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.

I was sitting, waiting, wishing

August 28, 2009 § 1 Comment

I AM HALFWAY DONE WITH MUIR!!!!

I finished the first ball yesterday, got all excited, and spread the thing out over my legs. Yet again, I realized that this monster, when it’s done, can not only be used as a shawl, but also a blanket, tent cover and carpeting for a villa. ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Seriously, it’s huge. And it’s gonna be about twice this size, which means about 18 pattern repeats. Huge.

Thing is, though… I decided that before going on with the body, I’d do the lower border with the second ball, to avoid the slightest chance of me winding up short in the end. What I discovered was, however, that I’d knit in the wrong part of the stitch. Which means the crochet chain yarn loops through every stitch twice. Which means I can’t just pull and the stitches spring free, no, I have to go and pick at every single of the 157 stitches for about half a minute or longer.

And the thing is, I know how to do the whole provisional cast-on thing. I’ve done it before and very successfully. And now, when there’s almost 160 stitches…. I fail.

I’ve already picked up about… 10, maybe 15. It’s gonna be a couple of days till I’ve picked them all up, because hell if I do those all at once. >.<

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.

Admitting your problem…

March 23, 2009 § Leave a comment

So, I’ll admit it: I might have a small yarn problem.

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I went to Zitron in Wickede (Ruhr) today, which is just a half-hour drive from my house and TOTALLY worth it. They’re open to the general public on Mondays, they have all Zitron yarns there (obviously) plus quite a few ones that aren’t even in normal circulation yet. I love it. I went in there with the best of intentions, and left 20 minutes later with 1.2 kg of yarn and two sets of DPNs.

I don’t think I’ve ever spent €85 quite as fast as today.

I mean, the thing is, I can’t get Zitron yarns in Leipzig, so I have to stock up while I’m here. Zitron makes amazing quality for relatively cheap (even cheaper like this, right from the source), it’s 100% made in Germany, the colors are gorgeous, it’s a family business, and they’re generally my favorite yarn brand ever. I won’t be buying sock yarn for the next couple of months, or at least I’m going to pretend I won’t. Chances are pretty good. And €85 isn’t even that bad for that much yarn, plus needles!

Still, the haul, especially combined with the yarn I bought in the US, is what commonly could be referred to as ‘a crapload’, and I’m not sure how I’m gonna get it all back to Leipzig.

I’m such a yarnwhore.

This is today’s yarn:
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And this is my total vacation yarn (minus two 1/2 balls of Berroco, which are downstairs in the shape of half a sleeve and the left side of the cardi front, and minus a rather unexciting grey ball of Meilenweit that’s turning into socks for Tyler):
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To put it in the words of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee: ‘My… you sure have a lot of yarn!’

I’m slowly beginning to realize that getting all that crap to Leipzig is going to be the smallest problem. I might have to clear some shelf-space in my closet. And thus begins the spread from the stash chest of drawers into the rest of my living space. No longer will it be cooped up in a measly three drawers, no, it shall regain freedom and make their fortune in the endless realms of Patti’s room! I have a dream, that one day, one will have given up dividing sock yarns and other yarns; I have a dream that one day, a little hank of sock weight and a little hank of laceweight will be able to be friends, no matter their fiber content! I have a dream!

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A few words. The top row is today, starting with Trekking XXL in various colors, including a couple of new ones, and two balls of something called Trekking Maxima. (It looks like XXL, feels like XXL, it just has a different label). Then my beloved HandArt (five skeins) – they have lamé yarns in that line now, too! Plus another one of the gorgeous dark blue I’ve missed since I had to give Adam’s socks away. Last in line, 100g of Nimbus, 100% merino, in the colorway I saw hanging around Mr Zitron’s neck last time I was there and immediately fell in love with. Now I have it. Heh. I’ll probably have it sitting around for a while, since I don’t want to cock it up and fall is still some time away.

And no, they do, in fact, not have anything resembling sock yarn in Leipzig. Why do you ask?

Aaaand, my US haul! Starting out with the Misti Alpaca 2-ply (with the half-finished Python in the back), then the Wildefoote sock yarn, Malabrigo Lace, Schaefer Finger Lakes, and last but not least, the Berroco. I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough yarn, but with only one sleeve to go… I have enough. Way enough. Enough for a hat-and-mitts-ensemble to go with it, probably. Yay alpaca mitts!

My… I have a lot of yarn.

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