Yup, now I'm officially old. Today I turned 30! Although I have to admit I don't feel old yet :)
I've had a wonderful birthday weekend! On Friday morning me and Thomas took the train to Stockholm for a long weekend away. We stayed at the Clarion Sign hotel, which is really really nice, and by lunch time we were out on the town for a little shopping. We started out in Old Town, which is really tourist-y but still very nice. There are some really good stores there, including the Sci-Fi Book Store, and Comics Heaven. We did a fair bit of shopping in both those stores! These are the books and comics that followed us home from Stockholm:
Lilla Stjärna by John Ajvide Lindqvist, Zombies, edited by John Skipp, Metro 2023 by Dimitry Gluhkovsky, and Dead Sea by Brian Keene.
The Talisman, story by Stephen King, Locke and Key by Joe Hill, First issue of The Wheel of Time, and Wyrms by Orson Scott Card.
And finally, at the Sci-Fi book store, I found this little gem: Crobots - 20 amigurumi robots to make, by Nelly Pailloux.
I've already finished the Locke and Key, and it is just so incredibly good! I want to have all the issues NOW (there is only one more out so far...).
We've been so lucky with the weather this weekend too, it's been about 24 Centigrades so lots of skirts and T-shirts (well, Thomas wore shorts...). So lots of cold drinks and ice-cream. Here I am at a cafe in Old Town eating an absolutely fabulous fruit ice-cream. Such a lovely break from all the walking!
After Old Town we went to Söder (which translates as South, it's a part of central Stockholm that is often compared to Soho: Lots of artists and such) and I got to visit Marias Garn for the first time. Boy, do I wish I lived there! I came out with ten skeins of yarn, but I could easily have picked out ten more. Or fifty :) These are the skeins I bought anyway:
Two skeins of Marias Garn Handpainted Sock yarn (75 % superwash wool/25 % bamboo, 420 m/100g). I LOVE this colour! It turns out that the store is shifting owners next weekend, and lots of Maria's own handpainted yarns will probably disappear then. So I'm really happy to have found this! I think it will become at least one of the Windsbraut shawl patterns (the link only goes to one of the patterns, but you can find links to all of them at that page too), and possibly a pair of socks too!
Two skeins of Wetterhoff Silla yarn (30 % silk/70 % wool, 250 m/50 g). I fell completely for this colour, but it turns out to be very hard to photograph! It's a sort of rusty brown/pink and the yarn is super soft as well. I think these skeins will become a Brandywine shawl in the near (or far) future.
Three skeins of Butik Strik Ecological Fair Trade Pima Cotton (which I assume is 100 % cotton, but it actually doesn't say so on the label, 200 m/50 g) in a gorgeous lilac colour. I've never knitted with 100 % cotton before, but this yarn is just so incredibly soft! It feels almost like silk. These are destined to become another Windsbraut pattern.
One skein of Malabrigo Lace yarn (100 % Merino, 430 m/50 g), in colourway Emerald. I've recently become sort of fond of Turquoise, and this yarn more or less jumped on me! Unfortunately there was only one skein left in this colour, but I found another one on Garnkorgen, so I've actually ordered another one. I think this yarn will become a Historical Stole.
One skein of Marias Garn Baby Alpacka yarn (100 % baby alpaca, 500 m/100 g) in a gorgeous pale green colour. I really, really adore alpaca yarn, it is always so incredibly soft, so I fell directly for this yarn. This will turn into a Three Towers Shawl (that name really speaks to my inner nerd).
Finally I got one more skein of the baby alpaca yarn, in a deep wine red colour. I'm thinking of turning this into a Victorine shawl, but I'm a bit afraid that it will be too thin? I guess I'll just have to start it and see how it looks.
Ok, now you know my fiber purchases. After spending a loooong time in the shop, we went back to our hotel for an hour to rest and freshen up, and then we met up with our good friends Anders and Ellen, to have dinner with them. We've known Anders for at least 13 years (boy, we're old!), and him and Ellen have been together for a while now (at least a few years, I think). They are so nice, and we always try to meet up with them when we are in Stockholm or Borås at the same time. We had dinner at a place called Belgobaren, which is a Belgian themed restaurant, so they had LOTS of beers. I don't like beer, so I had a glass of wine instead :)
Thomas and Anders
Me and Ellen
After dinner we went to a bar and had some drinks together, which was a blast! We were back at the hotel right around midnight (yes, we're old), and I could barely keep my eyes open!
On Saturday the weather was just as nice, so we spent the morning shopping some more, and then to escape the sun around lunch time, we went to Nationalmuseét (The National Museum) and saw some great art. I've now seen my first real Van Gogh, and I'm such a huge fan of the impressionists! They also had some Rembrant, Gaugain, Titian, Monet, Manet, Ruben and Van Dyck. And one of my personal favourites: Swedish painter Carl Larsson. I enjoyed it so much! Thomas, on the other hand, works as a producer for the local museum here in Linköping, and he's a bit damaged by that so I think he looked more at the way thing were displayed, than on the actual art...
After this we went and had a beer (soda for me) with a friend of Thomas, Anna, and we spotted this hillarious mis-spelling on the menue. Do you think they got a lot of damage complaints?
Finally that night we went to the restaurant Aquavit (which is also a name of a swedish snaps) to celebrate my birthday (which is actually today, but we were going home today). This restaurant is run by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson (he has among other things catered for the american president Obama!). We had such high expectations on the food, and were a bit let down. My food was delicious, I ordered grilled sea-food and got so much yummy fish. Unfortunately my stomach chose this moment to act up, so I couldn't eat very much of it! This wasn't the restaurant's fault, but Thomas got a meal that wasn't very good. His lamb was very chewy, and the mushrooms were way too salty. Also, part of the lamb was almost uneatable due to some really stringy sinews... You wouldn't expect this sort of food at such an expensive restaurant (I think we payed about 120 dollars, including two glasses of wine). So we left the restaurant a bit disapointed.
Today Thomas gave me his gifts (well, the whole trip was my real gift), which was a comics album by my author God Neil Gaiman. It's called The Eternals, and I hadn't even heard of it before! He also tried real hard, and gave me the Stich 'n bitch Nation book, which I so much appreciated! I'm going to have so much fun reading it!
Stitch 'n bitch nation
After the amazing hotel breakfast we ventured out in the rain for a bit of last minute shopping, and I actually managed to find myself two tops!
You'll have to excuse my poor modelling skills! I look a bit pregnant in both photos (which I'm not!), and as it is pretty late here the flash made me look deathly pale too :)
I also bought nine pairs of underwear at Top Shop, this shop isn't available in Linköping and I love their underwear. Now I have enough to last me for a while :)
We also went by Designtorget, which is a swedish design store, and they always have lots of fun stuff. This store is available in Linköping, but it's a lot smaller here. I found this super cute little triangular notions bag that I just had to have! I of course plan to use it as a project bag :)! I think I'll lend it to my sister so she can figure out how it's made!
Finally we had a cup of coffe/hot cocoa with Anders and Ellen before we had to go to the train station. My sister picked us up at the train station here in Linköping, and when we got home I got a package from her as well. She had bought me this hillarious piggy bank where I can save up my yarn money, and she also sewed me this super-cute box bag just for me (which was filled with candy)! She had bought all of the fabric in secret, so this wasn't anything I knew of before. I love it, and I'm going to use it for everything now!
All in all it's been a great weekend! I love that I got to pick out most of my gifts for myself, I think I've never got this good gifts before :) When we got home we ordered chinese food and watched a crappy movie, and it was just the perfect end to a perfect weekend! Now I'm off to go to sleep, so I can get to work tomorrow!