October was a big month at the Fidgety household. School kicked into gear. Work ramped up. Oh, and Fidgety Husband and I took a long-awaited trip overseas, just the two of us*. My sweetie and I spent 10 days visiting Wales, England and Iceland and it was wonderful. We haven’t traveled alone for more than a weekend since the kids were born and it was weird to have all this time to ourselves. But is was an amazing trip where we got to see and eat new things. (I posted a lot of photos of our trip over on my Instagram account if you’d like to take a look).
I didn’t plan to get many souvenirs. I don’t need knickknacks and dust collectors to place artfully around my house. Yarn is my souvenir of choice. Local yarn (because that’s all the US will let you bring home), of course. I wasn’t able to find anything in Wales. I doubt it was because there was no yarn available in sheep-country. But my husband and I didn’t rent a car so we stayed in the city centers. It appears Europe doesn’t have adorable yarn stores on every corner like we do where I live and without driving around, we weren’t able to find any local yarn in Cardiff, Wales. Fortunately, I had no such problem in London or Reykjavik.
First, London. I visited a yarn store suggested to me by a friend who recently moved to London. This lovely yarn is from a little shop near Waterloo station called iKnit London. These skeins are called “Queen of Denmark” in the colorway “You’ve God Red on You.”
This merino/silk blend is from local sheep and hand-died by the gentleman who was behind the counter. The color is fabulous and the yarn soft. I purchased two skeins of this lace-weight yarn. I have no idea what I’m going to do with sock this light, but at 1200 meters each (just over 1300 yards), I can probably figure something out!
Next stop, Iceland. Iceland is the home of the Icelandic sweater and local Icelandic yarn can be found in just about every shop. For this, though, I visited the Handknitting Association of Iceland. Along with a wealth of amazing sweaters, hats, scarves and shawls, there was a beautiful stock of yarn in brilliant colors and flavors.
For myself, I chose a beautiful worsted red. The plan is to make winter convertible mitts with this 100% wool from Lopi. It’s a classic, thick kind-of-itchy wool, but these mitts are going to be amazing!
While I was deciding on what weight and color I wanted, my husband was looking around, mostly to keep himself occupied. And then he did something he’s never done before: he held up a ball of yarn and asked if I could make a scarf for him. Um, yes I will! However, I’m afraid I didn’t get enough of the yarn he selected, Mosa Mjukull from Gusta (I think that’s all correct, I don’t read Icelandic), so I think I’ll have to find a partner yarn to go with this wool/alpaca blend.
Finally, I picked up a pair of hand-knit Icelandic mittens. Those sweaters are beautiful, but far to warm for me to ever wear, even in the coldest Minnesota winter. I still wanted something, though, and these mittens are beautiful and will be crazy warm (especially if this winter is going to be half as cold as the experts say it will be).
I can’t wait to start knitting with these yarns, but it will have to wait. I have one Christmas present I have to finish before I can start a new project. Or, well, another project. This year with the Yarn Shop Hop and now this trip have brought a lot of new yarn into my life and I had better get knitting.
Do you have any suggestions for any of the sock-weight or lace-weight yarn 2016 has brought into my life? Let me know in the comments (and be sure to include links to patterns!)
*A perk of having adult and almost adult children is that you can travel without them mostly guilt-free. Mostly.