Some magnificient skyline

October 14, 2009 § 2 Comments

I’m… killing time, between walking the dog and making dinner before knitting my head off, and then I remembered, I never did get around to posting a couple of photos I took in London.

With photography being my semi-hobby, I feel like I should be making a separate category for it. I irrationally feel like it would elevate its status to proper, full-fledged hobby, even if that never stood a chance of happening with crochet.

Speaking of dormant hobbies, I recently rediscovered oil paints, and I’ve been playing around with them for the last couple of days. And lo and behold, with a little patience, my painting’s coming around.

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Patience: one of the many things knitting taught me whether I wanted to or not.

Anyways, London. I’ve uploaded a couple of my favorite impressions, and since that makes this post relatively picture-heavy and I don’t fancy scrolling myself to death every time I look through my blog (vanity, vanity), the rest is hidden under the cut.

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Somewhere ’round mile-marker one-twelve

September 30, 2009 § 2 Comments

Ah, I’m home. Back in Leipzig, back to the Saskias and the dog. Back to my wide bed where I can let my feet dangle over the edge. Back to my own kitchen, my own bath, two clocks in my room, green walls, cooking for myself, the TARDIS poster on my door, tons of pillows between me and the wall, and tons of yarn, needles and books to choose from.

I came home yesterday, actually, but it was rather late, I was kinda knackered, and pretty much all I did was changing my sheets from dusty to new and sparkly, taking a bubble bath, and making some baked beans. And tea, lots of tea. And soup, around 1.30am, when I was inexplicably bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Then, today, I got up late, and after breakfast set out to the long-procrastinated-on task of cleaning up my room. I’m… just so lazy with it. I do parts, but for the wide majority of the time, I just drop things on my desk or wherever, or plop down books on other books in the case instead of putting them back properly.

Seriously, the only part of my room that’s even remotely organized 90% of the time is my stash.

So I took down three bags worth of trash, a carton full of paper, plus I dusted, vacuumed, started on my desk, and reorganized my books. Oh, and I found two DPNs, a row counter and a crochet hook behind my bed. I’d been looking for those.

My proudest achievement of the day? Organizing a cultural timeline from Ancient Egypt all the way to contemporary Germany and the UK. It’s the history and culture textbooks I have, plus stuff like Shakespeare’s plays, Greek myths, the Iliad, Arabian Nights, Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey’, Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’, Thoreau’s ‘Civil Disobedience’ – basically, essential texts, books that I didn’t really want to put in my mostly fiction-based regular bookcase. The only thing in the main bookcase that’s non-fiction are the handful of knitting books, and John Barrowman’s bios. And I think that’s about it.

So, yeah. I’m rather enchanted by the whole timeline thing though, because it illustrates my point of view exactly: History and culture and literature are never entirely separate things, but quite the opposite: they three facets of the exact same thing. Like three sides of the same, weirdly-shaped coin. Ahem.

Other than that… I did the ‘most boring slideshow ever’ today, for Saskia. I’d told Sassi about it beforehand, and we both had to work very hard to keep from bursting out laughing when Saskia’s comments became more and more pissy. ‘Well, it would be nice if you could see anything besides the three of you! Seriously!’ Mwahaha. But I did a slightly-more-extended-than-the-regular slideshow afterwards, and she was rather more enthusiastic about that one.

I still have to upload a couple of pictures to show up here, but… not tonight.

It’s so nice here, all quiet, except for the dog breathing on the (freshly vacuumed) rug next to my bed.

Sassi squeed really, really loudly when I gave her the little ball I spun out of the hairs Wave shed this spring.

It’s an overload in my head

September 22, 2009 § 3 Comments

British Museum and shopping today, and my brain just cannot compute any more information. I only spent 2.5 hours in the British Museum, which is laughably short for a museum of that size and me, but at one point I just sat in this huge room (which doesn’t narrow it down much, there aren’t any small rooms in the British Museum) and I just could. not. take. any. more. That’s never happened to me, my brain just going into a shutdown like that in a museum, but it’s been a long nine days, and I’m beginning to suspect that my feet aren’t the only part of me that need a quiet day of sitting and staring at a wall.

But! Let’s start at the beginning! Because… I found buttons! For the Tempest Cardi! The one I finished in April! It was amazing. I’d basically scoured the length and width of Germany and still hadn’t found any buttons I liked, or that were the right size or weight or color or material or price, so after almost half a year, I was pretty desperate. I’d done my homework though, before coming to London, and had written down the address of the Button Queen. Remember my squeeage about BUTTON SHOPS IN LONDON? Yeah, that was that day. About that shop. Well, I went down Marylebone Lane, and there was the Button Queen… all boarded up. I had half a heart attack – and then ventured closer to discover a sign that they’d moved a bit further down the street. Phew!

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SO, I went into the shop, and was greeted by a very friendly gent,  who asked me what I was looking for. My mind went blank for a second, ‘Well… I’d like some buttons, obviously…’, but then I pulled out the cardigan, and he exclaimed, ‘Oh, I just saw something for this today!’. Then he went back to the back of the shop, came back with a drawer full of colorful laquered buttons… and they were a perfect match. The green ones AND the teal ones. Perfect weight, perfect size, perfect color, AND a real deal at 99p apiece. I could’ve hugged him. I felt close to bursting into tears of relief, and started babbling about how I’d been searching for buttons for almost half a year… and today, purchasing the buttons was a matter of ten minutes. And most of these minutes were spent trying to decide whether to take green or blue. I went with – both! I’ll alternate them. Unfortunately, that will have to wait till I get back, because my needle is too thick to fit through the buttonholes.

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But I’ve got buttons!!! I even bought enough so I can sew some onto potential gloves or hats, I still have a ton of yarn left over, after all. And I do recommend the Button Queen, wholeheartedly.

Then, I went to the British Museum, and there was a surprising amount of spinning and weaving stuff around. Maybe I’ve just never paid much attention to it before… but it was a pleasant surprise anyway. Spindle whorls and loom weights in the Greek, Egyptian and British exhibits, plus weaving shuttles and distaffs and vases with spinning and/or weaving motifs.

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Oh, and look! Some pharaoh with knitting in front of his face!

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No knitting exhibits, sadly. Well, big surprise, it wasn’t even invented when those cultures were around.

Aaaand at last… I went to iKnit in Lower Marsh.

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Such a jewel. Such exciting yarns! I mean, partly what I expected, Malabrigo, Manos, stuff like that. But then… silk/stainless steel yarn from Habu Textiles. And other crazy stuff from Japan. And my personal highlight, rare British sheep breeds, which prompted me to buy 200g of gorgeous scarlet Wensleydale. No pictures yet, silly me. Six pounds per 100g though, so not bad at all. Begging to become a shawl.

And then I bought a card. With a black sheep on it. Which, as it turns out, is made of recycled, Welsh sheep poo. Oh dear.

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Can’t read my poker face

September 21, 2009 § 2 Comments

This is what I wrote last night:

It is incredibly late by my recent standarts, I’m terribly drunk, the German keyboard is really hard after half an hour of a British keyboard the other day, and yet I am still hanging out in the lounge while the boys are doing unmentionable things in our room.

We went out in SoHo, in some gay club called Escape, which was rather empty  but free of entrance fee and rather nice (plus the beer was kinda cheap), and I did have lots of fun – even though I’m not the partying type. But you know how it is, once you get drunk  enough, anything’s fun and/or funny, and by the time Jörn’s hand wandered down to my ass because he was drunk enough to be moving the wrong arm (Christian was sitting on his other side)… I just dissolved in hysterics. And I’m still amused by that.

This is what I’m writing now:

To pass the time last night, I picked out and uploaded a couple of pictures. They’re not the sightseeing pictures, I’m gonna post these some other time when I actually have the patience to sort through all of them, which is likely once I come back. Instead, they’re knitting pictures.  Or knitty, rather, since not all of them are directly connected to knitting as such.

First, let’s start with something we already know: My Doctor Who scarf. Ever since it got wet the other day, it’s stretched out more and more, until Christian and I started wondering how long exactly it was. The answer? Really long. Long enough to stretch from one side of the room to the other one.

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We also got tangled up in it while we were hanging out at Potters Fields next to Tower Bridge – it really is huge fucking long. The scarf, I mean.

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Then, next up, TARDIS socks. Sadly, when we went to Shepherd’s Bush, we found out the hard way that there’s not BBC museum there. You can pre-book tours through the facilities, but eh. So, no TARDIS-in-front-of-TARDIS pictures, but I did drag it everywhere around the city. Have two photos, one in front of that brige there and another one in the Mexx store that matched the color scheme of the yarn pretty well.

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I do have to say, I’m rather proud of that Tower Bridge photo. I don’t know why, it just appeals to me a lot. But then, I did get pretty lucky with a lot of pictures (or maybe I’m just a spectacular photographer), so, go me.

Then, my new socks. I bought this really really nice yarn in this cute little store in Carnaby street, and to keep with the general feeling of overall geekery of this trip, I decided to make… Dalek socks. Not just on a whim though, because there’s a lot of these little nubs, and they do showcase the colors rather spectacularly, and once I’d decided on nubs Daleks just sort of… sprang to mind.

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The yarn, wound with the generous help of Christian (who just admitted that at least in the beginning, he learned to knit only to make me happy. huh. I’m slightly flabbergasted, and… touched, really.)

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Aaaand a glimpse of the shaft motif. In the background? That’s part of the textile exhibition in the Victoria and Albert Museum, V&A for short. And the textile rooms are just… insane. There’s really no other word for it, because they do have some stuff in showcases, oh yes, but they just have so many fragments and everything they just keep them in these… frames. That you can pull out. And there’s (I think) somewhere between 150 and 200 frames in a cabinet, and there’s at least six or eight cabinets. It’s crazy. It really, really is.

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And they’ve just got the most amazing things tucked away there. Fabric from 4th century Egypt. English bobbin lace. Japanese silk embroidery. Elizabethan needlepoint. My lowly little sock felt very, very humbled next to all that splendour.

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But I do think it’s turning out quite good on its own. The Dalek is mirrored on the other side, so they’re both facing forwards, divided by three columns of nubs. Eeep! I’m already around the heel, about… 10 rows or so after the gusset, I’m guessing. I don’t even know when I find the time to do all that, it just sort of appears on my needles overnight. Huh.

And now, last but not least, two men who may or may not have something to do with knitting… allow me to introduce Lord Kitchener…

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And OMG OMG OMG my ticket for an amazing Wednesday evening!!!!

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(Still contemplating whether to just pop over to Northumberland Ave. around the stage entrance before or after a matinee… but, you know. I’d just hang around in a probably dark alley, knitting away on Dalek socks… even if sitting and knitting wasn’t conspicuous, the whole Doctor Who motif would give my intentions away. Plus, I do have better things to do. No, really.)

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