The actual purpose of my trip to Europe the last 9 days was several business meetings and a scientific conference, but give me an free weekend in Munich that coincides with the Rohrspatz and Wollmeise shop being open and a new priority becomes crystal clear. A visit to Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm on a sunny spring afternoon would be a pleasant jaunt on its own; with Wollmeise yarn in the mix it becomes something of a joyous pilgrimage.
The train ride is perhaps 20 minutes or so, through beautiful German countryside. Arriving at the station, you have a short but delightful walk along the river, flowers blooming on either side ahead of you. It is easy to see where the Wollmeise gets inspiration for many of her colorways.
A few more blocks through the charming town – the canals are romantic, the architecture enchanting, and it holds an amazing number of sheep.
And suddenly you are there, soaking up all the color. It’s everything you imagined and more. The intensity of the colors makes choosing incredibly difficult. Fortunately, the shopkeepers are tremendously welcoming and understanding that your choice will take time. They ply you with cappucinos, invite you to sit on the couches and knit with them, even take all day after your trip relaxing and chatting with other knitters. I so enjoyed meeting a fellow American who had made the journey, Jennifer of Virginia but soon to be in the Netherlands (yes, a military family).
The humor found in the Wollmeise’s colorways is also expressed in her shop. A toy mouse made out of a skein of “young mouse” colored Merino superwash, the bathroom with the walls upon which you are strongly urged to leave your mark (can you spot mine?), and the advertising campaign decorating that wall, all speak of women who love to laugh.
And laugh we did. What a fun afternoon, sipping coffee and knitting, chatting with various women who wandered in, and hearing stories from the storekeepers about the husband who came in hunting for yarn, being coached over the cell phone by his wife back in the USA, or the women who had to make multiple trips to the ATM down the street to cover their purchases (I only made one!). I had one moment of concern when the woman next to me went through the yarns I had piled up next to me, giving a running commentary, “yes, that one is good, good, very pretty color, good, very nice, oh, no – that one is ugly. Very ugly.” I was rather concerned that she was going to offend the shop. She insisted it was a bad job of dyeing, not being coy about it at all. Imagine my relief (and delight) when I discovered that I had been sitting and knitting with the Wollmeise herself. No worries about offending her own talents!
And when I finally left, I admit, that ugly skein stayed behind.
I hope you have a colorful weekend!
P.S. Oh, yes, you can all see what I did buy. Do any of these strike my lovely daughters as something they covet? Let me know – birthday’s coming! And to my twin, she doesn’t have to choose. There is one with her name, or rather her rank, on it.
P.P.S. If anyone would like a few more pictures of the surrounds of the Rohrspatz and Wollmeise shop, check out my Flickr set from the trip.