This time I have pants

I think I’m ready. I’ve walked through the things I need to do in London in my head, imagining each day and what I have to get done in it, and then putting things in my suitcase as the imaginary me needs them. (The imaginary me surprised me this morning by suggesting that we needed an extra large ziplock. I didn’t ask questions. I just put it in there. Perhaps all will be revealed in the fullness of time.) I’m nervous, which is really more of a personality trait than anything else, and usually the nervous me also suggests putting things in the suitcase which are really just madness… like a first aid kit, lots of batteries and a dictionary. (I am unsure what literary emergency would be solved by the presence of my trusty Oxford Concise – but with a trio of rescue materials like that, I would imagine I would be in high demand should we end up doing a real life version of Lost.) I’ve pared it down to the minimum this time though- since this feels like an undertaking, and I don’t want to be encumbered.

I also packed Hey Teach, which is totally finished, but buttonless, as I couldn’t bring myself to put myself on my bike in the 30 degree heat (the weather turned again. It’s scorching) and ride down to get them. Instead I’ve packed the thing up, with a vague plan to find buttons in London.


I’ve never been to London, but in my mind (admittedly shaped by my families strong royalist bent, a lot of Victorian novels and a recent review of Brideshead Revisited) London seems to me like the sort of city that would have button shops. Maybe even really funky button shops. (I am also looking forward to the chance to use the word “haberdashery” in public, and in context.) If I can get up the nerve and find the time, I’m going on a hunt.

Finishing the sweater meant that I needed something new for the plane, since the Josephine top is on straights, and straights on a plane (holy cow. I just imagined a whole movie) are sort of rude I think. They take up all manner of space and are unwieldy. I needed something on wee circulars, so that I could keep my knitting business to myself, but was small and light, even after 14 hours (there and back) of flying. I’ve been planning what was next for a while, so I wound up this.


Midnight Rainbow from Perchance to Knit, 50% silk, 50% wool laceweight, which has been in the stash for a couple of years now, always with it’s destiny clear to me. Its got another name, which I’m sure will be a hint to you.

Should be an awesome flight – knitting all the way to a whole new place. I’m curious to know… If I leave here just before sunset, and I arrive there just after sunrise… will I ever be flying in the dark as the plane follows the sun?

266 thoughts on “This time I have pants

  1. Lucky lucky you! I’m so glad we can live (and knit!) vicariously through your blog! Hope you have the best time ever!

  2. Have a great time in London! I wish I going to be at the iKnit day but, alas, I am missing it. London is a great city though and there are definitely places with buttons. McCulloch and Wallis is a good haberdashery store and very central.

  3. Straights On A Plane–now that’s a horror movie! “Stephanie’s needles nudged the man’s arm, and he watched in terrified fascination as she stabbed again and again at the blood-red sweater…” As for the flying-in-the-dark thing, I have no idea. Time has no meaning in today’s jet-age world. Just try and go with the flow, and have a great time!

  4. Unless you’re flying west, toward BC, you’re flying against the sun, so it’ll be dark the whole time. We flew across the Pacific once leaving San Francisco just before sunset and chased the setting sun for six hours until it finally sank below the horizon. Lovely.
    Beautiful sweater! Good luck with the button hunt and enjoy London. I loved the British Museum. It’s free!

  5. p.s. Is that yarn really called Harlot’s Peacock? I love it! Must have some for the name alone!

  6. I don’t remember a particular button shop in London, just a lovely ribbons and trims shop on Marylebone High Street. πŸ™‚

  7. Leaving just before sunset, arriving just before sunrise…flying East, would have you in darkness most of the trip.

  8. I guess this might be the nearest that you are coming to my place here in Europe? I am in Hamburg, Germany, only an hour flight away, but can not go to London just to see you there. You are doing a reading, aren’t you?
    Best wishes from the most beautyfull town in the world πŸ™‚

  9. I’m really looking forward to your talk at the iKnit day. (We do have button shops!)
    I also find that nervous-me is wont to take over when packing… I always take my SAS Survival Guide with me when flying, so that if the plane crashes, I know how to make a shelter out of a fallen tree, cook a wild boar, taste-test potentially poisonous food, etc. So far I have not needed it, and I think you’ll be fine with the ziplock.
    Hope you have a smooth and speedy journey!

  10. I love the blues and the copper together in that yarn, isn’t it just a lovely combination?
    You know we have different rules on needles on planes depending on the carrier? I know you know that but I thought I’d just mention it. I have now managed to achieve the “excited” stage rather than the “it’s a long way and how will they manage without me” stage. You know yours can manage without you, mine haven’t had the training and I’m expecting to spend all Sunday repairing the emotional damage from Saturday.
    The department stores will have “haberdashery” on the signs near the lift. We got them to do it just for you.

  11. Have a fabulous time! I’ve had great fun in London. You MUST go to Liberty, if not really for the shopping but to look at the architecture. It was the original arts and crafts movement store. (They do have yarn and their famous fabric but you can get much better deals on yarn in other London shops.)

  12. Flying over all that water is really quite the amazing and wonderful experience! (Hope there’s not a small child kicking the back of your seat the whole way.) Do you have noise-canceling earphones? They are wonderful, though sometimes there are okay movies on the flights. Sometimes. . . Have a fabulous trip!

  13. Your yarny guides will surely know where to find great buttons. They’ll be a wonderful souvenir of London.

  14. I flew from Logan (Boston) to Heathrow in July on British Air – they specifically list: NO KNITTING NEEDLES OR CROCHET HOOKS in your carry on. After I wrote British Air a bitter letter of complaint, I sharpened 2 round pencils, coated the tips in super glue, stuck colored erasers on the other ends so the stitches wouldn’t fall off, and cast on the Urchin hat (by Ysolda Teague) in Katia Ethnic. So there. NOBODY tells ME I can’t knit in an airport or on a plane! Have fun in London πŸ™‚

  15. When I went to Italy, the sun rose at 1 AM, pretty cool actually and since I was unable to fall asleep I got to enjoy a rosy sunrise! Enjoy!

  16. For interesting and antique buttons, you can do no better than The Button Queen, just off Wigmore Street. Here’s their website:
    I wish I still lived there, I’d have been going to the I Knit event for sure. I’m sure you’ll receive a great welcome.

  17. Have a nice flight and a wonderful time in London! I can’t wait to see what will become of that gorgeous lace weight. Safe travels! πŸ™‚

  18. I must agree with the others, British Airways did not allow any knitting needles. However United Airlines did (going to Amsterdam).
    Aren’t you suppose to be sleeping on the way there anyway? And coming back, you can blog about your adventures!

  19. Safe travels! I hope this trip leaves you some time to have fun and see some sights. πŸ™‚
    You might want to check the airline’s guidelines on the knitting needles thing–overseas flights and all. The rules might be different (I wouldn’t know, having had no need to use a passport in well over a decade, alas). Better safe than scrambling for a way to save the knitting as you go through security.

  20. You’ll be going the opposite direction that the sun travels on your way there, but you’ll follow the sun on your way back (traveling westward). That happened to me on my flight home from Germany, and it actually made it difficult to sleep on the plane to have the sun up the whole time!

  21. Your sweater is just lovely…
    You will have an awesome time in London (except that they drink their beer warm…) Much of it is just a modern, large city, but the architecture is so cool with the large parks, squares (like Trafalgar) and (probably) lots of scaffolding. So hope that you enjoy the trip, can rest on the plane and totally enjoy being a tourist. You’ll see lots of them too!

  22. I hope you get this in time – you won’t be able to knit on your way back from the UK, so best pack your knitting. I know it absolutely stinks, but they have display cases showing knitting needles, along with switchblades and various forms of contraband. You can see if you can get by without it, but definitely have a return mailing thing if you so dare (then again, I’m not sure Royal Mail would actually post it in that case)

  23. I flew from SF to London last year, non-direct, and if I couldnt bring my knitting I woulda killed someone. I flew Air Canada and had no problem with my needles. I did bring bamboo ones, tho.

  24. Dude! If you are about to start the spectacular journey that is the Peacock Feathers Shawl then all I have to say is enjoy the ride. I just finished mine and it was a fantastic knit!! Really, really rewarding. πŸ™‚
    Have a great trip to London and good luck on the button hunt. πŸ™‚

  25. “hey teach” looks fab!
    London is an amazing city, a mix of old & new, glass & grass, every nation under the sun lives there, it never closes, it’s noisy, busy, friendly and I know you are going to meet some wonderful people there. Have fun!

  26. you need to visit the Button Queen which is at 19 Marylebone Lane just off Oxford Street – happy hunting

  27. London! My favourite city. Although I usually only knit socks on teeny DPs, I have never had a problem on either British Airways or Air Canada, and I fly to London often on business. You will be in the dark the whole way over – try to sleep and when you get there STAY UP best way I have found to combat jet lag. Have a great time.

  28. Stephanie, you aren’t following the sun, you’ll be meeting up with it. So you would be flying in the dark until you run into the sunrise.
    Of course, I still mix up left and right, so I could be wrong.

  29. London! I am sooooo jealous! Want to get back there. Things not to be missed: The Tower. Really. You’ll love it. Torture room isn’t necessary, but the Jewel House is a must see! Also Oxford Street for the sheer number of things to be purchased, and Camden Market, for sure. Also the Tower Gift Shop, just because.
    Enjoy every minute of it!

  30. Barbara’s right–you’ll have ‘compressed time’ on the way there (ie. a whole 12-hour night in what your body thinks is 6 hours) but on the way back you’ll have’extended time’–flying for hours that, on the clock, only take a few.
    I find flying east that far is disorienting (I have NEVER been so drunkenly-sleepy as the first day in Europe, each time!), but coming back’s a breeze–you just sleep a bit more and you’re good. Not sure what to suggest–strategic napping, or some natural remedies from your local health food store…? But you’re used to insanity of schedule–maybe your bod won’t even notice you’ve gone intercontinental! =)

  31. Wow…I’m going to wish you a safe trip, look forward to you reports, and muse on that image of chasing the sun in darkness for the rest of the day.

  32. A nice selection of buttons, but more commercial than at Button Queen, can be had a John Lewis on Oxford Street (big deparment store). Also, I would recommend the sandwiches at Pret a Manger. It is a chain, but they are fantastic and made fresh on the premises all the time, you can’t miss them, they are everywhere. Enjoy London – it’s a great place to see… Oh.. don’t forget the Victoria & Albert Museum. It has a wonderful section on vintage and historical textiles, even on knitting.

  33. FYI, if you say “pants” in London, they will think you are talking about your underwear, or making a mild expletive. For the longer outerwear, you need to say “trousers”. Also, I once went to (and bought a lot of buttons at) a really nice button store in Amsterdam. FWIW. Have a great trip!

  34. We just returned from a trip to Scotland/Ireland in July [and met up with Jo of Celtic Memory Yarns!]. The sunrise is lovely as you are approaching the coastline, but do try to sleep during the flight, even if only for a few hours. The trick to keeping from being bogged down by jet lag is to then stay awake (no nap!) until it’s bedtime in London – you’ll be much less brain-fogged the next day. Many have said that the return journey back home is more difficult to recover from, and I agree – took days to get back on track. Enjoy!

  35. Safe travels, and good luck with the security folks. As to the time difference/sunrise/sunset/whatever, all I can say is nap early and often. Have fun!

  36. Looks like it’s a lock for flying in the dark…
    I only have my personal experience. I flew from Seattle to Amsterdam overnight as well and we had sunlight the whole way. It was May though and I’m sure there is something about the Earth’s axis and some science stuff that explains that. So I guess I still have no idea. But! If it’s light check out Greenland. It was the coolest part of the whole flight…loads of ice and snow shining in the sun.
    Have fun! Maybe the ziploc is to bring back yarn??

  37. Beautiful sweater! The Peacock shawl will be gorgeous.
    Just got back from 6 months in the UK – sorry I couldn’t stay long enough to see you in London. You’ll love it. London is an amazing resource for all things knitty (or buttony), but I had a hard time finding LYS’s around the country. We put over 10,000 miles on our car, so I did cover a fair bit of ground. Online wool shopping is great, however – I even had some wool and needles arrive the day after they were ordered. (Speaking of needles: cheap Addi’s! Under 5 pounds for a circ, 3-pounds-50 for sock dpn’s! You can bet your booties I brought back a bunch.) We visited Yorkshire at lambing time: holy wall-to-wall sheep. But on a sad note, they told me up there that farmers were burning fleeces because they couldn’t sell them. Arrrgh.

  38. have a great trip Step. Can’t wait to see the Peacock Shawl finished. Your photo shows the colors better than loopy ewe’s

  39. London is a wonderful city. We enjoyed just walking around and I’m sure there’ll be a button shop or a shop that sells buttons there. Have fun!

  40. Pack some warm clothing, wet,windy and cold is the forcast, have fun, and London will love you.

  41. I couldn’t take my needles on a flight into Heathrow last October — they were specifically listed as no-goes on the Heathrow website at that time. However, I’ve just checked it today (the link is loooooooong, so just go here: and do a search for knitting needles, you’ll get the packing list), and there is now no mention of them. Perhaps they’ve changed the policy in the last few months? (If so: yipppeeee!).
    Love the Hey Teach — and am enjoying picturing you throwing “haberdashery” around. Enjoy London!

  42. Warning! Heathrow is in a state right now. Construction all over. Just went through there Monday.

  43. Oh, btw, we stopped at Heathrow on our way to Berlin. No problems with knitting needles, though I did take circulars. On our way back from Berlin, stopping again at Heathrow, they didn’t object to my knitting needles but confiscated my soft tape measure instead. Really didn’t quite get that one, strangulation perhaps? Whatever along with a teenage eye roll.

  44. Just to say that us Guilty Knitters of south London wish you a very safe and knitterly journry and are ready to welcome you to London. Can’t wait to see/hear you on Saturday.
    Hope you will enjoy the whole of your stay.

  45. Wow – what pretty yarn!
    Evening/night flights from the East Coast to Europe aren’t so bad, provided you already have a somewhat screwed up sleep schedule. As I recall, the trick was to be undercaffeinated before the flight, sleep as much as possible on the flight, and then drink lots of caffeine while keeping as active as possible until bedtime. Then, one crashes from the exhaustion and wakes up the next day at a more or less reasonable time with remarkably little jetlag. I never did figure out how to handle it going west, though.
    Have a safe trip!

  46. Fiddlesticks Peacock Feathers?? You couldn’t have picked a more perfect colourway. Hope they let you knit on the plane – I’ve never had a problem, but you never know…
    Hope the talk (and everything around it) goes well – can’t wait to hear about it.

  47. Aww, now you made me remember you are coming to Europe and I can’t see you. πŸ™‚ I tried to suggest a trip to London for our wedding anniversary, but somehow hubby wasn’t convinced. Funny, huh? I mean, who doesn’t want to celebrate by seeing knitters?

  48. Hmmm, just check BA’s site, and they say no “sharp objects”. I’d keep most of your stuff in your checked baggage, and maybe have a SASE for the others, in case you need to mail them back to yourself.
    Other ideas — the pencils mentioned above, or maybe you could get some chopsticks en route to Pearson?

  49. More for ribbons and trims, but don’t miss VVRouleaux (’s a haberdashery experience bar none). If you’re near Harrods at all (which is fun in itself) eat hot lunch and fabulous pastries at Patisserie Valerie (other locations too)(!! (Sorry, I’m not good with creating actual links!)

  50. If there isn’t a funky button shop (or at least a shop in which to buy funky buttons) in London then I’ll eat my hat πŸ™‚ Hey Teach looks gorgeous by the way.
    I love that yarn. I’m so intrigued to see what it’ll turn into.

  51. Oh! London, England! I thought you had been talking about London, Ontario and wondered why it was such a big deal (not that London, Ontario isn’t fabulous — it is). Now I know!

  52. The Haberdashery Shop in Ramsgate.
    Jane Brocket at did an entire entry about it (with pictures!) and it looks wonderful. I would never come out again.

  53. There are definitely good button shops in London! The Button Queen is definitely worth a stop, it has lots of one (or, you know, five or ten) of a kind vintage or antique buttons. VV Rouleaux is the best place for trimmings, ribbons, and a million other things you wouldn’t know you needed until you clapped eyes on them. MacCulloch & Wallis is a haberdashery (what do people call these shops elsewhere, I wonder? I hadn’t realised not everyone said haberdashery!). Oh, and you can’t possibly come to London and not pop into Liberty’s – buttons, haberdashery, and the best creaky staircase in the world, no contest.
    Have a happy trip, looking forward to hearing you on Saturday πŸ™‚

  54. I wish I were going to London! You could go to Loop and find buttons, I think, but mainly wool. It’s a cute little shop. Or, I suppose you could drop in at Liberty… might have a button or two. It’s a cute large shop….
    I got wooden needles out of Pearson last week, but knit some big fat Rowan yarn on chopsticks last time I flew out of Heathrow.
    Have a blast!

  55. Ah London! I love London, have a fabulous time!
    So I seem to be in the minority but when I flew to London from Calgary (Left 6pm from Calgary arrived 10am-ish in London) I had daylight the whole way. It was really weird and disorientating. It made it really difficult to sleep on the plane. But it was in May so maybe the time of year has something to do with it?
    Anyways, enjoy London! Can’t wait to hear about it!

  56. That’s the yarn someone gifted you for the Peacock Feathers shawl, yes?
    Jane of Yarnstorm recently posted about a haberdashery in Ramsgate, though it looks like it might be too far away from London to make it there on this trip.

  57. Have a great trip and I’ll see you on Saturday, as I am making the trip from Sweden just to see you. Well, and a bunch of other knitters. And, I’m bringing my socks that are on the needles.

  58. I’m disconcerted by how many people have posted that no needles are allowed on British Air’s transatlantic flights. Seems to me the longer you’re in the air, the more knitting becomes a necessity. Forbidding it borders on cruelty. I never pictured myself booking a flight on one airline rather than another because of their on-board crafts policy, but I’ll sure be checking before I go to the UK someday. Have a great trip! My family’s from Wales, and so I’ve always wanted to visit the British Isles. Plus you get to buy cool buttons in London! Mmm. I’m rather jealous.

  59. This is a little bit freaky. I was searching that yarn on the internet this morning and had in a basket to purchase before I saw this post!!

  60. I’m pretty sure you’ll be in the dark the whole way until you arrive. I flew to Africa this summer and aside from being a long, long, long flight, it was mostly in the dark.
    May your quest for buttons in London be fruitfull! Your Hey Teach is gorgeous (I must knit that now, thanks.) and that laceweight made my mouth water it’s so beautiful. Can’t wait to see what you make with it.
    Safe travels!

  61. I took several pair of wooden straight needles (in different sizes) in my carry-on on my trip to London. I flew United and nobody batted an eye either way, although they did check to make sure that small blunt scissors were okay.

  62. Speaking of errata (from your previous entry), what happened to the 22nd thing in the Things I Learned book? There are two 23rd things, and no 22nd.
    Just curious.

  63. I flew to London via Toronto in June. Canada Air allowed knitting needles flying *to* London, but absolutely no knitting (or crocheting) is allowed in carry-on luggage on the return trip. Heathrow had it marked everywhere. πŸ™ That was a loooonngg trip home – especially with a 4-hour layover in Toronto….knowing full well that my knitting was sitting, lonely and squished, in my checked luggage.

  64. John Lewis for buttons is OK, not great – the Button Queen is brilliant, though – you need to ask the guys to show you the buttons, but they’re fabulous (the guys and the buttons). Also, Liberty’s has a selection of very cool vintage buttons close by their yarn selection.
    Can’t wait to see you on Saturday!

  65. The last time I was in London I picked up some beautiful vintage buttons from a tiny hole on Portabello Road. they had thousands.

  66. Of course, in London “pants” means something else, and people would be quite shocked if you didn’t have them. . . I believe you will have to learn to say “trousers” (what a funny word)

  67. I agree about visiting Libertys, well worth it. Also, the UK and Australia are, apparently, the only two countries in the world to ban knitting needles on planes so you may be fine flying into the UK but might not get the needles on the plane on the way home.

  68. Take a self-addressed, stamped envelope to mail your knitting needles back to yourself when they don’t let you take them on the plane. Then a pair of pencils or something else that is NOT a knitting needle to knit with or a book. Those international flights are stricter, especially Heathrow.

  69. Unless you fly straight north and then south when you hit the north pole, you will likely be in the dark for a while until you hit the sunrise. It is a lot longer way around to follow the daylight around the world. You’ll just have a very short night, because you will be flying east while the night “flies west” (due to the turning of the the earth).
    Have a safe and enjoyable trip! I hope you find some nice local yarn to bring back in that large ziplock.

  70. Oh, have fun… enjoy a cup of tea, and fish ‘n’ chips (if you eat fish), and be careful crossing the street!

  71. Wishing you a safe and uneventful flight to us.
    Teach is fab – if you can’t find what you want at Button Queen (modern and antique buttons, ask to see their range of akoya shell, they keep them under the counter, I was there only Monday) then you can always have a look at who’s selling what at IKnit Day.

  72. Ooooooo – a plastic bag, a dictionary… it’s like a knitting MacGyver! Now that would be a good show, doncha think? Happy trip!

  73. I knit my flat items on circs too. I went back to using straights after finishing a blanket on circs and I couldn’t stand it. I kept bumping the ends on everything and got so mad I ripped my project out and started over on circs. The great thing is, you can knit anything in public without being a stabbing hazard. πŸ™‚
    Enjoy London! I’ve been there several times. You’re going to love the pubs. πŸ™‚

  74. There are definitely buttons in London. And haberdashery departments too, we even have them in Bristol – I work in one! πŸ˜‰ And oh, I wish I could get to the iKnit day to say hi! – but I shall be at work, in the aforementioned haberdashery department.
    And that’s really pretty yarn, by the way….

  75. Pick up a good book for the flight home. Knitting is not allowed on flights from the UK. I had to fly from London to Toronto a year ago. It was a really long 8 hours with no knitting.
    Safe travels and I hope you enjoy my favorite city.

  76. Wouldn’t it be neat if upon arrival in London you were to be bombarded with button shops? Button shops on every corner, button shops right and left, button shops up and down, and the greatest buttons! If this were the case, Hey Teach could become like a Tour de Button, and you could get a different button from every button shop and do a mixy matchy thinger. Hey Teach is a rather dignified, elegant knit, but the juxtaposition between the gentle grey lace and mismatched buttons would set it apart.

  77. I am uber-jealous that you will get to throw around “haberdashery” in everyday conversation. See if you can work “sesquipedalism” and “defenestration” in as well. Fifty points if you can get all three in the same sentence.
    (Points can later be redeemed for yarn. So there’s your motivation.)

  78. And I have to ask — are you going to be doing Meg Swanson’s Spanish Peacock shawl, or the Peacock Feathers shawl from Fiddlesticks Knitting, or some other peacock shawl of which I am totally unfamiliar?

  79. Re buttons: long time since I’ve lived in London, but I remember a great shop on Berwick Street in Soho (right in the middle of the Berwick Street Market area)- sold everything from high-end tailoring haberdashery to theatrical costume stuff, and a brilliant button selection. Absolutely worth a trip. (If it’s still there…)
    Enjoy London. I miss it.

  80. Whenever I fly a long distance east overnight (as I did last night actually flying home from California to NJ) I bring my “Bucky” pillow, a sleep mask, ear plugs and a prescription sleep aid. I always take the window seat so no one will crawl over me. The minute the plane leaves the gate I “check out” and I don’t “check back in” until the plane has landed. It’s the only way to go when you are flying across a bunch of time zones. I’m off to France in 10 days and I plan to do the same thing on the way there. By the way, Continental and United allow people to carry on both straight and circular needles. I had both on the plane last night. Enjoy your trip.

  81. Have fun in London. I was there more than 25 years ago and still sometimes daydream about going back to see all the stuff I missed. Definitely go see the crown jewels, and definitely see the Changing of the Guard. And have fun. It’s a beautiful city.

  82. Button Queen is a fantastic shop and I can always find something stunning there. You might also want to check out Nichols Buttons
    – Lionel Nichols was a glass maker who handmade couture buttons from 1946 to 1966 in Marylebone. Now his daughter, Dixie, is selling his remaining exquisite buttons… and she has a stand at the show!!

  83. I’ve flown to London twice, and both times were in the dark the majority of the trip.
    I was to be taught how to knit on the flight over the second time, so I had yarn and plastic circs in my carry-on (and only) bag. United Airways said they were fine, the Heathrow airport said no way, but they didn’t say a thing about them as they poked through my bag.

  84. I think you’ll be in the dark the whole way. You’ll be flying east as the sun goes west away from you. On the way home though?

  85. I love to follow the sun in the plane. The first time I left home for school, I was entranced that I got to see the sunset almost the whole flight. I thought it was a good sign.
    I do love to knit socks on the flight but last time I was on a plane I accidentally caught a needle in my tray thing when I was putting it back up. And then I couldn’t work on the sock on the flight back because I didn’t bring any extra needles.
    Good luck with all the haberdashery in context!

  86. You’ll find buttons and you’ll find wonderful, gracious people and you’ll knit and explore and enjoy. When I went in February (I flew into Gatwick) the lady next to me told me about special restrictions Gatwick had that Heathrow didn’t but they were for outbound flights, not incoming. You should be fine. I carried 3 projects in my carry on and never had a question in either direction.

  87. You can usually knit on the way over (if you aren’t flying BA) but not on the way back. “They” take your needles when you check in before you get to security. Here are some notion shops. I was planning to go next week but the office canceled my trip. πŸ™
    Welcome to All the Fun of the Fair
    Visit our shop at Unit 2.8 Kingly Court, just off Carnaby St.Open 7 days a week.11-7 Monday to Saturday and 12-5 on Sundays.
    54 Sloane Square – Directions
    Cliveden Place
    SW1W 8AX
    Tel: 020 7730 3125
    Fax: 020 7730 9985
    Opening Hours – Monday to Saturday (excluding Weds) 9.30am to 6.00pm
    Late Night Wednesday 10.30am to 6.30pm
    102 Marylebone Lane- Directions
    London W1U 2QD
    Tel: 020 7224 5179
    Fax: 020 7224 5193
    Opening Hours – Monday to Saturday (excl.Weds & Thurs) 9.30am to 6.00pm
    Wednesday 10.30am to 6.00pm, Thursday 9.30am to 6.30pm

  88. Haven’t read comments so don’t know if this has been pointed out but you are flying EAST and so your entire trip will be in darkness. Trust me it’s less scary that way. Have a safe and happy voyage and may you find the perfect button (as a corollary to that, may there be a sufficiency of them to complete your Teach.) The large zip-loc will come in handy should you encounter an over zealous airport guard who insists you check your knitting.

  89. make sure you check your needles on the way back or they won’t make it home! They also limit you to 1 carry-on not weighing more than 1-15 lbs.

  90. I have not one, but two skeins of that yarn (I bought one because it’s so heart-stoppingly lovely, and just my taste, and then the dyer was selling some directly from her blog for less because the yardage was short — so I scooped up some more!)
    I can’t wait to see what you knit with it!
    Sounds as though many have warned you about the stringent no-needle policy, flying out of Heathrow. Hmmm. Fingerknitting? Denise needles, disassembled, to be reassembled in flight? (though the flight attendants could still get snitty about them; depends on the airline) There’s always chopsticks or pencils. (Or turkey basters, a la Sock Camp, but that might get you some funny looks and would take up too much room anyway.)
    Unfortunately, lace knitting may not be in the cards for the flight home. (You DON’T want that confiscated!) Have a wonderful trip and time! Adventures await! (Pants will be helpful, however, for adventuring, both Canadian and British-style pants….)

  91. Yes, there is at least one great button shop in London – been there! You’ll be flying above the clouds. You should see sunrise most of the way. Enjoy! I’m jealous; London is my favorite city. Say “Hi” to Big Ben and St. Paul’s Cathedral for me!

  92. HA! You sold out! I remember you saying a long time ago that you preferred the colorful straights!
    A wee circ, indeed! Love it! See, you can teach a gal with strong needle preferences new tricks!!! By the way, how long have you been using the circs? Did I miss an earlier confession??? Hmm?
    Love the Hey Teach sweater – super cute!

  93. Seriously pretty yarn. I’m guessing that the finished product will have feathers. Funny– it didn’t sell out, as soon as you mentioned it on your blog. Price, perhaps?
    Enjoy your trip. Good luck on the button-hunt.

  94. Have a wonderful trip! When I flew to Australia, there was one spot on the trip where it appeared that the sun was going the wrong way–rising in the west. It was amazing.
    And don’t forget to raise a pint for all of us!

  95. you fly in the dark the whole way. And unless you are really good at sleeping on planes, you lose a whole night’s sleep and get fed at weird hours. Prepare to be tired when you get there. It’s better coming west.
    Check out one of the markets for funky button sellers — Portobello, Camden, … Ask someone who is hosting you, I bet they’ll know which would be best.
    And you might want to plan to go to the V&A. The last time I went their knitting collection wasn’t out but you could check. And they have other great stuff.

  96. Can’t quite believe it – so often I read about your preparations for travel. This time it’s to over here, and I’ll be be in the crowd listening to you in just 2 1/2 days! Wheee!

  97. Goodness, you’re not making that Peacock shawl from Fiddlesticks are you? I lerv that one…very pert-y!!

  98. You have knitted a bushel full of yarn in the last few days!! All of it makes me drool!
    I hope you find the perfect buttons and lots of yarn in London. Just bring your Visa card! And pay the college tuition first!! πŸ˜‰ Remember the $40.00 panty hose!!

  99. “Straights on a plane”! Haha…so many connotations…I’m imagining a gay-proud comedy with a knitting double entendre…love it!

  100. I went to England in June, flying Virgin Air both ways, and had no problem with my several sets of knitting needles (all some form of metal). I also went on the London Eye with an in-progress sock in my bag, when the sign at the entrance specifically said “NO KNITTING NEEDLES.” (I took a picture of the sock on the Eye in protest.)
    Have a wonderful trip! Can’t wait to see the Peacock shawl.

  101. Those who have said sleep on the flight over and NOT nap once you arrive are right – it really helps to cut down on the jetlag. I’ve been fortunate enough to get to the UK twice – didn’t get that much knitting done on the flight over, but a lot done on the flight back (which always left Heathrow midmorning and arrived late afternoon).
    I also agree with getting to the British Library, if you can. All of the tourist sites (Library, British Museum, V&A, etc. have evening hours one day of the week – check on their websites.
    I’ve had no problems taking knitting on board, but I also follow these personal rules: (1) always have knitting-in-progress on the needles you are carrying on (I’ve actually been asked to demonstrate that I can knit – but this was right after 9/11); (2) the needles should be wood, not metal, and always circular needles; (I don’t know it this makes them look less like a weapon to the person operating the xray machine or what) and (3) have a “mailer’ along with the correct amount of postage so that you can mail your needles back to yourself from the airport in case some idiot won’t let you on with these “potential weapons”. You can always buy needles for the project in London.

  102. Have fun! I’m so jealous! I went on a solo trip a couple of years ago and it was fantastic. No one to tell me to stop looking for yarn.
    I agree with Kristen. You MUST go to Liberty. It totally took my breath away for fibre, notions, fabric etc.

  103. Oh, and p.s…. I’ve heard that you can “smuggle” straights or dpns, if necessary, inside a folded up umbrella. The x-ray reads them as the spines.
    But you didn’t hear it from me!

  104. You will fly all night in the nice and dark, and see the sun come up in the morning. I am still psyched that you are going – you are going to love it! I could give you all kinds of ideas on places to visit (don’t bother with the O2 dome, but that’s all) but I am sure you can take care of that yourself. Someone mentioned the British Library above – that is a great place to go. The first time we went, the first thing we did was a Hop on/Hop off tour; this may seem hokey but it was a great way to see everything and hear some great history. Anything you do will be awesome. Have fun! Safe trip!

  105. You will have a great time with us in London. My birthday is on Friday, and my birthday treat is a trip to I Knit to your talk on the Saturday. That is even worth the whole being a year older thing!

  106. I went to London for my birthday earlier this year, and knit on wooden dpn’s and straights with no problem. I think you just have to stay away from the metal ones. Also, great pubs in London with beer you can’t get anywhere else. Enjoy!

  107. British Airways didn’t “allow” my dpns on the one flight I took with them, but nor did their screeners find the plastic and bamboo dpns in my carry-on (I had 3 sets – a girl’s gotta have plenty of knitting!) I had them in those rubber-end cap thingies with the elastic holding them together; I have no idea if that made them look like something else or not, but whatever it was, it worked!

  108. For buttons in London try “The Button Queen” at 19 Marylebone Lane, Marylebone, London. (phone: +44 20 7935-1505) It can be tricky to find, but wandering among the area will lead you to other wonderful treasures. It’s about 4 blocks north of Oxford Street in centre London and has a great selection of both antique and new buttons. I bought a set of leather buttons there for a sweater I knitted for my Dad. They made the sweater.
    John Lewis and/or Liberty both had haberdasheries, but both were gradually downsizing the departments.
    You’ll enjoy London and I’m sure London will enjoy you. good luck and looking forward to the travel blogs.

  109. I agree, you have to visit V V Rouleaux, it is really near iKnit but possibly more ribbons than buttons.. or Kleins, which is really central and not far from Liberty and John Lewis. Liberty’s is an amazing shop – you have to go just to see the interior (and they have yarn). Can’t wait for your talk on Saturday!

  110. I just read about “smuggling” needles in an umbrella. Don’t try it. They make you take out any folded umbrellas and unclip them. The x-ray guys shake out the umbrella before putting it through the machine.
    Well, that’s what they do here in Australia. I travel alot with work and have a small folded umbrella in my laptop bag. So, everytime have to bring out laptop, umbrella and shoes.
    Oh, and you can knit flying into Oz but not while flying domestic or out of Oz. And some don’t like you doing embroidery either…but I am yet to determine where on the security list it states sewing needles (grumble grumble virgin up them selves airstewards grumble grumble).

  111. haberdashery?…..runs to closest dictionary.
    No such luck….ack, I’m in the dark on that one.

  112. I still can’t belive that the minute I move to Australia (from the UK) you go to the UK. When are you coming to Australia????? We have loads of knitters over here…and beer too!

  113. I know this must have been mentioned already, but please turn east as you leave Canada, otherwise it’s gonna be a long, long flight. Have a wonderful time, and don’t forget to write!

  114. Why is it that as soon as I move to Canada from the UK, you leave Canada and go to the UK?
    Anyhooo, I can see that the darkness question was answered. The good bit is that when you fly back home you’ll arrive only two hours after you left, and have sunshine for a very long day.
    For buttons in the West End, my suggestion is the John Lewis Haberdashery department. They have a great button department and a nice yarn section as well. Take the Tube to either Bond Street or Oxford Circus and you can ask the friendly London Underground staff for directions from there – just a short walk.
    Liberty, as I recall, also had a nice selection of buttons (and it’s a fun place to poke about, as well). Best of luck on the hunt. I hope you’ve put aside some time to explore London.
    There are some great markets as well – three within walking distance of Liverpool Street Station – which are fun to visit even if they don’t have buttons. Leadenhall Market, Petticoat Lane and also Spitalfields which is very upmarket and trendy.

  115. Be careful about taking knitting on the flight back. I just got back from the UK and was not allowed to bring “anything that could be used as a weapon”…that means knitting needles of any kind.

  116. Just to add to the “one carry on bag” lark. They really mean one carry on and not one carry on and a purse. I was stopped when I returned to Canada as I had a bulging carry on, with my computer in it; a coat over my arm (bearing in mind I live in the Arctic almost, and needed it for landing in YK); and a purse for my immediate needs, and they would let me through security. However they did allow me to wear the coat, which I immediately had to take off to put on the security conveyor, carry the computer and put the purse in my carry on. Talk about anal!!!! The person behind me wasn’t allowed to bring a skipping rope in her carry on, although my luggage was full of computer wires and such ilk – no knitting of course though, although it’s O.K. to knit going from Canada.
    I’m sure you’ll have a ball in London. It’s busy and fast – too noisy for me but I don’t mind the occasional trip. The V & A is a must visit if nothing else.
    Janet MF up in the North

  117. Re: knitting needles as weapons – I’ve not had any problems taking bamboo, wooden or plastic needles. It helped that I went onto the airport’s website and printed off the part where they say knitting needles are allowed, highlighted that text, and showed it to the security personnel.
    A nice young guard then very helpfully showed me how I could use my Addi Turbo circulars as a garrotte. Now don’t I just feel all Rambo?

  118. when i lived in london (wow… ten years ago??) there was a button lady in the market stalls in covent garden ….i miss all those great buttons…and tube knitting… circs are the order of the day there too!!! kath

  119. GOSH is that colour ever breathtaking. I L-O-V-E it!!!
    Have a fantastic and safe trip. Don’t forget, London has great pubs. πŸ˜‰

  120. Thank you for being such a treat. After the long day from…you know…reading along and laughing out loud immediately improves one’s outlook.
    Oh, and having pants is great too.

  121. Just made the flight from Philly to Manchester last week, and yep, there will be darkness. I’m a little jealous of your knitting time…I flew with two small children and the minutes for knitting on the plane and in the airport were few and far between!
    Safe travels…looking forward to Saturday (she says, like we’re best friends meeting for a coffee on Saturday)!

  122. You’ll catch the sun about an hour or two before you get there. Make sure you peek out the window – it’s a sunrise like you’ve never seen before.
    I adore London. Have a wonderful time.

  123. You’ll love London. We were there a couple of years ago and I can’t wait to go back. Pick up an American/English dictionary. I got one at the Westminster Abbey gift shop thinking it would be silly. But it actually was very helpful. Reading a menu and knowing what a “bap” was had its benefits! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!

  124. You’ll love it here! For buttons, go to Liberty just for the experience of going to Liberty πŸ˜‰ It’s on Carnaby Street near Oxford Circus. Oh I’m so excited! I love it when people come here for the first time.

  125. Liberty (the Haberdashery in particular) and the Victoria and Albert have already been mentioned many times over, but they really are two “must sees”. I’m sure you’ll find cool buttons in Liberty or indeed at the show on Saturday.
    As for the knitting needle debate. I haven’t yet had a problem with bamboo needles on any airline, whether on European or TransAtlantic flights. I just don’t ask, then they don’t say that I can’t take it with me!
    Look forward to Saturday. πŸ™‚

  126. I haven’t flown east to get somewhere at sun rise but the DH has. According to him, you’ll get two sunrises if the timing is right. One while you are still on the plane, you’ll land in the dark and get to see the sun come up again!!
    Have fun. I did enjoy London when I was there. (Did fly in, I was on a train from France! LOL)

  127. Being relatively new to the on-line knitting community, I thought I was brilliant when I came up with Fiddlesticks’ peacock feathers shawl as my guess. Having scrolled through the comments, I see that there are many other brilliant people around here!

  128. Oh, London is a wonderful city. You will have a great time. I’m not sure how long you’ll be there, but if you go to the giant flea market at Portobello Road (Saturdays), you’ll find buttons and all sorts of stuff there.
    And, ooh, that yarn is lovely!!! I’m working on a lace shawl myself, which is going pretty slowly as I’m more of an ambitious beginner than anything else, so I keep discovering I’ve added random stitches somehow. Anyway. I’m sure yours will go more smoothly than mine, and I’m sure both of ours will be beautiful! Enjoy your trip.

  129. Very clever blog title πŸ˜‰
    Have fun in London! I, too, imagine it as a city with many funky button shops.

  130. Good God, no knitting needles!!! I’d be swatching with coffee stir sticks just to be on the safe side.
    Ironically, (or not) the only place that airline security has denied me my knitting needles was boarding in Canada. But that was right after 9/11.
    And, think girl, 14 hours with only one skein of yarn??? What if you knit very quickly? What if you have to hang out in Greenland for an extended period of time? What else can you knit on stir sticks? Better pack another project — just to be safe, otherwise it could get ugly.

  131. We were in London last summer, where I bought some Rowan Pure Wool DK at Liberty of London. A department store that carries the entire line of Rowan yarn! Plus incredible fabrics! Plus an entire wall of buttons! So many buttons that my yarn-jaded daughters were entranced and asked if they could get some as souvenirs. Here’s a picture of part of the wall of buttons: (scroll down to the bottom)

  132. Oh, my! That lace yarn is beautiful, and I cast on for the shawl in question just a week ago. There’s always a little thrill to see someone else working on a project you’re enjoying, isn’t there?

  133. They DO have great beer in London – and lots of pubs that are very comfortable to be in . I ‘d never be found in a bar in the US, but the London pubs are not at all intimidating. And cider is tasty too. Just don’t make the mistake that I did, which was to assume that cider was non alcoholic… Good thing that I was with a friendly group as I was weaving down the street!

  134. On the way to London- not an issue, on the way home I put wooden circs in my trouser pockets and my shawl on a string and walked through the security detector! Then knit on the plane- no one said a word.
    Liberty!!! Great selection of Rowan- also Loop on Cross Street is cool.

  135. Ooh, it’s probably too late to be telling you this, but …….. darling Stephanie, you must sleeeeeeeeeeeeep as much as possible on the way over. Then when you get to London, you must stay up if at all possible until normal (local) bedtime before crashing. This will be excruciating but will go a long way towards minimizing the dreaded jet lag. The first day is worst because you’re so tired you really really want to sleep. But non! Stay awake. And you will sleep like a lamb the first night, and usually the second. The third night will be crazy and after that you’re adjusted. Good luck!
    Kathy in Oregon

  136. *whining sigh*
    That laceweight is unbearably gorgeous.
    If you don’t knit, like, a shawl for a dragon or something with it I may be let down.
    And going to London?? This is why you’re my hero. I want to grow up to be you. And knit dragon shawls en rout to London.

  137. Can’t wait to see the Midnight Rainbow knit up. I feel like I have been waiting for years (oh wait, I have!). Both the pattern and the yarn are among my favorites, so this should be very exciting (as if the trip itself were not going to amazing enough!).
    Have fun, and be very careful crossing the streets. It takes some getting used to, looking the other way first. But I am sure you knew that…

  138. Can’t wait to see the Peacock shawl in that lovely yarn! And yes, must confirm you’ll actually be in the dark pretty much the whole way. Sleep may be in order on the trip there. Maybe on the way home you’ll be allowed to chase the sun.

  139. The sweater looks great. But Londo—wow. Great city, fabulous people,love the beer, but the food. Hmm. The theory in this house is that the British Empire reached the extent it did in the search for good food. I hope you like Indian food. Great vegetarian fare even for us omnivores, and London has some of the best Indian food outside of India. And, please, do yourself a favor and stop by a Fuller’s pub and have a pint of the ESB. You won’t regret it. I am truly envious. Have a great trip!

  140. I do really believe it is possible to have only begun the Hey Teach on Aug 29 and only need to get on the buttons on Sept 3. Do you not need to sleep?? Gads I was proud to have finished 30 rows of garter in that amount of time! I am a slug, obviously.
    I also enjoyed the “straights on a plane”. Clever. Whatever planet you are from is obviously full of clever artists turned knitters turned authors. Send the co0ordinates and I will seek to get there.
    By the by, London is in a constant state of construction, so be patient with the traffic…it is confusing even to the British.
    Do a dash up to Edinburgh if you can manage it…lots of lovely knitters up there…lots of lovely yarn too, missy!!
    Enjoy and don’t work too hard…

  141. Obviously, on MY planet, where knitting is slow to progress, we spell co-ordinates differently.
    Enjoy the trip, and post well regarding the journey.

  142. OK, nobody else has said it, so…
    “I’ve had enough of these m#&$@rf—in’ straights on this m#&$@rf—in’ plane!”
    Please forgive my serious state of hee.
    Also, I too highly recommend Edinburgh. If I lived anywhere else in the world but Texas, it would probably be there.

  143. I don’t know if you know about this, but it’s my favorite place in London and if you have time, you should check it out. The Victoria & Albert (affectionately known as the V&A). It has great collections of “material culture”, an exhibit on the evolution of fashion, and a whole room full of samples of the most exquisite fabrics and embroideries I have ever seen.
    Oh, and it’s so QUIET compared to the other museums and galleries. I find it a great place to regroup, mentally.

  144. dear Harlot, i was supposed to have seen you in London, when i was supposed to have gone there this week to visit my bf face to face in his country. (he’s been here, was my turn to go there.) there would have been lots of firsts for me… first time out of the US, first time to England, and first time to see the Harlot (and, btw, this is my first comment on your blog.) but sadly, fate would not let that be. πŸ™ so, now i get no trip to see beautiful English bf, but most of all no trip to see the Harlot. i has a sad….truly. πŸ™
    despite my sadness, i hope London is fun! πŸ™‚

  145. I hope you have a great time in Haberdashery shops and tea rooms with a real high tea.
    That yarn will make a gorgeous Peacock Shawl.

  146. I flew to London in April 2006 and knit the whole way, so here’s hoping you can too. Knitting needles are not allowed on the London Eye, though; was posted on the sign and I found that pretty awesome; never been anywhere where a sign said no knitting needles allowed. Must be a knitting kind of country.

  147. Oh I bet you are going to have a wonderful time! I also hope you can find some delightful British buttons.
    I so wish I could be in London this weekend. It will be my birthday Saturday and I can’t think of a better way to spend it. In London when Stephanie is there. Unfortunately I will have to keep dreaming, and wait for pictures.

  148. Bon voyage! I hope you have a fantastic time.
    p.s. bring me back a devastatingly handsome (and wealthy) duke or something. I need someone to go with the tiara. πŸ˜‰

  149. Straights on a plane… oh, man! Good thing I’m not holding Junior right now; his evening bottle would turn to butter from being bounced by giggles! Sending safe and happy trip vibes your way…

  150. Its a little touristy at this point, but the little hole-in-the-wall shoppes in the Portobello market/street (its been 2 years since I’ve been, forgive the inexactness) sometimes have haberdashery. I bought fabulous vintage buttons from a lady who sold nothing else.m

  151. I’m not sure if someone else already mentioned this, but as a warning… My husband is British and we flew to London in May (returned to the US in June). I was shocked to find out that while it was fine for me to travel with knitting needles on the flight to the UK on the return flight I was not allowed to bring them on board. As of June they were not allowed through the British security system. Be sure to check before you try to take them through security on your return flight. I’d hate for you to get a nasty surprise once you’ve checked your luggage!
    Safe travels!

  152. thinking it will be Yarn Harlot’s Peacock…shawl – gorgeous πŸ™‚ Lace on a plane (another movie!).

  153. Coincidentally I have just been going through your archives for fun, and I do believe that gorgeous yarn is destined for a Peacock Feathers shawl, if I recall correctly. Lovely!

  154. May I recommend Liberty of London for your button search? It’s way better than the showier Harrod’s, IMVHO. Also it’s better than Peter Jacobs. AND Liberty has something that I think is extinct in the USA: a full service knitting/sewing/needlepoint department. They will have fabulous buttons. Also (if you’re anything like me), buttons will be the only thing you can afford there, but you still get to walk out with that lovely purple bag in hand. Give London a big hug and kiss from me!

  155. Love Straights on a Plane! T-shirt! T-shirt!
    Would you believe that all this time I thought you were going to London, Ontario? I am so dumb. Have a great time. Say hello to the Queen, or maybe just wave at her regally.

  156. Kathie is right, we have lots of knitters in Australia, even more beer, and haberdasheries too!

  157. I flew to Birmingham, England on Air India in June. They confiscated my dpns and told me off royally for trying to bring yarn on board.

  158. Hey Teach is a winner. Good luck finding a button in Blighty. I’ve never been there myself but the family is planning to go next summer.
    I plan to pack light as I know I will be hunting down yarn shops like there’s no tomorrow.

  159. When we have flown from the west coast of the USA to Europe, we’ve flown over Greenland — so near to the North Pole that we could see night on one side of the plane and day on the other side! Fascinating!

  160. You are going to have so much fun! My one recommendation: take a double-decker bus tour early in your trip. It’s cheesy and touristy and tons of fun – it will also help you get oriented and see a bunch of things in a short period of time so you can tick things off and pick and choose your ‘circle-back’ destinations.
    Have a ball and raise several pints for me!

  161. Hope this reaches you in time–if you’re near Regeant St./Picadilly Circus, there’s an AWESOME yarn, fabric, and notions section in the Liberty of London Department Store. It’s a huge old Tudor-style building set just a little bit off Regeant (?) I think. Just ask–it’s pretty famous.
    BONUS: CRATELOADS of Rowan!!!

  162. If you read this in time… be sure to look at the horizon around dawn; sometimes you can see a “rimbow” that goes around the entire circumference.

  163. There’s a “vintage button shop” announced for the I Knit Day marketplace…in case you don’t find the button shop of your dreams. But London really does have everything!
    I’m spending my wedding anniversary in London and am really looking forward to seeing your talk on Saturday.
    Have a good flight! (Mine is so short that I arrive 15 minutes before I depart. I love one hour time zone differences.) πŸ™‚

  164. Well, you go to Liberty and ask where their haberdashery department is. Lots of buttons there.
    BA are neurotic about needles. The British Airport Authority even more so. You need bamboo circs to stand even a chance of getting them through, sorry. Take a stamped addressd envelope just in case.

  165. Yes to Button Queen, John Lewis, Liberty, Big yes for V V Rouleaux.
    If you go to see the Crown Jewels go at opening time at the Tower of London, see the Jewels first, do not get side tracked by a Yeoman Warder (Beefeater) once you have seen the Jewels (they are the real ones)then go back and do the Yeoman Warder Tour and everything else. If you leave the Jewels until later in the morning the queue (line) is horrendous.
    Come to the V&A for the best chocolate brownies in London and the costume court, also the Jewellery Gallery, lots of georgeous fabness recently opened.

  166. This will be way to late to help you, dear Harlot, but I thought others might benefit from my experience. Knitting needles are no longer proscribed materials in UK airports – I treble checked that when flying from Heathrow to Miami 2 years ago. However, as someone else has mentioned, it does help to bring along the relevant bit from the Heathrow website.
    FWIW, the official line is that it is down to the individual airline – I ended up interogating some poor bloke at the Department of Transport, just to get that confirmed (I told him I wanted a copy of the relevant legislation – he said there wasn’t any).
    Two years ago, British Airways would have allowed me to knit from London to Miami, but it meant being walked to the gate by their supervisor. (NB, security screens at Heathrow are centralised and not at the individual gates.) Coming back, they just said “no”.
    On the other hand, Air Canada allowed me to knit travelling back from Montreal to London, but when I asked at check-in in London, they said “no”. The stewards/stewardesses didn’t batt an eyelid on the flight (although one commented on my “pretty knitting”). That was in November, last year.
    My motto: bamboo DPNs or circulars. And don’t raise the issue; wait to be challenged (you probably won’t be). Note: this doesn’t apply when travelling on those airlines (BMI for instance), which have signs up everywhere saying “no knitting needles”.
    – Pam

  167. Well I for one will sleep easier Friday for knowing you’ll be so well equipped! The first aid kit particularly could take some hits on Saturday. See you there!

  168. Ohh I’m so jealous! I love London! I hope you have a marvelous time. I just love traveling vicariously with you. Make sure that you take lots of pictures for us and blog them. (Just in case you didn’t realize it, we like lots of pictures of knitting and sight seeing way better than any crappy T-shirt you might bring us back!) Safe journey and happy button hunting. Your Hey Teach is just lovely!

  169. Yes I second/third “The Button Queen” at 19 Marylebone Lane, Marylebone, London … VV Rouleaux is just round the corner too … and you are stones throw from the lovely St Christophers Place and Marylebone High St – both wonderful shopping places (and minutes away from the bustle of Oxford St/Bond St).
    Have a wonderful time here in London – gutted not to be able to come to the iKnit show, but I guess my bank manager is relieved!

  170. Go to LIBERTY’S in London… You’ll love it. And if you have time go and have a look at Kew Botanical Gardens. They are beautiful. Have a nice trip and a wonderful time!

  171. So looking forward to hearing/seeing you in London – although I own to never using the word ‘haberdashery’ I’m sure you’ll find a relevant spot to slip in somewhere.

  172. I hope you packed for rainy weather…
    Looking forward to Saturday πŸ™‚
    Fingers crossed they let you keep your needles on the plane!

  173. So, here’s the thing…
    I’ve been knitting for over three years now, and in that time, I’ve started many things, finished a few, and never actually, honest to god, sat down to knit a jumper or a cardigan, on the basis that I was too large and didn’t want to spend months knitting something that would look terrible on me and make me look like a barrel wrapped in blubber.
    Then I saw “Hey Teach” and liked it, but thought I’d wait until I’ve lost a bit more weight.
    Then I saw you knitting it and still thought it was nice, but that I’d wait.
    Then, three days ago, some alien took over my brain and I found myself swatching (swatching! I never swatch!) for it.
    It’s also possibly worth mentioning that I’ve never really seamed anything up, and the only jumpers/cardigans I’ve attempted (none anywhere near completion) have been all in one top down raglans.
    Notwithstanding that, I’ve now completed the back and almost all of one front of Hey Teach and have the completely insane goal of having it completed and being able to wear it to I Knit day, despite having no real idea of what to do once all the bits are done.
    So, if there’s a Scottish girl wearing a dusky purple Hey Teach in the autograph line, you’ll know I made it.
    Most likely, there’ll be a bundle of bits in my bag.
    Anyway, thanks for the inspiration and for providing the motivation to get out of my comfort zone and try an actual garment for once, even if I seem to have caught the unlikely deadline inspiration in the process.
    (and yes, Liberty’s is probably the place to find buttons, and a wonderful place to visit even if you’re not buying anything)

  174. If you want something out of a Victorian novel and buttons to die for, try the haberdashery section on the first floor at Macculloch and Wallis ( in Dering Street just around the corner from John Lewis on Oxford Street.
    Looking forward to Saturday.

  175. I’ve been waiting for you to make the peacock shawl with that yarn since Susie gave it to you! I started reading her blog right after that and love her yarn and her. I can’t wait to see it started:)
    Congrats on finishing the sweater in time. Hope you find a really cool funky button shop so you can wear it while you’re there!

  176. So that’s where summer has been hiding…Toronto. Cuz here in Nova Scotia, it’s bloody well autumn. Alright, alright, I really don’t mind. But one more day of warm would be nice so I could say goodbye properly.
    Have a lovely time in jolly old England. Don’t forget to say ‘allo to the guvnah.

  177. Hadn’t realised “haberdashery” wasn’t in use elsewhere. What word do you use instead? Very much looking forward to Saturday.

  178. We’re looking forward to seeing you …!!
    Just to clear up some of the points (haha) re needles. The rules are put in place by BAA who run both Heathrow and Gatwick airports (and are not to be confused with BA, the usual acronym for British Airways which is an entirely different organisation), so the rules are the same for both airports and it is they who handle pre-departure security, although of course the way the people who are on shift at any one time enforce those rules may vary. BAA’s website used to say that knitting needles were banned because they were sharp and pointy, but no longer does so and anecdotes in the comments here and on Ravelry seem to show an inconsistent approach. So you may get away with it, you may not. The trouble is, you won’t find out until you reach the head of a very long queue, so whether you’re prepared to then leave that queue, find a post box and post the needles back to yourself is the big question. I recommend putting your knitting on a life line and being prepared to sacrifice the needles.
    Once through security, other then your experiences earlier this year, I haven’t (I don’t think) heard much talk of an airline in flight asking a knitter to stop, although I may be corrected on that.
    Still – you’ll be so exhausted from all the excitement of London, its sights, and iKnit day that you’ll just want to sleep all the way home anyway!
    See you on Saturday!

  179. There’s a fair chance you’ll be able to pick up some buttons at iKnit day, y’know. Otherwise, Button Queen, MacCulloch & Wallis and the shop on Marylebone High Street are all good recs – Berwick Street in Soho is full of amazing haberdashery shops – and if you’re still in town on Tuesday (doubtful I guess), there’s a fantastic little button stall at Covent Garden market.
    It’s a lie about the warm beer btw. Lager, at least, is served cold.

  180. I’ve flown BA several times in the past year in and out of London. I have not had any problem with bamboo dpns. I’m not sure the scanner even recognizes them as knitting needles. Have fun.

  181. Other people have mentioned The Button Queen, MacCulloch and Wallis is at 25-26 Dering Street, pretty much opposite John Lewis on Oxford St, and Berwick St is great for fabric and haberdashery, Liberty is lovely for a mooch around – all of these are within walking distance of each other. I don’t know if the boys at IKnit stock buttons but they’ll be able to tell you where near Waterloo does.
    Really looking forward to seeing you on Saturday!

  182. As others have said, Heathrow (well, technically speaking, I think it’s BAA who manage Heathrow and most of the other big airports) are sucky and anti-knitting and don’t let knitting needles on board. They don’t officially make distinctions between straights, circulars, wooden, plastic, etc, it’s just a blanket ban. I know people who have taken dpns through on the grounds that, through the magic scanny machine, wooden dpns in a pencil case (or even floating in the bottom of your bag) look identical to pencils and won’t be picked out. Lots of people have done this. That said, last time I went to Heathrow though they had knitting needles very prominently on the same list of things you aren’t allowed on the plane as replica guns and baseball bats (Seriously: displayed all over the place. So even if they don’t stop you, you’d still be breaking the rules, and the mere thought of that makes me itchy with stress. I’d be worried even taking them into Heathrow, because they have been known to be both excessive and inconsistent, and I’d hate to loose a project and/or needles.
    I’m sure people have already suggested John Lewis on Oxford Street and Liberty’s for haberdashery/buttons, but it’s also worth trying the Apple Market in Covent Garden. They have different stalls on different days, but I have occasionally seen a cool button stall there, and Covent Garden is worth visiting anyway, even if the button people aren’t there on that day.
    Wish I could come and see you speak in London, which is my original home town, but I’m currently in the process of moving house further north. Have fun in London!

  183. Wait a minute. They (at least some airlines) don’t allow knitting needles on planes because they are sharp and pointy, but they will allow pencils, which are also sharp and pointy? What have I missed here?
    Then again, the supposed logic of much of this tends to escape me.
    I also fail to see the danger of bringing yarn on board, unless one could confuse it with cordite or some string-like fuse thingy?
    Ah! I see! We are all in danger from terrorists knitting bombs out of cordite!

  184. Good morning Stephanie. Have fun in London. I’ve never been there either, but you’re right, it does seem like they should have a plethora of button shops. πŸ™‚
    Your sweater is beautiful, as is that yummy yarn. πŸ™‚

  185. It’s so kind of you to come all the way over here just for my wedding anniversary!! My husband is taking me to Iknit as my gift and even he’s excited about seeing you!
    Have a safe flight…knitting or no knitting!

  186. Yes you will be flying in in the dark, But on the way back the sun is with you all the way, awsome sight over Greenland, especially if you fly out (from London)at sunset, it follows you all the way…
    And by the way, Vancouver-London=1 sock, a return trip= a pair…

  187. I’m so excited that you’re coming to London!!!! I tried to get the combined I Knit Day ticket, but, girl, you were sold out in May!!!!!! So, hopefully, I see you at the book signing. I think that’s so cool that you’re getting such a warm welcome!
    Be careful on your trip…it’s been freezing over here all week, so hopefully it’ll cheer up for your visit!
    Cute sweater, BTW. Can’t wait to see what buttons you pick for it!

  188. Liberty is a must, just for the ambiance, but there should be buttons galore. I hit the remnant bin on one occasion, and they had a Kaffe Fassett exhibit on one of the upper floors – furnishings primarily. His latest book has very patchwork-like vibes, very tempting.
    Safe travels all the way – cheers, pbe

  189. All that stuff about Heathrow not allowing knitting needles is baloney. I’m living in London right now and I have NEVER had to turn in my knitting needles before boarding a flight here (and just flew long-haul in and out of Heathrow last week). Just use circulars to be on the safe side and you should be just fine.

  190. On Berwick Street, which is just off Oxford Street (but you should buy an A to Z so you can find things) there are several lovely fabric + haberdashery shops. If I wanted to buy nice buttons in London I’d go there and look in all the shops ’till I found something I wanted.

  191. It’s been 10 years since I crossed the Atlantic, but as I recall, yes, you are flying toward the sun, not following the sun. So, there will be night, but it will be PAINFULLY short and just as your body wants its deepest, 1am kind of sleep, it will be time to get up. I read somewhere that you should put on sunglasses in the airport at the time that it would be getting dark where you are going, so at 4pm in the east coast airport I started wearing sunglasses, and I tried really hard to sleep on the plane. I was better off that trip than any other.

  192. Pack em up for the trip home. While you can knit flying from the US the European cities will confiscate your needles for the ride home.

  193. Please don’t miss the Victoria and Albert while in London. The needlework there is fab. It would take days to see all that is there and it’s a great place for a creative mind to gain inspiration.
    Portabello Market is a great place to find all kinds of quirky things and there are dealers there that have many wonderful textile items, buttons, needles, hooks, old handmades, too many to mention and such a great variety. If you want to find a set of buttons that only you would have and would never see anywhere else, that’s the place to go but early because the crowds there get heavy the closer to noon. Some sellers deal with you on price and others don’t. You can find all kinds of cool things from the 60’s London fashion scene to buttons that could have been owned by Mary Poppins to even older than that and modern as well. I totally love shopping there.
    As for other yarns, there’s a shop near Chelsea that we went to once for needlepoint yarn that had absolutely nothing in the front. You go in, the bell rings, and a lady brings it from a back room out to you as you request items. It was very British but had a great selection.
    I envy anyone getting to go to Liberty. It is one of my favorite London experiences.
    Make sure and blog often what you are up to so the rest of us stuck at work here can live vicariously through you as we usually do.

  194. You are here! Welcome! Did you manage to knit on the flight? Button Queen on Marylebone Lane is supposed to be lovely. Liberty is not what it was yarnwise, but go for the architecture. The foodie market at Borough is a must at weekends. We will bring you beer!

  195. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to be allowed to knit on the flights in and out of Heathrow. Like in Australia, knitting is banned by their own aviation laws. Not even crochet. It sucks, believe me.

  196. Well, I’ve used wood knitting needles and a wood crochet hook in and out of Heathrow, and was prepared to use the pencil argument! That haberdashers in Dering St (Bond St tube nearby), MacCulloch and Wallis, was amazing when I went there a couple of years ago.

  197. A visit to the Button Queen is essential on a trip to London! John Lewis, Liberty’s, Rouleaux and the Button Queen are all within walking distance of each other, so it’s easy. Just be careful about the time. The Button Queen is only open M-F 10-5 and Sat 10-2. You don’t want to be disappointed. They have wonderful shell buttons in many colours. Can’t wait to see you on Saturday.

  198. Hope you enjoy my town! Don’t try to do too much – potter, I say (it’s my favourite thing to do). And bring a brolly – it’s blimming raining again.

  199. I’ve taken bamboo and plastic Denise circs onto planes and never been challenged. Have a wonderful time in London!

  200. Your peacock will be lovely– that is a perfect color. But your flight will be all in darkness, as in, the time between sundown and sunrise. The sun will be going the other way around the world. Have a wonderful time!

  201. Wooden and light plastic needles are okay on flights, steel needles are not. I have flown in and out of both Heathrow and Gatwick with plastic and wooden ones = knitted happily enroute to both Europe and Canada.
    See you on Saturday!

  202. You make the “Hey Teach” look so wonderful I purchased it and can’t wait to get started. Even better, the pattern has XL size included !!!

  203. When I was in England last November, London airports were allowing knitting needles specifically but Manchester (where I had to fly) was not. When I asked while dropping off a friend a week before I left, the security person said “You can just check them; I mean, you won’t need them *on the plane* will you?” I think I managed something about entertaining myself for the 9 hour flight to the incredulous guy. Anyway, the solution? Bamboo circulars. These do no seem to be recognized as knitting needles to the British. And they’re ever so slightly cheaper to replace than a pair of Addis if they are confiscated.

  204. I knit my mom an Icarus Shawl from that yarn. I almost kept it for myself it was so pretty. She loves it! Have fun with your project!

  205. But how can it be, I started my teach two weeks before you and you have already finished! Oh, I bow low before you!
    Have a good time in London!

  206. I hope you’re enjoying London! I was just there in June- and didn’t realize about the staying left on the sidewalk thing either (you learn fast though- or get trampled!)
    Love your blog- have a great time!

  207. Are we at last to see the Peacock Shawl? Can’t wait!
    Also, my boyfriend would like a word with you. He lives in Western Massachusetts and I have been pestering him about WEBS for (seemingly) centuries. Two weekends ago, I finally got him to drive me the 45 minutes to Northampton. We walked in, he did the Indy 500 lap of the place, and got out. I spent two wonderful hours there, and got yanked out only when he came back in to grab me. I told him I learned about the place from you, and well, he’s looking for someone to blame. Sorry.

  208. Hmmm..interesting. After I read this post, I smiled to myself, thinking “I wonder how many people will be looking up the word Haberdashery today?” And I just looked at this news site (sort of–I mean it’s not the most professional news reporting, but you know) and they were talking about Sarah Palin’s speach last night (she is the running mate for John McCain, in the US pres.race, btw). One of the ways they judge how interested people are and what struck them is to see how many people searched the things she spoke about. Anyhow, in a weird twist of fate, she used the term last night, too! Obviously, I’m wondering how many of those searches are actually attributed to you and not Sarah Palin, hmmm? Just a thought…

  209. Wow, that lace yarn looks JUST like some I got at Wellington Fibers in May! Except of course, mine has mohair in it and not silk. I’d love to have a long flight somewhere. Anywhere. With no kids.

  210. I love London. Go to Harrods or Marks and Spencers and get some Belgian chocolate fresh creams- to die for. If you are there on a week end be sure to shop on Portobello Road. Walk around just absorbing being there. In another life, I will live there for at least one year. πŸ™‚

  211. I must tell you….I have a co-worker (who is not a knitter) that is leaving for London in a few days. I showed her a picture of you and said if she gets a photo with you I will knit her anything she wants……so if a strange smallish, redheaded woman comes madly running up to you……don’t be afraid….she wants a pair of hand knit socks. Of course London is a large place, but you never know….I just wanted to warn you.

  212. This is just a suggestion, but maybe you could try Jeni at Fyberspates for handmade buttons or duttons for Buttons in Harrogate, they are mail order and online, Jeni is at iKnit so maybe you could pop over to her stand over the road. See you tomorrow. How are you finding our ‘blissful’ weather. Honest it chucked it down on Tuesday I got soaked, then yesterday it was blistering. You don’t know what clothes to put on half the time when living here. That’s British weather for ya. Hope to have a knitterly chat with you at the booksigning. I’m dying to meet you.

  213. Have this most fabulous time in London! It’s a great city – you must do the Victoria and Albert museum (and cafe – ooh cake!). I’d love to be at the iKnit day now that you are finally on my side of the water but I’m at a family wedding.

  214. I saw you at the iKnit Day today and you were great! Many thanks. Your stories made me think of the time that this lady came to my knitting club in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. When I told her that during the winter we always go to the pub and sit and knit there, her comment was: “Well, I think it must be very offputting for the men there to see all those women knitting”. She did not respond when I said that we sometimes found the men in the pub quite offputting too. So much for sisterhood hey!
    Best wishes

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