Hello, everybody, and thank you very much for stopping by. I hope you are well and enjoying the summer – the weather here is glorious, it is warm and sunny and feels every bit like it’s the summer holidays.
This week’s offering is a bit different: no history or mythology for you today. I’ll be chatting about boys and their toys, the joys of travelling, and of course update you on my knitting progress.
Last weekend, I travelled with my eldest son to Copenhagen. Andreas is 18 and a skilled painter of Warhammer figures, these one-inch tall warriors from space. His army of choice consists of Ultramarines, blue-clad soldiers that make clone troopers look like Steve Rogers before his Captain America-enhancement.
Now, this past Saturday, 30th June, saw the release of a new rule book for Warhammer 40K (there are several branches of Warhammer, including LOTR, and the 40K part takes place around the year 40,000 AD). New rule books come out every four years or so, coinciding with another event that we are all aware of. Yes, I am referring to the leap year. The book comes in a Standard Edition, a Collector’s Edition, of which they printed only 4,000, and a Gamer’s Edition that includes a bag in Indiana Jones-style with lots of pockets.
Anyway, your LWS (Local Warhammer Store) will do an event day with a costume competition, a cake competition, a lottery draw, a PAL (paint-along) and all such fun activities. Our LWS is Games Workshop in Copenhagen. Because this is a small country, we have one shop. Never mind that it is a 5-hour journey away, this is our local shop. Needless to say, we don’t go there all that often.
Since the day at the shop happened on Saturday from 10 to 5, we opted to travel there on the Friday and back again Saturday evening.
Friday morning, we had a tremendous thunderstorm. I was woken at 5.40 by what I thought was an explosion: I actually jumped out of bed to see where the bomb had gone off, before I realised that it must have been a thunderclap. Anyway, this storm moved, as the weather tends to do in these parts, from west to east; the prevailing winds come from the North Sea, or sometimes right across it from the British Isles. So the heavy rains that we had in the morning were going to hit Copenhagen in the evening. Brilliant.
We set out on our journey in muggy weather. Ordinarily, it’s a two-train affair, with one change; but this summer the tracks, apparently, need repairing, so for the first half leg of the trip we had to go by bus. One word: hot. Then on the train for the second half leg, and finally the fast train from Aarhus to Copenhagen. Except there was one hold-up after another: the ‘fast’ train was stuck behind an ordinary train, delays happened because of lightning strikes, of all things – really, some people will use any excuse – and we had almost a full extra hour on the train, before we arrived in Copenhagen.
The one good thing that can be said about this, and that is also a major factor in choosing whether to travel by car or by train, is that it gives you knitting time. I had of course brought knitting, my iPod, and a book. But more about that later.
So, after checking in at the hotel, we went out to eat. This was a nice, warm summer evening in the heart of Copenhagen: the new students were out and about with their white hats on and their whole bright futures ahead of them; some sort of mini-football was going on in Raadhuspladsen, joyous screams floated from the rollercoasters in Tivoli, people everywhere were enjoying the weather ... until about 8.30. Then it started raining. Gently at first, but by the time we were walking back towards our hotel from the restaurant, it was pouring. Thunder rolled overhead, and occasional flashes of lightning made themselves known through the lights of the city. We managed to get drenched – or I did, anyway, wearing sandals and a long skirt that clung miserably to my legs.
Everything had dried out the next morning, however, and the rain had stopped.
Andreas had, sensibly, decided to order his Collector’s Edition of the new rule book online instead of going to the shop on 23rd June – and did so as soon as possible, at 00.12 AM British time, which is 1.12 AM here. Consequently, when we came to the shop and he got his copy – and the very friendly guys in there watched him open the box, and the next box, and the book’s own box – it turned out that his is number 84 out of the 4,000. Impressive. The Games Workshop guys were even more impressed when they found out that we had come all this way just for their event.
Anyway, the day progressed. Warhammer buffs are mainly male; the women present tend to be girlfriends and mothers ... I suspect that if you made Venn diagrams of knitters and Warhammer fans, there would be quite a small overlap, and if you showed gender compositions of the two groups, they would be mirror images. But they are nice people, friendly dudes. I decided at some point (about half an hour into the 7-hour program) that I needed to knit, so I grabbed one of the bar stools around a painting table. In that environment, nobody wonders why you want to make something fiddly with your hands, carefully combining the right colours and learning new techniques to get even better :o) I even got a compliment on the Epona tee I was wearing.
I have at some point tried my hand at painting figures, a trio of female warriors, but the bug didn’t bite, so I’ll just stick to my sticks. To each her own, as they say. I did manage during the day to chat to a girlfriend about knitting and to a mum about cake decorating ...
We did leave the shop to go to lunch and a quick foray to Faraos Cigarer, a comic book shop that also has its own selection of role playing paraphernalia and Warhammer stuff.
All in all, a fine trip: we got what we came for, and the weather wasn’t too bad, considering. No train delays on the way home, either.
Now for The Knitting:
Going away, even for a day and a half, means you have to plan your knitting and bring the right projects: enough to keep you occupied, but nothing too cumbersome. Since I am doing gift knitting with a deadline – the secret project – I decided to bring that; it wasn’t too big yet, and fairly easy.
I also brought my red sock; I started it last time I went to Copenhagen, so that seemed fitting. I hadn’t done all that much with it the meantime: it hasn’t been one of those projects that call out to me and are hard to leave alone for any length of time. Not that I hated it, I just didn’t love it. I am somewhat fickle, so that meh-feeling could have been just caused by the pause. So, I brought it with me and worked on the heel – and still didn’t like it much. In the end, I decided that it was the yarn I didn’t like, so pushing myself to be a good girl and finish what I had begun was not going to bring any joy whatsoever. I was never going to love those socks. So after I came home, I ripped out the thing and donated the yarn to the charity shop.
But the secret gift knitting ... I really want to tell you about that, but it will have to wait.
I am still plugging away at the Regrowth shawl, which is going to be BIG – as advertised. The designer says in his presentation that it’s a good pattern for people who get bored with many repeats: there are 5 different charts and transition charts in between, so you aren’t doing the same thing for the whole project. But still, he recommends 4 repeats of the Blossom chart, and I was fed up with that after 2½ repeats. I did them all, though, kept going, and was in the Leaves chart (3 repeats) when I had to decide what to bring for the weekend trip.
I did welcome a couple days’ break from it; often, at some point in a project, especially a big one, I will lose confidence in it. I worry that the colour is wrong, that I should have chosen another yarn, and in this case, that it will look wrong for a wedding.
I did get out my sari skirt that I mentioned last week – and the colours clashed. So then I had to decide whether to stick with the shawl and find another dress, or to go with the skirt. That didn’t lift my feelings for the shawl. I decided to see if I could find a dress in Copenhagen to match the shawl; I didn’t have much time to look around, though, and the weather was hot and muggy, and by Saturday afternoon I was knackered. By this time I was pretty much disgusted with the whole dressing-for-a-wedding project.
But when I got home, I realised that I had nearly finished the Leaves chart and there’s not that much left, really. And I can look for a dress here, and there’s a sale on. It’s not that bad, after all.
And I finished something! The Bifrost baby blanket is now wholly cast off. The new yarn arrived yesterday, and I undid the half cast-off that I had done, worked a few more rows, and cast off once again. Now I just need to block it.
Photos will be forthcoming, when I get my hands on a camera again; I broke my own a couple of weeks ago and have been borrowing from my youngest son, Victor. But he’s gone camping now – and I really have to do something about getting a new camera myself.
Anyway, that’s all for this week. Thank you for staying with me, I hope you enjoyed it all, and until next time: