Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Plain and simple

The first thing that I recall are the smiles.
I can add many more little details to this story.
I can write about a bright yet slightly chilly Saturday morning, about how the sky was clean, but the streets were dirty with leftovers from the Friday night binging and partying.

I can put my best writing skills into action, so to describe to the last of the meaningless detail how I made my way out of Finsbury Park tube station and managed to reach my destination without getting lost, not even once. But these already poor skills would be wasted on the effort. Not to mention the fact that they'd be used to state a little lie, as it's generally acknowledged I got the orientation skills of a rock (but hey! Be fair: it's not my fault most of the roads in London have no street sign!).
I can also word my wonder at seeing the number of shops selling wigs in Stroud Green Rd. Really! One wig shop after another! Yet there were not a huge number of bold people around.
I can occupy a good bunch of lines in describing the view that greeted me when I stepped into "Bon Matin", the array of savory and sweet pies, croissants and cakes on display, how the skylights made everything look brighter and more cheerful and how the aroma of sugar and coffee seemed to envelope me in a welcoming hug.

All of these details though, meaningful as they can be to me, would add very little to what lies at the heart of this post. The smiles, their smiles.

I spotted Giselle sitting at one of the tables: of all my knitting-friends that agreed to meet me on my Saturday in London, I knew she was going to be on time. I can't remember now if she was knitting already, but I remember she smiled when she looked up from the menu and saw me.
And Joanne smiled at me few minutes later, and so did Belinda.

A slice of quiche, coffee, tea, orange juice, some knitting and chats later, May arrived, smiling obviously. 
We took a leisurely stroll to Nest.
I love Nest. It's one of the nicest shop in London: the place is cosy and warm, and it's very hard impossible to walk out of it without any shopping done.
We spent some more time there knitting and chatting, laughing and telling stories, discussing projects and plans.Smiles were back in full force when it was time to say goodbye, even though they were slightly sad ones this time.
We had planned to meet up again before I left London, I had a date set for it before I arrived in Amsterdam... talk about planning! I thought it was going to be enough time, but the hours flew away so quickly and I found myself on a train down to Farnborough feeling like I could have used a couple of hours more with them.

Few weeks ago I finally casted off a pullover I've been working on for quite a long time.
The name of the pattern is "Plain and simple" and it's absolutely beautiful: when I look at it, neatly folded in my wardrobe I can't help but smile. I am proud of having made it to the end of the project, happy of having chosen the pattern, glad my mum let me have some of her old buttons.
I started it when I was in London, back in June: this ocean of stockinette stitches has been a nice commuter companion, worked in the round on the 88 to work, on the 87 back from work and sitting with the London. But mainly I knitted in good company around central London with the lovely people that form the Knitting and Crafts Meetup.
They have been sitting with me in the café, smiling as I ranted non-stop all my frustrations out, while knitting, knitting, knitting and still knitting some more.
So every time I look at it or wear it, I feel a smile surfacing up onto my face.
No matter how cold a day can get, I got a nice, plain, simple and deliciously green jumper to keep me warm.
 I got the nice, plain, simple memory of my friends' smiles to chase the cold away.

stockinette ocean


  1. I LOVE THIS! I was surprised to see the photo, as it looks exactly like a sweater (color, pattern, three buttons on asymmetrical collar) that I ordered from a company called Coldwater Creek years ago. One of my favorites ever. Your knitting is beautiful!

  2. thanks! the designer of tthis pattern, Veera Välimäki, is finnish and I really like her work.
    I'll have to google Coldwater Creek.

    My granny taught me how to knit and this Christmas holiday I will teach my niece :-)