I love to travel. And I love souvenirs - postcards actually, not key rings, or hats, or tee shirts. I have a dresser dedicated to postcards and it’s almost full to capacity. My travel companions and family roll their eyes as I stop at every postcard vendor. When I travel, I send postcards to friends, but I also bring home postcards. I would agree with my family that my penchant for postcards is ridiculous but for one fact: three or four times a year I sit down with a cup of tea, pull out a drawer, and look through the postcards, and remember the trip. I love looking at my postcards and remembering the trip.
With the help of Ravelry, I’ve got a new souvenir habit. Vacation yarn!
This year I retired and was lucky enough to take two celebratory vacations. In June I spent two weeks in Alaska. When I wasn’t hiking or kayaking I was spending time in museums learning about Alaska culture. I only spent a couple of days in Juneau, hiking around the Mendenhall glacier and going to their new and fabulous State Museum. I also spent a couple of hours at Seaside Yarns shop. I would have never found the Seaside Yarn without the help of Ravelry. It was on the second floor of a professional building, tucked away behind a jewelry shop. Inside, in addition to yarns I was familiar with, I was introduced to yarns by local Juneau dyer, A Tree Hugger‘s Wife, aka Missy. There were fabulous skeins inspired by the colors of Southwest Alaska. It turns out that the owner of Seaside Yarn is also “A Tree Hugger’s Wife” and owner of Northern Bee Studios. I went a little crazy in Seaside Yarns, but it was good crazy. I bought a couple of skeins of A Tree Hugger's Wife yarn to give to friends and bought this taste of Juneau. And turned it into this:
As I knitted my Taste of Juneau scarf, with the colors of Dirty Glacier, Juvenile Bald Eagle, Sitka Spruce, The Madam’s Couch, and Mineshaft, I found myself reliving my vacation and reconnecting with the beauty of the experience.
I just returned home from the most epic trip. I traveled with my brother and sister-in-law to Porto Portugal. Part of my pre-trip planning was to check out Ravelry for yarn shops. Again, I would have never found the shop without Ravelry and, truthfully, barely found it with the help of Ravelry and Google maps, but we wound our way along narrow cobblestone streets and we were delighted to find a Ovelha Negra. The owner, Joann, is a delightful woman who has created the most welcoming and warm shop.
She introduced us to Victoria, a yarn produced in Portugal, with the wool of a specific breed of Portuguese sheep, called Bordaleira. She also welcomed us to Knit Night night at her shop. It was a highlight of my trip.
This came home with me, and inspired by the cobblestone streets and sidewalks of Portugal, I am turning it into this:
Every stitch reminds me not only of the adventures I found while walking on those lovely cobblestone sidewalks and roads, but also the warm welcome of Knitting Friends and Ovelha Negra. I am looking forward to hearing stories of your vacation yarn!