A Convent-ion of Knitters

On Friday morning I set out on a knitter’s journey.

What I did on my holiday

I took the train to York, leaving my dear FL alone for only the second night in 8 years, to join Natalie and her Shed-ite Apostles at a convent in York.

To explain:  I am a member of The Yarn Yard group on Ravelry (the Shed):  one of the most supportive and friendly knitting groups you could imagine.  This was their 4th annual gathering in York, but it was the first time I had felt able to go, domestic circumstances being what they are.  This year, FL agreed that I MUST go, while he is still well enough to be left on his own.  And so… I did!

There was just one room left in the convent, for one night only, and it coincided with “cheap” train deals on Friday and Saturday, as opposed to mortgage-worthy fares on Sunday and Monday.  It was clearly meant to be!  Some of the knitters are there until Monday morning, but I am not sure I have the stamina for so much social interaction.  As it is, I am shattered.  Happy but exhausted!

York Minster in the snow

So what did I do?
I wrote a short story in the train heading south.
I cast on and knitted half a sock.
I cast on and knitted a third of a hat.
I was shown how to make yarn with a drop-spindle (but was the worst pupil ever!  Sorry Natalie!)
I learned how to knit two socks on one circular needle (Magic Loop – ooh!)
I ate the most amazing Gingerbread Chocolate Brownies (thank you Rachel!)

14 of us went to an Indian restaurant and knitted while we waited for our food… I’m not sure what the waiters thought!

I saw more i-pads in one room than ever in my life before… and every one was set to the Ravelry website!

I took part in a hand-made gift swap:  my Glasgow Mitts went to Sadie (what serendipity – she loves purple and sparkles!) and I received a lovely warm pure wool beret with the perfect button from Lucy (who lives in the same town as my mother!)

Duttons for Buttons – just a corner

I went to Duttons for Buttons.
I went to the Quilt Museum.
I went to a market stall and bought the freshest brightest Yorkshire forced rhubarb and cavalo nero direct from the man who grew it.

I took part in a book-swap and came home with The Bower Bird, which I started on the train :)

I joined in with a P-hop fundraiser (for Medecins Sans Frontieres):  everyone brought their unloved yarn / fabric / knitting books / fibre and piled it high.  When given the go ahead, all the brave souls dived in to select their most-wanted thing.  I was a chicken and aimed for the fabric!  After three rounds of “ready steady go”, anyone could take anything they fancied.  In return, we make a donation to P-hop (“pennies per hour of pleasure”).

P-hop and book swap goodies

And if you’re thinking that’s an awful lot to pack into 24 hours… you’re right!
My head is still spinning, even if my hands are not.

Just the experience of being back in Yorkshire, my spiritual homeland…
Hearing clocks chime.
Being kept awake through the night by the sound of traffic.

Passing a bookshop with a window-display of Pugin’s Ecclesiastical Ornament:  “Special offer!  Only £4.99”  with the confidence that this will attract local shoppers.
Ah York, I love you so.

Home with a new hat – thank you Lucy!

But it’s good to be back home all the same.

P.S.  On the topic of get-aways, you might like to visit ScruffyBadger’s blog to read my Desert Island Sewing interview :)