Autumn diligence

Spending the summer away and not returning until mid-September thrust us right into an autumn atmosphere and it’s taken us a few weeks to adjust. Now that the mornings and evenings are so much chillier and the days are sneeze-inducingly varied from bright blue and sharp to dull grey and drizzly so that you really feel the need for boots and candles, here we are, bang in the middle of it.

My grandmotherly duties now extend to pony club – how cute are 8 kiddies between 3-5 who are all pony-mad and fighting to get the mini-barrows out to pick up after 10 rotund little furballs?! IMG_3662 - Arbeitskopie 2IMG_3676IMG_3659 I must be a terrible photographer, as I still can’t seem to get pictures of our grandchildren keeping still – even when they’re sitting down, they seem to be in motion! Therefore no pictures worthy of publishing to document our day out at the crazy golf LOL.

There have been other days out, too, catching up with my friends. These are not always photo opportunities, though the exhibition “Kirschblüten & Edelweiss”, showcasing Japanese and Chinese with Swiss textiles and how they influenced each other, is definitely worth a mention – on until the end of this year in St. Gallen: IMG_3681and followed up by a stop at the “Chocolaterie” opposite the Stiftskirche, St. Gallen’s cathedral and famous monastery with its fantastic library (check out the fantastic collection of codices available online – facsimiles of books from the 7th century onwards at http://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/de/list/csg/Shelfmark/20/0 !!) – for teas, coffees, specialist applesauces and naturally, chocolate! Plus a small shop of craft articles. IMG_3682The annual exhibition at Zurich, the Züspa, featured “Creativa” this year, which I’d never been to before. It’s the ultimate crafts showcase for our region, so was extremely interesting – from craft books and top-of-the-range embroidery machines to handspun and hand-dyed angora knitting, crochet and craft kits, to scrapbooking, papercutting, quilting, beading and probably a lot more I’ve already forgotten again. Impressed – there’s a lot to digest and to inspire. In order to do this, and with impending betterment of the weather that afternoon, we headed up the Goldenberg behind Winterthur for a glorious view over the town IMG_3683It has recently occurred to me that one of the reasons I love Swiss towns is that they are not endless – I remember standing on the steps of the Sacré Coeur in Paris feeling panicked and depressed at the fact that the city stretches out beyond view with no boundary in sight. I don’t enjoy that kind of view – I like to see where the town ends, to see the surrounding countryside, be reassured that if I’m in the centre of town I need walk no more than 15 minutes straight to the outskirts to find fields and woods and nature… Winterthur is a particularly nice town for this (believe it or not, it’s an industrial town!) and has a reputation for being popular with cyclists, possibly because they have managed to keep the city itself very green, with a lot of trees throughout. Nice. Anyway, up here on the Goldenberg, a woodland paradise, this sunny terrace features tiny lizards, looks down on some very pretty vineyards as well as the town (the large building in the foreground is the Rychenberg Kanti) and the restaurant provides excellent food, on this occasion apple fritters in vanilla sauce – and to jog my own memory and for posterity, is where punklets were confirmed, after their invention in St. Gallen (Hi Elaine!). 🙂

There has been baking IMG_3704IMG_3661from the top: Thurgauer Öpfelchueche with hazelnuts, Beeriwähe, fresh bread and almond apple tart… 

And of course, much knitting carried over from the summer… IMG_3673A dirndl cardigan to go with the June dirndl! Drops baby merino in blue (175m/50g) and the pattern is one I invented as I went along, but using a travelling stitch seen in a Debbie Bliss cardigan from Prima magazine, May 2008, taken from her book Coastline. No doubt this will look better on a human…! IMG_3713 IMG_3714 IMG_3715Deceptively plain and simple, I can’t praise this “Henni” pattern by Christine Körber-Reith (in English and German – the English is faultless) enough – it comes together like a dream, features three very interesting stitches, fits perfectly and really shows off a beautiful yarn – in this case, the true colour being closest to the vibrant sunny bottom picture – like this Malabrigo sock yarn in colourway “Fresco”. Yum.

IMG_3711The Creativa exhibition left me with an autumnal souvenir – Schoppelwolle’s Zauberball Stärke 6 in Schokoladenseite which is becoming a great and simple little pattern called TGV – tricot à grande vitesse after the hi-speed train of the same name! IMG_3718Another case of simply is as simply does, Kate Davies’ Catkin pattern (with a revised cable, sorry, Kate!) is coming along dashingly, considering the 3 mm needles but thanks to the wonderful softness of the very reasonably priced Drops Baby Alpaca Silk, which I have now used several times and count as one of my great favourites. I have high hopes of this one!

Slipped in among those, I couldn’t help doing this one for my granddaughter’s 3rd birthday – presently hanging waiting for her while she gads off to England with the family! IMG_3712Simply irresistible, non?! The pattern is Kittycat by Phildar from Simply Knitting magazine, August 2014, made up in Lana Grossa merino big on 4mm needles. Too cute!

And as the sun is shining today, perhaps there’s time for a little peek back at summer for the next post…

 

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