the best souvenir is yarn!

Growing up, my mum travelled a lot and brought me gifts from all over the world. As i got older and my friends travelled more, they brought me presents too (mostly fridge magnets, because it made my fridge far more interesting and useful). When I first started travelling a lot, I bought myself the usual, magnets, shot glasses (18!), jewellery… but then i got into knitting and souvenir shopping got a lot more fun!

I’ve talked about my various international yarny purchases from my Big Trip 09 and I’ve mentioned the yarny component of other travels as well. Since i’ve been in Europe I’ve had a few opportunities to travel and have continued my souvenir traditions – wanna see?

First off was the lovely Rooster lace weight from Bath mentioned in an earlier post.

Then in July I headed to sunny (sadly not) Copenhagen, Gothenburg and Malmo. You would think that Scandinavia would be the best place to get all sorts of super warm woollen yarns, what with it being the HOME OF WINTER… and you would be right! Not all of my purchases originate from the area…

like this delicious Shibui Knits Sock, destined to become a mini colour affection shawl/scarf

but a lot did…

like this lovely self striping single blended from shetland and merino lambswool… what a great combo! This is from Denmark, purchased in Copenhagen

And this Norwegian (ok so it’s next door) Angora blended with lambswool, beautifully naturally coloured. Picked this one up in Gothenburg! It’s became a pretty little Ishbel hat and i still have half the ball!

And another rustic wool, dyed in gorgeous selfstriping greys, from a little island in Sweden, also purchased in Gothenburg

What i found most interesting was the penchant for Linen! Despite the freezing cold temperatures of the area, Linen makes an appearance in all the stores, with most producing their own line (fibre pun!)

I couldn’t resist this colour – am thinking of crocheting a lacy thin scarf. pattern suggestions?

(yarns purchased at Sommerfuglen in Copenhagen and Strikk and Broderi & Garn in Gotheburg. I would recommend all 3)

As mentioned on my other blog I headed up to Edinburgh for the festival and thought it only fitting I picked up some Northern yarn. While knitting at the Purple Pig, (where I met Ysolda!) it was suggested to me that I try Rennie’s shetland yarn – apparently the meterage goes forever and it softens up beautifully upon washing (the suggestion was made complete with feelable samples). I was also told it made an appearance at a new store in the New Town, which i’d been planning on heading to, so when i went to Kathy’s Knits, the aim was to suss out the colours and maybe pick something up for some colourwork.

what do we think? I’m pretty happy!

I also knew I had to check out K1 Yarns – apart from it being Ysolda’s local, I also knew they stocked the Orkney angora that My darling Mel (who’s just started an etsy store for hand blended fibre – check it out!) turned into a deliciously soft and fluffy ishbel shawl. I couldn’t resist my own fluffy bundle!

I’m predictable I know…
The blend used to be 100% butI think it’s still pretty lovely!

Last week I went to Amsterdam, but sadly I ended up not visiting the yarn store literally one street away from our hostel because I was sick as a dog on our last day and buying the yarn, whilst definitely on my mind, was just too hard.

So here’s a picture perfect moment from Amsterdam instead…

more photos like this to come on my other blog…

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The Travelling Stash Collector – Europe

Europe was a whirlwind travel wise – 6 days in Paris and then 5 cities in 12 days! I didn’t do a heap of yarn shopping – in fact i found the yarn stores relatively disappointing in Europe. Very ‘no touch’y and all boxes and bags. The french brands – Phildar and Le Bergere de France are similar to ACS – lots of acrylic and acrylic blends, or yarns great for larger garments, but not so much for souvenirs. The stores in Austria and Germany were better – a few brands i hadn’t come across and some scrummy sock yarns. No wollmeise though lol.

you can read about Paris, Toulouse, Venice, Vienna, Prague and Berlin on my lj and there are photos of all the cities on flickr.

I will comment on La Droguerie though – this is a french chain store… sort of like clegs on crack but in a tiny french space… Quality fabrics, ribbons, buttons, beads, fixings, findings, feathers, patterns and of course, YARN! the yarn is in display hanks so you choose the colour and fibre you want and they wind off the quantity. They also had adorable knit kits – an elephant (!) and rabbit and other adorable things, but i resisted. I did get three different fibres though in the most glorious colours. It’s a great way to buy yarn.


1. alpaca from la droguerie, 2. carmen alpaca silk – blue, 3. schoppelwolle crazy zauberball, 4. linen from la droguerie, 5. opus dk with aloe vera!, 6. kaleido bamboo and linen from la droguerie, 7. trekking xxl, 8. carmen alpaca silk – silver