This weekend was the Vienna Wool & Design Festival. A festival for wool? Yes please! €10 per day entry on day of? TAKE MY MONEY!! Don’t ask why I didn’t purchase my weekend pass in advance. It’s a sore spot in my soul. I am acutely aware that I shorted myself €8 for yarn in my budget. It won’t happen again. What also won’t happen again is my lack of photography while there. I got lost amongst cakes of lace weight colorways, skeins of English wool hanging from hooks, hanks of alpaca, and piles of hand dyed beauty. But I digress.
Only 1 week ago I was pulling every skein out the basket, rolling and winding while taking a mental inventory. Now I say this like I don’t already have it memorized. Like I haven’t done this every week after my trips to the new Wolle store down the street. As if planning my projects for the weekly stitch ‘n’ bitch isn’t a daily endeavor. But, since moving to Vienna, my stash has dwindled incredibly. Without the monthly visits to AC Moore and Michaels, I no longer increase the collection by 10-15 skeins at a time. When AC Moore came out with their sales flyer, it created a frenzy in my heart. 10 skeins of Red Heart worsted for $20? The hardest part was color decisions. Needless to say, Vienna has been gentle on my wallet.
What I love most about yarn is the pure tactile experience. I have yarns that span the fiber spectrum. Yes, I still have that cheap Red Heart yarn to make household blankets with. I also find fibers I’ve never worked with in shops all over the world. Let me give you a little glimpse into my world of wonder.
Dublin, Ireland: Though we were in Dublin for a quick 72 hour experience, I managed to find a beautiful shop filled with knit goods. With a minimal selection of wool from the Aran Islands. I’ve never worked with a rich, rough wool. But the texture reminded me of my grandfather’s sweater. The one he wrapped me in early in the morning to go fishing on the Columbia River in Oregon. The sea moss, or river moss, color brings me back to that experience. It was a must have! I found it at the Aran Sweater Market in Dublin, but their online shop makes me just as happy! I would suggest checking their beautiful products out here.
Heber City, Utah; USA: Yarn Cafe Creations is amazing!! I first stumbled upon this shop on Etsy and haven’t looked back once. The color combinations and speckle aspects are gorgeous. Everything is hand dyed. I had this shipped to me while still living in Boston, MA. Most of her stuff is sock weight and super soft. I wish I had a photo of the luscious orange sock yarn I ordered a few years ago. Her Instagram is phenomenal.
North Carolina, USA: Expression Fiber Arts is mind blowing! Check out the website! This was a Pinterest find that promptly sent me down a pinning rabbit hole. Whether you love lace weight, fingering weight, worsted weight, or chose purely on color alone, this is your site. The skeins can be a bit expensive, but keep in mind that this gal is doing it all herself. My BFF gifted me with a gift certificate and I went to town. They shipped internationally!
Vienna, Austria: Wolle-fest 2016 was my first foray into the world of Austrian wool. Though the event was small, I fell in love with Maggie P. Lace weight colorways that mesmerized me. I visited them again this last weekend. They certainly did not disappoint!
And then there’s the selection that I have no clue where they came from, only that I love them and will do something with them eventually. This last year I’ve grown quite fond of pastels with flecks and threads of metallics. Along with that, a dear friend picked up some gorgeous wool in Iceland. And while each is dear to me, I’m always on the hunt for something new.