Albeit humble, my goal for my recent jaunt across the pond was to collect sock yarn from each country visited. I know, only a fellow sock knitter would understand. So, was I successful? Pretty much;-)
First Stop: London
“Patricia Roberts Shop is a long established secret haunt for shoppers from around the globe. Clever stitchcraft and luxurious yarns combined with exciting colour are the hallmarks of Patricia Roberts handknits. Childrens sweaters and accessories feature cute animal motifs, while the more sophisticated womens garments combine intricate craftsmanship with flattering and subtle styling. All are created in Patricia’s own luxury brand of natural fibre handknitting yarns – specially spun and dyed in a myriad of colours – angora, cashmere, lambswools and cottons. There are also knitting kits for those who want something to keep themselves warm and busy on a cold winters night. “
We arrived in London on a Saturday morning and I was thrilled at the prospect of collecting my first ball of sock yarn! I very cleverly devised our itinerary (for our one and only day in London) to include a stop here. My husband would hardly notice it between our stroll through Hyde Park and our little tour of Harrods. But, alas it was not meant to be. It was closed that Saturday~due to the Bank Holiday on. . .Monday? Ugh. Not fair taking that extra day off! The disappointment was nearly unbearable. I mean, look at what I missed:
Sigh. In an attempt to console me, Hubby dragged me to The Wilton Arms, where we watched a bit of Soccer, a bit of Rugby, and enjoyed a bit of local brew. It worked. I left smiling.
Second Stop: Douglas, Isle of Man
It turns out, not many folks have heard of the Isle of Man. It’s located smack in the middle of the Irish Sea where on a clear day, it is said you can see The Six Kingdoms, those of the Mann, Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales, and Heaven. The island itself is only 32 miles x 14 miles and populated by roughly 84K people. Rich in myth, legend, and folklore, I cannot wait to return to this Isle. However, yarn stores seem to be sorely lacking!
I finally had some success at the Laxey Woollen Mills, where I nabbed a native Manx ball of 100% wool. It’s aran weight, not sock yarn, but I’m counting this as a success despite not being exactly what I was looking for. [Note to self: Move to IOM and open yarn shop.]
Laxey Woollen Mill, Isle of Man
This is what a Loaghtan sheep looks like;-)
Third Stop: Edinburgh, Scotland
Kathy’s Knits in Edinburgh was the most delightful shop! They had a “husband couch” which is a must for any yarn store. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s a nice comfy place in the shop for hubbie to sit down and be comfortable, while yarn-a-holics do their deeds. Finally, a sock yarn score! And, a couple of skeins of DK weight to boot. I’m thinking fingerless gloves. Kathy’s Knits had a diverse selection of weights, materials, and color choices. Truly something for everyone. I also found some wonderful examples of Scottish craftsmanship in the form of shawl pins. Came home with two, which is one more than I needed, but I consider it an accomplishment to have whittled the choice down to only two. It was great fun visiting with Kathy.
Last Stop: Munich, Germany
Now here, is where I hit the jackpot! Seriously! I spent at least an hour here staring at sock yarn, eliminating possibilities one by one, hating the fact that I had over packed and trying to figure out where in my luggage I could stuff one more ball! I finally decided, worst case, I could trash that $3 Walmart shirt I bought three years ago and wore religiously, if it meant one more skein of yarn would find it’s way to my home;-) Woole Rodel is a great little shop. And, it is little, but it’s got a bit of everything. Every weight yarn is represented, a great selection of colors, and some pretty fancy needles to boot. So, did I meet my goal of collecting sock yarn from each country visited? Close enough!