Wednesday, June 26


It's been a busy few months with a few trips for work, holidays and weekends away keeping me on the move pretty much constantly - or so it feels!

Latest trip was to Bergen, Norway, where I was treated to a much bluer sky than London, and even some warm sunshine. The Hanseatic Wharf on the harbour side in the middle of the city proved a beautiful and fascinating place, with its 18th century rebuilt wooden houses, many of them a bit lopsided and all of them looking pretty ramshackle. 

Part of the conference social programme included a walking tour, during which I learned all about Bergen's historic role in the stockfish trade and the fact that the city fell under control of the Hanseatic League after most of its indigenous population was wiped out by the Bubonic Plague that arrived on a boat from England. Luckily the Norwegians don't seem to bear a grudge about that, they are too busy feeling aggrieved about various historic wrongs visited on them by their neighbours in Denmark.

As well as the wooden houses, there's quite a bit of 20th century architecture in the city, including this wonderful department store which was designed by architect Per Grieg and built in 1938 as the city's first shopping centre. The statue on top of the tower is apparently Mercury, Roman god for trade, commerce and profit.

Close by the Sundt store is this rather dramatic Sailor's Monument which was completed in 1950 and is surrounded by statues representing sailors through the ages, topped with four panels showing different seafaring scenes - including whaling, naturally. You can't get away from whole whaling thing here.

No visit would be complete without a trip up one of the city's hills - this is the most popular one Floyen, which is reached via the Floibanen funicular railway.

Gifted coasters

Part of the enjoyment I get out of crafting for gifts is the wrapping and sending. 

I recently crocheted these coasters for a friend as a thank-you gift and enjoyed packaging them up and labelling them almost as much as I enjoyed the crafting!

You'd think it would be a simple matter to find a good pattern for a circular, basic crocheted coaster - in fact it was anything but! I had to try quite a few iterations - I had selected some yarn from my stash (Rowan Cotton Tape in a nice rich navy colour) and it was not easy to find a pattern that suited it fully.

After a few false starts, I managed to find this lovely simple pattern - took me about 15 minutes to make each coaster, so it was nice and quick, as well as being very simple to remember.

The coasters are now hopefully keeping my friend's furniture free of coffee cup rings.