Monday, 29 August 2016

Hiking from Arosa to Tschiertschen

Two weeks ago we finally did a hike I'd been wanting to do for a long time. Every time we stayed in Tschiertschen, either in the summer or in the winter, I thought about walking there from Arosa. This year we actually got around to it.

We had to leave Zürich early with the 7:13am tram because to get to Arosa it takes time. After the train to Chur we went on the smaller train to Arosa and already it felt like such a different world. We passed our later goal Tschiertschen on the other side of the valley and then we dove into the needle trees around Arosa.

Shortly after 10 we were ready to hike. At first we had to walk up for a little while. Then there were two different possibilites, one over a little pass the other one around. The adults and Yannick went for the steeper one, the girls decided to take it slowly. We all met again at Ochsenalp where we had a lovely lunch.

We could already see Tschiertschen but it still took a while to get there because we had to cross a valley which meant to go all the way back and then forward again. It was also quite hot by this time so we were very happy to finally reach the village.

We had a well deserved ice cream break at Restaurant Edelweiss and then we took the postauto back to Chur. It was weird not to stop at Hotel Gürgaletsch, but I know we will be back soon, definitely in the winter but maybe even earlier.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Limmatschwimmen 2016

Yesterday we went to the 52nd Limmatschwimmen. It's an organised swimming event where you get into the Limmat, the bigger river that runs through Zürich close to the beginning of the river, right after the end of the lake and then you are able to swim or more accurately float down for the next two kilometers. On the way down you pass under 7 bridges and you are right in the middle of the oldest part of Zürich.

The conditions were perfect yesterday, it's been really hot all week so the water was a warm 24 degrees, the sky was stunningly blue and the sun was out. We were lucky to get tickets, they only allow 4500 people down and the tickets started selling at 5pm last Wednesday and were sold out in about 5 minutes. Somehow we managed to get them a few hours before, there must have been a glitch in the online booking, which was very cool.

The organisation was very efficient, kind of what you'd expect from Switzerland but which is so nice when you are back from travelling and had different experiences. We had to be there 45 minutes earlier, got queued up in colours (we were in the red queue). We got our bag and our bracelet, a Rivella and then we headed into the Frauenbadi where we stripped down to our swimming suits, got a floatable manta ray (Jochen, der Rochen) and only a few minutes later (and quite a bit earlier then the 45 minutes we were expecting) we were ready to go into the water.

There isn't a very strong current in the beginning of the Limmat, which gave us lots of time to enjoy the scenery, to try to get on our mantas and to take photos (Andreas has an underwater camera which he brought along). There were a lot of people on the bridges and next to the river watching all the swimmers going down, it must have been quite a sight. After about 50 minutes we reached the Oberer Letten, a place where you can go swimming in the river all summer long. There we got out, got a very welcome cup of hot tea and picked up our bag with all the valuables (and again Swiss efficiency, it was exactly where it was supposed to be ;-)

This was such an amazing way to spend the afternoon and enjoy summer for maybe one of the last times. The weather is supposed to cool down soon and I know we will remember this once it's too cold to go swimming. And next year, I want to go again!!!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Finished Object iPhone Sweater and a few thoughts

Pattern: iPhone Sokker by Katrine Augland
Yarn: Lang Yarns Jawoll Superwash Solids
Colours: White, Blue and Black
Needles: 2.5mm
Start of project: August 17th, 2016
End of project: August 18th, 2016

On Ravelry
I knit this little iPhone cover for a friend of mine. It only took me a couple of hours, it's such a small project. I am not even sure if she'll use it, but I just felt like knitting something else, because I've felt a little stuck with my Silversmith Hoodie these last few days.

This cosy was done with left over yarn from Antonia's Tardis Socks and it was heavily influenced by all the beautiful Norwegian Fair Isle patterns we saw while in Bergen. I always find it hard to knit fair isle on such a small scale, somehow the floats get more uneven than on bigger projects. But the blocking helped and now I think it looks neat.

As written above my bigger project right now is my SSKAL16 project, the Silversmith Hoodie. I started it on the 5th of August and have been knitting ever since. The pattern is fairly complicated because there is a big part that's made of small cables which slow me down considerably. I don't find it as hard as in the beginning but the going is still rather slow. I actually reached the desired lenght of the pattern (40 cm from the underarm) but I want this longer, almost like a coat, so I've been adding more length. I am almost where I want it to be, I think I need about 4 cm more and then I can start with the ribbing. I am in love with the colour and the pattern but it does get a bit repetitive, so I'll be glad to start on the sleeves.

School will start again tomorrow, so I won't have as much time to knit anymore, but on the other hand the temperatures are cooling down and I spend more time on my sofa again, so I will still find enough time to knit. I am in a weird mood right now, but it might just be the end of summer blues, because now my five weeks of holidays are over.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Finished Object: Playdate

Pattern: Playdate by TinCanKnits
Yarn: Biscotte & Cie Bis-Sock
Colours: Sorcerer Uniform and Bouclier
Needles: 3.75mm and 4mm Round Needles
Start of project: July 8th, 2016
End of project: August 8th, 2016

On Ravelry
When I started this I had an idea in my mind which came from an inspiration I saw on Julie's blog. I had this vision of a striped cardigan with unicoloured details but of course I forgot a few important things. The thing is, sock yarn is dyed for socks, so the stripes look best when the piece you are working on is about sock width, which you can see at the top of the sleeves. When the circumference is bigger, the stripes get thinner or kind of disappear which is what happened at the body of the cardigan (that's my favourite part). The stripes get very fat and kind of heavy when there is just a small piece of fabric, as you can see at the top of the front (that's the part that I don't like very much). So all in all this got much wilder than I expected. I kind of hope that worn it won't matter as much, I think it might look nice in movement (with a kid inside ;-)

This was the second time I knit a Playdate (the first one was done exactly a year ago) and I really love that pattern. This time I chose the 2 to 4 years old size and in the beginning I was scared that it might turn out too small, but now I think it's a good size for a boy that will be around 18 months in the fall, so he will be able to wear this for a while. I still love the little pockets and how light it is, I used exactly 1 skein = 100gr of the stripey yarn and around 30 gr of the grey. As I bought two skeins of the stripey yarn there is definitely enough leftover for a pair of socks ;-) I added a shawl collar because I think they are very cute for little boys and for everybody really. The sheep buttons might not be terribly practical but I just couldn't resist them.


Now I'll need to fix a date to give this to the little boy it was knit for and hope that he and his mom like it.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Finished Object: MeadowCal Blanket

Pattern: The Meadow Mystery Blanket CAL by DROPS design
Yarn: Garnstudio Drops Safran
Colours: Off white, yellow, turquoise, army, navy blue
Hook: 3mm
Start of project: March 30th, 2016
End of project: July 31st, 2016

On Ravelry

My first crochet adventure is finished, all 16 clues of the Drops MeadowCal are done. It took me four months to get there and it was definitely and interesting time. I now feel confident enough for easy stuff even though reading a crochet pattern is much more difficult than a knitting pattern still.

I had fun doing it and I probably will crochet again, but I am pretty sure that I'll always prefer knitting. I like the knitted fabric better, it's softer and it seems to be much easier to shape, I think it's easier to fix mistakes in a knitted project and I'd rather use needles than a hook.

I think I'll give this blanket to my grandmother. She has her 95th birthday at the end of August and her sofas all look slightly worn, so a bit of new colour will cheer it up.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Hiking in Elm

I went hiking today with one of my oldest friends. I met Annette in gymnasium, when we were both 14 years old and we have been friends ever since. We were really close while going to school for 4.5 years, then we spent a lot of weekends together and travelled all over Europe. After school we met occasionally until I started working at the same school and we'd see each other twice every week again. I only stayed at that school for about half a year and then we didn't see each other that much anymore, but we always knew what we were up to thanks to facebook and the occasional email or even letter (we used to write soo many letters to each other when we were teenagers ;-). We started hanging out again last winter and now we go dancing or as you can see hiking. I am really proud that we are still friends after all this time.

We took the postauto from Elm to Obererbs and then walked back on the Höhenweg. It's an easy hike with a great view, perfect to talk, take pictures and just enjoy the mountains.

We didn't feel like walking down (it was quite hot and muggy today) nor did we want to talk a cable car to the bottom of the valley, especially because there was a much more interesting way to get back down. It was fast (kind of, we braked a lot) and lots of fun ;-)

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Bergen - Sunday and Monday

On our second last full day in Bergen we went up to another of the seven mountains surrounding Bergen, this time the highest of them, the Ulriken with its top at 643m above sea level. While that doesn't sound terribly high I was quite impressed what a difference these meters made. First of all, the top of Ulriken is above the timberline, something you'd find in Switzerland at around 1800m. But in Bergen the trees just disappeared and there were only rocks and grass left.

I was also really amazed by the different world up there. On the one side you could still see all over Bergen, we even saw right back to our hotel and all over the harbour and the surrounding fjords. But if you turned your back to Bergen, it felt like a very different place, very isolated and going on  and on into the distance.

When you go for a hike in Switzerland, there are lots of paths and so close to the city most of the walks are really easy, you almost never need anything more than sneakers. Up on the Ulriken we realised quite quickly that proper hiking boots where not just a silly idea but were really the only thing that would have made sense. We climb over rocks right from the start and once we were a little bit further away there was a lot of soft ground with water underneath it, so our feet got wet pretty fast.

Also it wasn't all that easy to find where to go, because the signs seemed rather random and far apart. I'd say that I am a moderatly experienced hiker and I almost never get lost in the Swiss Alps but here it only took us about 20 minutes till we had kind of lost our way. We weren't really lost, because it was obvious where we'd come from but we didn't know how to walk on, so we turned around and tried a different path. It was fun to explore but if we'd actually wanted to go to a fixed spot, I am not sure how fast we'd got there.

Nevertheless I very much enjoyed being up there and I kind of wished we'd have better shoes to really get walking. It was also lovely to took back up to the Ulriken in the evening and to see where we'd been...

On our last day the weather changed again and we were back to fog and drizzle or actual rain. Perfect weather to go to the museum. Well it was ok weather because the museum we went to was mostly outside. Gamle Bergen is a reconstructed town of about 50 houses a bit outside of Bergen. You can enter these houses from the end of the 19th or the beginning of the 20th century, read about their former owners, see how these owners used to live and in some houses you can meet and talk to the actual inhabitants. We had a lot of fun shopping at a little convenience store and visiting with a maid.

So this was it from our holidays in Bergen. We had a great first impression of Norway and I am sure I'll go again, I'd really like to see more of the country. Enjoy your summer, wherever you are and skål!

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Bergen - Friday and Saturday

On Friday we decided to take it easy so we went shopping. In the afternoon we mostly hung out in the hotel and read, knitted and watched netflix. But then I got antsy feet and had to go out again for a walk. The fog had returned and it was really misty. I just moved along without a plan and enjoyed all the beautiful houses and their colours.

On Saturday we went for a boat trip with Rødne Fjord Cruises. Luckily we got on board way early so we had two chairs on deck to enjoy the view.

The boat took us away from the city and underneath the Nordhordlandsbrua and soon we were in the middle of the silence of the fjords around Osterøy. There were a few little houses but otherwise it was mostly empty and quiet.

At the end of the fjord we saw the houses of Mostraumen before we turned around and went down the other side of Osterøy.

In the evening we went back to the Bergenhus Festing in Bergen itself, enjoyed the sunset and then even some raindrops and a rainbow to round it all up ;-)