We’d hardly been back from holiday three weeks and there I was yet again trundling my carry-on case up and down the stairs through the grubby Metro tunnels, fighting my way onto the airport train at Gare du Nord, dodging the meandering, confused travellers clogging up the inter-terminal shuttle lanes, tip-toeing through security with my carefully selected wooden knitting needles before finally relaxing with a few rows of sock knitting before boarding. My reward; a weekend with Katherine in Hamburg and a Wool Festival – Wollfest Hamburg.
With a day and a half free to explore before our long planned weekend activities I had time for a long walk along the lake edge near Katherine’s apartment. In the glorious sunshine there were blokes fishing, (and catching), runners – canines and homo-sapiens – and on the lake there were yachts and ferries, paddle boarders, kayakers and rowing crews. I crunched along the path cheerily snapping pictures thinking oh my my, summer is not over yet. The German signs amused me. Mostly I can’t understand them at all but occasionally the meaning is crystal clear when you just say it like it looks.
On the topic of other things that amused….Hamburg, like other Big Cities, has a swanky big Apple Concept Store; its spacious clean uncluttered interior is populated with more than enough Apples for a sizeable pie. But what you might not know is that Hamburg has a Nivea Concept Store just near Apple. Yep, I discovered good old Nivea is a German brand, originating in Hamburg. Impressed by the array of Nivea goodies, I stocked up on things and succumbed to the promotion for personalised Nivea.
The Hamburg Wool Festival ran over Saturday and Sunday. I visited the market stalls on Saturday and limited myself to buying only yarns that I could not get in Paris. That still left quite some choice, but since my dearly beloved has noted that my yarn stash has expanded to the proportions of a yarn collection, I exercised restraint.
The highlight was the “Manipulating Stitch Patterns” workshop with Ysolda Teague on Sunday. I confess I felt on the edge of my comfort zone. I’ve adapted patterns many times before in a she’ll-be-right, amateur kind of way but this was a glimpse into a more technical world where really talented, professional young designers are forging their independent design careers combining age old craft skills and technology to produce wonderful patterns. I felt challenged, a bit lost at first and then a bit excited and inspired. I enjoyed it immensely. Ysolda is knowledgeable and entertaining, the three hours went by in a blink, and I learnt so much my brain was buzzing. I’m working on my post workshop project while it’s still fresh. The concept is sorted, the charting underway and swatching is to come.
While I was manipulating stitch patterns Katherine was participating in her first 10km run, the Alsterlauf, with DB as chief cheerleader and photographer under stern instruction to wait at the assigned place, keep a watch out for her and record the moments for posterity. Katherine successfully completed the race and there are photos to prove it. Our next visit to Hamburg is planned for December because there is a special birthday to celebrate.