I’ve been seeing the word “hygge” everywhere lately, and I found myself intrigued by the concept. Hygge, pronounced “hooga”, is a Danish word that seems to be all about coziness, warmth, and mindfulness. Visitdenmark.com says, “In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people”. Doesn’t that sound lovely? It seems to me that the concept of hygge is perfectly suited to a fiber lifestyle, especially here in Maine. Over The Rainbow Yarn’s Stitch ‘n’ Spin groups are pretty much the embodiment of hygge — lovely people sitting around a table, working on soft and cozy projects, and forming new friendships. Sometimes there’s even chocolate.
Winters in Maine can be long and dark, and I occasionally start to wonder whether spring will ever arrive. Remember when it stayed light out after 6 pm? Me neither. But now that I know about hygge, it’s almost as if I’ve been given permission to hunker down, don my wooliest socks, and knit the winter away. (In this scene I’m also picturing myself in front of a woodstove, with a mug of mulled cider and a kitten. Hey, we’re all entitled to our own hygge fantasies.) I think that the happiest country in the world is onto something here, and I intend to explore this concept further for you, loyal readers.
The scarf you can see in the background of that photo (behind a candle and my mug of tea) is our version of Pink Fluffy, a wonderfully simple garter stitch scarf by Andra Asars, and possibly the most hygge item in the shop. I also have to say that I think my Caribou Cowl is pretty hygge too. It’s soft, cozy, and very meditative to knit. This month, you can download it for free from our website!
Yesterday I started making a list of items to pack when I travel for the holidays, and it reminded me of those memory games we used to play. You know, the ones that go, “I’m going on a picnic, and I’m bringing….” followed by items which progress through the alphabet. It also reminded me of a song from French class (originally intended to help teach possessive adjectives) that goes, “Moi, je fais ma valise rose/Dedans je mets beaucoup de choses…” which roughly translates to, “I pack my pink suitcase/In it I put lots of things…” and then lists a number of items which mostly should never actually go in a suitcase.
My mental list of items for my (sadly, not pink) suitcase starts off like this:
An Azel pullover for the store (and the size 13 needles to go with it — there’s nothing worse than being ready to cast on, and finding that you don’t have the needles). It’s going to be a beautiful rich brown shade of Plymouth Encore Mega. Once I stuff all that super bulky yarn into my suitcase, there may not be much room left for the rest of these items, but we’ll see.
A baby sweater with little fishies on it. Yes, the Goldfish sweater continues! Brooks even did a few rows of it over the weekend, and it’s looking snazzy, if I do say so myself. We’re just about ready to separate for the sleeves, which means I should also pack some stitch holders. Maybe I can return with a finished sweater! (Don’t get your hopes up.)
Chocolate. So much chocolate. Most of my Christmas gifts for people this year are chocolate, some homemade, and some Bixby bars. The question is, will I be forced to eat some (or all) of it in order to prevent it from melting as I travel? I do not want melted chocolate on my knitting.
My suitcase will also contain a sweater that needs mending, a sourdough starter nicknamed “Starty”, and a copy of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Perhaps also half a cowl, if I can’t finish knitting it this week. And that’s not to mention the obvious — clothes, toiletries, warm winter gear… I think I’m gonna need a bigger suitcase!
On a more serious note, I want to thank you all for supporting Over The Rainbow Yarn this year! We so appreciate our lovely fiber community, and we couldn’t do it without you. Wishing you happy holidays, and safe travels! (May none of your needles fall down between the airplane seats.)
I think it’s official — Over The Rainbow Yarn really does have the best customers. I always tell people that a yarn shop is more than just a place to buy yarn; it’s a hub for the crafty community, and a second home for its regulars. When I first started working here, way back at the beginning, I had no idea that the shop would go from this:
It’s not just that the shelves are filled with yarn now, it’s also that the store is full of wonderful people. All of you, from the locals who stop in most days, to the loyal readers who popped in once on vacation but follow our blogs and social media, are the reason we’re still here.
While almost all crafters are good people (when traveling alone, I sit next to knitters) the folks who shop here at OTRYarn are really in a league of their own. I so value our community — you make our shop what it is.
The shop threw a 30th birthday celebration for me last week, and I was filled with such gratitude. I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who came out or passed along your birthday wishes! I appreciate all of you so much. From cards to snacks to a gorgeous carrot cake (and tiramisu), you all really brought the party, and made me feel so loved. Thank you, thank you, thank you!