View Full Version : Going to England.. should I avoid purchasing patterns?

01-12-2009, 09:36 AM
We're going on a tour of Great Britain and I'm just wondering if I should avoid purchasing pattern books over there. Also, is there any particular yarn I should purchase should I stumble across it? Not really planning on seeking out any stores, but you never know what you'll come across.
Thanks for your help~

01-12-2009, 09:48 AM
The only things which might stop me from buying patterns would be (1) the exchange rate, and (2) the thought that I'd have to carry them home. Otherwise, some British designers have some nice patterns. Many of the British yarns are available in the U.S. now, too, so I don't know of anything you should snatch up - unless there's some great hand-spun yarn you stumble across. That's unique anywhere.

But if you like yarn stores, it makes perfect sense to do something you enjoy while you're on your trip. :)

01-12-2009, 09:51 AM
Some terminology may be a bit different in the patterns, but there are plenty of places on the internet to find "translations" and I wouldn't let that stop you. As far as yarns-I'd look around for some of the English brands that are available here and see if you can find them cheaper. (One example that comes to mind is Rowan.)

ETA: And have fun in Great Britain! I'm jealous.

01-12-2009, 10:25 AM
As a Brit I say...buy as much as you can carry! :yay: :teehee:

01-12-2009, 10:46 AM
:rofl: As a Brit I say...buy as much as you can carry! :yay: :teehee:

Hahahaha I have to agree lol . :) Seriously though! Just buy what you like and what you can afford .
But i know if i ever go to the US . I would bring an mpty suitcase with me and fill it up lol :roflhard:

01-12-2009, 11:28 AM
Thanks everyone for your quick response! It's helpful to know that there are translations on the net. Will probably do some googling on that and the exchange rates as well. As far as there being British yarn here, I guess I never read the label close enough to see where it's made. And yes, books do add weight don't they~~
hmmm. Will have to be careful.
Again, thanks to all,

01-12-2009, 12:52 PM
If you do buy a lot of stuff you could ship it home to yourself.

01-12-2009, 02:43 PM
Do you know exactly where you are going in the UK. Look up the places by googling and see what local yarn shops/spinners that you find. Yarn is very expensive over here and so is books. So I would only buy stuff that you definitely could not get in the US. like locally spun/handyed yarn. Hope you have a great time exploring the UK.

01-12-2009, 03:07 PM
I went to Paris last summer and came home with two books and ...uh... several (5) knitting magazines ... and I do not speak French. I have not even tried to translate them but I LOVE looking at them.... I say buy anything you see and fall in love with. I have learned in travleing... you can't go back and what you really wanted and didn't get will haunt you !!!

01-12-2009, 04:36 PM
Some terminology may be a bit different in the patterns, but there are plenty of places on the internet to find "translations" and I wouldn't let that stop you. As far as yarns-I'd look around for some of the English brands that are available here and see if you can find them cheaper. (One example that comes to mind is Rowan.)

ETA: And have fun in Great Britain! I'm jealous.

As a Brit I say...buy as much as you can carry! :yay: :teehee:


Hahahaha I have to agree lol . :) Seriously though! Just buy what you like and what you can afford .
But i know if i ever go to the US . I would bring an mpty suitcase with me and fill it up lol :roflhard:

Do you know exactly where you are going in the UK. Look up the places by googling and see what local yarn shops/spinners that you find. Yarn is very expensive over here and so is books. So I would only buy stuff that you definitely could not get in the US. like locally spun/handyed yarn. Hope you have a great time exploring the UK.

Oh! Sounds like you can take some of your "American" yarns or pattern books and trade with some UK knitters. ;)

--Jack :guyknitting:

01-12-2009, 06:06 PM
Oh! Sounds like you can take some of your "American" yarns or pattern books and trade with some UK knitters. ;)

--Jack :guyknitting:

Hehe, I love American yarns so it would work for me! My brother is living over there now so I get yarn and magazines for presents :woot:

01-12-2009, 06:26 PM
It's a ten-day tour.. Stratford, York, Scotland, Bristol, etc., but we're staying a few days longer to see more of London. Good idea to ship things home. I know they'll be giving us free time, but when and where...?? But, yeah, I should pack an extra extra large suitcase with nothing but my stash. Ha I've been doing some googling. Seems the crochet terminology is way more different than the knitting terminology. Don't think I'm going to bring my knitting needles on the plane. I've heard that it's easier leaving America with them than it is returning, although I know you can mail them back. Precious AddyTurbos are too expensive to chance it. I mean, who knows what damage might occur in a mailing envelope!
Thanks you, you guys. Appreciate it~ :)


01-13-2009, 06:44 AM
If you are going to Bristol I would put Get Knitted on your Itinerary. I would happily move to Bristol just so I could visit that shop. Look at Getknitted.com

01-13-2009, 07:55 AM
I have only got into knitting recently but I have come across "I knit London" a few times and it looks pretty good. Here is the website http://www.iknit.org.uk/index.html

I wouldn't take your knitting needles on the plane in your hand luggage but its fine if you're putting it in your checked in luggage.

01-13-2009, 12:41 PM
We're staying at the Marriott City Centre in Bristol. Looks like the yarn shop is a few miles away from the hotel. I hope I get a chance to visit it. Thanks for the tip!
Also checked out the "I knit London" link. It looks like the shop is close to the London Eye~~ the huge ferris wheel. We'll have a few days of free time in London so maybe I'll get a chance to stop in. Appreciate it~ thanks! But yeah, I suppose I could put my knitting in the checked-in luggage but I don't think I'll have much of a chance to knit because the tours keep you pretty busy doing and seeing stuff. So, I guess I'll leave my project at home. Just hope I don't go through knitting withdrawal on the plane. Ha!
Thanks again, all~

01-13-2009, 05:05 PM
Here (http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&source=embed&msa=0&msid=111287046617801714876.0004367756018bc4ced50&ll=53.994854,-3.537598&spn=9.127785,19.775391&z=6) is a map of the Yarn shops in UK put together by someone on Ravelry (I forget where I got the link)
I think the crochet terms are different, but I think you can find online conversions for those too.

01-13-2009, 05:14 PM
Well how cool is that! I can't believe how many there are!! Incredible.
Thank you~

01-13-2009, 05:56 PM

The thing that flumoxes me the most is the weight differences between US and UK. There's another thread on this forum, in fact, asking the difference between DK (Double Knit) and Worsted.

There's a really high proportion of knitting over here done with DK, so if you should happen across a DK pattern you like, I'd get the yarn at the same time.

You're in luck with the exchange rate - it was 2 US $ to 1 for quite a long time but about three months ago the took a tumble, so the Dollar is trading at approx. $1.50 to the .

Anyway, I hope you have a great time - wool gathering, or not!

All the Best

01-13-2009, 07:10 PM
That's interesting and good to know about DK patterns and yarns. Thanks for sharing.

Those are good exchange rates. We aren't leaving for awhile, so I hope they last, but probably won't! I'm just doing my homework and checking things out early to familiarize. What I might do next is to try to find a free UK pattern on line just to see what it's like. I found this link that might be decent for abbreviations and conversions:

Thanks, Ellie.

01-13-2009, 08:46 PM
Have a great trip -- I love London, it's one of my favorite, if not my very favorite, cities in the world! I happen to be here even as we post. I'll be at I Knit UK for the first time tomorrow evening, I hope -- I need to pick up some nice but inexpensive washable wool for the USO Hat drive, for knitted hats to go under soldiers' helmets, and any excuse...besides, I just have to visit a yarn store with a license to serve alcohol, don't I? :yay:

It's about a ten minute walk from the Eye to Waterloo Station, if that's helpful for you!

Hope you get to Borough Market (http://www.boroughmarket.org.uk/) if you're a foodie! (It's right near Southwark Cathedral.) I haven't been for a while, and there's a bakery stall there that serves the most wonderful Portuguese custards... :heart: LOL -- yes, even though it's 1 am, I'm STARVED!

01-13-2009, 11:11 PM
You probably won't find many yarns or patterns that are worsted weight; they tend to be DK/light worsted, or aran/heavy worsted, though aran is closer to the US weight than DK is.

01-14-2009, 11:52 AM
Another wrinkle in your yarn will be the weights and measures. What do they have on the lable? Grams and meters, stones and yards, ounces and yards?

I know a UK gallon is larger than the US gallon, but I don't expect you would need that for yarn. ;)

I've learned from BrittyKnits (http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1156366&postcount=3) that UK two ply is finger/baby/sport weight (2).

http://www.yarnstandards.com/weight.html (http://www.yarnstandards.com/weight.html)
will help a bit with the yarn weight, but it isn't the one with the UK measures... I'm looking for that. I have it somewhere.

KCG Trading UK/USA/Austraila/NZ Conversion Charts (http://www.kcgtrading.com/conversioncharts.html) <-- that's it!


01-14-2009, 01:47 PM
Here's another that explains the ply system of weight and the US equivalents - http://yarnforward.com/tension.html

01-14-2009, 02:03 PM
All of this information is very helpful, you guys. Thanks! I'll look for Borough Market (oh yes, big time foodie here). Appreciate it. I was thinking of buying a recipe book for scones, but yikes. Unless they've converted
it from metric, forget it! But maybe I can find something~ who knows?

Will probably stick with locally spun/hand-dyed yarn as suggested by Karina earlier. I had no idea that the yarn would be so different! Gonna bookmark those links too.

Sue, this site is tremendous. Can't tell you how many times I've watched your videos to learn new techniques and to just generally jog my memory on stitches that I couldn't quite remember how to do. I learned how to knit continental by playing your video over and over. It finally kicked in for me. Don't want to get to mushy here, but I'm so very grateful. Thank you so much :hug: The forum is great too!

Thanks again~ all,

01-14-2009, 02:25 PM
They're not my videos, Amy and Sheldon the site owners made them. But yes, they're very helpful to all of us.

01-14-2009, 02:59 PM
Sorry! I saw that you were the moderator and just assumed. Well, who knows. Maybe Amy and Sheldon will read/catch this one.


01-14-2009, 03:07 PM
There's several moderators, not just one. We help Amy and Sheldon with banishing spam posts and other behind the scenes duties.

01-14-2009, 03:22 PM
Well, you and the others are doing a great job. Thanks!


01-14-2009, 05:33 PM
Most yarn is sold in balls with the weight in grams on it, though modern yarns have meters and yards on too as they export it.
Recipe wise, we mainly measure out ingredients by weight (apart from spoonfuls). If you have kitchen scales then you're ok, but if not I have found online guides to converting recipes in the past (as I was using US bread recipes for a UK bread machine) just remember that a cup of flour doesn't weigh the same as a cup of liquid etc I have lost the links though!
for converting weights and lengths I find this site helpful http://www.onlineconversion.com/

01-14-2009, 05:37 PM
Here's some free British patterns, though they are 1940s

01-14-2009, 05:50 PM
As a very new knitter (I started my first scarf ever on New Year's Eve), I've so far found everyone in UK LYSs very helpful in figuring out the difference in weights and needle sizes and such. They usually keep charts behind the desk or taped to them or such to help figure it out.

I didn't get into I Knit today -- I got stuck at Loop (http://www.loop.gb.com/), in Islington. Some gorgeous yarn in there (and on SALE!), I had to fight not to buy any...I'm trying to wait til my tension evens out before buying really nice yarns.

You'll love Borough Market! My favorite cheese shop (it's an actual shop on the edge of the market) has a sign over the window that says "Cheese Never Sleeps"!

Go when you're hungry. You can pretty much eat your way through the market. And go early -- the lines are absolutely terrifying at lunchtime. So far, I've found that the stalls are the best bet for food on the go -- the ones on the sides, with some very notable exceptions, tend to cater for tourists rather than the real foodies.

OK. I'm going to go figure out if "K1, P1" means what I think it means or if there's something different I don't know. Again. :)

01-14-2009, 09:05 PM
It sure is a blast to read about your adventures, Globaltraveler! How cold is it over there, and did you write this email from one of those online computer cafes? Thanks for the Loop link! I keep sharing all of this information with my husband. I'm in danger of him cancelling the trip if I mention one more yarn store. Ha! We'll be staying at the Hilton Olympia in London, which I think is kind of centrally located. Near one of the parks I think.
Thanks again,
PS Does that one yarn store you mentioned earlier really serve alcohol?? That's Wild! K1, glug, P2, glug.

01-14-2009, 10:13 PM
Thanks Lucy for the links! I clicked on "Regional knitting in the British Isles and Ireland" at the British pattern site. Really interesting. So many of us have ancestors from England and Ireland, myself included, so it's great to read about all the different knitting traditions. As far as the cooking goes, will probably just shy away from
recipe books that need to be converted, but that's just me. Will bookmark those links, though. Never know when you might need a good conversion chart.
Thanks again,

01-14-2009, 10:43 PM
Oh my, shall I tell my harrowing tale of trying to find measuring spoons in Co. Clare, Ireland? Probably best summed up by saying, "buy them in the UK!" (The young man who was the housewares manager of a department store in Ennis, informed of what I was looking for, said, "Sure now, here in Ireland we just sort of bung it all in there and hope for the best!" Perhaps he was 'taking the piss', as they say over here.)

Even more fun are the cookbooks in the UK that tell you to add "a dessert spoon" of this or "a dinner spoon" of that. Seriously. (Mind you, a lot of newer recipe books in the UK now will call for a measurement instead of a spoonful. Thank goodness.)

What's a poor uncreative American to do?

I bought a digital scale, that's what I did. :) On a trip back to the UK while we stayed in Ireland, I also bought some measuring spoons to take back with me. We did finally spot them in a hardware store in Miltown Malbay after chasing around to every hardware store in Miltown, Lahinch, Ennistymon, and parts around there. They had one set in the entire place, and the saleslady said there just wasn't any call for them!

It's warming up now. It was absolutely freaking frozen wasteland a week ago. In fact, that's why I started knitting. I wanted a really really long, really really all-enveloping merino wool scarf. It'll be far too warm when it gets warmer, but right now it's quite cozy, and I'm very happy to have it.

Yes, I Knit really does serve drink along with knitting! I have to go there. How could I not? :) You could probably even get your husband to go with that kind of carrot, yes? :teehee:

Oooh, nice location. High Street Kens (if you call it Kensington High Street, you'll immediately be marked out as Tourist -- which of course, you will be, so no worries. :) ) is a great place to stay. Walk across Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park (one of my very favorite parks in the city) to Queensway and pick out a restaurant that you like the look of. The Chinese one, I think second or third on the left, is quite good -- but really, if you look inside any of them and see a lot of Chinese people, it probably will be good. The Indian on that street is supposed to be quite good too, though I haven't tried any of them yet.

One of the Caffe Concerto restaurants (http://www.caffeconcerto.co.uk) is across the street from Kensington High Street Tube Station (the same side as your hotel, i think). Good place to get a cup of restorative tea or coffee and a treat, or even a meal. Last time I was there I had the risotto, and it was lovely.

Did I mention I love food? :)

eek, nearly 3 am, how did that happen? I'm off to bed!

ETA: No, I have my computer with me. My partner is English, you see, so we stay with his sister when we're in London, most usually.

01-14-2009, 11:17 PM
Even more fun are the cookbooks in the UK that tell you to add "a dessert spoon" of this or "a dinner spoon" of that.

I think I have a recipe book that does translate dessert spoons into a more familar measure.

01-15-2009, 05:57 AM
I get a lot of recipes on line and many of them are US. I end up having to convert everything from cups to ounces. But im a fairly freeform cook anyway so if it says a cup i use a cup. I know it is probably way off the standard american measuring cup, but as long as i am consistant throughout the recipe it still works ou.

I haven't noticed that much of a difference between UK and American patterns in terms of language in need of 'translation'. They are all written in english after all and even were terms differ they are not wildely different (eg. some people say cast off some people say bind off, it's fairly obvious what to do).

If you are travelling between York and Edinburgh, try and stop off in Durham on the way. No good yarn shops but their is a fiberworks studio with spinning and tapestry and things, but most of all there is a bloody gorgeous cathedral and castle.

01-15-2009, 06:42 AM
My first foray into mohair (indeed, my second knitting project ever) was a very simple scarf pattern that the Thomas B. Ramsden company (http://www.tbramsden.co.uk) put out for their Wendy Fusion yarn. (I'd asked the lovely lady at the LYS in Ely, Cambridgeshire - another gorgeous cathedral town - where we were staying, for a simple pattern that I couldn't goof up.) It took me a bit to figure out what "yarn forward round needle" meant. I settled on "yarn-over". I've no idea if that was right, but it looked all right, the pattern was pretty open, and it came right before the P2tog, so it was the only thing I could think it meant.

My English partner and I spent our first year rather befuddled by our two different Englishes. Every now and again, we'd find ourselves in an enormous argument, which neither of us could quite figure out how we got into. Finally a silence would fall, and one or the other would venture, "so...what did that mean in your language?"

These days, we've started using the Kevin Kline line from Princess Bride: "I do not theenk that means what you theenk that means." :)

Sophie: my partner is always making fun of American "cups" -- what size cup, he always says. To which I usually reply that this is fancy talk coming from a guy who has at least four different size dessert spoons in the silverware tray!


01-15-2009, 09:38 AM
I can honestly say, Zina, that I'm starting to live my life precariously/vicariously through you! Ha. Great tales, adventures, and advice~~ thanks! Appreciate all those tips about where to eat too. I am a foodie
as well. I checked out the free patterns from the Thomas B. Ramsden link http://www.tbramsden.co.uk/html/freepatterns.html and was pleasantly surprised to find that it there aren't too many differences in pattern speak.

I love to travel too. I can think of a few funny stories, but the one that comes to mind is the "adventure"
we had in Venice. It was like in the nineties that day, and we stopped to get some gelato (or is it gelati..
I think one is singular and other is plural). We stood between two buildings to escape the sun and I was just about to put a spoonful in my mouth when all of a sudden~~~ ploop ~~~ right on my hand. Rotten pigeon!! I stood there frozen while my husband took off to find some napkins. But he was having an adventure of his own. He went back to the same ice cream stand and grabbed some napkins and was promptly scolded by an Italian lady who proceeded to scream at him in Italian while shaking her pointy finger. He was trying to explain the situation and of course, she didn't understand. So he did what any sane person would do-- he mimed. Started flapping his arms like a bird and then took his hand and raised it up in the air and then plopped it down in his other hand to try to imitate, well the bird pooping. In the meantime I was having an adventure of my own. A Chinese (Japanese?) family was standing close by looking at me and, well, laughing, and the man came over and started talking and of course, I have no idea what he was saying and he didn't know what I was talking about as I tried to explain to him that my husband went to get napkins (bah... where is he??), but he wouldn't go away and I kept trying to explain. He finally went back to his family and got some wipes and napkins and very tenderly proceeded to clean off my hand. It was the sweetest thing I have ever experienced and I'll never forget it. Hubby finally returned, ashen, with his scant supply of napkins. Anyways, I don't know what upset me the most~~ having to throw the gelati away or the bird pooping on me.

Anywho, here in the midwest, we've had several days of freaking below zero weather. Absolutely bone chilling.

Have a great day, and thanks again!

01-15-2009, 09:57 AM
Thanks for the tip about Durham! According to the itinerary, we'll be seeing an 11th century Norman Cathedral there and a castle overlooking Palace Green plus some other buildings surrounded by the river Wear.
Good to know that it's a noteworthy stop. I'm starting to get fired up!
Thanks! "thumbsup"

01-15-2009, 11:02 AM
It's cold again today, she said glumly. I just about froze my ears off because I didn't take my hat, thinking it'd be like yesterday.

Bring really warm clothing. If you can afford it, I really love Icebreaker clothing (http://www.icebreaker.com). (I tend to buy it from the outlet of Backcountry.com (http://www.backcountryoutlet.com/), because it's really expensive, but look on the regular store too. Their occasional 50% off sale is FABULOUS for buying expensive stuff.) Right now, the vast majority of my travel wardrobe is Icebreaker. I even have underwear in merino wool.

We're thinking of going to Leeds for a couple of months. If so, the Icebreaker gear will be even more valuable to me!

I'm thinking I'm going to return the fancy designer needle case I got at Loop yesterday -- and exchange it for more wool. :) (I'll make a needle case if I can't find one I like.) They had some not-very-fancy, econo mohair at 3 quid a ball -- can't beat that! And some gorgeous Australian hand dyed merino wool that was soooo soft...

I can see how people end up with stashes the size of Pittsburgh. :teehee:

01-15-2009, 12:26 PM
It's ok.. we're going when it's warm out, thank God. Thanks for the tip on the warm clothing though.
But yeah, the stash thing. We're going to have a stash trade in my knitting group, not that THAT helps. I guess there are books out there dealing with stash. I HOPE to start whittling mine down this year. A few items that come to mind are pom pom toys and regular toys, dishcloths, napkin rings, hats for the needy, cat mats for the shelter here in town, catnip toys, baby booties and sweaters, cozies, holiday decorations. I'm sure there are a lot more items to use it for. Hand to God though~ I think it's finally breeding.

01-15-2009, 12:42 PM
Here are some links for knitting needle cases:



01-15-2009, 01:42 PM
The size of spoons here is fairly standard which is why they are used for measurements in recipes, though it is assumed you know which spoon is which
a teaspoon is 5ml
a desert spoon is 10ml
a table spoon is 15ml
There's more UK/US/Australian conversions here

All of those places in Durham you mentioned are near each other - and there is a bus up the hill if you don't feel up to it

01-15-2009, 02:31 PM
Oooh, thanks, Lucy -- every time I've asked anyone about how much is a spoon, they've always said, "you know...just a spoon." :)

Thanks for the needle case links, Jan -- I never thought of KNITTING one! :) I love the idea of cables. Hmmmm....let that rattle around in my fevered little brain...

ETA: The case I thought I'd make is a lot like this one from Lantern Moon (http://lanternmoon.com/isabella.asp). I like the idea of storing both single point needles and circular needles in the same case. I have some silk, would just need to get a zipper and some batting/wadding for the main back.

I've started a collection of Lantern Moon needles. I like the back story. I'm such a sucker for things like that!

01-15-2009, 04:40 PM
Well, I'm glad we got the spoon thing figured out. Thanks! Do you eat with them too, or just use them for measuring, or are they interchangeable?? Pardon my stupidity! :?? Just hope I don't use the wrong fork or spoon at the wrong time when we're dining! A few years ago I went to a bridal shower where they were serving tea and scones here in the USA. Anyway, no one had ever had a scone before so we didn't know whether to eat it like a roll or just cut it with a knife and fork. We used the knife and fork. I know, I know!! Later I googled it, and had we been in Great Britain I guess we would have been laughed at. It would like someone in America eating a roll with a knife and fork! Sigh. Is that true though, I mean about the scones? Oh well. I learned a long time ago that when you're traveling and you do something really dumb, you just start talking gibberish so no one knows you're an American, then walk away. Works every time, or at least I hope it does. :wink:

That's a gorgeous case! There are several free sewing patterns on line, but I didn't know what you had in mind when you mentioned it.

Had never heard of Lantern Moon needles so I googled it. Rosewood. Wow. I've been using the circular Addi's even for straight knitting. Just hooked on them. Use regular bamboo when not using Addi's.

Thanks for the links and the info!

01-15-2009, 04:52 PM
yep just normal eating spoons, of course there might be a few variations between manufacturers but it's close enough - we have a coffee spoon in the house as well which came from my granny's house, it's smaller than a teaspoon and apparently from when coffee was more expensive - not made nowadays - but now I'm off on a mad tangent. You can get special measuring spoons, but I mostly don't bother using them.
The rule of thumb I was told in formal dining is start with the cutlery furthest away from your plate for the first course and work your way in - it's prob the same in America.
Anyway most of the yarn available near me (that I can remeber) is Sirdar, Patons, Stylecraft, Sublime, Elle, Robin, Wendy, Tivoli, King Cole, Zwerger Garn Opal

01-15-2009, 04:58 PM
Did you know that techically (ie: strictly in formal etiquette), when you have bread at the table, you should break off a bite sized piece of bread, butter it separately with your butter knife (which of course you put a bit of butter on your bread plate from the butter dish with the serving knife), and then eat it?

I nearly fell over when I read that one.

I am full of nearly useless knowledge, as I was a bridal consultant at one point in my so-called (and well-named) career. I read etiquette books from about 1800 to present as a sort of hobby.

I've never eaten a scone any way but by picking it up and eating it, or breaking off bits and eating those. Generally I slice it horizontally in two, turn the top section upside down, slather the cream and strawberry jam (I don't butter my scones, but that's a personal preference) thickly on both cut surfaces, and then gobble it down. I gobble in as genteel a manner as possible, of course, but it's definitely a gobble. :roflhard:

If you are interested in the many differences between the US and UK cultures, I highly recommend Kate Fox's Watching the English. Spot on. It helped me understand the English a LOT better and explained a lot of things that puzzled the heck out of me.

I'm using Addi circulars even as we speak (I'm on the second USO hat -- I'm currently trying out the Alternate Cable CO, phew, it takes a while), but I have now got three pairs of Lantern Moon single point needles in my bag and can hardly wait to use them on something. They're really yummy to knit with! Did you find the explanation of why they're called Destiny needles (http://lanternmoon.com/destiny.asp)?

01-15-2009, 05:15 PM
LOL - and we just found another one of those phrases that doesn't mean the same thing in both Englishes. Watch who you say, "what's up?" to. Apparently, unlike in the States where it basically means, "hi, how you doing?", here in the UK, it basically means, "what's your problem, big nose?" (Although my partner's sister says that most English now know what Americans mean by "what's up", so they compensate.)

Oh, I forgot -- generally, if you don't know the UK person you're talking about fairly well (or if they don't compensate for Americanisms), don't call them a Brit. Apparently, in the wrong mouth, calling someone a Brit is a pejorative. I didn't know that, and when I found out, it was at a family gathering. I exclaimed, "why didn't anyone tell me it was an insult!?" They all shrugged simultaneously and said, "because we knew it was you and knew you didn't mean anything by it."

01-15-2009, 07:19 PM
Yes, I treated the scone like a roll and broke off a bit and put something on it (can't remember what),
and ate it that way, but everyone started using a fork so I did too. That did not make any sense at
all to me, but I just went along with it. Felt pretty smug tho' when I googled it just to find I had it right to begin with! And Lucy.. we start from the outside in with the utensils here as well. Good to know the same rules apply.

Good grief, I had no idea about "what's up," or that referring to someone as a B _ _ _ was a bad thing. So then, what name would you use?

Fascinating story about the Lantern Moon/Destiny needles. I'll bet they feel good in your hands... well balanced, etc. I do have a question about the USO hats, and maybe even a stupid one, but do they want you to stick with certain yarn colors for camouflage purposes?

Thanks for the information, Lucy and Zina! It's probably getting late there as we're five hours apart. It's early evening here.


01-15-2009, 07:29 PM
Apparently "Brit" is okay so long as it's used affectionately -- but my partner's sister says strangers in a bar who look a bit drunk probably shouldn't be called a "Brit" just in case. :) English people should be called English, people from Wales should be called Welsh, and people from Scotland should be called Scots, although they are Scottish. ;) (None of them, as the old saw goes, like to be called late for dinner.) The Irish are the Irish -- I think in "Norn Iron" it depends on the person; some don't mind being called British, but best/safest to call them Irish, I think -- is that right, Lucy?

The Isles Formerly Known As British are no longer. I'm not sure what they call the group of them now, if anything.

I think the USO colors are given as a guideline -- probably so they don't get too many "girly" colors. I found a wonderful heathered gray with a slight purple tinge, and a rather tweedy, heathery dark grey (you can see my spellings careering back and forth across the Atlantic), and I'm striping my hats, so they can be identified as that soldier's own personal hat very easily.

11:30 pm here -- I'm usually up quite late, as my partner keeps more-or-less US hours for work.

01-16-2009, 01:58 PM
Northern Ireland is more of a minefield! We have dual nationality automatically of Britain and the Republic of Ireland, though most people only claim one passport. The British one says "Great Britain and Northern Ireland" on it, so we are not part of Great Britain, but part of the UK.
Half the population would consider themselves British (usually the Protestants), half Irish (usually the Roman Catholics), though some try and compromise and call themselves "Northern Irish," which technically isn't a nationality so some argue about that one.
I used to argue that the Welsh can be Welsh and British, the Scottish can be Scottish and British and the English can be English and British at the same time so having 2 labels shouldn't be so upsetting - but some would be very upset at being called Irish as they associate the term with the Republic of Ireland. However when in England they would be called Irish so ...
Personally I'm mixed, have 2 passports and don't care about what people call themselves!

01-16-2009, 02:16 PM
I used to argue that the Welsh can be Welsh and British, the Scottish can be Scottish and British and the English can be English and British at the same time so having 2 labels shouldn't be so upsetting

What a really good argument, Lucy. I don't know if I can get away with using it, though, as an American. (Oh, BTW, Jan, apparently when people call us "Yanks", it might be an insult as well. Who knew?)

I play Irish traditional music (fiddle) and spend a lot of time around Irish people and the Irish diaspora. Phew, you're right about that minefield thing.

01-16-2009, 04:23 PM
I would avoid it TOATALLY!!!! Sometimes the languages are different. I learned the hard way!!! Mail me! I am megan734.

Best Wishes:muah: and Good luck knittting!!!:knitting:


01-16-2009, 04:35 PM
Interesting. All I know is that a few weeks ago my husband, knowing my passion for an occasional Irish coffee, jokingly requested that I not order one while in England! :oo:

Love celtic music. Gonna make a list of all that I have so I don't end up with duplicates! Also love bagpipe
music. My husband's grandfather was born in Scotland, and my grandmother was born in Ireland. I'm also German, English and Belgian, and our daughter ended up marrying a man of Italian and American Indian heritage. Their children are beautiful, but of course I'm biased! :lol:

Anyway, do you happen to know if there's a way to easily find a topic in the forum without searching through all of the pages? I'm thinking there may be a search box somewhere that I'm missing.

Thanks you!


01-16-2009, 05:36 PM
Where's "Celtica"? :) "Celtic" is basically a marketing term, at least where it comes to music; to practitioners, Scottish, Irish, Breton, Galician, Shetland, etc. music, all of which counts as "Celtic" for most record companies, are totally different and distinct from each other. Largely, it's a matter of feel -- as an Irish player, I can play a strathspey, but a Scottish player will fall over laughing at how I play it. Scottish reels and Irish reels are played differently by Scottish and Irish players, even if the notes are the same.

Er, sorry, you've hit upon one of my hobby horses. :) Feel free to ignore me. hee hee.

Yes, right under where it says, "Welcome TooCircular" at the top of the page? There's a bar with links, and one of them is "search"... HTH!

01-16-2009, 06:06 PM
I see that search now~ thanks!! :doh:

01-20-2009, 11:30 AM
Just a few quick questions...
While in England, would like to bring back something for each of the gals in my knitting group. It would be nice if it was yarn/knitting related. There are seven of them. If that's not possible, was also thinking about getting maybe a group gift, a large box of cookies or candy. Any suggestions?

Just curious, but would the yarn in London be more expensive than the yarn in the outlying towns?

And now... here's a really dumb one.. We don't drink but would like to go to a pub. They serve soft drinks, right? I had heard that you don't tip in a pub. Is that true?


01-20-2009, 12:07 PM
A ball of some kind of very English yarn that you can't get in the States would be nice. And the markets always carry lots of handicrafts.

The pricier shops in London are because some of the rents are much higher. But if a yarn is a premium one, it's probably going to cost much the same. I'd check the online shops and compare the prices between the London ones (Loop's website and some of the outlying ones, especially in Yorkshire, since that's a huge textile area) to see what's more expensive and what's not.

Yes, when I'm not drinking alcohol, I often order a diet Coke, or an orange and soda, which is just orange juice with soda water added to make it fizzy. Finding good English pubs is kind of problematic, and I still haven't got a firm grip on what makes a good pub and what makes a bad one. Often they look alike and equally nice to me, but my partner will turn up his nose. A nice one in Central London is Chandos, and another is the Queen Louise (or is that the Princess Louise?).

I'm off to Loop now (it's the closest nice LYS to me, you see), but when I get back, I'll do a google map of things you might want to check out, if you like.

01-20-2009, 02:15 PM
Appreciate all this information you've provided me with. Thanks! I will have a few free days in London, so if you have some free time and if it's not too much of a problem to do the google map, it probably would come in handy. Whenever you get a chance though. Don't worry if you don't get to it right away.

Again, thanks for all the information/help~

01-20-2009, 02:40 PM
Not to worry. I do this sort of thing all the time for TripAdvisor, no trouble to stretch it out a bit more. :)

01-20-2009, 02:51 PM
Thank you!


01-20-2009, 02:52 PM
Tipping isn't mandatory here, but if you liked the service you can tip. My sis is a waitress/bar maid and gets quite a few tips, but not from all customers. About 10% is normal and is usually only expected if you had food or ordered a lot.

01-20-2009, 03:46 PM
Thanks for passing that info. along, Lucy. You've saved me some cash~~ I usually do 15% and probably would have done the same over there.

Thanks again,

01-20-2009, 04:23 PM
And remember that you have to get your drink from the bar. There's no table service in pubs. :)

01-20-2009, 06:11 PM
All righty then.. good to know! Thanks! :)

Well, I'm off to knitting group. Tonight we're doing something different~ everyone is bringing a different ingredient to make smoothies. Should be fun, as long as someone doesn't spike it. Ha! I'm bringing blueberries.

Thanks so much again,