Monday, 9 November 2015

Woolly souvenirs...

I've pretty much given up waiting for a brighter day to take photos. These are the best I can do for now. I think there was a second wool shop in Barcelona somewhere but I was pushing my luck making M and the kids wait as long as they did while I chose some yarn. In fact we have a funny photo on someone's phone of Jake sitting amongst baskets and piles of wool in the middle of the shop looking suitably unimpressed.

All You Knit is Love is the place to go in Barcelona for yarn. It's true that they are very friendly and helpful. Only Miguel was there on the evening that we visited and he was having to cope with a gaggle of what looked like school age girls wanting a selfie with him. He seemed happy to oblige. Needless to say I did not feel the need for a selfie!

All my yarn purchases were hand dyed and spun in Barcelona. The brick red skein is 100% Alpaca and much cheaper (roughly £7) than it would have been in the UK. Although we didn't pass a workshop of this type there were many varied skills on display until late at night. Bookbinders, carpenters, dressmakers, jewellers, to name but a few. It all looked rather idyllic but I suppose the reality is that all these craftsmen and women have to compete in a large city to make a living.

We had one afternoon of rain in Barcelona and stumbled upon the most friendly cafe (it was our experience that not all cafes are run by friendly people). They were so welcoming and helpful despite the fact that we dripped copious amounts of water all over their beautiful wooden floors. Hot soup, filled rolls and quiche were the main choices. It was superb, such a simple operation but perfect. Out of 7000 cafes in Barcelona they had reached number 32 on Trip Advisor after five months. Proof that keeping it simple really does work. Foreign menus can be so overwhelming when you're trying to choose both food and value for money, not to mention keep four people happy.

I must tell you about the wonderful felt shop. It was in the El Born area not far from where we were staying. This turned out to be one of our favourite parts of the city. It was Halloween night and all the children were dressed up and traipsing round with their buckets. It was warm enough to eat outside and there were fireworks going off too. Then to top it all off I spotted a shop that looked like something Santa would have subcontracted! A little old man in a small shop stuffed to the rafters with wool felt! Heavenly. I did make a few random purchases. I think my jewellery making is about to branch out into felt brooches! I couldn't resist the sheep. They were only €1 each. E decided to have two for her room too; Miguel and Ricardo, named after two of our taxi drivers. Don't ask.

The little wooden earrings were from a small craft event we stumbled upon in El Ravel. The seller/maker was lovely. E bought some Frida Kahlo earrings and she's done the whole 'like' on Facebook thing and she's chatted to her since we got back to the uk. I haven't a clue how that works.

Then finally I've added to my foreign crochet magazine collection. They all have diagrams so I'm never too worried about the language. From my Italian magazines I've made quite a few random motifs which I'm sure one day I will make up into a shawl pattern. These latest ones are German and French. The latter is particularly gorgeous. I love those little capelets (maybe not with the ears though). I clearly need more hours in a day!

(The wool shop has a website with a number of free knitting patterns in the right hand sidebar. The alpaca skein I purchased will make the Jovana hat if my knitting skills are up to it!)


  1. You got some lovely souvenirs! Looks like lots of inspirational projects in your magazines too. I visited Barcelona a few years ago and have been anxious to return ever since. I didn't find a yarn shop, which is probably a good thing as my family is not accommodating when it comes to me browsing for either fabric or yarn.

  2. We'd love to go back too. Preferably for six months every winter (in my dreams!). My trick, when we go on holiday, is to grant everyone one wish. My wish is always to visit a local yarn store. Since they have their wishes too they rarely begrudge me mine, though I have photographic evidence that my son struggled slightly :-)