Monday, May 14, 2012

Barfüsserplatz's “New Goods” Market Day

Olive arrived safely Thursday morning and after dropping off her luggage we headed back into the city for lunch. Every Thursday in Basel on Barfusserplatz it’s “New Goods” market day.  It has jewelry, leather goods, clothing, food and, naturally, a yarn stall. 

There is a lady here who sells her yarn every Thursday at this location and every Thursday it takes everything in me not to jump out at the Barfusserplatz tram stop!

Since I am still that “slightly experienced knitter.”  I needed Olive to come with me to ask the right knitting questions.  I had told her about the yarn stall and that I didn’t know what the yarn was; I just see this lady’s stall from the tram’s window every Thursday.  I would look out and see these bright and subtle colors of skeins hanging on a rack moving gently in the springtime breeze.  One day I did get off the tram and cut through the market place to go to the Post Office nearby.  So I did that quick look as you do, checking colors and prices.  But, sadly, no information was posted on or near the skeins.  So I made Olive do the talking.  At times, I have been told by her son, Jigger, that she can be quite shy not when it comes to yarn and knitting.

The name of the stall is Holzart Atelier Hachem and her yarn is hand-dyed silk.  The lady said that the silk “blanks” are from Italy and she hand-dyes the blanks herself. This lady also has several scarves and shrugs hand-made and are ready for immediate purchase.  In order to show me how wonderful her yarn was she had taken a scarf down and draped it over my shoulders.  It felt wonderful!  Last Thursday was a very warm and sunny day here and the silk felt cool and nice over me.  She explained that in Basel it can be quite warm and that even during the evenings you don’t want to wear anything too heavy.  Where as I am use to cool evenings in Holland because of the sea climate there, here it may not be like that.  So she had said that silk is perfect in the spring, summer, and early fall kind of fiber for here in Basel.  I liked her sales pitch – my father is in sales and he would even appreciate this woman’s sales tactics.  But … I have never knitted with silk and I know from my reading that silk has a tendency to grow after knitting.  Therefore a smaller project would work nicely with this fiber.  Of course Olive has knitted with silk before, hence the reason why I made her do most of the talking with this woman.  Plus I knew that Olive could suggest a project for this fiber.

I bought 3 skeins to make “Color Affectionby Veera Valimaki and then I had to go and buy a US 5, 32-inch knitting needle.

These are the colors I chose for this shawl
I am sorry to say that we never exchanged names but we did have a nice conversation about learning German.  (The word “knitting” in German is “stricken”). As you know, most of my time has been consumed with shaking the Dutch language from my mind and replacing it with German.  And this lady spoke very good English but we had a funny discussion about 2 words that Olive taught her: “variegated” and “solid;” meaning colors in the yarn.  We laughed at the word “solid” - she didn’t know that the word had 2 English meanings.  She thought it just had the one meaning, “a solid piece of wood, or item.”  She even pulled out a book and had Olive write the words “variegated” and “solid” down for her.  I liked that idea of having a small book to carry around for new German words and, well … knitting ideas too. 

The Martini Knitter


Nanatucket knitter said...

Great story and the colors are lovely. Happy "stricken" Sarah!

Sandy said...

Sounds like you and Olive are off to great start of your time together. Love the colors, like you, I've not knitted with silk; but think I did have something that was a blend with a wee bit of silk in it. The book idea is a good one for learning new words. I keep seeing that shawl and it looks awesome, though I might be timid about buying pricey yarn, in case I had trouble with it. I don't consider myself accomplished with knitting.

Making rounds today from my newest blog, Flat Stanley and Friends. Wanted to invite you over for a look see. And since you're a Mom etc, thought you might be able to share stories or pictures of a Flat Stanley adventure.

He needs some help getting started, with visitors, comments, followers, and sharing stories.