Thursday, June 6, 2013

On the Sea Again

European additions to my stash
My husband Bob, sister-in-law Nancy, and I recently returned from a fantastic "trip of a lifetime."  We crossed the Atlantic from Fort Lauderdale to Cobh, County Cork, Ireland.  From there we had stops in England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Russia, finally flying home from Vienna, Austria.

Nancy and I decided to give the "Knitters and Natters" group on board ship a try and were the first to show up at the appointed spot, 30 minutes early.  Though they were an interesting group of women, Nancy and I both agreed the amount of "nattering" wasn't conducive to too much knitting.  In fact, we both ended up frogging our work from that meeting.  Several of us were a little horrified when one woman told us she hadn't brought her knitting because the yarn would take up too much space in her luggage!  We were ten days at sea before our first stop - I can think of any number of items that would be ditched before my yarn and needles!

Of course, my search for local yarn shops and locally produced yarn continued on this trip.  We made a return visit to Vivi's Trading Company in Kinsale, Ireland and picked up a couple of skeins of "Soft Donegal" and had the chance to see how Vivi's has grown in its first year and as you can see, it's doing well!

Inside Vivi's Trading Co.

My favorite stop on the cruise was in Tallinn, Estonia.  Right on the dock are a set of shops that give a taste of what a tourist may want to bring home.  At my first stop, I met and chatted with the owner and knitter, Mary Ann, a delightful woman.

Mary Ann in her shop at the Tallinn Dock

Most of the knitted goods available in Tallinn are machine knitted and extremely well done. At the end of the day, I returned to Mary Ann's shop to purchase one of her beautiful sweaters for myself and a couple of Christmas gifts.  From the dock, we headed to Lower Old Town where, in the shade of the town wall, knitters set up stands to sell the products of their hands and machines.

Such a treat to be able to meet the women who have created such lovely items.  They know the worth of their products, set a very fair price, and don't bargain!  My kind of women!

While in Tallinn, I was able to find the colorful ball of yarn on top of the pile in the picture at the top of this post.  It apparently is a popular colorway as it can be seen in most of the shops.

From inside Kalliver, a "linen" shop in Lower Old Town Tallinn 
Next up - Den Gamle By, Aarhus, Denmark!

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