Monday, August 31, 2009

Baltic beauties

So, a post or so ago I mentioned that we'd been away. Most excellently for us, two of the major conferences in my field were in Helsinki and Tallinn this year and even more excellently, I had some research accepted for presentation and absolutely excellently, the company agreed to fund my trip. Which meant a nice long visit to two places that we hadn't been but were most definately on my list, at a pretty reasonable price. While much of my break was taken up with work-related business, they were both excellent conferences and I was intellectually refreshed and professionally inspired, which is really what these things are all about in my opinion. And networking, which I did pretty well (for me).
So anyway, Helsinki:
Gorgeous; clean; design and function; craft and creativity; the cleanest port I have ever seen; salmon. I managed to find a great yarn store called Oy Menita Ab (I think!), on Korkeavuorenkatu 20, in the city. They didn't speak much English, but who cares- they had lovely yarn displayed in such a beautiful way. There must have been every colourway of the Drops Alpaca and some other Drops yarns, Rowan yarns and some beautiful Finnish yarns. I bought two balls of Pirkanmaan yarn in beautiful blues. At the time, I had baby in mind, but now its home I think it might have to be some colourwork for me - maybe Selbu Modern?
Down at the waterfront there was a daily market with good food (mostly), and crafts (some junk, but mostly good stuff) - woodwork, leatherwork (mostly reindeer) and knitting. Tables covered in bright, handknit socks (for about 12 euros a pair). Lots of people knitting (even if they were selling other things). A lady with gorgeous handwoven things (out of my budget but so beautiful). The stalls changed each day - just after I ran over to the yarn shop in my lunch break, I saw a stall with spectacular hand-dyed yarn in it. Unfortunately, I decided I had used up my yarn allowance, but took a card. The lovely stall holder told me that his wife dyed the yarn with natural dyes, and she had an online shop and would ship to the UK. Her website is, and it really is worth checking out. She has the most gorgeous mitten kits - if I was a mitten wearer (or knew one!) I would have bought one there and then!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Baby yo-yo

Before we went away, I made Baby B a Froeball, designed by the lovely Katie. It was quick and easy to make (although I didn't stuff mine hard enough), and I have to say it is the best travelling toy! Great for a teething boy, lots of lovely scratchy wool to chew on. You can tie it onto your pusher/highchair/airplane seat. You can wave it around and throw it across a hotel room with minimal damage. It has a long tail perfect for practicing fine motor control. I highly recommend, and I have premonitions of many more of these coming off my needles.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


We've been away.

It was excellent. It was sunny. It was a combination of work and play, but still fun. There was yarn and knitting (not by me). I'll tell you more when life calms down a bit.