I'm here with another update from my trip. On Thursday, I set off with my aunt from Suffolk, England, to Cardiff, Wales. We were there to visit some relatives, one of whom is my great aunt. She had visited the antipodean wing of our family in 1987 and she showed me her photo album from that trip. I was absolutely delighted to see among the photos one of my Grandma, who taught me to knit and who passed away in 2007. The photo showed her sitting in her armchair with knitting in her hands and balls of yarn on the ground all around her feet. My aunt said she was often like this. I've always loved my Grandma for lots of reasons, mostly because she's my Grandma, but I'll be forever grateful to her for introducing me to knitting, and this photo made me feel really close to her. And also, do you remember in my first post when I said that I suspected that my Grandma, though English, actually knitted in the Continental style because that's how I knit? Turns out I was wrong, this picture clearly shows my Grandma with the working yarn wrapped around her right hand. So, I guess Continental style is all me. I am very slightly Spanish on my mother's side...
My aunt and I did a bit of sight-seeing in Cardiff. One place I wanted to visit was the International Baccalaureate building because, sad as it sounds, my high school exams were often marked there and I wanted to see where they were sent.
"It's on Malthouse Avenue," I said to my aunt.
"Don't ask a Welsh person where Malthouse Avenue is!" said my great aunt, "It's pronounced Maloose!"
Well, that was very funny to me, as I was already quite enjoying the relative absence of vowels in the Welsh language. We were also going to visit Caerphilly castle that day. As we were heading out the door, my great aunt told us:
"If you get lost, just ask someone for directions."
"Are you sure it's Caerphilly?" I replied, "it's not Maloose, is it?"
Here is a picture of The Knitted Kitten at Maloose Castle:
I really liked my day in Wales, mostly because I was meeting family members who I'd heard of my whole life but never met. Although, I must admit that I was absolutely chuffed by my great aunt's reaction to the jumper I'm knitting. I should add that even in her 90s she is still knitting and is right now making herself some socks. She was incredibly impressed with my knitting, saying it was some of the best she'd ever seen. I'm sure you'll believe it when I say my facial expression resembled that of The Knitted Kitten.
While stickybeaking around at the house of a relative, I came across this great jumper which I found to be a very interesting design:
I really like that eyelet motif, especially on the sleeves as it makes them look a little bit medieval. I'd like to try making a cardigan like this, maybe using this motif to shape a more fitted waist.
After Cardiff, we went back over to England and headed to the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth. This place is a wildly successful sanctuary and charity for rescued donkeys, and there are a number of them around the UK. I saw this little sign up at this sanctuary. I suppose a Knit and Natter is a bit like a more polite version of a Stitch and Bitch.
So I am now in Devon, and today I watched my auntie swim around Burgh Island, raising money for the animal rescue where she got her late dog Teddy. If you'd like to find out more or to donate to this charity, follow this link: www.lizziesbarn.co.uk
Now, cast your mind back to my post called "Fruity Alpaca", where I showed you some alpaca yarn which I spun then hand-painted. Well, I knitted this up into a beanie a few days later, using a commercial
yarn for the ribbing, and while in Devon this went to its lucky recipient. Here's a picture of the beanie: