Sunday 6 July 2008

A Squash and a Squeeze...

I am halfway through a 4 weekend cycle of having no No2 around, so I thought I'd pop into the West End for a bit of retail therapy. The trouble is it was a BIG mistake.

As I approached Baker Street on the bus, there was an announcement that the bus would be following a diversion at Marble Arch because of a parade. Oh well, thinks me, I'll just jump on the tube and make my way down to Covent Garden underground. My first stop was to be The Bead Shop. I have been looking for some beads with fairly big holes in the middle to thread onto some lovely bamboo yarn I bought in Loop a while back, to make some crochet bowl covers from my Vintage Crochet book.

After a quick sandwich stop in Borders on Charing Cross Road, I made my way up to Liberty. It was to be a one-stop visit to the haberdashery department. As always, it was full of temptation, but I resisted and came away with just 3 half metre pieces of Amy Butler fabrics in greys and lime greens. Leaving the shop by the main door, I found myself in a noisy, colourful crowd. Unbeknown to me, I was in the thick of the Pride London parade - so that was it! Momentarily, I got caught up in the fun and laughed to see Boris Johnson, our new mayor, leading the parade wearing a pink stetson. I have to confess to loving Boris - he is quite mad and I'm all for it! After seeing him host Have I Got News For You, I think he is the man for the job...

Anyway, time was pressing on and I had a party to get to last night, so I headed northwards to Oxford Circus so I could nip into John Lewis and buy the yarn that was also on my shopping list. The crowd that had been all laughter and gaiety (if you'll excuse the pun) soon turned into The Crowd From Hell and I found myself in the thick of a mass of humans who were pushing and shoving but with no apparent direction. The police presence didn't seem to have much of a handle on the situation and anyone who knows what it's like at Oxford Circus at the best of times can maybe imagine what it was like. I was pressed up against a wall, getting pushed from every angle. I was terrified and on the verge of a panic attack, I think. To make things worse, the sun was blazing down. After what seemed like ages, the police managed to get some control on the situation and I was able to move forward and escape. It all sounds very dramatic, but I really got scared at one point. Once I had some space around me, I realised that my lovely purple Liberty bag was empty. In the squash, the bag had been pulverised and the bottom had fallen out (it was one of their lovely paper bags!) and my new fabric purchases were gone...

On shaking legs and with a pounding heart, I headed to John Lewis as planned, hoping to take comfort from the calming qualities of wool. It was so calming in fact, that I filled a basket from the sale bins of odd balls of Rowan yarns which are perfect for doing amigurumi or making more Easter Eggs for next year. And all less than half price! Small consolation then?

I think I may have enough yarn to keep me going for a while. This is a quick list of my projects in the pipeline:

  • Crocheted heart for my friend to carry at her wedding - I'm hoping to adapt the sweetheart bunting pattern here. I'll use Debbie Bliss pure silk, such decadence!

  • Another Syd Rabbit. This time for my friend's almost 2 year old, whose birthday is coming up in August, using the Rowan Classic Baby Alpaca.

  • A crocheted bag for another friend's almost 5 year old daughter, this time from this book, which I've just ordered from Amazon. I'll use the Rowan pure wool DK.

Remind me to check for events in Central London, next time I decide to brave the crowds...


  1. blimey, I think all those people would have sent me into a tailspin! Mind you that's what comes of living in the Highlands for years I guess. Love the yarn and the beads - will look out for the results! (I found your blog via Driftwood by the way)

  2. Scary stuff - there's something very frightening about a seething mass of humans.

    Glad the beautiful wool could calm you down a bit.

  3. Oh no poor you to have lost your Liberty purchases! I know what you mean about the sun blazing down if I get over heated as hubbo calls it I just need to get away from everything and everyone!

    I'm glad I don't have your to do list!

    Have a great rest of the weekend.

    Vanessa x

  4. Oooh--I'm so sorry about your Liberty fabrics. I know just what you mean about Oxford Street. I can't handle it even on the best of days. But your yarn purchases are absolutely beautiful :) K x

  5. Glad you got out safe, I think I would have been scared as well..I don't do crowds either. Sorry you lost your fabric stash-but a great excuse to do a return trip to Liberty, me thinks?! Lovely hearty bunting, by the way. Have a great week x

  6. Gosh Tracy, that sounds really frightening. I wouldn't have liked it ... at all :-O So sorry to hear about your losing the fabric - I think us crafters feel your pain much more than others might - but the yarn you bought is very tasty!

    Take care of yourself. x

  7. Woolly loveliness! And what a shame you lost your fabric. It's scary being stuck in a huge crowd, hemmed in with no escape.I don't enjoy London much these days, even when the crowds are thin!

  8. You pooooor thing!! I feel so awful about the horrid crowd and your fabric loss. I'm glad the yarn made you feel a little better if not less shaken, it is very beautiful. Glad you are safe anyway x

  9. I was so enjoying tracing your footsteps through some very familiar London spots until the crowd went a bit crazy.

    So glad nothing too terrible happened and look forward to seeing the results of the knitting.

  10. Nothing happened to you!? Mary, she LOST her fabric. That's a terrible tragedy. I was almost in a panic just reading about the crush.

    The beads are exquisite.

  11. that sounds like quite the trip! sorry to hear about the scary squash and the tragedy of lost fabric - perhaps a letter to Liberty about the fragility of the bag might get a compensatory gift voucher?, hope the lovely wool has soothed your soul.

  12. Holey moley, that feeling of being swept along by a crowd is not fun at all. I'm glad you're OK.

    Gorgeous wool, all of it.

  13. How annoying that you lost your fabric. I hope some kind soul had a lucky find and it wasn't deliberatley stolen! I hate crowds and would never venture up to London at the weekend but you wasn't to know that such an event was taking place. The wool looks soft and gorgeous. I am glad you got home in one piece with the rest of your purchases.

  14. I'm feeling the fabric angst. I have to say that there are times when plastic bags win over environmentally friendly paper bags.

  15. oh my - what delicious yarns - all my favorite brands! I miss John Lewis - we don't have anything like that shop in the US.

  16. "Oh to be in England, now that April's there..." What an adventure. Sorry that you lost that fabric.

  17. Sounds like a hellish experience! I don't like crowds at all and the thought of being hemmed in and not being able to escape is pretty terrifying! And to loose your liberty fabrics too - I'd have been in tears. I'm glad you managed to find solace in some lovely yarns x

  18. Brave sorry that you lost your purchases...those beads are lovely though! at first glimps they look like Troll beads!
    I agree whole heartily about Boris...he is so much better than - !!!
    I must visit that bead shop...what street is it in?

  19. what a shame about the fabric. and i totally get it. Crowds are scary...

    but your crochet projects? They look fab!!!

  20. Gosh..that's scary! Love the beads and wool..look forward to seeing your creations :)
    I have a tag on my blog if you feel like having a play (entirely optional of course) Gx


Hi! Thanks for leaving me a comment, I really enjoy reading them and I will try to reply if I can find an email address for you...