Saturday, July 27, 2019

Yarn and Knitting First!

My travels to Riga and Vilnius were amazing, and I will do a very short travel post (I hate long travelogues) about a few highlights, but let's get to the important thing first: yarn! These are cities where knitting is happening -- and with knitting history.

Wouldn't you know? There was a yarn store around the corner from my Air Bnb in Riga, Tines:
Mostly it has finished knitted sweaters, hats and mittens for sale, but I couldn't resist this colorful skein of Latvian yarn:
There was another store a block away, but I didn't even set foot in it!
If you follow knitting books at all, you've probably seen this very popular recent book about Lavian mitts and mittens:
Well, there is a store in Riga's Old Town that has dedicated a large section of the store to it, Hobbywool. This makes sense because owner is the author of the book! Hobbywool has the cutest facade ever, complete with yarn bombing!
The store is incredibly gorgeous.
 You can't stop looking at all the yarn and knitted items:
I was most taken with the small skeins made out of the very yarn used in the Knit Like a Latvian book. These 25-gram skeins cost about $2.30 each, and you only need three or four to make a pair of mitts or mittens. I came home with a few (arranged by intended project):
Don't worry, you don't need to travel to Riga. You can get these skeins from Hobbywool's Etsy store!  The owner assured me that shipping is very modest. I want to point out that you can buy mitts and mittens completed at Hobbywool -- for $35 and up! See, knitting is budget-friendly!

I had set up a sock project to travel with, but I made the same mistake I have for the last two summers: it was too complicated for travel knitting. Luckily, I only had to walk a few blocks to Midara in Vilnius, where I practically drowned in gorgeous yarn.

It's another gorgeous store in a charming old building:
I usually only buy souvenir yarn that isn't readily available to me in Madison, but I needed to be practical. She had an amazing selection of Opal sock yarn, which isn't sold here in Madison, and she had a line that I hadn't seen before: Impressionist. I picked up a skein from the Monet line and went home to relax and start some easy socks on my charming Air BnB balcony:
Before I went to Midara, I'd read online about a great book about knitting Lithuania, Lithuanian Knitting: Continuing Traditions by Donna Druchunas. Unfortunately, it isn't available in the States -- not even through Amazon. Imagine how happy I was to walk into Midara and find this:
Even though it is a large hardcover book, I had to haul it back home with me. I mean, how could I resist it when she covers Jews and knitting in Lithuania? This is not commonly addressed.

I am looking forward to catching up with you. I can't say that I'll read a lot of back posts, but I am going to jump back in today. I have missed my blog pals!


  1. Oh, my heart! I might have died on the spot if I had walked into that shop. I've got a headache and had just talked myself out of knitting today but now I just have to go pick up my needles.

  2. I have to tell you I just visited that Etsy shop and bought a kit for some fingerless mitts. What beautiful patterns. I want them all!!!

  3. I'm so confused as Donna Druchnas lives in Vermont...I follow her on Instagram...but her book is not available here? So weird....You stumbled upon some awesome looking stores!!!! Great vacation..

  4. If I run across that book as I'm throwing things out I'll let you know. I'm somewhat sure I owned it at some point!

  5. Oh my! So much gorgeous yarn... and what cute yarn shops!

    I remember seeing Donna talking about her travels to Lithuania when she was working on that book! How fascinating!

    And, welcome home!

  6. Wow, amazing stores. I'm sure you had a great time petting and squeezing the yarn. I would be difficult to decide what yarn to purchase.

  7. It sounds like you have a lovely trip! That store looks beautiful! I wish so much I knew how to knit. :( !! I have visited the store link and yarns looks great for crochet also.

  8. What wonderful knitting highlights you enjoyed while travelling!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing with us--incredible sights; you chose well!

  9. Whoa, what a great shopping experience!! I love the latvian book and the yarns, totally inspiring and I bet you wish that fall was here NOW. I do.

  10. Wow! Those yarn shops and their yarns are very inspiring. I imagine you had a wonderful time. I stumbled on some Opal yarn in my LYS a week or so ago. I didn't purchase any but am debating about going back.

  11. You lucky, lucky DUCK! Those shops are gorgeous! I would LOVE to own that colorwork sweater!

  12. What beautiful, gorgeous yarn shops! (And Hobbywool? I'm drooling from here. . . ) I can't wait to learn more about your trip -- and see your "souvenirs" unfold. Welcome back. XO

  13. Oh my! What fabulous shops you found. I'm off to check Hobbywool in a moment. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip and seeing some pictures! Welcome home!

  14. I think I would like to visit there just for the incredible yarn stores, wow! I am sure you had a wonderful time seeing everything else but all that beautiful yarn makes my heart flutter.

  15. Oh your photos are spectacular. You did your own yarn crawl! Keep sharing those yarns getting worked into beauties!!

  16. What a wonderful selection of shops and yarn. I love the mittens and the colour combinations that you have there.

  17. Sounds like you had a fabulous trip! Isn't it great how lightweight yarny souvenirs are? You definitely scored!

  18. Hi Caffeine Girl, hope you are doing well!! Wonder how knitting or crochet is going. Take care!

  19. Looks like you visited very interesting yarn shops. The yarn is beautiful and the book you bought looks good. Glad you enjoyed your trip!

  20. Oh my goodness! That sweater!!! How wonderful you got to see such darling shops.

  21. Deb, Happy New Year to you and yours. God Bless you and keep you in the book of life. Kathy b

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