8. Sunset – we’re spoilt for them, whether we are in Brittany, in the mountains or just around town! This is one I caught as I left the vet’s, recently, a November sunset… 9. Diagonals – a great opportunity for me to talk about my new cosy, cuddly, light, warm, lofty and simply comfortable new shawl, so very simple… and yet. The wool was a gift from (non-knitter) friends who went to Iceland last summer and took the trouble to bring me some longed-for Icelandic wool, so thoughtful of them and of course, an opportunity for me to fall in love with a completely different sort of wool than my usual supersmooth and soft merino wools! Icelandic wool is still a very authentic product, not exactly scratchy, but hairy, and incredibly floatily warm when worn… I went with a super simple pattern, Nordic Wind by cabinfour (Ravelry) and reversed the colour graduation – all in Ìstex Lett Lopì in shades of grey.
As you can tell, I am enthusiastic about this product and set about discovering how to get more of it, dying to try different weights. After some scouting of the webs and horror at the price of P&P from the rest of Europe to Switzerland (I know, we’re in the middle of it, but it doesn’t count!!) and not wanting to actually import wholesale amounts (though who knows…!), I eventually discovered the solution – order directly from Iceland. To my utter amazement, my order of Saturday arrived today (Thursday) and I’m over the moon – sadly the photo in winter afternoon light doesn’t show the lovely heathered light blue, but definitely watch this space! Well done, Icelandic December post :O
on turning 50 recently… as one of my best friends said, it’s been a painless transition! But it does give food for thought for all that. I think most of my reflections are pretty sunny, as that tends to be my disposition! I just feel extremely lucky, really.So, I do have to talk about how we went about celebrating my 50th! I have mentioned here before how much we like the Graubünden/Grisons area in the mountains of eastern Switzerland and how we usually spend some time there every winter, at a tiny resort up above another small resort… and up even higher than that, through the woods on a forest track, there is a little cluster of houses perched in a clearing and that is Avrona. The remote Gasthaus there is run by a lovely couple, Peter and Helen Witmer, who treat guests as if they were family, such gracious hosts. To my delight, my husband secretly arranged for all our daughters and their partners/family, to be in Switzerland for the weekend of my birthday, and also invited a couple more people along, too, for good measure, and we took over the Gasthaus! This little old farmhouse is still very authentic and so prettily and simply decorated that it’s just a lovely place to be. In addition, they cook a marvellous surprise 3-course menu if you reserve to eat there, which we have done in the past, but this time we got to stay overnight, too, in their 7 homey rooms with a lot of personal touches to make guests feel comfortable. A wonderful time was had by all, time to chat, stroll over to look down the Clemgia gorge, watch chamois grazing, drink hot chocolate… and eat!! Huge thanks to my husband, our family and friends and especially Witmers, who made it all possible!! So that last one is to show that I learnt something while I was in Avrona – one of the small personal touches was home-made blueberry cake made in a way I’d never seen before, with the cake mixture (I made one up using yogurt) poured into a flaky pastry base. Although we brought some home, I didn’t take a picture, so made one of my own to see how it went: delicious!! I hope Frau Witmer doesn’t mind me copying her cake, but it’s the best compliment 🙂 In fact, this is already the 2nd one I’ve made, it’s so popular…
11. Favourite photo of 2014
And that concludes today’s rather long post!!