Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Planes, Trains, Automobiles and Liberty Hexies

From Easter I have had two holidays and two weekend city breaks, it is almost, not quite, but almost embarrassing to say we are heading off again. I am beginning to recognise the air crew on the Heathrow/Belfast Aer Lingus route. This is a year of celebration for us, a big wedding anniversary earlier in the year, technically last year, and a big birthday for my husband means we have hit the ground running. After all, you don't know what's around the corner, you're a long time dead, as they say.

An essential part of my packing is my sewing. I always take with me a little bag with my Liberty hexies, some basted and some ready to baste. My little scrapbooking scissors are small enough to get through airport security. I do have a pair of travel scissors I bought last year in Loop Knits in Philadelphia but I am too fond of them to risk losing them.... now I come to think of it, I haven't seen those little scissors for a while, hopefully they are just buried in my sewing room. I also in recent time, take with me some knitting if I have socks on the needles. I also take my antique kindle and a couple of books as a back up for the kindle, or maybe the kindle is a back up for the books. I also, always, always have a notebook and one of my special pens. And, yes, I do travel light. I take loads of stuff to stop me getting bored and hardly any clothes. Factor in that our trip to New York was at Easter, and I took 4 easter eggs, 5 pairs of happy easter socks for the family, two paper crafted Easter baskets, 2 packets of mini eggs, 2 packets of Lindt rabbits and a bag of 6 Tayto crisps for the Stateside son,  and there wasn't that much room left for clothes. There was however lots of room, once the eggs had been eaten, for the Doe by Carolyn Friedlander I bought in Purl Soho.

my total Doe stash, from Purl and the Village Haberdashery

It could have been different though. The "English" son and his girlfriend were with us. She and I set off to find Purl, but it was closed for Easter Sunday. Fair enough. I returned on Easter Monday, but husband was not as much fun as Claire. He lingered about the doorway, blocking the light, and then made derogatory comments about the size of my stash when I actually went to buy something. So, I did buy Doe and some architectural fabric from Carolyn Friedlander, but I didn't buy any of the lovely ribbon nor the embroidery silks, nor the brilliant Haptic maps. These maps were incredible. A map template of London or NY city, lay it over the linen and embroider. Luckily for me Claire bought one the next day, I may become her best friend.  Claire also bought this brilliant wool which some sort of wire spun through it. Strange but wonderful, and very expensive. 

The guys found their own wool shops the next day to browse in.

men "shopping"

The next trip was to Hotel Splendido in Portofino in the Italian Riviera. I really did feel I could get used to this way of life. Pure unadulterated luxury. It is amazing how quickly one can get used to doing very little and having staff attend to one's every need. The stitching all came home, the knitting came home again, mostly untouched, but I did do loads of reading, and eating and the drinking that goes hand in  hand with the eating. The bellinis and the piano bar took up so much time!

I apologise for what maybe rocket between the teeth

In between we have had two trips to London to meet up with the "English" son and practice the religion otherwise known as supporting Chelsea Football Club. Whilst the hub and the son have gone to the football, Claire and I have spent some time together.

John Terry, and Friends

Unfortunately on a Sunday we have been unable to venture to the Village Haberdashery, but we have made our own pilgrimage to the Haberdashery Department in Peter Jones, Sloane Square. (Peter Jones is part of the John Lewis group which is fames for its haberdashery dept).

sounds good to me
However, try as we might, and we did try hard, there was nothing to spend our money on. Either I have bought everything I need or want, which I very much doubt or we were there on a bad day, but I traipsed round and around and all I could find was some nice red ribbon on a wooden spool, which even I felt was rather decadent. In the end we both bought some sock wool. Claire is an expert sock knitter, she combines stitches, wools and makes it up as she goes along. I follow one pattern, strictly stocking stitch, and the socks are destined for whom so ever they fit when completed. The socks I'm knitting at the minute remind me of pigeon's chest and they are meant to be for the hub. He doesn't have a pigeon chest, but I thought he would like the colours, blue, grey, greenish blue, blueish green, white. They may well be fit the daughter though. If that is the case, maybe he would like the neon Peter Jones wool.

the pigeon socks, or a little socks at lunch time

subtle, eh?

For those who may be interested, Chelsea won the cup this year and after waiting for an hour and a half, we were lucky enough to watch the open top bus go past in the victory parade. Lucky I had my book in my bag whilst we were waiting, Clare Balding and her walks helped to pass the time.

I also fitted in a little book shopping this time. Not Daunt Books this time, but good old Waterstones. I bought a Japanese translated novel, a rather slim book, handy for the handbag. called "Strange Weather In Tokyo" by Hiromi Kawakami. This was a impulse buy, most of my impulse buys I end up not reading, but I have great hopes for this!

I am rather pleased, I have now completed 12 hexies, with two round and a grey centre. It was originally to be a lap quilt for our cream settee in our sun room, but I think single rosettes would maybe have been better for there. I think a bed sized quilt is rather daunting, but I'm well underway with 12 done, and loads of Liberty off cuts still to use from Shaukat on the Brompton Road. Lucky this trip was a Sunday and the shop was shut, I have to use up what I have first! When I was there in January I went a little overboard, put it down to the Tapas restaurant just across the road.

have hexi, will travel

all the best,
Helen x


  1. Phew, you don't stop, do you!!! ;)
    Portofino looks beautiful, enjoy wherever you're off to next and brilliant that you manage some crafty shopping wherever you go.
    BTW when we were in John Lewis in Glasgow in March, I was a bit disappointed with the haberdashery dept too, I never bought a thing, I think that's a first!!
    V x

  2. What an exciting life you lead...your feet hardly touch the ground!


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