Kiwi burgers, yarn shopping and addiction warnings.

Rathaus (Town Hall) Hamburg

Rathaus (Town Hall) Hamburg

As our daughter moved to Hamburg for a new job recently, we planned an orientation visit to Hamburg to satisfy the (eternal) parental need to see that our chick was happy and safe in her new nest – she is – and to check out the sights of Germany’s second largest city.  A visit to any new city is not complete without a reconnaissance mission to yarn store(s) identified in pre-travel research.

Hamburg turned out to be rather surprisingly nice.  Okay so it doesn’t have the lure and romance of Paris but neither does it have Paris’ dirty polluted air, poopy footpaths and crowded scungy Metro.  Hamburg was a breath of fresh air – literally – it was the windiest place we have been since leaving Wellington and it felt good.  (I know I’m being a little mean about Paris, I will never not love her; it’s just that when you look past the fabulous reputation she is frankly, grubby.)

Hamburg is located in the north of Germany, about 110 km away from the North Sea, on the river Elbe where it meets with the Alster and Bille rivers.  It’s a major shipping centre, also apparently a media hub and it generally looks pretty well-off.  I’m not surprised it ranks high up on the list for quality of living – as do Auckland and Wellington of course.  (Oh all-right then, so does Sydney & Melbourne…..Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, but Vienna tops everyone.)

The Alster River has been dammed to create lakes in the city area for sailing and other water sports.  There are lovely round-the-lake walkways and the city centre is peppered with bridges (more than Venice said the bus tour guide) over waterways.  There are walkways around the port and fish market area, the historic central city area near the Rathaus building (Town Hall), as well as some snazzy looking shopping destinations.  All in all, a lot of water and that is what makes it so pleasant looking (and affluent, given its port – 3rd largest in Europe).

On our rather refreshing walk alongside the lake we spied swathes of dependable crocuses in bloom declaring the seasons are changing as expected, the weeping willows sprigged with green danced wildly in the wind and dogs out for a romp had the cob-webs well and truly blown out of them.  Not surprisingly the lake area is bordered by beautiful residences, consulates and hotels including the Atlantic Hotel where a few scenes with Pierce Brosnan in the James Bond movie “Tomorrow Never Dies” were filmed.

As for yarn?…..well, what a find: Mylys in Hamburg.  This gorgeous little store in a trendy part of town is a treasure; uber helpful friendly people, shelf loads of lovely yarn; even some Zealana Rimu merino-possum double-knit and German wool brand Schoppel-Wolle of course, plus all sorts of easy to carry knitting tools.  The space in my carry bag freed up by the delivery of homemade Afghans* and the last of my NZ Marmite stock begged to be filled.  Das original Zauberball sock yarn in Oktoberfest and Fuchsienbeet colourways made it to my stash cupboard.  I love the warning on the wool label: “Stricken kann suchtig machen!”  Knitting can be addictive!

Not only is Mylys a yarn store, it’s a café as well.  My dearly beloved and I lunched there with Ms KiwiHamburger and her NGB, and all agreed we’ll be back; delicious food, lovely ambiance.  I think I’ll be back in September for the Hamburg Wollfest that the Mylys team told me about.  It’s a Knitting Expo planned for Sept 6-7 in Hamburg.  As well as yarn sellers there will be workshops, some in English, including those with Ysolda Teague and Stephen West.

I’m looking forward to seeing Hamburg with its summer wardrobe on, it should be very pretty, and by then I’ll need to feed my yarn addiction too.


* Afghans are traditional NZ biscuits, my favourites to bake.



11 thoughts on “Kiwi burgers, yarn shopping and addiction warnings.

  1. Marmite !!!!! Even Kiwi Marmite can’t come anywhere near

  2. soknitsome says:

    Hamburg is lovely – did you see any of the Speicherstadt (where the warehouses are?) A friend and I are hoping to get to Hamburg for Wollfest but as we’re also planning to go in November for a regional FAWCO meeting, the knitting date is a bit tentative right now.

    • keiryberry says:

      No, I didn’t get there. Is that the wool warehouse place? I had read about one that has an annual sale, which I think is the end of March this year.
      I shall search out Speicherstadt when I am there next time, thanks for the idea.

  3. kiwiyarns says:

    I may have been drooling over that yarn store… just a little bit. You are very lucky living within reachable distance of yarn and wool events. We do have a couple here now, but I think I need to wait at least another five years before my youngest is grown up before I can even get near them. 😦

    • keiryberry says:

      I am lucky indeed. I guess its the sheer population density – more people, more knitters, that means there is a demand. Having said that I noticed on Ravelry’s 4-million stats page that NZ has one of the highest rates of Ravelers per popln, so you would think it might be possible to have a worthwhile wool event. I hope so.
      The trend for knitting etc seems to be building here still so in 5 years it will be even better.

      • kiwiyarns says:

        I saw those stats too. I was very interesting! Kiwis seem to be particularly social media friendly I’ve noticed. Probably because of our relative isolation compared to the other larger populations of the world. I suspect that should the US and European knitting populations properly represent themselves on Ravelry, the stats would adjust to levels more equal to the relative population size of each country.

  4. Carmel says:

    How nice you can visit your daughter and check out yarn at the same time ! Reminds me so much of when my parents come and visit me over here in the uk. First place mum and I check out are the shops with yarn !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s