I don’t drink coffee, I take tea my dear

October 23, 2010 § 1 Comment

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Just a quick photo post to show off the urban alien I walk by every day. The little guy in the doorway has been there as long as I’ve lived here, and he never fails to cheer me up with his wide, friendly smile.

It’s only taken two years for me to remember my damn camera.

The road goes ever on and on…

October 22, 2010 § 2 Comments

So, now that Martin Freeman (aka Dr. John Watson) is confirmed as Bilbo Baggins in the upcoming dramatization of The Hobbit

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… I find it vaguely freaky that two weeks ago, I wrote the first sentence of The Hobbit over my little doodle of the Watson sweater.

I’M PSYCHIC Y’ALL.

Roadhouse Blues

October 21, 2010 § 2 Comments

This week isn’t particularly better than the last one. Some things have improved from last week; however, other things have emerged that make me want to bang my head against the nearest available surface.

At least Andi has the early shift at Starbucks this week, so there’s a friendly face and a free extra espresso shot in the morning. I love Andi. He is my coffee god.

Also, after last week and my embarrassing whiny outburst, I’ve decided to channel my whininess into creative processes. I bet you all have a fairly good idea of what that might be. A hint: It’s not cleaning my desk, although that is long overdue, but that would mean untangling at least three skeins of sock yarn from each other. Do not want.

Instead, because today was a crappy day, I made focaccia. I always try to make some kind of yeast dough when I’m impatient and easily irritated, because it doesn’t work without letting it rest. It’s a valuable lesson. Also, I love that warm, yeasty, herb-y smell that reminds me of summer and the beach.

And then I knit a hat. A whole hat. In a day. I’m three quarters done with my Brambles scarf, so I figured I’d make the hat before finishing it. It’s not that I have project ADD,  (alright, I do have project ADD. In fact I’m two seconds away from starting an experimental Norwegian-inspired, merino-lined Alpaca hat for my father. Or… something.) – point being, I wanted to see how much yarn I’d have left over from the hat, so I could see whether or not I could make tassels for the scarf. The yarn I have is from two different lots, since I bought them almost a year apart, but the lots are reasonably close.

Which, it turns out, was a blessing, because my tassel plan kind of backfired: I actually had to use some of the scarf yarn for the last five rows or so of the hat. Oops.

Still, a cute, warm, orange hat in a day. And no tassels for the scarf.

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It’s funny, the color is incredibly hard to photograph. I played around with the settings and the lighting just now, and out of ten different photos, there’s not two that capture the shade of the yarn alike. The closest I’ve come to reality is this photo of the scarf from last week or so:

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I have no idea why I never got around to posting this before. Incidentally, it was taken the same day I took the new header photo. (Opinions on that, by the way? Good? Bad? Meh?)

Speaking of things I haven’t gotten around to showing off – the new hair! (Recognize the cardi? I knit that!)

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So, yeah. Seeing as there isn’t a demo this week to unhinge the entire public transportation system, there’s a pretty good chance I’m gonna pay the Strickcafé an overdue visit. Then Supernatural and cooking with Christian. Even if this week sucked, there’s still the weekend to look forward to. Nice job I did there on putting together my week.

It’s time I was king and not just one more pawn

October 17, 2010 § 3 Comments

Guess what’s done?

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It only took a year and a half.

Most of which was spent languishing in a teeny tiny leather satchel I bought on vacation in Portugal when I was about 13, the poor thing. Without needles, too – I’d pulled them out at one point because I needed a 4.5mm circ, most likely for the Dalek vest.

Good things definitely came out of not knitting for a weekend. (Even so, it’s not likely I’ll repeat that particular experiment any time soon, if I can help it.)

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It’s ‘Miralda’s Triangular Shawl’ from Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia. Zitron Maxima, started on 4.5 mm metal needles, switched to 4 mm bamboo needles after the edge chart. 164 g total, ca. 1.60 m wingspan.

There’s things I could write about, like the never-ending Watson, or my sister’s cardi, or the Christmas Stocking that’s actually coming along quite well – but you know what?

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I think I’m gonna bask in the glory of my finished shawl blocking next to me, and not think of those things at all.

(By the way, this is the first time I’m blocking a triangular shawl in the corner of my bed instead of in the middle of it. I don’t know why I didn’t try this earlier, because having straight lines for orientation makes it so much easier to pin the points down in a straight line!)

A díos le pido

October 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

Dude.

I don’t know what’s up with the last week being majorly sucktastic, but it looks like the entire semester might follow in its footsteps and that does not make me happy.

My Spanish module is full of people who have spent an extended period of time in Hispanic countries, which is great for them and intimidating for me and the other four or so people (out of 25) who haven’t actually taught Chilean homeless kids proper Spanish or something. Also I seem to have forgotten everything I ever learned over break, so there’s the teensy bit of grammar to deal with until, well, yesterday.

When I got back home from my first Spanish lesson I just poured myself a stiff drink and went to take a hot bath, that’s how bad it was. The only silver lining is that there’s a really cute girl in my class, which is great except that I was so much looking forward to learning Spanish without distraction, and there she is, and my concentration goes to hell. At least this time it’s not a highly inappropriate crush. That’s something, I guess.

Hispanistics is comparatively okay, except the times kind of blow ass; and the module for my major is a) full of my least favorite teachers and b) full of my least favorite people. And the times aren’t that great either.

And usually I’d try and go easy on this semester this early on. Give it a chance, y’know. Try to see the positive sides and knit my troubles away.

Except that Christmas is 70 days from now, I haven’t cast on my sister’s cardigan yet, and the Watson sweater is one catastrophe after the other. I frogged for the third time today – at first it was too small, then way too big, and now I randomly cast on 22 stitches less than I should have. No idea how, since I cast on with markers every 20 stitches, but lo and behold, when I was done with the ribbing and trying to set up the body pattern, everything went to crap. (It’s not that I’m bad at math, either. Saskia’s sweater, for some reason, is working out perfectly.)

What’s more, my wrist is starting to hurt. 70 days before Christmas.

Really, I just want something, anything to go right this week. Square dance is a relatively safe bet – everything we could possibly do on Friday I learned last weekend, so I can pretty much sit back and enjoy. Or, y’know, the dancing-my-ass-off equivalent.

I’m also planning on baking Maple-Walnut bread (what could possibly go wrong, huh) and curling up under a blanket for the weekend.

Seriously. Dear God, please have this week not be an omen for the rest of the semester.

So many times it happens so fast

October 9, 2010 § 2 Comments

Proudest fucking moment of my life?

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Witnessing Saskia teaching her friend her first cast-on and the knit stitch.

And when I touch you I feel happy, inside

October 6, 2010 § 6 Comments

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There’s kind of been a lot going on, yet at the same time, things have somehow stayed the same. But then, that shouldn’t come as such a surprise to me, since the French have been saying that for ages. (Does that mean I’ll listen to the French more? Possibly not. Except when it comes to cooking. I made Boeuf Bourguignon the other day and it was the best thing I’ve ever tasted.)

Anyway. So, I’ve spending some money on yarn. Ahem. In which case ‘some money’ amounts to leaving €170 at various yarny institutions in the past two weeks or so, which is a ridiculous amount even for me. But wait! Eighty of those bucks weren’t even spent for me. €36 went into a Girl Friday cardi for my sister (who randomly professed to wanting one for Christmas), then Saskia ordered Zitron yarn via me for about €30, and then there were those three balls of sock yarn for a Christmas Stocking my mom wants. And with some odds and ends, you know how it is when I’m at Zitron and fall into a yarn coma, I spent 120 bucks there, of which I got 45 back, which isn’t all that bad, considering I had to move yarn from my stash to my wardrobe because it wouldn’t fit.

And I vowed not to buy any more yarn until all that I had bought was knit up. And I did start a scarf with the stitch pattern from Knitty’s Brambles Beret to go with that hat, even though I haven’t cast on the hat yet, but hey.

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And I totally forgot that I was scheduled to go to the modell-hobby-spiel trade fair for all things hobby-ish and creative on the 3rd, and oh dear.

I bought several sets of buttons for the placket of my Thermal, most of them green, in various opacities and sizes just to be sure – at 40 cents a pop, I just couldn’t resist.

And I was going to be good, I’d fortified myself against the presence of the Strickcafé which I knew would be there, carrying the most fabulous yarns… and indeed I resisted.

And then I rounded a corner and found myself in a maze of shelves full of Lopi. And I don’t know if you knew this, but it’s funny, they don’t have a single colorway that’s not entirely gorgeous.

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I must have stumbled and hit my head, because somehow I bought a sweater’s worth of Létt-Lopi in  a gorgeous oatmeal color – Saskia bought it in a shade lighter, and I’m already refiguring the Watson charts to fit the 14sts/4in – and two balls of colored Létt-Lopi, and because all was lost anyway, I bought this gorgeous, truly gorgeous baby alpaca/silk/merino blend lace yarn that has 400m/50g and is the softest thing I’ve ever touched, over at the WollLust stall, and then I fainted.

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They had really good prices though!

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And then we went home, heated and spiced some wine in a copper kettle, drenched a sugar cone in rum and set that shit on fire.

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‘When shall we three meet again’-quoting entirely optional.

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