Weird Wool Wednesday: choosing colour over content

This year I’m looking forward to knitting a new pair of Party Paws

Here’s my version 2009 en Tilly Trout’s 2015 version:

so this year a self striping sportsweight is on my purchase-list for when visiting a yarn shop. A kind of souvenir-yarn. A nice reason to spend some money.

Yesterday I visited Deventer which has the amazing yarn shop Dol op Wol at Kleine Overstraat 6. Next to a lovely lunchroom Bij Peet, with homemade cakes. Peet herself is someone to experience! And she knows knitters.

The yarn shop had a particular festive selfstriping sportsweight:

But it’s 96% cotton and 4% polyester. Lana Grossa Elastico Print. It has more give then usual cotton yarn. But cotton, for gloves? Not very smart I’d think.

I just WANTED souvenir-yarn. I chose colours that make me giggle. So this is now my yarn, in cotton, for a pair of Party Paws. I don’t know WHAT I’m doing here. But it’s fun and harmless so probably ok.

Deventer is a lovely city by the way. It wasn’t bombed much in the war so it has lots of old buildings. It’s positively cute!

It was a big trading centre in the 15th century and an important part of the trading routes that ran from the Channel to Poland (Hanze route) and that history is still alive in the city.

This part of history is before the Dutch Republic became great; before Amsterdam, Delft, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and tulips shaped the Dutch identity.

The Hanseatic period is when there was a shared culture between Belgium and Holland all the way to Poland, Estland, Lituania, Rusland. It ran for centuries. Brugge, Bergen, London and Veliki Novgorod where the big cultural centra and all the Hanze cities between them were strong and flourishing. As you travelled between them you could transit through the languages and be understood everywhere because linguistic changes were gradually and all these languages are in the same family.

I believe this is where our shared fairy tales stem from -the ones that take place in forests- as well as a shared acknowledgement of knitting. This is when the Baltic got knotted to the North Sea and the forests of Germany and all the tales got shared. This is why Hansel & Gretel feels local to the whole of the Hanseatic region. This is why the fairytale Vrouwtje van Stavoren rings a bell in all the seafaring Hanze cities. And I just learned Lufthansa gets its name from the Hanse trade.

Anyway, Deventer, lovely city.

It’s a small enough city that rent prices are not too high so it’s filled with little fun shops selling weird and wonderful things. Such as De Regenboog at Lange Bisschopsstraat 4.  It’s crammed full with curiosa including double knit cardigans from Iceland. I bought a tea mug there. It’s very colourful, I’m not sure I’d welcome it early in the morning… But it was such a fun shop! Been there for 30 years too and the lady that owns it is still as enthousiastic as ever.

It’s not quite big enough, it’s 0,4 l instead of the 0,5 l I need. I think I chose colour over content here too.

Well, I really recommend people visit Deventer for a day of friendly weirdness and historic marvelling! I’ll be visiting again soon I hope. It’s also known for its books, its Toy Museum and famous spice cake.

So how did I end up visiting Deventer? Not just for colourful yarn and mugs, surely?

Well, I went along with my husband who was invited to visit with one of the big central heating condensing boiler producers of the country. They develop and assemble various boilers at their plant in/near Deventer. Some time back they developed a smart application that allows your phone to call the thermostate and change the temperature while you’re not even in the house (or while you are in the house but you’re on the couch covered in cats and knitting and can’t get up).

An application my husband hacked.

Over the x-mas holidays.

Because he was bored.

There’s a whole forum of people interested in Domestic Robotica (“domotica”) who had been trying to hack it for some time now. My husband did it and they were delighted.

The people at the boiler company were not so much delighted. But not particularly annoyed either! They were positively interested as to WHY he had done it. (“Really, just bored? Nothing else? No grand scheme plan for world boiler domination?”)

They are a proud bunch, the boiler guys. Proud of their products and their brand, proud enough to want to learn and advance their products and that made for a nice conversation about apps and users and user friendliness and security and how users might “brick” their app if they don’t know what they’re doing and nerdynerdynerd and zzzzzzz (I don’t remember everything he told me afterwards. It was 3 technical guys and my husband who’s a top software developer and they got their nerd on.)

I was in the inner city, being seduced by impractical colours.


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