It's been a very nice week away, and I'm looking forward to another week to enjoy. The weather has cooperated, sunshine most days, visits with friends and family, and more tea and scones than you can shake a stick at. I managed to shake the jetlag two days into the trip, which I'm quite happy about. I captured this image at dusk the other night from our bedroom window.
I managed to get up to my old workplace, Belfast Zoo, and had a wonderful day full of laughter and friends. I got to feed some Colobus monkeys (and they were cheeky indeed!) and was face to face with a tree kangaroo. I left that day feeling loved and remembered, which was a very nice feeling indeed.
Yesterday, my mother-in-law took me down to visit Jean's Wool Shop on the Cregagh Road. It's a shop I would've passed a hundred times, but I wasn't a knitter then - I wouldn't have given it a second look. It's an older shop that's been there for years, and I was delighted to walk in and see a counter with old shelves of wool behind it and countertops with files of knitting patterns. The tops of the shelves read: Sirdar, Wendy and other reliable UK wool brands, and you had to ask the lady to bring the wool down for you to have a look at. My mother-in-law found a pattern she liked, and the saleslady brought out appropriate wool for her size, along with needles. It was a very different experience than what you'd find in North America - indeed, I'd read that in many places in Europe, the shop owners stand back aghast at the tourists who come in and start groping all the yarn.
I would have taken a photo, but I thought the ladies who came in afterward would've thought I was a bit strange. Knitting in Belfast is not seen as trendy at all by anyone under 40, so I think they were a bit suspicious at my appearance there to begin with, but they were friendly enough. I was attracted to some DK weight wool blends in russets and another in blues, but I walked away with two balls of King Cole Riot in a lovely plum-rainbow colourway.
I usually get in trouble with these variegated yarns, but I think it might work well for wenat's pooling shawls, even if it is spun single. We'll see. It's probably just as well that they didn't take credit cards, otherwise I'd have some trouble getting all my wares packed in to come back!
We're off to one of my favourite places this afternoon - Castle Espie, which is a waterfowl sanctuary run by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. I used to be there quite a lot for work. I can't wait to visit my feathered friends!