Saturday, October 06, 2007

Warsaw, and Fiber Fests

Howdy Knittah!

So when we left off, I was leaving Bialystok, heading to Warsaw for a little while before my flight back to the States. We took the train, which was pretty fun. It wasn't particularly crowded, so we had a compartment all to ourselves.

It's not a very long ride, just over two hours, and it goes even faster if you have some knitting to work on. (That's a Monkey sock, in STR Lightweight, in the Moss Agate colorway. They're for Vicki's mom.) The countryside is pretty, but it was very grey and foggy, so all the photos we took came out somewhat fuzzy looking.

We got to Warsaw, dropped off our baggage and then headed into town to find a yarn shop. A short bus ride brought us to a metro station, and we went just a few stops on the subway.

Across from the station exit was this huge building, which was built by the Russians back in Communist times. There wasn't time to go inside to the observation floor, but it was still very gloomy out, so I doubt that we missed much.

The yarn shop was... interesting. Usually when you walk into a yarn shop, it's inviting, lots of pretty colorful yarns to reach out and squeeze. I think this was pretty typical for a Polish yarn shop - all machine spun yarns, nothing hand-painted.. Nothing that made me go "Ooh pretty!" It was a tiny little shop, and all the yarns were behind a counter, so we had to ask everytime we wanted to see anything up close.

After buying some basic sock yarn, we went off in a more touristy direction, heading toward the Old Town. Here's the Polish equivalent of the White House.

Nowy Swiat is a larger boulevard which has lots of fancy little boutiques, galleries, and shops. It's normally very pretty, but the combination of weather and construction took away from the experience a bit.

The Old Town was pretty as always. For a long time, I didn't realize that it's actually not that old. At the end of WWII, it was basically reduced to rubble, and has been painstakingly rebuilt, using the old plans, and incorporating as many fragments of the original buildings as they could. It's really impressive, and quite beautiful.

After a very long day of flying, waiting, and lost baggage, we made it back to Buffalo. Happily, there was a small local fiber festival going on the next day. There were lots of llamas, and no ducks, but we were still humming this as we walked around.

Along with yarn and fiber (and llamas), there was a sheep shearing! The sheep was remarkably calm about the whole thing, even after it accidentally got nicked.

That's it for fiber festivals for now, but in just two weeks, we'll be at Rhinebeck! Not only am I planning on buying lots of yarn and knitting accessories, but I'll also be playing Rhinebeck Blogger Bingo on Saturday! I've signed up to be a square, and this fancy tote bag arrived today! If any of you players are looking for me, please come say hi! =)

Not So Swatchy


Knittah said...

Dear Not So Swatchy -

Ok, a yarn shop where you have to ask to touch the yarn? Gah! How bizarre!

I've always been curious about Warsaw. I know a fair bit of WWII history, and I wonder if the Warsaw Ghetto is memorialized in any way?

And hurray for Rhinebeck Bingo!!!!! I am so excited that you are a square!

Love, Knittah

vicki said...

I'm sure it is memorialized - the thing is, however, that Poland was so devastated by the war that there are plaques and monuments and statues all over the place. Many of the buildings in the Old Town have some sort of plaque on them, with a bit of information on that particular place. They can be difficult to understand when your Polish is less than stellar.

There is this memorial though:

And onto happier topics, yay for Rhinebeck! Fall foliage (if fall ever kicks in), yarn, fiber, and being surrounded by knitters? It'll be a blast. We'll be sure to take lots of pictures for you, when we're not fighting for yarn. =)

noricum said...

I'm so jealous that you get to go to Rhinebeck! I had such a great time last year. I look forward to seeing your photos, and also what you buy!

katti said...

Hi! Were the yarn shops really that bad? I'm heading for Warsaw in a couple of weeks and I had thought I'll come back with suitcases full of new, beautiful, interesting yarns. Your comment doesn't seem that encouraging:/

Do you happen to remember addresses for yarn shops in Warsaw? My Polish...well, there isn't such thing as 'my Polish', so I guess searching in the local yellow pages won't help me that much:)