We left Dingle and drove back to Dublin, spent one night in a cruddy hotel by Dublin Airport and left the next day, which happened to be my b-day, and went to Stockholm.
Here is the view from our hotel room:
Stockholm is a pretty city and quite different from Ireland. I suppose this is obvious, but I think it's nice when one bothers to travel for one to see something different, new, and interesting! So we did....
Of course, the first thing we did when we got there was take a nap. What can I say? I'm a pretty wild and crazy chick and you never know what kind of exciting things I might do on a big day like my b-day...nap for example....
When we awoke, this is what we saw from our hotel window:
Pretty cool, huh? I took it as a good sign. You can't really see it that well, but there are two arcs that are distinct rainbows and one of them -- the lower, if I remember correctly -- actually has two layers of color to it (like a double rainbow). This was one rainbow for each decade of my life thus far (if you count this as 3), so maybe it means something. Then again....
Anyway, as it turns out, Stockholm is a watery city. There is a lot of naval history here. Here is a picture from the Strandvagen.
And here is a picture from Skansen, the first outdoor museum. It is a big open air cultural exhibit. It's kind of like Epcot or something, but it is more realistic feeling -- definitely less Disney-esque. They have lots of old buildings from all over Sweden that represent life in those different regions over the years. This is taken from up on a hill within the park (it is not of the park):
Lastly, here is a picture of Gamla Stan, the old part of the city. It's pretty fun to walk there and see the older part of the city. It definitely has all the skinny, winding roads that I think of when I think of oooold Europe -- created well before the car was invented. This is nearly impossible for us Americans to imagine if we haven't been to Europe, I think. We are so used to having HUGE roads here and lots more space.
Now for the important part, right? The yarn!!
We initially set out for a yarn store that I had read about online at that website I mentioned earlier in the first Dublin post. That place was gone, but unbelievably, on our walk there, we just happened to stumble upon a sign set out in the street for another shop that was a few blocks away. I think maybe the store is relatively new. I could not believe our luck! Isn't it wonderful? Anyway, that yarn store is called Nysta. Here is their clever little "Open" sign. Can you see the yarn?
Oh, and here is a very attractive, flattering picture that Andrew took of me inside the store. I'm sharing this ONLY for the greater good of letting you see the inside of the shop:
Of course, if he hadn't taken this picture, you wouldn't have one to see. I am pitifully embarrassed by asking people if I can take pictures of things like the inside of their store. Andrew is not. That's why we make a good team, I suppose.
I don't even sort of have a clue as to what the name Nysta means. Also, they apparently sell Monster there and if anyone can tell me what that is, I'd be eternally grateful! I DO know what garn is, though, and we bought some! Here it is:
As you probably recall, I was collecting yarn for a blanket. I knew setting out on this journey that I might have gauge and color problems with the yarn I was buying. This is especially true since we wanted to get yarn that was made in the country where we bought it. Since I hadn't had foresight enough to take samples of the Irish yarn with me to the store, we were stuck just dealing with the color. The decision I made was to pick a neutral as I figured that would be the easiest thing to deal with. "Neutral??" you are thinking. "That looks anything but neutral!" Well, you're right. I might have had a little incident while I was there. Maybe I left with a little more yarn than intended. Maybe not.....
Here is the neutral stuff:
It does have a little bit of red in it (I don't know how well you can see that) so it's not entirely neutral, but pretty good. The gauge is WAY off from the Irish yarn.... So it goes. It was the only yarn they had that was truly 100% Swedish (from start to finish -- no, not Finnish! Ha, ha, ha), so we had to have it. The name Mullvad apparently means Mole in English. I think that's what the owner woman said. Sounds sexy, doesn't it?
specs: 100% wool, made by Fargkraft, color: Mullvad, 700m per skein
And then, this somehow made its way into the shopping bag:
I assure you that this has nothing to do with my weakness. And nothing at all to do with the sales woman showing me a shawl that could be made with this stuff..... And it definitely didn't have to do with my thought about how I'd maybe never be back there, never be able to buy Swedish wool ever again. This color is Havsgron, which means sea grass or something like that. Some kind of grass. I don't know.... I should add that I've omitted the Swedish accents so I could be writing an entirely different word than that meant by the label. Oh well. I apologize to the Swedes for being so lazy.
Lastly, in a moment of true breakdown, we got these:
I am proud to tell you that Andrew was right behind me on this one. The stuff on the left is for socks for me and the stuff on the right is for him. It just so happens that blue is his most favorite color ever and it has the double whammy of having the same colors as the Swedish flag. He is, after all, the Swede in this family. Good colors and symbolic all at the same time. How can you say no?? The wool that the yarn is made from is Peruvian, I think, and it is dyed (and possibly spun) in Sweden. It is by Eko, which I read somewhere on the web is made by a cottage industry group and is eco-friendly in its production. The colors don't have names.
And a close-up:
If you're really interested, you can go to the Nysta website, click on "garn," click on "Ovrigt," and scroll down to Fargkraft for the first two and Eko for the other. I'm not sure what you'll do with that info, since I don't believe you can buy from them and if you're like me, you don't speak a lick of Swedish (though I can say thank you, you're welcome, and yarn!). Good luck anyway. It's always nice to drool over yarn, right?