Killing III over the Christmas break as I can only knit plain stocking stitch when reading Danish subtitles.

How do you say "ssh, I'm knitting and reading subtitles" in Danish?