Saturday, 14 June 2008

Long summer nights

I arrived in Helsinki on Sunday night and decided to go out for dinner, the light is amazing with only a couple of hours of semi darkness – the pictures below were taken at about 10 in the evening. I walked down to the harbour and saw the Götheborg reconstruction; the original East Indiaman went down in 1745 and was excavated in 1986 -1992, it was amazing to see. There was a festival going on around the visit and some little old men were on a stage playing a jazz version of ’it’s a long way to Tipperary’ and singing - it was quite surreal.

On Monday I met with Leo after work and we did a little shopping, I'm looking for a dress to wear for a wedding, I wanted to make one but I don't have enough time to finish it before the big day. I found a lovely dress in Marimekko, sadly it was a little to tight around my assets!
We did manage to get to one knitting shop before it closed and there were some really sweet bits and pieces.
I think I will have to knit one of these hats for myself! I love all these stripey things – a new obsession with stripes might be emerging. The yarn all these are knitted from is seriously woolly and I can't wear it next to my skin unless the temperature is in the -30's, very very itchy.
Behind me you can see some manikins wearing very finely knit colour work jackets - absolutely beautiful, I wish I had taken some close ups - next time perhaps.
Once we got thrown out of the craft hall because they were closing, we went to a local coffee shop – hot chocolate and berry tart – yum!
I am going to have a go at re-creating this tart, very short pastry base that is almost biscuit like. A light creamy filling, it was difficult to work out what it was made from - I think I will try marscapone cheese, vanilla and fold in some lightly whipped cream. The berries were mostly Finnish blueberries plus a few red berries of various types, really intense in flavour with minimal sugar. I love that the Scandinavians seem to enjoy less sugar in these types of things, the hot chocolate was unsugared too; slightly bitter and dark, a much more adult taste.
The coffee shop was quite old fashioned feeling, with beautifully displayed pastries and dark wood chairs and tables. The view from the window was cake-like too, Helsinki's Lutheran Cathedral reminds me of a wedding cake, I love the white walls and columns with the understated gold highlights.
Leo and I went to Olof's mothers for dinner - it was a really great evening and the first time I had met her, such a lovely lady and we talked about knitting, sewing and weaving. The flat is beautiful and filled with gorgeous crafted items from all the families travels.
The rest of the week was work with not much time for knitting, although I managed about 6 hours of dedicated knitting on the flights and finished all of the nupp rows on my swallowtail.
I'm really enjoying this lace work and excited to finish and block it. The garden is open to the public this weekend so I have been sat talking to people about the plants and knitting, after all it is world wide knit in public day today.
Lots of people visiting the garden asked me what produce I would be making for the village fete this year, apparently my hand made bread (not from a bread machine) almost caused a stampede last year and I was referred to as the 'jam lady' (I don't think I like that particularly - it makes me feel old). I feel very WI sometimes then I have a naughty thought and decide they wouldn't appreciate that side of me, I'd probably get thrown out.