Quilt Gallery

Friday, January 6, 2017

Late Fall in London

Short days and high chances for rainy weather might suggest that late fall is a bad time of year to visit London. Because most people think that is the case, it turns out to be a great time to visit. Popular tourist destinations are relatively quiet and lines are short or nonexistent.

This includes Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral.

After exploring the main floor  and the crypt we headed for the dome. Emerging from the dizzying spiral staircase, we were rewarded with a dazzling view of the city,

View of the Tate Modern and the Millennium Bridge from St. Paul's Cathedral dome

and a rainbow.

On another day we stopped in at the Victoria and Albert Museum, often referred to as the V & A,

to take in the exhibit "Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery." If you are in London and have an hour or so to spare, I highly recommend it. The "Opus Anglicanum" or "English Work" pieces on display date from the 12th to 15th centuries and represent largely religious scenes and symbols. Every one of them is exquisite in design and execution, displaying remarkably fine detail and extraordinary craftsmanship. I found the workmanship all the more astonishing considering the time period in which they were made. I have yet to see current work, machine or hand made, that rivals the fineness of these pieces. They are truly treasures. Unfortunately, you will have to take my word for it, since photography was not permitted in the exhibit.

Inspired by the beautiful work, I picked up a little embroidery kit at the gift shop. Like many of the pieces in the exhibit, it relies heavily on gold thread.

We also strolled through the top floor exhibit of ceramics, which was set off nicely by bright afternoon sunshine streaming in through big windows.

I found the knit pattern on this jam pot and teapot amusing.

Swedish ceramics, designed by Hertha Bengston, 1949, made by Rorstrand Earthenware

My own knitting of late has included both knit and purl stitches, as in this pair of knee-high ribbed socks I made for my husband for Christmas.

Ribbed socks, made with Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn (75% Merino superwash/25% nylon)

I worked them using the two-at-a-time toe-up method so that when I finished the last round all I had to do was bind off and work in one piece of yarn on each sock. The best feature of this method is knowing that both socks will be exactly the same size.

Wishing you all the best in 2017! And that your socks finish at the same size and survive trips through the washer in complete pairs!