I went to Madrid! Ok, I got back 2 weeks ago. But let’s just pretend it was today? It has been the most hectic time over here, with moving preparations, and I really wanted to make this post about more than just photographs. Although photographs are cool:
I went to visit Ms Juliabe, who is even friendlier, funnier, and sweeter in real life than she is in her artwork. And way more knitting-obsessed… as if that was possible! She also lives in a beautiful city, and took some time to show me around.
We visited the old city, saw lots of cathedrals and government buildings (which I took plenty of pictures of, but won’t waste anyone’s time with showing as you can always Google “Madrid buildings” and find professional photographs!) However, I will show you my favourite photos of the things that really captured my interest and imagination, and leave streetview to fill in the gaps!
Madrid is full of cool old-timey supplies stores, like this one we visited that sold materials to made espadrilles, saddles, and sandles:
Being a pair of foodies, we also visited several markets and gawped at food. I especially loved the space outside Mercado de la Cebada, which had been turned into community art and activity spaces, complete with peepholes made from repurposed washing machine doors:
Julia’s neighbourhood is in the vicinity of the old city abattoir. It’s a beautiful sprawling complex that illustrates how important livestock and meat were in the history of modern Madrid. It has become a cultural centre, with cinemas, hip cafés, and exhibition spaces, and book-vending machines!:
Of course, I loved this juxtaposition of contemporary art and culture with the brutality of mass-butchery. The old buildings are stunning, decorated in detailed tilework (which have inspired some colourwork motifs in my notebook), and the renovation has taken pains to preserve this as much as possible and retains some of its witty signage:
That’s my wool-obsession shining through right there, as there were other signs for pigs and cows, but they weren’t interesting enough to photograph! Fortunately, there are plenty of yarn shops in Madrid:
As well as yarn-bombing in public spaces:
And of course we bought yarn:
I turned the first 2 skeins of Black Oveja’s Laña de España in Teja into a Guernsey Wrap by Brooklyn Tweed:
It’s an easy-to-follow pattern that knits up pretty quickly into a very attractive wide scarf. Although scarfs tend to be tedious, the knit-and-purl patterning of this project makes it interesting enough without being too demanding. A single-colour project made a nice change from my recent colourwork spree, and meant this project was super-portable because I didn’t have multiple balls of yarn to tangle up on the go.
It has been snowing on-and-off since I finished this, so there have been plenty of opportunities to wear it. The yarn is not scratchy next to my skin, but not soft either (so perfect for my tastes!), and has a really bouncy texture – especially with the gansey patterning of knits and purls. I haven’t knitted a scarf in years, but this was the perfect project for this yarn, in the perfect colour, and with perfect timing. It is the absolute perfect memento of my time in Madrid: interesting, historical, colourful, and cosy.
The other 2 skeins are in the process of becoming a colourwork hat. Bear with me!