Color Inspiration Week 4: Obersdorf, Austria

This week's color inspiration is once again brought to you by nostalgia. Not because the weather was horrible, but because I spent this week buried in spreadsheets & business plans & when I did go out I was silly & forgot to capture any of it. But never fear - these old photos are probably better than anything I could possibly find in Chicago this week anyway.

Why is that, you may ask? Because these are photos of my homeland... well, that's maybe a little dramatic. Yes, these photos are from Obersdorf, Austria - a tiny little town in the province of Styria. Think the Sound of Music, only genuinely more beautiful. My Great Great Aunt Hermine current lives there, along with a few other distant relatives of mine, and my Grandma grew up here. I mean, I technically only have 25% of me that can really claim this as my homeland. But I sure as heck do!

I spent a few days here during my last few weeks abroad last Spring & they were some of the most glorious & challenging days of my life. They involved cancelled & changed trains, hitchhiking, power outages in the place I was staying, constantly navigating a language barrier, & more trials and tribulations. But they also involved getting to know my Great Great Aunt, knitting with her, hiking through the Sound of Music land, purchasing a traditional Austrian dirndl, attending an Austrian summer festival, sitting in Hermine's garden, & learning about my family history. It was by far the best part of my few months studying abroad.

I never actually got a chance to blog about this adventure on my study abroad blog (I got overwhelmed as soon as I got back to the US & it sadly went undocumented), so I hope this serves as a bit of a make-up for those of you who were hoping to hear about it. And you get a lovely color palette along the way!

 

Photos & Background

 I spent so many hours each day knitting in Hermine's garden. It was beautiful, and somehow even though she's well into her 90's she still keeps it perfectly groomed. I was working on the  Briochealicious shawl  by Andrea Mowry (which is amazing, by the way. She's the best!). I bought all the yarn for this project from a little shop in Vienna & I call it my Vienna shawl. I need to wear it more often!

I spent so many hours each day knitting in Hermine's garden. It was beautiful, and somehow even though she's well into her 90's she still keeps it perfectly groomed. I was working on the Briochealicious shawl by Andrea Mowry (which is amazing, by the way. She's the best!). I bought all the yarn for this project from a little shop in Vienna & I call it my Vienna shawl. I need to wear it more often!

 Here she is, the amazing Great Great Aunt Hermine! When I first got to Obersdorf (after the longest & worst travel day ever), I was wandering around the tiny little town when I saw an old woman out in her yard. She looked at me & I looked at her, & even though we'd never met before we both knew immediately that we were family. "Megan?" she asked; "Hermine?" I responded - & then we laughed & walked towards each other & embraced. I will never forget that moment.

Here she is, the amazing Great Great Aunt Hermine! When I first got to Obersdorf (after the longest & worst travel day ever), I was wandering around the tiny little town when I saw an old woman out in her yard. She looked at me & I looked at her, & even though we'd never met before we both knew immediately that we were family. "Megan?" she asked; "Hermine?" I responded - & then we laughed & walked towards each other & embraced. I will never forget that moment.

 *sigh* - I miss this beautiful place!

*sigh* - I miss this beautiful place!

 The view from Hermine's kitchen window - not bad, right? (Also apparently being a plant lover runs in the family)

The view from Hermine's kitchen window - not bad, right? (Also apparently being a plant lover runs in the family)

 I bought this dirndl the second day I was there, from a bigger nearby town called Bad Aussee. When Hermine saw me wearing it, she cried. I love her!

I bought this dirndl the second day I was there, from a bigger nearby town called Bad Aussee. When Hermine saw me wearing it, she cried. I love her!

 I walked outside one day to see this little neighbor girl rocking her straw hat & just chatting with her cat who was hanging out the window. Typical!

I walked outside one day to see this little neighbor girl rocking her straw hat & just chatting with her cat who was hanging out the window. Typical!

 A beautiful section of Hermine's garden.

A beautiful section of Hermine's garden.

 I knew a decent amount of German, but Hermine knew no English. We talked to each other the best that we could, but it occasionally got exhausting. When we reached that point, we both picked up our knitting & just sat there creating together. This was such a special time for me. Hermine is one of the reasons why I originally wanted to learn how to knit - her & her sister, my Grossma (what we called my Great Grandma). Grossma didn't know much English, so I picked up knitting as a way to communicate with her (it made sense in my 10-year-old brain). Hermine would send us beautiful mittens every year (just like the ones she's working on in the photo above), & I wanted to be able to make those someday. I wanted to reach the level of knitting that this elusive Austrian aunt was at. And I did! I deconstructed the pattern about 2 years ago & I made a pair for Hermine as a gift. She also cried when I gave those to her. Again - another moment I will never forget! (PS - look out for the Hermine mittens in the shop this winter)

I knew a decent amount of German, but Hermine knew no English. We talked to each other the best that we could, but it occasionally got exhausting. When we reached that point, we both picked up our knitting & just sat there creating together. This was such a special time for me. Hermine is one of the reasons why I originally wanted to learn how to knit - her & her sister, my Grossma (what we called my Great Grandma). Grossma didn't know much English, so I picked up knitting as a way to communicate with her (it made sense in my 10-year-old brain). Hermine would send us beautiful mittens every year (just like the ones she's working on in the photo above), & I wanted to be able to make those someday. I wanted to reach the level of knitting that this elusive Austrian aunt was at. And I did! I deconstructed the pattern about 2 years ago & I made a pair for Hermine as a gift. She also cried when I gave those to her. Again - another moment I will never forget! (PS - look out for the Hermine mittens in the shop this winter)

 

Pantone Color Palettes

I went to the mountains at what everyone kept telling me was the perfect time of year - warm enough that everything was green & blooming, but still early enough in the summer that the mountains were snow capped. I had gorgeous 80 degree, sunny weather every single day I was there. I highly recommend visiting Austria in the end of May!

Because of this perfect weather, the landscape gifted me with a gorgeous palette of lush greens & blues with natural browns.

 

Yarn Connections

I've been drooling over YOTH's Best Friend yarn ever since it was released a few weeks ago. It's a beautiful blend of 75% cotton & 25% wool that gives it an inherently nubby texture that takes dye almost like a marl. I think it really complements this week's natural palette. I would love to make a scarf with these colors! Or a sweater. Or a wrap. Or literally anything!

 From top to bottom: blueberry, ginger root, mint, olive, shiitake. Photos by  YOTH .

From top to bottom: blueberry, ginger root, mint, olive, shiitake. Photos by YOTH.