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Bristol and Bath, April 2017

I haven’t done much photography for a while and have mostly relied on my phone for a while. I considered buying a new camera but I also did not want to be carrying a bulky camera around. I have a Canon Powershot G16 that I bought for research so I decided I would take it on my recent trip to Bristol, UK, for a conference. It would be a test of sorts to see if I really needed a new camera. I have to say I am quite happy with the results I got!

Click on the pictures below to see the slideshow.
Bristol 2017

Souvenir yarn at Bath, UK

I was recently at Bristol, UK, attending a conference and of course I had to check out the local yarn scene. After some online searching, it seemed that the place to go was Bath, just a quick train ride away. So before the conference started, I hopped on the train and took off to Bath. Since I was a bit early, I combined my love of yarn with coffee and went to one of the prominent specialty coffee shops in Bath – Colonna & Small. It was definitely worth a visit – the space was beautiful, with lots of natural light streaming in through the skylights. The staff was knowledgeable and willing to talk at length about the properties and flavour profiles of the range of coffees they had available that day. I was very pleased.

After my coffee, I walked up the street to find the shop I was looking for: A Yarn Story. The place was small but cheerful and I could see that knit nights there must be very enjoyable. I chatted with the owner for a while, she had been at the recent Edinburgh Yarn Festival and we talked about that and some of the British yarn dyers and designers that I knew about and the podcasters I followed from Canada.

I was happy that the stock of La Bien Aimee yarn was a bit low.

From left to right: La Bien Aimée Merino Singles in Driftwood Graffiti, Walcot Yarns Opus in natural grey, and The Walk Collection Delicate Merino in Blush colourway


I’m hoping to use some of these for the Shawl Society this year!

Colour cards obsession

I’m on a yard diet this year. I have no issues with having a stash – my main problem is that most of my stash is carefully curated and I do want to knit all the yarn I have. Unfortunately, I knit very slowly, which means the more yarn I buy, the more anxious I get that I’ll never get to what I want to knit. So I decided to de-stash a bit this year. The plan has been going well but I have discovered a new obsession: colour cards. I now own three and there are two more on the way. I have the full colour card for two of the best Shetland yarn companies: Jamieson’s and Jamieson and Smith. I also have the colour card for Blacker Yarns brand new yarn: Samite. I love looking at them and planning what I might do with that yarn when I finally get to order it.

Voodoo Child

One of the things I love about Voodoo Child, the small cafe on College St near Bathurst St is they change their coffee weekly. For someone like me, who likes to try new coffees, new roasters, it is great to have a choice. This morning I had the following choice:

I can’t resist Brazilian coffee, which work perfectly in cortados, so I had the Sam James offering while Alan tried the Nicaraguan coffee roasted by Pilot. Both were excellent. El Limoncillo was bright and the description was very accurate. The Cut Coffee had a tad more nuttiness.

Snowmelt MKAL – Spoiler coming

MKAL stands for Mystery Knit ALong. A KAL is when a group of knitters decide to knit together a particular pattern, or a design from a particular designer, or with a certain yarn. A KAL usually has a starting date and some might have a closing date although most of the ones I have seen are fairly flexible in terms of deadlines since we all knit at different speeds and have various things going on in our lives and KALs are meant to be fun, not stressful. The idea if to build community around knitting something.

Now, a MKAL is different in the sense that you do not know what will the finished product look like. That’s the “mystery” part. An MKAL is usually organized by a pattern designer, who will announce it a few weeks in advance, give some information on the type of yarn required, how much is necessary, and what type of projects it is. There is an element of risk in it since you do not know if you will actually like the pattern. To minimize that risk, most of us do MKALs with designers we like. I haven’t knit any of Helen Stewart’s patterns yet but when she announced her Snowmelt MKAL, I had to join. I’ve seen enough of her patterns in person to know they were my style: feminine, easy to wear, and the patterns were extremely well written. [warning: if you are doing the MKAL and want the pattern to remain a mystery to you, do not scroll down to the bottom]

At first I chose these three skeins of Hedgehog Fibers:

Hedgehog Fibers


The colours were perfect but when I started knitting it, I did not like the feel of the white yarn, which was a loosely-plied sock yarn. I was afraid there would be too much contrast with the feel of the other two skeins, which were one-ply. A quick trip to the yarn store and I came back with this beautiful skein of one of my favourite yarns: Lichen and Lace one ply fingering.

Lichen and Lace in Shroom colourway

I could not be happier with the results so far!

New beginnings

I started my first blog in 2006 when I moved to Barcelona for a year. My main objective at the time was to have a place where I could write about my life in Barcelona, post some pictures, so that friends and family scattered around the world could know about how I was doing. I didn’t want to be clogging anyone’s mailboxes with emails. I also wanted to have a record of what I knew was going to be an interesting year. I didn’t read too many blogs at the time and was amazed how quickly I not only enjoyed writing my blog but how the act of writing a blog led me to read other blogs. I was also amazed at how many people I met through my blog.

When I moved back to Toronto in 2007, I kept blogging and renamed the blog Building Bridges since it best captured my mood and who I was. Like everyone else who was blogging back then, I slowly stopped blogging and switched much of my musings to Facebook. Four years ago I started knitting and have wanted to have more of a space in which to record my journey through the world of yarn, knitting, and patterns. Something I could go back to and share with others. I also wanted a place where I could chronicle my journeys through food and coffee, one of my passions. This site is a result of that.