Monday, August 19, 2013

beautiful Vienna

A report from our mini-trip to Vienna last month.
A. had a workshop followed by a conference there so me and S. took the opportunity and joined him there for a few days.

We had been in Vienna a few years ago but my memories from that visit were not very impressive (there was a lot of construction going on) so this visit was a much more enjoyable surprise. I loved Wien/Vienna -  it's a city where I could see myself happily living in, and it was great for visiting with a toddler since there seemed to be a park (and playground) in almost every corner.

:: the famous Schonbrunn view from the palace to the Gloriette 
:: film festival at the Rathaus
:: enjoying a nice lunch at the food stalls between the Rathaus and the Burgtheater
::S. enjoying the rides with grandma at a playground near the Rathaus

:: at a park near the Votiv church

:: Volksgarten or the Rose Garden
:: Visiting the Museumsquartier - I'm not a fan of modern art in general, but we went to the Leopold Museum just to see the Klimt paintings
 :: at Schloss Belvedere
 :: making faces ... and picking flowers at the Vienna State Opera
 :: hummmm .... having tea (and the obligatory Sacher torte) at Café Mozart near the Albertina
:: having dinner at Purstner. Loved the decoration of this typical restaurant
:: at the gardens of Schloss Belvedere. We loved it here, it was a great place to spend a couple of hours just exploring the grounds

:: dinner at Salm Brau. A. loved the local beer, and I really enjoyed their specialty ribs.
On Saturday a friend took us on a tour of the Wachau Valley, known for it's vineyards and wineries.
We visited the village of Durnstein, and hiked all the way up to the castle ruins, where King Richard I Lionheart of England was held captive by Duke Leopold V of Austria after their dispute during the Third Crusade. It offers amazing views of the valley from the top ...
 We also visited Melk monastery.
And the highlight of the day - dinner at one of the many local wineries in the region.  Dinner is served outside, among the vineyards. Our friend told us that these local wineries are only open as a restaurant at certain times of the year. Usually only cold food (cheese, sausages, etc) are served, but this one actually served some hot meals too. It was the perfect ending to a really nice day (thanks Andy !)

Look for this sign outside the wineries - it means that it's open and serving food !

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Danish summer top

Started back in October, this was supposed to be a test knit for my friend Freckle, but I just couldn't concentrate properly at the time so it was left lingering on my WIP basket until I picked it up again recently . The lace pattern is called "frost flowers" and is absolutely stunning, as you can see. The reason why this took me so long was because the pattern it's not easy to memorize so I had to keep checking the chart quite often, which slowed me down considerably.

I followed the original pattern exactly, except for these changes:
- Knitted 7 repeats of the frost flowers pattern (instead of 8) because I wanted to lower the stockinette bodice portion by an inch or so.
- Knit 6 inches of stockinette instead of 5 before starting the v-neck
- For the shoulder straps, didn't make any of the increases at the sides, and decreased each strap until I had a total of 25 stitches.

As I had expected, the Tosh Merino Light grew a couple of inches lengthwise after blocking which made this the perfect length for me.

Pattern: Danish Summer, by Elisabeth Colding Sivertsen
Yarn: Madelinetosh Merino Light, in Well Water (1.5 skeins)
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