Monday, July 08, 2013

Knitting in Sweden and Denmark

We just had a lovely 4th of July weekend in Malmö, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark. I'd always wanted to visit Copenhagen, but Malmö was a wonderful addition and turned out to be our favorite of the two cities. Malmö is at the very tip of Sweden, connected to Denmark by the Öresund Bridge. We took the train from the Copenhagen airport to Malmö, which was so easy.

Scandinavia is a bit pricier than Germany, France and other European countries and cities we've visited. We'd planned to use Marriott points to stay in Copenhagen but found the hotel booked solid for the first two nights so we stayed in Malmö for two nights and Copenhagen on the last night. Originally we thought we'd have a quick look at Malmö and then take the train to Copenhagen but we really liked Malmö - it was quiet, very walkable and full of wonderful parks and beachfront. Our hotel, the Renaissance Malmö, was located right in the heart of the old city. Service in the hotel was excellent, and its location made it perfect for seeing the sights of Malmö. In contrast, we weren't very happy with the Copenhagen Marriott. The hotel was full of cruise-ship patrons and the staff seemed ill equipped to handle the basics of checking in and storing and retrieving baggage. The hotel is located on the canal, which is nice, but you have to walk a bit to get to the historical buildings and sights of Copenhagen. Having stayed at many Marriott properties, we were not impressed with this one. But we did end up liking Copenhagen. It was quite crowded due to the glorious weather (we heard it was the first really warm, sunny day) and the Jazz festival that was going on, but we filled our nearly two full days there walking around the city.

Of course I had to scope out the local yarn stores. In Malmö, I browsed a bit in Rättstickan, which is a nice neighborhood type yarn store. They have a lot of DROPS yarn and carry mostly basic colorways and fiber content - nothing I felt was unique enough to be souvenir travel yarn.


I had better luck in Denmark, either because Copenhagen is a big city (pop. 1 million) or there are more knitters in Denmark. We arrived by train in the morning but it was noon by the time we dropped our bags at the hotel. Most small stores close by 2:00 on Saturday so I didn't have much time. I'd made a list of 4 or 5 shops and talked my husband into starting our walking tour by heading for the stores first. Fortunately I knew the minute I walked into Sommerfuglen that we needn't bother visiting the other shops.

My attention was immediately drawn to a prominent display of Hanne Falkenberg sweaters. She's a Danish knitwear designer after all. I'd heard about her designs, seen them at Stitches and have a few friends who've knit them, but never felt like I was a good enough knitter to justify spending money on one of the kits. But here I was standing in front of a wall of shopping bags each brimming with yarn and displaying a photo of a different Falkenberg design. Yes, I was tempted. But I didn't see any prices, and in my mind I figured that even though I was in the designer's home country, I doubted there'd be a huge discount. The store was busy, so I didn't ask how much they were, and besides, I have many projects in my knitting queue, including full sweaters, so I passed. What caught my eye next was in front of the Falkenberg display: pre-bagged assortments of yarns in luscious colors, with affordable prices on printed on them. I chose a 150 gram selection of yarns in shades of purple - a more economical souvenir purchase that I will either knit or weave into a scarf.
With the knitting shopping a success, we turned our attention toward seeing the sights of Copenhagen. I'll post touristy photos soon, but here are some more fiber-related photos. On Sunday we happened upon an exhibit of Flora Danica at the botanical gardens. Flora Danica are the highly detailed prints of flowers and plants that were made in the late 19th century. At the exhibit they showed artists' interpretations of Flora Danica through other fiber arts: knitting, sewing, embroidery, etc. There are definitely some knitters in Denmark! Check out this wild piece, with an added decoration of double point needles in the "roots."
Head to toe knitwear!

..."yarn found at grandmothers" -- ha ha !

Dress printed with plant motifs

Printed fabric

Close up of the silk screening

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