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Norah’s Christmas in Latvia


I had the pleasure of spending Christmas in Riga, Latvia this year. What a beautiful place!  The city is so walkable too. We strolled from Christmas market to Christmas market (there are a lot of them!) from museum to museum and from lovely restaurant to lovely restaurant…. viewing SO MUCH amazing architecture along the way.  Of course, I was most fascinated by the yarn and hand knitted good in the markets. One pair of mittens was more beautiful than the next and the same could be said of the socks.  My favorite wool was hand dyed with plants.

Yarn and hand knits at Riga's Christmas market

Riga has a fantastic central market which is held in 3 adjoined Zeplin hangers. Among the piles of dried fish, meat, breads and fruits, I once again spotted some yarn and mittens. Actually my husband, John snapped these photos for me, so I could spend my time ogling.

More yarn and knit goods!Knit items for sales in the big market

…and it goes on.

Knit items for sales in the big market

Santa brought me a cool lens for my iPhone, so most of my Riga photos look like this!

If you ever get a chance to visit, go for it.  I would love to go back in the summer, when there is a longer day,  and see the country side.

– Norah

15 Comments Post a comment
  1. Pepija #

    What a surprise! Glad you liked the city! Did you buy anything knit for yourself?

    Very surprised knitter in Riga, Latvia

    January 9, 2012
    • norahgaughan #

      I bought two pairs of mittens and a pair of socks. My husband’s daughter gave me some of the lovely hand dyed wool from the Christmas market and then I bought even more!

      January 9, 2012
  2. Madara #

    It´s great to hear that you liked Riga. Well, we like it too and whole Latvia as well. Yes, and we have something about knitting:)

    January 9, 2012
  3. Oh my gosh what fun that must have been! I am afraid that if I saw that table of socks and hats I would have done a belly flop right into it.

    January 9, 2012
  4. Lovely! Was there a particular reason to be in Riga this holiday, or was it some place you’ve always wanted to visit and just decided to go?

    The yarn would have definitely done me in.:)

    January 9, 2012
  5. Caroline #

    I was there 6 years ago in October and though it was cold, it was incredibly beautiful. Did you find the Textile Museum? I still have mittens I bought there and from the ladies outside by the church. warm and beautiful!

    January 10, 2012
    • norahgaughan #

      It was unseasonably warm there (35-40 F), which seemed a bit odd, but made being outside very easy. We visited the Museum of Decorative Arts, which had a lot of textiles.

      January 10, 2012
  6. Diane Zangl #

    Isn’t it the greatest place to be a knitter? I had the opportunity to spend 10 days there back in 2001 on a trip with Lizbeth Upitis. We got to look at (and study) the mittens in the archives of the museum in Riga. Heaven! If you ever want a travel partner for a return trip, I’m up for it.

    January 13, 2012
  7. Joy #

    I was able to visit Latvia in 2001, and what a lovely time we had – many good memories! I hope you’ll share more photos.

    January 13, 2012
  8. Andra #

    great photos. memories from my trip to Riga in 1994. thanks!

    January 13, 2012
  9. Lucky duck you! Would love to see more photos! I have a question for you, what is the price range for these lovely hand knits in the local markets?

    January 13, 2012
    • norahgaughan #

      Mittens and socks are $16-25, if my memory currancy conversions are correct.

      January 14, 2012
  10. Marite Plume #

    Our Latvian Folk Art museum in Chicago has many of these style mittens on display. You can take a quick look at our Facebook page to see some of them. They are awesome. Visiting is by appointment only but I am trying to get a knitting club going in the building.

    January 20, 2012
  11. Dace Kezbers #

    Perhaps some of you are aware of the fact that in 2006 at the NATO Summit in Riga, Latvia, knitters knit 4,500 pairs of mittens, each different, to give to the delegates and the press. You can view and download pictures of these beautiful mittens from:

    January 27, 2012
  12. Talley Parker #

    The photo gallery of mittens is pure pleasure. Thanks for the link.

    February 9, 2012

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