Friday, September 24, 2010

Yarn in Germany

First of all, any country that produces a knitting magazine called Rebecca is okay with me! I did once find a copy of this in the states in English and was thrilled with the European patterns.

I love yarn. I suppose this is a good thing considering that I am a fiber artist. Shortly upon arriving in Erfurt and still hazy from jet lag, Conni took me to the yarn store. The selection of yarn was much smaller than you’d find in a store like Village Wools in Albuquerque, but the quality and prices were fantastic. A couple weeks later in Kufstein, Austria I found a ball of the exact same yarn I was currently knitting (which I paid $22.75 for in the US) for 6.5 euros.

Here I am at the yarn store (for the 4th time).

Seriously, look at this price. This is 50 grams of alpaca. 4,25 euros.

Needless to say, I visited the yarn store in Erfurt four or five times during our stay and while packing to leave I couldn’t understand why I had so much more stuff than when I left. I seemed to have filled the suitcase with yarn.

Conni and I seriously considering something knitting related...

I was knitting socks on this trip. Knitting is necessary for me when I am away from my looms. I started this sock on the train to Austria. I have never done Fair Isle and for some reason I thought that a trip in a foreign country to another foreign country was a good time to give it a go. Actually, it was a lot of fun and the chart was pretty easy to follow. (The Pepsi was the only one I had the whole trip. Germany is full of Coca-Cola and this one I found on the train to Kufstein.)

Knitting at the Gasthaus Wastler in Reidenberg, Austria.

Knitting at breakfast. Sock looks so pretty! I had some suspicions about the SIZE of the sock though. The circumference of this leg seemed awfully big. But I had gotten gauge when I swatched initially (I swatched each of the yarns separately--hmmm). But I was having fun knitting it and I plugged blindly on despite the presence of a ruler in my bag which could have been used to check the gauge much closer to the beginning of the sock.

I kept knitting and knitting. There was an unfortunate moment when we realized that we were going to have to spend the night before flying out in the Frankfurt airport. The best thing about that night was the large McDonalds french fries. Here I am knitting the foot of the sock while listening to this guy snore. It was pretty miserable. About 4 rows later I actually did measure my gauge and it was off by 2 stiches per inch. I realized then that this sock was destined to hang over a fireplace with oranges in it on Christmas morning and wasn't going to fit anyone smaller than 8 feet tall. Perhaps I'll try again with smaller needles.

***I am grateful to Kurt for not laughing right out loud at me too much when I made this mistake. I was looking for Woolite to wash some things out--the bottle was the same shape and it didn't have the word for starch on it like the other bottles I saw. Unfortunately, this particular product was to whiten your curtains. Apparently in Germany there are very specific cleaning products.


  1. WOW - I love the design on the sock. I started knitting last Christmas. So far I have knitted 3 scarves and 2 baby blankets. I'm on my 3rd baby blanket, and this one entails following a pattern! Yikes. So, I'm super impressed and amazed seeing something like your sock :) I'm enjoying catching up on your travels. Looks like it was an amazing trip.

  2. Thanks Shelly! That sock is destined to be "frogged" (ripped out) because I didn't gauge it right and have to start over with smaller needles... but it was fun to do and I will re-knit it.

    I have really enjoyed your blog posts about your trip to China and Jian. The photos have been fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing. And a big welcome to my new 2nd cousin!!!!



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