I’ll have you know I’m glad to be back

August 10, 2010 § 4 Comments

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After a five-hour drive, I’m back, I’m back, I’m back in Leipzig. Cut loose from the noose and all that, and I’ve never been more relieved to see these green walls of mine. I’ve already done laundry and photographed my knitting and made myself a Southern Comfort with lemonade, and I’m enjoying the quiet of a flat that has just me in it. And the dog. And my freshly laundered, newly fluffy rugs. I could write about those some more (cause they’re fairly exciting, all white instead of greyish, except for that pink spot on one of them), but I’m also pretty sure y’all would prefer some knitty photos to my yabbering about rugs.

Even if they’re pretty rugs.

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These are the old new socks, the ones I have finished and one of which my mother has already messed with. Or rather the velcro on her shoes. The little standy-uppy tuft is annoying, but I’m kind of hoping it’ll vanish with washing, so there’s that. Either way, they’re Zitron Trekking HandArt experimental tweed yarn, on 2.25mm Knitpicks, pattern is Blueberry Waffle Socks by Sandy Turner. Quick, entertaining, I’ll have to wait and see how they hold up in shoes but very comfy nonetheless.

However, adding another pair of socks to my already vast collection means my new sock box is also becoming very full very fast.

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Maybe I should retire some of the older, thinned-out socks to a bag or something so I can go on knitting new ones. Not yet though, Christmas is coming after all and I’m almost certain most of the socks I’ll be knitting in the near future won’t be for me. (I have one pair planned for Saskia already. Gosh, I’m excited for those, even though my knitting time on them will be restricted to when she’s not there.)

Speaking of new socks, the socks I started yesterday? Are kind of gorgeous, even if I just only finished the first half-repeat.

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It’s new Zitron Trekking XXL from a line called Salz und Pfeffer (salt and pepper), color 436 (I love it when they have romantic names), and I’m pretty enchanted with the way it totally looks like grass, or fresh minced herbs, or any other sort of springy-summery nature stuff.

And now, and believe me when I say I wish I had it blocked, but that’s gonna have to wait until at least tomorrow… the thistle shawl.

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My brain can’t wait to block it, but my back is already groaning.

Verás cosas que jamás soñaste ver

July 6, 2010 § 2 Comments

Most of the time, I don’t mind having the tram as my main mode of transportation. It’s cheap, it’s energy efficient, and I get out in the open air, plus it’s hassle-free and isn’t usually affected by traffic jams in the city.

Sometimes, I hate depending on the tram. Those days are usually in winter, when the system goes to jack due to snow, and you have to wait in the freezing cold for half an hour, and then slip in the sludge that’s accumulated on the tram floors. It’s also bad during rush hour in summer, where you’re squashed against sweating bodies in the already sweltering cart, and you get the general feeling of what it must be like to be on a cattle transport.

But once in a while, a day will come along where I love, love, love taking the tram. Like today, when the only space available was in front of an old lady, and we had a lovely conversation about sock heel construction.

And then, a couple of minutes after she’d gotten off, I saw Him.

He was dark-haired and mocha-skinned, about three years old, and spoke something that sounded very much like Spanish with his mother in his high kid-voice.

He was wearing a hot pink dress, and he was carrying a dolly in a matching outfit. And his mother sat next to where he was bouncing up and down in the middle aisle, beaming with pride.

I haven’t stopped smiling since.

Sometimes, I love, love, love taking the tram.

Zwischen Mehl und Milch

November 25, 2009 § 4 Comments

Advent is just on our doorstep, and since my first Advent weekend has just started, I decided to bake some cookies. Two kinds, both perennial favorites in my family: tons of Schokolis and vanilla crescents are traditionally baked around this time, and then just before Christmas, we have to rebake because they’re mysteriously all gone.

The Schokolis are all but done – they’re little chocolatey balls with a hazelnut inside, and all that’s left to do is for them to cool off enough so I can coat them with chocolate. Mmh. The dough for the vanilla crescents is still resting in the fridge, and as soon as I’m done messing around with the chocolate, I’m making those.

So, by far, I’m still not done – but I have some downtime right now, cause you don’t hurry cooling – but I wanted to share a couple of impressions from the last day or so, cause the Christmas market opened last night and… Christmas is coming, baby!

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Christian, yours truly, and Saskia, just before we got kinda smashed on hot cider. | Augusteum in the morning light

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Adjusting my color scheme.

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Hazelnuts prior to roasting | baking cocoa

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Beating butter till my arms hurt. Beating butter, by the way, is not a euphemism. I wish!

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Roasted hazelnuts | Schokolis not quite as Prussian and orderly as I would’ve liked them to be

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There’s a reason my family always makes at least a double batch.

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Yesterday sucked, sunset-wise (and generally weather-wise, let’s be honest), but today… man.

Oh! And also… the original Winchester Washcloth charts.

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Red and green just contrast well, it’s not Christmas colors on purpose | After dicking around with the big ones for what felt like forever, I decided to do some actual math for the small one.

It’s the final breakthrough

October 21, 2009 § 8 Comments

Few, very few things indeed, are as satisfying as baking.

I do know this makes me sound like an even bigger nerd than I normally am, but man… last night, when I carefully snapped open the springform pan, and stuck my knife in, and landed a perfect piece of pumpkin pie on my plate… my friends, I tell you, it was a slice of heaven right there.

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The brilliant, uncomplicated and not-using-a-lot-of-stuff-I-can’t-stick-into-the-dishwasher recipe is over here at Chefkoch. (It’s in German, but if anyone wants a translation, I’ll  be happy to oblige.)

(Just look at that pumpkiny goodness.)

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In other news, I have a little tea pot, short and stout, and I bought it so I could make it a sweater.

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I’ve always had a secret passion for tea cozies, but I never actually owned a tea pot I could make one for, so… yeah. Other people make cozies cause they have a pot. I buy the pot to make a cozy. Whatever.

It’s Elisabeth Kleven’s Tea Mitten (link goes to the Rav-Rav) in Zitron Nimbus, on 3.5mm metal DPNs and a circ. It’s a tad big, I’ll admit that, but still. It might, uh, shrink in the wash. Or something. But yeah, I totally made a merino tea cozy. Yup.

Quick Garter Stitch Bitch update: chugging along. Choo, choo.

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Other exciting stuff that happened today: It’s another gorgeous fall day, and my 650g Hamburger Wollfabrik 5-ply chocolate brown merino extafine arrived.

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Let’s paint the night with color

April 16, 2009 § 2 Comments

I’d like to – if I may – take you on a strange journey. A journey that involves me having glitter everywhere thanks to my stupid tshirt, and a whole ton of pictures.

First of all, I don’t think I ever showed off the handspun, plant dyed yarn I bought at the mini Renaissance fair over Easter. I already wound the orange skeins and started a hat with them, although I didn’t come very far.
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Then, I was randomly overcome with the urge to knit socks. Simple, mindless, colorful socks, i.e. everything the Python was not. So I ruthlessly pulled out my other set of bamboo 2.5/15 dpns out of the glove they were in, grabbed a ball of yarn out of my sock yarn drawer, and stuffed them in my knitting bag. In the tram, on the way to Christian, I realized something as I cast the sock on: This semester, I’m taking Brazilian Portuguese as another language. And guess what the colorway is called!!
Voilà, o Brasíl. O Brasíl do Augustusplatz.
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I would have more than one sock if I hadn’t worked on Christian’s pair yesterday – finished the first one and cast on and almost finished the ribbing on the second one. Deadline’s approaching… poor thing. He’ll really have to work on them now.

And last but not least – lo and behold! The Swallotail Shawl, the European Python, is finally finished! Blocked! Taken out to photograph! So there you go.

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I got up half an hour early to block it – I just pinned it out and then sprayed it with water, following the advice on Knitty concerning Alpaca.
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Coming back from my classes, there it was, gloriously bathed in sunlight, and my breath literally caught.
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I mean, look at it! Look at all the wee little stitches! In the skinny little yarn! And the wee nubs! It seriously has me reduced to squeeing whenever I see it. I’m still not entirely convinced it won’t break if someone touches it without the proper respect, it’s just so… delicate. I was really afraid to pick it up after I pulled out the pins.
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And it’s so light and airy! Seriously, when I say light, I mean like… 60 grams at the most. I know it’s more than 50g because I used more than one ball, but it can’t be much more.
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Wheeeeee!

And look at the sky! Have you noticed the sky? I’ll give you a better picture:

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LOOK AT THE SKY! It’s so unreal! It’s so ridiculously, amazingly blue! And it’s been like this forever! All the colors! It’s summer!

Also, I’d like the time to recommend a movie: Shortbus. Intense, emotional, unapologetic. It’s kinda weird, but it’s also one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

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