A swap received: Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy

I visited with Meilindis yesterday, in our important city of The Hague. We went for a stroll in the city forest (yes they have a forest in the city, with fully grown trees and it feels like visiting a green cathedral. There’s also a royal palace in the middle. And a Japanse garden.)

trees overhead pic by J E Theriot

After an hour we stopped for tea and cake.
And then she presented me with my swap!
swap 42 hhgttg ipad cover
A total surprise! I had only send her her own swap package the other day and now it turns out she was my return swapper all along. For our Favourite Books Swap. Rascal!

She had read the book Hitch Hiker to the Galaxy which is one of my favourites:
swap 42 hhgttg ipad coverswap 42 hhgttg ipad cover

This is an iPadcover is in her own handspun:
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Project page here.¬†Adorned with large friendly letters ūüôā
swap 42 hhgttg ipad cover
Such gorgeous colours. Exactly the green I adore: misty misty green.
For reference: these cat eyes always live in my mind.

Stitchmarkers in the binary code for 42: 101010
swap 42 hhgttg ipad cover
I adore mathy geekery like this. Meilindis also mentioned in the swap card that “42” in ascii code is *
And in normal/internet writing an * stand for “anything you like” which is a wonderful answer to the question about life, the universe and everything.

And she knitted a shawl in the blueest blue, which she knows I won’t knit for myself:
swap 42 hhgttg ipad cover
The pattern is Magrathea by Martina Behm. Magrathea is the planet where planets are being designed and made.

It has an genius construction: you start at the narrow end on the right and increase, incorporating the lace edge as you go. Then, at 75% of your meterage, you stop all garter stitch and start the lace edge at the left side. It looks like its sibling but is knitted in another direction.
 pic by Meilindis
The famous shawl Hitchhiker is also by Martina Behm and is also inspired by the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy ūüôā

Shawl Hitchhiker en Leftie, also by Behm:

Hitchhiker currently has 27698 projects on Ravelry!

The booklet in the swap is from the ’80’s and invites the reader to look at the world differently. Very suitable, both in reference to tHHGttG as in reference to me.
A wonderful swap!

After all the fawning over the goodies we had a nice lunch and then we went to the high quality local yarn shop of The Hague: Cross & Woods.
swap 42 hhgttg ipad cover
It’s “a crafting parlour”…. and they have gorgeous yarns, fabric and fibre:
swap 42 hhgttg ipad cover

I went home with this:
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Ah… uhm…

That silk cotton yarn will become a Buttercup by Heidi Kirrmaier:

A lovely summer top and I’ve been wanting to knit a second one for a few years now. I knit one in Tussah silk back in 2013 and I wear it a lot, even though it has the totally wrong colour.

Six weeks ago I nearly bought 4 skeins of bright yellow linen at Spinspul but it didn’t happen. Now I’ve gotten my hands on this soft, silvery yarn, I’m sure a Buttercup will happen now!

But first knit like the wind on that lila cardigan! I’m at the sleeve now and I knit in the train towards The Hague and also on the way back. I barricaded myself with woolly things in the train. This my woolly bubble:
swap 42 hhgttg ipad cover

Back home and I’m using the iPad cover:
swap 42 hhgttg ipad cover
It gives a good feeling about that electronic window upon the world: the iPad.

Meilindis send two pictures of her lovely cat Freya who always helps with blocking:
swap 42 hhgttg ipad cover pic by Meilindisswap 42 hhgttg ipad cover pic by Meilindis
And I just noticed she wrote a blogpost about our double swap and she takes much better pictures than me:¬†go read it here ūüôā

L√ľneburg in Germany and back to Holland

L√ľneburg is filled with characterful houses:
L√ľneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerkL√ľneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerkL√ľneburgL√ľneburgL√ľneburgL√ľneburg

This is the street we were staying at:
L√ľneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerk

In that bit of shrubbery on the right a family of sparrows lives. They are chirping all day. To their neighbours, the family of sparrows, that live in the bit of shrubbery on the left. Those chirp back. It was so cheerful ūüôā

We had a guided tour of one of the wedding guests of the St Michael’s church in L√ľneburg. It’s an amazing place!
It’s old, filled with history and weird bits of information.
Bach was a student there, he studied music with the monks. Because of the salt trade the columns are crooked and the church might actually collapse. There’s a whole second church in the basement, by design.
L√ľneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerk

Yes, there’s a whole second church underneath the large church. The monks built it so they had a proper place of worship while they took their time to build the large church with attention. Rightly so, it took them 40 years to build the big place, back around 1400.
All the while they used the “basement-church” for their daily prayers and sermons:
L√ľneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerkL√ľneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerkL√ľneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerk
The under-church is still in use, in Winter, when it’s cosier and warmer there then in the big church.

There are ceiling-seals meant as resting points for the faithful gaze. They all depict an animal that have a special meaning.

L√ľneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerk
L√ľneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerkL√ľneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerk

The church upstairs is beautiful too. But less cosy.
It’s large columns are crooked. 60 centimenters from the straight vertical!
There’s a string hanging from the top of the colomn, with a weight. It’s straight but it veers away from the column:
L√ľneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerk
L√ľneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerk
The only thing straight in the upper church is the organ.

Back-up dinner:
L√ľneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerk

We had a stroll along the beautiful landscape surrounding L√ľneburg. They made a tower there, just to have a view. And then we found a throne, in the woods.
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More chocolate! This is a L√ľneburger heath bonbon:
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The L√ľneburger salt-sow (in the background there’s a Dutchman holding groceries (a.k.a.chocolate!) in a shopping bag):
L√ľneburg
The story of the salt-sow is marvelous! It’s a 1000 years old.

It truely is that old. Once upon a time hunters saw a mythical sow with a white belly. Upon investigation they found where the sow had been sleeping, it was in a large salt pan. The salt had crusted her belly white.

That’s how the humans found out about the large salt deposits beneath the town of L√ľneburg. They started to exploit the salt and it made them very wealthy, all through the Middle Ages. They brought up 20.000 tons per year in the 1400’s! That’s why the houses are so richly decorated. That’s why L√ľneburg has been an important Hanze stad. They transported it to the town of L√ľbeck, which is now known for its Marzipan, and from there it travelled all over Europe. Especially to Bergen, Norway.

Salt has been a valuable commodity for centuries. Roman soldiers were payed their wages in salt. ¬†Another illustration is the saying “The salt of the earth”.

L√ľneburg had a blooming salt industry for centuries. They flushed the salt deposit underneaht the city with water, brought up the sludge and cooked to evaporate the water. Until stupidly smart people in the West started drying sea water and getting cheaper salt that way. The German industry dwindled and the factory closed in 1980, after having been in business for a 1000 years. A thousand years!

Now you see sows depicted all over L√ľneburg. And all the houses -both old and new- swing and sway because the city now stands on unstable ground. Nobody knows where the caves have all been eroded away by the salt practices. This is why the St Michaelis church is so off kilter.

This morning we packed the car and travelled back, seeing some beautiful German landscapes. With strange phenomenons…the ground seems to reach for the heavens.., what’s this? These “hills”.
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Bit of a quarrel with my phone, I’m knitting while being driven:
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After a few hours we entered safe, flat grounds. Dutch landscape:
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More wrestling with my phone. Unmeant screen shot of my screen saver.
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Oooooh I miss the kitty! Looking so forward to get home and be showered with cuddles!

But when we came back home, my cat was lying on the lap of my brother, all cosy in a woolen blanket. She had been there for hours and was not interested in leaving nor saying hello to us.
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They’ve had a wonderful few days, filled with cuddles and naps and treats,¬†our cats and family.

We kicked my brother out and after a while Lillepoes came to sit on my lap and everyone settled down for some recuperation time.

This is what 5 hours of travel knitting looks like, just two fingers width of collar/button band.

Someone picked up some bad habits ūüėČ
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This is not for you, you never liked butter! It’s way too salty for you anyway.

All the loot from my trip ūüôā
L√ľneburg church St Michaels underkirche underchurch onderkerk