Unpacking books from boxes

April 25, 2009 § 1 Comment

I was going to wait with the showing off until my other package had arrived, but it hasn’t, and I’m itching for some yarnwhoring.

Birst off: I finished the Wave socks! Just now, while waiting for my pasta to cook to a nice al dente. My roomie was overjoyed and put them on straight away – she’s off to the park with them now. How cool is that?

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Also, I started winding one skein of my Malabrigo laceweight from Ithaca into a ball. Which sucks. Why? Because as nice and soft as the stuff is, it’s also kind of fuzzy. In the slightly-felted-and-sticking-together way. Never in my life have I wanted a swift and a ballwinder more than today, and I’m usually a person who tremendously enjoys sitting there with a skein of yarn around my knee, winding away. So it’s pretty much a huge pain in the ass, and it had better be worth it.

I’m planning a couple of new projects: First, it’s the 18th birthday of Christian’s sister on May 1st, and since I’m spending Beltaine with Christian at the Externsteine (a mystical rock formation in the middle of the forest, 10 minutes from his home), I’ll be there, and she’s said she’s excited for me to be there, and… I need a present. I’m thinking fingerless mitts, since she’s a gamer… either with some kind of WoW symbol on it, or in red with a white cross, because her boyfriend is Swiss. Red and white would be great, since I’m on a yarn diet until the end of May and I have both in my stash.

Then, speaking of Beltaine, I want something to knit while sitting in the shadows of stones that are supposed to have been a Germanic place of worship. (regardless, there was power there when I went this winter) I’d like for it to be something special, because it’s Beltaine after all, maybe even vaguely thematic. I would LOVE a shawl, but I’m also aware that I’ll be seriously drunk there. I’m contemplating just taking the SYS, since I’m at the garter stitch edge now, but Beltaine is a time of starting, not finishing. The call of nature to make something is deeply ingrained in me.

And then, with the last thing on my List of Things I Want To Cast On Right Now, I also come to my super-duper purchase. See, Saskia and me are going to this concert in November. It’s not a rock concert, far from it. In fact, it’s in the Gewandhaus, a prestigeous concert house here in Leipzig, and it’s Max Raabe und das Palastorchester, which is… well, a big band, I guess, in the style of the 20s and 30s. They’re amazing. They also cover pop songs in that peculiar, awesome style, like ‘Oops… I did it again’ or ‘Sex Bomb’. (click the links for muuusic!)

So, I already know which dress I’m wearing, mainly because I only own one. It’s a shortish, black affair, nice but nothing spectacular. So I figured, there’s enough time till November, I can knit a hugeish dressy shawl for that occasion.

So I went and bought Nancy Bush’s ‘Knitted Lace of Estonia’.
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It’s a magnificient book. As always, it has some history, this time obviously about the lace knitting tradition in the town of Haapsalu, Estonia:
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and vintage photos
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and truly amazing, incredible patterns. There are fourteen of them, ranging from relatively simple scarves to the most intricate and huge square shawls (like the one on the cover), and me and my roomies just sat in the kitchen for half the evening going ‘oh, look at THAT one!’ ‘holy crap!’ ‘I want one like that, can you make me one?’ ‘oh my GOD just LOOK at that!’.

Two of the patterns caught my attention in particular. One, the Leaf and Nupp Shawl, is rectangular, while the Miralda Shawl is a triangle where you cast on from the lower lace border and decrease down the middle and at the sides. What they have in common, though, are the lovely little nupps and the sheer stunning beauty and ingenuity of the pattern.

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I have a feeling the Leaf and Nupp Scarf is a bit dressier, with the laceweight yarn and the open pattern. The Miralda is lovely, no doubt, but it also loos like something you’d wrap yourself in against the cold drafts that whisper through your enormous stone castle while you recline on your ottomane and have one of the maids fetch you the bard to dispel the dark shadows of wintertime, if you get my drift.

So, I don’t know. I’m sure I’d like to knit both of them, I just don’t know if they’re the right thing for the occasion. Rectangular shawl… I don’t know. They always feel more like scarves than like stoles to me. I’ll have to see. On the other hand, maybe there’s a textile museum affiliated with the Gewandhaus? Now that would be some inspiration.

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Wave and Wave

April 24, 2009 § 2 Comments


Wave and Wave

Originally uploaded by slashkitten

The sock and its namesake: Wave, the most patient and amazing and fluffy dog in the world! Unfortunately, you can’t see the pretty lace pattern, obscured by Wave’s shapely, fuzzy Australian Shepherd head.

But I think having a picture of a dog with a sock on his head is more than worth missing out on a boring lace cuff.

*

About Wave: no, he’s not my dog. He might as well be, since he’s living in the same apartment as me, but he actually belongs to my roomie Sassi. Which is just fine by me, really: I can cuddle him and pretend he’s mine and comb him to harvest fiber for yarn and slap socks on his head, but I don’t actually have to do the annoying ownery stuff. Like take him out for walks three times a day, or haul big sacks of dog food up to our third-floor (fourth if you’re American) apartment.

In the summer time, when the weather is nice…

April 4, 2009 § 3 Comments

I’m trying to think how many of my headlines aren’t actually song quotes. Can’t be too many.

Today was another entirely too gorgeous day. I’m sincerely hoping this isn’t just Mother Nature playing a very cruel trick with us, giving us this brilliant entry into spring just to have it rain all the way from May to September. It’s happened. But today, nothing could have been farther from that, with a whopping 24°C in the sun and not a cloud in the sky. Everything was so colorful, so bright… so I grabbed my knitting and a blanket, called Christian, and after a very brief pop into Karstadt to buy him a cell phone and some sock yarn, sat down on the first grassy, sunlit spot we could find and ate ice cream.

I took tons of pictures of the roomie socks. (I can say ‘the roomie socks’ because the second pair has not been started yet. Nor do I think it will be soon, because I left Christian my newest bamboo dpn set, and I’m not sure where my other one is. Probably in my yellow UFO gloves. Which are… somewhere here in this room, I’m guessing.)

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I also took pictures of my rapidly developing sock yarn shawl. I’m just so enchanted by the whole idea that I can just go into the park and sit in the sunshine, on the grass, while knitting away. Of course, a solid stockinette shawl is the last thing you’d need for this kind of weather, but once the sun goes down, it gets pretty chilly, and I’m hoping for campfires I can wrap myself in when it’s done… someday.

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We chilled there for quite some time, precisely until we got hungry. We think we saw a hummingbird, a really teeny tiny one, but it might have been just a fuzzy sort of bug with a really long snouty-thingy. (I’m hoping it was a hummingbird.) No pictures of the fuzzy, but instead, I give you a picture of Augustusplatz, the biggest square (I think) in Leipzig, which fills me with unbelievable joy that I live in this city every time I walk over it. Especially when the fountains are actually… fountaining. They should be running soon, what with all the weather and sun and all that.

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Back at Christian’s, we sat some more, ate delicious pasta, and played with technology. In his case, it was his new cell phone, in my case, it was my camera. Which has some really nifty features I was delighted to discover, like selecting one color and shooting the rest in b/w, or other awesome stuff that was commemorated with words like ‘Move! More! To the left! There’s the little square thingy around your head and it follows you around! Move! JUMP!’

And some knitting. (My life is full of surprises. I know.)

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I’m tanning! Slowly, but steadily. Just like the shawl is coming along. Actually, I knit like a quarter more afterward, lots of green and then started pink/purple, so… productive day!
Christian also felt the overwhelming need to show off his Vodka bottle cozy he knit… um, the other day, when I taught him how to knit on DPNs.

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I have to add: that is not actually vodka in that bottle. We might be young and reckless, but we don’t start drinking until the sun goes down. (This rule might have to be loosened once sunset is almost too late to start drinking) It’s sort of a long story that ends with him him being broke and filling soda into empty glass bottles he had standing around because he was taking the plastic ones to the store to get the money for them back… and the vodka bottle was the nearest. So now it has some sickeningly sweet stuff in there I wouldn’t go near even if it WAS diluted with vodka, but he loves it, and it has a cozy. (Nevermind that it was actually supposed to be a wristband that turned out to be bound off slightly too tightly)

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And, I just have to post this, because it makes me irrationally happy: CHRISTIAN KNITTING! And sort of looking like he’s having fun at it. I’m not forcing him, honest. (Not too much.) I failed at getting another picture of him actually in the act, because he does it with the pained and complete concentration of a beginner, painfully forming each stitch around the needles… I love watching him. It reminds me of when it was all so new and exciting to me, that I was making something with my hands. Not that it has gotten old for me ever since, but I kind of miss those times. … and then I remember how long it took to make one row of knit stitches and I’m glad those times are seven years down the past. Holy crap.

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He’s exceptionally proud of his new pink and purple wristband… even though, you know, you could pin a pink triangle to your chest for pretty much the same effect. I like it!

The only downside: See, we had this thing, where I didn’t understand his computer games and he didn’t understand my knitting, and we both thought the other one was weird, but we listened to each other gushing about Exciting Stuff and tried to translate it into our own terms and be happy for each other. But now he knows how to knit… and he’s decided that if he put time and effort into learning how to knit, I should put some time and effort into at least trying to play some computer game. It’s only fair, I guess, and I’d be excited to learn a new skill… if I could just understand what people get out of sitting in front of the computer (or Playstation, or whatever) playing a game all day. Christian played some Final Fantasy game 140 plus hours. And what did that get him? He can say he finished it – great. But just imagine what you could knit in the same amount of time, and how you actually have something to hold in your hands after that. So, I guess I’m just gonna have to play along. We’ll see. Maybe it’s gonna be fun. Maybe.

Eventually, his almost-boyfriend finally arrived after 7 hours of waiting in the traffic between Paderborn and here, and I left the two of them to their, ahem, devices. Good thing I put the bamboo DPNs I left him into the plastic wrapper thing, god only knows where they would’ve ended up if I hadn’t. His room isn’t all that big, but I’ve lost multiple earrings there that have never turned up again.

As a goodbye, a picture of the City at night. Or rather, the Opera from the other side. God, I’m so glad to live here.

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Also, I’ve perfected the blank look when I say ‘Cardigan? What cardigan?’

That’s why they call me Mr Fahrenheit

April 3, 2009 § 1 Comment

Sleeping over it solves most, if not all problems.

You can’t wire the money to Ewas Sockenwolle. Problem solved – I ordered at another shop, and just the Harmonies, too. Which is good, because I was just about to order a skein of Merino/Linen to dye on my own.

I knit in my sleep tonight – lots of random shit, I don’t remember, but there was knitting. I also started what I’d been planning for quite some time: a sock yarn leftover shawl. No bells, no whistles, plain stockinette, with a 2-stitch garter edge and YO increases. It’s gonna be warm and comfy and awesome, and I’m gonna ignore the fact that there’s a perfectly good laceweight shawl practically pining for me in its little handwoven basket on my windowsill.

If I can drag myself out of bed (and do the laundry I’ve been meaning to do, and get dressed, and… stuff) I’m gonna take the Roomie socks to the park today to take pictures. I feel bad for the other Sassi, but I think her socks are gonna have to wait until I feel like knitting something dark again. (She picked the charcoal with the orange and teal, which is a beautiful yarn but too dark to satisfy my craving for bright, springy colors)

Can I get a napkin pleaaaaase!

April 2, 2009 § 2 Comments

EUREKA! (Greek for ‘a towel, please!’)

Got the first pair of Roomie Socks done, just now, in the sunshine. They’re gorgeous. If they weren’t so  pink (and too small) I’d totally keep them for myself.

I knit so I don’t kill people

April 2, 2009 § 2 Comments

Oh. My. God.

So, my university, while being 600 years old, apparently has never figured out a way to not make their students crazy with rage.

I didn’t get any of the modules I wanted, except for the required one. In fact, I didn’t even get the ones I only semi-wanted. Or the ones I needed. Or… any at all, really.

So I try to breathe deeply, sit on Christian’s porch, enjoy the sun, and knit until I find someone to stab with a pointy bamboo stick. In the eye.

On the positive side, Christian wants to go yarn shopping once he has money. Oh, yesssss.

AND, I almost forgot – Tyler got his socks! They fit! He loves them! They fit! He loves them! This is the bright lining at the end of my cloudy horizon! They fit! This excites me more than it probably should, but… they fit!

Drop drop drop

March 31, 2009 § 4 Comments

I am so tired.

I slept five hours between nine and 2.30, but I started waking up every half hour after 12. Which, surprisingly enough, left me less than well-rested. I’m guessing it’s the bright daylight blazing through my windows (it really was a beautiful day), or the approximately two liters of coffee I’d had before.

Oh, coffee.

My big problem with coffee is that I like it a lot. So much that, in fact, I bought a nice big mug to have my coffee in. A normal coffee mug holds about 300ml. Mine holds 6oo. Which means that with only two mugs, I drink over a liter of coffee and barely notice that fact. I had a lot of coffee last night, and another two today during the day. It’s a lot of caffeine. Granted, I put a lot of milk in there, but still… that’s like 3 liters of coffee in less than 24 hours. Glorious brown elixir of life or not – that’s a LOT of coffee.

Plus, you know, fake Bailey’s with Saskia tonight, just a bit, and I’m still woozy. Drinking the second half in the steaming hot bathtub was probably a mistake, but also delicious.

So. As a result of too little sleep, coming down from my caffeine high, and a brilliant hot bath in the middle of the night, my whole body is heavier than a stone. Which is nice. I felt ready to drop all day, but now I’m just deliciously relaxed to boot.

And yet somehow between all of the coffee drinking and grocery shopping and sleeping badly, I managed to finish the first Roomie sock and work my way down most of the shaft of the second one. It’s still fun – but nowhere near as crack-like as the first one. I’m still waiting for a huge onset of SSS though.

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