January 11, 2008

Scored in Belarus!

Posted in Journal, Purls of Wisdom tagged , , , , , at 4:28 pm by Jenn

Well today was the day!  Today was the day, I took the Russian language by the balls (sorry Mom) and actually purchased yarn and needles in a local yarn shop IN RUSSIAN!  That’s right folks.  I said in Russian.

The yarn shops here as I mentioned before are very small.  The first time I went in one I was very overwhelmed and didnt’ stay but for a few minutes.  Today I went in determined to use the language and see what they had.  I was not as horrified as I thought I would be.  While they did not have hand-dyed yarns they did have merino, wool, cotton, the basics and some fun yarn that could be used for socks in a merino blend.  In a pinch, I now would feel comfortable saying that I could make a hat, scarf or some other quick knit while waiting for yarn to come in the mail.  I’m not sure that this is the type of yarn that I would purchase for a swap, but I would consider it if my partner expressed an interest and I had a specific pattern in mind.

 A couple of weeks ago I met a Belarusian friend on Ravelry who helped me out with the vocabulary.  I’ve been practicing and today I did it.  I went in to the store and asked for “One skein of this yarn please.” – sounds like this in Russian, “Mojna addeen matoke eta.”   I don’t know if that’s right, but that’s what I said and I got the yarn I wanted.  The yarn was a 50/50 wool/acrylic blend in varying shades of green.  I think I’m going to make more Grass! 

As I was paying I noticed needles behind the counter.  I wanted to check them out.  Uh, oh.  Hmm.  I tried this….”Skolka stowet speetsee.” meaning , “How much for needles?”  Then she said a lot of something I didn’t understand, but I think she meant which ones….So I said,  “Sear-cool-yarnie-yah speetsee” (circular needles), she reached back and got the circular needles off the shelf.  Hey, cool!  They were Pony Pearl brand and really inexpensive….I mean like 4000 rubles a pair ($2).  I couldn’t remember what sizes I needed (note to self to print Ravelry card). 

Since I was on a roll I decided to ask to see the double pointed needles….I said “Niet, spasiba.” to the circular needles, meaning “no thank you” and then went for it…..I have no idea how to say double pointed, but saying “dvah speetsee” and shaking my index fingers back and forth to the sides worked well enough.  The first set she pulled out were way too long so I said “mallenkey” for “small” and that did it.  I ended up purchasing a 2.5mm set which I know I don’t have, and they were only 2500 rubles (about $1.50). 

 I was so pleased with myself.  I left the store with a huge smile on my face.  I forgot to mention that during all this two babooskee walked in (grandmothers) and they were smiling when I left – I’m sure that was definitely their entertainment for the day!

I think I’m going back next week with my needle list and a few more vocabulary words.  I’m closing with a picture of today’s purchase.




  1. Heather said,

    AAAH!!! Yay! You go, girl!


  2. Nadine said,

    Way to go!! Love you socks too.

  3. not goth said,

    NICE!!!! This brought a great big grin to my face too!

  4. Carola said,

    Hey, I actually think this colorway seems nice, but then I love greens 🙂

  5. sjsmart said,

    Carola – The color really isn’t horrible. They had a lot of nice basic stuff. Just no hand dyed. It will definitely serve the purpose for basic yarn and supplies. No more waiting 3 weeks for knitting needles. Just walk to the yarn store and pick up a set…$2.00 and 40 minutes later, back home knitting! LOL

  6. Carola said,

    Yeah well, hand dyed yarns are special, and often expensive, so the basic need is getting you a long way.

    It would be fun if you did find someone who specializes in handspun or hand dyed over there though 🙂

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