Pushing an elephant up the stairs

May 31, 2009 § 5 Comments

So! Leipziger Wollefest 2009!

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I’m still a bit stunned, but I’ve photographed my haul, made some adjustments to my stashing system to accomodate everything, put it all away, and feel like I should go back today and buy some more. Which I won’t. I hope.
I’d slept over at Christian’s, plagued by nightmares about me arriving there to find that all the yarn had gone… which he, when I told him, found quite funny, because he’s a muggle. The obvious advantage to staying over was that instead of about 10 tram stops, it was only 2, and so around 2pm, an hour later than I’d planned, I embarked on my voyage to the Wollefest.

Two tram stops, not much of a voyage, to be honest. But when I arrived there, I felt like I’d found Atlantis. Or the Golden Fleece. Or Ithaca. All at once.

The weather was slightly overcast, but the storefront of the Strickcafé was cheerfully bright as always, and this was by far better yarn weather than the damp heat of last year.

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(Somehow, in that second photo, I made it look like there weren’t that many people there. Believe me, there were.)

I walked around first, looking at everything, petting some lace yarns at the Wolllust stand, buying a piece of cake for breakfast, looking at the alpaca babies (who were excited and made THE cutest noises!) and angora bunnies (omg fuzzy ears!)…

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… and mostly wondering where the hell the Drachenwolle was. And then I heard my name, in the voice of Klemens (who remembered me. Who’da thunk?), who was sitting where I was going. And oh man, did I go there.

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When I got there, they had probably half or so left of what they’d brought. And I was still completely stunned and unable to make a decision. I just stood there for a bit, wringing my hands, calculating how much yarn I could get for the money I’d brought, failing at that, gaping, trying not to drool… and then Klemens pushed a couple of skeins in my hand, I lost all control, got a severe case of the Gollum syndrome (“my precioussssssss”) and ended up buying 8 skeins. Which sounds pretty controled, but man, was I shaking afterwards.

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Some are with linen, some are with bamboo, some are flamé, and none of them is the regular merino/poly sock yarn, which is awesome in itself, but somehow I didn’t catch one. o_O

I wanted to cast on right away – watching TV the night before without anything to knit because I wanted to keep my needles free was hell, let me tell you – so I went with Klemens and a lady who I got along great with but somehow didn’t catch the name of, and wound it. This was my first time with a swift and a ballwinder instead of a drumstick and my own hands, and man, was it exciting. And fast! I have a video of it, but… that’s a bit too much.

I talked to a girl, Daniele from Erfurt, while at Drachenwolle, and when I went over to WollLust, she was there again, and people mistook us for old friends, which was funny except it proved once again how yarn brings us all together. Very nice. And so relieving to geek out with somebody who not only understands my obsession with lace, but shares it, and before you know you’re chest high in a conversation about Faroese lace and Kauni yarns. (They had Kauni there. They had Noro there. Ooooh baby!)

So I bought 400g of merino lace yarn, 200g in green and yellow, respectively.

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And then my money was gone.

But, okay. I sat down next to the Drachenwolle with Klemens and a couple of others, knit my sock, discussed sock yarn brands, asked questions about spinning, heard of the fabulous idea of taking a wool bath, in short: had a good, yarny time. Texted Saskia saying there were angora bunnies, and when she announced she was coming over STAT, I told her to bring more money. She still owed me tons. So when she came, I had an additional 50 bucks to blow. Which, within 10 minutes or so, turned into 200g of plant-dyed New Zealand Lamb sock yarn, 200g of undyed 70/30 alpaca/merino from the alpaca people, and… a ball of Kauni. Gorgeous, gold-blue Kauni. My holy grail of the day.

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Saskia and I sat down with the knitters and spinners around Drachenwolle again. I think she was bit shocked by the fact that there were other people like me, or even worse than me. Like when one of the ladies announced that with her current knitting rate, she had enough for 4.5 years without buying anything – and we all agreed that this was by any means not nearly enough, and what if by some weird mutation or epidemic all sheep lost their hair tomorrow?

Anyways. It stared raining around 6 or 7, I guess, so Saskia and I went, first to some restaurant over the street for dinner, then to Christian’s to show off my yarn. He didn’t understand either. I need new friends. Except I’m having tons of fun with my current ones, so that’s okay. Last night was a good evening, Christian was getting ready for a party and getting out THE trashiest outfits he possessed. Including a shirt that had gotten really wide and really short in the wash. I have a great picture of it. I’m not allowed to show it. Which is a shame, really. But I understand XD

We parted ways around 10.30 in the city, having gotten some money at the ATM and having entertained other bank patrons by our fabulous rendition of ‘Walk through the Fire’ and ‘I’ll never tell’ from the Buffy musical episode.

Then this morning, I photographed everything, and then was faced with a dilemma: Although my sock yarn stash had been diminished to a meager 500g or so during my yarn diet – my ‘other’ stash hadn’t. So I had to outsource the leftover half-balls to my wardrobe to clear a drawer for lace yarns. The stash is spreading. As it should be.

So this

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became this

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and the other drawer are pretty full, too.

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And this wandered into the wardrobe

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I swear, sometime very soon, I’m gonna have to get another stash cupboard. Or some plastic bins.

Oops I did it again

May 30, 2009 § 1 Comment

…. and then I fell down, hit my head, and when I came to, my money was gone but my backpack was crammed full of yarn.

Drachenwolle! New Zealand Lamb plant-dyed yarn! Merino lace yarn! Undyed Alpaca! KAUNI!!!

I’m still rather shocked by the speed I threw my money out of the window, but man… a good day.

Muss i denn, muss i denn…

May 26, 2009 § 2 Comments

… zum Städtele hinaus, zum Städtele hinaus, nur du mein Schatz bleibst hier!

So last night, I got to bed way too late, and when I’d almost fallen asleep, THE idea buzzed through me and I sat up bold upright, bumped my head on the open window in the process, and dragged out yarn. Fortunately for me, my rather small (and additionally shrunken due to yarn diet) stash is located directly next to my bed, so I didn’t have to get up.

The good news is, I finally figured out what to do with at least one of the pretty 50g Brown Sheep sock yarn balls I brought from Ithaca.

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Mad Cow Socks by Jennifer Young, in Zitron Trekking HandArt (Brazil) and Brown Sheep Wildefoote (Vinca Minor)

The bad thing is that it’s so gorgeous I just wanna show it off to everybody. This is a bad thing because I can’t decide whether to make this into socks or mitts. Since this is part of my vague Leftover Reduction Plan, socks would be perfect as they’d reduce the leftovers to a minimum, but they’re just so… shiny!

I guess I’ll have to ponder this some more.

No news on the Miralda front, I knit about two more rows before finding another mistake that appeared out of nowhere and it has driven me to the only sane reaction:

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Friggin’ booze.

Always look on the bright side of life

May 25, 2009 § 3 Comments

I’m back in Leipzig!

And I also walked through the city today, and suddenly there was this guy with a t-shirt that said:

ROMANI ITE DOMUM

I… I need one just like that. That is the most brilliant shirt I have ever, EVER seen.

Seriously.

Hey, what’s going on!

May 21, 2009 § 1 Comment

I finished a sock! And I am so tired of the Miralda. Ugh. There’s a mistake in there somewhere, and I do not have the patience to deal with that today.

My grandma was both excited and impressed by her birthday present aka the second Swallowtail. We remenisced a bit, mostly about my first steps and how far I’ve come. It’s incredible, really.

Apart from the pride I feel when talking about my awesome knitting skillz… I feel beat. I slept terribly in my old bed, as always. Somehow, my right shoulder is sore, as if I lifted something heavy or something. My back is a board of tense muscles and soreness. I’m tired. Driving around helped a bit (I love cars with sunroofs) but I’m still… well, beat. Sauna tomorrow – I hope that clears up my back, at least.

Whine, whine, whine. At least I got a sock done.

Oh crystal ball, chrystal ball

May 21, 2009 § 1 Comment

I’m at my parents’ over the long weekend, and on the train ride here, I knit about half a sock. It’s one of the last balls of Zitron that is designated for knitting socks with, so it’s a good thing the Leipzig Yarn Festival is next weekend. It’s pretty autumn colors. I started it Tuesday at Starbucks, and I would probably be finished if I hadn’t had to rip back half the pattern on the shaft three times, simply because I wanted nupps and couldn’t work out a way to make them work. But I’m almost at the toe, so that’s cool. Not a stitch more on the Miralda though.

Last night I pulled out a couple of old paper diaries from under my bed. I’ve been continually keeping a journal since January 5th, 2002, so here I have about seven and a half years of my life recorded here, what comes after that is in my apartment in Leipzig.

First discovery: I was a really weird kid. Seriously.

Second discovery: When you read between the lines of all the blathering about various musicians and actors, there’s a lot of, hm, ‘gay potential’ in these books. More than I would have expected. Most prominent is the thing with Sylvia, which went on for far longer than I remembered – back to eighth grade even! – and my friendship with Pia, a girl from Bielefeld I met on vacation and visited with every other month or so for quite some time. Recently she popped into everyday thought occasionally, and I finally managed to get around to finding her address. I already drafted a first letter. I’m excited. I hope she writes back.

Third, most relevant to this blog, discovery: Not only did I write my first diary entries in English back in the summer of ’02, I also started knitting a bit earlier than I thought! Some excerpts:

Jan. 9 2002: ‘I started a green scarf yesterday!’

Feb 5, 2002: ‘Also, yarn is super expensive! Like  €1.40 or something!

July 26, 2003, in my bullet point description: ‘Hobbies: (…) knitting (Thursdays with my grandma)

Aug 8, 2003: ‘What’s a sheep on a trampoline? – A wooly jumper!’

Repress and restrain

May 18, 2009 § 1 Comment

Repress and restrain
Steal the pressure and the pain
Wash the blood off your hands
This time she won’t understand
(Muse – Ruled by Secrecy)

I… don’t even know. Turns out today I have things in my head I can’t knit away. Not with a sock, not with Miralda – though I discovered I was knitting off the wrong chart and I’ll have to see how many stitches I’m short, so that should keep me occupied a bit.

My head’s always been a safe space for me to retreat to. I guess I’ll have to be more creative than that today.

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