Saturday, April 19, 2008

more of a primitive source of warmth

Knit wear is sufficiently popular and the climate sufficiently inclement in Copenhagen to sustain numerous boutiques specializing in sweaters and scarves. ecomodista found the Danish climate challenging, but coped, wearing a vintage Prada ski jacket worn under an Allegri, needless to say layered over an alpaca sweater and wool scarf. At home, Nanny Glerup's felted wool slippers are absolutely addictive and essential, and every yarn/knit store seems to stock her products. Sabine Poupinel boutique on Kronprinsensgade features hand knits from Gudrun og Gudrun (G & G) as well as machine knitted designs by p.feilberg and others. Helga Isager, daughter of famed knitter Marianne Isager, has opened Amimono on Jaegersborggade, once a working class neighborhood, now rapidly becoming gentrified with cafes--The Coffee Collective for instance--and hip boutiques.

Founded by Gudrun Ludvig (the designer) and Gudrun Rógvadótti, and located in the Faroe Islands, once a Danish dominion. G & G, debuted in 2007, presenting appealingly sophisticated sweaters and dresses that subvert knitting for warmth by their very transparency. Btw, while at the Poupinel boutique, we were advised that Bill Clinton bought two G & G sweaters recently while in Copenhagen. ecomodista should have explained that his purchase is not necessarily a fashion imprimatur, but in this case his choice is totally endorsed.

G & G is devoted to sustainability, using only waste products, wool and leather from sheep raised for mutton. Their colors are often limited to natural variety creating bold black and white motifs on sweaters based on historic Faeroe motifs. Double coated sheep on these islands are of ancient origin, probably wild sheep originally introduced by the Vikings over a 1000 years ago.G & G's knits are incredibly tempting, hand knit according to Fair Trade principles, from the softest wool, and chic design (black lace shoulders on a white sleeveless sweater banded at the hips with pale peach silk). Designer, Gudrun Ludvig is inspired by Norse mythology and the Viking technique that preceded the use of two needle knitting-- nålbinding, a looping technique, similar to knitting with two needles, involving a single, eyed, needle. Also known as netting without knots, nålbinding continued to be used until the innovation of working with two needles pervaded Denmark in the 16th century. The sheep are grown organically, a trend that appears to be increasing.

Remind ecomodista to report on organic wool production in New Mexico, since it is the largest in the US. The only other organic wool produced in Denmark, of which ecomodista is aware is Ruth Juul in Bakkegården, on the North Atlantic coast of Jutland. The shop on her farm features organic and naturally produced products such as Lambskin slippers, organic jams and natural dyed yarns from her own sheep.

Denmark's per capita consumption of organic food is one of the world's highest. and biologische restaurants abound. Consequently, ecomodista felt at home, not that we ate out. Peter and Anne, cooking with organic produce and ingredients made the most incredible meals. Organic restaurants that have been recommended are: Geranium, located in Kongens Have, the park surrounding Rosenborg Palace. Rasmus Kofoed and Søren Ledet are outstanding chefs.; Cap Horn which was one of the pioneers in organic restaurants; and Huksfluks,

Sustainable hotels include: AXEL Hotel Guldsmeden (,Betrams Hotel Guldsmeden, and Carlton Hotel Guldsmeden located in the trendy district of Vesterbro The breakfast buffet is 100 percent organic with homemade yogurt, French cheeses and rustic bread and pastry from Emmery's, a well know organic bakery.

And don't be intimidated by the Danish language, every Danish website seems to have a "Kontakt os" feature and if you can read this, you can grasp other phrases, although everyone in Denmark, except in the tiny tiny hamlets, speaks English.

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construction detail of michael reynolds earthship