Saturday, January 12, 2008

Julie, I know I should be grateful for access to the art galleries of London (and Edinburgh, and Glasgow). But I haven’t recovered much pep since the hols and that horrible day with the snow, and London is very hard work. And a great big place, and you can’t see out of it. One of the lovlinesses of Edinburgh – Robert Louis Stevenson mentions it, in his little book on the subject – is that you can stand almost anywhere, and see beyond.

And to yesterday’s sorrows, another has been added. The best, I might almost say the only, LYS in Edinburgh is closing down. Helen and I are planning to go on Wednesday, to pick over the bones and tell them how sorry we are. The Spinning Fishwife thinks it may be a matter of the owners’ health, in which case I can only conclude that the place is cursed: the first owner died young, and suddenly, perhaps with a DVT, after a trip to the US.

It’s a great shop, in a good location, not too central, not too remote, not too big, not too small, always full of customers and good yarn and one or the other owner who really love yarn and can, as required, teach you how to cast on or speak with excited enthusiasm about the new yarns coming in next month.

Of my current three WIP’s, two derive from there: the KF socks which are my travel project, and the Araucania sweater in Strathardle. The yarn and pattern for Lorna's baby came from there, too. (Follow the link, and you’ll see the result.)

In my opinion, at least so far, the Glasgow competitor, K1 Yarns, can’t hold a candle to it. I may have hit them on a bad day – the owner was away, and someone non-knit was sitting in for her. I’ll try again, the next time we go over to stay with Alexander and Ketki. But my heart is heavy.
So that’s sad.

Helen and I had a good time yesterday. If you follow the link to her website (as given above) you’ll see the very scarf she was wearing. It’s very good, and I am keen to get back to Knitting New Scarves.


John Lewis can’t come until next Friday to see about the television set. The nice woman I spoke to thought the symptoms sounded terminal, and promised that the man would have a replacement in the van. We have reverted to this one, nearly 40 years old: I bought it with my first three months’ salary as a part-time Latin teacher, in the fall of 1970. It keeps us in touch with our soap opera, at least.


  1. A Latin teacher - that explains the references, most of which I have to look up, since I was a mediocre Latin student. I had two painful years of a 'linguistic' approach to Latin in the 70's. It had my mother throwing up her hands in despair as she could provide no assistance. She did tell me that among her recurring nightmares well into middle age was a Latin exam for which she was unprepared. I can still, however, recite several paragraphs in Latin about the life of Julius Caesar. The brain is a peculiar thing. Sorry about the yarn shop. Perhaps a customer will purchase and reopen.

  2. Jean, your link to HK is wrong. You've duplicated the link to Samuri Knitter instead.

    Yes, crying shame about HK. McAree is nice, but it lacks both the soul and selection of HK.

  3. So sorry about the LYS! We have one wonderful yarn store in our area and I noticed last week that they are now closed one day a week when they had previously been open seven days. I can only hope that they are making so much $$$ they can afford a day off, rather than closing because of the newest addition to our area: Walmart.

  4. Anonymous5:41 PM

    Here's hoping they can find a buyer who will simply take over the store.
    Surely someone among their loyal customers might consider it.

    It does rather support the tendency to acquire good quality stash, doesn't it.

  5. Anonymous6:29 PM

    Very sad about HK, we had a nice visit there. I haven't knit up either of the sock yarns I bought there yet, now I will be a little sad when I do. I can only hope you are as lucky as we were here in Fargo...the same day our only LYS announced they were closing a wonderful new shop opened. Then, about three days into the clearance sale at the old shop, two of the employees announced they would be opening a new shop there. So now we have two very nice yarn shops in Fargo!

  6. SO sorry to hear about HK. I'm from Edinburgh, and we're coming back soon after 5 years in Southern California. We came home for a visit last November and I dragged my mother-in -law to HK.It reawakened her knitting mojo, and seemed very busy and popular. It's very close to our flat, and I was having fun imagining spending lots of time there next winter...I'm not sure what I'm going to do back in Scotland after being spoiled by all the nice local knitting shops in the US.

  7. That is so sad about HK. It was a lovely shop to visit. I haven't yet knit the Rowan yarn I bought there.

    Your remark about Edinburgh - how true - it surprised me when I was there that so much of the city can be seen and how close the countryside is - so different from London. My friend and I took a number 15 (or 26 - can't remember) bus all through the city until the end of the line and back again - just to see the non-tourist areas. The views were lovely from the tops of the hills.

    Ah, I envy you the time in London - but I know the trips are exhausting for you. Maybe this time you can stop at the gift shop at the Churchill War Rooms.