So, what have you planned for your first day here?

Oh.. uhm.. well. For my first day in The Hague? I’m going to Rotterdam.

Luckily nobody asked that and I successfully evaded the question what I planned to see and do in Rotterdam because I only had one goal there: Ja, Wol.

Yarnshop travelling has now taken over most of my travel plans and I really don’t care. I googled yarnshops in the Netherlands and looked at what they had in stock and Ja, Wol seemed like THE stop for me. Because I’ve been wanting a Field Bag for a while now and they stock it. And they’ve got Lettlopi yarn too! Perfect combination, right?
It is a very cute shop with a wonderful selection, you can tell someone took time deciding what they want to stock. My talk with the owner confirmed this later on. She was super nice, we talked quite a bit about caring where your yarn comes from and what yarns you start to use once you progress in your journey as a knitter as well as about only stocking things that are good and are useful to knitters. It was very interesting and I can only imagine how fantastic classes are at her shop. If you’re in the area I highly recommend visiting!

As for me, there were so many wonderful things and at first I wanted to get yarn for the Lesley sweater by Hannah Fettig but then I saw a pattern booklet for the Strokkur by Ysolda Teague so I bought the yarn for that because it was knit in Lettlopi yarn. Mine will be burgundy with the yoke in green and beige (“burnt sugar”). I only later on realized that this would be my second burgundy sweater… Oh well. Seems like that is one of my preferred colours? Never realised that.

Fieldbag wise, I was in for a grey or blue one. Or both to be honest. Turns out they were all out of stock which is too bad but there was one black bag left and that just had my name on it, right? So now I have a pretty black one that will get decorated with buttons and maybe if I come across one I’ll get another colour as well but first I’ll see how much I use the one I have now.

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Train knitting and broken needles

I was never much of a travel knitter until I realized how time flies when you knit on a train ride. It’s fantastic and you’re mostly undisturbed as well.

My most recent train adventure was from Hamburg to The Hague, three different trains, about six or seven hours of travelling. I’m really glad that the trains were not late (as is almost a given in Germany) so I was able to make all the connections and it was wonderful weather outside. 

But while train knitting is fantastic and relaxing, it also bears dangers. Dangers that are not necessarily reserved for travelling but have happened to me quite frequently when I’m out and about. Dangers I was unaware of until last April but something that’s happened more often recently. And I don’t know if it’s just me or what but.

Why do I always break my knitting needles? Seriously! I have killed quite a few Knit Pro Symphonies, they’ve mostly broken right at the joint of the wood and the metal – and yes, it’s mostly my fault – but I’ve also killed a Hya Hya cable. Let’s just say my bunnies love yarn and plastic and everything you can chew on. So I’m trying really hard to just be ‘whatever live happens’ and not get angry about it but it’s slowly but surely getting expensive for me on the needle part of knitting. And that was not something I expected!

When I reached The Hague I went and checked into my Airbnb and then checked the way to the next knitting shop. Which I knew was close by. (I had the opening hours saved on my mobile, so I knew they were open till eight on thursdays which was just my luck because I arrived just around six so I did not have to hurry to make it there before closing.

I went to `Cross & Woods’ which was just a five minute walk away. They had a sewing class going on – it looked like fun – and the lady in the shop was super nice.

I did not buy yarn.

WHAT? Yes, I did not buy yarn because I did not have my list with me and the yarn that caught my attention was ‘The Fibre Co.’ and since I’m going to Edinburgh Yarn Festival I’m hesitant to buy something here when I know there will be an even bigger selection there.

But I’ll be going back to the shop while I’m here, this time with my list so I can try and find something project fitting. Because I need to buy yarn responsibly.

London Calling

loop-london

It’s been a while since I’ve been to London. I used to visit quite frequently but recently I’ve decided I wanted to explore other ‘new’ places. (As I love travelling…)

But when my best friend – who now lives in Hamburg just about an eight hour train ride away from me* – asked me if I’d join her in London for the “Welcome to Night Vale” show I just couldn’t refuse. At first we wanted to go to the Brighton show – we love Brighton – but I wasn’t able to take Friday off and that show was on Friday evening.

So I worked on Friday, caught the evening flight and arrived – two hours delayed – at 2 in the morning at my hostel.

I was beat on Saturday but my inner clock is pretty nasty. Sleeping past 6:30? Psh, in your dreams! I’m seldom able to fall asleep again. I’ve trained myself to idle in bed longer but I’m awake and my brain is working itself silly…

So I got up, sat myself down in Starbucks and knit a bit. I was there for more than an hour, and I have to say it was a very peaceful Saturday morning considering I was in the heart of London. I met up with my friend at 10; we got breakfast together and then walked through Covent Garden which is cute and luckily not too busy if you are there early. After Covent Garden we went to Loop London.

I’ve heard so much about that shop and I’ve ordered online twice from them so I really wanted to go there and my friend agreed to come with me even though she’s not a knitter. Her comment on Loop was “you only choose that yarn shop because it’s got a bunny in the logo, right?” which is somewhat accurate. If I hadn’t heard so much about Loop that definitely would have been a reason for me to go there.

I have to admit, I was somewhat overwhelmed, there’s just so much to look at! And what I really wanted to get was yarn for a sweater (and I decided I’d actually use the yarn it was designed with) but then I didn’t really like that yarn which was very disappointing. The look and structure just wasn’t what I expected. So I knew I wanted to knit a sweater but had no pattern or yarn in mind. Which is quite a bad combination paired with a huge selection of all the different yarns!

I ended up buying Madeline Tosh yarn in a pretty grey with crazy colour speckles on it. I really wanted to get yarn I never used before but I just couldn’t decide and those speckles caught my eye. When I asked how much of it they had left and the answer was ‘those skeins and then the colourway is discontinued’ I was sold.

I also bought two patterns, the book “Journey: A Collaboration”, Sock Blockers, Plane Scissors, a Hare Broche and spent quite the amount of money there. After the night I’d had thought I deserve a ‘treat yo self’ moment.

The show was fantastic, so so so many people! And then Sunday was exhausting. I spent more than four hours in different coffee shops just because I was so tired. And I was so excited for my bed too! And then when I arrived at the airport the screen said the worst thing possible: delayed.

I spent some more time at Starbucks and in the end the one hour delay turned into three which I think is absolutely ridiculous! When I got home I just fed the bunnies and fell into bed.

 

(* I could fly there too, but the flights are always rather expensive if you book spontaneously, I only took the train once and it was alright, exhausting but alright. Flight time from where I am at to London or Hamburg is about the same, just something over an hour. Living in Central Europe does have its perks…)

 

 

 

 

Yarnisco Part II

 

atelier-yarns-san-franAfter not being able to visit “Greenwich Yarns” I realised how desperate I actually was for yarn, for a new knitting project, for something to do with my hands.

As it wasn’t possible to visit another Yarnshop on Thursday I googled myself silly that night and made a desperate decision. “Atelier Yarns” was fairily close (according to google maps a 30 min walk or a 10 minute busride) and it opens at 11. We had to check out by 12 but I was desperate to make it work. I purchased the pattern from etsy and I was good to go.

I memorized where I needed to go, what bus rout I’d have to take and after breakfast I left my travelling friend and walked there. (I had time to spare, we always got up rather early, I don’t think we ever really adjusted to the local time in San Francisco).

On the way I stopped at a very cute bakery and got myself a cupcake. It was very delicious! (I only bought it so I’d be able to use the loo there but shhh!)

Once at Atelier Yarns I knew I needed fingering weight yarn, about two skeins, a colour I liked and preferably something soft. And if possible a yarn brand I’d never knit with before. I browsed and browsed and as I was on a tight schedule I almost settled for Madeline Tosh but at the last minute I spottet this gorgeous Sweet Georgia Yarn. It’s a silver grey colour and super soft (and as I’ve come to realize it leaves fuzz everywhere!) with Cashmere and silk contents but sadly I’ve misplaced the tag and can’t remember the exact info or colourway name of it. I think I lost the tag on the plane.

I bought the right needles (Clover Circular Bamboo) for the yarn, stitch markers and they let me wind the yarn there. The lady behind the counter was super helpful and tried to help us three knitters at the same time – there were two other ladys in teh shop, one was travelling as well.

I’d have loved to chat more with them all but I almost ran out of the shop and to the bus only to make it to the hotel with time to spare. But I always get very stressed before flights and I’m very often quite unreasonably scared to miss it.

I was a very happy knitter on that plane.

 

The pattern was “Sugarplum Shawl” by Mina Philipp.

Yarnisco

August was a difficult knitting month for me. There was so much to do in so little time that I gave up on trying to stay on top of the knitting podcasts I watch and the progress I wanted to make.

That light shawl I wanted to knit for my vacation in September? Still in the box because after making the same mistake three times and having to rip back the same amount of times takes a toll on a knitters patience. Until I figure out where I make that mistake that project will stay in it’s box.

The socks I so badly want to finish because I hate them? I don’t remember where I put them… If I run into them again I might frog them. (Toe up is not for me..)

That were my stats at the end of August.

September was my knitting fast month because I was travelling in Hawaii and I hate knitting in the heat. And there’s the luggage issue as well. That’s why I left all my knitting at home.

But by the end of these four weeks I was itching to knit again so there had to be a yarnshop stop in our one day San Francisco Stopover. I decided on Greenich yarns because it was on our route from Fishermans Wharf to the Golden Gate Bridge.

freenwich-yarnsjpg
It looked lovely from the outside and I’d have loved to go inside but they’re closed on Thursdays. Didn’t expect that. Oh well…

(there’s a second part to my yarn venture in San Francisco following soon..)