Monday, January 12, 2015

a weekend in hamburg :: um fim de semana em hamburgo

Ryanair started flying out of Lisbon last year, and I was very excited to see they had flights to Hamburg. So when looking for places to spend a long weekend in the beginning of December this German city was my first choice (I hadn't flown with Ryanair in years though, so it was not the best of experiences but for the price it cost I can't really complain. This post at TravelHack seems to cover a few useful tips)

Hamburg surprised me in a positive way. It's a fantastic city, both old and modern, and seems to combine these two facets seamlessly well. We went for the Christmas markets, of course, but really enjoyed the modern harbour district and the beautiful parks and gardens. Because we went during the weekend the markets were jammed full of people, so we left our shopping till Monday, our last day, when everything was quieter. 

A few random notes:
- We stayed at the Adina apartments, and I really recommend them. We had previously stayed at Adina in Frankfurt and the facilities are very good.
- It was extremely difficult to find a nice place to have lunch on Sunday, so we eventually went back to the Rathaus area and had some delicious flammekueche at the Parlament restaurant.
- I didn't have time to visit a yarn or fabric shop this time, but did pop into the Alsterhaus to get some much needed Mariage Fréres tea (last floor, next to the restaurant).
:: a really weird combination, a sort of potato hash brown with applesauce. Not to my taste but A. loved it
:: at the Planten und Blomen park
:: one of my favorite streets, the Colonnaden
:: the harbour district
:: at the Rathaus market

Saturday, January 10, 2015

ásta sóllilja

This was my last knit of 2014, and definitely the warmest. The pattern is from Kate Davies' most recent book, Yokes. I had saved it to read during the holidays so I'd be able to enjoy it more. Kate's essays are wonderful and worth reading slowly. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on the lopapeysa, the Icelandic traditional sweater, and the interview with Hélène Mágnusson

I was surprised to read that the lopapeysa was not that popular to wear among the Icelanders until the last twenty years or so, because when we were in Iceland they were everywhere to be seen, not only in the shops but also worn by a lot of people. I can totally understand why, the yarn (Lopi) is extremely warm and perfect for the Icelandic weather. Not so perfect for the Portuguese weather, but I've been wearing mine a lot since Christmas when this cold spell started. Lopi is also kind of itchy, but I found that a good soak with hair conditioner softens the garment considerably.

 (Reykjavik, Aug 2014)
(Alafoss store, Aug 2014)

Pattern: Ásta Sóllilja, by Kate Davies
Yarn: Istéx Lett Lopi (details on colors and yardage on the Ravelry project page). The yarn I used was bought in the Alafoss store near Reykjavik, but they also sell online with very good prices.
Needles: 4 and 4.5 mm
Size: smallest (29'')

1) Same colours as the original pattern except for the main grey, which is a bit darker (0056)

2) Started off with size 2 but since I rarely swatch I realized after finishing the ribbing that it was going to be too large for me, so decreased and increased until I got the right number of stitches for size 1.

3) Since I don’t like very high necklines I left off the last 4 rows of the yoke chart