Same procedure as every year, James.

December 31, 2009 § Leave a comment

I just wanted to update real quick, wish everybody a Happy New Year.

My grandma’s still lingering – at a point where it could be any minute, or in three weeks, the doctors say. So I’m going back to Leipzig tomorrow, on my father’s insistence. He wanted me to go today, but I didn’t feel much like partying into the new year anyway, so I’m just staying at home with the cats, making sure they don’t freak when the fireworks start and watching movies. And knitting.

I frogged the ginormous arms of the Weasley Sweater I made in 2007. Like I’ve said to anyone who’d listen (and some who wouldn’t), in retrospect it’s incredible I didn’t get suspicious when each arm took around 180g of worsted-weight yarn to complete. Either way, I’m pretty impressed by the quality of the knitting and making up. It’s nice to report that my gauge/tension has changed exactly not at all over two and a half years, and my duplicate stitching was probably better than it is now! Unfortunately, it’s on the wrong part of the sweater, i.e. the back. And also unfortunately, a) the yarn is butt-ugly, I’m gonna dye over it, and b) now I know why I don’t do anything bigger than a washcloth in cotton. It’s a very simple reason: I fucking hate knitting with cotton.

But that is my new year’s resolution right there: Finish that fucking sweater. Cause the body fits awesome, comfy and homey and Weasley.

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So, in conclusion: Happy New Year everybody!

Lay your weary head to rest

December 28, 2009 § 1 Comment

I was going to come home and tweet as first thing: I have a black car I call baby and I just ate a bacon cheeseburger at a diner along the highway. I need a new fandom.

Then I actually came home, there was no car in the driveway, the house was dark and locked and the cats were acting funny.

My grandma is dying. My father’s mother, and it’s not exactly a surprise, except for where it is. She’s 94, she has Alzheimer’s, she’s in a wheelchair, she’s… barely a shell anymore. And yet…

Either way, this isn’t quite reaching my brain yet. It’s much too occupied with pressing issues of me having to cancel New Year’s with Saskia and that I really need to do laundry and that I didn’t bring my cell phone charger and how I only have half a sock left  before I run out of knitting.

So, yeah. Merry fucking Christmas.

Some kind of attitude

December 20, 2009 § 2 Comments

Pre-Christmas stress is setting in, albeit for unexpected reasons.

I’m having kind of a falling-out with Christian, due to the fact that he got a cockwarmer in some Secret Santa thing. Like, a willy-warmer that was knit up like a rooster. And while I duly appreciate the clever pun, I did NOT appreciate was a close-up of him wearing it. That’s just way TM of the I. Naturally, he doesn’t understand why I was having a moderate to heavy freak-out, cause “you can’t actually see anything, just the knitting”. So, yeah, lots of accusations of me overreacting and him being an insensitive ass and me acting like a thirteen-year-old  like being averse to boy parts doesn’t come with the territory as a lesbian, and I should really stop bitching now.

So, yeah, that’s raising my blood pressure.

Plus, I’m kind of not ready to go to my parents’ over Christmas… I know it’s only a week and all that, but man. I’ve really been enjoying my slumming, staying-up-till-five, sleep-till-two life of the last week, and I come from a family of early birds. Which, suffice to say, clashes with my lifestyle just the tiniest bit. Plus, the weather’s been so gorgeous lately.

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On the positive side, Saskia liked her socks and coffee I got her for Christmas; AND I’ve finally figured out what I’m doing with the blue yarn I bought when I went up to the coast with my sister. Anybody remember this?

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I’ve been casting on with this and ripping it back after a couple of rows and casting on again… I tried the Yarn Harlot’s One-Row Handspun Scarf with a couple of stitch numbers, I tried the Chickadee cowl, I tried a hat… nothing clicked. Until now. Maybe I should’ve tried the Ravelry advanced search function earlier.

Voilà, the beginning of a Paddington Neck Warmer. Wonderful deep rib, squooshy as hell, mindless TV knitting… good times.

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As an aside, I’ve been listening to Christian Kane’s ‘The House Rules’ on endless loop, and man, I think I’m slowly but steadily tumbling down the slippery slope that is country music.

The Good Book Says

December 16, 2009 § 8 Comments

Got hit by karma overnight – cause as soon as I got too cocky, somebody apparently decided to knock me down a few rungs, and ta-dah, let me introduce the head cold from hell. Of doom. The musical.

Actually, no musical, but it’s one of those phrases that make everything sound awesome.

Good news of the day: my package to the US was small enough to count as a letter, so it might actually be there for Christmas. And it only cost me €6 for shipping. Which is a whopping €19 less than the big parcel I sent last year. (And I sent two of those.) I was totally anticipating to pay with my firstborn son or something, but no, what a pleasant surprise.

Also, it’s still snowing. Or snowing again. I’m not entirely sure.

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So anyway, I’m huddled up in bed, wrapped in a down blanket and two stadium blankets, I smell like a koala farm from the eucalyptus bath I just had, and I think I’m gonna sleep a bit. Maybe when I wake up I’ll be able to breathe.

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(look at them lips! I swear, they’re my favorite feature. also, I’m impressed at myself, usually around this time they’re already cracked and bitten to hell.)

Nothing equals the splendor

December 15, 2009 § 2 Comments

Christmas is coming up with huge steps – and I can almost lean back with a satisfied sigh. Almost. Everything I can buy, I’ve bought, which includes tea, coffee, books, and a pottery dragon.

The only thing left is finishing my gran’s Baktus – about a quarter left – and grafting my mom’s scarf together. It’s blocked and everything. Thank god. Inexplicably, though, one side is 10 cm / 4 inches shorter than the other one. I’m stumped, but I actually couldn’t care less at the moment.

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I finally finished the mini-sweaters for my host family; they’re kinda late, but I’m optimistic they’ll at least make it before they take down the tree.

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Saskia’s socks have been done for some time now, which is very very good and making me feel rather accomplished and like I actually didn’t start at least a month late on everything. Christian’s Bitch/Jerk washclothes are all done, too – put in an evening of work last night and a couple of minutes here and there today. I love instant gratification.

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Maybe I’ll go to Lush and get some soap to go along with those. And a little basket. I don’t know.

So, yeah. It’s nine days to Christmas and I’m not caught in any kind of Christmas rush. Not like last year. I’m so proud of myself.

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Sales a escena y eres immortal

December 11, 2009 § 3 Comments

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It’s funny how my life seems to alternate between insanely productive and absolutely lazy days.

The day before yesterday was a really productive day. In fact, I cut my WIPs on Ravelry down to two – though I do have to admit that I moved the HSJBTM socks in the hibernating section. Oh well.

In any case, I finally sewed the buttons onto my Tempest cardigan!

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This means that only eight months after I finished knitting the thing, it’s finally done. It only took an hour. I can’t believe I haven’t been wearing that thing for months now.

Anyway. I also worked on the Baktus for my grandma some more:

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I believe I’m about halfway done with it, but I couldn’t get myself to get up, which is why I put it aside and instead continued with my slip-stitch socks.

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Usually, I’d say they’re too colorful for me, but man… these are the perfect rainy-day socks. Plus, with the slip-stitch, they feel about twice as thick, and they’re all squooshy, and of course them jewel colors… I’m very much enchanted. I love them.

But, here’s what I hate about holiday season. I mean, apart from the fact that I don’t really know what to do with my Fridays, since there’s no new Grey’s Anatomy or Supernatural on.

It’s the vicious cycle of Christmas Knitting.

You start to knit something, and it’s all good, and then you realize you’d rather work on something else. But you can’t, cause you’ve got that deadline hanging over your head like a sword of Damocles, which makes you start to loathe whatever Christmas present you’re knitting. Which makes it harder to force yourself to knit it, and knitting makes you loathe it even more, but there’s Christmas, and oh god, only two weeks, and…

I just wanna knit some socks.

Instead, I finally started the Christmas ornament mini Weasley sweaters for my host family back in the US. Three weeks late. They’re tiny (14 sts wide, 21 rows high), they’re easy, they’re technically entertaining, they’re technically great TV knitting… and I can’t stand the thought that even though I’ve already finished two, there’s four more to go. Ugh.

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At this point, I’d rather work on Ruba’iyat. Or, you know, the sock. Or study vocab.Which reminds me, I need to block my mom’s scarf.

I’m so, so ready for Christmas to be over.

Be a simple kind of man

December 8, 2009 § 1 Comment

I just met up with a girl I know from my time in the Die Ärzte fandom – it’s a small fandom, literally everyone knows everyone, and I’m not entirely sure why I just dropped out of it about a year and a half ago. We had a nice time, hanging out at Starbucks and talking about pretty much everything… but at the same time, I realized how much I’ve changed in the past couple of years.

I used to have these high-flying dreams of fame and fortune, like you do when you’re a teenager. I idolized more people, and with a much higher intensity, and wished for fame so I could meet them in person, on the same level. I wanted to be a famous graphic designer, or a famous tattoo artist, and I wanted a huge house with an even bigger yard and at least two or three cars and… you know. Everything.

I don’t know what changed. Maybe I just grew up. But today, when I was talking with Alex and thinking back on my DÄ high time, it hit me like a brick: Right now, I truly have everything I need. Everything I want.

Time was I always wanted the newest computer, mp3-player, CD. Now I don’t even bother updating the programs on my computer. The music I listen to the most at the moment was mostly written long before I was born. I buy clothes when I need them, when others wear through. Hell, I mostly wear the same six or so sweaters, and I own two pairs of pants.

I’ve realized what I like best are the simple things in life – simple food, good friends, knitting. I might be a bit of a yarn snob, but even that… I used to want only cashmere, only baby alpaca. I still love those, who in their right mind wouldn’t, but I appreciate them more as an occasional treat. Just like steak.

This past weekend with my parents, and we were going everywhere by car, I realized how much I enjoy walking and going by tram. Even grocery shopping isn’t as terrible as I once thought it was. I used to want fancy vacations, the ten days in London with crappy fast food and sharing a room with the guys was one of the best trips I’ve ever been to.

This year’s winter boots are the ones I bought last year, a pair if plain, black Dockers boots. I count dry, warm, handknit socks after a bath among my greatest joys in life. I’m even less of a party person than I ever was; my idea of a perfect evening is hanging out, watching something, and talking. The beverage I drink at Starbucks might be fancy, but it’s always the same, and exchanging a couple of friendly words with the baristas is one of the highlights of my day. Other highlights include cooking dinner, and jobs well done, be it a knit item or a translation or writing a couple of words on index cards. Praise from my teachers is secondary, but I revel in the knowledge of having done something right.

Some people might think it’s sad, to want so little from life. A younger me might have agreed with them. I know my ex-best friend certainly would, but then, she lives a glitzy life at a super-exclusive private college and will probably end up in some big corporation’s management in less than ten years.

To be honest – I think people like that are missing out. Big time.

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