I've just got back from the most fabulous week up in Stirling. Like Woolfest last year it's left me with almost too many thoughts to gather up and far too many to convey in coherent prose but I'll have a shot with the aid of my photographs.
(Attempted) blogging and flickr posting via smart phone whilst driving on our epic 9 hour road trip from Reading via Oxford and Woodstock up to Stirling.
Felix started and finished a Clapotis in Swaledale rope yarn (officially the hairiest yarn in the world) between Stoke on Trent and Carlisle services. Admittedly it was only 13 stitches across but still an achievement. I spent most of the time in the back feverishly knitting on a full size Clapotis which I had rashly cast on the preceding Sunday.
Arrived at the palatial Knit Pad (we had eschewed the official Knit Camp accommodation in favour of luxury self-catering organised by the fabulous Mel) around 4:30. Mel and Nicky* headed out to buy supplies whilst Ellen, Felix and I explored the flat and marvelled at the number and variety of bathrooms and the amazing view.
Stirling Castle - pretty much as seen from our living room window.
The Royal Gardens (laid out in 1628). This is the view from the castle walls - you can see our apartment circled in green. Not bad, eh?
Felix, Ellen, and I headed out to New Lanark Mill for a bit of yarn and culture. We did the full tour including the Annie McLeod experience which involved sitting in egg shaped pods travelling through a series of displays whilst a small girl told us how child labour wasn't all that bad really. My favourite bit was the textile machinery room. I am just a sucker for anything connected with the industrial revolution and it was fabulous to see a Spinning Mule in action (it took me right back to primary school trips to visit Hall'ith Wood, Samuel Crompton's home, in Bolton).
Felix with massive, great water wheel.
Ellen with massive, great water wheel.
Scenic mill stuff.
Felix enthusing over Spinning Mule.
Once we felt that we'd paid our dues to social history we hit the gift shop - by which I mean the yarn shop. Ellen bought a pack of New Lanark dk in a lovely shade of indigo for a sweater, Felix bought some yarn to finish the sweater that she suddenly had realised she was knitting (originally we all, Felix included, thought that it was going to be a hat), and I picked up some New Lanark dk in brown and cream to knit the Cloisonne Jacket from the new Interweave.
Once we got back to Stirling we picked up our Clapotis and headed off to the university to campus to register for our classes and attend the Clapotea party. The unversity campus is very pretty.
I think if I studied there I'd spend all my time looking at the view rather than reading!
The Clap-o-tea party was not a great success for us. No tea(!) for one thing (which seems like the cruellest form of bait and switch) and a rather odd strained atmosphere. It was good that we attended as we picked up some rather crucial information about how to find out about how our classes has been rescheduled due to the work permit snafu but it was a relief to get back to the much more mellow Knit Pad (with actual tea).
I finished the knitting on my Clapotis (if not the dropped stitches) in time for the Clapotea party. It's a beautiful scarf and deserves its own post in due course.
Two days down - six to go.
* if you read this please do let me know if I'm spelling your name correctly. I started to write this post and realised I had no idea if it's "c-k-y" or "k-k-i" or "c-c-i" or what. Sorry!