Mr. MmmYarn and I got back from our honemoon/vacation last night. We had a fantastic time. We went to London, England, for two days, then took the train down to Dover and boarded the Marco Polo for a cruise down the Iberian Peninsula. The cruise ended in Barcelona, Spain, where we spent three days before coming home.

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I did not knit very much on the trip. Our flight there left in the evening after work and I had the unusually good fortune to sleep for most of it, daytimes we were busy roaming about various cities, and evenings aboard ship were geared toward entertainment and had generally dim lights, dim enough to rule out using a chart and in some cases so dim I had no hope of finding a dropped stitch in something as simple as booties. 

I also did NOT (brace yourself) buy any yarn at all. We found only one open yarn shop, and I use the term loosely, in La Rochelle, France. The shop had about 5 varieties of eyelash novelty yarn and a couple of super-bulkies. The rest of the floor space was devoted to ribbons and sewing notions. I found yarn shops everywhere else except in London and Barcelona, and they were all closed, either for vacation or for siesta. Ah, well. Next time.

Some baby booties saw a bit of Brugge, Belgium, and also spent a day on deck while we were at sea. Here’s a typical view:

Booties_2007Sep5_BlueZarinaWIP

Glorious, isn’t it? We had great luck with the weather.  

I finished them the day we went to La Coruna, Spain, and photographed them in the first square we found:

Booties_2007Sep6_BlueZarina

Pattern: own
Yarn: Filatura di Crosa Baby Zarina, 100% superwash merino wool
Needles: size 2
Finished size: newborn to 6 months

I started a pair of socks for me, the first lace pattern I’ve ever worked in socks, but haven’t even gotten to the heel on sock #1. I worked about half of this on the bus to the Alhambra palace in Spain and the rest on the flight home. Blurry bus knitting in Spain: 

Socks_2007Sep9_PurpleGullWingsWIP

You may have noticed the wooden needles, a necessary departure from my usual metal ones. My past experiences with Heathrow airport have taught me that the Brits are more strict about inidividuals toting certain things onto an airplane, and British Airways’ customer service could not give me a definite answer on the subject, so I decided not to risk it and procured wooden needles for potential in-flight knitting.  

On board the ship I worked some on the Myrtle Leaf shawl from Victorian Lace Today. More frogging than knitting took place. I blame the swells. I’d love to blame the booze, but I rarely mix lace with alcohol, and it’s even more unlikely when the lace pattern is all action rows (no plain knit or purl rows to make life easier). I worked only 3 pattern repeats before abandoning the shawl in favor of reading. It’s not looking like much yet, so I didn’t take a photo. Also, I can’t photograph it as it’s currently residing in Mr. MmmYarn’s suitcase, which decided to board the wrong plane at Heathrow and is having fun without us in parts unknown. Heck, the layover ended up being something like 20 minutes and WE made it to the plane. What was the suitcase thinking, prolonging its vacation like this, and without us? Thank goodness for more advanced luggage tracking and barcodes; it is supposed to be delivered to the house tonight.

On board the ship, I only saw 3 other ladies knitting and one doing cross-stich. The cross-stitcher almost always had a beer…or two…or three, sometimes all at once. How on earth did she count stitches with the ship bobbing up and down while also drinking??? One of the three knitters happened to be the wife half of the couple with whom we shared our dinner table every evening. Her stash sounds much bigger than mine.

The ship part of the trip was pretty good. I only had one day of seasickness (the Bay of Biscay can get rough), meals were ample (“Food! Glorious food!” (see Ice Age 2 if you don’t understand this reference)), and the ship’s staff did a great job. We were in the possibly 2% of passengers under 60. There was one other couple in about our decade and some young college-age women who were there with either their parents or grandparents. Bingo, shuffleboard, and various card games were big draws on our days at sea. We went on only three arranged shore excursions. I was concerned about the first one as it was labeled “strenuous” and I’m not in the best of shape right now, but it was easy, even slow, going. I learned afterward that the average age of a cruiser on this type of cruise is 72 or 73. This changes the meaning of the word “strenuous”!

The other days Mr. MmmYarn and I wandered around the ports of call on our own, foraging for lunch (not easy in Spain or Portugal) and seeing the sights within walking distance of the ship.

One final thought, and I can’t stress this enough: a whole bottle of wine with your lunch is a very good thing.

IMG_0860_WineWithLunch

Back to work tomorrow.  😦

P.S. on 9/17: the suitcase is here, so the Myrtle Leaf shawl is back in my possession. Hooray!

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