Snapshots of Riga

Sometimes there’s nothing like a spontaneous trip to an unfamiliar city. Last weekend I found myself in Riga, and my first visit to Latvia was so lovely that I’ll share with you some of the reason you should visit Riga.

You should most definitely go if you …

… love wandering and getting lost in cobblestone streets..

… if having drinks in the cellar of a place called ‘Black Magic’ speaks to you on a higher level..

… if the prospect of a Baltic winter doesn’t scare you off …

… if you want to admire magnificent art nouveau buildings …

… if big shiny golden domes on churches make you go ‘oooooh’ and ‘aaaaah’ …

But most of all, you need to get yourself to Riga if you want to knit like a Latvian (and buy all of the Latvian wool and mittens)…

And of course I could not leave one of the capitals of knitting empty handed…

 

 

 

Overspringshandling

saffran2_oct When I was living in Denmark I learned a beautiful new little word; overspringshandling (or displacement activity in English). In biology the term refers to the idea that when animals are faced with two competing behaviours, e.g. fight or flight, instead of doing either of them, they’ll start doing something completely unrelated. The Danes used this word more in the likes of ‘I should probably be studying for my exam, but instead I’ll start cleaning the kitchen’. I think I’m experiencing the knitting equivalent right now.

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See, I’m only a button band away from steeking this tiny cardigan. But bringing the scissors to this work that was in the end quite fidgety and a hassle to make, is giving me some serious fight or flight vibes. So even though I should really finish this before my friend gives birth (any day now), I started knitting snowmen in October. They’re chilling in my Bonsai until the Christmas tree goes up (still 1,5 months or so away from now).

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Oh and I finished the body of my Threshold sweater. But apparently I don’t have the correct needle size for the sleeves, so the project is have a little nap until the new DPNs arrive.

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I’ve also figured knitting a second baby present is less work than finishing project #1, so I’m making a Teddy Sweater in some super pretty Malabrigo Arroyo.

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My stash is also not starving anymore, I won an instagram giveaway by Uschitita and boy did she spoil me with this prize.

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Also, someone needs to delete the Etsy app from my phone already because I keep falling in love with new indie dyers and have some serious inhibition issues. These pretties arrived Lystig yarns in Finland recently. I love these two pale colours together. I was squishing and sniffing the yarn and I actually heard these skeins whisper to me that they’d like to be used together in a project, maybe a shawl with lots of garter stitch. I’m aware hearing yarn speak isn’t exactly normal, maybe it’s time for some vacation.

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Speaking of which, I’m visiting the US in less than 2 weeks (arriving on the day of the elections, talk about timing!) and I’ll be spending some time in San Diego and New York city. If anyone has any tips on things to see and do please let me know!

 

 

Full blown autumn

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Today was a lazy Sunday, outside the wind was rushing and there was rain. Inside there was cake baking, cat cuddling and knitting. I can’t begin to describe how in love I am with this season change.

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After pretty much only monogamistic sock knitting during summer it feels nice to have several projects on the needle. For the first sweater of the season (pattern is Threshold) I was looking for a perfect semi-solid yellow and I think I found it in this Phileas Yarn explorer (colourway Wat). Isn’t the neckline of this sweater to die for? It’s a super enjoyable knit so I’m a little torn between wanting to have it off the needles to wear and wanting it to be an eternal wip.

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I’m also working on a hat from the autumn issue from Pom Pom Quarterly. It’s the Asklöv hat, and well, the brim is obviously pretty boring to knit. I’m looking forward to the colourwork. I’m using geilsk tynd uld, the colour is very pretty.

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And there always have to be socks on the needles, there’s simply no other way. The Bordeaux Red from the skein of Ancient Arts Fibre sock yarn I bought in Canada last year was screaming my name. The pattern is Drogon by Cookie A. It’s not actually super fluffly yarn, any observed fluff in the picture is because the cat took a nap on it.

After finishing up so many socks over summer I also got some slight anxiety I might at one point dry out my sock yarn stash. Please try not to laugh… Ok that’s fine go ahead and laugh. I’ve done the math though, and for every skein of sock yarn knit up, at least 4 new skeins need to be added to the stash to compensate. So voila, here’s my attempt to fill up the stash again, surely more to follow 🙂

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Well hello there pretties, welcome to my home! <3

The pastel prettiness is by the hands of Stranded Dyeworks oasis fingering in the Naive Watercolour colourway. That purple-yellow combination that set my heart aflutter is by Miss Mothballs in the Speckle Me colourway.

Spoiled Rotten

StashDec December usually sees me spoiled rotten, with my birthday on the 1st, Sinterklaas on the 5th and ending the month with Christmas. It’s no secret that I love being gifted yarnie goodies, so needless to say my stash has been well fed in the past month.

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Actually all of these are yarns I’ve never used before. I’m pretty excited about the colourful Snail Yarn skeins. If you’re not familiar with this brand yet, these pieces of art (I really think they are) are dyed up by Valentina in Italy. I’ve got nothing but love for these two skeins so far, they’re a pleasure to view and squish. I’m pretty sure I’ll make them into two lovely pairs of socks. The colourways are called Wildflowers and Hidden in Merino Twist sock.

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The soft green skein is actually dyed in the Netherlands (Wol met Verve). I love the subtle colour of this. I tend to go for dark green usually, so this is a nice change of my usual palette (yes I know, it’s still green..). The colourway is called Salvia.

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I’ve been so eager to try my hand at Hedgehog Fibres yarn. Maybe it’s just me but I feel like I see these yarns pop up all the time on my instagram feed, and gosh darnit I don’t think they are capable of dyeing ugly skeins, they just all look good. I liked this combination a lot and even have a particular shawl pattern in mind for them. The colourways are Seed and Canal House (a custom colourway for Stephen + Penelope in Amsterdam) in Hedgehog Fibres Sock .

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Last but not least, by far the darkest yarn I have ever owned. It’s about time I tried my hand at Wollmeise, and I wanted some yarn specifically to knit the Cicely sweater from the latest issue of Pom Pom Magazine. I do think I will like this sweater a lot in this dark colour, and don’t be deceived by the pictures, it’s not fully black. The colour is called ‘heavy metal’ which is an accurate description of the very dark grey. The yarn is Wollmeise Pure.

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Wollmeise2 Have you been spoiled in the yarn department this month? Hoping everyone had wonderful Christmas! 🙂

Yarn Appreciation

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So I don’t have any FOs to show you this week, nor any impressive progress on my many WIPs. But what I can show you is physical evidence of my lack of self control.

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To be honest, I did have a pretty though week at work. My mind did not have the patience to do some actual knitting, but I thought I deserved a little shopping therapy to cheer myself up. And no kind of shopping cheers me up as much as yarn shopping. The skein in those first pictures there is sock yarn from Spun Right Round and it is just breathtakingly beautiful! Those spots of colours are so intense. I really have a hard time deciding what kind of sock pattern I’ll use this for though. I don’t want to do a plain stockinette sock but the pattern should be simple enough to make the yarn pop. Or maybe the yarn wants to be a hat, so it can be shown off more often?

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And then there’s this pretty skein of Eden Cottage Yarn Tempo 4ply in the colour Copper Bucket. I wanted a sock yarn in an autumnal colour for some nice lace socks. I’ve admired ECY yarns and the beautiful colours for a long time, and now there’s finally a store in the Netherlands that sells it. So no more excuses and it was time to try out this yarn.

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And I couldn’t just leave it at that could I? Yes my bank account is pretty empty right now, but I did need a lot of cheering up. So this is some lovely Malabrigo sock yarn in the colour Primavera. I’m planning to turn this into a nice pair of fingerless mitts and maybe a headband if I have leftovers.

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And then some more Malabrigo, this time Silky Merino to make myself a hat! Because hat weather has arrived and I haven’t made a hat yet (disgraceful!).

So that’s what I’ve been up to! Looking at all those lovely colours, the occasional squish. I’m considering putting an emergency skein of yarn into my desk drawer at work, just to have a relaxing squish when things get stressful.

Do you ever indulge in yarn shopping to cheer yourself up?